The Absolute Sound December 2020

The Absolute Sound is the world’s preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music.

United States
Nextscreen LLC
11 期號


6 分鐘

Listening to Measurements? I’ve just read Jonathan Valin’s guest editorial in issue 309. He’s a fine writer, and so is Robert E. Greene. But REG is also a musician. To say that he “listens primarily to numbers” is a silly and disingenuous thing to say. Ned Mast JV replies: My friend and colleague REG is, indeed, a brilliant reviewer and a dedicated musician. I was simply reiterating what he himself had written in the piece that Robert Harley and I were responding to—to wit, that when it comes to assessing loudspeakers certain numbers (not spec-sheet numbers but numbers from objective third-party tests) can, more or less, tell the whole sonic story. I know perfectly well that Robert listens and thinks about what he listens to (and I did say that Robert only relates…

3 分鐘
recognizing audio’s greatest advocate

“The reproduction of music is as essential to the quality of human life as any other field of science and engineering.” Compared to other scientific fields, audio engineering doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. The general public readily appreciates engineering triumphs such as large suspension bridges, space travel, nuclear power, and breakthroughs in computer science. But we rarely consider the fundamental work behind the technology that brings to us the essential art form of music. I’m not talking about incremental improvements in a new amplifier design, or a marginally better-sounding loudspeaker, but rather the bedrock science underpinning the miracle that allows us to experience, in our homes, the illusion of contemporaneous music-making that was perhaps created by long-dead artists half a world away. That changed this September when the Royal Academy…

6 分鐘
amazon music hd wants you, but do you want amazon music hd?

Unless you are still one of those holdouts with a dial-up modem, you’ve probably heard about and perhaps considered trying Amazon Music and Amazon Music HD. This streaming service, like all things Amazonian, wants to be the 500-pound gorilla that stomps into the quiet forest glen of high-resolution music streaming and claims it for chimps everywhere. Amazon has priced its HD music service at $12.99 per month for Prime users and $15.99 for everyone else, which places it under Qobuz’s and Tidal’s monthly fees if you are already a Prime user. If not a Prime member, then Qobuz new “Studio Premier” at $14.99 per month is currently the least expensive true high-resolution-capable streaming service. The question of whether Amazon Music would be a better option for you depends on a number…

20 分鐘
the absolute sound’s high-end audio hall of fame

The idea of honoring those men and women who’ve been instrumental in creating the high end has its roots in TAS’s series of large-format books, The Absolute Sound’s Illustrated History of High-End Audio. In the course of researching Volume One TAS writers and editors developed a renewed appreciation for the achievements of the pioneers who laid the foundations of this great industry. To honor these visionary engineers, entrepreneurs, and journalists, we decided six years ago to create a High-End Audio Hall of Fame. For the inaugural round of inductees in 2014, we asked our writing staff to submit a list of candidates. The criteria were simple: Who had the greatest impact on audio’s evolution from laboratory experiment to consumer product? Who shaped the high end most profoundly, either through technical innovation,…

1 分鐘
the absolute sound’s high-end hall of fame

William Zane Johnson (1926-2011) Paul Wilbur Klipsch (1904-2002) Henry Esplin Kloss (1929-2002) Hiroyasu Kondo (1941-2006) Saul B. Marantz (1911-1997) Frank H. McIntosh (1906-1990) Jim Thiel (1947-2009) Julian Vereker (1945-2000) Edgar Villchur (1917-2011) Peter Walker (1916-2003) Mark Levinson (b. 1946) Arnie Nudell (1937-2017) Harry Pearson (1937-2014) Ivor Tiefenbrun (b. 1946) Jim Winey (b. 1934) Alan Blumlein (1903-1942) Doug Sax (1937-2017) J. Robert Stuart (b. 1948) Atasushi Miura (b. 1934) David Wilson (1944-2018) Sidney Harman (1918-2011) J. Gordon Holt (1930-2009) Masaru Ibuka (1908-1997) Akio Morita (1921-1999) John Bowers (1923-1987) Raymond Cooke (1925-1995) Richard Vandersteen (b. 1950) Robert Carver (b. 1943) Nelson Pass (b. 1951) Dan D’Agostino (b. 1947) Keith Johnson (b. 1938) David Hafler (1919-2003) Arthur Janszen (1907-1991) John Curl (b. 1946) Joe Grado (1924-2015) Peter Suchy (b. 1945) Jacques Mahul (b. 1949) Gayle Martin Sanders (b. 1947) Siegfried Linkwitz (1935-2018)…

14 分鐘
cambridge audio cxn v2 network audio streamer and cxa81 integrated amplifier

“From the Land of Great Rock Music.” “Great British Sound!” Both of these components came with these stickers affixed to them. And that worked for me. Partly because I have a long-time affinity for British rock (particularly from the 70s, 80s, 90s), and partly because I tend to be drawn to hi-fi equipment from the UK. Since Cambridge Audio has been making highly respected components for 50+ years now, I expected a lot from this reasonably priced duo—the British-designed CXN V2 network audio streamer and the CXA81 integrated amplifier. I will examine them individually and together, since used jointly they make up a nearly complete system—just add cables and speakers, and you can stream from your phone, PC, or network. CXN V2 Network Player Features The $1099 CXN V2 is the second…