The Absolute Sound July/August 2021

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


5 分鐘

The Magnificent Seven I really enjoyed your feature on seven different speakers [Issue 315]! Different manufacturers, different price levels. I read all the reviews and learned something from every one of them. Very interesting and informative. Keep up the good work. Thanks! Kevin Neis Not a Whining Sissie Great feature on “Seven Speakers for Any Budget!” Before you draw the wrong conclusion, I happen most decidedly not to be one of those whining sissies who bemoans TAS reviewing the bleeding-edge stuff. It’s the trickle-down of that stuff that has enabled me to build a very satisfying and relatively (isn’t everything relative?) affordable system that has provided so much satisfaction and joy over the years, and still manages to occasionally amaze and impress. Much of what I own is nowhere near the top of the line…

4 分鐘
why do i still do it?

“The last three decades have been just as ear-opening as the first two decades of high-end audio.” Some of you whippersnappers may wonder why I’m still writing audio reviews—why any of us oldsters are. After all, I’ve been doing this professionally for better than thirty years—and as a hobbyist for virtually my entire life. I’m no longer a kid; my hearing bandwidth certainly isn’t all it once was; and, of course, I’ve listened to an awful lot of stuff. What’s left to keep me going (aside from a paycheck)? Haven’t I heard it all? Well, yeah, I have. And, no, I haven’t. The trouble is that, even in the glacial world of high-end audio, things change—sometimes in ways that are a bit astonishing. Oh, they may not change fundamentally. Folks are still making cones-in-a-box…

2 分鐘
future tas

DALI Oberon 9 The Oberon 9 combines refinement and startling detail with effortless power handling. This three-way flagship tower sports a dedicated 7” midrange and two long-throw 9” woofers, and uses DALI’s patented SMC in the midrange/woofer magnet systems to provide improved flux linearity, reduced magnetic hysteresis, and lower harmonic distortion. The Oberon 9 is coupled with a new larger 29mm soft-dome tweeter of ultralightweight weave fabric, optimized for a larger bandwidth in its lower frequencies. The driver materials, crossover design, and geometry used in the Oberon 9 have been selected to achieve a wide dispersion pattern. This ensures a well-integrated sound, even when listening off-axis. The Oberon 9’s enclosure is designed to optimize rigidity and minimize panel resonance, while providing an excellent foundation for the drivers. Price: $2499. McIntosh MHA200 Headphone…

5 分鐘
a long time coming

As this magazine has reported in issue after issue, for a remarkable 48 years now, high-end audio has been driven by (mostly) guys—dreamers and tinkerers of various backgrounds and disciplines, with a restless yearning to create something better than, if not always fundamentally different from, that which currently exists. To say that Magico CEO Alon Wolf follows this path is both true and wildly understated. Over the 15 or so years since founding his company, Wolf has created an ongoing series of loudspeakers that are arguably better than, as well as quite different from, any others over this time span. Unsurprisingly, Wolf’s benchmark is his own. “I’ve never been interested in just making a few tweaks and upgrades and calling it a new model,” he told me during a recent visit to…

7 分鐘
audio research: making the music glow by ken kessler

Where would the high end be without William Zane Johnson, the founder and, for better than forty years, chief designer of the Audio Research Corporation? Well, I’m not sure. Maybe in a year or two somebody just like Johnson would have come along. (He was one of those visionary figures so seminal to any movement that if he hadn’t existed, sooner or later, someone would surely have had to invent him.) But I can tell you for certain where I would have been as an audiophile in a world without WZJ: Nowhere. Even though he was famously upbraided by an irate engineer when he introduced his Dual 50 tube amplifier at a trade show in 1970—“You’ve set the audio industry back 20 years!” the fellow shouted when he spotted all those…

6 分鐘
is aaa really the best mastering methodology?

THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN two schools of thought on remastering older recordings. The first concludes that the goal is to get as close to the original pressing as possible. The second is to try to make a remastering better than the original by removing colorations and nonlinearities. AAA, which stands for analog-analog-analog (analog tape to analog mastering to analog LP), has long been considered the premier methodology for recreating a facsimile of the original release. And if that is your goal, it is the preeminent method. But is that really the only goal of remastering? If so, why should someone who has a first pressing of a recording need another version of the same thing? I have many original pressings that I bought new and played on the gear of their…