The Absolute Sound May/June 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

MQA Clarification In reading the latest Editors’ Choice Awards issue, I found this text in the description of the PS Audio Bridge II Network Card: “The Bridge II Network Card doesn’t make the [PS Audio] DirectStream DAC an MQA decoder; rather, the Bridge II performs the first MQA ‘unfold’ step that converts a 48kHz MQA file to 96kHz for decoding by the DirectStream. This offers the benefits of the higher sample rate, but not the advantages of full MQA decoding.” I’ve owned the DirectStream with a Bridge II for some time and that is not my understanding. I also use Roon and I have just reviewed my Roon audio settings. It clearly shows my DirectStream DAC under “MQA capabilities” as “Decoder and renderer.” What am I misunderstanding here? Geoff Mirelowitz Robert Harley replies: You are…

3 分鐘
an ode to audio shows

“At a trade show we reviewers get to mingle and catch up with each other and our editors. Not surprisingly, given our shared passions, we like each other—a lot.” In these pandemic-riddled days, most of us long for the same sorts of things: the comfort of hugs, the camaraderie of a welcoming bar, the communal experience of going to movies in an actual theater. But recently I found myself yearning for something less general. I realized that I desperately missed audio shows. At first, I assumed this feeling was merely a wave of nostalgia, one that would fade like a winter flush on my cheeks. But this age of isolation has now hit the one-year mark, and my trade-show pangs haven’t abated in the least. Indeed, they grow more acute with each…

2 分鐘
future tas

Funk Firm Houdini Funk Firm’s Houdini is a turntable accessory designed to de-couple the cartridge from the tonearm and reduce tonearm-induced colorations. Why a decoupler? After three years of analysis, development, and modeling, Funk determined that the current “best practice” of firmly bolting cartridges to ’arms is completely wrong. The company discovered that the tonearm’s influence on the sound can be minimized by isolating the ’arm and cartridge. Houdini is a 6mm-thick device that mounts between the cartridge and headshell; inside is a complex patented suspension system that forms an “island of stability” for the cartridge. The result is reportedly an increase in clarity, and the ability to hear only the cartridge and not the tonearm. Houdini works on all tonearms. Price: $400. Technics SU-R1000 Integrated Amplifier The new SU-R1000 flagship integrated…

14 分鐘
building a compact reference system

Part 1 of this article in the previous issue described the demographic changes driving audiophiles of a certain age to seek smaller, more manageable, and more urban living quarters. These downsized dwellings impose a surprising number and variety of constraints on an audio system—a fact I learned from my own experience when moving from a single-family home in the suburbs to a city townhouse. Building a reference-class audio system in my new environment meant hewing to a set of requirements that, in many ways, ran afoul of today’s reference gear. This gap is what makes it challenging to build a compact reference system. But just how hard is it, and what options are available to down-sizers? That’s the subject of this installment. Requirements Refresher First, let’s briefly revisit the requirements that an…

53 分鐘
2021 tas super lp list

Of the many articles and reviews that Harry Pearson wrote for The Absolute Sound, his annual Super LP List (aka Super Disc List) may have been the most eagerly anticipated. The issue in which it was published was the one that everyone had to buy, borrow, or copy. Why? Because whether you were rich or poor, active in the high-end audio market or just kicking tires, it was the one issue of TAS you could make daily practical use of—it was your road map to the absolute sound. It is our aim here to preserve and expand upon what Harry created. While it may not ignite the frenzy that it once did, TAS’ new Super LP List contains every LP that HP recommended when the list was last published by him.…

8 分鐘
pro-ject debut carbon evo turntable

Turntables are inconvenient. That’s the nature of the beasts. They have to be large enough to accommodate and spin a 12” vinyl disc, along with all the accoutrements. They range from hulking, massive monstrosities that take an entire village to move, down to minimalist cutouts that are barely more than a rotating platter and a tonearm floating on a pedestal. What’s exciting about the Project Debut Carbon EVO ($499) is the potential for down-the-rabbit-hole tweaks married to almost absurd simplicity. That simplicity is a beautiful illusion. The Carbon EVO is Pro-Ject’s upgrade to its popular entry-level deck, and it adds some very interesting features: an improved motor suspension, height-adjustable damped-metal feet, dampening material in the interior of the platter, and speed-swapping at the flip of a switch. Plus, Pro-Ject now bundles…