• Shostakovitch: Piano Concerto No. 2

    Shostakovitch: Piano Concerto No. 2

    Composed in 1957 for his son Maxim’s graduation recital, the Second Piano Concerto is regarded by some as one of Shostakovich’s lesser works. Shostakovich himself said that it had “no redeeming artistic merits.” Nonetheless, he ...
  • Soulution 501 Monoblock Amplifier: First Listen

    Soulution 501 Monoblock Amplifier: First Listen

    The $26,000 Soulution 520 full-function preamplifier and $55,000-per-pair 501 monoblock amplifiers are terrific. Sweet in timbre, incredibly fast, and sensationally detailed from top to bottom, they match the superlative Technical Brain EX and Constellation Performance ...
  • Sigma DP1 Merrill

    Sigma DP1 Merrill

    The Sigma DP1 Merrill has all of the same virtues and flaws as the DP2 Merrill that I blogged about back at the beginning of October (http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/sigma-dp2-merrill-camera/). Like the DP2M, the DP1M is a relatively ...
  • Raidho C 4.1, Pt. II

    Raidho C 4.1, Pt. II

    Well, I’ve been listening to these tall, thin, exceptionally beautiful loudspeakers for several months now, and they’ve only continued to get better with settling-in time, break-in time, considerable tweaking of their position in my room, ...
  • Prokofiev: Third Piano Concerto

    Prokofiev: Third Piano Concerto

    Prokofiev’s great Third Piano Concerto has been Martha Argerich’s signature piece since she won competitions with it at the age of 16 in 1957. If you’re used to Bryon Janis’ reading on Mercury or have ...
  • Setting Up A Phono Cartridge

    Setting Up A Phono Cartridge

    Because it is a thing of beauty to witness and because the results make such a huge difference in the sonic presentation, I’d like to take you through the process of mounting, aligning, and optimizing ...
  • AMG Viella 12 Turntable and Tonearm

    AMG Viella 12 Turntable and Tonearm

    Listening to the superbly recorded track “Gone” from Melody Gardot’s first album Worrisome Heart [UJC] on Werner Roeschlau’s new Analog Manufaktur Germany (AMG) Viella 12 (or V12) record player, I had one of those goosebump-raising ...
  • JV's RMAF 2012 Show Report

    JV's RMAF 2012 Show Report

    Though well supported by the public and much (not all) of the industry, sonically the 2012 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was one of the least memorable high-end shows I’ve ever attended. From lobby rooms to ...
  • Sigma DP2 Merrill Camera

    Sigma DP2 Merrill Camera

    Why is it, I wonder, that I am drawn to offbeat cameras? Probably for the same reason I’m drawn to offbeat hi-fi gear. Oh, I’ve owned my share of stand-bys—Nikons of every variety, ‘Blads, Mamiyas, ...
  • Melody Gardot: The Absence

    Melody Gardot: The Absence

    Melody Gardot’s best songs have the half-festive, half-mordant air of a New Orleans funeral march. On blues from her superb 2009 album, My One and Only Thrill, her voice even sounds vaguely New Orleanian. On ...
  • HP

    HP

    On August 31, 2012, TAS founder Harry Pearson officially resigned from the staff of The Absolute Sound. As some of you may know, HP has had very serious health issues this year, which is the ...
  • Estelon X Diamond Loudspeaker

    Estelon X Diamond Loudspeaker

    Here’s the thing about the ceramic-driver loudspeakers I’ve reviewed in the past. At low-to-moderate SPLs or on music performed pianissimo-to-mezzoforte, they have always been marvelous at reproducing the fine detail that tells you which instruments ...

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