• Q&A with Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere

    Q&A with Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere

    Atma-Sphere Music Systems, Inc. has been making vacuum tube amplifiers since 1976. Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, the company is known for its output transformerless (OTL) amplifiers. What ignited your interest in the high end? ...
  • Magico Q-Sub 15 and Raidho D-5.1

    Magico Q-Sub 15 and Raidho D-5.1

    Over the last couple of years I’ve heard Magico’s humongous $22k Q-Sub 15 several times at shows, and while impressed by its (typical-for-Magico) rock-solid build-quality (a 350-pound, 20.75" x 21.5" x 26.5" sealed aluminum box ...
  • Oscar Versus the Music

    Oscar Versus the Music

    This year’s Academy Award for Best Musical Score went to Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight, which provides a good starting point for a discussion of the checkered history of the Music Branch of the ...
  • The Cutting Edge of ECM

    The Cutting Edge of ECM

    Could 1969 have been any more of a momentous year in popular music? Rock festivals reached their apex—and their nadir—at Woodstock, the Isle of Wight, and Altamont. Led Zeppelin, CSN, King Crimson, and Blind Faith ...
  • New Old Ways

    New Old Ways

    A couple of years ago, I asked Emmylou Harris her opinion of Steve Earle’s music and the state of country music in general. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter, known for shooting from the hip, didn’t mince words. ...
  • Lyn Stanley

    Lyn Stanley

    In the middle of Saturday afternoon at AXPONA 2016 in Chicago, I witnessed what is surely the most demanding test of an audio system there can be—an A/B showdown with The Real Thing. A crowd ...
  • M3 Loudspeaker: Magico Makes Things Better

    M3 Loudspeaker: Magico Makes Things Better

    After complaining about the (un)availability of Magico’s superb, limited-edition, $129k M Project loudspeaker (see my review in Issue 255 or online at http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/magico-m-project-loudspeaker/), I am happy to report that Alon Wolf has done something to ...
  • Seven Years of Plenty

    Seven Years of Plenty

    For our most recent buyer’s guide (Issue 257), I focused on releases by Celtic bands from the 1960s and 70s, especially the acoustic, traditional bands. That meant, unfortunately, leaving out all the folk rock bands ...

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