The Insider with Robert Harley -- You'll love the next TAS

The Insider with Robert Harley -- You'll love the next TAS

Coming up in the next The Absolute Sound

We've just sent Issue 171 (April/May cover date, February 28 mail date) to the printer, and what an issue it is.

For starters, the issue includes a 34-page report from the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show accompanied by more than 50 product and industry-personality photos. If you haven't seen our video coverage of the show here on, check it out.I interview Ray Kimber on what has to be one of the most ambitious audio systems ever assembled for a show (eight 9-foot-tall Sound Lab full-range electrostatic loudspeakers in a surround configuration fed from original recordings made in high-resolution Direct Stream Digital).

In another segment, Jim Thiel explains the design behind his radically different CS3.7 loudspeaker. We've also got Paul McGowan taking you through PS Audio's new line of power conditioners. We shot seven videos of interesting products and their designers or representatives, and I hope you like the result. Video coverage brings to you an aspect of CES that we can't cover in print. Let us know what you think.

Also in the upcoming issue, I review the stunning Esoteric P-03 Universal Disc Transport and D-03 Digital-to-Analog Converter. The P-03 uses a massive machined-metal transport mechanism that weighs in at 14 pounds and is built to a standard that no other transport even approaches. In the review, I raise the issue that all CD transports, from the mighty Esoteric mechanism to the lowliest portable player, retrieve the same ones and zeros from the disc. So why does the Esoteric sound better? Tune into Issue 171.

The Esoteric review expands upon our new design trend to give a featured product lavish photography and an extended layout that makes room for that photography. You can see this in the current issue's subwoofer feature (TAS 170). We have a talented new team in place (Art Director Torquil Dewar and photographer Adam Voorhes) that is realizing some fabulous images and layouts. I'm excited about presenting featured products with a visual style that's never before been attempted in an audio magazine. I'd like to hear your opinion of the results. You can post a reply here or send me an e-mail to me at I value your feedback.

Notable Audio Quotation

"I don't believe in all this double-blind testing of loudspeakers with panels of listeners. Just open a bottle of wine and spend an evening listening to music through the speakers; you'll know if they're any good or not." Richard Vandersteen (Note: The Vandersteen 2 loudspeaker is the most successful high-end loudspeaker of all time.)

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