Onno Kiviet | 18 maart 2013 |  <   > |
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The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice awards

The Absolute Sound magazine presents the gear that their editors and writers have selected as most worthy of your consideration. These are the components they themselves would buy—or recommend to friends and family.   Durob Audio brand selection has gotten this year 25 Editors’ Choice awards. We are very proud since it also rewards the quality of our brand selection and reinforces us into supporting those brands.

Krell Evolution One

While the Evolution One mono amp is not a radical sonic breakthrough -the best aspects of Krell “voicing” have been preserved- the Krell virtues of deep-bass power and rich natural timbre have been enhanced, while air, life, microdynamics, depth, detail, and the upper octaves have improved to contenders for the state-of-the-art. A true sonic benchmark. AHC, 158

Krell Evolution Two

The Krell Evolution series puts the third dimension back in music by providing exceptional depth. It also provides exceptional reproduction of hall sounds and musical mechanics – bowing sounds, scope rustling, etc. This effect is enhanced by the imaging qualities of the Evolution Two. When the imaging on a recording is natural and detailed, the Evolution preserves the size, the place, the stability and the layers of imaging. The result is a more open soundstage, better reproduction of life and air, and a greater ability to lose yourself in the music. AHC, 158

Krell S-150m

Krell’s compact, narrow-profile, cool-running 150W monoblock’s tight, musically convincing bass and superb treble openness place it on a par with Krell’s best. Further it displays a dynamic liveliness and dexterity that verge on the uncanny. In the midrande, it is as grainless as any amp in SS’s experience, perhaps faltering just a bit in the way of three dimensionality and harmonic juiciness. SS, 205

Micromega MyDAC

Micromega’s MyDAC is entry-level in price only. The unit looks very much like an Apple AirPort Extreme, but with a front-panel wheel to select between TosLink, coaxial, and asynchronous USB inputs. The Micromega gives you some sonic attributes usually found in much more expensive DACs -qualities like air around instruments, a sense of three-dimensional space, and a laid-back ease. Timbres are remarkably smooth and free from grain. The bass is solid and tight, although the very lowest bass lack ultimate authority. RH, 228

Micromega AS-400

What do you get when fuse Micromega’s IA-400 200Wpc Class D integrated with AirStream, its discrete wireless network technology? The AS-400. Sonically it’s nearly neutral with only a slight darkening on top and small losses of air at the frequency extremes. yet it has a sweetness in the treble rarely experienced with earlier switching amplification. With Old School compact-disc material, the AS-400 creates a powerful sense of midrange presence and stability, lively dynamics, and a pleasingly forward energy. NG, 222

Mystère ca21


Built like a tank, the ca21 is a fine example of the minimalist approach: a line preamp with an input selector and a volume control, but no balance control. A giant killer in clarity, soundstage transparency, and detail resolution, its slightly closed-in treble highlights the midrange. Tonally, the center of gravity is the lower midrange, enabling a big-tone portrayal of cello and upright bass. DO, 208

M2Tech Young DAC 

Priced at USD 1499 with a wallwart power supply or USD 2998 with the Palmer battery power supply, the Young DAC falls into the low-to-middle price range for a high-resolution DAC. The Young builds on the advances of the HiFace USB interface, but with additional inputs, greater resolution capabilities, and its own built-in digital-to-analog converter. An ideal digital hub and D/A converter for anyone who already owns a great analog preamp. SS, 223

Sonus faber Venere Model 1.5

This compact Italiano two-way with a narrow, slotted front port, swooping top panel, and curvilicious enclosure has Sf tradition stamped all over its sound. There’s an espresso rich and robust midrange that makes vocals shine and keeps dynamics lively, as well as superior midbass response, mininmal colorations, and big-speaker dynamic composure. Venere -Latin for Venus-  is love at first sight and irresistible for the money. NG, 230

Sonus faber Liuto Monitor

Sonus has succesfully incorporated the sonic virtues of the floorstanding Liuto into the smaller Monitor. Hewing to the Sf company line, the Monitor first focuses on capturing the natural richness and a bit of romance of live music throughout the midrange. Part Renaissance lute part rocker, the Liuto Monitor is one of the most elegant and versatile small speakers available. The purpose-built stands are optional but worth every penny.

Sonus faber Liuto

The all-new Liuto may be the best-value speaker in the Sonus family. A three-way, vented floorstander, it combines warmth and detail with earthy low-frequencies that dip confidently into the 30Hz range. But where it really turns up the heat is in the lack of smearing during complex orchestral passages. The Liuto’s primary character shades a bit to the dark side, and in some cases it’s not as fast on transients as some others. Nonetheless, it is a high-voltage performer -entertaining and musical. NG, 199

Sonus faber Cremona M

The Cremona M retains the lute-shape enclosure that Sonus faber popularized in its flagship Amati and Guarneri models. The M is powerful and passionate with a rich warm balance. Yet it’s no wallflower dynamically. In its timbral sophistication and impressive dynamic range, even at orchestral levels, it achieves the kind of top-to-bottom fidelity that makes magic happen. NG, 189

Sonus faber Elipsa

Yet another gorgeous speaker from this outstanding Italian manufacturer, the Elipsa’s tone colors are ravishing, its overall sound smooth, warm, and intensely seductive. At the same time, it will easily show differences in recordings as well as associated components. WG, 173

Sonus faber Amati Futura

This exquisite 3.5-way floorstanding loudspeaker breaks new ground for Sonus faber in transparency, low-level detail, neutrality, transient response, and top-to-bottom coherence, bringing you closer to the sound of a live performance. The lute-shaped Italina cabinetry is drop-dead gorgeous, and masks an enclosure filled with technical innovations designed to reduce resonances and related colorations. While the Amati is not as lush-sounding as its predecessor, massed strings and voices are more accurate and natural. JH, 228