The Absolute Sound1 – whose name refers to an aesthetics as well as an editorial style2 – makes it doctrinal: the only goal of reproduced music is to sound as much as possible like live music. Accuracy in reproduction, fidelity to the original sound, is the sole standard in judging recordings and the equipment used to play them. One hopes that the recordings are made as accurately as possible and then, in playback, ‘the philosophic assumption in the listening sessions is that components, ideally, should duplicate exactly the signals they are fed.The only correct goal of high fidelity sound reproduction, in our estimation, is a perfect re-creation of the musical experience’ (Pearson, 1996).