The Abso!ute Sound Revived

High-end journal The Abso!ute Sound, long rumored to be circling the drain, has been officially revived. According to a press release dated March 24, TAS will be operated under a new company, Absolute Multimedia, owned by Tom Martin, a vice-president at Dell Computer. Martin has reportedly arranged serious financing for the new venture, which will be based in Austin, Texas.

TAS founder Harry Pearson will continue as editor-in-chief, as will longtime staffer Sallie Reynolds as managing editor, who returns to TAS from the now defunct Audio Adventure magazine. Mark Fisher, who was Stereophile's publisher in the early '90s and was instrumental in organizing that publication's annual HI-FI Show, has been named publisher. Fisher will be moving from Santa Fe to Austin to assume his new position.

Pearson, aka HP, reputedly coined the adjective "high-end." He is one of a small core of major figures who shaped the industry now known by his pet term. In recent years, while his own publication foundered, HP was recruited as a contributor to Fi, where he has continued to review products and philosophize about the listener's relationship to recorded music. In the announcement, TAS did not mention how its resurrection will affect HP's position at Fi.

Although the new TAS will cover more than traditional audio---including new technologies, convergence, and multimedia---its editorial focus will continue to be "uniquely rigorous investigative listening." Martin has installed "professional financial management" that he hopes will guide TAS safely through its rebirth. Describing the venture as "exciting," Martin expressed his commitment "to provide the stable foundation that TAS will need to regain a well-deserved leadership position in the industry, and to enhance its reputation as the 'go-to' source book for serious-minded listeners."