LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 31, 2014 0 comments
Deeply disturbing, grumbling growling gravitas. I've always found Scott Walker's solo music to be, well, kinda creepy. Frightening, even. For my money, this pairing with Sunn O))) is the perfect foil to Walker's demented crooning making Soused (4AD) one helluva heavy record.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 30, 2014 1 comments
Converto
Italy's Pathos Acoustics is known in part for their sumptuously designed hi-fi gear. While today's Converto is somewhat understated, there are enough aesthetic touches to keep it apart from the mainstream black box crowd. A two-tone aluminum chassis with an engraved top plate wrap itself around the business innards of a DAC and headphone amp with a fully balanced class A analog output stage.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 29, 2014 16 comments
Two new releases I've been very curious about are Ruins from Grouper and Venice (10th Anniversary Edition) from Fennesz and I just listened to both of them in CD-quality on Tidal. Ruins is also available on NPR's Fist Listen for free but that's in lossy quality and does not hold a candle to the lossless version. Yes there's a clear and distinct difference in the sound of these two streams, one sounding muffled and imprecise while the other sounds more like what it is, mainly voice and piano. While I'm still a fan of NPR's First Listen, I'm a bigger fan of better quality and Tidal delivers.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 28, 2014 10 comments
From the press release:
Oslo, Norway – October 28, 2014 – TIDAL, the first high fidelity lossless music streaming service with HD music videos and curated editorial, today announced the launch and availability of its service in the U.S. and UK. The ideal service for those who care about quality, TIDAL welcomes music lovers to enjoy its extensive library of 25 million-plus tracks, 75,000 music videos, and curated editorial articles, features and interviews written by experts. Ad free and available now for a monthly subscription of $19.99/£19.99, visit www.tidalhifi.com or download the app from iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store.
I care about quality!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 27, 2014 9 comments
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple's iTunes music sales are down nearly 14% year over year, echoing download sales in general that showed mid-year digital album sales down nearly 12% year over year (see report). Meanwhile streaming is up, up, up. Perhaps Apple's Beats acquisition is looking like a good deal after all. The Journal also reports that Beats will be integrated into iTunes sometime next year. Let's keep in mind that Apple has 800 million plus iTunes account holders so they have quite the captive audience when they roll out their streaming service.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 24, 2014 1 comments
Just a few weeks ago we had Flying Lotus' album You're Dead! (see review) with his ruminations on, well, death so I thought I'd balance that out with this week's pic Caribou's Our Love (City Slang) a collection of songs about...love. Dan Snaith is Caribou and this is his forth album as such and Our Love is a smoky, luscious, dance floor infested electronic soul machine of love.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Oct 23, 2014 19 comments
The Hydra DPC-6 Digital Power Distribution Center is the first power conditioner made by Shunyata Research designed specifically for digital media products. Components such as computers, digital servers, disc-arrays, and cable modems-routers present special problems in terms of noise that pollutes the AC line that is simultaneously serving other audio components adversely affecting the overall sonic performance of our systems. Inexpensive power supplies with their minimal filtration provided with our hard disc arrays and computers produce a significant amount of digital noise. The Hydra DPC-6 electrically isolates these digital devices and provides a firewall to prevent them from polluting and degrading the sonic performance of the audio components sharing the power line.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 21, 2014 8 comments
With Spotify's recently announced family plan that effectively makes family members accounts come in at $5/month, and Apple's rumored $5/month target for its Beats music streaming service, I wonder how much is too little when it comes to the monthly cost of streaming.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 20, 2014 7 comments
My review of the Astell & Kern AK240 portable high res player appears in this month's Stereophile, available on newsstands now! Spoiler Alert: I liked it.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 17, 2014 0 comments
Cover songs. I have a soft spot for cover songs as they tell us about artist's influences while giving voice to difference. Ideally. Northampton Mass's Winterpills new album Echolalia is filled with lovely covers from Sharon Van Etten, Nick Drake, Buddy Holly, XTC, Beck, the Beatles and more.

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