LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 27, 2015 0 comments
I wish I had more to say, but I don't. Songs Of Debussy And Mozart (ECM, CD rip) is simply beautiful—Juliane Banse, soprano, and András Schiff, piano, re-tell the tales of poets in songs by Debussy and Mozart. I've been listening to their re-telling for over 10 years and it only gets better with age (mine).
Steven Plaskin Posted: Aug 27, 2015 6 comments
The Shunyata Research TRITON v2, HYDRA TYPHON, HYDRA DPC-6 v2, and ΞTRON Sigma AC Power Cables represent the state-of-the art offerings from this well-known company that specializes in signal and power transfer products. These no-compromise products are created by Shunyata’s owner and chief designer, Caelin Gabriel; a man who has been steadily improving his company’s products since his first power conditioner offering in 2001. Shunyata Research’s products have not only been embraced by audiophiles, but by commercial recording studios, orchestras, and other commercial audio designers. The word Shunyata is a Sanskrit word that means the stillness or emptiness from which all creation emanates.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 26, 2015 8 comments
Bluesound Gen 2 family portrait (models starting at $299). All photo credit: Bluesound

I missed yesterday's Bluesound press event which I was very much looking forward to (remnants of food poisoning made the trip to NYC daunting). If you remember back to when we were first introduced to Bluesound (see Intro), the company sits under the Lenbrook Industries Limited umbrella along with NAD and PSB whose knowledge and technology helped build the Bluesound line. I was very impressed with every Bluesound piece of kit I reviewed back in 2014, so I was very excited to hear about Gen 2. Here's the scoop from Bluesound:

New York, NY, August 25, 2015 – Bluesound, the first wireless digital multi-room music system to fully support high-resolution audio, today unveiled Gen 2, an all-new platform that represents a reinvention of virtually every aspect of the product’s design and performance. Bluesound’s new line-up of multi-room wireless streaming digital music players, along with two entirely new models, features a fresh, compact industrial design, enhanced features and reengineered performance across the board.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 24, 2015 6 comments
From DJM Electronics:
The DJM Electronics FOIL™ brand Ethernet filters utilize patented technology and are the only EMI/RFI filters for Ethernet on the market that offer 100dB performance from 10kHz to 10GHz and higher. Housed in a single, convenient filter package, FOIL™ Ethernet Filters are the easiest and most reliable solution for bringing 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet access to all varieties of shielded rooms and enclosures.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 21, 2015 3 comments
M3LL155X (pronounced mellissa) is FKA twigs new EP release on Young Turks. W've talked about FKA twigs before, here and here, and what I'd add to comments like "lovely, slow, smoldering, sexy beast of a record" and "Deep too. Even though the surface of LP1 is all lustrous and shiny, repeated listening is rewarded with a deeper beauty" is that M3LL155X gives you even more, better, deeper.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 20, 2015 18 comments
Why did the chicken cross the road? To see if it was different on the other side.

Unholy Bits Batman!
Let's begin with the easy part; if you've read my reviews of the UpTone Audio USB REGEN (review), AudioQuest JitterBug (review), and Schiit Wyrd (review), you'll have read that I heard a difference when each device was in and out of my systems. Generally, I would describe those differences as an improvement which is all well and good but inquiring minds want to know which device is best and what happens when you put them together. Let's see.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 17, 2015 76 comments

"Bits are bits". We've all heard this too many times when talking about digital audio. Some people feel that's really all they need to know or say, "bits are bits". I admit, it does have a pleasant ring to it and if you silently repeat it over and over in your head it becomes mantra-like. Bits are bits. Unfortunately when talking about mixed signal systems, "bits are bits" holds the same relevance as "om".

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 14, 2015 3 comments
This is some of the most heavenly music I've ever heard. It sounds even more heavenly on vinyl (I've have the Mississippi Records LP for years). No matter - get this music in any form you can get your ears on and just listen. I promise you there are rewards awaiting in the listening.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 13, 2015 21 comments
Wyrd
Let's get this Schiit straight from the horse's mouth:
What does this thing really do?
It isolates your USB DAC from the noisy USB power coming from your computer, and provides a stable, precise oscillator to repeat the USB 2.0 packets.

Why would I want this?
Because some computers don’t play well with USB DACs, and make weird noises or have glitches. Or you believe this makes your system sound better.

Sonic benefits? That’s a lot of hoo-ha!
You’re right. There’s no reason this should make any system sound better. Although we can measure the difference in USB power supply noise, it really shouldn’t matter. Despite this, some listeners have said that there are sonic benefits from using Wyrd. Us, we remain Swiss on the matter—we don’t do the hard sell by promising sonic nirvana.

Seeing as it's the job of an audio reviewer to listen and report, at least that's my job, I have to be, well, less Swiss (more American?) when it comes to writing about the stuff I listen to.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 12, 2015 7 comments
Thanks to Stereophile's Facebook page for pointing me to this article in the LA Times, "Is streaming a threat to music? Not if musicians have anything to do with it" and of greatest interest this quote:
"Neuroscientists are beginning to look at how the brain responds to compressed mp3s as opposed to the higher-resolution digital. Early results suggest that with high resolution, the brain's emotional activity is the same as with live music, while less dopamine, the chemical behind such pleasures as sex, is released when the music files are highly compressed."

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