High Res Audio

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 30, 2015 0 comments
With Bjork, it's never a matter of not liking, it's a matter of liking more or less. The more the focus remains firmly on Bjork's voice, the happier I am. I don't know about you, but I get the distinct impression that she loves to wrap herself around words. Every part of her being getting involved in enunciating and emoting her lyrics and the meaning and messages behind them. Vulnicura (One Little Indian), her latest full-length, drips with raw beautiful sobering sadness.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 27, 2015 75 comments
Reading some of the responses to Pono, and to Neil Young, you have to wonder if some of the stronger negative takes on what is a plea for better sound quality are rooted in an emotional response as opposed to a technical one. I had a conversation with Jon Iverson of Stereophile about exactly this and he raised the point that for some, perhaps Pono and high res audio represent something that is simply out of their financial grasp which triggers a negative response. In order to justify this reaction, they grasp at straws, i.e. technical arguments that have been largely debunked like the 2007 study by E. Brad Meyer and David Moran of the Boston Audio Society, in order to feel better about their aversion. It's not that I can't afford the whole high res thing, I don't want it because it's stupid. So there!
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 22, 2015 1 comments
From the Press Release:
Tokyo, Jan 22, 2015 - (JCN Newswire) - Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ), KORG Inc. (KORG), Saidera Paradiso Ltd. (Saidera Paradiso) and Sony Corporation (Sony) today announced that they will conduct open technological experiment of live-streaming using the high-resolution digital audio format "Direct Streaming Digital (DSDTM) 5.6MHz". The four companies have partnered with the "Spring Festival in Tokyo"-one of Japan's premier music festivals-and the Berliner Philharmoniker...
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 16, 2015 3 comments
I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra on all of my father's hi-fis as they changed throughout the years. My dad was a fan, he'd seen Sinatra live many times throughout their lives, and it always seemed to me that Sinatra meant more to my father than just a favorite singer. Similar, I'd always supposed, to what Jimi Hendrix means to me. So I cannot help but think of my father when I hear Ol' Blue Eyes which is a wonderful emotional thing. In The Wee Small Hours from 1955 was Sinatra's first 12" LP release and its melancholy blue is one of my favorite of his colors.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 02, 2015 2 comments
Crunchy funk. Part Parliament, part Prince and a whole lot more, D'Angelo's first record in 14 years since Voodoo is a mind blowing expanse of serious soul. Black Messiah was initially intended to be a 2015 release but D'Angelo chose to rush it out in response to "the nationwide protests over the police killings of unarmed black men" according to an article in the NY Times. I'm happy he did.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 26, 2014 2 comments
Ho ho ho! What better way to celebrate the season than with a real chestnut. Ellington's Indigos is their "dance" album, according to the original liner notes by Irving Townsend (taken from the LP), and boy does it swing. The cherry on top of this particular release from High Definition Tape Transfers is it's available in DSD128, transferred from a 15ips 2-track tape, which marries superb sound with superb music.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 11, 2014 30 comments
From the press release:
Developed by Meridian, MQA is a breakthrough technology to reverse the trend, in which sound quality has been continually sacrificed for convenience. Vital elements of our music have been thrown away to fit thousands of songs into a pocket or millions in a cloud. With MQA there is no sacrifice; it brings us right back to the enthralling sound of live music. MQA captures and preserves nuances and vital information that current music files obscure or discard, but in a file that is small and convenient to download or stream.
MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated and is Meridian's answer to delivering high resolution quality in a lossless compressed proprietary format that squeezes down even 24/192 files to roughly the size of CD-quality files. But that's not all.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 05, 2014 6 comments
Part of me dislikes re-buying records mainly because there's so much new music I'm interested in that I can't afford to buy. So the re-purchase, the reissue, gets in the way of music discovery to some extent and that is a trade-off I'm only willing to make on some occasions.
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.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 07, 2014 7 comments
In honor of John Lennon's 74th birthday on October 9, eight studio albums, two compilations, and the John Lennon Signature Box are making their high resolution debuts. All titles have been digitally remastered in 24-bit for the first time from John Lennon's original mixes.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 17, 2014 5 comments
From the press release:
The announcement of the first live concert recording in DSD follows an agreement between Acoustic Sounds and Warner Music Group (WMG) to provide the company’s digital download music service with more than 1,200 high-resolution, mainstream albums by some of the most dynamic names in music.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 16, 2014 12 comments
What do you need to play back high resolution audio from your computer? The answer is thankfully relatively simple and we're going to give you the down and dirty guide, your hi res to-do list, so you can enjoy the sonic benefits of better than CD-quality music.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 09, 2014 4 comments
From the press release:
September 09, 2014 —HDtracks.com, the world leader and pioneer in high resolution audio digital downloads, is pleased to announce the launch of its popular online store, http://www.HDtracks.com, in Germany and http://www.HDtracks.co.uk in the United Kingdom. With today’s announcement, German and UK music fans who want to experience music the way it was meant to be heard will now be able to enjoy the most extensive catalog of their favorite music in unprecedented audio quality, via HDtracks.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 05, 2014 5 comments
Test tracks. I kind of dislike the term, reducing music to a tool for audio, but playing the same music on different equipment can be a very helpful way to determine difference. One of my favorite albums, and therefore one of my test tracks, comes from Jimmy Scott; All The Way available as a 24/192 download from HDtracks. If you don't know Jimmy Scott, he recently passed away at the age of 88 and his solo recording career began with his first album Very Truly Yours back in 1955 on Savoy but his carrer spanned all the way back to the late 1940's when he sang with the Lionel Hampton Band (Scott's vocal was uncredited on the album). Scott suffered from Kallmann's Syndrome which among other things left him with a distinctive contralto voice. Scott sang ballads, the classics, yet his way with them was truly unique and to my ears, and many others, quite extraordinary; haunting, sensual, sublime.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 02, 2014 18 comments
Pedram Abrari, Pono’s EVP of Technology, responded to, he actually pretty much bitch-slapped, Roger Friedman for Friedman's faulty post, "Neil Young’s Super MP3 Player, Pono: Won’t Be Coming in 2014". First off, we all know that the Pono Player is not an MP3 player, d'oh!, but Roger also got his facts wrong in terms of what's being delivered when. The first batch of Pono players scheduled to ship in October are on schedule according to Abrari, "We are in fact on schedule and will be meeting our Kickstarter commitments."

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