Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 06, 2016 12 comments
It's that time of year for holiday cheer; our annual Holiday Gift Guide. Chock full of treats for the young and young at heart, I hope you enjoy window shopping through 2016's picks as much as I enjoyed pickin' 'em. Ho, ho, ho!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 30, 2016 2 comments
It's that time again. Lovely Recordings has become an indispensable aspect of the AudioStream genome and I want (need?) to keep it going.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 29, 2016 8 comments
Back in the late '80s when I was living on the Upper West Side, I decided to rent a saxophone. I had taken lessons, school lessons, as a youngster but you could say that my saxophone playing skills were non-existent.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 16, 2016 1 comments
John Coltrane's personal RCA ribbon microphone (really)

I made the rainy-day trip into the heart of Brooklyn where I met composer and Stereophile contributor Sasha Matson and John Atkinson, Stereophile's Editor in Chief, for an analog mastering session. Don't worry, digits were also involved.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 10, 2016 8 comments
From Sonic.Build: The Roon Ready 24/192-capable Sonic Bitstream ($219) and Sonic DAC ($249).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 10, 2016 3 comments
Here's one of the things in-barn for review—the Sound Galleries music server SGM 2015 ($16,000) (more here). If you read that report from Munich, you'll see I commented on "color" or my perceived lack thereof. Based on initial in-barn impressions, using HQPlayer, you can dial in pretty much whatever you like.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 25, 2016 59 comments
in a men's room at RMAF 2016

"Should I sell my DAC, which I love, to buy an MQA DAC right now?"

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 20, 2016 4 comments
I needed some respite after RMAF to regroup and reinvest my time in listening. Here's the barn's new (old) barn light which is one change of two.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 04, 2016 14 comments
From my 2011 RMAF Show Report:
I'd say that based on what I heard, saw and felt at RMAF 2011, we're in for one helluva musical journey ahead.
AudioStream launched just prior to RMAF 2011 which means we're about to cover our 6th RMAF. One question I'd ask today—does the descriptor "Computer Audio" still make sense?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 20, 2016 3 comments
Bill Parish of GTT Audio (left) and Dick Diamond of YG Acoustics

Each time I see GTT Audio's Bill Parish at a hi-fi show, we make the same joke along the lines of "We live less than 20 miles from each other, yet I only see you in ______ (fill in the blank (Denver, Vegas, etc.). When I received an invite from YG Acoustics Director of Sales & Marketing Dick Diamond to the Sonja XV press event at Bill's place, I said "Sure!"

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 08, 2016 21 comments
Here are some words from my previous reviews of the DACs from totaldac:
"...this made for one helluva fun review period. One that I wished would never end."

"...I could very easily live happily ever after in this system's warm embrace."

"During the course of this review I looked around for things to sell. Nothing was safe; my car, art, hi-fi gear, books, furniture, etc. How about that Princeton Reverb amp? What about all those jars of change!"

"On a personal note, my heart and mind still have me craving either the d1-tube-mk2 or the d1-dual DAC, a craving which can only be filled if/when my bank account becomes fuller."

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 30, 2016 3 comments
" Localization of music related listening versus silence. Significant differences of fMRI BOLD activity during listening to 16 familiar songs are compared to a set of quiet resting conditions (p < 0.001, cluster >10 voxels). Results are projected onto the surface of the participant’s own structural MRI scan for visualization." image credit: Daniel J. Levitin & Scott T. Grafton (altered by me)

One of my favorite writers on music and the brain, Daniel J. Levitin, also counts Sting among his fans. When Sting's recent tour took him to Montreal, home of McGill University where Dr. Levintin works, he reached out to Levintin and they got together for some fun along with Scott T. Grafton of the University of Santa Barbara who co-authored this research paper;

"We used state of the art multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) and representational dissimilarity analysis (RDA) in a fixed set of brain regions to test three exploratory hypotheses with the musician Sting: (1) Composing would recruit neutral structures that are both unique and distinguishable from other creative acts, such as composing prose or visual art; (2) listening and imagining music would recruit similar neural regions, indicating that musical memory shares anatomical substrates with music listening; (3) the MVPA and RDA results would help us to map the representational space for music, revealing which musical pieces and genres are perceived to be similar in the musician’s mental models for music."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 24, 2016 0 comments
Lovely Recordings has grown into one of my favorite features on AudioStream; what's better than people sharing music they love?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 24, 2016 27 comments
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

A Friend pointed me to this article titled "The Art of Listening: Your Guide to Evaluating Speakers" authored by Daniel Kumin and published on our sister site Sound & Vision, wherein he states:

"Choose an amplifier or receiver that’s as powerful (within reason) and as excellent as you can afford; at rational listening levels, “too much” available power will never compromise a speaker’s sound, but too little power definitely can. Beyond that, qualitative differences, if any, among amplifiers will be utterly swamped by the tiniest of speaker differences, so forget about ’em. Ditto cables, power conditioners, antiresonance juju, and even different CD players or streaming sources."

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