LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 05, 2015 23 comments
The Sprout Vision
I see it, I hear it, I like it. Sprout plays vinyl and digital (up to 24/192), let's you stream to it via Bluetooth from your smartphone while pumping out 32 watts of Class D power per channel into 8 Ohms (50W into 4). It delivers all of this in a small, simple, attractive package and it costs $799. What more do you need to know?
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Steven Plaskin Posted: Feb 03, 2015 6 comments
Fidelizer Pro 6.5 is the creation of an audiophile from Thailand by the name of Keetakawee Punpeng. Back in 2011, Keetakawee released freeware for Windows called Fidelizer that provided optimization for dedicated Windows computers working as music servers. His software was designed to improve the sound of music software playing on Windows 7 computers. The software was easy to use and did not make a permanent change to the operating system.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 02, 2015 70 comments
In addition to the NY Post and Gizmodo, Ars Technica has weighed in on Pono as has David Pogue of Yahoo. The verdict? People can't really tell the difference between high res files and lower resolutions, some people prefer the iPhone, and generally high res audio is a bunch of snake oil. Just ask Monty and buy yourself a better pair of headphones. You'll find these same sentiments expressed on forums, in the comments section of the aforementioned articles, and even within our own small world of hi-fi enthusiasts. People just can't seem to agree on Pono and high res audio which is odd since we all agree on everything else, especially when it comes to science. Just look at climate change for one easy example.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 30, 2015 7 comments
According to Endgaget, "'Project Panther,' a company indirectly owned by Jay Z's S. Carter Enterprises, has made a bid for Aspiro, a company that runs Tidal" for 464 million Swedish crowns ($56 million) in cash. From The Verge, "Norwegian media company Schibsted, which owns a majority share in Aspiro, accepted the bid this Friday while Aspiro's board has 'unanimously recommended' that the shareholders accept the offer."
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.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 28, 2015 5 comments
French download site and lossless streaming service Qobuz recently published "A letter from the Qobuz team to its subscribers and users". Fist off, I am very happy to see Qobuz working their way through some difficult financial times (see report) as I enjoy their site and services. While there is no mention of expanding their lossless streaming into other markets, they do talk about redesigning their website to focus more on streaming and less on downloads. A sign of the times?

Here's an interesting and oddly relevant quote from their letter which I didn't see until after I posted "Is High Resolution Audio Elitist?:

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 27, 2015 80 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!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 26, 2015 44 comments
Here's the gist of James Covert's "report" for the NY Post:
Product engineers for the shaggy rock icon’s newly released Pono digital music player have privately admitted they aren’t convinced that the high-resolution audio files it plays have any significant technical advantage over CD-quality files, sources told The Post.
Since we know that Ayre is responsible for the digital and analog circuits in the Pono player, and we also know that Ayre supports high res audio, you have to wonder who these Pono "product engineers" are and exactly what they engineered? My guess is this apparently third-hand information, product engineer > private source > NY Post, got buggered somewhere along the line and Mr. Covert has reported, er, a bunch of bullshit.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 23, 2015 2 comments
They're back! The power trio in all their power and our glory. Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals), and Janet Weiss (drums) are Sleater-Kinney and No Cities To Love (Sub Pop Records) is their first album in 10 years. It is also energy-packed, powerful, rich, riotous, and rewarding. This shit rocks. Hard.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 22, 2015 52 comments
I Bought It
I bought a Pono Player directly from their Kickstarter campaign. I did so, in part, to support the project, in part because I'm a fan of Neil Young who is behind Pono, and finally because Ayre designed the digital and analog innards responsible for how the Pono Player sounds and everything I've heard from Ayre, including their QB-9 DSD DAC (see review), has been eminently musical so to get some Ayre tech for the price of a Pono Player struck me as a steal of a deal.

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