LATEST ADDITIONS

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Steven Plaskin Posted: Mar 03, 2015 7 comments
The Resonessence Labs INVICTA Mirus DAC represents the state-of-the-art offering from this Canadian company. The Mirus is closely related to the Invicta DAC that Michael Lavorgna reviewed in May 2013 (see review). Michael presented an excellent review that was quite thorough in describing the features of the Invicta. Since that time, a number of improvements have been added to the Invicta, including a new model called the Mirus. The XLR/RCA output specifications of the INVICTA Mirus outperform those of the standard Invicta. The headphone module is removed in the Mirus, and replaced with a second ESS Sabre DAC ES9018 for each channel. By combing 2 ESS Sabre ES9018 DACS in parallel per channel, a total of 8 ES9018 channels are available for each stereo output. Resonessence Labs has discovered that every time the Sabre DAC output channels are paralleled together performance improves. This feature results in a lowering of the noise and a decrease in THD compared to the Invicta. The dynamic range specification is also improved in the Mirus.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 02, 2015 14 comments
Nicole, our younger daughter, texted a picture of a dress to Cathy, my wife, last Thursday. "What color is the dress?" Nicole asked. "It's gold and white." Cathy responded. Then my wife showed me the picture, which was happening a lot lately since Nicole has been looking for a prom dress, and I clearly saw a blue and black (or brown) dress. WTF? I asked Cathy if she was kidding since the dress I was looking at was clearly blue, not gold. "It's gold and white." was her response. Hmm.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 27, 2015 1 comments
Ibeyi are 19 year old French-Cuban twin sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz. It is also the title of their debut album on XL Recordings. Their father is the late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz of Buena Vista Social Club fame and you'll hear some lovely musical genetics at play on Ibeyi.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 24, 2015 26 comments
The Technics Tracks High-Res Download Store opens today for residents of the UK and Germany. Technics claims "tens of thousands" of 24-bit/192kHz tracks at launch, "hundreds of thousands" of 24-bit tracks, as well as an "extensive collection of 16-bit/44.1kHz CD quality tracks." The service was custom built by 7digital, a leading open digital music platform operator.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 23, 2015 42 comments
Attention audiophiles: duck and cover! Another questionable product aimed squarely at us so we're in for it now (again)! While Sony claims the SR-64HXA, a Class 10 64GB microSDXC card which will cost ¥18,500 (roughly $155), produces less electrical noise when reading data as compared to a standard microSD card, the mainstream press ain't buyin' it and they're throwing stones our way (again).
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 20, 2015 2 comments
Machine dreams. For some reason, I've really been enjoying music that can best be described as punishing lately. That said, I certainly have had a soft spot for hard music going all the way back to bands like Einstürzende Neubauten, Throbbing Gristle, Nocturnal Emissions and various and sundry industrial noise groups and the like. Egyptrixx is Toronto's David Psutka and Transfer Of Energy [Feelings Of Power] is his third album and first for his own label Halocline Trance.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 19, 2015 4 comments
I Like Bluetooth
Audioengine makes a number of well-priced products that deliver their fair share of musical enjoyment. I favorably reviewed their A5+ speakers (see review) and we own two pairs of their original A2 speakers. Under inspection today is their B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver which adds Bluetooth connectivity to any hi-fi while also offering an internal DAC as well as a Toslink output if you already own a DAC you enjoy. What's the point of Bluetooth? Fun.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 18, 2015 6 comments

moDernisT_v1 from Ryan Maguire on Vimeo.

When the Moving Pictures Experts Group first developed the MP3 codec way back in 1993, they didn't just base it on theories. They also listened to some of their favorite music to help determine which was the least offensive perceptual model. Listening to music was used to tweak the science. One of the tracks employed for these purposes was Susann Vega's "Tom's Diner". The above video by Ryan Maguire, a Ph.D. student in Composition and Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia Center for Computer Music, was created using the sounds that MP3 encoding (at 320kbps) discards from "Tom's Diner" while the video portion was created from the data discarded during mp4 video compression. Give it a listen.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 17, 2015 25 comments
image credit: CSR

According to a report by UK-base CSR, "State Of Play Report – The world of home audio through the eyes of the consumer", what people want most from their home audio experience is better sound quality. A whopping 77% of respondents would like better audio quality at home and they are wiling to pay for it which bodes well for our musical futures.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 16, 2015 16 comments
With firmware update v1.0.5, the Pono Player now plays DSD64 and DSD128 files. I dragged and dropped a few DSD albums into my player and I'm listening to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan from Acoustic Sounds and it sounds just lovely. Like analog.

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