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Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 16, 2015 4 comments
The MSB Technology Premium Quad USB2 Module is a new USB input module for the Analog DAC that represents a substantial improvement in the application of USB technology for this highly respected DAC. Both Michael Lavorgna and I have previously reviewed the Analog DAC (see Steve's review and Michael's follow-up) and found it to be an excellent sounding DAC that was characterized by a relaxed natural sound. At the time of my review of the Analog DAC in 2013, MSB sent me the Platinum Data CD IV Transport to be used in the evaluation of the Analog DAC. MSB Technology felt that this transport connected to the MSB Network input module had superior sound to the USB Basic 384 input module and would better demonstrate the capabilities of the Analog DAC. Although I could get somewhat close to the sound of the Platinum Data CD IV Transport with numerous hardware tweaks and software programs, I still found the Transport to be better sounding than using the USB Basic 384 module.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 15, 2015 24 comments
I just bought a CD; Chet Baker Sings and Plays From The Film Let's Get Lost. I used to own this CD, somehow lost it years ago, and somehow the ripped version was no longer to be found either. Odd, that. Let's Get Lost is a wonderful collection of old and new standards and the Bruce Weber film it's from, a sad eyeopening tale of a musician, a man, and addiction.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 14, 2015 12 comments
In hi-fi, we talk about subjectivists vs objectivists as if this distinction has some inherent merit, some foundation in actuality when in point of fact, the distinction as commonly used is nonsensical.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 13, 2015 1 comments
Paul Pang Professional Audio Studio Audio Grade Switcher ($149)

We've had some changes/additions to our recent Coming Soon list that merit an update.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 10, 2015 7 comments
Our dog died. Heidi was nearly 11, a beautiful Bernese Mountain dog and my/our family's first pet. She was gentle, a bit of a loaner, a real sweetheart. We spent a lot of time together, Heidi enjoyed laying around listening to music, and she only asked for occasional attention which I enjoyed giving her as much if not more than she enjoyed receiving it.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 09, 2015 13 comments
Cary Audio, Raleigh, NC
I can still remember visiting audio retailer Audio Nexus in Summit, NJ back in the '90s and seeing the lovely Cary CAD-300SEI integrated amp which was at the time outside of my comfort price zone. I was heavily into exploring single-ended tube amps and ended up with my first love, the Sun Audio SV-300BE followed by many a Fi amp (I still own the prototype Fi 45), and finally landing very comfortably in the land of Shindo, albeit outside the SET camp. To say that Cary Audio represents an important part of our hi-fi history is to state the obvious and to say that I was looking forward to spending time with their latest DAC would be an understatement.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 08, 2015 4 comments
I consider Daniel J. Levitin’s This Is Your Brain On Music (Dutton, 2006 see review) to be an indispensable entry for every audiophile library and he's gone and done it again. The World In Six Songs: How The Musical Brain Created Human Nature (Dutton Penguin 2008, updated and released in paperback by Plume in 2009) is a fascinating, thought-provoking, and enlightening book that explains how and why music is responsible for making humans human.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 06, 2015 36 comments
Much like the world at large, there are ongoing debates, disagreements, and outright hostility between different factions within the world of computer audio (actually all of hi-fi but that's another story). The idea that some people are right (and smarter) and others wrong (and not as smart) is as human as the need for music. Is DSD "better" than PCM, is high-res audio a hoax, does all media player softare sound the same, should we be using a computer for computer audio, and so on. Not to mention the whole seething mess over price. Non-audiophiles are just plain smarter than audiophiles when it comes to one simple fact—arguing about listening to music is silly.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 03, 2015 2 comments
Our family recently spent some time on a Caribbean island. I have an ongoing love affair with these islands (especially the non-US ones) and have been visiting for years. One of the things you'll notice when there is the importance of music. Nearly every taxi trip is a musical treat, every restaurant, especially the beach shacks, pump out great sounds, and in general life feels good. The local people have a beautiful calm, strength, and kindness that is, in my experience, unique to this part of the world.
Michael Lavorgna Jon Iverson Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 01, 2015 13 comments
Fly Me To The Roon
Roon is big medicine for your music collection. So big, we're going to come at it from three writer's perspectives; Jon Iverson will provide the heavy lifting as well as comparisons to Sooloos and a touchscreen implementation, I'll be talking about a few setup tips and comparisons to Audirvana+/iTunes, and Steve Plaskin will bring it on home with his take on Roon versus JRiver from a Windows perspective. Let's Roon!