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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 04, 2013 4 comments
Have you ever tried to find a legal download of an album and included the word "FLAC" in your search? If you have, you'll have seen that the overwhelming majority of search results are file sharing sites like PirateBay who offer free downloads of copyrighted music as well as pages filled with this note (if you use Google): "In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at..." And I find that very frustrating since I'm not interested in downloading free versions of music that skirts copyright laws. I know, call me old fashioned.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 01, 2013 137 comments
Register to win a set of Westone 4R In-ear Headphones (MSRP $599.99) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"The Quad-Driver Westone 4R-Series with durable and removable EPIC cable take your listening experience to an entirely different level. Four symmetrically balanced armature drivers engineered into an advanced three-way crossover network deliver breathtaking clarity, realism, and imaging. Left and right earpiece responses are tested by each driver pack and matched to an extraordinarily tight +/- 2dB tolerance, delivering unparalleled balance and accuracy of sound-stage reproduction. "

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Ariel Bitran Posted: May 31, 2013 5 comments
Over at, a nice fella from North Carolina won the Schiit Bifrost USB and Magni DACs. His name was Tony. Who knew they had guys named Tony in the South? I know a couple Tonys. One's from Staten Island, and he has a little business on the side "selling furniture". The second is a Hammond-organ-playing priest in Jersey. We call him Father Tony.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 31, 2013 32 comments
French composer Cécile Schott, aka Colleen, plays and sings a nuevo-medieval sounding suite on viola da gamba, clarinet, cello, guitar, organ, piano, and percussion with overdubs and repetitions, weaving exquisitely tender and fragile texts that float away like smoke as you take them in. There are touches of Washington Phillips' stunning What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?, rural sacred minimal timeless folk sounds rooted in more than music and sounding at times like their origin is some ancient musical machine. The Weighing Of The Heart is Colleen's first record in six years since her lovely Les Ondes Silencieuses and its a personal and deeply introspective record for life's stiller moments.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 30, 2013 32 comments
If you follow any of the audio forums online, you will inevitably encounter the point of view that states—auditory memory is short-lived and/or faulty at best. While I tend to agree with this point of view in terms of trying to recall the sound of a given piece of hi-fi gear, I don't think we're dealing with the entire story.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 29, 2013 23 comments
Calyx Audio Femto DAC ($7,000)
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 27, 2013 11 comments
High Definition 1.0
The High Resolution Technologies (HRT) Music Streamer HD is a straight forward device that takes your computer's USB output and converts it into an analog signal that your Hi-Fi can understand. The "HD" part of the name refers to the Music Streamer's ability to handle up to high definition 24-bit/192kHz data—with Apple computers. Windows users can play back up to 24/96 via USB 1.0. According to Scot Markwell of Elite AV Distribution, my contact for this review, "HRT has a very strong philosophy that their products should be 100% Plug-and-Play, without the need for 3rd-party drivers that are not as of yet robust and reliable enough to warrant having our customer base attempt to work with them." I'd say that pretty much makes the Music Streamer HD a Mac-only device.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: May 27, 2013 1 comments
Dan Thomas of Lunenberg, Massachusetts is the grinning winner of the Logic 3 Scuderia R200 Headphone Sweepstakes here at He's happy with their comfortable fit and solid seal. He screams, "They're perfect, portable, and Ferrari!" With the top dropped down and the sun in his eyes, Dan is straight up chillin'. Congratulations and enjoy!
Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 24, 2013 1 comments
Laurel Halo's Quarantine was The Wire magazine's number 1 album from 2012. While there's not much need to say more in terms of a recommendation, Quarantine took me some time to cozy up to. Its sound is so foreign, sounding perfectly extraterrestrial or if you prefer its as if you woke up within a William Gibson novel, it took me a few listens to sink comfortably into the rather uncomfortable landscapes that Laurel Halo paints. Now, listening to Quarantine is a special trip with each listen.
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Jon Iverson Posted: May 21, 2013 149 comments
Register to win a Focal XS Book Music System (MSRP $299.00) we are giving away.

According to the company: "Whatever your musical taste, uncover all the power and emotion your music, movie and gaming collection has to offer with Focal’s elegant and compact desktop 2.0 active loudspeaker system. Based on 33-years of acoustic research and over a dozen patents, Focal has created the ideal powered desktop loudspeaker system that will delight your senses while delivering years of dependable service. Hear exactly what you’ve been missing; experience just how good desktop music can sound."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]


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