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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 30, 2013 19 comments
I saw and heard Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on Thursday night at the Beacon Theater in NYC. For an added treat, Sharon Van Etten opened the show and later joined the Bad Seeds and the Harlem Voices as background singer. Cave opened with a few tunes from his newest LP, Push The Sky Away which is a wonderful record if somewhat lyrically superficial. As a show, the show was first-rate. When Cave started in on his older heavier material, the audience stood up and many remained so for the duration. At one point Cave encouraged as many people as could to squeeze down the isles toward the stage, much to the chagrin of the security forces on hand. "It's OK" Cave told them and added, "Don't worry, it's a union thing".
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 29, 2013 3 comments
New from Gimell, Eric Whitacre's choral meditation Sainte-Chapelle was written to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Tallis Scholars and was first performed on the 7th of March 2013 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Typically, The Tallis Scholars do not perform the work of the living, but in Sir John Taverner's case and now Eric Whitacre's, they've made exceptions. Let's be thankful.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 28, 2013 4 comments
Kal Rubinson has reported over on Stereophile that Oppo has made their BDP-103 and BDP-105 players DSD-compatible with a recent firmware upgrade (still in beta). "Now, here's the really good news. The Oppo will play multichannel as well as stereo DSD and that makes the Oppo the least expensive multichannel DSD-file player by a wide, wide margin. I have been enjoying glorious multichannel downloads from Channel Classics' website as well as a couple of their spectacular "live" session files (Mahler Symphony 1 and #) made at the recording and without edits. Wow is all I can say."

Read Kal's full report here.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 27, 2013 21 comments
from the top left (clockwise): Fostex HP-A8, Teac UD-501, Auralic Vega, Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC (flanked by the Acoustic Plan DigiMaster w/linear power supply)

I was just looking at my lovely Box Furniture equipment rack and realized this is probably somewhat of a rare sight. Reviews forthcoming.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 27, 2013 0 comments
InnerFidelity's head honcho, Tyll Hertsens, has reported on a very interesting development related to the Meridian Explorer DAC/Headphone Amp. It's that last bit, the headphone amp, that has come under scrutiny and Meridian has recently modified the headphone output of their popular Explorer DAC.

I'll let Tyll explain since he does it so well and I very much encourage anyone who already owns an Explorer, is interested in one, or if you'd like to read about the importance of things like output impedance, frequency response, and damping factor, to head on over to InnerFidelity.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 26, 2013 7 comments
The Hex DAC is, according to Metrum Acoustics, a non-oversampling (NOS) filterless DAC in the strictest sense. This means that inside, including inside its mysterious* DAC chips, the PCM signal remains a PCM signal and it passes through the D/A process un-oversampled and un-filtered, as it were. Many of today's DACs, even some calling themselves NOS DACs, employ delta-sigma DAC chips that, among other things, oversample, interpolate, convert the PCM signal to a PDM signal (pulse-density modulation), and filter our precious musical data. Filterless NOS DACs skip these steps and some feel that the resulting analog signal sounds more analog-like as a result.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 22, 2013 17 comments
Miles Davis' In A Silent Way is near the top of any list I'd make. When I first listened to it decades ago my heart raced (literally) after the opening notes and things got more intense from there on in. The same still holds after countless listens. In A Silent Way, along with Bitches Brew and A Tribute to Jack Johnson helped me get over the passing of Jimi Hendrix and pointed toward a very bright future. I don't really care all that much as to whether or not In A Silent Way was the first 'fusion' album because the music speaks to matters beyond category. You simply need to sit and do nothing other than listen.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 19, 2013 1 comments
Z Ultra-Compact Component
The Zdac hails from Parasound's Z-line of "ultra-compact components" that includes the Zamp V.3, Zphono, Zphono-USB, Zcd, Ztuner, Zpre2, Zbreeze cooling fan, and the Zselect five-pair speaker selector. The Z-line comes in silver or rack-mountable black and all of the Z components share the same chassis so one could have a complete matching Z-system (sans speakers). For some, matching components are a plus while for others, mainly for certain kinds of audiophiles, matching components take all of the fun out system mixing and matching. Thankfully you can have the Zdac either a la carte or prix fixe.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 18, 2013 4 comments
MSB Technology The Analog DAC ($6,995)


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