LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 17, 2014 8 comments
Another Micro DAC
I don't know about you, but I think choice is good. The micro DAC market has seen a rabbit-like infestation of products including the AudioQuest Dragonfly, Meridian Explorer, HRT MicroStreamer, Audioengine D3, Arcam rPAC, LH Labs Geek family, iFi's nano line, and more. Two things that the Cambridge DAC Magic XS offers that not all the others do is the ability to play back up to 24/192 files and on-device push button analog volume controls.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 16, 2014 0 comments
Let's let Lefse Records explain:
The audio tracks that form the raw material for Space Project were recorded by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes that NASA launched in 1977 and still uses to study the outer solar system. The satellites carry numerous instruments fine-tuned to record in different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The "sounds" recorded by the Voyager probes aren’t sounds in the conventional sense; rather, they are electromagnetic radiation fluctuations in the magnetosphere of the planets, moons and large asteroids the Voyager probes traveled near. Each celestial body is composed of different elements, has its own size and mass, and therefore sounds unique.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 15, 2014 14 comments
How do we gauge success? The Kickstarter goal for the Pono campaign was set at $800,000 which was the minimum amount required for the project to get funded. Exceeding that goal by more then 7 times must qualify as an unqualified success. Perhaps the more interesting and informative number is this goal was generated from 18,220 backers who are also potentially future PonoMusic customers. Compared to iTunes 600+ million users that's, well, not very many but let's also keep in mind that Pono was one of the most-funded campaigns in Kickstarter history. But is that the appropriate metric to gauge Pono's success? I don't think so.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 15, 2014 3 comments
A team of Japanese roboticists from the University of Tokyo built a band of robots, Z-Machines, consisting of a guitarist with 78 fingers, a drummer with 22 arms, and a keyboardist that shoots green lasers to activate his keys. Then Z-Machines musical producer, Kenjiro Matsuo, asked a number of musicians to compose music for their band. Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, gladly took up the challenge and the result is his new EP, Music for Robots recently released on Warp Records.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Apr 14, 2014 11 comments
The Overdrive USB DAC/Pre is the creation of engineer-designer Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio. Empirical Audio was formed in 1994 and initially concentrated on the sales of patented cable products designed by Steve Nugent. Steve’s background included a degree in Electrical Engineering with 25 years of digital design experience. His resume included work for the Intel Corp. where he served as a design-team lead in the development of the Pentium II processor. Steve has also been a passionate audiophile for over 39 years and this interest lead him into the modification of other manufacturer’s audio products in 2002. His modifications not only included DACs, but preamps, power amps and CD players / transports. The modification of numerous designs gave Steve a wonderful opportunity to see what sounded best in audio and DAC design. During this time, Steve developed the Off Ramp Turbo USB Converter; a device that offered a USB interface to digital products. In 2009, Empirical Audio ceased equipment modification and concentrated on original computer audio product design.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 11, 2014 0 comments
Clay Rendering is Mike Connelly (Wolf Eyes) and Tara Connelly (they're married) and Waters Above The Firmament is their second EP released on Hospital Productions following a string of cassette releases as The Haunting. They are joined here by Robert Beatty (Three Legged Race/Hair Police) on synth with production help from Dominick Fernow and together make a heavy sonic assault on song. Industrial noise, drone, and overdriven guitar lap up against moody melody making for an unsettling yet ultimately alluring sound.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 10, 2014 22 comments
MacRumors has re-reported (see re-report) a rumor started by blogger Robert Hutton (see his original post) based on unnamed sources that iTunes will begin selling 24-bit downloads in June. Of this year.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 10, 2014 1 comments
A Portable Network Player
Networked music on the go? From room to room and deck to driveway? The Bluesound Pulse is a portable player albeit one that is not battery powered that lets you connect to your network attached storage and the Internet for streaming either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi and play back up to 24/192 files. Throw in Bluetooth connectivity through an optional dongle and you have the world of music coming and going through one device.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 09, 2014 16 comments
The tireless guys at LH Labs are about to do it again—crowdfunding their latest portable product the Geek Wave. The Wave acts as an add-on to your smartphone providing extended battery life with its internal charger, music storage ("at least 258GB"), and of course their own DXD/DSD-ready DAC and headphone amp to boost the performance of your phone.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 07, 2014 9 comments
Thorsten Loesch

Most readers are familiar with iFi Audio whose affordable products include DACs, portable headphone amps, a USB power supply, Tube Buffer/Pre-Amplifier, and more. We've reviewed a number of their products including the iFi iDAC (see review), the iUSBPower (see review), and the iTube Active Tube Buffer/Preamp (see review). Abbington Music Research (AMR) also produces a full line of "Reference Class" products including amplifiers, preamplifiers, loudspeakers, disc players, DACs, and more. The Chief Designer behind both product lines, Thorsten Loesch, was kind enough to participate in this Q&A with AudioStream where we dig into some of the nitty gritty behind PCM versus DSD, human hearing, the joy of vacuum tubes, and more. I'd like to thank Thorsten for the time and effort he put into his response and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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