LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 13, 2013 12 comments
How would you like to be able to stream FLAC and AAC files from your NAS, play Internet radio stations, Rdio content, and YouTube videos all from the same app on your iPhone or iPad? How about using the same app to play music through your DLNA compatible network player? Well Creation has an app for you.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Aug 12, 2013 20 comments
The LightSpeed USB cable is Light Harmonic’s latest entry to an ever growing and somewhat crowded filed of audiophile USB cables. Light Harmonic, well known for their outstanding Da Vinci DAC that I previously reviewed last January (see review), has created what they feel is a USB cable that very few other manufacturers can match in terms of bandwidth. Light Harmonic claims that the LightSpeed with its Ultra-high speed differential pair provides 20 times the bandwidth of USB 2.0 high speed. With its 10 GB per second bandwidth, it offers performance that many other high end USB cables cannot come close to. In fact, Light Harmonic has measured many high end USB cables and found that they cannot meet the USB Audio 2.0 High Speed standard of 480mbps. The LightSpeed physically splits the line with separation of the 5V power supply to reduce noise and disturbances of the digital signal.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 09, 2013 6 comments
Lee Hazlewood Industries (LHI) put out a bunch of records in the '60s and '70s including Honey Ltd's one and only self-titled album from 1968. I have a soft spot for so-called girl groups like the Shangri-Las and The Feminine Complex so when I saw that Light In The Attic re-issued Honey Ltd. The Complete LHI Recordings remastered from the original mono tapes, I dove into its sweetness head first. If you dig this kind of music, I do in carefully prescribed doses, and its slightly off-kilter weirdness infested as it is with semi-psychedelic fuzzy flourishes, sometimes sappy orchestration, and waning innocence, all the while retaining those big harmony-induced hooks, you'll want to dip into some Honey Ltd.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 08, 2013 7 comments
The debut album from the Savages, Silence Yourself on Matador Records, has caused some waves and ruffled some feathers. I've read glowing reviews, "the sheer intensity with which She Will or City's Full are delivered is breathtaking", ho-hum we've heard this before, and downright hostility, "post punk karaoke". I'm falling somewhere between the first two and have been enjoying the Savages music but I do have one criticism—why did they compress the hell out the digital version? Those images above are from two tracks, "Shut Up" and "Husbands", from the FLAC download and the red lines show clipping. Yea, those red blocks are comprised of lots and lots of little red clipping lines.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 08, 2013 1 comments
Hardware manufacturer VOCO and online music retailer/streaming service provider Murfie have teamed up to deliver 'Murfie HiFi' a CD-quality streaming service. The Murfie HiFi service consists of music you've either purchased from Murfie or music that was ripped from the CDs you sent to Murfie (at a cost of $1.00/per CD) and the new lossless streaming service only works with VOCO products. From the press release:
The collaboration marks the launch of Murfie's newest streaming service, Murfie HiFi, specifically for VOCO—the first service ever to provide lossless streaming playback online.

"VOCO's mission has always been to provide a top notch music experience, and a partnership with an industry innovator like Murfie furthers that mission,” says CEO and Founder of VOCO Wade Fenn. "Murfie provides an unprecedented service that couples seamlessly with our technology. Streamed music has never sounded better!"

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 07, 2013 33 comments
NAD Digital Classic Series
NAD's new Digital Classic series of components includes the D 3020 Digital DAC/Amplifier ($499), the D 7050 Direct Digital Network Receiver ($999), and the D 1050 DAC that's here for closer scrutiny. The Digital Classics share the same form factor, which was designed by David Farrage, are about the size of a good book, and can sit horizontally or vertically to suit environment and taste. I like the simple and sleek black matte sides with the shiny strip running down the center as well as the touch-sensitive controls coupled with that big, chunky volume knob. Overall a classy look and feel, imo, for such a modestly priced piece of kit.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 06, 2013 5 comments
Did I mention I got new glasses? It was time to give in and get progressive lenses which as you may know allow you to have reading glasses and corrective lenses for distance in one frame without the bifocal age line. And it's a good thing since I may have otherwise missed our mention in the September 2013 issue of Men's Health (with Tom Brady on the cover sporting his new haircut). I'm very appreciative of the opportunity nonetheless since spreading the word for better sound is an essential part of our mission.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 05, 2013 2 comments
The Director
The Director is Meridian's step up in terms of size and sound quality from their smaller and headphone output-endowed Explorer (see review). Meridian views the aptly named Explorer as a portable player whereas the Director is meant to sit and remain connected to your hi-fi. While I've been living with the DAC-only Director for about a week which is about enough time for first impressions, Meridian has asked us to keep the Director under wraps until 7am EST Monday August 5th. Not one to miss out on a premier, I thought I'd give the Director the red carpet treatment and offer up some basic facts, photos, and first takes.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 02, 2013 4 comments
Michael West (born 27 August 1965 in Tottenham, London) is also known as Rebel MC and for today's release, Congo Natty. Whatever name he chooses, this record, Jungle Revolution released on Big Dada Sound on July 1, is a monster of an album. A bulldozer of sound. A blast furnace of fury. From the Big Dada website:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 01, 2013 9 comments
Ideally, when working with a NAS device, you won't have to worry about software since most popular NAS devices come with everything you need preinstalled. If you decide to go with a network player or streamer, the specific configuration and software requirements will be based on the specific device you buy. But one thing to look out for is whether or not your streamer and NAS are UPnP/DLNA complaint (see definition) which ideally they are.

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