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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 21, 2014 18 comments
Lossless streaming is going to change the way we listen to and consume music. It already has, in parts of the world fortunate enough to be served by lossless streaming from Qobuz and WiMP. The key to any streaming service is the size of the catalog from which you can stream. I'm currently evaluating the Qobuz lossless streaming service, Qobuz Hi-Fi, and they claim access to "17 million titles" (as of 2/2014) in 16/44.1 CD-quality and I'll have to take them at their word because I can't count that high. What I do know is streaming in CD quality is the shit. The really, really good shit.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 20, 2014 4 comments
With more than 50 new features and a new stripped down look (which I like), Pure Music 2 is available now (here). Current users who purchased Pure Music after January 2013 get PM 2 for free. If you purchased your copy before that, you can upgrade to PM 2 for $44.95 until May 28, 2014 after which the upgrade price goes to $74.95.

New features include:

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 20, 2014 10 comments
Mytek has announced their new flagship DAC, the Manhattan:
"The Manhattan DAC Headphone Preamplifier represents Mytek's finest achievement. We Listen first and foremost, from the quality of our designs to our customers voices. In this vein, we created a device who's look and feel is only surpassed by its sound."
Steven Plaskin Posted: May 20, 2014 7 comments
Michael Lavorgna did an in-depth job reviewing Vincent Brient’s Totaldac d1-dual DAC (see review) and his Totaldac d1-server (see review) for AudioStream last September and December. Michael not only found the Totaldac d1-dual DAC to be one of the finest DACs he has experienced, but was very impressed with the clarity and abundant musical qualities of this DAC.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 19, 2014 3 comments

I downloaded a hi res file and it was this big!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 19, 2014 0 comments
JDS Labs Standalone ODAC ($169 w/RCAs)

Here's what's in-house or en-route to AudioStream for review.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 16, 2014 3 comments
I liked Merrill Garbus, aka Tune-Yards, the first time I heard her first home recorded album, BiRd-BrAiNs way back in 2009 originally released on Marriage Records on cassette then by 4AD in a limited-edition LP with a hand/home-made recycled cover. There was a nice nutty quality to her sound and singing, a wildness and unrestrained inventiveness that I found intoxicating. Then Merrill moved to 4AD and into the studio proper with her sophomore release w h o k i l l (2011) and while I enjoyed it, I also felt some of that unrestrained inventiveness got smothered. Now with Nikki Nack she sounds more at home in the studio harnessing its potential to unleash another wild and whacky sonic spree. Yeah!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 15, 2014 23 comments
The iFi nano iDSD DAC also doubles as a battery-powered 80mW headphone amp and can handle PCM resolutions up 32/384, DXD, single and double rate DSD and with a recent firmware upgrade even quad rate DSD. Unlike the recently reviewed Geek Out DAC (see review) and some of the other micro DACS, the iDSD is not a micro DAC per se coming in about the size of a pack of Camels. The cigarettes, not camels. Also like the Geek, there's a physical volume control but here its handled in the analog domain, USB in, and because of its bigger body its able to accommodate a pair of RCA outputs instead of the 3.5mm minijack found on the Geek Out. iFi also throws in a Coax output and two filter choices; minimum phase recommended for listening and "standard" recommended for measurement.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 13, 2014 8 comments
Thanks to reader CG for pointing us to this article on MacRumors (see article) which claims Apple will introduce 24-bit capability with the launch of their updated mobile app iOS 8 coming June 2 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). At present, iOS 7's music app is limited to 24/48, which in and of itself ain't bad, and while you can have your iOS device play back greater resolutions using Onkyo's HF Player (see article) and an external DAC, internal playback is currently limited to 16-bit.


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