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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 02, 2013 7 comments
Benchmark DAC2 HGC ($1,995)

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

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 29, 2013 7 comments
I'll go out on a limb and suggest that most any ornithologist is a sweetie. Throw in some St. Francis of Assisi, chromesthesia or sound-to-color synesthesia, church organist, birdsong, modes of limited transposition, and Japanese music and you've got an unbeatable recipe for loveliness. I will also note that Olivier Messiaen held the position of Professor of Harmony at the Paris Conservatoire from 1941 until his retirement in 1978 and that is by far the loveliest job title I know of—Professor of Harmony. Olivier Messiaen also composed some pure lovely music and if you act within the next 3 days, you can get yourself a whole flock for a prix spécial pittance.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 27, 2013 16 comments
A Dragonfly Killer?
AudioQuest's original Dragonfly DAC (see review) seems to have inspired a number of similar products while igniting the whole 'micro-DAC' market. And for good reason. The original Dragonfly was small, portable, easy to use with hi-fi or headphones, and it sounded good. Putting it on AudioStream's Greatest Bits list was a no-brainer. Kicking it off of that list is also a no-brainer because AudioQuest have gone and done it. They've come out with a Dragonfly killer.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 26, 2013 1 comments
'Tis the season. Linn will once again be giving away "...a different free Studio Master track every day in December until Christmas Day". Head on over to to get yours.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 22, 2013 21 comments
Loki Loki! DSD for $149!
The guys at Schiit seem to look at the world of audiophiles somewhat askance while selling stuff that audiophiles want. It's an interesting stance, askance, and they seem to take a similar view of DSD while offering the Loki, their latest assault on the "high" in High End and what it is is a dedicated DSD DAC. That's right, the Loki won't convert PCM data so you'll have to take care of that elsewhere. The Loki will accept 64x single-rate DSD over the DSD over PCM protocol (DoP) and hand off an analog signal to your hi-fi. Or, um, lo-fi if you prefer.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 22, 2013 7 comments
The new single "Perfume" from Britney Spears forthcoming album Britney Jean on RCA Records is available from Quboz in Qualité Studio Masters (24 bits). Is HD going mainstream?
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 22, 2013 4 comments
Lydia can be described as a distant descendant of Captain Beefheart minus the stupendous creativity but making up for it with East Village elan and leather. Crunchy guitars, screaming sax, big band hootenanny, razzmatazz, a breezy cover of "Spooky", a gloomy cover of "Gloomy Sunday", and always that lovely lazy Lydia barely in key crooning over the top. Steamy. For an amazing story behind listening to Queen of Siam (at least it was amazing to us) and a much better description of its songs, check out my friend Stephen Mejias' post re: same over on Stereophile.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 21, 2013 5 comments
(left to right) Steve Silberman, Gordon Rankin, Charles Hansen. photo credit: Steve S. and Stereophile

During our first conversation with AudioQuest's Steve Silberman, Charlie Hansen of Ayre Acoustics and Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio we talked about the notion that "There's no such thing as digital" (see Part 1). In Part 2 we move on to ask, what can be done to address the problems of high-speed analog signals in a modern audio system?

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 20, 2013 13 comments
From the original album's back cover, "We stood before it and began to freeze inside from the exertion. We questioned the painting, berated it, made love to it, prayed to it: We called it mother, called it whore and slut, called it our beloved, called it Abraxas...." from Demian by Hermann Hesse

Santana's Abraxas, originally released in September 1970, was the band's second album and it rocks hard. It also percolates with Latin rhythms and boogies with jazz-tinged influences but overall I'd say it rocks. Hard. We just saw the release of a remastered version of Kind of Blue (see review) from HDtracks and now Acoustic Sounds has begun tapping Sony's DSD vaults (are we in a golden age of music-loving goodness or what?) and one of the first offerings is Abraxas. The question on many people's mind's is, "How does it sound?". Stunning, is my answer.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 19, 2013 16 comments
One audiophile stereotype is the notion that we buy the same old music over and over and I'd imagine it is such a cliché'd image because it is largely true. I would say that the majority of high resolution audio download sales are reissues since not a heck of a lot of new music is released in high resolution formats. Sure there's some and if we can accept 24-bit as the definition of high resolution, I'm beginning to, sites like Boomkat and others are offering 24-bit downloads of new music. Yeah! But if there ever was a granddaddy of all reissues, a record that's seen more pressings and formats and re-pressings and reissues (and reissues of reissues), it has got to be Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.


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