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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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Ariel Bitran Posted: Aug 01, 2013 0 comments
Another winner from Alabama! Roll-freaking-Tide! Rodger Matthews of Union Grove, AL is the winner of the lightweight but heavy-hitting Monitor Audio WS100 Airstream loudspeakers. Sending a proprietary wireless signal via USB dongle, these little boxes should be a very convenient way for Rodger to send tunes to any room in his house. Congrats Rodger and don't hurt yourself!
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 01, 2013 35 comments
Register to win one of four sets of Audiofly Headphones (MSRP $30 - $200) we are giving away.

According to the company:

Made with high quality materials and precision manufacturing, the AF33 will play its heart out every time and astonish you with its sound quality. It arrives equipped with a custom voiced 9mm dynamic driver for detailed sound reproduction across the entire sonic spectrum . . .

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 31, 2013 2 comments
The Synergistic Research Element cable series represents Synergistic Research’s most current thinking on the art and science of cable design. The Element C.T.S. Digital AC cord resulted from the research and development that created the more expensive Galileo series of cables. The Element series provides many of the Galileo features at a more affordable price.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 30, 2013 14 comments
M2TECH’s Game Changer
When I learned that TEAC America now distributes M2TECH’s hiFace DAC, a palm-fitting, plug-and-play, Italian-made baby that, for $46 more than Audioquest’s 96kHz/24 bit Dragonfly, delivers up to 384kHz/32 bit performance, my curiosity was piqued. As someone with champagne tastes and a bargain outlet budget, I had to find out if the little baby with the preciously spelled name and the enticing slogan, “Sound quality better than you may expect,” amounted to anything more than an object of idle amusement.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 29, 2013 13 comments
For file-based music playback there are a number of popular file formats out there and you may be wondering which is best. The answer is, it depends. It depends on your hardware and software environment since not all music file formats are supported by all file-based music playback devices. Network players typically come with a list of supported file formats and media player software may come with file formats restrictions as well. The most popular (and annoying) example being iTunes lack of support for the FLAC format.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 27, 2013 7 comments
One argument I've heard on more than one occasion against buying lossless downloads like CD-quality FLAC or AIFF files is you can't fit as many onto your portable device as compared to the lossy version. So some people buy the lossy version (say it ain't so!) and make due with its less than optimum sound quality even when listening on the hi-fi at home. After all, who wants to make and store two separate copies of every single song, one lossy version for the iPhone and one lossless version for the hi-fi? Wouldn't it be great if iTunes took care of this automatically? Well, it does.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 26, 2013 2 comments
In (rabid) anticipation of Julianna Barwick's new album NEPENTHE coming August 19th, I'll remind you how lovely and dreamy her last full length album, The Magic Place, was. It was magical. And lovely. Julianna drapes layers of her voice over itself along with subtle instrumentation weaving walls of sound that morph and pulsate into wavering cathedrals of delight.

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