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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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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 25, 2013 11 comments
In his article for the NY Times, Steven Kurutz presents an interesting case for the future of high-end audio. He essentially offers up two distinct listening options; one representing convenience and poor sound quality, i.e. lossy compressed download and streaming music formats, and the other the "scratchy joys of vinyl". What Mr. Kurutz obviously misses is the growing number of CD or better quality downloads being offered by non-audiophile sites including Boomkat,, and Soundcloud. And if you want to find music-loving audio geeks, what better place than computer audio!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 24, 2013 0 comments
Arcam's "SuperDAC"
The Arcam D33 DAC is part of Arcam's FMJ Series (Faithful Musical Joy) of components which includes disk players, a tuner, an integrated amp, a multi-channel amp, and a home theater receiver. The D33, dubbed the "SuperDAC" on the Arcam website, which tickles my fancy, is a fairly straight forward 24/192-capable DAC and its understated and stealth-like appearance, "to seamlessly blend with any style of décor", does not really hint at its SuperDAC-ness which we can assume refers to what goes on inside and eventually comes out.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 22, 2013 1 comments
Coming "within 8 weeks", the new Resonessence Labs Herus DXD/DSD DAC ($TBD but it must be less than the $850 Concero HD but how low can they go?) can handle up to DXD PCM data and native DSD! There's a USB Type B input on the other end so you need a USB cable to connect the Herus to your computer. Stay tuned for more info when its available.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 20, 2013 2 comments
And the list goes on (and on) and appears to include the complete Bad Seeds catalog. Coming in 12 days from Boomkat.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 19, 2013 2 comments
Paêbirú is a monster of Brazilian psychedelic proportions filled with earth, air, fire, and water (after which the four album sides are devoted). And magic. Happy, trippy, hippy magic. One of my favorite kinds. Originally released in 1975 on LP in a tiny and what became a highly collectable edition because, according to legend, most copies were destroyed in a flood or fire, thankfully this FLAC download isn't any of those things but manages to retain the magic. Think Getz/Gilberto on acid in the Amazonian rainforest with some very hip friends.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jul 19, 2013 0 comments
Jon Austin of Cary, North Carolina is the ecstatic winner of the HRT Microstreamer Sweepstakes here at Audiostream. I'm really starting to think that North Carolina may have the most audiophiles per square foot of land. The majority of our winners so far have been from the Tar Heel State. At the close of the summer, I'll use the data gathered from our randomly selected winners and generate metrics on their geographic distribution and age to get an idea of "Who is the audiophile."

Congrats on your win Jon. Enjoy your new DAC, and thank you for participating.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 18, 2013 0 comments
The Weiss MAN301DAC Music Archive Network Player wraps everything you need, minus music storage and the mandatory iPad and associated app, into one very smart, clean, and simple box. A lone slot drive adorns its minimalist front panel along with an on/off button and blue LED. The hardware not even hinting at all of the functionality offered by the software inside. The review sample is the DAC version which essentially stuffs a Weiss DAC202 ($6,470) inside for a one box solution. Just add music.


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