LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 02, 2013 25 comments
Earth Movers
Why not? I mean, if you were me, wouldn't you? In an exchange with Bruce Brown, Owner and Engineer at Puget Sound Studios (see our Q&A), Bruce mentioned that he was using the Focal Solo6 Be monitors (as well as the Twin6 and Sub6 in a 5.1 array) in his recording studio. And that information stuck in my head and poked at me when I recently thought about desktop speakers to review. And I thought why not? Rated at 40Hz - 40kHz with a 150W rms, BASH® amp for the midbass/bass driver and a 100W rms class A/B amp for the treble, these bad boys max out at 113dB SPL (peak @ 1m). So yea, they work really well as nearfield desktop earth movers.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 30, 2013 68 comments
Register to win a Logic3 Scuderia R200 Headphone (MSRP $259.00) we are giving away.

Distinctive design inspired by the Scuderia Ferrari racing team and the aerodynamic air vents and traditional grille incorporated in the GT Cars. Closed-back design which seals the ear pads to prevent loss of music dynamics. Robust machined crafted metal arms and diamond shaped grille finish to ensure durability and quality. Ultra-Soft ear pads constructed from enhanced breathable materials to ensure maximum comfort. Ergonomic 2-way folding design for compact storage and includes a Scuderia Ferrari carry case trimmed in carbon fibre texture for additional protection. Anti-tangle and detachable in-line remote cables trimmed in woven fabric.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 30, 2013 5 comments
We've given our Greatest Bits list a complete makeover in an effort to make it more organized and ideally more useful. As you'll see, we've added "Classes" to each category of component that we borrowed from Stereophile's approach which works very well, imo (see Stereophile's 2012 Recommended Components ). Our Greatest Bits list is based on listening impressions which by their very nature are subjective and also reliant to a certain extent on system context. So the usefulness of this list is to act as a guide to what we consider to be gear worthy of an audition, to help you narrow down your choices from an increasingly crowded field.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 29, 2013 5 comments
Focal Professional Solo6 Be ($1,350/each)
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 25, 2013 0 comments
Kind Midas Sound's 2009 album Waiting For You... was a highlight of that year for me. Slow, sexy, and deeply rooted in the grime and grit of Kevin Martin's sound, Waiting For You... offered ominous brooding beats and roots-infused soul. I've been waiting for what's next ever since and the trio just released a two-track EP for Record Store Day in advance of a forthcoming album on Ninja Tune that more than hints at some some alt rock hard-core edginess creeping in to take over where their dub-infested sound of old left off. Or to put it another way, Aroo crushes.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Apr 25, 2013 24 comments
General Description of The Analog DAC
The Analog DAC is MSB Technology’s newest DAC model that was designed to offer audiophiles a DAC that is analog-like in sound quality, but without the limitations of dynamics and distortion. As it just so happens, The Analog DAC is the least expensive of the DACs offered by MSB Technology, but offers a number of features found in their more expensive models.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 24, 2013 19 comments
Pi-Eyed
In my quest to find a suitable replacement for the discontinued Logitech Squeezebox Touch, I came across the Rasberry Pi. Anyone on a similar quest has more than likely been tempted by the Pi and if you're anything like me, you found its $35 price tag coupled with the promise of streaming capabilities from network attached storage and USB audio output too good to pass up. So I ordered myself some Raspberry Pi, loaded up a few instances of music player software and got to playing. I will say up front that so far I have mine working with CD-quality files through an older USB 1.0 DAC.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 24, 2013 16 comments
Professional
The Focal CMS 40 powered speaker is referred to as a monitor on the company's website. A subtle distinction perhaps but a monitor is meant for monitoring records during production whereas a speaker is meant to be used when the production work is done. So a monitor is a tool for listening whereas a speaker is a tool for enjoyment. Some listeners, like audiophiles, for example, do both and a speaker like the Focal CMS 40 is practically made to order.
Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 23, 2013 2 comments
Can You Handle the Truth?
What the heck is a "monitor" speaker? The word was initially applied to actual studio monitors, but it quickly came to be associated with any small- or mid-size bookshelf speaker. The M-Audio BX5 D2 is a bona-fide active (self-powered) monitor that can be used as a reference in a home studio (or desktop system). Accuracy is de rigueur for monitors, so if you're searching for a speaker with a sweet sound that makes everything, including nasty MP3s sound good this little guy won't cut it, but well-recorded electronica, jazz, classical, or most types of acoustic music the BX5 D2 will be a treat for your ears. They list for $299 a pair, but I've seen them going for closer to $230 online, and for that kind of money it's hard to beat.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Apr 22, 2013 33 comments
The topic of audiophile USB cables seems to elicit endless debate from computer audio enthusiasts. Many heated arguments have taken place at internet audio forums arguing the merits of these cables. There are those that feel that the improvements heard by using an upgraded USB cable versus a standard Belkin printer cable are purely imaginary.

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