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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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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 17, 2013 25 comments
Calyx Audio Femto DAC ($7,000)
Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 16, 2013 3 comments
The Analog Power Base is a $2,995 upgrade power supply for the MSB Technology Analog DAC. My recent review of The Analog DAC (see review) was going to include the Analog Power Base, but MSB Technologies’ recent move to a new factory delayed this evaluation. The Analog DAC comes with an outboard Desktop Power Supply that is housed in an aluminum case with two transformers. This power supply is linear with separate supplies for digital processing and the analog circuits of The Analog DAC.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 15, 2013 2 comments
Jacques Tati Soundtracks (Remastered)

More than most anything else in the world of hi-fi, I love finding new sources of music. Yesterday I came across a lovely if somewhat misleadingly titled album Morgana King Sings the Blues on Boomkat. While it is Morgana King singing (she also played Mrs. Vito Corleone in the Godfather flicks I and II), the blues bit is a bit of a stretch unless you consider "It's Only a Paper Moon" blues. I think they actually meant "blue". In any event, the label, Trunk Records, was new to me so I made my way over to their website. And there was a tiny treasure trove of the unusual and offbeat. Hooray!

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 12, 2013 4 comments
Normally I like to know a record, and know it well, before recommending it here as a DotW. But I'm going to go out on a shaky limb for Snow Ghosts. I've streamed their debut album A Small Murmuration a handful of very pleasurable times and it sounds familiar which can be a good or bad thing, I haven't decided which, yet. There's certainly beauty and longing to be found here along with fat, dredge-y beats like slow moving icebergs. A chilly drama.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 11, 2013 46 comments
Register to win a Griffin Twenty Integrated Amplifier (MSRP $99.99) we are giving away.

According to the company:

Twenty is an audio amplifier that incorporates the user's (original) Airport Express to capture the AirPlay stream, decode it, then play lossless amplified sound through attached speakers. Twenty has been recognized for its design and innovation, receiving the Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 10, 2013 31 comments
"It’s the undigital digital."
That's a quote from Ed Meitner from an interview in Positive Feedback Magazine (see interview) regarding DSD. And I enjoy that, the undigital digital. For those of you who don't know Ed Meitner, he is an electrical engineer by education and has been involved in audio design for more than 30 years. Ed got his start with Olive Electrodynamics Company where he was involved in designing and building the first VCA controlled recording console in 1972. Next was a stint with Amber the test equipment manufacturer followed by his position as head designer at Museatex (which became A/D/S) [I owned the Museatex STR-55 stereo amp back in the day]. During this time he also wrote about and built the LIM detector, basically the first jitter detector. After ADS, Ed was one of the engineers behind the development of DSD/SACD for Sony. He is currently the head designer for EMM Labs and Meitner Audio which can be viewed as the more affordable arm of EMM Labs. Meitner Audio has two products—the MA-1 DAC and the MA-2 Integrated Playback System that we'll be looking at and listening to here.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 09, 2013 18 comments
It was back in February 2008 that several of us took a drive to the Synergistic Research Factory in Irvine, CA. We had the good fortune to meet Ted Denney, lead designer at Synergistic Research who provided me with my first musical experience with Active Shielding. Ted came across as a very enthusiastic designer who enjoyed sharing his ideas about the new products he was developing; many of which have since come to fruition. Ted then took us to a large room with a terrific sounding system where he demonstrated Active Shielding with his cables by enabling it and then turning it off. Everything sounded much better with the Active Shielding enabled. I also remember him demonstrating a 2 tube Active Shielding power supply called the Enigma. It was fascinating to hear the sound change when Ted powered the cables with one tube and then the other. He also demonstrated a prototype of the PowerCell AC line conditioner. Suffice to say, I was very impressed with Synergistic Research’s implementation of Active Shielding with their cables.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 05, 2013 6 comments
I know, obviously. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey, near Paterson, and I can still recall the dull ache of boredom that infested most of my waking teenage hours. There were few true salves but music was always a sure bet breaking through the unfulfilled longing (most days feeling as if you had an impossibly mad crush on someone you had yet to meet). The music of The Doors played prominently during these formative years and Waiting for the Sun contained plenty of sunshine, white heat, and melancholy that seemed to match my very own. Ah, music.


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