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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jun 10, 2013 0 comments
Photo by Amy Ferrare

Joe Ferrare of Bel Air, Maryland is the lucky winner of our Focal XS Book Music System Sweepstakes. Per Ferrare, these slim-line powered speakers sounded "boxed-in" upon first listen but "really blossomed" over the weekend. Ferrare adds, "The sound stage opened up and the bass tightened." He loves their mixture of good looks and good sound.

Congrats Joe and keep reading Audiostream!

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 10, 2013 1 comments
On Saturday night La Poisson Rouge played host to a trio of powerful personalities: John Zorn, Bill Laswell, and Milford Graves. While the opening band Abraxas tore through some Zorn compositions that lit up the stage with manic energy, in my experience, and this show only served to cement this impression, Milford Graves is capable of putting out enough positive vibrations to heal any army.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 07, 2013 11 comments
In honor of the sometimes outrageous prices asked for downloads, this week we have a free and legal live show sourced from the truly awesome courtesy of the truly crazed and prophetically prolific Acid Mothers Temple. If you like hard core speed metal, acid jazz, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and extended mind bendingly heavy jams, download yee one of AMT's 93! live shows from the Archive. Hell, download 'em all! We're talking CD-quality FLAC downloads, the kind of thing that others try to get you pay nearly twenty bucks a pop for, for free! Damn!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 04, 2013 21 comments
I hadn't been to Beatport in a while but one of the searches I tried in the FLACme search engine was "Joy Division" (I just heard a song of theirs on the radio so they were stuck nicely in my head) and the results led to Beatport. While the "Joy Division" results didn't make for as clear an image as James Blake, Beatport offers Unknown Pleasures (Collector's Edition) in .WAV or .AIFF format for $49.28! So I checked around for the CD and found a copy at Insound for $24.98 and you can pick up a copy on eBay for as low as $14.25 including shipping. Hell-o?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 04, 2013 9 comments
Luxman is an old and storied Japanese hi-fi brand having been founded in 1925. I'll admit to lusting after a number of Luxman products over the years, mainly their tube-based amplifiers, but regardless of the component, Luxman knows how to impart beautiful build quality. There's obvious and tactilely apparent care taken with each objects industrial design. And while I appreciate that aspect of the Luxman line, without matching sonic performance you may as well buy a music box. Luckily for us, the DA-06 delivers on all counts.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 04, 2013 4 comments
Have you ever tried to find a legal download of an album and included the word "FLAC" in your search? If you have, you'll have seen that the overwhelming majority of search results are file sharing sites like PirateBay who offer free downloads of copyrighted music as well as pages filled with this note (if you use Google): "In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at..." And I find that very frustrating since I'm not interested in downloading free versions of music that skirts copyright laws. I know, call me old fashioned.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 01, 2013 137 comments
Register to win a set of Westone 4R In-ear Headphones (MSRP $599.99) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"The Quad-Driver Westone 4R-Series with durable and removable EPIC cable take your listening experience to an entirely different level. Four symmetrically balanced armature drivers engineered into an advanced three-way crossover network deliver breathtaking clarity, realism, and imaging. Left and right earpiece responses are tested by each driver pack and matched to an extraordinarily tight +/- 2dB tolerance, delivering unparalleled balance and accuracy of sound-stage reproduction. "

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Ariel Bitran Posted: May 31, 2013 5 comments
Over at, a nice fella from North Carolina won the Schiit Bifrost USB and Magni DACs. His name was Tony. Who knew they had guys named Tony in the South? I know a couple Tonys. One's from Staten Island, and he has a little business on the side "selling furniture". The second is a Hammond-organ-playing priest in Jersey. We call him Father Tony.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 31, 2013 32 comments
French composer Cécile Schott, aka Colleen, plays and sings a nuevo-medieval sounding suite on viola da gamba, clarinet, cello, guitar, organ, piano, and percussion with overdubs and repetitions, weaving exquisitely tender and fragile texts that float away like smoke as you take them in. There are touches of Washington Phillips' stunning What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?, rural sacred minimal timeless folk sounds rooted in more than music and sounding at times like their origin is some ancient musical machine. The Weighing Of The Heart is Colleen's first record in six years since her lovely Les Ondes Silencieuses and its a personal and deeply introspective record for life's stiller moments.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 30, 2013 32 comments
If you follow any of the audio forums online, you will inevitably encounter the point of view that states—auditory memory is short-lived and/or faulty at best. While I tend to agree with this point of view in terms of trying to recall the sound of a given piece of hi-fi gear, I don't think we're dealing with the entire story.


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