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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 03, 2014 4 comments
Mal Waldron's The Quest is among the records that I enjoy endlessly. Recorded July 27, 1961 featuring Mal Waldron on piano, Eric Dolphy on alto saxophone and clarinet, Booker Ervin on tenor saxophone, Ron Carter on cello, Joe Benjamin on bass, and Charlie Persip on drums, The Quest is kind of blue and kind of hot, fitting between hard bob and avante garde jazz comfortably, coolly. Don't let the title on Qobuz fool ya', this is a Mal Waldron record all the way, all of the compositions are his, and it was only later on that someone thought that slapping Eric Dolphy's name on it would sell more records. Maybe they were right but one listen and it won't matter since everyone on The Quest is about as on as you can get.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 02, 2014 3 comments
The Big Show. The really, really, big show that is CES begins Tuesday, January 7, 2014 and runs through Friday, January 10. I'll be covering all things computer audio with a keen eye towards that which is new. With the recent proliferation of shows, it will be interesting to see how many companies have saved their product launches for CES 2014. My guess is a lot.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 31, 2013 0 comments
From the press release:
ARIES, the first product in the Lightning family, serves as a bridge between music on network storage and DACs, enabling DACs to stream music quickly and superbly via Wi-Fi in virtually any format, including DSD, double-rate DSD and DXD. ARIES includes a switchable USB host output; digital AES/EBU, coaxial and Toslink connections driven by AURALiC's patented ActiveUSB technology; and an extremely accurate Femto Master Clock.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 31, 2013 0 comments
A classical music lover's dream come true? From OraStream comes this new streaming app for iOS and Android devices that delivers CD-quality streaming of classical music. From OraStream:
  • The finest selection of orchestral, chamber and ensemble music works covering voice, piano, strings, brass, woodwind and more
  • Music moments delivering delicate sonic details and majestic overtures are captured in more than 500 new classical recordings every week
  • - Staple classics from the masters: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Handel, Haydn, Vivaldi and Rachmaninov, among many others
  • 16-bit/44.1 kHz lossless CD quality
  • Enjoy music playback even when offline
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 30, 2013 32 comments
In this third installment I will cover possible methods by which bit perfect software can affect sound quality in a DAC.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 27, 2013 5 comments
Some of the most outstanding musicians representing the different cultures of this part of Eastern Europe, together with the soloists of Hespèrion XXI and myself, have delved into this extraordinary historical, traditional and even modern musical heritage to study, select and perform it, thereby creating a genuine intercultural dialogue between the different cultures that have so often been torn apart by dramatic, age-old conflicts.—Jordi Savall
Voices of Memory: Bal·Kan: Honey & Blood: Cycles of Life fills 3 SACD's-worth of space, over 3 hours of beautiful, effusive, wild, and passionate music from Eastern Europe. You can read more about this wonderful collection on the Alia Vox website and I recommend reading all of what Jordi Savall has to say about it.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 26, 2013 22 comments
Are LPs, as some people suggest, an inherently flawed medium? In theory and on some levels, sure they are. Does this fact matter? No, it does not. I say this with the utmost confidence and assuredness because I have been listening to and enjoying LPs for decades. Some of my most memorable and meaningful musical moments have been proffered by records. There are also countless examples of musicians being inspired by other musicians through listening to their records and if that isn't the highest achievement a music storage and playback format can offer, I don't know what is. So I count most of the comments regarding vinyl's inherent flaws as nothing more than a laughable indulgence in theorizing in the face of reality.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 24, 2013 1 comments
Did You Say Quad Rate DSD?
The exaSound e20 MK III DAC can handle PCM, DXD, and DSD up to 12.288 MHz (256Fs) on Windows PCs. Mac users max out at the more or less typical DSD 128. While you'd be hard pressed to find any DSD downloads at DSD 256 (or even DSD 128), you can rest assured that the e20 can handle just about any file format you care to throw at it. The e20 also throws in on-DAC-chip volume control, single ended and balanced outputs, asynchronous USB, Coax, and Toslink inputs, and a headphone amp making it one all-around amenable DAC package.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 23, 2013 3 comments
Here are a few of my favorite Lists of the year's best recordings. My #1 favorite List is only available in print and regular readers won't be surprised to learn its from The Wire. Here are the rest:

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