LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5 comments
A Sound House
One could buy a complete system, end-to-end, from the house of Bryston Limited. From a source like the BDP-2 to any number of loudspeakers and everything in between. We've taken just the digital sliver, the BDP-2 and BDA-2, to put under our sonic scope. I've been hearing good things about the BDP since it was a 1, so I must admit to being especially excited to get my hands the BDP-2, what Bryston calls a "digital player", and we refer to as a network player. Bryston was kind enough to also send along their matching DAC for a twofer review.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 10, 2014 7 comments
From the Press Release:
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 – DENVER, CO – Deezer, the premier digital streaming music service, and Sonos®, an innovator in wireless home audio products, today announced an exclusive partnership that will bring streaming High-Resolution Audio (HRA) to music lovers around the world. Deezer’s product “Deezer Elite” is the first global HRA streaming service available to consumers and it’s offered exclusively through Sonos, a system of smart speakers that let you stream all your favorite music to any room in your home in high fidelity sound. As part of the global launch, US consumers can access a Deezer product on their Sonos system for the first time ever.

Music quality has gone backwards from vinyl to CDs to MP3s and Deezer Elite reverses that trend. For the very first time, music lovers everywhere can stream music with the depth and richness of what the artist intended. Deezer Elite subscribers can choose from Deezer’s 35 million track library and stream FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files at a standard of 1,411 kbps or higher in any room, or multiple rooms together through Sonos speakers and components.

But wait....
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 10, 2014 29 comments
If you want a high res music player in your pocket and you own an iPhone, you'll have to go with two devices since Apple decided not to make the new iPhone 6's High Res ready. With High Res-capable phones already on the market from Samsung, HTC, and LG and Apple's stated commitment to music, you'd think it was about time that Apple bit the High Res bullet. Instead during yesterday's press event we got bigger iPhones, a free U2 album in lossy quality, and a new watch. Sigh.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 09, 2014 4 comments
From the press release:
September 09, 2014 —HDtracks.com, the world leader and pioneer in high resolution audio digital downloads, is pleased to announce the launch of its popular online store, http://www.HDtracks.com, in Germany and http://www.HDtracks.co.uk in the United Kingdom. With today’s announcement, German and UK music fans who want to experience music the way it was meant to be heard will now be able to enjoy the most extensive catalog of their favorite music in unprecedented audio quality, via HDtracks.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 09, 2014 1 comments
From the Press Release:
Together, with storied jazz label Blue Note Records, we bring some of the most legendary sounds ever captured to a modern experience, deeply rooted in our shared passions for music, high-fidelity sound, and the future of listening out loud at home.

Blue Note’s renowned catalog traces the history of jazz, and with the launch of our all-new Blue Note Channel in honor of the label’s 75th anniversary, you’ll now have the privilege of touring these archives on Sonos. You can also enjoy Blue Note classics sampled for modern-day anthems on our Born in Blue channel and dig into Blue Note 101 for a primer on the form with some of the greatest Blue Note tracks spanning 1939 through 2014. Navigate to Radio > Blue Note on Sonos to begin streaming throughout your home.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 08, 2014 2 comments
My second column for Stereophile is now available on their website. In this issue, I discuss lossless streaming, Qobuz, and collecting. "I am a collector. Books, records, art, music, knickknacks, old blurry anonymous photos, and more—hanging, sitting, standing, and shelved, they surround me where I sit and follow me around our home." Read the entire article on Stereophile.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 05, 2014 5 comments
Test tracks. I kind of dislike the term, reducing music to a tool for audio, but playing the same music on different equipment can be a very helpful way to determine difference. One of my favorite albums, and therefore one of my test tracks, comes from Jimmy Scott; All The Way available as a 24/192 download from HDtracks. If you don't know Jimmy Scott, he recently passed away at the age of 88 and his solo recording career began with his first album Very Truly Yours back in 1955 on Savoy but his carrer spanned all the way back to the late 1940's when he sang with the Lionel Hampton Band (Scott's vocal was uncredited on the album). Scott suffered from Kallmann's Syndrome which among other things left him with a distinctive contralto voice. Scott sang ballads, the classics, yet his way with them was truly unique and to my ears, and many others, quite extraordinary; haunting, sensual, sublime.
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Steven Plaskin Posted: Sep 04, 2014 12 comments
exaSound Audio Design has managed to carve out a conspicuous place in the high end audiophile DAC market since beginning business less than 4 years ago. Michael Lavorgna reviewed the e20 MK III DAC for AudioStream (see review) and found it to do a fine job on PCM and native DSD playback. The e22 DAC is exaSound’s recently introduced flagship 2 channel DAC having improved on the design of the e20 MKIII to provide a superior level of sound quality. exaSound also builds an e28 DAC that can deliver from 2 to 8 channels of PCM and DSD.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 03, 2014 13 comments
WiMP CEO Andy Chen

From the Press release:

Oslo, Norway – 3rd September, 2014 – WiMP HiFi, the award-­‐winning Scandinavian music streaming service, today announced it will introduce TIDAL to the UK and the U.S. later this autumn. Unlike any other service currently on the market, TIDAL will offer high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and curated editorial by experienced music journalists.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 02, 2014 18 comments
Pedram Abrari, Pono’s EVP of Technology, responded to, he actually pretty much bitch-slapped, Roger Friedman for Friedman's faulty post, "Neil Young’s Super MP3 Player, Pono: Won’t Be Coming in 2014". First off, we all know that the Pono Player is not an MP3 player, d'oh!, but Roger also got his facts wrong in terms of what's being delivered when. The first batch of Pono players scheduled to ship in October are on schedule according to Abrari, "We are in fact on schedule and will be meeting our Kickstarter commitments."

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