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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 09, 2015 3 comments
In general, we've seen the "mainstream press" mangle the issue of high-res audio. From shoddy reporting to flat out misinformation, high-res has gotten a bad rap. To be fair, Neil Young has oversold and generalized when speaking about high-res versus CD-quality, and the fact that the Pono store sells mostly CD-quality material only helps to confuse an already confusing issue. But that's not a license for being plain stupid (yes, I'm looking at you Yahoo, Gizmodo and Ars Technica) and it's nice to see someone take a closer look at high-res audio going beyond a few minutes of A/B "testing". Kudos to Wilson Rothman of the WSJ for doing some real reporting and listening.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 07, 2015 8 comments
Channel D Seta Piccola

Over on our sister site AnalogPlanet, not only does Michael Fremer ask this very intriguing question, he's also asking if you can hear a difference.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 06, 2015 4 comments
Why Schubert now? Well, for a number of reasons. I've been watching some wonderful videos of neurologist and author and lovely human being Oliver Sacks lately (like this one) where he talks about, among other things, Schubert's late piano sonatas. So I headed on over to Tidal, searched, and settled on Alfred Brendel's version from the early '70s on Philips [B00000417C]. I should note up front that I am not a classical music aficionado. I merely enjoy listening.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 05, 2015 8 comments
Out Of This Galaxy
Exo (out of this) + gal (galaxy). Exogal came to Earth in 2013, formed by four audio industry veterans, Jim Kinne, Larry Jacoby, Jeff Haagenstad, and Jan Larsen, "who worked for the some of the biggest names in the industry." From Exogal, "Jim Kinne is the technical heart and soul of Exogal. He’s a legendary audio engineer who’s produced countless award-winning products in his career, including the Wadia 27 decoding computer, Wadia 270 CD transport and the Wadia 790 PowerDAC, to name a few." Exogal currently has three products that include the Comet DAC, the Ion Digital Amplifier, and the Comet Upgraded Power Supply. Today we'll be probing the Comet DAC.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 04, 2015 0 comments
My latest column for Stereophile, Audio Streams, has just been put online. If you have the time, please give it a read. I talk about listening for pleasure and the audiophile experience in some detail including the apparently contentious notion that, "There's no better way to determine what we enjoy listening to than to listen". I also rhapsodize about Tidal's lossless streaming service. Enjoy!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 04, 2015 1 comments has reported that Jay Z's 464 million kronor bid ($56m) for Tidal has been rebuffed by over 10 percent of the minority owners of Wimp's parent company Aspiro.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 04, 2015 1 comments
Chad Kassem and the entire cast and crew are to be commended for bringing us this lovely concert. An annual event produced by Acoustic Sounds, Blues At The Crossroads brings together great blues musicians with blues music lovers in Salina, Kansas for two days of righteous blues and soul. 2015 saw the first time this concert was captured, live, direct to DSD64 and I've been listening to Mighty Sam McClean belting out his powerful soulful sounds and the sound and music is about as moving as it gets. Bravo.
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Steven Plaskin Posted: Mar 03, 2015 7 comments
The Resonessence Labs INVICTA Mirus DAC represents the state-of-the-art offering from this Canadian company. The Mirus is closely related to the Invicta DAC that Michael Lavorgna reviewed in May 2013 (see review). Michael presented an excellent review that was quite thorough in describing the features of the Invicta. Since that time, a number of improvements have been added to the Invicta, including a new model called the Mirus. The XLR/RCA output specifications of the INVICTA Mirus outperform those of the standard Invicta. The headphone module is removed in the Mirus, and replaced with a second ESS Sabre DAC ES9018 for each channel. By combing 2 ESS Sabre ES9018 DACS in parallel per channel, a total of 8 ES9018 channels are available for each stereo output. Resonessence Labs has discovered that every time the Sabre DAC output channels are paralleled together performance improves. This feature results in a lowering of the noise and a decrease in THD compared to the Invicta. The dynamic range specification is also improved in the Mirus.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 02, 2015 14 comments
Nicole, our younger daughter, texted a picture of a dress to Cathy, my wife, last Thursday. "What color is the dress?" Nicole asked. "It's gold and white." Cathy responded. Then my wife showed me the picture, which was happening a lot lately since Nicole has been looking for a prom dress, and I clearly saw a blue and black (or brown) dress. WTF? I asked Cathy if she was kidding since the dress I was looking at was clearly blue, not gold. "It's gold and white." was her response. Hmm.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 27, 2015 1 comments
Ibeyi are 19 year old French-Cuban twin sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz. It is also the title of their debut album on XL Recordings. Their father is the late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz of Buena Vista Social Club fame and you'll hear some lovely musical genetics at play on Ibeyi.