Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 21, 2014 11 comments
Poke Me
The Tannoy Reval 402's sport a ¾" soft-dome "Poke-Resistant" tweeter and a 4" custom high-efficiency LF woofer for a claimed frequency response of 56 Hz -48 kHz. I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to poke that "Poke-Resistant" tweeter it being the most poke provoking tweeter I've ever seen since it claims otherwise. But I didn't. I resisted the temptation largely because the Tannoy's enticed with other traits, namely what they're made for.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 18, 2014 13 comments
AURALiC caused quite a splash with their Vega DAC which I reviewed very favorably (see review) as did John Atkinson in Stereophile (see review). I continue to use the Vega as my reference. AURALiC introduced a new product, the ARIES, at CES 2014 and it again had the crowds buzzing mainly with its ability to stream DSD over wi-fi. I received a review unit about a month ago and have been working through iterations of the Lightning DS app which controls the ARIES as well as a few firmware upgrades.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 15, 2014 2 comments
You're going to see FKA twigs first full length album, LP1, fall onto many "Best Of..." lists. Its certainly on mine, even though that list doesn't really exist. LP1 is a stunning mix of styles melding seamlessly into a future now sound. Baroque, soul, R&B, pop, and more Tahliah Barnett, aka FKA twigs, with the help of Arca, Clams Casino, Paul Epworth and Devonte Hynes build a beautiful sound world with LP1 for you to drift within, bumping up against innumerable pleasures as you go.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 13, 2014 8 comments
Accredited investors take note: for as little as $5,000 you can own a piece of PonoMusic. "From now through August 30, 2014, you can invest as little as $5,000 and receive equity ownership in PonoMusic alongside Neil and other music industry legends." The Company is looking to raise $2.5M in equity investment through this Crowdfunder campaign and they're already more than half way there with nearly $1.7M pledged to date.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 13, 2014 8 comments
Here's a quote from a recent article on Pono from Popular Science:
"MP3s employ audio-data compression to reduce file bandwidth, which lets you carry thousands of songs in your phone but limits the music’s dynamic range."
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 12, 2014 13 comments
The Little Integrated Amplifier/DAC That Could
The Sony UDA-1 incorporates a 20W x 2 Class AB amplifier (into 4 ohms) and a 24/192 and single and double rate DSD capable DAC (Burr-Brown PCM1795) into a handsome black or silver aluminum covered chunky little chassis. 20 Watts isn't much power but if you have speakers that aren't very demanding, and my DeVore The Nines at 91db and 8 ohms aren't, you can get away with 20 Watts. As a matter of fact, the little UDA-1 from Sony drove The Nines to my sonic satisfaction. There are however some operational quirks you must contend with if you use a Mac to get the most of outta that DSD DAC.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 11, 2014 13 comments
Reader Patrick Butler offered this response to the AVS/AIX High-Resolution Audio Test post and it made me smile so I thought I'd raise its profile. Enjoy:
person 1. "I'm repeatedly hearing something different between a and b."
person 2. "I can't think of any scientific reason why there should be any difference. Therefore, you must be nuts."
person 1. "Seriously, you should have a listen. This is really cool."
person 2. "I want no part of your insanity. It might be contagious."
person 1. "Suit yourself."
person 2. "I feel compelled to stalk you all over the internet to share my anecdotal story about your condition."
person 1. "Who's crazy?"
person 2. "Clearly, my amateur diagnosis should be enough."
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 08, 2014 2 comments
O my. Talk about a dynamic duo...Two of Norway's finest singer/songwriters, Jenny Hval (we loved and still love her Innocence is Kinky) and Susanna have teamed up for what sounds to me like a concept album of extreme proportions. Intimate, jarring, noisy, lovely and challenging filled with fluids (milk, blood, honey, spit...), body parts, and enigmas (e.g. where do I end and the world begin? Or so I imagine). Jo Berger Myhre joins in on double bass and zither, and Anita Kaasbøll is the third voice you hear while everyone is credited with the effects and noise that scar these songs. Lovely.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 05, 2014 45 comments
photo credit: Devialet

Luxury Goods
It's funny how in hi-fi some people look at beautifully made gear with scorn. As if that beauty were worse than secondary to its main purpose of playing music. As if beauty was misplaced, as if it was just plain wrong. Of course we're talking about personal taste and nothing more. I happen to appreciate the way things look (and feel) and this pertains to hi-fi as much as anything else. And I find the Devialet kit to exhibit this love of design both in terms of how it looks and feels and of course how it plays music.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 04, 2014 39 comments
Scott Wilkinson and Dr. AIX, aka Mark Waldrep, have teamed up to provide a high res listening test. The test consists of three tracks with two samples of each; one in 16/44.1 and the other in 24/96. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to listen to all six files and determine which is which. Check out the AVS Forum for all of the details. Interestingly enough, at least one person so far has taken these files, loaded them up into the Foobar2000 ABX comparator and picked the correct files every time. But this really shouldn't come as a big surprise, should it?


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