Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 24, 2014 7 comments
The New Young DSD DAC
The original M2Tech Young DAC was very favorably reviewed by Jon Iverson in Stereophile (see review), "The M2Tech combo's performance had seduced me—where I usually return to the Benchmark once I've done my critical listening to any DAC I'm reviewing, this time I left the Young and Palmer in the system until the morning I had to ship them out. I didn't want to let them go." The Young DSD version adds a number of features to the original including a digital preamplifier with analog volume control, adjustable output level, true balanced output, USB 2.0 compatibility so no drivers are required for Mac users, and of course the ability to play back both 64x and 128x DSD, the latter available via USB.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 23, 2014 31 comments
In an article in The Guardian titled, "Pono: only a man pays for music quality that he can't hear", author Charles Arthur, the Guardian's technology editor, states in no uncertain terms that "...44.1kHz, 16-bit audio sampling is good enough to reproduce any music." Arthur reminds us of the Nyquist-Shannon theorem, a "neat piece of maths", which he feels tells us just about all we need to know regarding sampling rates and digital music reproduction. As far as bit depth goes, "It's possible, if you're a mad-keen audiophile, to get 24-bit audio mixes – but they aren't cheap. And it's highly unlikely that in a blind test you would hear the difference." That's it, case closed according to Mr. Arthur. I say, not so fast.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 22, 2014 2 comments
Auralic recently changed their Facebook page with the addition of the above cover photo. Nice. My guess is this is their new Aries Wi-Fi streamer that we saw in prototype form at CES earlier this year (see report). To refresh, the Aries uses dual band Gigabit Wi-Fi (802.11ac) to stream up to DXD and DSD without wires. The Aries is due to make its official launch in Munich.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 21, 2014 3 comments
US Federal Copyright Law does not protect music recorded before Feb. 15, 1972. This Copyright protection, however, can be provided at the State level, such as NY State, which is where Vivendi SA's Capitol Records Inc and UMG Recordings Inc, Sony Corp's Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp and ABKCO Music & Records Inc. have filed their lawsuit against Pandora for an unspecified sum, as reported by Reuters.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 19, 2014 0 comments
It's a beautiful day to get out and about and pop in to your favorite record shop! Happy hunting! Record Store Day Special Releases.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 18, 2014 3 comments
It's So bossa nova. So sultry. Five female vocalists including LouLou Ghelichkhani, Elin Melgarejo, Karina Zeviani, Natalia Clavier, and Shana Halligan join Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton and Rob Garza and more than a dozen guest musicians on Saudade to pay tribute to their love of Brazilian music. It's an hommage, a love letter, so if you're expecting anything more, perhaps some glitchy electronica or dub-infused bass bombs, you'll have to look elsewhere in the Thievery Corporation cannon.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 17, 2014 6 comments
I have a love/hate relationship with streaming services. OK, to come clean I mostly don't enjoy them. I find streaming services restrictive and narrow in the music they present to me according to their notion of my taste. I grow impatient with the "learning process" and I also enjoy hearing music I don't necessarily like. I enjoy being challenged musically which is something I find DJ's do on a regular basis. You know, people. Some days being presented with an endless stream of familiarity is enough to make me want to disconnect from the warm embrace of the coded curated for good. I've long been meaning to examine these distastes but that project keeps getting put off. Thankfully, Eric Harvey has written a wonderful, thorough, and thought provoking essay on streaming music and its available to all on the Pitchfork website.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 17, 2014 8 comments
Another Micro DAC
I don't know about you, but I think choice is good. The micro DAC market has seen a rabbit-like infestation of products including the AudioQuest Dragonfly, Meridian Explorer, HRT MicroStreamer, Audioengine D3, Arcam rPAC, LH Labs Geek family, iFi's nano line, and more. Two things that the Cambridge DAC Magic XS offers that not all the others do is the ability to play back up to 24/192 files and on-device push button analog volume controls.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 16, 2014 0 comments
Let's let Lefse Records explain:
The audio tracks that form the raw material for Space Project were recorded by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes that NASA launched in 1977 and still uses to study the outer solar system. The satellites carry numerous instruments fine-tuned to record in different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The "sounds" recorded by the Voyager probes aren’t sounds in the conventional sense; rather, they are electromagnetic radiation fluctuations in the magnetosphere of the planets, moons and large asteroids the Voyager probes traveled near. Each celestial body is composed of different elements, has its own size and mass, and therefore sounds unique.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 15, 2014 14 comments
How do we gauge success? The Kickstarter goal for the Pono campaign was set at $800,000 which was the minimum amount required for the project to get funded. Exceeding that goal by more then 7 times must qualify as an unqualified success. Perhaps the more interesting and informative number is this goal was generated from 18,220 backers who are also potentially future PonoMusic customers. Compared to iTunes 600+ million users that's, well, not very many but let's also keep in mind that Pono was one of the most-funded campaigns in Kickstarter history. But is that the appropriate metric to gauge Pono's success? I don't think so.


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