LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 09, 2015 13 comments
Cary Audio, Raleigh, NC
I can still remember visiting audio retailer Audio Nexus in Summit, NJ back in the '90s and seeing the lovely Cary CAD-300SEI integrated amp which was at the time outside of my comfort price zone. I was heavily into exploring single-ended tube amps and ended up with my first love, the Sun Audio SV-300BE followed by many a Fi amp (I still own the prototype Fi 45), and finally landing very comfortably in the land of Shindo, albeit outside the SET camp. To say that Cary Audio represents an important part of our hi-fi history is to state the obvious and to say that I was looking forward to spending time with their latest DAC would be an understatement.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 08, 2015 4 comments
I consider Daniel J. Levitin’s This Is Your Brain On Music (Dutton, 2006 see review) to be an indispensable entry for every audiophile library and he's gone and done it again. The World In Six Songs: How The Musical Brain Created Human Nature (Dutton Penguin 2008, updated and released in paperback by Plume in 2009) is a fascinating, thought-provoking, and enlightening book that explains how and why music is responsible for making humans human.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 06, 2015 36 comments
Much like the world at large, there are ongoing debates, disagreements, and outright hostility between different factions within the world of computer audio (actually all of hi-fi but that's another story). The idea that some people are right (and smarter) and others wrong (and not as smart) is as human as the need for music. Is DSD "better" than PCM, is high-res audio a hoax, does all media player softare sound the same, should we be using a computer for computer audio, and so on. Not to mention the whole seething mess over price. Non-audiophiles are just plain smarter than audiophiles when it comes to one simple fact—arguing about listening to music is silly.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 03, 2015 2 comments
Our family recently spent some time on a Caribbean island. I have an ongoing love affair with these islands (especially the non-US ones) and have been visiting for years. One of the things you'll notice when there is the importance of music. Nearly every taxi trip is a musical treat, every restaurant, especially the beach shacks, pump out great sounds, and in general life feels good. The local people have a beautiful calm, strength, and kindness that is, in my experience, unique to this part of the world.
Michael Lavorgna Jon Iverson Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 01, 2015 13 comments
Fly Me To The Roon
Roon is big medicine for your music collection. So big, we're going to come at it from three writer's perspectives; Jon Iverson will provide the heavy lifting as well as comparisons to Sooloos and a touchscreen implementation, I'll be talking about a few setup tips and comparisons to Audirvana+/iTunes, and Steve Plaskin will bring it on home with his take on Roon versus JRiver from a Windows perspective. Let's Roon!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 29, 2015 4 comments
NY-based Musicians Ohm & Sport created an app that allowed users to endlessly repeat music from their chosen artist on Spotify in 30-second loops, which is the minimum duration Spotify considers a "listen", earning that artist between $0.006 and $0.0084 per play. The app hit the 'net last week, Spotify took notice, and shut Eternify down by blocking the app from using the Spotify API. Easy come, easy go.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 26, 2015 2 comments
Unadventurous? That's how The Quietus' Christian Eede described Jamie xx's debut solo album In Colour (Young Turks). On the other hand, Pitchfork, Metacritic, Q, Consequence of Sound, and NME loved it. Hmm. This music reviewing thing seems to be simply comprised of subjective opinions! Therefore our best bet is to find reviewers whose tastes we share and then listen for ourselves. Hmm. This is the exact same advice I offer and follow for any review. Proof Poof!.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 25, 2015 0 comments
Cyrus Audio
UK-based Cyrus Audio has been in the Hi-Fi game for 32 years starting out with one of the very first specialist CD players. Fast forward to today, and you're looking at a company that offers roughly 20 products from streamers to preamps, to power amps and a few combinations thereof. We're going to be playing with the Stream XA which combines a UPnP/DLNA network player, the Cadence control app for iOS and Android devices, and DAC all-in-one.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 23, 2015 57 comments
With but one open letter, Taylor Swift puts an end to Apple's plan of not paying royalties during the free 3-month trial period of their soon to be released Apple Music streaming service. Here's Swift:
"I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

...

"But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."

Bam!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 22, 2015 7 comments
Roon Labs Roon ($119/year $499/lifetime)

Here's what's in-house or en-route to AudioStream for review.

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