Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 09, 2015 4 comments
photo credit: April Music

All-In-One Music Center
If we look at the Aura Note's anatomy, we can conjure up a whole host of music playing possibilities. If we step back and look at the Aura Note's exterior, we see a device deigned for people who value such things as industrial design (I do). Taken as a whole, those looking for an attractive one-box solution may have found their ideal dancing partner.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 08, 2015 20 comments
“Every disease is a musical problem; every cure is a musical solution.” ― Novalis

When CD players first hit the market, some people, including many audiophiles, complained that they sounded like crap. I lived through this period and for me early CD playback was painfully bad—brittle, shrill, dry, and lifeless. Of course other people argued, and some still do!, that this perception was nonsense, CD-quality being, for all intents and purposes, perfect in theory. Much better than analog. They were of course wrong in practice.

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Posted: Apr 07, 2015 10 comments
"Banished to a life of mediocrity" to paraphrase someone, I just don't know who, on how Consumer Reports makes me feel whenever I read it. Thankfully, I only do so sparingly every few decades when an old appliance breaks down for good at which time CR rises up from the ashes of dead vacuum cleaners and clothes washers (Oh hell, may as well get the matching dryer too) to offer colorless views completely lacking in imagination and joie de vivre like Detective Sergeant Joe Friday on a particularly morose day. Clearly we're not looking for what's best or most enjoyable when dealing with CR, we're dealing with what will get the job done for the least amount of money. Harumph!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 06, 2015 6 comments
April Music Aura Note Version 2 ($2750)

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

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 03, 2015 6 comments
Solo is Berlin-based pianist, composer and producer Nils Frahm's gift for a holiday he invented, "Piano Day will happen on the 88th day of the year, which most of the time is the 29th of March. Piano Day is intended to be the most joyful of all holidays." Solo features Frohm improvising on a very special instrument, the Klavins M370, recorded live in one take with no overdubs. Bravo! But wait, there's more....
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 02, 2015 8 comments
the Antipodes
Unlike computers, music servers have but a few simple jobs to do—store, stream, and serve music. This seemingly simple task, easily accomplished by the even the doggiest of computers, is actually fraught with issues. Noise, noise, and noise being just three of them.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 02, 2015 2 comments
If you read my CES 2015 Show Report Wrap, you'll have read this, "One of the most thought-provoking and convincingly awesome demo's I experienced took place in a bar at the Mirage after hours on a laptop and I cannot talk about it." Here's what I was talking about from today's press release:
Describing the vision for his new company, Roon Labs Co-Founder Enno Vandermeer said ‘Roon Labs produces software that lets music enthusiasts interact more deeply with their collections, by exploring the music, the people who composed, performed, and recorded it, and the multi-dimensional connections between them.’ Commenting further Vandermeer said ‘We are excited by the opportunity to reach a broader audience and support their choices, both in terms of music content and audio hardware. We look forward to making important partnership and product announcement to the market very soon.’
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 01, 2015 61 comments
Robert Mitchum from "The Night of the Hunter"

I was going to write an April Fools' Day post, making fun of all of the press over Tidal, Pono, and Ethernet cables but I just couldn't be funny. The fact of the matter is, the "press" no longer deals in facts, they deal in the same kind of base divisiveness that plagues our political system. If you've read any of the articles on the recent Tidal news, you'll see all manner of nonsense and misinformation thrown around as fact. And the main criticism? Rich musicians are bad and we don't want to have to pay them any more.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 30, 2015 15 comments
Let's get right to it. Here's guest Editor, Jamie Fletcher, from a new article on HotHardware in response to Cables, Bits, and Noise: How Cables Can Make A Sound Difference:
"The article is a classic case of misunderstanding. It starts off by complaining about switch mode power supplies causing problems with RCA cables - well, yes, that can happen. Why? RCA cables are analog and provide a direct path to the audio pipeline (DACs and Amps). They are streaming AC signals, in the audible range, not digital data."
That's their opening point and it's just plain old fashioned wrong.
Posted: Mar 30, 2015 10 comments
Go to Tidal now! to watch their live broadcast on the future of TIDAL.