Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 20, 2015 20 comments
Why did the chicken cross the road? To see if it was different on the other side.

Unholy Bits Batman!
Let's begin with the easy part; if you've read my reviews of the UpTone Audio USB REGEN (review), AudioQuest JitterBug (review), and Schiit Wyrd (review), you'll have read that I heard a difference when each device was in and out of my systems. Generally, I would describe those differences as an improvement which is all well and good but inquiring minds want to know which device is best and what happens when you put them together. Let's see.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 17, 2015 82 comments

"Bits are bits". We've all heard this too many times when talking about digital audio. Some people feel that's really all they need to know or say, "bits are bits". I admit, it does have a pleasant ring to it and if you silently repeat it over and over in your head it becomes mantra-like. Bits are bits. Unfortunately when talking about mixed signal systems, "bits are bits" holds the same relevance as "om".

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 14, 2015 3 comments
This is some of the most heavenly music I've ever heard. It sounds even more heavenly on vinyl (I've have the Mississippi Records LP for years). No matter - get this music in any form you can get your ears on and just listen. I promise you there are rewards awaiting in the listening.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 13, 2015 21 comments
Let's get this Schiit straight from the horse's mouth:
What does this thing really do?
It isolates your USB DAC from the noisy USB power coming from your computer, and provides a stable, precise oscillator to repeat the USB 2.0 packets.

Why would I want this?
Because some computers don’t play well with USB DACs, and make weird noises or have glitches. Or you believe this makes your system sound better.

Sonic benefits? That’s a lot of hoo-ha!
You’re right. There’s no reason this should make any system sound better. Although we can measure the difference in USB power supply noise, it really shouldn’t matter. Despite this, some listeners have said that there are sonic benefits from using Wyrd. Us, we remain Swiss on the matter—we don’t do the hard sell by promising sonic nirvana.

Seeing as it's the job of an audio reviewer to listen and report, at least that's my job, I have to be, well, less Swiss (more American?) when it comes to writing about the stuff I listen to.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 12, 2015 8 comments
Thanks to Stereophile's Facebook page for pointing me to this article in the LA Times, "Is streaming a threat to music? Not if musicians have anything to do with it" and of greatest interest this quote:
"Neuroscientists are beginning to look at how the brain responds to compressed mp3s as opposed to the higher-resolution digital. Early results suggest that with high resolution, the brain's emotional activity is the same as with live music, while less dopamine, the chemical behind such pleasures as sex, is released when the music files are highly compressed."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 11, 2015 3 comments

"I dare you take this test! What's that? You passed? The test was flawed!"

"I dare you take this test! What's that? You failed but the test was flawed? Doesn't matter, you failed!"

"I took the test and passed! What's that? The test was flawed? Doesn't matter, I passed!"

"I took the test and failed! The test was flawed!"

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 10, 2015 0 comments
Reader Roberto Z. was kind enough to send me the following email. He also gave me the OK to share it with you, here, including this picture of his son. Made my day. Thanks Roberto!
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 07, 2015 0 comments
We've worked out a special deal for readers to celebrate the new Chesky You're Surrounded release.

From now until September 7, 2015, readers of this website will get a 25% discount on the new 24-bit high resolution You're Surrounded album and/or anything in Chesky's hi-res catalog on

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 07, 2015 0 comments
Pop. Of course Ducktails' new record St. Catherine (Domino) isn't really pop in the sense that it'll be a streaming sensation, rather it's pop in the sense of song form. Ducktails' Matt Mondanile is from New Jersey, so I have a soft spot for his music, and he's been honing his Ducktails craft since 2006. And it shows.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 06, 2015 36 comments
Unlike the AudioQuest JitterBug we looked at last week (see review) that plugs into your computer, the USB REGEN is designed to be placed at the other end of your USB cable, between it and your DAC. Where the REGEN also differentiates itself from the JitterBug (and others) is the guys from UpTone Audio are completely REGENerateing the data, delivering a cleaned up impedance matched signal to your DAC.