Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 09, 2013 12 comments
One look at the Emotiva XDA-2 DAC/Digital Preamp/Headphone Amp and you may ask yourself—I wonder how much that costs? And when you learn that the answer is a dollar shy of $400, you may think "Wow" or you may think, "Wait, what does it do?". Price perception is similar to depth perception in that's its all about ones' point of view. While anyone that's been shopping for a DAC lately will more than likely be impressed by the XDA-2s package, what it does is play music and how well it does this one job will tell you most everything you need to know about its value.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 07, 2013 10 comments
Knitting Factory Records news:
Fela's entire catalogue, consisting of almost 50 albums, are now being re-packaged, with in-depth track commentaries written by Afrobeat historian Chris May, and prepared for a three-batch re-launch between March and September 2013.
The first batch has just landed.
Filed under
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 07, 2013 20 comments
2013 would have marked Jimi Hendrix's 70th birthday and Experience Hendrix LLC has released 12 previously (officially) unreleased studio recordings from 1968-70 to help us celebrate. I have to admit that I greet each 'new' posthumous Jimi Hendrix release with mixed feelings. Mainly I'm always happy to hear more but am also reminded of what could have been but isn't. I know, half full. But People, Hell & Angels is another welcome release and I only wish I could download my FLAC copy now. But I can't.
Filed under
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 05, 2013 19 comments
Reader "ironsienna" asked an interesting question in the PCM v DSD Comparison: 16/44.1, 24/96, 24/192, 64x DSD, 128x DSD comments:
...I have a question. It seems that you compare PCM and DSD played from the same DAC. But what about PCM playback from really expensive DACs? Is the difference of sound between 192 PCM played from an ultra high-end DAC, to the DSD played from a mid priced DAC that great? I am asking because I recently acquired a Weiss MEDEA+ DAC. The quality of playing high rez PCM from this DAC is stunning and I really cant think of what more can be done for digital sound to sound better than that, so real and analogue like...But it does not play DSD and personally haven't heard DSD played from a native DSD DAC. So is it worth buying a cheaper DAC to play DSD files natively on it, or my DAC plays PCM so fine that there is not noticeable difference.. Can you please comment on that?
My short answer is—Kierkegaard.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 01, 2013 4 comments
Afro-Bossa from 1963 features Duke Ellington and His Orchestra riffing on some African and Latin themes. The sounds are infectious and fun and the supporting cast including Billy Strayhorn who wrote some of the pieces that make up this sweet suite, Cootie Williams, Ray Nance, Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, and Harry Carney are a powerhouse of musical invention. The overall feel is somewhat restrained, held captive by a slow driving groove punctuated by plenty of percussion that swings oh so gently. If you're looking for a stone cold classic that happens to sound particularly lovely, you've come to the right place.
Filed under
Jon Iverson Posted: Feb 28, 2013 116 comments
Register to win a set of V-Moda M-80 Headphones (MSRP $230) we are giving away.

"Masterfully tuned by a legion of legendary musicians, producers and DJs, M-80 packs unique materials, professional acoustics, natural noise isolation, ultimate ergonomics and military-level ruggedness into a design 53% smaller than its now legendary, over-ear sibling, Crossfade LP."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

Filed under
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 28, 2013 41 comments
64x DSD, 128x DSD, and DXD for under a Grand
The DSD wars are heating up. When I started my list of DSD-ready DACs back in November of 2011, there were a grand total of four DACs and two of them were from the same company. The big news back then was the Mytek DAC coming in at $1,695 but if you look at that list today, you'll see more for less (and more). The Teac UD-501 is currently the least expensive DAC on that list but that doesn't mean you're necessarily getting less. As a matter of fact, the Teac offers up to double rate DSD (5.6MHz) and 384kHz PCM playback out of the box which certainly looks like a lot on paper. But what really matters isn't to be found on paper, and it isn't even necessarily only about how it sounds, it is all about how it makes us feel.
Filed under
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 27, 2013 10 comments
In a paper titled "Human Time-Frequency Acuity Beats the Fourier Uncertainty Principle" published in Physical Review Letters in January 2013, Jacob N. Oppenheim and Marcelo O. Magnasco present a case for why MP3s suck (that's my capsule summary but it's really much more interesting). From the abstract of their paper:
The time-frequency uncertainty principle states that the product of the temporal and frequency extents of a signal cannot be smaller than 1/(4π). We study human ability to simultaneously judge the frequency and the timing of a sound. Our subjects often exceeded the uncertainty limit, sometimes by more than tenfold, mostly through remarkable timing acuity. Our results establish a lower bound for the nonlinearity and complexity of the algorithms employed by our brains in parsing transient sounds, rule out simple “linear filter” models of early auditory processing, and highlight timing acuity as a central feature in auditory object processing.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 26, 2013 29 comments
Flamenco guitarist Jason McGuire

If ever an audio event were in living color, it was the Bay Area Audiophile Society’s (BAAS) February 23 live / DSD event at Blue Coast Studios in Belmont, CA. Jointly hosted by Blue Coast Records founder Cookie Marenco, a long-time proponent of DSD who has engineered or produced five Grammy nominated records, and the dedicated president of BAAS, Bob Walters, the two-session event prefaced comparisons of four DSD-capable DACs at three different price points with intimate, live-to-DSD recording sessions with Flamenco guitarist Jason McGuire.

Steven Plaskin Posted: Feb 23, 2013 26 comments
Alpha Release
JRiver, Inc. has released an OSX version of their well-known media player JRiver Media Center. The Windows software has been considered by many to be one of the best audio players available. When I began my computer audio journey in 2006, I turned to JRiver as a superior alternative to the Windows Media Player. The JRiver Media Center 18 for Mac is presently in an Alpha version. This means that many of the features of the program do not function. But the program does play music successfully, so I thought that a report on this new release would be of interest to our AudioStream readers.


Share | |

Enter your AudioStream username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.