Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 07, 2013 0 comments
Last night The Breeders, Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, Jim Macpherson, and violinist Carrie Bradley splashed down at Webster Hall in NYC and played their platinum-selling album Last Splash before a sold out crowd. This tour represents the first time this band has played together since 1994 and its hard to believe 20 years have past since we were first treated to "Cannonball" which opens with Josephine Wiggs unforgettable bass line. The band and their songs were as tight as ever and as loose as can be, playing their hook-laden music that had the crowd singing along and some thrashing about like it was 1993.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 06, 2013 1 comments
Dry is PJ Harvey's debut LP and I couldn't help but being reminded of it by last week's Download of the Week, Jenny Hval's Innocence is Kinky. And I couldn't help but want to see them back to back. Originally released on Too Pure in 1992, Dry captures a raw, unfiltered, and forceful voice that feels as fresh today as it did when new. PJ Harvey, like Jenny Hval (or really vice versa), is not afraid to take on issues like sexuality head on, bending traditional gender roles so far they break. The band's sound is stripped down bare to the bones guitar, bass, and drums with touches of strings and keyboards and Harvey's positively stunning vocals delivering more raw emotional power and energy than most boy bands can muster.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: May 06, 2013 0 comments
Thomas Helton of Genoa Township, Michigan wins's V-Moda M-80 Headphone Sweepstakes. He says the M-80s "are extremely well built." Why so short? Well this is Helton's first set of headphones! Welcome to the club, Tom. Prepare to form opinions.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 03, 2013 9 comments
Innocence is Kinky reads like a novel. No, scratch that. It feels like an opera. Of sorts. From start to finish, there's a fluid movement that seems to capture something deeply personal, something hidden below the surface revealed into the harsh light of day so we can inspect for better or worse. I have my friend and colleague Stephen Mejias to thank for the heads up on this heady mix of body and mind and its a voyage I recommend taking.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 02, 2013 2 comments
The Lenbrook Group (NAD & PSB Speakers) hosted a Press Launch yesterday at the exceedingly comfortable and roomy Andaz 5th Avenue in NYC for "NAD's Groundbreaking D Series". I first reported on NAD's new small factor lineup at CES 2013. The NAD D 7050 Direct Digital Network Receiver ($999), D 3020 Digital DAC/Amplifier ($499) and D 1050 USB 24/192 DAC ($499) were created in part to help celebrate NAD's 40th anniversary in addition to combining form and function designed to attract more than audiophiles to the notion of good sound. We mainly listened to the 7050 Direct Digital Network Receiver driving a pair of the diminutive in size but not in voice PSB Imagine mini speakers ($759.99 Pair) and this simple setup sounded surprisingly rich and full figured.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 02, 2013 1 comments
Let the countdown commence! I will be attending the Munich High End Show which opens next Thursday and I can't wait. This will be my first time in attendance and from everything I've heard and read, the Munich Show is a blast and I'm ready to have one. Or two. With 350 exhibitors and over 900 brands represented, I hope to have some time for beer. I mean art! The Alte Pinakothek is having a Brueghal exhibit and I'd love to spend some quality time with Dürer and Lucas Cranach The Elder as well as Gerhard Richter over at the Museum Brandhorst. But Hi-Fi is the reason for my visit and computer audio is my mission so I'm ready to knuckle down and see and hear me some digits and report on all the computer audio news that fits to digitize.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 02, 2013 25 comments
Earth Movers
Why not? I mean, if you were me, wouldn't you? In an exchange with Bruce Brown, Owner and Engineer at Puget Sound Studios (see our Q&A), Bruce mentioned that he was using the Focal Solo6 Be monitors (as well as the Twin6 and Sub6 in a 5.1 array) in his recording studio. And that information stuck in my head and poked at me when I recently thought about desktop speakers to review. And I thought why not? Rated at 40Hz - 40kHz with a 150W rms, BASH® amp for the midbass/bass driver and a 100W rms class A/B amp for the treble, these bad boys max out at 113dB SPL (peak @ 1m). So yea, they work really well as nearfield desktop earth movers.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 30, 2013 68 comments
Register to win a Logic3 Scuderia R200 Headphone (MSRP $259.00) we are giving away.

Distinctive design inspired by the Scuderia Ferrari racing team and the aerodynamic air vents and traditional grille incorporated in the GT Cars. Closed-back design which seals the ear pads to prevent loss of music dynamics. Robust machined crafted metal arms and diamond shaped grille finish to ensure durability and quality. Ultra-Soft ear pads constructed from enhanced breathable materials to ensure maximum comfort. Ergonomic 2-way folding design for compact storage and includes a Scuderia Ferrari carry case trimmed in carbon fibre texture for additional protection. Anti-tangle and detachable in-line remote cables trimmed in woven fabric.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 30, 2013 5 comments
We've given our Greatest Bits list a complete makeover in an effort to make it more organized and ideally more useful. As you'll see, we've added "Classes" to each category of component that we borrowed from Stereophile's approach which works very well, imo (see Stereophile's 2012 Recommended Components ). Our Greatest Bits list is based on listening impressions which by their very nature are subjective and also reliant to a certain extent on system context. So the usefulness of this list is to act as a guide to what we consider to be gear worthy of an audition, to help you narrow down your choices from an increasingly crowded field.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 29, 2013 5 comments
Focal Professional Solo6 Be ($1,350/each)


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