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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 18, 2013 7 comments
photo credit: Bruce Brown

DSD was the word on many lips at the recent Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (see my Show Report). DSD also appears to be the thorn is some audiophile's sides but exactly why that's the case is beyond me since adding DSD to your playback chain is simply that—an addition. In any event, for DSDers, Bruce Brown (see our Q&A) has posted a DSD Battle Royale! consisting of master tape transfers from a modified Studer A80RC MkII through a Doshi tape preamp converted to DSD using five different A/D converters.

For the first time anywhere, I have assembled the best of the best. For the Wilson Audiophile downloads, we did tape transfers though 5 different converters and let the Wilsons listen blindly to the files. Like Daryl said, the differences are not subtle. Now you, the consumer, can decide for yourself.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 15, 2013 0 comments
Noise. Music. Sometimes I enjoy listening to music that borders on, dips more than a big toe in, noise. Brutal, primitive, emotive, transgressive, pulse-pounding, attitude-ridden sonic mayhem. Going all the way back to Italian Futurist painter and composer Luigi Russolo's manifesto The Art of Noises from 1913, the sound of industry, noise, has been invading music ever since. The same era brought us the Dada movement with its healthy dose of non-sense which was first and foremost a reaction to the brutality of war which weaved its way into art, music, poetry, theatre, literature and more. Asian Women on the Telephone (AWOTT) strike me as a descendant of both.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 14, 2013 2 comments
The Conductor
The Burson Audio Conductor packs a bunch of full features into a very solid 6mm thick precision machined aluminum chassis. There's a full function preamp with two line level RCA inputs, a host of 24/192-capable digital inputs, and a headphone amp. A threefer.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Nov 13, 2013 1 comments
UK-based digital music pioneer dCS (Data Conversion Systems, ltd.) has long been known as a company whose products reflect cutting edge digital technology. Yet one of the big paradoxes in the 25-year history of an organization that was part of the original working groups that developed the SACD format, and that originated DoP (DSD over PCM), the protocol that enables transfer and playback of DSD music files packed into a PCM frame, is that it has been slow to incorporate DSD file playback into its products.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 11, 2013 10 comments
This article originally appeared in the October issue of our sister publication Sound & Vision

If you haven’t taken the dive into computer audio, you may be asking yourself a very simple question—Why should I? The very simple answer is accessibility and sound quality. Computer-based audio allows you to store all of your music in one central location on a computer network, making it accessible from virtually any network-attached device. And when your network is connected to the Internet, you have access to the largest source of free (and legal) and paid music on the planet. Unlike disc-based music, computer-based audio is not restricted to any particular format. You can have CD quality, DVD-Audio quality, SACD quality, and even music in greater resolutions than disc-based formats allow. With computer-based audio, you can have your cakes and eat them, too, in as many rooms as you’d like.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 08, 2013 1 comments
I'll say up front that I loved this record before I heard it. That's right, Archie Shepp, saxophone player extraordinaire and one of our greatest living artists, has a new record. No, not a reissue, a new record on his own Archieball label recorded live in France on Sept 9 2012 at the Jazz à La Villette Festival, June 14 2013 at CNCDC de Châteauvallon, and on June 17 2013 at Les Nuits de Fourvière Festival with his Attica Blues Orchestra. I Hear the Sound swings like Duke, romps like Mingus, and sings the blues like, well, Archie Shepp. I Hear a Sound is a re-telling of Shepp's 1972 Attica Blues LP originally released on Impulse! as a tribute to the rebellion that took place within the walls of Attica State Prison. Let's let Archie Shepp tell us about it (from the excellent liner notes):
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 06, 2013 12 comments
With all of the attention DSD has garnered of late, it seemed like a good time to go to one of SACD's creators for answers to some common questions. Andreas Koch was involved in developing the standards and equipment for SACD production, recording, and playback, his company Playback Designs was one of the first to offer DSD capability in a consumer product, and he was also an integral player in the development of the DSD over PCM (DoP) specification. Andreas was kind enough to answer some questions concerning DSD which will hopefully clarify some aspects of how DSD actually works.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 05, 2013 2 comments
American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ airs tonight at 9:00PM (EST) on PBS (check local listings). Contains previously unseen live footage...Hendrix fans don't really need to read anything more.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 05, 2013 0 comments
I encourage anyone interested in this discussion to head on over to InnerFidelity and read Tyll's response to my piece The Trouble with Listening. I think he does a wonderful job of unraveling this potentially complex and contentious subject. Bravo Tyll!
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 05, 2013 16 comments
The SOtM tX-USBexp Audiophile PCIe to USB Audio Card
The SOtM PCIe to USB 3.0 Card is compatible with Windows 7/8 and Linux. You can power the SOtM card in three ways; through the 4-pin IDE connector that uses your computer's dirty power, externally using a 9V power supply (like the one that came with your cell phone), or with a high quality linear battery-power supply like the SOtM mBPS-d2s Intelligent Battery Power Supply which I'll also be talking about in this review.


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