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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 13, 2012 19 comments
Good Things Come In Small Packages
During my review of the Resonessence Labs Invicta DAC, I thought, to myself, wouldn't it be interesting if they offered just a DAC? Stripped away all of the additional functionality like the preamp, headphone amp and the front-mounted SD Card Reader and gave us just-a-DAC? Well the guys at Resonessence Labs must have read my mind because they've delivered just that (and more).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 12, 2012 8 comments
Schiit Modi $99 USB DAC pictured with the Schiit Magni $99 1.2W Discrete Amp

Hot off the press release:

Modi is the most advanced USB DAC in its price class, featuring an asynchronous USB interface with plug-and-play, driverless operation on both PCs and Macs, a 32-bit AKM4396 D/A converter, and an active filter stage built around the AD8616 operational amplifier to drive long cables. It supports all bit depths and sampling rates from 16/44 to 24/96. Like Magni, it’s made in the USA and features a warranty 2X longer than most of the products in its price class.
And the amazing part is its $99. As in less than 100. And its available now from Schiit.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 12, 2012 0 comments
Larkin Grimm Parplar
Larkin Grimm's Parplar released on Michael Gira's Young God label in late 2008 is a study in simple, contained strangeness. Guitar, strings, and backing vocals all spare and sparse like a cold wind blowing over an open field. I picked up Parplar when it came out and have been enjoying its strange fruit for years. Available from in FLAC format.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 11, 2012 2 comments
Head on over to Headphone Commute's Bandcamp page and pick up ... and darkness came a wonderful collection of music from 87 musicians to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
100% of all the proceeds generated from the sale of this album will be donated towards two charitable organizations: Doctors Without Borders and The Humane Society. The artists on the release have been hand-picked to showcase the world's top talent in ambient, modern classical, and experimental music. The unprecedented selection features many unreleased pieces composed exclusively for the cause.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 10, 2012 8 comments

It's A Clean (Musical) Machine
The PSB Alpha PS1 powered desktop speakers are some of the cleanest, clearest-sounding speakers to have graced my desktop. Even using my iMac's 3.5mm analog output, the music taking up residence on and around my desk is remarkably free from any sort of sound other than the music itself. There's no boom in the bass, no tipped up treble, just clean, clear, music. For $300/pair that should make a lot of music lovers very happy.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 07, 2012 122 comments
Register to win a Van den Hul USB Ultimate Sweepstakes (MSRP $599.00) we are giving away.

VDH has looked into how these signals can be influenced and how the construction of a cable could be optimized to get the best result possible. The outcome is the new USB Ultimate cable. The USB Ultimate features some unique ideas resulting in superior performance and value.

[This sweepstakes is now closed.]

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 07, 2012 0 comments
Is epic too big a word for Shields, Grizzly Bear's newest and 4th LP in twice that many years? Perhaps. I've read it called Baroque which is kinda nice as it reminds me of that church-facade I climbed one late night in Venice many moons ago. Whatever you want to call it, Shields is one wonder of a record filled with layers of references on top of lovely songs (and sounds). Dreamy one minute, driving the next, atmospheres and beats collide and join forces to make for one heckofa twisty turny record. And its sounds sound good, too. Shields has already hit a few "Best of 2012" lists and even though I don't have one I'll throw it on.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 05, 2012 19 comments
Ripping Vinyl
Channel D's Pure Vinyl is software for ripping and listening to your records digitally. I don't know about you, but my LP-buying habits differ from my download-buying habits. The former is more varied and daring partly based on the fact that there's about one million times more LPs that interest me as compared to downloads. So my LP collection does not mirror my hard drive collection and sometimes, many times, I'd love to have access to my LPs from my computer. Channel D's Pure Vinyl to the rescue!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 03, 2012 4 comments
How does a free Studio Master download every day from now until December 25th sound? Hint: Good! I'll let Linn tell the story:


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