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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 26, 2015 43 comments
Here's the gist of James Covert's "report" for the NY Post:
Product engineers for the shaggy rock icon’s newly released Pono digital music player have privately admitted they aren’t convinced that the high-resolution audio files it plays have any significant technical advantage over CD-quality files, sources told The Post.
Since we know that Ayre is responsible for the digital and analog circuits in the Pono player, and we also know that Ayre supports high res audio, you have to wonder who these Pono "product engineers" are and exactly what they engineered? My guess is this apparently third-hand information, product engineer > private source > NY Post, got buggered somewhere along the line and Mr. Covert has reported, er, a bunch of bullshit.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 23, 2015 2 comments
They're back! The power trio in all their power and our glory. Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals), and Janet Weiss (drums) are Sleater-Kinney and No Cities To Love (Sub Pop Records) is their first album in 10 years. It is also energy-packed, powerful, rich, riotous, and rewarding. This shit rocks. Hard.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 22, 2015 54 comments
I Bought It
I bought a Pono Player directly from their Kickstarter campaign. I did so, in part, to support the project, in part because I'm a fan of Neil Young who is behind Pono, and finally because Ayre designed the digital and analog innards responsible for how the Pono Player sounds and everything I've heard from Ayre, including their QB-9 DSD DAC (see review), has been eminently musical so to get some Ayre tech for the price of a Pono Player struck me as a steal of a deal.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 22, 2015 1 comments
From the Press Release:
Tokyo, Jan 22, 2015 - (JCN Newswire) - Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ), KORG Inc. (KORG), Saidera Paradiso Ltd. (Saidera Paradiso) and Sony Corporation (Sony) today announced that they will conduct open technological experiment of live-streaming using the high-resolution digital audio format "Direct Streaming Digital (DSDTM) 5.6MHz". The four companies have partnered with the "Spring Festival in Tokyo"-one of Japan's premier music festivals-and the Berliner Philharmoniker...
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 19, 2015 1 comments
Pono Player ($399)

Here's what's in-house or en-route to AudioStream for review.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 16, 2015 3 comments
I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra on all of my father's hi-fis as they changed throughout the years. My dad was a fan, he'd seen Sinatra live many times throughout their lives, and it always seemed to me that Sinatra meant more to my father than just a favorite singer. Similar, I'd always supposed, to what Jimi Hendrix means to me. So I cannot help but think of my father when I hear Ol' Blue Eyes which is a wonderful emotional thing. In The Wee Small Hours from 1955 was Sinatra's first 12" LP release and its melancholy blue is one of my favorite of his colors.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2015 11 comments
I've already tipped my hand with my room-to-room coverage as to my highlights of CES 2015. Certainly the Bacch 3D demo, Meridian's MQA, and the Devialet Phantom represent technological leaps that I believe we'll be hearing more about in the future. Tidal's lossless streaming service was quite literally nearly everywhere and just mentioning the word "Tidal" elicited oohs and aahs from everyone I spoke to. In addition, we've seen tons of manufacturers rolling up the functionality of multiple products, especially adding file-based playback, into single boxes in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience since file-based playback represents the largest part of our hi-fi future.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2015 2 comments
that's Stereophile's Jon Iverson getting the full 3D effect

One the biggest and most mind-boggling moments of CES 2015 was delivered by Professor (of applied physics) Edgar Choueiri of Princeton University. I'd bumped into HDtracks David Chesky, whose binaural recordings are helping to spread the word about 3D sound and Bacch 3D, a number of times at CES, and each time he reminded me that I had to see and hear what Professor Choueiri had to offer. I was intrigued since David has never led me astray in the past and I'd been hearing raves about Bacch from everyone who'd heard it. What is BACCH 3D Sound? In brief the technology behind Bacch is a tonally transparent realtime inter-aural crosstalk cancellation filter. How's that for an oversimplification!

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2015 0 comments
I was treated to the dCS Vivaldi in two rooms at CES 2015. Pictured above is John Atkinson of Stereophile dare I say relaxing in the moment listening to the Vivaldi stack ($108,496) coupled with D'Agostino amps and Rockport speakers. I also shared this oh-so-very sweet spot in the dCS room and the sound was spectacular; natural, smooth, detailed, rich, and warm.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 15, 2015 0 comments
The Adcom GIA-275 Integrated Audio Multimedia ($1199) wraps up an 80 watts/channel into 8 ohms integrated amp, a 24/192 and DSD-capable Wolfson DAC, headphone amp, Bluetooth (A2DP and aptX), digital (USB, 2x Coax S/PDIF and 2x Toslink) and analog RCA inputs into one fairly tiny (9.75" x 9" x 3.5") black box.