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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 31, 2014 3 comments
As you can see, the Pono Kickstarter campaign is in full swing, raising over $5M at its half way mark from over 15,000 backers. Not bad for a device whose sole purpose is to deliver high quality digital music.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 28, 2014 2 comments
Work (work, work) HTRK's previous album was a sexy slow burner keeping pace with sleeping breath. Their new release, Psychic 9-5 Club (Ghostly International), keeps an earthen pace, a glacial flow with shards of emotion from Jonnine Standish's vocals sheering off into Nigel Yang's dub-wise electronic seas. This is their first release as a duo following the death of founding bass player Sean Stewart in 2010 and it feels empty, stripped of excess, pared down to essential elements, then stretched to the breaking point over time.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 27, 2014 2 comments
Single Driver Plus DAC
The Fujitsu Ten Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System houses a single 8cm (3") driver in each speaker powered by a 20W digital amp. There's also a 24/192 capable DAC, which Eclipse refers to as a Non-Oversampling DAC, as well as 2 asynchronous USB inputs, one Type A and one Type B, a 3.5mm mini analog stereo input, Wi-Fi and AirPlay connectivity. So you can connect your computer via USB and your iOS device either hard wired or via AirPlay and since the TD-M1 has its own Wi-Fi on board, you don't even need to have it connect to your home network.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 25, 2014 39 comments
The Listing Room, Rene Magritte (1952)

If you frequent some of the hi-fi forums, you may have noticed a dust up over some measurements. No, not the endles Objective versus Subjective debate over the idea of measurements, rather there's some controversy surrounding some measurements generated by LH Labs, makers of the Geek Out DAC, comparing their DAC to a number of competitors. I've received numerous emails relating to these measurements since I reviewed two of the DACs represented in the LH Labs comparisons; the AudioQuest Dragonfly and the Meridian Explorer. "How can something that measures that poorly, sound so good?" being the standard question. "It doesn't." being my standard answer. Let me explain.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 24, 2014 3 comments
Fujitsu Ten Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System ($1,300)

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

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 21, 2014 0 comments
Strap on your happy pants, it's story time! These songs were written for "Republik Der Wölfe", a multimedia theatrical production subtitled "A Fairytale Massacre with Live Music". Inspired by Anne Sexton's take on the Brothers Grimm tales, Transformations, The Ministry Of Wolves—Mick Harvey (co-founding member, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds), Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten), Danielle de Picciotto (co-founder of Love Parade), and Paul Wallfisch (musical director at the Theater Dortmund)—embellish these hellish visions with equally menacing music. Wickedly sweet.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 20, 2014 4 comments
The Cambridge Audio Minx Xi packs a 40 watt per channel (into 8 ohms) Class AB integrated amplifier, a network player, DAC, and headphone amp into one relatively small and sleek metal-wrapped high gloss white or black package. Throw in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the Cambridge Stream Magic app for iOS or Android devices, and you've got yourself one very good reason to never leave your couch. Except to dance.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 18, 2014 20 comments
Before our interviews with Neil Young, and I say "our" because there was a small army of "us", we were treated to some tunes with the PonoPlayer as source playing some PonoMusic. In a front room sat two players leashed to Sennheiser Momentum headphones while a back room housed a lovely simple system consisting of a PonoPlayer and an Ayre AX-5 integrated amp driving a pair of TAD Compact Reference CR1 loudspeakers.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 17, 2014 3 comments
Weyes Blood

With over 2,200 bands performing on over 100 stages for five days and nights straight, navigating SXSW along with a few hundred thousand or so other music lovers to see what you want to see, eat a sit down meal, and get some sleep takes military-like precision planning. Or, you can just wander from bar to bar on 6th Street and its environs and hope for the best, come what may. With Stereophile's Music Editor Robert Baird acting as my guide, his 28+ years of SXSW experience helped shape this into one magical musical tour.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 13, 2014 15 comments
Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

It should come as no surprise at this point that Neil Young was at SXSW to talk about Pono. I had the opportunity to spend some time talking to Neil Young about his new venture.


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