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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 05, 2015 5 comments
I feel it. Anger, energy, message. Algiers self-titled debut LP on Matador Records kills.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 04, 2015 11 comments
Direct Digital Trickles Down (and Up)
NAD's C 510 inherits its impressive innards from the company's M2 Direct Digital Amp (see Stereophile's review) and M51 DAC (see Stereophile's review). All incoming digital data (up to 24/192 PCM), the C 510 does not offer any analog inputs, is converted to a pulse-width-modulation (PWM) signal at a sampling rate of 844kHz before being converted to analog. Volume control is also handled in the digital domain and the C 510's 35-bit architecture allows for transparency at any level, in theory. Here's more from NAD, "Due to the very high clock speed [108MHz] and mathematical precision of our reconstruction filters, the resulting audio signal is totally free of digital artifacts like ringing." I suppose the only question remaining is—does all this work to make digital sound
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 03, 2015 11 comments
I was listening to some tunes last night, switching between JRiver and Roon on my MacBook Pro and suddenly a note appeared in the Roon app announcing an update. The app restarted and bam! I was playing DSD, including DSD128, through Roon in no time flat. Nice.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 02, 2015 9 comments
Of course they are. They have more power, more users with credit cards on file (800M), and more money than...everyone. They can afford sustained losses, they can afford to pay artists for exclusive content, which appears to be the latest trend in differentiation, they have deep ties into the music industry which they bought when they paid $3 billion for Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre and Beats, and they have the R&D to implement just about anything they can dream up. Game over.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 01, 2015 0 comments
While I typically don't regurgitate press releases, I do enjoy hearing about improvements to existing products that deliver sonic rewards. From the Bryston Integrated Audio Device (IAD) press release:
“There were several important factors that led us to develop the IAD,” reported Bryston VP James Tanner. “We were confident that by eliminating three connection points, hand selecting and testing all of the components and shifting to our meticulous in-house manufacturing that we could improve transient capability while enhancing low resolution detail,” Tanner added. The Bryston IAD is also directly powered by the BDP-2’s premium quality linear power supply rather than by a power source shared with the motherboard.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 29, 2015 2 comments
Sometimes I like to kick back. Take it easy, musically. Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles debut release Oh Man, Cover the Ground on Suicide Squeeze Records sounds like Takoma-infused Cat Power. Only hippie-er. "12 songs about dark rooms, water, wind, stoned afternoons, sun in your eyes, sex, hair, snacks, death, & the beach."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 28, 2015 3 comments
"Which types of subscription services does your household currently use?" [all images: Blackhawk Engagement Solutions]

Blackhawk Engagement Solutions recently published their study "Super Subscribers: Disrupting the Subscription Services Model". The report, which is based on 1,757 respondents across the USA, shows that most people pay for Internet, Cell Phones, and Cable TV with over 50% also paying for streaming TV and/or movies. Where does that leave music?

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 27, 2015 39 comments
I've put this off for long enough. Here's the barn, as it stands, today. There's work to be done but things are sounding good. Really good. Come on in!
Steven Plaskin Posted: May 26, 2015 56 comments
The Synergistic Research Grounding Block is a new accessory from Synergistic Research that allows one to make multiple ground connections to various products. More importantly, it applies Synergistic Research’s UEF (Uniform Energy Field) Technology to a grounding block for sonic enhancement. I decided to write a review on this product since it can be used with a number of Synergistic Research products I have previously reviewed that utilize ground plane connections. These include the Tranquility Base, FEQ (Frequency Equalizer), and the Atmosphere - Acoustic Wave Generator. What I found most exciting about these new products is that they can be successfully applied to most any component.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 22, 2015 1 comments
When I want to unwind, or even wind-up, one go-to is guitarist Loren Connors. Connors captures innumerable things with just six strings—ghosts, lost lovers, loss, beauty, and more. Throw in a little Mark Rothko as inspiration and you've got yourself some beautiful shimmering mysterious de-light.