Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 22, 2014 21 comments
The 3 products under review all deal with common issues encountered in USB computer audio. Most USB DACs require a 5 volt line (VBUS) in the USB cable to supply power to the USB controller in one’s DAC. Unfortunately, this power line from the computer brings with it noise that can contaminate the audio data leading to degradation of the sound one hears from the DAC. The idea behind the Schiit Wyrd USB Decrapifier is that supplying clean power to your USB DAC, or better-quality USB port power management, can result in improvements in sound and performance. Schiit believes that glitches and dropouts can be prevented using the Wyred USB Decrapifier.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 21, 2014 13 comments
Photo Credit: Omniphone

From the Pono Kickstarter page:

Omnifone was selected to power the PonoMusic store because of its award-winning cloud music platform and its industry-leading audio expertise and commitment to audio quality. Standing at 35 million tracks, MusicStation - Omnifone’s cloud music platform - hosts the industry’s largest catalogue of high resolution content, obtained from rights holders in all corners of the world. This rich collection of premium quality audio - and its distributed delivery from the cloud - will enable PonoMusic to achieve global scale quickly.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 21, 2014 1 comments
What is deepblue2? deepblue2 is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that houses a custom developed 440-watt amplifier, a long excursion 6.5-inch woofer, two 3" mid-range drivers, and two 1" soft-dome tweeters all wrapped up in a portable 1/2 cubic foot box. This isn't your hipster's Bluetooth speaker. There are also two wired inputs: a 24/96-capable optical input and one 3.5mm analog input so you can leash your MacBook to the little deepblue2 for some high res sound on the go. Nice.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 18, 2014 1 comments
I believe Boris. Shape shifters, noise merchants, bliss whisperers, this Japanese trio consisting of singer-bassist Takeshi, guitarist Wata, and drummer Atsuo can build some monumental songs and they go about building all kinds, sorts, and sizes on Noise their 20th studio release. From delicate wispy dreamers to full out speed metal crunchers, Noise kills.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 17, 2014 22 comments
For my review of the Focal Alpha 50 active speakers, my contact sent along a pair of IsoAcoustics L8R155 speaker stands, "I don't do a single demo without it." A few readers alerted me to the IsoAcoustics stands in the past but at the time IsoAcoustics did not have a set small enough to accommodate my ADAM A3X speakers and it was only until this pair arrived for review that I see IsoAcoustics has the ISO-L8R130 to fit their small footprint. So the idea of trying a pair faded until I admit I forgot all about them. All that's changed now that I've heard 'em.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 15, 2014 19 comments
Presented by Harman, this 20 minute+ film expounds on the greatness of music, the importance of quality in its reproduction, and why we should be over lossy compression. While hardly a controversial idea, some people would have you believe otherwise. I lean toward the obvious and overwhelmingly simple realization that to deliver the best experience we can when it comes to music should be our goal and a given. Watch & enjoy.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 14, 2014 7 comments
Devialet 120 ($6495)

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

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 11, 2014 6 comments
From the Pono Kickstarter page:
Neil Young Steps Into CEO Role At PonoMusic

Rick Cohen becomes Chief Operating Officer of innovative music ecosystem dedicated to “reconnecting your soul to music” by delivering music from the best available sources - including straight from the original studio masters.

In addition the company hires legendary recording engineer Bruce Botnick as Head of Content Acquisition.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 11, 2014 21 comments
You could write a book about The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan but I find it much more enjoyable to just listen to the album. When I saw that Acoustic Sounds had it in DSD, I jumped and boy oh boy am I happy I did. The DSD version of Freewheelin' sounds simply spectacular through the Auralic Vega DAC. It is at once immediate, present, rich, full, and vibrant. It makes the CD sound pale in comparison. If you're a fan of early Dylan, I am, and you have the ability to play DSD files, you'll want to add this to your library.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 10, 2014 0 comments
If there's one question that seems to come up over and over, it's "Which DAC did you like better?" While I can understand the interest, I think it’s more important that a review convey the sound of a given component and leave personal preferences out of it, as much as that's possible. If we want to interject the personal, just make sure it's explicit and no harm done. The harm comes from trying to boil a review down to whether the reviewer 'liked' a given component or not because that is ultimately not the point. The ultimate point is whether or not you will like it.


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