LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 22, 2013 17 comments
Miles Davis' In A Silent Way is near the top of any list I'd make. When I first listened to it decades ago my heart raced (literally) after the opening notes and things got more intense from there on in. The same still holds after countless listens. In A Silent Way, along with Bitches Brew and A Tribute to Jack Johnson helped me get over the passing of Jimi Hendrix and pointed toward a very bright future. I don't really care all that much as to whether or not In A Silent Way was the first 'fusion' album because the music speaks to matters beyond category. You simply need to sit and do nothing other than listen.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 19, 2013 1 comments
Z Ultra-Compact Component
The Zdac hails from Parasound's Z-line of "ultra-compact components" that includes the Zamp V.3, Zphono, Zphono-USB, Zcd, Ztuner, Zpre2, Zbreeze cooling fan, and the Zselect five-pair speaker selector. The Z-line comes in silver or rack-mountable black and all of the Z components share the same chassis so one could have a complete matching Z-system (sans speakers). For some, matching components are a plus while for others, mainly for certain kinds of audiophiles, matching components take all of the fun out system mixing and matching. Thankfully you can have the Zdac either a la carte or prix fixe.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 18, 2013 4 comments
MSB Technology The Analog DAC ($6,995)
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 15, 2013 1 comments
Devendra Banhart Mala

Just when I thought the bloom was off the rose, Devendra Banhart reaches way down (and as far back as the '50s) and pulls out a bouquet. Mala isn't for everyone, what is, but I've been streaming the entire thing for days for free from NPR's first listen and I've been smiling, laughing, and shaking my head at the crazy beat and banter of Banhart. This, his debut on Nonesuch Records and overall 8th studio album, is one freakin' fun listen.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 13, 2013 6 comments
Being Single
Single driver speakers have some fairly straight-forward pluses and minuses—they only use a single driver to reproduce everything. So that means no crossover which, contrary to some adherents of the single driver way, is not necessarily an evil one way or another but most single driver speakers I've heard, and I've heard a bunch, tend to do at least one thing really well and that thing is immediacy. But what does immediacy really mean? From my way of hearing, it means that the sound of the music coming out of a single driver speaker sounds incredibly present as if the music is caressing your ears, intimately. Single driver speakers can sound seductive. The Ancient Audio Studio Oslo powered speakers use a single driver.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 09, 2013 12 comments
Value
One look at the Emotiva XDA-2 DAC/Digital Preamp/Headphone Amp and you may ask yourself—I wonder how much that costs? And when you learn that the answer is a dollar shy of $400, you may think "Wow" or you may think, "Wait, what does it do?". Price perception is similar to depth perception in that's its all about ones' point of view. While anyone that's been shopping for a DAC lately will more than likely be impressed by the XDA-2s package, what it does is play music and how well it does this one job will tell you most everything you need to know about its value.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 07, 2013 10 comments
Knitting Factory Records news:
Fela's entire catalogue, consisting of almost 50 albums, are now being re-packaged, with in-depth track commentaries written by Afrobeat historian Chris May, and prepared for a three-batch re-launch between March and September 2013.
The first batch has just landed.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 07, 2013 20 comments
2013 would have marked Jimi Hendrix's 70th birthday and Experience Hendrix LLC has released 12 previously (officially) unreleased studio recordings from 1968-70 to help us celebrate. I have to admit that I greet each 'new' posthumous Jimi Hendrix release with mixed feelings. Mainly I'm always happy to hear more but am also reminded of what could have been but isn't. I know, half full. But People, Hell & Angels is another welcome release and I only wish I could download my FLAC copy now. But I can't.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 05, 2013 19 comments
Reader "ironsienna" asked an interesting question in the PCM v DSD Comparison: 16/44.1, 24/96, 24/192, 64x DSD, 128x DSD comments:
...I have a question. It seems that you compare PCM and DSD played from the same DAC. But what about PCM playback from really expensive DACs? Is the difference of sound between 192 PCM played from an ultra high-end DAC, to the DSD played from a mid priced DAC that great? I am asking because I recently acquired a Weiss MEDEA+ DAC. The quality of playing high rez PCM from this DAC is stunning and I really cant think of what more can be done for digital sound to sound better than that, so real and analogue like...But it does not play DSD and personally haven't heard DSD played from a native DSD DAC. So is it worth buying a cheaper DAC to play DSD files natively on it, or my DAC plays PCM so fine that there is not noticeable difference.. Can you please comment on that?
My short answer is—Kierkegaard.

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