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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 15, 2013 2 comments
Jacques Tati Soundtracks (Remastered)

More than most anything else in the world of hi-fi, I love finding new sources of music. Yesterday I came across a lovely if somewhat misleadingly titled album Morgana King Sings the Blues on Boomkat. While it is Morgana King singing (she also played Mrs. Vito Corleone in the Godfather flicks I and II), the blues bit is a bit of a stretch unless you consider "It's Only a Paper Moon" blues. I think they actually meant "blue". In any event, the label, Trunk Records, was new to me so I made my way over to their website. And there was a tiny treasure trove of the unusual and offbeat. Hooray!

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 12, 2013 4 comments
Normally I like to know a record, and know it well, before recommending it here as a DotW. But I'm going to go out on a shaky limb for Snow Ghosts. I've streamed their debut album A Small Murmuration a handful of very pleasurable times and it sounds familiar which can be a good or bad thing, I haven't decided which, yet. There's certainly beauty and longing to be found here along with fat, dredge-y beats like slow moving icebergs. A chilly drama.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 11, 2013 46 comments
Register to win a Griffin Twenty Integrated Amplifier (MSRP $99.99) we are giving away.

According to the company:

Twenty is an audio amplifier that incorporates the user's (original) Airport Express to capture the AirPlay stream, decode it, then play lossless amplified sound through attached speakers. Twenty has been recognized for its design and innovation, receiving the Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 10, 2013 31 comments
"It’s the undigital digital."
That's a quote from Ed Meitner from an interview in Positive Feedback Magazine (see interview) regarding DSD. And I enjoy that, the undigital digital. For those of you who don't know Ed Meitner, he is an electrical engineer by education and has been involved in audio design for more than 30 years. Ed got his start with Olive Electrodynamics Company where he was involved in designing and building the first VCA controlled recording console in 1972. Next was a stint with Amber the test equipment manufacturer followed by his position as head designer at Museatex (which became A/D/S) [I owned the Museatex STR-55 stereo amp back in the day]. During this time he also wrote about and built the LIM detector, basically the first jitter detector. After ADS, Ed was one of the engineers behind the development of DSD/SACD for Sony. He is currently the head designer for EMM Labs and Meitner Audio which can be viewed as the more affordable arm of EMM Labs. Meitner Audio has two products—the MA-1 DAC and the MA-2 Integrated Playback System that we'll be looking at and listening to here.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Jul 09, 2013 18 comments
It was back in February 2008 that several of us took a drive to the Synergistic Research Factory in Irvine, CA. We had the good fortune to meet Ted Denney, lead designer at Synergistic Research who provided me with my first musical experience with Active Shielding. Ted came across as a very enthusiastic designer who enjoyed sharing his ideas about the new products he was developing; many of which have since come to fruition. Ted then took us to a large room with a terrific sounding system where he demonstrated Active Shielding with his cables by enabling it and then turning it off. Everything sounded much better with the Active Shielding enabled. I also remember him demonstrating a 2 tube Active Shielding power supply called the Enigma. It was fascinating to hear the sound change when Ted powered the cables with one tube and then the other. He also demonstrated a prototype of the PowerCell AC line conditioner. Suffice to say, I was very impressed with Synergistic Research’s implementation of Active Shielding with their cables.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 05, 2013 6 comments
I know, obviously. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey, near Paterson, and I can still recall the dull ache of boredom that infested most of my waking teenage hours. There were few true salves but music was always a sure bet breaking through the unfulfilled longing (most days feeling as if you had an impossibly mad crush on someone you had yet to meet). The music of The Doors played prominently during these formative years and Waiting for the Sun contained plenty of sunshine, white heat, and melancholy that seemed to match my very own. Ah, music.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 01, 2013 158 comments
Register to win a Light Harmonic Lightspeed USB Cable (MSRP $1399.00) we are giving away.

According to the company:

Lightspeed USB uses a unique topology, which we call Ultra-high Speed Differential Pair (or USDP). USDP gives Lightspeed 20 times the bandwidth of USB 2.0 high speed, which ensures optimal signal clocking. In fact, Lightspeed's astounding 10 Gigabits per second bandwidth is twice as fast as USB 3.0! Additionally, its 2-in-1 architecture physically separates the signal leg from the five volt power leg, preventing source-generated noise from disturbing the digital signal. The result: a bit-perfect USB cable.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

Steven Plaskin Posted: Jun 28, 2013 3 comments
This 4 selection album is Blue Coast Records’ first double DSD recording. Keith Greeninger is a folk-style singer that accompanies himself on guitar in this excellent minimalist recording that utilized two channels / 2 mics, and a Korg M2 2000. While the DSD64 download is quite good, you must listen to the DSD128 version as this is outrageously revealing and natural sounding.

Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Records sent me the following:

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 28, 2013 6 comments
I know, obviously. But Getz/Gilberto holds a very special place in my heart, body, mind, and soul. When I was a kid, we'd spend a lot of our summertime at my grandparents house at the shore. My father and his younger brother would mix a thermos full of gin and tonic (which they'd let me sip), and pack it up along with the Coppertone, fishing poles, and fins for our days at the beach. Back at my grandparents' house, being fitfully sunned and swumed, we'd BBQ and eat at the picnic table out back. Life was simple. The last ingredient that filled these long, hot, happy days was music and Getz/Gilberto remains the accompanying soundtrack that plays through my head on infinitely pleasurable repeat.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 24, 2013 37 comments
During a conversation with AudioQuest's Steve Silberman, Steve brought up the notion that "there's no such thing as digital" which I found thought provoking. I suggested to Steve that we have an email conversation about this very topic and Steve suggested adding Charlie Hansen of Ayre Acoustics and Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio into the mix. So that's what we did. The opening question:

It's common for people to envision and represent a digital signal as a series of 1s and 0s. As such, there's really no room for error, at least according to this binary theory. Is a digital signal simply a series of 1s and 0s?


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