Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 02, 2015 2 comments
Crunchy funk. Part Parliament, part Prince and a whole lot more, D'Angelo's first record in 14 years since Voodoo is a mind blowing expanse of serious soul. Black Messiah was initially intended to be a 2015 release but D'Angelo chose to rush it out in response to "the nationwide protests over the police killings of unarmed black men" according to an article in the NY Times. I'm happy he did.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 31, 2014 11 comments
We moved in 2014 and this is my new listening room: the barn. This is where the seriously fun listening takes place.

2014 has been a busy year. Steve Plaskin and I reviewed over 50 products, we continued our Q&A series with a number of interviews, provided show coverage, industry news, How To articles, our Download of the Week, and more. We've also seen a shift in people's music consuming habits, with streaming on the rise and downloads and CD sales on the wane. Vinyl also continues its growth spurt which to my mind is a signal of a happy, healthy mix. If I had a crystal ball, I'd say that in 2015 we'll see more of the same with a larger focus on the quality of the listening experience.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 30, 2014 8 comments
Amarra sQ, a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) engine, is designed to work with streaming services while bypassing Apple's Core Audio. sQ is for Apple OSX only and it costs $29.99. What it delivers is the ability to customize your music's EQ, employ various dither settings, and generally I found that it makes streaming services sound better. What more can you ask for?
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 29, 2014 72 comments
Register to win a set of Bower’s and Wilkin’s C5 Series 2 in-ear Headphones (MSRP $179.99) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"C5 Series 2 in-ear headphones bring you amazingly natural acoustics and fit so snugly you’ll hardly be aware you’re wearing them. These headphones use a new 9.2mm dynamic driver, and have been optimized to deliver bass that’s powerful yet precisely controlled, resulting in a more natural, open and detailed sound."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

Steven Plaskin Posted: Dec 29, 2014 117 comments
The Synergistic Research Atmosphere is a room acoustic enhancement device that allows one to modify and improve the perceived soundstage as well as the quality of the sound from top to bottom of one’s system; all of this totally controlled by an iPad/iPhone app. What is even more remarkable is that this task is accomplished without a direct connection of any kind into one’s system components. At this point, I’m sure most of you will want to know what Atmosphere is actually doing to achieve this control of the sound of our systems.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 26, 2014 2 comments
Ho ho ho! What better way to celebrate the season than with a real chestnut. Ellington's Indigos is their "dance" album, according to the original liner notes by Irving Townsend (taken from the LP), and boy does it swing. The cherry on top of this particular release from High Definition Tape Transfers is it's available in DSD128, transferred from a 15ips 2-track tape, which marries superb sound with superb music.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 23, 2014 1 comments

Tis the season and what more of an unlikely pairing than Patti Smith and the Vatican? For those who do, and even for those who don't, enjoy and happy holidays!

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 22, 2014 1 comments
From The's Give Fans the Credit:
Ever listen to music on your player and wonder who wrote, produced and played on the tracks? Well we have! We love our digital players and online music services, but we want to know more than just the song title and artist name. With CDs, we had liner notes and we could discover more about who created the music we enjoy. The digital world should give us more, not less, information.

True music fans want to be able to access all of the information about our favorite music online, and we believe digital music services should include credits for the songwriters, musicians, producers and engineers on the screen, just as they do for the artist and song. Let's give both music fans and creators the credit they deserve.

Here, here!
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 19, 2014 4 comments
Whoa. Lean in around 2:17 of "Boa" below and hear some of the heaviest heaviness you're bound to hear this year. Originally planned as part of The Bug's recent full length Angels & Devils (see review), this two-track EP came about because this particular pairing needed more time and space to flesh things out. I'm a fan of Earth's doom and drone and obviously The Bug's way with bass, beats, and clatter and the combination is a super-powered tasty sonic treat.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 18, 2014 3 comments
What do we want from a network player? The ability to easily stream music from our network attached storage, from a USB drive, perhaps stream from Internet Radio and streaming services, a nice interface via an easy to use app, and of course good sound. Good looks don't hurt either and just add to the ownership experience. The Primare NP30 checks off these boxes and it even adds Bluetooth connectivity for easy streaming from your or your friends and family's smart phones.


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