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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 16, 2014 3 comments
Naim SuperUniti All-in-one Player ($6,300)

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

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 13, 2014 90 comments
Register to win a set of Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-OX7AMP premium on-ear headphones with built-in amplifier (MSRP $299.95) we are giving away.

According to the company:

The ATH-OX7AMP on-ear headphones deliver premium sound through large 40 mm drivers and built-in, high-output amplifiers that enhance any type of musical selection, maximizing the detail and clarity of your music like never before. The amplifiers run on a AAA battery (included), however batteries are not necessary for audio output – the headphones operate normally regardless of battery power.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 13, 2014 38 comments
From the press release:
Arlington, VA – 06/12/2014 – DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, in cooperation with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® and The Recording Academy®, announced today the results of their efforts to create a formal definition for High Resolution Audio, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

The definition is accompanied by a series of descriptors for the Master Quality Recordings that are used to produce the hi-res files available to digital music retailers. These can be used on a voluntary basis to provide the latest and most accurate information to consumers.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 13, 2014 3 comments
This is some menacing shit. Nice, bare, stripped down, and raw, Swans new record To Be Kind (Young God, Mute), their 13th studio album, is badass with an extra helping of bad. Michael Gira & Co. have been going at it for over 30 years and they sound as fresh now as ever on this 2 hour tour of the phantasmagorical. The opener "Screen Shot" entices with a simple seductive funky bass line and builds into repetitious sonic mayhem of the most welcoming sort. These guys are not fucking around.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 12, 2014 6 comments
What else would I call my new column for Stereophile? The July 2014 edition of Stereophile arrived today and its a bittersweet event—there's no more The Entry Level, one of my favorite columns, from my friend Stephen Mejias but there is my new column Audio Streams. While I plan to cover computer audio, "...the addition of that trailing, plural s gives me some leeway to explore a wider range of hi-fi topics." I intend to take full advantage of that s in future columns but my first covers....pick up your Stereophile and see!
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Posted: Jun 12, 2014 5 comments
Today, Amazon launched its Prime Music lossy streaming service. All Amazon Prime members (requires $99 annual subscription fee) now have free access to "over 1 million songs" through the Prime Music web-based app or the Prime Music iOS/Android app. We are Amazon Prime members so I took PM for a quick spin by loading an album into "my library". Once I did this, my library was automatically populated with all of the music I've purchased from Amazon that is part of their AutoRip service. In our case, that meant I had about 200 songs in my library from the get go without having to actually do anything. Nice.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 12, 2014 5 comments
NAD's new Masters M12 Direct Digital Preamplifier DAC

Lenbrook International, parent company to NAD, PSB, and Bluesound, provided a closer look at and listen to their new Master Series products at a press event yesterday in NYC. On hand for the introductions were John Banks from Bluesound (see our Q&A) and Greg Stidson of NAD. Of particular interest to AudioStream readers is the new Masters M12 Direct Digital Preamplifier DAC ($3499) which boasts a modular design, fittingly dubbed MDC (Modular Design Construction), which can accommodate up to 6 MDC boards offering present and future proof features.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 11, 2014 3 comments
Michal at Mytek R&D Studio in Brooklyn, testing the new DSD ADC prototype circuit (June 2014)

I first met Mytek's Michal Jurewicz at RMAF 2011. This event marked the official launch of AudioStream as well as the debut of Mytek's first consumer DAC. At that time, the Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC at $1695 represented the least expensive DSD-capable DAC by a good margin and remains, imo, very competitive in terms of its price and performance. Michal was kind enough to participate in this Q&A where we focus on DSD, misconceptions, and Mytek's place in the world of hi-fi.

Steven Plaskin Posted: Jun 10, 2014 76 comments
all photo credits: Synergistic Research unless otherwise noted

When I first heard that Synergistic Research was bringing out a new USB cable, a thought occurred to me. Just how much better could this cable be made considering that the Synergistic Research Active USB SE cable was recently upgraded with the new UEF Tuning Circuits? The Uniform Energy Field Technology Tuning Circuits consist of the gray and silver cylindrical devices that attach to the active shield of the Active USB SE cable and fine tune the sound of the cable. I have found that the UEF Tuning Circuits provide a smoother, more revealing sound with enhanced bloom. But after reading about the Galileo series of cables, I discovered that this series applies Synergistic Research technologies not found in the Active USB SE cable.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 09, 2014 6 comments
The website is gaining momentum. Now with seven labels represented and over 200 DSD downloads available, fans of DSD should be pleased. The latest news is their new "JustListen" label offering "special 'session tapes' and unedited performances that, up till now, are only heard by the production teams and those close to the industry." These "unedited ultra high resolution session recordings" are offered in stereo and multi-channel 64x DSD, 128x DSD, some in 256x DSD, and DXD. Did I mention they're free?


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