LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 17, 2015 3 comments
There's More Than One Way To Skin A DAC
PS Audio's new NuWave DSD DAC has taken some engineering cues from the company's much-loved DirectStream DAC (see review). While the NuWave does not house the same FPGA-based processing as found in its larger and more costly sibling, it does house a complex programmable logic device (CPLD), a device that sits between a programmable logic device (PAL) and a field programmable gate array (FPGA) in terms of complexity. The CPLD in the NuWave is tasked with one important job; take the incoming bits from the XMOS-based USB receiver and other digital inputs and pass it along to the 32-bit ESS Hyperstream DAC corrected; "discovers sample rate and format, reclocks all incoming data, reduces jitter, waveshapes data output to the DAC chip, and utilizes high speed/low gate count logic to reduce propagation delay for faster throughput". The CLPD accomplishes this in what the company calls "Native Mode" meaning there's no sample rate conversion employed. After the DAC, a passive filter is applied in the analog output stage.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 16, 2015 19 comments
For me, the entire high-rez "debate" is of little interest. The fact of the matter is I own and enjoy high-res recordings so from that perspective, which is the one I value most, reading or listening to people going on about how they didn't hear a difference or how I can't hear a difference is irrelevant. From a purely theoretical basis, we've seen a number of tests and blog posts that "prove" high-rez audio is a waste of time and money, but when tests and blog posts don't match reality, I file those tests and blog posts under "A" for Agenda or "IF" for If It Was Only That Simple.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 16, 2015 1 comments
Good News! Qobuz was put in receivership last month and given until November 16th to find an investor or shut down. That deadline was extended due to offers put on the table and things have shaken out to reveal two potential buyers with two real offers. The Commercial Court in Paris will make its final decision regarding these offers on December 29th, and if all goes well, Qobuz will come out alive and well. Here's Qobuz:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 14, 2015 5 comments
Some recordings sound canned, the artifacts of production and the recording process call attention to themselves so it takes more work to listen to them. Some popular recordings are even produced in a way that they sound better in your car than on your home stereo (for an example of production that I think detracts, listen to Hozier's album compared to the live NPR mini concert). The Lovely Recordings I've selected, while not audiophile demos, have both musical content I love and sound quality that helps you get into the music. They all sound more real and let you hear further into the mix, especially with better playback systems. These aren't exactly obscure recordings but I feel they should be better known than they are. Doing this, I developed a new appreciation for those who write about music—it's hard.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 11, 2015 1 comments
It has admittedly taken me time to warm to Kurt Vile. With his latest record, b’lieve i’m goin down, (Matador) we're cookin'. We may as well be cousins.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 10, 2015 13 comments
Thanks to reader Stephen D. for the heads up on this oh-so-interesting news:
Introducing Hi-Res audio support
Close your eyes and imagine the musician is playing in the room. Today we’re rolling out high-resolution audio support, which gives you even higher quality music playback using Chromecast Audio. With support of up to 96KHz/24bit lossless audio playback, you can enjoy higher-than-CD-quality audio on your existing high fidelity audio equipment.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 10, 2015 7 comments
Getting A NOS DAC
Let's agree up front that many Non-Oversampling (NOS) DACs do not perform well under certain test parameters. Aperture effect, which amounts to less than linear frequency response at the extremes, and less than ideal jitter performance (as typically measured) being the more egregious problems, on paper. We have to ask ourselves, why would anyone bother making a NOS DAC? The answer is some people really enjoy the way they sound.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 09, 2015 18 comments
As you probably know, I post a Download Of The Week every Friday. What you may not know is this is one of my favorite features on AudioStream because it's the reason we're here—music. I always enjoy reading other "Best of..." music lists so I thought I'd put one together. Here we have nearly all of 2015's DotW picks in one easy container. I've left out older recordings, I did cheat a few times, so what we're looking at and listening to are (mainly) my top picks for new music in 2015. Enjoy!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 08, 2015 4 comments
Some people dismiss power products in hi-fi out of hand. One argument I've heard suggests that it's just plain silly to stick an expensive power cable at the end of a long line of cheap power delivery. Shunyata has just offered up a press release and short video that help dispel that myth while also offering measured proof of their power products efficacy.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 07, 2015 59 comments
Register to win a pair of Aiaiai Studio Modular Headphone Preset headphones ($225.00 Retail Value) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"AIAIAI boasts a world-renowned network of industrial designers, audio technicians and DJs as part of its unique and highly collaborative development process. Exploratory and experimental, the process enables AIAIAI to develop new products on the leading edge, independent of current market trends."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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