Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 24, 2014 0 comments
Just a few weeks ago we had Flying Lotus' album You're Dead! (see review) with his ruminations on, well, death so I thought I'd balance that out with this week's pic Caribou's Our Love (City Slang) a collection of songs about...love. Dan Snaith is Caribou and this is his forth album as such and Our Love is a smoky, luscious, dance floor infested electronic soul machine of love.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 21, 2014 8 comments
With Spotify's recently announced family plan that effectively makes family members accounts come in at $5/month, and Apple's rumored $5/month target for its Beats music streaming service, I wonder how much is too little when it comes to the monthly cost of streaming.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 20, 2014 6 comments
My review of the Astell & Kern AK240 portable high res player appears in this month's Stereophile, available on newsstands now! Spoiler Alert: I liked it.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 17, 2014 0 comments
Cover songs. I have a soft spot for cover songs as they tell us about artist's influences while giving voice to difference. Ideally. Northampton Mass's Winterpills new album Echolalia is filled with lovely covers from Sharon Van Etten, Nick Drake, Buddy Holly, XTC, Beck, the Beatles and more.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
The new Sony Walkman ($299), pictured with their new MDR-1ADAC high-res stereo headphones with integrated DAC/amp ($399.99), offers 64GB of RAM and a micro-SD slot for memory expansion. The Sony Walkman does not support DSD, alas, but it does support PCM resolutions up to 24/192. From the quick listen I listened, the $299 Walkman will give some other more expensive portable players a run for their money. It's also a joy to hold, the small form factor and super lite weight practically disappear in your hand.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 1 comments
After RMAF on Friday night, David Robinson of Positive Feedback Online and Andreas Koch of Playback Designs organized a field trip to Boulder's Super Audio Center. Run by recording engineer extraordinaire Gus Skinas, we were treated to a live, through the booth, performance by jazz pianist Don Grusin, some lovely multi-channel DSD recordings, some with associated video, food and drink. I have to say that if you've never heard DSD, you've never heard DSD. There's an uncanny sense of dimensionality and naturalness to dynamic swings that seems to me to be handled extremely well by the format.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
Constellation Audio was showing off their prototype Cygnus Media Server/DAC ($32,000) which features an outboard power supply and supports resolutions up to 32/192. There's a host of digital inputs including AES/EBU, 2x Coax S/PDIF, 2x Toslink, and USB (optional), as well as an Ethernet input to play back from network attached storage. Outputs are comprised of balanced XLRs and single-ended RCAs. There are a number of user selectable filters including minimum-phase, phase-perfect, Bessel and Butterworth. Production units are expected to ship within 60 days.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
The Antipodes DX "The Reference" Music Server and DLNA streamer (NZ$ 6,395.00) supports resolutions up to 32/384 and double rate DSD. You can stream to the DX via Ethernet, play music from its up to 2TB of SSD storage, and rip your CDs using the internal drive. There's an internal DAC as well or you can output to your favorite DA converter via USB.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 1 comments
The Simaudio Moon 380D DSD ($4900) DAC can also be turned into a streamer with the addition of the Moon MiND (+$1200 see review) as well as a balanced preamplifier (+$600). The 380D DSD supports file formats up to 32/384 and double rate DSD via USB using the ESS SABRE32 Ultra DAC.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
The McIntosh MB100 Media Bridge ($6500) supports up to 24/192 data while providing access to multiple streaming services including Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify, Rhapsody and TuneIn. The MB100 sports a 1TB drive for music storage while a SSD takes care of OS and music player software. You can attach additional storage via eSata, USB, and Ethernet. The MB100 offers balanced XLR and unbalanced outputs as well as a COAX S/PDIF, Toslink, and USB audio outputs.

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