Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 21, 2014 7 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
Fun. Listening to music. Fun. What more do we have to ask of this wonderful hobby of ours? Listening to music is not only fun but it's a damn lovely and fortunate way to spend time. We are truly privileged to take part in such a hobby. That said, let me complain...
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
Once again, Ayre succeeded in transforming their room into something other than an emptied out hotel room. This year, it was a swanky night club, complete with vested and tie'd attendants, candle lit tables, and of course live performances courtesy of Ayre Acoustics.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
I had an opportunity to meet with (from left to right) David Solomon, Director of Sales and Marketing USA, Pal Bratelund, Strategic Partnership Manager, and Peter Tonstad, Chief Commercial Officer of Tidal. Tidal is the new name for the Oslo, Norway-based WiMP and their very exciting losslesss streaming service. That's right, another CD-quality streaming service is gearing up for a launch in the USA.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 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
I sat in on Steve Silberman's of AudioQuest excellent intro to computer audio held in the AudioQuest room at RAMF2014. Steve covered many topics including how to set up iTunes and JRiver Media Center, the importance of good quality RAM and Solid State Drives, his preference for the AIFF file format as compared to lossy formats, and of course a brief but convincing demo of WiFi versus Belkin cable versus AudioQuest's own Pearl Ethernet cable ($29). Disbelievers beware—each change, from WiFi to Belkin to AudioQuest, brought increased clarity and resolution and generally a more musical sounding system.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2014 1 comments
The new T+A PDP 3000 HV CD/SACD Player/DAC ($20,000) supports up to 32/384 and DSD 512 via USB. There's also an AES/EBU and 5x S/PDIF inputs. The 3000 HV is built like a tank ("it is constructed entirely of pure aluminium"), you could probably stand on the CD drawer, but what's even more interesting is the PCM and DSD processing is handled completely separately and each has its own separate output stage via RCA or XLR. That's right, you'll need a preamp, like one from T+A which automatically switches between PCM and DSD inputs, with a pair of inputs to accommodate the PCM and DSD output from the PDP 3000 HV.
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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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