Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 08, 2015
I'm not a fan of using the word "test" when talking about listening to music since there's nothing to test beyond our enjoyment. Some people feel otherwise. Here's a test related to this un-great debate:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 02, 2015
Pardon the radio silence but I'm deep into comparing the various Ethernet devices I have on hand. I've also decided to throw in three different Ethernet cables since you can't talk about Ethernet without talking about some sort of cable. I've decided to include all of these devices and cables in one review. Here's the complete list:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 31, 2015
LampizatOr The Lite 7 DSD DAC ($5750)

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

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 24, 2015
From DJM Electronics:
The DJM Electronics FOIL™ brand Ethernet filters utilize patented technology and are the only EMI/RFI filters for Ethernet on the market that offer 100dB performance from 10kHz to 10GHz and higher. Housed in a single, convenient filter package, FOIL™ Ethernet Filters are the easiest and most reliable solution for bringing 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet access to all varieties of shielded rooms and enclosures.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 17, 2015

"Bits are bits". We've all heard this too many times when talking about digital audio. Some people feel that's really all they need to know or say, "bits are bits". I admit, it does have a pleasant ring to it and if you silently repeat it over and over in your head it becomes mantra-like. Bits are bits. Unfortunately when talking about mixed signal systems, "bits are bits" holds the same relevance as "om".

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 12, 2015
Thanks to Stereophile's Facebook page for pointing me to this article in the LA Times, "Is streaming a threat to music? Not if musicians have anything to do with it" and of greatest interest this quote:
"Neuroscientists are beginning to look at how the brain responds to compressed mp3s as opposed to the higher-resolution digital. Early results suggest that with high resolution, the brain's emotional activity is the same as with live music, while less dopamine, the chemical behind such pleasures as sex, is released when the music files are highly compressed."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 11, 2015

"I dare you take this test! What's that? You passed? The test was flawed!"

"I dare you take this test! What's that? You failed but the test was flawed? Doesn't matter, you failed!"

"I took the test and passed! What's that? The test was flawed? Doesn't matter, I passed!"

"I took the test and failed! The test was flawed!"

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 10, 2015
Reader Roberto Z. was kind enough to send me the following email. He also gave me the OK to share it with you, here, including this picture of his son. Made my day. Thanks Roberto!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 03, 2015
"Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends" ― Francis Bacon

This is really great news for anyone following the hi-res audio debate. The debate is simple; some people claim there is an audible difference between high resolution files and lower resolutions, and some people claim there isn't. There have been a bunch of technical articles on the subject but up until now(ish), there's never been proof that everyone agrees upon. No solid scientific statistically significant proof as to whether or not anyone can discern hi-res audio from lower resolutions in an ABX test. The good news is we have significantly significant test results that prove without question there is an audible difference between hi-res and lower resolutions. The not so good news is this happened over a year ago.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 30, 2015
If only the folks at Ars Technica and the James Randi Educational Foundation knew about Wikipedia (my emphasis):
An ABX test is a method of comparing two choices of sensory stimuli to identify detectable differences between them. A subject is presented with two known samples (sample A, the first reference, and sample B, the second reference) followed by one unknown sample X that is randomly selected from either A or B. The subject is then required to identify X as either A or B.
What do you call an ABX test that skips that last bit in bold and let's a subject say "I dunno" when presented with X? Useless.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 27, 2015
I was planning on writing up a post where I offered what I thought would be a reasonable way to spread out one's overall hi-fi budget by category. Speakers get X%, amplification Y%, source Z% and so on. Essentially creating an order of importance. But the more I wrote, the more tangled up my logic got. So I emailed a few friends whose opinions I admire and trust, and they confirmed my idea was pretty stupid since there's a near infinite number of roads to hi-fi happiness. Creating a percentage scale creates a totally arbitrary and needlessly restricted path. Boom.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 23, 2015
Hermes Chaine d’ Ancre Gold Necklace Jewelry – $27,400

What would you do if you bought a $340 Ethernet cable only to find you don't hear any difference between it and a $5.00 Ethernet cable? Return it? Or strip it? Well Lee Hutchinson over on Ars Technica opted for the latter since posting about expensive Audiophile Ethernet cables on sites like Ars Technica is like posting about Kim Kardashian's latest revealing outfit...anywhere. Neither tell us anything of import yet people can't seem to look away.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 20, 2015
“If your experiment needs a statistician, you need a better experiment.” ― Ernest Rutherford

I have not seen the results of yesterday's Amazing Randi/Ars Technica $1,000,000 challenge comparing an AudioQuest Vodka Ethernet cable to "a cheap Amazon Basics Cat5 Ethernet" but I can't wait to read the results and the analysis of those results. Should be entertaining. My guess is we'll be told that Ethernet cables do not make any difference even though many people have experienced otherwise. One real question is—when looking at results from audio tests involving more than one person, does it make sense to draw generalized conclusions that discount individual results?

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 17, 2015
All the the world's a staging and there's no bigger stage than Las Vegas and no bigger lover of that stage than James Randi. Ars Technica along with the James Randi Educational Foundation are going to put an AudioQuest Vodka Ethernet cable to the test! Well actually they are going to put whoever takes part in the test to the test the results of which will tell us everything we wanted to know about these listeners listening to the test gear and music in the test environment. But hey, I love the scientific method as much as the next guy especially when it's tarted up and paraded on stage in Vegas in front of paying skeptical spectators. That sounds like the perfect impartial crowd in a perfectly natural and acoustically sound environment for a listening test, no? I'll be hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how they didn't hear a difference.