Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 23, 2012
To Serve & Groove is subtitled "A Comprehensive Compendium of Numerically Disposed Mellifluous Servitude or How To Make Your Mac Into A Real Fine Music Server" which provides a fairly good synopsis of the author Oliver Masciarotte's style and approach to his subject. Namely, this is some complicated stuff but it doesn't have to be. You can also hear a certain cool jivey cadence to Mr. Masciarotte's prose which makes sense seeing as he comes from a musical background as well as being a graduate of MIT. Brains and musical prose sounds good to me but does Mr. Masciarotte answer his fundamental question on his way to the Appendices?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 09, 2012
Reader 'marcusavalon' posed an interesting question(s) in our forums:
I would like to stream music from my PC or a NAS to the amp but must confess to being confused as to what route to go down.

Do buy a DAC to attach to my amp and some kind of streamer?

Do I buy a music server like the Olive O4HD with a new amp that would make use of the digital outputs?

Would a Logitech Squeeze box disappoint musically over my system?

Is it better to watch and wait until the whole thing settles down a little?

Check out "Joining the digital revolution?" and join in the discussion.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 03, 2012
Tusk, tusk, tusk, rumors and more rumors. There was a time back in the '70s where it felt like Fleetwood Mac had taken up camp inside my head. Their music was played so frequently on the radio and at parties, it became a kind of de facto soundtrack to many lives. And I kinda hated that. Out!, damn spot! I do not own any Fleetwood Mac albums, and I have not listened to their music in years which means nostalgia may have begun to work its magic, polishing these once-painful memories of repetition ad nauseam into something golden and oldie.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 01, 2012
There have been a number of comments here on AudioStream of late asking about things like comparative reviews, value, accuracy, and other common-enough audiophile topics. While some people appear to assume that their way of doing things is the only way of doing things, I have always held that in hi-fi, enjoyment rules. Ideally this enjoyment is concerned with music but practically speaking it is most certainly a personal matter.

So I figured I'd share another "As We See It" I wrote for Stereophile (originally published October 2010) which touches on this topic. You can read the original here which includes a few pages of Letters to the Editor. Enjoy!

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 30, 2012
Here’s an indispensable entry for every Audiophile library—Daniel J. Levitin’s This Is Your Brain On Music (Dutton, 2006) which explains, among many other things, why being a musician, even a poor one, is much more important than having an expensive car:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 23, 2012
Our recent series of Q&As with David Chesky, Bruce Brown, Barry Diament, and Mark Waldrep illustrate some of the differing points of view that exist within the world of HD music from an insider's perspective. If you read these articles you'll see disagreement on some very basic points but the one that I'd like to focus on is - What is a HD download?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 12, 2012
The Audiophile Tree of Life

This/my "As We See It" first appeared in Stereophile Magazine, June 2011 (see the original here). John Atkinson, Stereophile's Editor, was kind enough to allow me to re-present it and I've decided to do so since it deals with some of the issues and ideas being discussed in the Comments section of a number of recent posts. Enjoy!

"Blondy watched this proud, drum-tight personality fidget past him on the street and began projecting; he couldn't help it: an unfinished degree in journalism, concerned married sisters in New Jersey or Connecticut (but probably New Jersey), weights but no cardio, aggrieved blind dates, Cigar Aficionado and Stereophile, takeout menus, acres of porn." —from "Lucky Alan," by Jonathan Lethem; The New Yorker, March 19, 2007
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 05, 2012
Mytek Digital Stereo 192-DSD DAC ($1,695)

A few readers have asked - "What's next!" - so here's an updated list of a few things that are in-house and on-deck.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 16, 2012
The Birthday Party Hits

During my recent interviews with David Chesky, I spoke to the ever-genial Lisa Hershfield, Press Contact/Customer Service Manager of HDtracks, a number of times. Lisa was kind enough to ask me if I'd like to participate in HDtracks "Critics' Picks" which is nearly exactly what it sounds like—critics, like Steve Guttenberg (the Audiophiliac and contributing writer for among others InnerFidelity) and Gilbert Hertherwick (former President of Sony/BMG Masterworks & General Manager of Angel / EMI Classics), are asked to share some of their favorite records. While I don't consider myself a music critic, I can certainly be critical and I do have favorites.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 02, 2012
:zoviet*france untitled (Hessian)

Did the music industry just pull off a major coup right under our sensitive and discriminating music-downloading noses? ~ an Opinionated-Editorial

Back in the '80s, after graduating from college and spending a truly miserable 6 months trying to regain my footing 'back home', a college friend orchestrated the availability of a rent-stabilized apartment on the upper West Side of Manhattan. I say orchestrated because that's exactly what he did as my move from the first floor of a one bedroom rental apartment in a recently refurbished old home in Montclair to a six room apartment with an eat in kitchen and dining room in NYC cut my monthly rent by more than half. Orchestrated masterfully.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 01, 2012
It’s an app, its music, and its art. Animal Collective (the band) and artist Danny Perez collaborated on an installation titled Transverse Temporal Gyrus to help celebrate the Guggenheim Museum's 50th anniversary that combined visuals from Danny Perez and sounds and music from Animal Collective diced, spliced and repackaged by a computer program written by Stephan Moore and played over a 36 channel surround sound system set up on the museum's famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed spiral ramp.

Now you can download the Transverse Temporal Gyrus app that will play three hours of Animal Collective’s music “in a new and unique way each time you run it.”

Michael Lavorgna  |  May 22, 2012
Wadia 121Decoding Computer ($1,299)

A few readers have asked - "What's next!" - so here are a few things that are in-house and on-deck.

Michael Lavorgna  |  May 21, 2012
I'm going to be exploring Logitech's Squeezebox Touch unrestrained since I returned my loaner and splurged for one of my very own. The plan right now is to review the stock Squeezebox Touch, then in a series of followups talk about modifications, tweaks, add-ons and apps to squeeze the best performance (I bet you saw that coming from a mile away) from the Squeezebox Touch.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 15, 2012
John Chamberlain, Dolores James (1962) Painted and chromium-plated steel. 184.2 × 257.8 × 117.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 70.1925. © 2012 John Chamberlain/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Kristopher McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Over on the Stereophile website, Ariel Bitran put up a post titled, "The Unofficial Dynamic Range Database". In it, he talks about the "Unofficial” Dynamic Range Database and his recent experience with a disagreeable show-goer at the NY Audio Show and a Phish recording. What I found interesting about Ariel's post was the fact that this disagreeable show-goer actually left the room because he considered Ariel's musical selection, a track from Phish's Lawn Boy to be too dynamically compressed to bear. Elvis has left the building.

Michael Lavorgna  |  May 04, 2012
During my review of the Resonessence Labs Invicta DAC, I had an interesting exchange with Mark Mallinson of Resonessence about the SD Card reader feature in their DAC. Here's what Mark said:
Our decision to include the SD card is based upon our belief that over time this technology will gain a lot of momentum. Shortly we will be implementing the SDXC spec for the card reader. This specification allows cards to reach 2 terabytes in capacity. At these kind of levels you will no longer need a computer or music server in the loop for playback as your entire music library can be stored on the SD card.
And I thought, hmm that's an interesting proposition.