Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 10, 2012  |  0 comments
Alpha Design Labs (ADL) is Furutech’s "entry-level line" and the Esprit DAC/Preamp/Headphone Amp/ADC ($999) is ready to do all sorts of things to your analog or digital data including making a recording of it (just don't tell the RIAA). The Esprit sports a 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC for 24-bit/192kHz through its S/PDIF inputs (Coax and Toslink) and a Tenor TE7022L for 24-bit/96kHz for D/A conversion via USB. Analog to Digital conversion is handled by an Asahi Kasei AK5385B 24-bit/192kHz converter.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  2 comments
We arrived after a layover in Denver where we got see the winning TD pass in yesterday’s Broncos/Steelers playoff game about 425 times on the airport bar TV (Fat Tire on tap if you must know). Arriving in Las Vegas brings with it that special rush of feelings that are best summed up in a word—dread. I’d say more but Stephen Mejias of Stereophile already said it better right here.

The 2012 International CES officially opens tomorrow at 10:00am and we’re in for 4 days of action-packed listening. Stay tuned!

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 06, 2012  |  3 comments
I bought the long since discontinued SilverStone EB01B about 6 years ago for what I recall was the sale price of $78 (original retail was $99). I was looking for a relatively inexpensive USB DAC for a desktop system and I’d read a review of the EB01B on a long since defunct website and thought, for $78 why not? The diminutive EB01B sat on my desk and was connected to all manner of hi-fi from T-amps to tiny tube amps to homemade speakers using a pair of Fostex drivers sitting in ceramic flower pots (that was really meant to be a joke but they didn’t sound half bad). Once my listening room merged with my full-time office, I retired the EB01B along with the flower pots for a more serious setup.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 06, 2012  |  4 comments
My CES dance card is filling up with all kinds of new tricks and treats. I've received hundreds of emails and a bunch of phone calls mainly from companies selling stuff with lowercase "i"'s affixed to the beginning of their product names which I suppose makes them "computer" related even though 99% of the emails and phone calls I received have nothing to do with "audio" (mental note: next year do not provide my actual cell phone number when registering). So the real trick for covering CES is to stay focused on what's important. Seek out new trends, spot the next big thing, snap that photo of the as yet unseen, and perhaps if we're lucky come away with a long list of must-hear hot new gear.

That's why I'm looking forward to my date with Snooki.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 04, 2012  |  22 comments
Pioneer made the official N-50 announcement today. Here are the vitals (from Pioneer):

Networking: AirPlay-compatible, DLNA 1.5, vTuner Internet Radio, Ethernet, Wireless LAN and Bluetooth ready (requires separate devices)
Inputs: Asynchronous USB DAC (32-bit/192kHz), S/PDIF (Coax & Toslink), Ethernet/LAN input, front panel USB for Mass storage/iPod/iPhone/iPad digital
Outputs: RCA, S/PDIF (Coax & Toslink)
Other: “Made for iPad, iPhone and iPod”, iPhone or Android remote apps, 2.5” Full-Color LCD Display, included remote and more...
File Formats Supported: WAV (24-bit/192khz), FLAC (24-bit/192khz), MP3 (320kbps), WMA (320kbps), AAC (320kbps) and Ogg Vorbis (320kbps).

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 04, 2012  |  12 comments
It’s Easy
As Sam Tellig said in his review of the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II in the January 2012 issue of Stereophile, there really shouldn’t be much uncertainty or confusion surrounding computer audio and high resolution downloads. Oh wait, here’s what Sam actually wrote, “There’s so much uncertainty and confusion surrounding computer audio and high-resolution downloads.” OK, we don't see eye to eye.

Sam also wonders/worries, “Which hi-rez format will win out? How do you store the downloads you’ve bought (Easy. Don’t buy them.) How do you access them? Will digital rights management (DRM) cramp your style, or data storage fees for cloud computing crumple your wallet?”

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 03, 2012  |  1 comments
Used digital music? I think "pre-owned" may be more accurate but the concept is as old as the hills—sell music you bought that you longer want:
Simply put, ReDigi is recycled digital media. We’re like your favorite used record store, but for digital music files. We offer the best-quality downloads of your favorite songs for a much lower price than other music stores, and you don't have to worry about songs being lower-quality becuase a digital music file isn't like a CD - it never gets scratched or worn out.
But is it legal?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 02, 2012  |  0 comments
In the film The Days of Wine And Roses, Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick are a couple (and a couple of alcoholics but that's another story) who live in a roach-infested apartment. At some point Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) is fed up so he sprays the roaches in his apartment and his neighbors are not happy. They explain that all he's done is move the roaches from his apartment to theirs and there's an unwritten apartment-dweller's law that you should just leave roaches alone, "You get them all stirred up, and what's the good? You made a mess. You've gotta think about other people, you know." And finally, "You've undermined the whole base of metabolism of the building."

I received this email from "Joe":

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 02, 2012  |  0 comments
CES is just a week and a day away. With only 1,028 exhibitors listed in the "Audio" category and four days to cover the show, I should have no problem getting to every room. That's roughly 1.5 minutes in each room (on average) leaving over an hour each day leeway. No sweat!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 31, 2011  |  3 comments
2012 has been officially declared Alan Turing Year to celebrate Turing's contributions to the art of computer science, computing, artificial intelligence, developmental biology, and the mathematical theory of computability on the centenary of his birth. His Turing Machine, it can be said, helped launch the age of the algorithm within which we live. Turing also developed "the bombe" an electromechanical device used by British cryptologists to help decipher German Enigma-machine-encrypted signals during World War II.

Turing also developed the "Turing test" most famously portrayed in the film "Blade Runner" which asks,

I propose to consider the question, 'Can machines think?'~ Alan Turing