Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 01, 2011  |  9 comments
It May As Well Slice And Dice
The NAD C 446 Digital Media Tuner offers a host of options through which you can play your music; kit with a big caboodle. You can listen to Internet radio, LAST.FM (if you have a paid account), regular old AM/FM, DAB where available, you can stick your USB memory stick in and listen to files from it, you can Play To the UPnP Receiver, stream to the UPnP Client, play music stored on your UPnP/DLNA Network Attached Storage device or Twonky Server, create playlists on the fly from your Android or iOS devices thanks to its UPnP Digital Audio Renderer (DAR) technology, and play music from your docked iPod/iPhone if you have the NAD IPD 2 Dock ($159.95).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Scott Wilkinson, Online Editor of our sibling site, was kind enough to invite me over (virtually) for a chat. A live video chat. See all the action here.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  17 comments
dBpoweramp CD Ripper & Music Converter Reference R14 ($38 Windows-only) from Illustrate has added an "Uncompressed" option to its bag of FLAC encoding tricks with release 14.1. So what's the big deal?
FLAC encoder wording changed, also includes a FLAC Uncompressed encoding option (which stores audio uncompressed, for those who want WAVE PCM but with better ID Tagging).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 28, 2011  |  0 comments
In October of 2014, we moved to a new/older house that sits on 4+ acres down a private dirt road in the wilds of New Jersey. This home also came with a separate barn, which is my where I work (and listen to music). Details....
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 22, 2011  |  44 comments
Do FLAC files sound inferior to WAV files? Or more generally, do lossless compressed file formats (FLAC, ALAC, APE...) sound worse than their uncompressed twins? I've seen the argument that due to the extra processing imposed on your computer by FLAC, for example, during playback, this method is more prone to computer-introduced timing errors. Stepping back from this scenario for a moment, everyone seems to agree that the less your computer does during music playback the better it sounds so it would make sense to apply this same logic to the actual playback process. No?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 21, 2011  |  10 comments
Todd Garfinkle of MA Recordings contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in receiving some of the MA Recordings factory-produced DVD-ROMs for review. "Yes" was my immediate answer. Soon thereafter a package arrived containing seven, yes seven, DVDs containing hours of music. But let's start at the beginning. Do you know about MA Recordings? Their mainstay is recordings produced and engineered by none other than Todd Garfinkle and Todd prefers a simple setup consisting of two custom omnidirectional microphones, "the signals of which are "fed" through exotic audio cabling into handmade and customized recording equipment, designed specifically for MA". And an actual place is used for recording as opposed to a recording space. Or as the MA website describes them, "large, acoustically significant environments such as classical concert halls, churches and galleries."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 19, 2011  |  2 comments
National Science Foundation
For Immediate Release
New software tool provides unprecedented searches of sound, from musical riffs to gunshots.

Audio engineers have developed a novel artificial intelligence system for understanding and indexing sound, a unique tool for both finding and matching previously un-labeled audio files.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 18, 2011  |  1 comments
I can remember the first time I saw a picture of the Bel Canto SET 40 power amplifier which employed a pair of 845 triode output tubes surrounded by some cool-ass Metropolis/Tesla/Frankenstein-looking tube cages and thinking—these guys are different. Fast forward to today which is a far cry from any of the futures envisioned by anyone even in 1990 when Bel Canto Design first opened its lab for business and we find a bevy of products housed in the same clothes regardless of function; switching power amplifiers, preamplifiers, DACs, a CD player, a CD transport, and an integrated amplifier. While the tubes have disappeared, the feeling that these guys are different remains.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 17, 2011  |  6 comments
No, not my review, the speakers. I've been informed by Caster Communications, the company that handles PR for Paradigm and others, that the Paradigm Shift A2 will get a re-working to deal with their self-noise as noted in my review and others. Details on the exact changes as well as the launch date of the revised A2 Shift are currently TBD.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 16, 2011  |  1 comments
I enjoy Audirvana's old free player which I use mainly on my iMac creating on-the-fly playlists from my NAS drive. Works like a charm. The Audirvana people have been busy with the launch of their $49 Plus version and they've just announced iTunes integration (if you can't beat 'em, integrate 'em).