Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 19, 2016
Blue As an Orange, released on Morphine Records in January 2016, is Pierre Bastien and his merry band of mechanical musicians. Bastien builds his automated orchestras from non-musical stuff, amplified Meccano parts, motors, fans, rattles, paper, and nails, turning them into automata timekeepers. Over the top, Bastien interjects his own playing on prepared trumpet, gongs, electric harpsichord, bass, drums and more adding up to a pleasantly jangly and at times jazzy journey.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 18, 2016
Trickle Down
John Atkinson praised the dCS Vivaldi stack (114,496) in his Measurements section of Michael Fremer's review; "Without any doubt, this was the best digital playback I have experienced." and "When I measured the company's earlier four-box system, the Scarlatti, in 2009, I concluded that it offered 'state-of-the-art measured performance.' The Vivaldi improves on the Scarlatti's performance in almost every way. Wow!" The dCS Rossini DAC inherits a number of things from the Vivaldi including the dCS Digital Processing Platform.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 16, 2016
If you spend any time reading about hi-fi online— blogs, blog comments, forums— you may very well walk away with the idea that our hi-fi hobby is filled with angry people railing against all manner of corruption. If I was new to hi-fi and my introduction came about through forums or comments, I'd run away and never look back. Rarely will you read anything about music in this miasma, rarely will you be treated to anything to do with enjoyment, let alone the entire point of our hi-fi hobby; The experience of enjoying listening to music.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 16, 2016
I decided to watch the 2016 Grammys last night and I decided to enjoy myself. It wasn't very difficult either. Taylor Swift's opener was pure pop, Lady Gaga's Bowie tribute was a romp, The Alabama Shakes delivered a high-energy jaunt, and then there was Kendrick Lamar performing two songs from last year's album To Pimp A Butterfly plus something brand new. This was among the most moving and powerful performances I've ever seen. Anywhere. Watch for yourself:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 15, 2016
The recordings I am listing have engaged me and gotten me out of repetitive listening that I tend to find myself getting into from time to time. They don’t come from a particular genre, and at least as far I can determine, there is no pattern. At the time I first heard each of these records I was most likely focusing on classical or jazz to the exclusion of much else except for the blues, which tends to be a constant for me. These albums either brought me out of that comfort zone or made me want to explore a new genre. Some of this music was genuinely new to me while others were something I found at a store or saw an article about that caused me to seek them out. I find myself coming back to these and a few others when I am in need of breaking out.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 14, 2016
Here's a lovely piece of writing on the recent observation made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), "...that a signal from gravitational waves had been discovered emanating from the collision and merger of two massive black holes over a billion light-years away. How far away is that? Well, one light-year is about 5.88 trillion miles.", writes Lawrence M. Krauss, theoretical physicist, director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, and author of "A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing". This discovery also confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity.

What does this have to do AudioStream? This quote from Lawrence M. Krauss sums up this relevance nicely:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 12, 2016
Art is a funny thing: Funny because what some people consider to be art, others don't. I'm not talking about value judgments of "good" or "bad", I'm talking about the mere classification as such. Of course the art doesn't care one way or another. It just is. Art also knows it may take years, decades, or more for people to come around to realizing what it is. Beauty is not "in the eye of the beholder", it hovers between the beholder and that which is beheld.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 11, 2016
Engineering Cred
Ed Meitner, the man behind EMM Labs, has some serious engineering credentials. These include a number of patents and a few decades' worth of product design and innovation including preampfification, amplification, and all things digital (like the Meitner Intelligent Digital Audio Translator (IDAT) digital processor from 1993). I owned and enjoyed the Museatex Meitner STR55 Stereo Amp back in the '90s when I was living the life of an IT guy by day and loft-living painter by night in NYC. I can still remember loving the ST55's design and sound, a nice change from the behemoths populating the floors of high-end shops like immovable metal heat generating odes to speaker design gone awry.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 10, 2016
I spent a few hours this morning listening to MQA-encoded files decoded through the Meridian Prime Headphone Amp/DAC. While it's too soon to make any definitive comments, I can say that some of the sound qualities I heard at the CES MQA demos (read about that here and here) are apparent here in the barn. Readily apparent.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 09, 2016
An article in yesterday's NY Times Science blog, New Ways Into the Brain’s ‘Music Room’, reports on recent and fascinating findings from scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
"By mathematically analyzing scans of the auditory cortex and grouping clusters of brain cells with similar activation patterns, the scientists have identified neural pathways that react almost exclusively to the sound of music — any music."