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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 20, 2017 1 comments
Beautiful sound was the order of the day at Tone of Music Audio (1303 Castro Street, Suite D, San Francisco, CA 94114), as the small retailer, headquartered in the heart of San Francisco's Noe Valley, held the first of two spring open houses. Judging from what the 30 or so visitors heard at the first open house, on March 18, those who show up for the second listening session on Saturday, April 1, between noon and 5 pm (RSVP to info@toneofmusic.com), are in for a treat.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 16, 2017 15 comments
On March 17, Japanese label Ottava will release the first MQA recording on compact disc, A. Piazzolla by Strings and Oboe. Recorded by the UNAMAS Piazzolla Septet, whose videos you can view online, the short disc was mastered by the Tokyo-based label's CEO, Mick Sawaguchi. The recording is also available for download.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 15, 2017 4 comments
The recently-released Audirvana Plus 3 has become the first desktop music player for MacOS to include an integrated MQA Core decoder. To quote the press release, issued jointly by London-based MQA and Paris-based Audirvana, Audirvana's MQA Core decoder "enables the first origami 'unfold' and also authenticates the file using a blue or green light to confirm that the sound is identical to that of the source material."
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 12, 2017 12 comments
The 12th annual Music Matters event, held at Definitive Audio's Seattle location on March 9, featured six complete systems plus an Auralic-driven headphone display and static Rega turntable corner. All but the silent display showcased recorded music in its finest light. By the end of the evening, it was clear why Music Matters has earned a reputation as the top retailer-sponsored audio event in the USA.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 05, 2017 12 comments
You may never before have heard of Flemish composer Giaches de Wert (b. 1535 somewhere in the region of Antwerp or Ghent), nor listened to his sacred motets, which I auditioned as a native DSD64 download from NativeDSD. Regardless, his music's supreme beauty, captured in convincingly natural spaciousness on Harmonia Mundi's latest DSD-native hybrid SACD from the 13-member, English vocal ensemble, Stile Antico, will likely sweep you away.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 26, 2017 4 comments
Fear not. Not only is Adam Schoenberg, 36, one of America's most performed living composers, but his music (and, perhaps DNA) bears no relationship to the horrors of that 20th century demon of twelve-tone discord, Arnold Schoenberg. Quite the contrary. The three works on the new, vividly recorded Adam Schoenberg hybrid SACD from Reference Recordings, recorded in 24/176.4 surround and played by the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern, are deliciously tonal, filled with color and energy, and irrepressibly optimistic.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 20, 2017 25 comments
For the first time in a decade, Grammy Award-winning audiophile label Reference Recordings (RR) has updated its website. Filled with new features, including new blog posts and an "Audiophile Corner," the website offers physical media and hi-rez downloads of a host of Reference Recordings made by legendary, Grammy-feted recording engineer/digital pioneer Keith O. Johnson, along with Sean Royce Martin, and other recordings on the RR Fresh! label recorded by the SoundMirror team.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 16, 2017 19 comments
On February 16, Universal Music Group and MQA announced a multi-year agreement that will encode UMG's huge catalog of master recordings in MQA. In the language of the press release, the agreement promises "to make some of the world's most celebrated recordings available for the first time in Hi-Res Audio streaming." UMG's labels include ECM, Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Capitol, Island, Def Jam, Decca, Verve, Blue Note, Virgin, and EMI.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 14, 2017 17 comments
This year is not only one of fallout from the most divisive political campaigns of our time, but will also one of competing audio shows too close for comfort. Southern California will see dueling audio shows three months and 35 miles apart, and New York City and Washington, DC will host shows on consecutive weekends. While a proliferation of audio shows potentially presents plenty of opportunities for audiophiles to hear new gear, such conflicts ultimately limit which manufacturers can exhibit where, and can render some shows a poor value.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 13, 2017 4 comments
Prepare for one of those wild, hold-on-to-your-horses rides that will send minds and sound systems spinning (and horses bolting). Andrew Norman's award-winning, 47-minute orchestral work Play (2013), plays with musician and listener expectations simultaneously while proceeding on a course barely predictable from its opening salvos. Somewhat reflective of the worlds of rock and jazz, with a language all its own and ideas far more developed, dense, and unpredictable than all but the most experimental and far out excursions, Play's visceral and cerebral appeal reaches far beyond the confines of genres and settings.

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