VirtualDJ Home for Mac review

VirtualDJ Home for Mac brings you all the tools you need to make remixes and music mashups using existing MP3 files. Its performance and features will impress you.


Easy access to files: When you open VirtualDJ Home for Mac, you instantly have access to all your files, including those saved in iTunes or created in GarageBand. No searching through your hard drive or importing is necessary. Choosing tracks to work with is one of the most seamless features of this application. All popular file formats are supported, including MP3, MP4, WAV, WMA, AAC, and MPEG.

Intuitive basic functions: You … Read more

How to make LPs sound better than ever

The vinyl boom isn't slowing. Here in NYC, Rough Trade opened a new 15,000-square-foot record store, and the display space is evenly split between LPs and CDs. Vinyl sales were up 18 percent in 2012, and that growth continued in 2013.

To get the best sound from an LP, you need a decent turntable, and the $179 U Turn Orbit I reviewed a few months ago would be a great place to start. The $449 Rega RP1 turntable will get you even closer to audiophile nirvana.

After you buy a nice 'table the next question will be, how … Read more

Ultra-high-end turntable puts a new spin on CES 2014

Audioarts imports the Sperling Heavyweight Turntable L-1 from Germany, and even before you hear this incredible work of art your eyes tell you this is one serious machine. The Heavyweight Turntable L-1 can accommodate two tone arms, and that allows owners to instantly choose the sound they want for the LP they're going to play. With two arms they can enjoy two, very different-sounding phono cartridges, maybe a mellow Koetsu for 1950s jazz, and a state-of-the-art Lyra for the Black Keys. The Heavyweight Turntable L-1's flexibility makes this possible.

Ansgar Sperling, the company's founder, started out as … Read more

Want to get more out of music? Listen to LPs

Rega may have started out as an audiophile turntable company in 1973, but it now offers a full line of amplifiers, CD players, digital converters, phono cartridges, and speakers.

They're all good, but to me Rega has always set the standard for affordable turntables. Most companies venturing into that market owe a lot to Rega's aesthetics and simple-is-better, functional design ethic. Take a look at the new U-Turn Orbit turntable reviewed just a few weeks ago and you'll see what I mean. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a clone, but the Rega … Read more

Ex-IBM engineer builds innovative phono cartridges

Peter Ledermann is one of just a handful of highly skilled people on the planet who designs and hand-builds phono cartridges. These tiny electro-mechanical devices are usually machine made, but Ledermann builds world-class cartridges with his hands and a microscope. His company, Soundsmith, also manufactures speakers and amplifiers, and services vintage Bang & Olufsen and Tandberg products.

Ledermann's resume is impressive: He was the director of Engineering for Bozak, one of America's leading speaker manufacturers in the 1960s. And for 10 years, starting in 1980, he was an IBM senior research engineer and is credited as the primary … Read more

The 404 1,401: Where we get in the groove with Steve Guttenberg (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- U-Turn Orbit: An audiophile-quality turntable for $179.

- Steven's Koss Pro4AA Titanium review.

- MDR SA5000: Sony's classic, audiophile-grade, full-size headphone.

- Why open a huge new record store in 2013?

- New Spotify report debunks "per stream" payments for artists.

- Check out Fuse's awesome video series about obsessive record collectors.

- The Wrecking Crew: The best-selling band you've never heard of.… Read more

U-Turn Orbit: An audiophile-quality turntable for $179

Most cheap turntables sound cheap -- they're rumbly, thin and distorted -- but the U-Turn Orbit Basic suffers no such faults. Before the $179 Orbit's debut, audiophile turntable prices started at around $400. And while used turntables might be a way to get into vinyl for less, turntables are rather delicate devices, so used buys can be risky. If you're ready to take the plunge and explore new vinyl frontiers, you need a decent turntable to hear what the fuss is all about. The Orbit Basic will take you there.

I first heard about the Orbit when … Read more

What consumer electronics product has been made for 40 years?

I bought a Linn LP-12 way back in 1978, and used Linn turntables until five years ago, when I bought a VPI Classic. Turntables last practically forever, which is one of my favorite things about high-end audio gear: the best products have incredibly long lives. As I recall, the LP-12's initial claim to fame was conceptual; Linn promoted the idea that the "front-end," aka the source -- a turntable, CD player, or cassette deck -- would make or break the overall sound of a music system. If the source's sound quality was poor to start with, … Read more

Brooklyn's treasure trove of used high-end audio

I visited Stereo Buyers' Brooklyn headquarters to get a first-hand look at their gear. Located in Red Hook, the facility was flooded by Hurricane Sandy last summer, and most of the inventory was literally underwater. Stereo Buyers' Adam Wexler did his best to prepare before the storm hit, but his best line in recalling the disaster was, "I bet you didn't know that Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy 5 speakers (that weigh over 100 pounds) can float, but they can. It was crazy and depressing; the financial losses were a bummer." He didn't have flood insurance, but … Read more

Poll: If digital audio is so great, why didn't it kill the LP?

There's no sense denying vinyl's imperfections. First there are the noise issues -- pops, clicks, and rumble -- and they all get a little worse every time you play an LP. Then there are problems with speed stability, off-center pressings, warped records, less than accurate vinyl and phono cartridge frequency response curves, poor stereo separation, and limited dynamic range. That was all true back in 1983, and digital has only improved since then. So why are vinyl sales up year after year since the early 2000s?

Most formats wither and die soon after the replacement format takes over … Read more