Jump to content
IGNORED

Vocals sound harsh


Recommended Posts

Playing jazz and classic rock is great on JRiver, however, most of the vocals sound "quite harsh or thin," with the percussion, etc. sounding wonderful. Changing sampling rate, etc..., and changing ASIO, WASAPI has not resolved the issue. Have even switched usb cables and DAC's. Suggestions are appreciated. My system is Win 7 PRO 64 bit. Thank you, enjoy.

HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

Link to comment

For me, sometimes the devil is in the details. I'm an amateur here, but since this same phenomenon happens to me, it would be worth checking how far you have moved in the direction of a dedicated music server, and if not, how recently you've done a clean installation of the OS. I've found that all sorts of audible things can happen with the software and hardware of the pc.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

Link to comment

The problem may have nothing to do with the equipment but instead may be related to room acoustics. Strong early reflections off of untreated surfaces will produce sonic aberrations similar to what you describe.

Main System: Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, TP-Link MC200CM (X2)

Living Room: Sonore ultraRendu, Ayre QB-9DSD, SimAudio Moon 340iX, B&W 802 Diamond

Link to comment
Playing jazz and classic rock is great on JRiver, however, most of the vocals sound "quite harsh or thin," with the percussion, etc. sounding wonderful. Changing sampling rate, etc..., and changing ASIO, WASAPI has not resolved the issue. Have even switched usb cables and DAC's. Suggestions are appreciated. My system is Win 7 PRO 64 bit. Thank you, enjoy.

 

windows 8.1 sounds better, wasapi engine was rewritten. Try wdm-ks. The optimised wdm-ks squeezelite/portaudio JLP player I'm developing here http://mqnplayer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/mqn-just-good-music.html sounds superb, with no harshness, but maybe a bit tricky to set up.

There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made. Richard P Feynman

 

http://mqnplayer.blogspot.co.uk/

Link to comment

Have you tried the cPlay freeware ?

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment

Simple. You don't like beryllium tweeters. It's a well known issue of the focal Be line to be fatiguing or too forward in the upper midrange. This can be said for quite a few two ways with metal dome tweeters that are crossed over low to match the narrowing directivity of a 6.5" woofer. What's become a trend in speakers these days is the "compact" but "Fullrange" monitor where the tradeoff for "compact" typically results in a deficiency elsewhere. This isn't to say that compact 2 ways are a 'bad' design........it's not. They will simply never be as clean and balanced as a true three way speaker where the midrange driver can cover the critical audio range and allow for a tweeter crossover above 3khz where it should be. What you are hearing could have been reduced with the use of a silk dome tweeter instead, but again, for many, the presentation of silk tweeters is too 'laid back' for critical monitoring or 'unrevealing'.

 

My suggestion would be to listen to some three way monitors or two ways with either small format midwoofers crossed high to metal type domes( if you still enjoy metal dome sound) or standard 6.5" midwoofers with silk domes. I'd try and listen to some ATC monitors who's midrange dome is considered by many to be the finest midrange driver available.

Link to comment

I tend to agree with mayhem, but you may not have to go as far as a 3 way. Of course a 3 way has benefits, but it also has a crossover amidst the midrange which some find bothersome. Before switching speakers, you might want to investigate your sources as they may be the cause, or at least aggravating things if you are only using digital. As vinyl has trouble with bass, digital does with treble. Most anything afoul with digital music wrecks the highs.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment

Focals seem to have a very unforgiving sound to me. If for example, you have a bad recording, it will very much sound like a bad recording, with every wart and wrinkle presented for inspection. Doubly true with the Benchmark DAC2 which has similar properties.

 

Here is what I would do- I would be sure that the source material is full res- Alac, Flac, Aiff, etc. then I would set JRMC to playing it bit perfect. Listen to a small set of tracks and take notes. Then change one small thing at a time.

 

For example- start by having JRMC transcode everything to DSD and listen to your test tracks again- being sure to compare against your notes and making new notes.

 

Try as many different things as you can think of, including different interfaces to the Benchmark. Try optical, USB, Coax, etc.

 

Chances are something simple will make a significant change, and that will allow you to focus your efforts on the real problem, whatever it may be. If you can, also try listening to your system using a Mac and/or Linux as a source.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

Link to comment
Focals seem to have a very unforgiving sound to me. If for example, you have a bad recording, it will very much sound like a bad recording, with every wart and wrinkle presented for inspection. Doubly true with the Benchmark DAC2 which has similar properties.

 

Here is what I would do- I would be sure that the source material is full res- Alac, Flac, Aiff, etc. then I would set JRMC to playing it bit perfect. Listen to a small set of tracks and take notes. Then change one small thing at a time.

 

For example- start by having JRMC transcode everything to DSD and listen to your test tracks again- being sure to compare against your notes and making new notes.

 

Try as many different things as you can think of, including different interfaces to the Benchmark. Try optical, USB, Coax, etc.

 

Chances are something simple will make a significant change, and that will allow you to focus your efforts on the real problem, whatever it may be. If you can, also try listening to your system using a Mac and/or Linux as a source.

 

Better yet, if you think the issue is source related, have someone BLINDLY switch the DAC interfaces and settings within the PC. That will take the possibility of bias out of the realm of possibilities.

 

I do have to agree with Paul here that those things he mentions may be the cause.....although keeping in agreement with Paul's method and rationale, if find it not very 'likely'! Lol

Link to comment

Do we really need to spin this into DBT/ABX? Surely, if one has made it as far as CA, they are aware of the view points.

Better yet, if you think the issue is source related, have someone BLINDLY switch the DAC interfaces and settings within the PC. That will take the possibility of bias out of the realm of possibilities.

 

I do have to agree with Paul here that those things he mentions may be the cause.....although keeping in agreement with Paul's method and rationale, if find it not very 'likely'! Lol

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment

Thanks for the input. FYI, at times some playback using Winamp w/ Izotope sounds much better than JRiver. Audio great playback really is a great adventure... on this everyone must agree... enjoy.

HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

Link to comment

(Grin)

Blind testing would not have much point here would it? One has to know what one is comparing in the first place...

 

Besides, I do not think he is trying to prove anythng, just find the best sound as per his own enjoyment. :)

 

Were I a betting man, I might be moved to lay some money on the DSD transcoding or the interface changes solving the problem. Fortunately for one of us, I am far too cheap to risk money that way! ;)

 

Paul

 

Better yet, if you think the issue is source related, have someone BLINDLY switch the DAC interfaces and settings within the PC. That will take the possibility of bias out of the realm of possibilities.

 

I do have to agree with Paul here that those things he mentions may be the cause.....although keeping in agreement with Paul's method and rationale, if find it not very 'likely'! Lol

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

Link to comment

W O W ! set buffering to 250 milliseconds and now, "sweet as good chocolate."

HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

Link to comment

Copy some offending files. Put them in a sound editor and drop the level with EQ by 3 db from 2 khz to 10 khz. Your speakers have a bulge in response there.

 

Alternatively try thin cotton cloth like from a t-shirt in front of the tweeters.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment

Prior buffer was 50

HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...