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So I have J River Media 19 playing through my desktop set up and it seems to play "real harshly." I have "tweaked and un-tweaked" the program to get the music to sound wonderful and it is failing the mark, really poorly. . I just discovered that if I play my computer cd drive... all is "brilliantly perfect," so what is going on here??? I am playing via external hd's. How can I correct this?

Thank you. (If you can suggest a fix and you live stateside I will send you a cigar!)

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."

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I am telling you, your speakers have a bit of a bulge in response that relate to all such stuff.

 

Knock it down by 2-3 db from 2 khz to 8 or 10 khz. J River isn't the problem.

 

Alternatively, try putting some thin cloth in front of the tweeters. See if that doesn't get rid of the harshness. It may get rid of too much, but it will point to what your issue really is. Surely you can find some thin cloth to temporarily attach or drape in front of just the tweeter to see if this comes close. The cost is free, and the rest is priceless.

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. 

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Esldude, that probably doesn't make sense in this case as his cds sound just fine through the same speakers (unless his cd player exhibits an unusual dip in the high frequencies)

 

Chris

 

Oh well, once again the laws of physics don't apply to audiophiles. Then just EXCUSE ME!

 

If freesteve really wants to fix his problem he might listen to me. It has come up in several ways in several iterations in his recent posts. HARSHNESS. And his speakers exhibit just the kind of response that reinforce any harshness. We can play swap the DAC, swap the USB cable, swap the interconnect, change the buffer settings all we want. If he wants to get a handle on it, change the darned response of his system, predisposed to harshness to eliminate it instead.

 

Otherwise, maybe he can buy a nice power cord.

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. 

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Esldude, I'll excuse the affects of the bug up your ass.

 

In the mean time, OP, you might do a search. I just read a recent post where someone had a similar problem to yours and it had something to do with buffer settings. Doesn't make sense to me, but heh.

 

And Esldude, yes some speakers with certain tweeters (Focals for instance) can sound harsh, but use some common sense. If a good source doesn't sound harsh through them and another source with many setup possibilities does then....

 

And if Freesteve's frivolous littering up of the forum gets on your nerves, say so.

 

Chris

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I thought the buffer size increase fixed it? Lol

 

Steve......could you take a few minutes to try and explain 'exactly' what it is you're hearing? From my perspective and 'assumption', you have described excessive sibilance to the point of fatigue but I'd like to get a more thorough description.

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Oh, so if he really wants to fix his issue, he must listen to YOU! What part of it sounds great(brilliant) via internal cd drive and not playing via JRiver that you think the speakers are causing? Not everyone is in a position to changes speakers at the drop of the hat. His system might be predisposed to harshness, but if he likes it via CD and is pleased with the rest of the results, why wouldn't he want to ameliorate that by other means? Say for instance, I love Quad 63s, but miss the impact of a good 15" driver? What am I to do, give everything I love about the Quads up for a little bass impact? All things have their limitations. In part, a portion of setting up a system is working on the deficiencies.

Oh well, once again the laws of physics don't apply to audiophiles. Then just EXCUSE ME!

 

If freesteve really wants to fix his problem he might listen to me. It has come up in several ways in several iterations in his recent posts. HARSHNESS. And his speakers exhibit just the kind of response that reinforce any harshness. We can play swap the DAC, swap the USB cable, swap the interconnect, change the buffer settings all we want. If he wants to get a handle on it, change the darned response of his system, predisposed to harshness to eliminate it instead.

 

Otherwise, maybe he can buy a nice power cord.

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

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I am just trying to clean up the sound. If using Jriver via the computers built in cd transport sounds wonderful... then how come playback via an external hd does not?

Same JRiver, same settings. ???

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."

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Amongst other things, there is anecdotal evidence the the HD, its connections and power supplies can have sonic impact as well as the buffering. You might want to experiment. Try a USB stick for instance. Besides ESLDude, I doubt anyone knows for sure. There seems to be combinations that interact poorly.

I am just trying to clean up the sound. If using Jriver via the computers built in cd transport sounds wonderful... then how come playback via an external hd does not?

Same JRiver, same settings. ???

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

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4est TU

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."

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No worries! Try changing ASIO, Kernal streaming or WASAPI too. Somethng is amiss if the CD drive sounds better than the HD.

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

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I do appreciate all the input ... Thank you.

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."

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Oh, so if he really wants to fix his issue, he must listen to YOU! What part of it sounds great(brilliant) via internal cd drive and not playing via JRiver that you think the speakers are causing? Not everyone is in a position to changes speakers at the drop of the hat. His system might be predisposed to harshness, but if he likes it via CD and is pleased with the rest of the results, why wouldn't he want to ameliorate that by other means? Say for instance, I love Quad 63s, but miss the impact of a good 15" driver? What am I to do, give everything I love about the Quads up for a little bass impact? All things have their limitations. In part, a portion of setting up a system is working on the deficiencies.

 

Well, I never asked him to get new speakers. I asked him to tweak the response.

 

Again, in more than one post he has complained of harshness or sibilance. He said swapping the buffer to 250 milliseconds fixed it. And a couple of days later he is again complaining of harshness.

 

True enough, he says he isn't getting it with direct CD playback vs off the hard drive. But also true enough if nearly everything he does with his system causes some harshness, maybe toning down the harshness regions a bit is a good idea. Furthermore, it is one he can try for free. If he doesn't know how to do that just as a test, then I can give him some help or others can.

 

So I am the odd bird, suggesting changing frequency response might help or at least show where the problem lies, where all the 'mainstream' suggestions are to muck about with things that probably make no difference or if they do they are quite tiny vs what I suggested. And measurements of his speakers show a bit of a bulge in just the part of the spectrum that one would expect to exaggerate or make any harshness more noticeable that usually is the case. Yeah, I must be the crazy one.

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. 

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elsdude Comments are appreciated, thank you.

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."

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Along the lines of the external HDD connection, it is not just a question of the HDD power supply vs a USB stick. Some feel that a SATA drive like your CD-ROM drive probably is superior to a USB drive possibly because the USB to the HDD is somehow interfering with the USB to the DAC. I don't really know if it is true as all my HDD & SSD runs off SATA, not USB. One way to try this out is to put a few files from your external HDD onto your internal disk drive and create a separate Jriver library just with these files and then disconnect the external drive and compare your internal drive playback against the CD-ROM drive. Your internal HDD/SSD will almost definitely be SATA too.

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ecwl... Thank you.

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."

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S O L U T I O N GOT MY QUALITY!!!

 

Control; Panel- Sound- Playback-Speakers-Properties-Adavanced change to 24 bit (was 16) (I never knew about this... Thanks to all for your generous thoughtfulness!)

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."

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1. I was under the impression that when you said CD drive playback sounded better, you meant when you play the CD within JRiver vs playing off a file on the external HDD within JRiver.

2. JRiver usually bypasses Windows Control Panel. So when you said you tweaked JRiver over and over again, I sort of assumed you were already in WASAPI / Kernel Streaming mode with the USB 2.0 driver of the DAC2 set as the Audio Device and having set the DAC2 to run in USB2.0 mode and that the appropriate Benchmark DAC2 USB drivers installed:

DAC2 HGC Driver | Benchmark Media

3. I actually don't understand how setting the Control Panel to 24-bit made CD drive playback sound the same as an external HDD. Regardless of your settings, since you're super ecstatic with the sound, that's all that counts. Don't tweak anything anymore. Just enjoy!!!

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Please take this as a friendly comment. It might not seem that way. But it is because I have been there and done that.

 

Here is a guess, a possible scenario, one that fits with events, and what is known about perception.

 

You found a setting to go from 16 to 24 bit, aha! That is my problem you thought. You set it to 24, feeling it would make things better. Then you listen, and VOILA! my quality is back, my problem is found. Sound is so much better.

 

As ecwl so rightly points out, your playback method would have bypassed those settings. Meaning changing them, changed nothing. Further, CD is 16 bit. Changing it and playing 16 bit files vs 16 bit files with the setting at 16 or 24 bit also would change nothing. My friend I think you just accidentally demonstrated to your self how easily one gets bitten by placebo.

 

I am sure you heard a clear sound change, but it sounds like nothing about the signal changed.

 

Again, take this as a friendly observation. I am not denigrating you, or saying you are substandard in any way. You are simply human like the rest of us.

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. 

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Every comment is well appreciated. 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."

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S O L U T I O N GOT MY QUALITY!!!

 

Control; Panel- Sound- Playback-Speakers-Properties-Adavanced change to 24 bit (was 16) (I never knew about this... Thanks to all for your generous thoughtfulness!)

 

Like others have already said, if you are using any audio device other than "direct sound", you changing the bit depth or sample rate in windows audio options won't make any difference.

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Bottom line. I think I have software issues. I played via amp3 and I got a great punchy base that I don't seem to able to duplicate with JRiver no matter what drivers I use on wasapi. Direct or aiso. Again thanks for your time and efforts ... 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."

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