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How does JRiver MC for Mac stack up to Audirvana+ now?


garysan

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As a pretty happy A+ user for a year or so now I wondered how far JRiver MC had come along as far as sound quality output goes in comparison.

 

I'm using iTunes as my management tool and integration works well but it's still two programs after all whereas JRiver would be just one and arguably a better file-management tool than iTunes.

 

Interested to hear peoples thoughts?

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I am using both. Right now I am using A+ for my multichannel files (I have a system with a custom switch that I can throw to go between 2 channel and 5.1) and JRiver for two channel (two different DAC's, E28 for mch, and BADA2 with their USB for 2 channel).

 

I like the functionality of the JRiver especially with their JRemote, so my entire collection is on my ipad. Really cool. I don't use iTunes at all (I have a 90%+ classical collection and iTunes drives me crazy) so I have created my playlists by using the import function on JRMC19.

 

At this point, what I would like that JRMC19 doesn't have is drag and drop, which A+ has. Also A+ has much better instructions - I basically either call a friend who knows JRMC or use the JRiver forum to figure out how to do just about anything. At this point I have asked, but I can't get JRiver to work multichannel.

 

As far as sound, I like both, JRiver a bit better (for DSF files on my 2 channel I have to do a conversion to PCM - with a BADA2 and their USB, which I think sounds better than my Exasound E28 in 2 channel, which does native DSD.) I have tried doing some conversions of DSD to PCM using the built in JRiver program rather than doing the conversion in real time. Definitely sounds better - more holographic. However, so far there is nothing better than the E28 for multichannel in one reasonably priced box.

 

Hope this helps, Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp  Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Pacific, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105  Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.7KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50TBripped files

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I think JRMC wins hands down for functionality and has very good sound. It has fantastic sound if you let it transcode to DSD. Best remote application to date is JRemote. ;)

 

I think Audirvana+ has somewhat better sound quality, but with iTunes is a bit more of a pain in the rear to use.

 

If you can live with the sound from JRiver (I can, easily...) then it is a hands down win for me, with JRemote.

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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I have been pretty exclusive with JRiver For Mac since late November. I tinkered with it for about a year before that but for some reason didn't seem to get a handle on using it and I still have a lot to learn like creating views but for music playback and especially JRemote I am really happy with it.

 

I personally think its its a toss up between iTunes integrated/Audivrana + and JRiver For Mac with regards to sound quality.

 

However because JRiver For Mac does not support CD ripping I still use XLD and iTunes for library management and then just do an import to update the JRiver library.

"If you fly a flag of hate you are no kin to me"

Ry Cooder

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One of the reasons why I haven't made the transition to JRiver (in spite of their clearly better remote) from Audirvana and Amarra is the fact that I rely heavily on play counts, and Itunes even nicely synchronizes with my Iphone, Ipad etc. when I play stuff from there.

 

Plus the fact that I can adapt the sound just by switching between Audirvana and Amarra.

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I think JRMC wins hands down for functionality and has very good sound. It has fantastic sound if you let it transcode to DSD. Best remote application to date is JRemote. ;)

 

I think Audirvana+ has somewhat better sound quality, but with iTunes is a bit more of a pain in the rear to use.

 

If you can live with the sound from JRiver (I can, easily...) then it is a hands down win for me, with JRemote.

 

Funny, except for your comment on JRemote, I think just the opposite. FWIW I didn't upgrade to JRMC19 as I found 18 to be somewhat lacking. I think it's confusing to configure (very un-Mac-like) and feels quite unfinished in contrast to iTunes. The sound quality and library function is ok. I just don't love it .. to each his own, yes.

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Funny, except for your comment on JRemote, I think just the opposite. FWIW I didn't upgrade to JRMC19 as I found 18 to be somewhat lacking. I think it's confusing to configure (very un-Mac-like) and feels quite unfinished in contrast to iTunes. The sound quality and library function is ok. I just don't love it .. to each his own, yes.

 

Amen brother. What is really funny is I totally agree with most of your comments above.

 

But- JRemote is more important to me than the clunky interface and such, even though they took a good swipe at improving the interface recently.

 

Same facts, even agreement, yet different conclusions. Any wonder why everyone so often qualifies opinions with a suggestion to "try it yourself before you decide?" :)

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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snip ...

 

Same facts, even agreement, yet different conclusions. Any wonder why everyone so often qualifies opinions with a suggestion to "try it yourself before you decide?" :)

 

And rightfully so. Although we are all seeking the same result (good sound), the path chosen (trade-offs) is quite personal.

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And rightfully so. Although we are all seeking the same result (good sound), the path chosen (trade-offs) is quite personal.

The ideal combination for me would probably be the Itunes overall look and feel (significantly slimmed down without e.g. videos), with the customizability (is that actually a word?) of JRiver and JRemote, the iOS integration and synchronization again of ITunes, the integration of the SQ of Amarra and Audirvana (switchable), and ideally Dirac room correction...

 

Until then, I'll stick with Itunes plus Amarra and Audirvana.

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I personally think its its a toss up between iTunes integrated/Audivrana + and JRiver For Mac with regards to sound quality.

 

Wait a minute. Did I say that? Well yes I did, but, and this is a real short term but (as in a couple of hours this evening), I might be wrong.

 

Some may know from a thread I started a few days ago I just bought a new speaker based system. I say speaker based because for the past few months I have only had a headphone based system and the entire time I had evaluated Audivrana + and JRiver I had been listening via my Sennheiser HD 600 headphones. They are no slouch of a headphone but this evening when I started for the first time to listen on my new system with Audivrana I am hearing more air and space and detail. Dramatically so? No, but a distinct difference. I think a lot more listening and comparison is required to make a definitive statement for my personal experience but it was almost immediate when I turned Audivrana on in place of JRiver that I thought, what, did I just hear that?

"If you fly a flag of hate you are no kin to me"

Ry Cooder

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Ain't it cool? :)

 

I'm so glad you posted that experience, because it happens to me too. With Mavericks and Direct/Integer mode in JRMC, I think the difference is much smaller, but it is darn cool to be able to hear the differences in players.

 

I vacillate between the two, because some tracks sound better in one player and other tracks in the other player! At least, they do to me.

 

-Paul

 

Wait a minute. Did I say that? Well yes I did, but, and this is a real short term but (as in a couple of hours this evening), I might be wrong.

 

Some may know from a thread I started a few days ago I just bought a new speaker based system. I say speaker based because for the past few months I have only had a headphone based system and the entire time I had evaluated Audivrana + and JRiver I had been listening via my Sennheiser HD 600 headphones. They are no slouch of a headphone but this evening when I started for the first time to listen on my new system with Audivrana I am hearing more air and space and detail. Dramatically so? No, but a distinct difference. I think a lot more listening and comparison is required to make a definitive statement for my personal experience but it was almost immediate when I turned Audivrana on in place of JRiver that I thought, what, did I just hear that?

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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Ain't it cool? :)

 

I'm so glad you posted that experience, because it happens to me too. With Mavericks and Direct/Integer mode in JRMC, I think the difference is much smaller, but it is darn cool to be able to hear the differences in players.

 

I vacillate between the two, because some tracks sound better in one player and other tracks in the other player! At least, they do to me.

 

-Paul

 

Hi Paul. I'm very grateful to you for pointing out the transcoding to DSD option. I seem to have hit on a bit of a sweet spot using the 2 X DOP option for plain red-book CD, going into the Antelope Zodiac Platinum DSD capable DAC.

 

The sound is very smooth and natural with excellent staging on classical. The speakers (Borsendorfer VC2) just disappear. It's really quite different and definitely worth trying for anyone who has a DSD capable DAC.

 

Normally I wouldn't have thought to transcode from PCM to DSD. In fact I couldn't wait to get my hands on a DSD capable DAC, because I wanted to hear my DSD files natively. I think you must be right that the filtration might just be working better this way.

 

I should mention that I am a dealer in Europe for the Antelope DACs.

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, today I decided to upgrade to JRMC 19 to see & hear for myself how far along it's come. I'm pleasantly surprised, although I shouldn't be after reading so many positive posts (here on CA and elsewhere). The SQ is terrific, some nice new features (volume leveling is my favorite), and it's a scoash more MAC-like! Yeah, and JRemote is the best remote hands down.

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