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What's your assessment of SOUND QUALITY of amarra 3.0 (the basic thing, not IRC or whatever)


audiojim

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I just upgraded to 3.0, and wondering

 

1) how do amarra fans feel that it compares to previous versions

 

2) a couple years ago I compared basically all the popular softwares and felt amarra was hands down the most natural; do those who (did?) feel that way then think I should try something else these days ? [i have never auditioned j river because it wasn't available for Mac back then]

 

3) love the fact that 3.0 allows me to hear local npr jazz show streaming ; big improvement over iTunes alone

 

4) excuse my Igornance , but does amarra yet have an app to allow control via remote using my ipad ( the way REMOTE app controls iTunes )?

 

Note: I started a new thread for two reasons one ) there is so much, to me, arcane stuff about amarra functions that I'm not interested in on the main thread , and hand wringing about glitches I don't see, that I gave up trying to find answers to these questions, and in fact was giving me a throbbing headache just to try to read that stuff 2) the last time I posted on an amarra thread f I was shot down for being off topic.

mac mini 2011, Transparent audio usb cable, bryston bda-2, hegel h300 integrated amp, audio physic virgo 25 speakers, transparent audio speaker cables interconnects and digital cables.

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Yup, still the best sounding algorithms/filters I heard on a Mac. I don't use IRC as that does not work for me, but has for others.

 

Nope, no remote app. I put a step by step how to listen process in the Amarra 3.0 thread that allows for the Cache mode (sounds better) and Apple Remote without too much heartburn once used to it.

 

Still kludgy, still buggy and not exactly non-techy user friendly, but I come back for the sound.

 

Post #20: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/amarra-3-0-a-21725/

 

Cheers

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Honestly, I find 3.0 the best yet from Sonic Studio .. and I loved the sound quality of 2.6. I still prefer Amarra above the others I personally own (Audirvana, BitPerfect, Fidelia, JRMC, Pure Music). HQPlayer, which I've not heard, has many fans and is a program you might want to audition.

 

As tranz mentioned, there isn't a dedicated remote app for Playlist mode at this time but you can still use Apple's Remote app while using Amarra in iTunes mode. I only use Playlist mode and live with the "inconvenience" of having to actually get up (gasp!!) from where I'm lounging to change the music or volume. Unfortunately, I do not feel healthier nor have I experienced any weight-loss with all of this extra exercise ;-)

 

So audiojim, how do you like the latest Amarra?

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In my setting Amarra 3.0 sounds different to 2.6. Initially I liked new version's sound, but, when I tried 2.6 again couple of weeks ago I find myself enjoying its sound very much. As per now I can not tell which version I favour. 3.0 has some operational improvements over 2.6, but.... it might be I slightly prefer the sound of 2.6. No issues with Amarra in playlist mode, cache enabled.

 

I like HQPlayer too, most of the time I use it to play my music these days. Amarra keeps second position, A+ (it is 1.x, no care about 2.x) is a player for one or couple times a week.

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My initial impression is that the sound is tighter, cleaner, tighter bass, and much better sense of space sound stage,',,,and still sound natural but not quite as warm as the amarra signature sound .

 

I'm not having any of these skips, bugs, gapless whatever etc that people go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on ad infinitum about it. I use it only in playlist mode because from prior versions simply found it far superior to the iTunes mode .

 

Will keep listening.

 

Pity they won't develop an app so we can control playlist remotely ....

mac mini 2011, Transparent audio usb cable, bryston bda-2, hegel h300 integrated amp, audio physic virgo 25 speakers, transparent audio speaker cables interconnects and digital cables.

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Is it no longer possible to have the control panel volume vertical ?

 

How does one lock the volume in full position permanently -- can't remember how I did t that

mac mini 2011, Transparent audio usb cable, bryston bda-2, hegel h300 integrated amp, audio physic virgo 25 speakers, transparent audio speaker cables interconnects and digital cables.

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Is it no longer possible to have the control panel volume vertical ?

 

How does one lock the volume in full position permanently -- can't remember how I did t that

 

Hi Audiojim,

 

In the Amarra Preferences page there is a Gain Bypass checkbox. Keep it checked to avoid accidents. :) Even Sonic recommends not using the digital volume for best sound.

 

Cheers

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...

I'm not having any of these skips, bugs, gapless whatever etc that people go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on ad infinitum about it. I use it only in playlist mode because from prior versions simply found it far superior to the iTunes mode .

 

Will keep listening.

 

Pity they won't develop an app so we can control playlist remotely ....

 

Hi Audiojim,

 

Your use of Playlist instead of iTunes integrated is exactly why you are not running into issues.

 

Your comment about wanting an app for Playlist mode is exactly why some of us, and I know I have been quite vocal about this, are so irritated with the kludge and bugs (skipping etc.) associated with the workaround process of using the Remote app I mentioned above.

 

The loading into memory using Cache and Playlist (beside their filters and algorithms of course) is a huge reason for the sound improvement as music file hardrive activity is shut down.

 

In addition, using Playlist without loading iTunes is an additional lowering of noise as ~19 threads and ~2.5% CPU usage are cut from running in the background.

 

Now if that is not a glowing example of how quieting down OS background / CPU / electrical noise has an impact on sound...

 

Cheers

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Hi Audiojim,

 

Your use of Playlist instead of iTunes integrated is exactly why you are not running into issues.

 

Your comment about wanting an app for Playlist mode is exactly why some of us, and I know I have been quite vocal about this, are so irritated with the kludge and bugs (skipping etc.) associated with the workaround process of using the Remote app I mentioned above.

 

The loading into memory using Cache and Playlist (beside their filters and algorithms of course) is a huge reason for the sound improvement as music file hardrive activity is shut down.

 

In addition, using Playlist without loading iTunes is an additional lowering of noise as ~19 threads and ~2.5% CPU usage are cut from running in the background.

 

Now if that is not a glowing example of how quieting down OS background / CPU / electrical noise has an impact on sound...

 

Cheers

 

Hi. I didn't follow what you meant by "put a step by step how to listen process in the Amarra 3.0 thread that allows for the Cache mode (sounds better) and Apple Remote without too much heartburn once used to it. " . And I couldn't find the place you said that. Can you elaborate on what you mean?

 

For me, for playlist sort of remote control I every now and then use a ipad vnc app to control my headless Mac mini but it's tiresome and slow. Would love to have an app dedicated to control amarra.

mac mini 2011, Transparent audio usb cable, bryston bda-2, hegel h300 integrated amp, audio physic virgo 25 speakers, transparent audio speaker cables interconnects and digital cables.

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Hi. I didn't follow what you meant by "put a step by step how to listen process in the Amarra 3.0 thread that allows for the Cache mode (sounds better) and Apple Remote without too much heartburn once used to it. " . And I couldn't find the place you said that. Can you elaborate on what you mean?

 

For me, for playlist sort of remote control I every now and then use a ipad vnc app to control my headless Mac mini but it's tiresome and slow. Would love to have an app dedicated to control amarra.

 

 

Hi audiojim,

 

In my previous post #2 of this thread I had put a hyperlink to the other Amarra 3.0 thread, where on post #20 I had put a process list together which allows you to use the free Apple Remote app for iPhone/iPad with Amarra. This app uses iTunes to navigate your complete library, but Amarra still handles the audio. VNC I use as well to manage the Mac, but as you said it is tiresome to use, especially in combination with Amarra Playlist when all you want to do is search for a song, or an artist, or an album and immediately play it back.

 

The one additional benefit you do get with Playlist-only mode is the potential audible benefit of not running iTunes in the background using ~19 threads and ~2.5% CPU. But instead you have your complete music library at your finger tips through the Remote app, with the Amarra sound engine and memory playback. Until Amarra gets it shite together, that is how I am listening.

 

For ease I have copied the steps from that other thread below:

 

Hopefully this will help some using itunes integration so that the Remote app can be used to access your music library. Most has been noted already in the various threads, but these are the process steps I am using.

 

1. Open VNC app on iPad to connect to the Mac and start Amarra

 

2. Navigate to File ---> Extras ---> Quit Finder

3. Navigate to File ---> Extras ---> Purge OSX Memory

4. Click cache button, make sure green light is showing

5. Click Amarra button, make sure green light is showing

6. Click in the iTunes screen, and click on Album column header until It is sorted by Album by Artist

7. Navigate to Amarra Symphony --->Preferences

8. Under Launch I only have launch/quit Amarra with iTunes checked, others unchecked

9. Under Playback, Click Preload Tracks and select Album for count and 3GB Cache memory amount. Crucial settings.

10. Under Dither I have auto-dither unchecked

11. Under Processing only gain bypass is checked and all others are unchecked

12. Under Hardware follow audio midi is unchecked

 

13. Disconnect from VNC

 

14. On the iPad/iPhone open the Apple Remote app

15. Do NOT use Playlists except for perhaps finding what you want to listen to

16. Use Artist followed by Album, or Album tab and click on the first song in an album

17. Only click ONCE on the first song of the album

18. Be patient and wait until the whole album is loaded into cache and playback starts

 

Once loaded in Cache, you will notice harddrive activity has stopped, and you can click through the songs within the album with quick response since it is all in memory.

 

One note on searching for music on the Playlist tab of Remote. If you do click on a song from Playlist, immediately go the Album tab and click on the first song of the album again. This way the songs are loaded in the correct order. Do not use Remote Playlist any other way as you will get frustrated!

 

This is as close as I could get enjoying Amarra (for the most part) gapless with the audible benefit of Amarra's playlist and using an iPad Remote to access my library.

 

I like the sound of Cache mode as it turns off the spinning harddrives or TBolt drives and the files are loaded into memory. One of the main reasons Playlist sounds better. But Amarra's Playlist without a proper app is shite for a user.

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I agree with a lot of Tranz's post, settings etc.

 

However, I use on board storage so no external hard drives spinning or causing me annoyance. I use Apple Remote with the iTunes integrated mode and cache mode. I hear absolutely no difference between cache mode like this and playlist mode, despite many comparisons using all sorts of music and file types.

 

If I want to play a gapless album, I use the pre-load button which as Tranz has said, loads the whole album into cache after a short delay once you have clicked on the first track using Remote.

 

I find this very easy and I have only to use the purge of memory feature when prompted. This happens occasionally and takes seconds. The sound quality using iRC is superb and when I switch iRC out - it is quite surprising how much difference it makes, mainly the more even low end performance but also in a reduction of smearing higher up the range.

 

Steve

Audirvana Plus/Dirac Live - Weiss 202 - Lavardin IT-15 - Art Emotion Signatures.  DragonFly Red - Sennheiser HD600s & IE800s.

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