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The One True DRC and Music Server Software is What?


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Hi

I am wondering what the best music server software is and the best digital room correction software to go with it is, please. I have a work system that I plan to upgrade over time. It has a decent buisness PC and a Xindac DAC5 feeding Linn 11L active speakers. The problem is that the upper base can blurr together. I will upgrade in time. I expect to get a Hugo DAC, then amp(s) at least the cost as the DAC, and, say Neat Iotas, then... etc. I love the Naim sound, but if the DAC V1 isn't the greatest, then I wait longer to get my first black box.

 

I am computer literate and have written a Word Macro once, used to know how to update my website and wrote something once in keystroke emulation software that I can not know the name of. So, I'm not a technophobe, but I wont be programming in source code anytime soon. I know that dB is a log scale that doubles every three dB, but I forget the rule of thumb to add two sources together to get total loudness.

 

I don't want the be all and end all, but I can be a bit obsessional about stuff. A mainstream, powerful solution would be fine. I figure I should chose the software to work together.

 

JRiver and Acourate? If so, that's great.

 

It's a pitty HiFi books and magazines give NO guidance about this. I will really appreciate any help!

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I've only had experience with Foobar, JRiver, Roon, and Bughead Emperor. In order I'd rank them, SQ-wise:

 

Bughead

 

Roon

Jriver

Foobar*

 

*I wasn't as "in to" computer audio as I am today when last I played with Foobar. With that said, it's the Android of music players - what it gives you is directly proportional to how much effort you're willing to give it. If you just fire it up and go, prepare to be underwhelmed, IMO.

 

Roon is probably the best compromise here - excellent SQ, constant development which leads to new features every month, and the interface is literally 5 steps ahead of everyone else. It's truly a music discovery software, not just a playback mechanism.

 

Jriver is great software. It doesn't do any one thing particularly excellent but it has a featureset you can't ignore. Remote streaming to multiple devices, transcoding, library/tagging management, video playback, even UPNP TV support. It's a fantastic package. It's a good playback software in terms of SQ but is not the top of the mountain. But, as with all things, going up the ladder in SQ requires compromises. Which leads me to:

 

Bughead Emperor. Don't confuse this with a library manager/music server. It's just good, old-fashioned no frills awesome playback. But it's not for everyone and I wouldn't recommend it for anything that will also require the resources of the machine to be used for other things.

 

I've not had a reason to mess with DRC other than what I have in the upstairs AV Receiver, which is disabled anyway (Audyssey of some sort). I hear DIRAC is a very good start, here though.

 

You won't find much in audio books/magazines about software. It's a touchy subject. You have one developer saying that their player can't possibly be improved on, that its SQ is the best (not true). You then have things like GUIs and multi-device playback to take into account so it's a very personal choice. It also changes rapidly. Software choices like HQPlayer, Audirvana, Vox, etc... are constantly evolving. Your best bet is to trial as much as you can and make an informed decision for YOUR use case.

 

HTH,

Todd

Ryzen 3900x Roon Core PC -> Intel i9900k HQPlayer W10 machine -> iFi Zen Stream NAA

Holo May KTE, Benchmark LA4 preamp

SMC Audio upgraded DNA-125 Amp

Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum speakers

Vinyl rig - Schiit Sol, Nagaoka MP-500, Mod Squad PhonoDrive phono stage

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