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REShaman

Amarra sQ+ with iRC Present and Future

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I posted the following in my own Amarra sQ thread, but I agree with Richard that the advent of sQ with iRC is significant enough to warrant its own thread, so I'm going to copy these posts and continue in this thread going forward:

Post 1:

"I am just beginning to listen to various streaming sources; so far only Naxos's ClassicsOnline HD-LL, later I will try TIDAL through Roon. Too early to say much about SQ other than nothing obviously out of character for the signature Amarra sound, and no artifacts like clicks or pops. However, it is not playing gaplessly with ClassicsOnline (not a surprise, as sQ+ 2.1 did not, either).

 

"I will report back with more, but wanted to share this with any Amarra with iRC fans who like me have been waiting for a way to play streaming sources with iRC."

 

Post 2:

"I have tried running Roon through sQ+ 2.2 with iRC and, unfortunately, it does not work at all. Pops, clicks, buzzing; they just don't integrate. Roon connects beautifully with Dirac, so I'm going to stick to that for now. I may experiment with running the TIDAL desktop app through Amarra sQ+ just to see how that sounds/works, but honestly, the Roon user experience with TIDAL is so vastly superior to TIDAL's own application (especially in the area of liner notes!), and the SQ of TIDAL is never really outstanding enough for critical listening, that I may put on hold my desire to hear TIDAL with Amarra and iRC room correction. I get the latter by using Dirac, and honestly, the room correction is a much bigger improvement to my system's sound than the Amarra sound itself.

 

"So, to recap:

 

"- Amarra sQ+ v.2.2 has been released; it integrates nicely with iRC room correction if you already have a license (if not, it will be another $450 to obtain that, plus ~$170 to buy a compatible microphone to measure your room and create filters for iRC)

- sQ+ with iRC plays well with Naxos's lossless streaming service ClassicsOnline HD-LL

- sQ+ with iRC does NOT play AT ALL with Roon ... clicks, pops, buzzing, music somewhere in the background of all the noise. Yuck.

 

"That is all I have tested. I am pleased that I can get the "Amarra sound" with iRC on at least one of my streaming services, and because I already owned sQ+ and had an iRC license, it cost me nothing to find that out. I am disappointed just a little that I can't make it work with Roon, but I'm becoming very enamored of the Roon + Dirac setup (without Amarra's additional layer of engine honey), and I think I may just step off the Amarra train except for Naxos's ClassicsOnline streaming service and that occasional time where I may want to play files from my local collection in all their glory with Amarra Symphony with iRC."


JiLS

sonicTransporter i5 > ultraRendu > T+A DAC8 DSD > Primare PRE35 > Primare A35.2 > PSB Synchrony 2

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Although I am still in early experimental stages and am very glad to have the option of Amara sQ+ with iRC working well with Roon, I am more and more finding myself attracted to the sound of Roon with Dirac and nothing more. The impulse response control and EQ of Dirac (same as Amarra iRC) make a huge difference in my room and with my system; I would never want to do without them. But when I use Roon with Exclusive and Integer Mode switched on (which as Richard points out above, Sonic Studio recognizes would be incompatible with playback through sQ+ with iRC), I am getting a sound I really enjoy. I also appreciate not having to adjust sample rates between recordings, which while it was always one of Amarra's chief selling points appears not to have registered with Sonic Studio when they released sQ+ incapable of recognizing and adjusting automatically to changed sampling rates. I realize based on Richard's posts that SS may be fixing this obvious flaw; good on them if they are. And I may continue to have a use for sQ+ to listen to online radio station streams. But for now, and for the foreseeable future, I think I will be listening to Roon plus Dirac for my library and TIDAL, and Classicsonline HD straight into Dirac.


JiLS

sonicTransporter i5 > ultraRendu > T+A DAC8 DSD > Primare PRE35 > Primare A35.2 > PSB Synchrony 2

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And just when I had gotten used to roon's sound quality! Guess I know what I'll be doing this evening. This hobby is such a blasted time sink.

 

Seriously, though, this is good news. Like you, Richard, I have a long-standing preference for the sound of Amarra, so I've been anxious to combine roon's interface with the sound quality of Amarra + iRC and compare that to just roon + Dirac (which I've been listening to exclusively for two or three months now). The incompatabilities and bugs noted above have made the roon/Amarra comparison impossible, but that's about to be remedied. I'll report back.


JiLS

sonicTransporter i5 > ultraRendu > T+A DAC8 DSD > Primare PRE35 > Primare A35.2 > PSB Synchrony 2

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I am sorry to report that the new release of Amarra sQ+ does not play well with roon, at least not on my system. I get clicks and pops that are totally unacceptable performance. Richard, if the reveal you are coyly referring to in you posts is a solution that fully and properly integrates roon and Amarra sQ+, then I will relax and wait for it. Right now, unfortunately, I have been forced to return to playing roon through Dirac without Amarra and iRC.


JiLS

sonicTransporter i5 > ultraRendu > T+A DAC8 DSD > Primare PRE35 > Primare A35.2 > PSB Synchrony 2

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I can report today that I am somehow NOT having any trouble with sQ+ and roon, and also am doing just great using it with Naxos's ClassicsOnline HD-LL streaming service. Whether local files or streamed, at any bit depth or sampling rate in PCM, it's working beautifully and has been for several hours this evening. What can I say? Last night was a different - and frustrating - experience. Tonight, I am enjoying my old friend, Amarra's signature sound.

 

I am enjoying the music!


JiLS

sonicTransporter i5 > ultraRendu > T+A DAC8 DSD > Primare PRE35 > Primare A35.2 > PSB Synchrony 2

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