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Anyone tried Windows 7 yet?


Lizard_King
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Hello All,

 

I am seriously thinking of getting a new laptop built around Windows 7 to replace my current laptop which runs Win XP SP3 into my DAC. I have great sound yet in theory, The Vista and Windows 7 systems should have better sound quality. I also want a Blu Ray Drive with HDMI to use for HT to replace my DVD player.

 

 

Has anyone here used the RC of Windows 7 for the music and video into a DAC and HT setup? If yes, please share you opinions as i want to know to help better my decision.

 

Thanks in Advance.

 

Liz

 

 

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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anyone?

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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Hi Liz

I have been using 7 RC since release. It is a great OS. For Windows. I don't use it in preference for serious audio but it can squeak by for casual listening..(Foobar + Wasapi with a SSD).

Have you thought about Mac? a MBP 13 is an excellent laptop full stop and excellent audio is a breeze. You can run native Windows programs under Parallels.

May I ask where are you up to in computer audio eg..under XP are you bypassing the K Mixer by use of ASIO or Kernel streaming?

Perhaps you could tell us a little more about your set up ..dac, connections (rca spdif, optical, AES) etc so can have a better idea of what you are trying to achieve.

Best Wishes

Andrew

 

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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Hey Andrew,

 

Thanks for you reply. No way will I use a mac book or mac book pro. I am in an Audiophile club and we compared a members MacBook vs. My IBM T43 with Windows XP using J. River Media Center. The cable at that time was a RSA Poiema. The SQ from my laptop was so much better than the mac book using Itunes it was not even close.

 

My Dac is a Audio Note Kit Dac 2.1 signature and i now use the ASIO to bypass the Kmixer. I have unmapped the sound and turned off of ways of controlling the volume expect my preamp.

 

I am thinking og getting a new laptop with Windows 7 and using that for high end audio and also with a blu-ray drive for DVDs and Blu-Rray Movies. I now useteh RSA Enopias cabel which it the very best USB cable.

 

I so hopeful to get better SQ with a newer, more powerful laptop running Windows 7. Do you think it will sound better when used as a transport?

 

Liz

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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Hi Liz,

 

I've been using W7 for a while now and it works just dandy.

 

And like you, people have tried to convince me to switch to a Mac... but I doubt that a Mac/Amarra would match W7/XXHighEnd.

 

Just my 2c...

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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I have a T42 love it on XP SP3 w ASIO JR Media Center and love it. Have been considering new laptop but retroing OS to XP primarily to avoid the coming failure of T42. Would love a mac mini running XP. Decisions decisions

 

Under water in ATL

If you have not listened www.kexp.org. Streams at 1.44

 

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Hi Liz

well in that case..go right ahead. The only advice I would offer is pop in a SSD. It does make a difference to SQ. I do not know why.

Nice Dac BTW - I heard a modded Signature 2.1 about 3 weeks ago and was very impressed.

The best Win Player is, I agree, XX High End. Peter has done a great job.

@Mani - I disagree. I have tried XX High End with Win7 and, at least on my system, it was not as clear as ITunes with Amarra. Then again one (XX High End) was on a pc and one (Amarra) on a laptop so there were hw issues to contend with.

The only realistic alternative to Amarra for me currently is MPD under Linux - which is what I run (I dislike iTunes, the iLok and Amarra's integration with 10.6.1).

Audiofile Engineering have an App in the works for iTunes to compete with Amarra. It holds promise.

Best Wishes

Andrew

 

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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@Andrew S., let's just agree to disagree on this.

 

One thing I will say though is that too many discussions on CA related to Windows tend to end up with comments such as "get a Mac" or "Linux is the way to go".

 

Shame. But for anyone who has not at least tried W7/XXHE, then it's your loss...

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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manisandher

 

"One thing I will say though is that too many discussions on CA related to Windows tend to end up with comments such as "get a Mac" or "Linux is the way to go".

 

I would have to agree with that. There are also other ways to achieve great sounding Audio playback.

Even when using Windows XP and Creative Media Source Player, although I will migrate to Windows 7 shortly, and look forward to the hopeful absence of those annoying little system related glitches. Just one momentary glitch during a listening session is one too many !

The name of this forum is "Computer Audiophile"

What I would like to know, is how many members have audio playback from their PC, (or MAC) that greatly exceeds the sound quality of a high end CD player like the Marantz SA11 ,or other high end players, when used in combination with a high quality DAC ? Does CD playback directly from your PC's optical reader sound better than , or just as good as the playback from your choice of HDD/Server when using a high quality DAC ?

From what I can see, most people suffer a poorer quality listening experience for the convenience factor

when using a PC or server. This should not be the case . PC playback of audio has the ability to be way ahead of that from the better optical playback devices,whether internally or externally mounted.

The SSD is one way to help achieve that, but first we need to get high quality ripped files, or downloaded high resolution files, stored on the computer without audible degradation. Part of that equation is to start with a PC that is whisper quiet. A quiet PC isn't just for playback. A quiet PC, both mechanically and electrically, will also result in higher quality stored music files.

Overall system noise IS an important factor, no matter what the "experts" may tell you, and it's not just so that you don't hear the whine of PC fans in the background when listening. Just remember that Garbage In = Garbage Out, no matter what the checksums may tell you !

 

SandyK

 

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I think the reasons a lot of the time Macs are recommended is down to a few things: First, the Mac is generally easier to setup out of the box. You can buy a MacMini, or MacBook; attach your existing DAC via Optical SPDIF; USB or FireWire (depending on the DAC you have); turn it on and you have bit-perfect audio. Yes the MacMini is more expensive than buying a standard PC from any box-shifter, but if you factor in aspects such as getting a (virtually) silent PC, then the cost differences quickly vanish. iTunes may not be the bees knees, but it can readily beat a similar cost CD player when used with a suitable DAC - i.e. a Mac with DAC Magic can match a £7-800 CD player IME. Added into this the iPod Touch remote control and good (if not perfect) music management helps to promote iTunes as a good solution. Second if you have a Mac then you have the option of adding Amarra software which is generally (but not universally) commented to take the Mac to a level beyond any other playback system. Thirdly (and this is my experience) a Mac generally runs with less intervention, less need to reboot and reinstall operating systems, etc. compared with the average PC. With this YMMV.

 

These things add up, in my mind, to making a Mac a perfect suggestion when people (often computer novices) come on here and ask "How do I get the best playback from my computer?" or "I'm having problems with x, y or z; should I swap my PC for a Mac?"

 

You comment about "What I would like to know, is how many members have audio playback from their PC, (or MAC) that greatly exceeds the sound quality of a high end CD player like the Marantz SA11, or other high end players, when used in combination with a high quality DAC?" but for many people their reference level is more modest. Yes there are a lot of questions about Berkerley Alpha DAC; Ayre QB-9; Bryston BDA-1; Weiss DAC2; etc., but I would judge probably more individual questions (though less posts / shorter threads) about starting out with DACMagic; Beresford; Musical Fidelity V-DAC; etc.

 

You went on "From what I can see, most people suffer a poorer quality listening experience for the convenience factor when using a PC or server." My personal experience, is that a Mac plugged via USB into my A1008, comfortably beats the Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated amp and CD player I listened with before. And that was without any fiddling about. Turned the Mac on, started iTunes and just listened - THAT is why people recommend Macs IMO.

 

That doesn't make a PC bad, but as a plug and play solution, a Mac with iTunes wins out. Now when you start fiddling with Play or other playback applications I think maybe that the Mac looses the edge as there are more possibilities with a PC. It's a bit of a choice - but then in HiFi we've always had that - convenience of a 1-box amp, or the fiddling with pre-amp and multiple power amps.

 

Sorry I started rambling a bit there ...

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I have absolutely no issues with people recommending a Mac.

 

However, I do think it's odd to do so on a thread entitled 'Anyone tried Windows 7 yet?'

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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@Eloise

 

I'm no Mac user, but as far as I can read, this is definitely not bit perfect out of box. You'll need to get Amarra to get resolution automatic changes (which is a quite expensive move). This is just misleading people.

 

Now regarding a comparison with regular CD transports. I won't throw price comparison, but again, I doubt you listened to every player in the price range you are mentioning.

Definitely, in my own experience, the 1k€ cyrus xt se transport does compete with a computer server as far as 16/44.1 material is concerned (dac : dCS purcell + delius, pretty resolving).

 

All of this is off-topic of course, but I'm getting really tired of such statements.

 

@Liz

As far as w7 is concerned, I used it with a boxy computer successfully. It has nothing to do with a killer machine (p4 2gb), so this is quite promising. Never tried for video (not much my thing).

 

Elp

 

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Sandy K,'What I would like to know, is how many members have audio playback from their PC, (or MAC) that greatly exceeds the sound quality of a high end CD player like the Marantz SA11 ,or other high end players, when used in combination with a high quality DAC ? Does CD playback directly from your PC's optical reader sound better than , or just as good as the playback from your choice of HDD/Server when using a high quality DAC ?'

Sandy Hi, we compare cd players ,Meridian 808 Signature ( was my last standalone cdp ) cd players using their own dac, taking the digital out into a standalone dac, ripping the cd and playing it from my macbook and comparing that to cd player through same dac etc.

I wouldn't say the mac/dac amarra 'greatly' exceeds the sq of a cd player but in y system I prefer listening to a ripped cd from my macbook, to the same cd played from a transport through the same dac.

Hope that makes sense!

Keith.

 

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I should have qualified that (out of the box) a Mac is bit-perfect for CD resolution (or whatever is set in Audio Midi). It's also been shown that (compared with Windows XP and Vista) the Sample Rate Conversion in Mac Core Audio is acceptable - especially for lower end (less transparent) playback systems. I find that to get uncorrupted bits out of Windows requires more setting up and thought.

 

In comparison to CD "players" (which is what I commented on) I would say a Mac Mini (£500) and CA DAC Magic (£225) can produce a comparable quality of sound (not better, but comparable - my original comment was "can match") to a Cyrus CD6 SE or Cambridge Audio 740C. This is taking the "computer" components both straight out the box and plugging in without any downloading or messing around. That was the root of my comment - I wasn't trying to put down any standard CD transport at all.

 

As you say completely off topic and I agree with you questions on "how good is Windows 7" do seam a little premature.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi Keith

Yes, that does make sense. Throw some fast SSDs into the equation if you can afford them (I can't!) or dampen all HDDs and optical drives,as well as the SMPS, with the 3M 2552 anti vibration tape, as well as using motherboard controlled fans , mounted using AFM02B soft rubber mounts as available from places like Quiet PC, and not only will your PC/MAC be much quieter, but playback and the SQ of ripped .wav files using EAC will be markedly better. You will most likely never wish to store anything but .wav files again either, after hearing just how good some of your CDs really sound.

Alex

 

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Alex Hi, i do have an SSD in my macbook, I haven't had the chance yet to compare it to an identical machine ( without ssd ) but I will at some point, and I usually listen with the mains lead disconnected.

There is a misconception that cd players somehow sound better than 'computer audio' it may have been the case once, but today it is simply not true.

Regards Keith.

 

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Sorry, these are my final statements off topic.

 

@Eloise

Agreed, although you are not totally fair anymore since you are comparing to a much lower price range now (6se and 740c sure don't cost 7-8 k pounds) ;)

 

As for SRC, that's not being in the Computer Audiophile league anyway. In both cases, as soon as you want to play bit-perfect whatever the file, you'll have to get involved somehow in the system configuration. That's still being computer thingies.

 

Elp

 

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For someone looking to move on from XP and trying to compare a PC to a Mac (laptop in either case), must I include the cost of Amarra when looking at costs/benefits of each system? Is that a requirement for bit-perfect playback?

 

I planned to include the cost of J River for the PC, so it would seem fair to add in Amarra cost to the Mac system.

 

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The Mac can provide bit-perfect output from iTunes; you DO NOT need Amarra for this. However the way Apple have chosen for "Core Audio" to work, there is a fixed sample rate that all other audio is converted to. It is relatively easy to change this if you are playing a bunch of music in 24/96k format, then switching to play others in 16/44.1 format. However if you have playlists in iTunes containing both, then there is no way for this to change automatically unless you use Amarra (Mini or Full version).

 

Your choice is either to suffer the inconvenience of changing the sample rate to suit the tracks you are playing; or to set it to 96k or 44.1k and leave it, letting the computer covert the audio to this sample rate when required. There will be a small loss in quality if you leave it at 96k though for many people this will not be noticeable at least not during casual listening. But yes in price comparisons it would be fair to include the cost of Amarra Mini for the best playback possible on the Mac.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Elp ...

 

As I said originally ... I was looking at similar price comparisons (a MacMini plus CA DAC Magic costs around £750 in UK) ... I never said a 6SE or 740c cost 7-8k ... I think maybe you read my 7-800 (meaning 700 - 800) and thought I meant 7-8000 (thousand). If I was considering something like the dCS setup as my DAC, I would be looking at using a minimum of a Weiss AFI1 as the interface which (should) improve the quality of the digital output. dCS themselves, as I'm sure you've seen, are now promoting the use of computer as a source for their DACs.

 

As for SRC ... again as I'm sure you know ... many CD players use SRC / Upsampling to "improve" the audio quality so it's certainly is an Audiophile thing to do. Whether it's good or bad is completely different issue (though I do agree it's best avoided when done in a computer - I was just saying the Mac's SRC is actually of acceptable quality)

 

Now let the Mac vs PC arguments continue in my absence of discussing it on this thread.

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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"Second if you have a Mac then you have the option of adding Amarra software which is generally (but not universally) commented to take the Mac to a level beyond any other playback system."

 

 

Ooooh now thats a very bold statement. lol

 

Meridian 551 amp / Meridian 507 CD / Zune Mk1

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@Eloise

 

Oups sorry, I was sure I read 7-8k.

Now I must apologize since you were comparing apples to apples (as far as the price is concerned).

 

src : disagreed, most transport don't do that at all. Using a computer as a transport should be compared to a cd transport (not an integrated one).

 

dcs : I don't quite see how it relates, unless you mean my tests are flawed by my setup. The dcs rig is fed by a belcanto usb link, admittedly not perfect. But that's still ok, since the dac is coping well with incoming jitter. Definitely, the afi1 would be an improvement. But then the computer solution would be far more expensive - which is already the case, btw - and I doubt that would make much difference on 16/44.1 material.

 

Elp

 

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My comment with respect to dCS was that obviously they feel that a computer can be a good source, as their reputation would be damaged by suggesting it otherwise. The BelCanto USB link is possibly flawed as it relies on isochronous (non-async) connection. My only thought really was that I still think you can get a computer to sound as good as a transport, though as you have said the Cyrus Xt SE is VERY good for the money and rather a bargain from all I've heard. I do agree that a Mac Mini plus Weiss AFI1 (or MacPro with Lynx card) plus Amarra is definitely more expensive than the Cyrus Xt SE transport (though cheeper than many CD transports) - but then with all due respect its also a lot more versatile and offers your BOTH convenience of a computer system AND also the quality which is arguably the equal of any CD Transport. It may not be your experience, but many people would say that a £400 Dell with Lynx card and Media Monkey would equally give your transport a run for its money (if set up correctly)

 

The SRC aspect is rather a red herring and was a secondary aspect - though my point was that SRC is not such an enemy. There are documented cases where manufacturers and individuals have promoted using the Mac SRC and feeding the DAC a 96k signal in preference to feeding it a 44.1k signal and the DAC up-sampling. As I say this is a separate issue.

 

Eloise

 

P.S. @daglesj with my comment on Amarra ... I'm just going to throw my shovel away!

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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