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New Amarra 4

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Sure! Is better to have updates regularly. But they are not. 2 updates in only few days does not mean regular, means a mistake n the firs one.

we bought A4 more than 1 year ago (much more) and is still not 100% stable, there is lack of features you have paid....

The remote app, had an update a few days ago, but is still almost unusable.

i love Amarra sound like all you, but I never seen so awful software developers.

there is only one reason I still use it. I paid an indecent amount of money for the room correction option. ( my mistake, I should had to buy dirac software instead)

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2 hours ago, Rodolfo85 said:

<snip>I never seen so awful software developers.

there is only one reason I still use it. I paid an indecent amount of money for the room correction option. ( my mistake, I should had to buy dirac software instead)

 

That's rough. At least you are  getting good sound.

 

I started writing software in 1967 and I NEVER buy anything that won't do what I want right now. Vapourware is no good to me, and there is way too much of it out there.

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Rough?, may be. I’m Spanish, not English. To be polite is no my best.

any way, is not aceptable a software that more than a year after lunch is unfinished.

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12 hours ago, Rodolfo85 said:

Rough?, may be. I’m Spanish, not English. To be polite is no my best.

 

Sorry, by "rough" I was referring to not getting what was paid for/advertised--not your level of politeness, which was fine by me. (And your English is lots better than my Spanish!)

 

12 hours ago, Rodolfo85 said:

is not aceptable a software that more than a year after lunch is unfinished.

 

 

Of course you are correct. Unfortunately it is the way of the modern world to over-sell, and of software to have bugs on release. Software has always been sort of an ongoing process rather than a "product", and even cars get recalled and fixed, and the new models have new bugs! 

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15 hours ago, GregWormald said:

 

Sorry, by "rough" I was referring to not getting what was paid for/advertised--not your level of politeness, which was fine by me. (And your English is lots better than my Spanish!)

 

 

 

Of course you are correct. Unfortunately it is the way of the modern world to over-sell, and of software to have bugs on release. Software has always been sort of an ongoing process rather than a "product", and even cars get recalled and fixed, and the new models have new bugs! 

 

There is no excuse for such shoddy products being on the market. It's largely because people became accustomed to poorly developed software that such products hit the market before adequate testing. I primarily blame it on Microsoft for the wide acceptance of junk products. Unfortunately, the acceptance now effects more and more products outside of software. I'll never accept junk software as being inevitable due to the development process. SS should have stuck to getting their software right on the Mac before dipping their collective toes in Windows. 

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Amarra deserved to go out of business long ago, no matter how sweet the sound.  Can’t believe there are 52 pages devoted to its latest release . . . 

 

A sucker born . . . 

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I contrast to some others my experience with the latest version of Amarra and the recently updated remote app has been most positive. For example last night I had a great evening listening via Amarra and controlling Amarra from my iPad. No issues or crashes for me and now with Tidal intergration it does add an extra level to the listening experience. I used my iPad to do a search for a song that I knew was in my library. Not only did Amarra come up with the version in my library the search results also showed a list of other versions of the song from dirrerenet albums and artists (from Tidal). I had quite a good time listening to dirrerent interpretations and versions of the song.  I expect for those with Roon this is nothing new but for those of us don’t have Roon its great that Amarra provides this opportunity. 

A number of posts ago someone did ask what buffer setting I was using..The answer is 1024.

 

Anyway back to the listening for me.

Mark

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Hey guys .. it's been a while. For various reasons I decided to revisit Amarra (and A+) and downloaded the latest version of Amarra 4. After some time with the app, which I found very stable, I decided to upgrade to Luxe. As a former user of Symphony 3.0 w/iRC the upgrade cost was minimal, thankfully. For now, I'm running it on my 2010 Mac mini (4GB RAM) with High Sierra. I haven't used the iRC component yet but I downloaded 1.2.4, which I understand should work. I'll get to measuring at some point.

 

Oh, that sweet seductive sound! I had a great time last night listening to a variety of music which all played flawlessly. Mark Knopfler's "Tracker" was sublime .. best I've ever heard .. rich, dense, full-bodied .. just gorgeous.

 

After years of frustration with various iterations of the software I must admit to being impressed. I abandoned the software 2 years ago and thought I would never look back, but here I am. Of course, it's not perfect but it's working great for me so far. The remote app could use a little work .. it's a bit slow but works fine. Tidal integration and sound quality seems excellent (I've only streamed a few albums so far). Suffice it to say I'm pretty happy right now.

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20 hours ago, Melvin said:

Hey guys .. it's been a while. For various reasons I decided to revisit Amarra (and A+) and downloaded the latest version of Amarra 4. After some time with the app, which I found very stable, I decided to upgrade to Luxe. As a former user of Symphony 3.0 w/iRC the upgrade cost was minimal, thankfully. For now, I'm running it on my 2010 Mac mini (4GB RAM) with High Sierra. I haven't used the iRC component yet but I downloaded 1.2.4, which I understand should work. I'll get to measuring at some point.

 

Oh, that sweet seductive sound! I had a great time last night listening to a variety of music which all played flawlessly. Mark Knopfler's "Tracker" was sublime .. best I've ever heard .. rich, dense, full-bodied .. just gorgeous.

 

After years of frustration with various iterations of the software I must admit to being impressed. I abandoned the software 2 years ago and thought I would never look back, but here I am. Of course, it's not perfect but it's working great for me so far. The remote app could use a little work .. it's a bit slow but works fine. Tidal integration and sound quality seems excellent (I've only streamed a few albums so far). Suffice it to say I'm pretty happy right now.

 

Upon Melvin's prompting via this post, I also revisited A4 Luxe after many months away.  I agree, the sound was excellent, organic and robust - I listened far later than I should have, the sound was so delicious it was hard to stop.  A4L's tone is more pleasing than Roon/HQP.  iTunes integration mode worked well, and I used browser mode for Tidal - all functioned very well.  When switching between modes the window didn't re-size properly, but other than that, the app worked well - very stable.  MQA sounded really good with A4L doing the unfolding.  I only imported my Tidal & DSD libraries into A4L itself, running everything else via iTunes.  Past experience led me to not overwhelm A4L with 50K tracks, and I prefer the iTunes management system anyway.

 

I'd happily ditch Roon if A4L would provide their long promised feature of DSD via DoP.  It was a non-functioning option from day one, then they announced an update that would include it, only to find that update removed even the non-functional box to tick.  And the ability to upsample PCM to DSD would be nice - both features long present in the competition.

 

Also would like a few Roon like improvements to the DSP engine.  IRC is quite expensive for room correction, Roon has a very simple speaker setup DSP feature that adjusts for speaker placement issues.  Headroom management is another nice Roon feature, though both of these are not deal breakers.  The A4L remote is mediocre, could use a little more work.

 

But overall, A4L has come a long ways across the last 1.5 years.  Give me DSD via DoP (with full DSP functions over DSD) and I'll very gladly not renew with Roon.

 

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Totally Agree with Dancing Sea. I have to have Audirvana just for the native DSD. I think if Amarra had that and it stayed as stable as it currently is, there would be no competition. I'll qualify by saying that I don't really use it for library work. To me, Amarra are spending a lot of time trying to develop stuff everyone else can already do, and they should just focus on the thing they do better than anyone else and just go hi-end Virtual Soundcard. 

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I’m very sorry, but I can’t be agree. SS MUST finish its work and give us a 100% working piece of software. Of course his visual sound card is the best. Thats the reason we bought amarra.

Dancingsea, the master of this tread, said:” Past experience led me to not overwhelm A4L with 50K tracks, and I prefer the iTunes management system anyway.“ and is true. Navigate in my 2700 album collection, is a headache. Also said: “iTunes integration mode worked well, and I used browser mode for Tidal - all functioned very well.  When switching between modes the window didn't re-size properly“ also true,  but jumping from browser mode to iTunes mode is quite problematic. Not only the window doesn’t resize correctly buy sometime lost the sound card configuration and freezes. 

The iOS app is less than optimal, it takes years to connect an when it does, it works bad. It’s absolute imposible to use the Mac mini in headless mode. 

I would like things to be done like search by stile or compositor. The option of view the metadata of a song ( lyrics, other info...)... but this is not the problem. The problem is that after 1.5 year we pay for a piece of software, this is unfinished.

whe haven’t the promised DoP, neither the option simulation of different speakers in headphone mode ( yes, nobody talks about it,  but they sell us this option at the beginning ). Summing: lack of DoP, and the magical headphone option. Defective working of IRC, iOS app. Some bugs in the main a4l application and awesome sound.

no my friends, it’s no enought after 1.5 years

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37 minutes ago, Rodolfo85 said:

I’m very sorry, but I can’t be agree. SS MUST finish its work and give us a 100% working piece of software. Of course his visual sound card is the best. Thats the reason we bought amarra.

Dancingsea, the master of this tread, said:” Past experience led me to not overwhelm A4L with 50K tracks, and I prefer the iTunes management system anyway.“ and is true. Navigate in my 2700 album collection, is a headache. Also said: “iTunes integration mode worked well, and I used browser mode for Tidal - all functioned very well.  When switching between modes the window didn't re-size properly“ also true,  but jumping from browser mode to iTunes mode is quite problematic. Not only the window doesn’t resize correctly buy sometime lost the sound card configuration and freezes. 

The iOS app is less than optimal, it takes years to connect an when it does, it works bad. It’s absolute imposible to use the Mac mini in headless mode. 

I would like things to be done like search by stile or compositor. The option of view the metadata of a song ( lyrics, other info...)... but this is not the problem. The problem is that after 1.5 year we pay for a piece of software, this is unfinished.

whe haven’t the promised DoP, neither the option simulation of different speakers in headphone mode ( yes, nobody talks about it,  but they sell us this option at the beginning ). Summing: lack of DoP, and the magical headphone option. Defective working of IRC, iOS app. Some bugs in the main a4l application and awesome sound.

no my friends, it’s no enought after 1.5 years

 

Its true, without iTunes integration mode, I would not use A4L. 

 

But in fairnrss, none of the 3rd party players get library management right except Roon. 

 

The venerable sounding HQPlayer has an awful library management system.  I only use A+ in iTunes integration mode as well. 

 

So yes, A4L falls a bit short, but so do all the rest. JRiver’s library system is wonky as well.  I’m a Roon subscriber, it’s a vastly superior piece of software, but Sounds just ok. 

 

Whatcha gonna do?

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Hi all!,

 

I've been using Amarra4L for the last few weeks and it works flawlessly, you all are right when you say it still needs a lot of polish and that we've been dealing with a unusable piece of unfinished software for so long, I hope SS read these comments and make the changes accordingly. I can't believe SS have been missing a gold opportunity to stand out as a definitive hi-fi player both sound wise and user experience wise.

 

A4L offers a full-bodied warm sound as opposed to A+ which sounds thin and a bit bright (tested on several audio set ups I have had), we now have at least a "working music player" to start from but user interface needs to be at least on par with the rest, hope SS have learned the lesson,

 

Kind Regards,

MosfetMist

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I remembered reading something about "browser mode" a while back and thought I'd give it a spin. Well, as y'all reported, it sounds great. I'm just a bit perplexed .. anyone care to explain this rather odd mode or share a link to an explanation? I'm curious to know why Sonic Studio developed it. Meaning, they completely overhauled their software with version 4 so why add a component like this? It most certainly works very well and I love it for Tidal in particular .. just curious is all. 

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6 hours ago, Melvin said:

I remembered reading something about "browser mode" a while back and thought I'd give it a spin. Well, as y'all reported, it sounds great. I'm just a bit perplexed .. anyone care to explain this rather odd mode or share a link to an explanation? I'm curious to know why Sonic Studio developed it. Meaning, they completely overhauled their software with version 4 so why add a component like this? It most certainly works very well and I love it for Tidal in particular .. just curious is all. 

 

I was involved with beta from the beginning. The short and obvious answer is because browser mode (best in Chrome) sounds a notch better. 

 

I’m unsure of the technical reason why it sounds better.  I’d guess that it bypasses some limitation of the app???

 

Tidal sounds excellent in browser mode!

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9 hours ago, Melvin said:

I'm curious to know why Sonic Studio developed it. Meaning, they completely overhauled their software with version 4 so why add a component like this? It most certainly works very well and I love it for Tidal in particular .. just curious is all. 

I don't know exactly how it works... but basically it's about taking away load (processing) from the app that plays back audio. WIth a single app all the processing utilized to operate the GUI (library operations, searching albums, redraw of the GUI when scrolling and such) may affect SQ. With browser mode the load is shared with another app (for instance Chrome) since the actual Amarra Audio Player only has to handle the playback of the "playlists" the browser is sending to it.

There's a very similar approach in Roon: running RoonServer and running the actual Roon App in Remote Mode on the same computer. This way the processing of the library and GUI and the playback engine is shared (in Roon you can also send several files/albums to the queue and quit the Roon Remote App while playing ... RoonServer will finish playing back all the queued music).

While all this is pretty unspecific (since I don't know better) it maybe gives you an idea why they've implemented such a mode...

 

 

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Thank you @copy_of_a .. this helps a great deal. It certainly sounds fantastic and seems more robust than the stand-alone app. So far, so good.

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1 hour ago, Melvin said:

Thank you @copy_of_a .. this helps a great deal. It certainly sounds fantastic and seems more robust than the stand-alone app. So far, so good.

 

A couple of months ago I upgraded to the PS Audio DirectStream Junior DAC. It’s at about 500 hours of break in, it’s known for a slow break in road. 

 

Thanks @Melvin for reminding me to revisit A4L. With the more revealing DSJ, the A4L sweet vinyl like sound is even more apparent than before. 

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It's nice that we now have a reasonably well working version of Amarra 4.

 

However, the feature set is still really disappointing.

  • no DSD playback; DSD gets resampled to PCM
  • upsampling is limited to 192kHz and is fixed to resample by power of 2 (which both is fine for me personally... but maybe not for everyone). It's linear phase (which is not so fine for me). I happen to like the built in gentle roll off curve of the resampler with moderate/low ringing. However, a minimum phase option should at least be selectable for resampling and I'm sure quite a few users would prefer a steeper LPF curve for the resampler. Why don't they simply provide their own homemade ("Sonic Studio Process") already existing "gentlest", "gentle" and "steep" resampling options and also offer them in minimum phase mode?!
  • no headroom management
  • even the built in equalizer doesn't provide overall gain control (in decibel). While the equalizer itself might be good (don't know) its limited functionality (only 4 bands, no overall gain control) is really ridiculus.
  • Only one built-in Dither (shaped). No option to select TPDF Dither.
  • Metadata is not really correct - the track-numbers of double (or multiple) CDs get renumbered sequentially
  • no auto-update of the library
  • no convolution engine (iRC as an option for additional $$$)
  • no VST/AU plugin support
  • ...

Apart from DSD playback and the library issues none of the features I'm missing require development. They are already there at Sonic Studio. They just have to throw them in to make the software more usable and more attractive...

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3 hours ago, copy_of_a said:

It's nice that we now have a reasonably well working version of Amarra 4.

 

However, the feature set is still really disappointing.

  • no DSD playback; DSD gets resampled to PCM
  • upsampling is limited to 192kHz and is fixed to resample by power of 2 (which both is fine for me personally... but maybe not for everyone). It's linear phase (which is not so fine for me). I happen to like the built in gentle roll off curve of the resampler with moderate/low ringing. However, a minimum phase option should at least be selectable for resampling and I'm sure quite a few users would prefer a steeper LPF curve for the resampler. Why don't they simply provide their own homemade ("Sonic Studio Process") already existing "gentlest", "gentle" and "steep" resampling options and also offer them in minimum phase mode?!
  • no headroom management
  • even the built in equalizer doesn't provide overall gain control (in decibel). While the equalizer itself might be good (don't know) its limited functionality (only 4 bands, no overall gain control) is really ridiculus.
  • Only one built-in Dither (shaped). No option to select TPDF Dither.
  • Metadata is not really correct - the track-numbers of double (or multiple) CDs get renumbered sequentially
  • no auto-update of the library
  • no convolution engine (iRC as an option for additional $$$)
  • no VST/AU plugin support
  • ...

Apart from DSD playback and the library issues none of the features I'm missing require development. They are already there at Sonic Studio. They just have to throw them in to make the software more usable and more attractive...

 

I understand them not wanting to give users too much ability to mess with the Amarra signature sound - a sound not easily found elsewhere.  But DSD via DoP is vital.  I like their upsample algorithm, just would like the option to upsample to DSD as well.  Yes, what's the point of the peak meters if you can't adjust the gain???!  And headroom management ala Roon would be great, not sure how hard that is to implement.  I'd also like the ability to adjust the gain individually for each channel.... 

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15 hours ago, DancingSea said:

 

I understand them not wanting to give users too much ability to mess with the Amarra signature sound - a sound not easily found elsewhere.

If this is the reason for a limited feature set they should first and foremost throw away the Equalizer.

Inexperienced and/or exzessive use of an equalizer is a pretty safe recipe to mess up the sound.

While for instance different SRC setttings only affect tiny nuances of the sound (unless you use really exotic settings).

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6 hours ago, copy_of_a said:

If this is the reason for a limited feature set they should first and foremost throw away the Equalizer.

Inexperienced and/or exzessive use of an equalizer is a pretty safe recipe to mess up the sound.

While for instance different SRC setttings only affect tiny nuances of the sound (unless you use really exotic settings).

 

Um, excuse me? With all do respect the Sonic equalizer is one of the best sounding digital equalizers out there in both pro and consumer gear. I tend to use it more for SQ+ than Amarra -- one or two dB of low frequency shelf boost goes a long way to helping bad streaming sources, e.g. 80's music videos on YouTube. If you're not into it no worries, don't use it -- but please don't encourage Sonic, a company with with limited resources, to "throw it away."  


www.wci.nyc

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