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Dreaming Jester

New Amarra 4

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After a brief time with the Mac mini back in my system (Amarra was working fine for me), I just couldn't stand it and decided (again) to move in a different direction. The mini is now performing server duty and running Asset UPnP with mconnect for control. I'm happy to say the least and don't see myself going back to having a traditional computer in the rack.

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New version Amarra Luxe w/iRC has been working perfectly well for three weeks now.  Outstanding sound.  Not a hitch in library (24,000+ tracks) or playback performance, except for a very slight 'tick' when selecting a new track or album.  I also possess, but do not currently use, HQPlayer and Audirvana.  Have cancelled TIDAL and Roon, the latter primarily because of failure to improve the "Discover" feature, the former because Qobuz provides Hi-Res and meets my library requirements.

 

NB, I haven't attempted to use the IOS app.  Why push my luck?

 

P.S. Since I can't seem to update my profile, I should point out that the one below is outmoded.

Edited by CNoblet
Correction

Newbie Since 2/2015.  Amarra Luxe/TIDAL > Mid-2010 Mac Mini  > USB > AQ Jitterbug > Chord Electronics Mojo > Chord Anthem 2 i/c > Behringer A500 > Naim NACA5  > Spendor SP2/3r + stereo REL subs.  Sennheiser HP 600, Audio Technica ATH-m50x.  

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Over the last few days I got acquainted with Amarra Luxe.

I reactivated my old MacMini Late2009 to feed a Weiss DAC202 through Firewire and the result is sublime.

However when it comes to operating Amarra, I think I have hit all the idiosyncrasies that are described in this thread. So now I have deleted all the albums from my library to keep things as lean as possible and I am trying to get to grips with Qobuz.

With 16/44.1kHz material Qobuz works fine. However with Hires from 24/88.2 up, the tracks load slower than real-time playback, resulting in severe stuttering. Waiting does not really help, as playback will eventually catch up with loading and then stuttering is back. 

Has anyone found a good way to play hires Qobuz material?

 


Let the music touch your soul

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Amarra keeps asking me to update everytime I install the latest version which includes the fix for Qobuz... what a P in the A.  Any discussion on this ?


HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

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Initially I experienced a similar problem.  I then deleted all other/older versions (Symphony 3, Amarra for TIDAL, Amarra 4, etc.) from my apps folder.  The next time I started up Amarra Luxe, it again asked me once again to install the update.  However, that time, it updated successfully and I have had no further issues since that time.

 

(Ignore the rig list below.  It is outmoded but Computer Audiophile/Style has not incorporated my updates.  How apropos!)

 

 

Edited by CNoblet
Clarification

Newbie Since 2/2015.  Amarra Luxe/TIDAL > Mid-2010 Mac Mini  > USB > AQ Jitterbug > Chord Electronics Mojo > Chord Anthem 2 i/c > Behringer A500 > Naim NACA5  > Spendor SP2/3r + stereo REL subs.  Sennheiser HP 600, Audio Technica ATH-m50x.  

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Jacobacci:  Do you have adequate broadband speed to stream hi-res music files in real time?  If not, that may be your problem.


Newbie Since 2/2015.  Amarra Luxe/TIDAL > Mid-2010 Mac Mini  > USB > AQ Jitterbug > Chord Electronics Mojo > Chord Anthem 2 i/c > Behringer A500 > Naim NACA5  > Spendor SP2/3r + stereo REL subs.  Sennheiser HP 600, Audio Technica ATH-m50x.  

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13 minutes ago, CNoblet said:

Jacobacci:  Do you have adequate broadband speed to stream hi-res music files in real time?  If not, that may be your problem. 

I have a 1GB/s internal LAN and 1GB/s internet connection. Activity monitor shows a network usage of around 6KB/s when I stream Qobuz using Amarra.

On the same MacMini, Qobuz streams fine using the Qobuz Desktop app.


Let the music touch your soul

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Well, that answers that!

 


Newbie Since 2/2015.  Amarra Luxe/TIDAL > Mid-2010 Mac Mini  > USB > AQ Jitterbug > Chord Electronics Mojo > Chord Anthem 2 i/c > Behringer A500 > Naim NACA5  > Spendor SP2/3r + stereo REL subs.  Sennheiser HP 600, Audio Technica ATH-m50x.  

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My year with Roon will be up soon, and as much as like Roon, I still can't justify the price.  I'm at the point of needing to pay $380 for the lifetime subscription balance or continuing to pay $120 year after year.  This week I've been re-exploring other players to see if I can live without the Roon/ HQP combo.

 

I've been fairly happy with Amarra in iTunes mode.  It has played bug free all week and I much prefer the iTunes library system to Amarra's.  Sounds pretty good.  Have left the Amarra local library empty, and have also used A4L with Tidal.

 

HQP, sans Roon, has also worked well.  I believe it sounds a tad better than with Roon.  While HQP's library system functions without bugs, it is very dated, so I've just been dragging in albums or playlists from iTunes - using HQP as a player only, rather than library management. Although I do have my entire DSD collection loaded into HQP.

 

I find it odd that Amarra doesn't allow for DSD via DoP playback without PCM conversion.  Especially given that apparently Sonic Studio, according to Wikipedia, bought the DSD tool division from Philips in 2005.  One would think that position them well to allow for DSD via DoP?? Also, it seems Sonic Studio has pioneered quite a few things in the recording industry, its a legit innovator and not just some a lone guy in his basement creating software (no offense to HQP or A+!).  This makes me think SS is more than capable of during the A+ bugs, just wonder why it takes them years to do so, if at all.....?

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I am a new user in Mac, and consider to buy an audiophile player programme to play local FLAC files that I created from my own CD.

Right now I am thinking about Amarra vs others

Before my purchase, I would like to clarify some issues in Licensing. ( For offline use)

I am planning to buy and install the Amarra  on a Macbook Air. I can activate it online at the moment I purchase, but it will then be used in place with no internet connection later.

 

May I know the consequence, in case My MBA have no internet connection for months or yrs  after license activation

1) will the Amarra programme completely shut down?

or 2) I can still play my local FLAC files that I created from my CD?

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, DancingSea said:

Amarra does not need the internet in order to play music. 

Thank you very much for your reply!

 

Actually the reason I need to ask the q is becoz I have heard other Mac audiophile programme need regular internet license validation check.

 

I would give it a try then. Thx

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To update the journey.  My year Roon subscription has ended and I did not renew it.  For me, $120 per year ongoing, or $500 now is too much for library management, as good as it is.

 

I now use Amarra like this for PCM:

1) In iTunes integration mode if I’m lazy.

2) Tidal in Amarra

3) If not lazy, will drag a play list from iTunes, into a folder, and then import into Amarra Luxe.

 

And HQPlayer like this:

1) For all DSD playback.  To me, sounds better than HQP w/ Roon.

2) If not lazy, will dray a PCM playlist from iTunes into a folder and import into HQP.

 

For me, I get the best SQ this way, but do miss Roon’s slick library system.  I’m eager to try A+. 3.5.

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9 hours ago, DancingSea said:

 I’m eager to try A+. 3.5.

@DancingSea

 

My recollection is that you were not a great fan of the sound of A+.  From my testing of the beta of A+ 3.5, I have not heard anything which might cause you to change your mind - it sounds like A+.

 

For me, Amarra is still a lovely sounding basket case - in my set-up, perhaps the most unrelieable piece of software I have ever used. 

 

As for Roon - I do not think I listen to music in a way which makes the USP of Roon attractive to me.

 

Happy listening.


David

 

MacMini, Mytek Manhattan I DAC, Avantone The Abbey Monitors

Audirvana 3 or JRiver MC+BubbleUPNP

 

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On 4/7/2019 at 9:23 PM, church_mouse said:

@DancingSea

 

My recollection is that you were not a great fan of the sound of A+.  From my testing of the beta of A+ 3.5, I have not heard anything which might cause you to change your mind - it sounds like A+.

 

For me, Amarra is still a lovely sounding basket case - in my set-up, perhaps the most unrelieable piece of software I have ever used. 

 

As for Roon - I do not think I listen to music in a way which makes the USP of Roon attractive to me.

 

Happy listening.

 

Yes, Amarra is a problem child for sure.  I’m finding it works best with its local library empty.  Either iTunes integration mode, or Tidal seem to work well.  The other day when I loaded a meager 40 tracks into Amarra’s local library I got that loud pop between tracks that causes concern for the health of my tweeters.

 

I downloaded A+ 3.5 yesterday and will try it out.  I so much want to like A+ as it would solve my music player woes.  The new interface is really good, somewhat Roon like.  I’m wondering if my brightness issue might have to do with my 20 year old DH Labs Silver Sonic T14 speaker cables, silver coated copper.  Just ordered some AudioQuest Rocket 33’s (bi wire) that are reputed for being warm and full bodied, pure copper, no silver.  I’m hoping this will bring me to peace with Audirvana.

 

Roon is, in my assessment, too expensive for a library management system, great as it is along with its capacity to work with HQPLAYER.

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I agree about Amarra; with me Amarra is  very problematic with asking to "install the latest version," over & over... uggh.  HQ Player  and Audirvana have it correct !!! That's my "two cents!"


HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

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20 hours ago, DancingSea said:

 

Yes, Amarra is a problem child for sure.  I’m finding it works best with its local library empty.  Either iTunes integration mode, or Tidal seem to work well.  The other day when I loaded a meager 40 tracks into Amarra’s local library I got that loud pop between tracks that causes concern for the health of my tweeters.

 

I downloaded A+ 3.5 yesterday and will try it out.  I so much want to like A+ as it would solve my music player woes.  The new interface is really good, somewhat Roon like.  I’m wondering if my brightness issue might have to do with my 20 year old DH Labs Silver Sonic T14 speaker cables, silver coated copper.  Just ordered some AudioQuest Rocket 33’s (bi wire) that are reputed for being warm and full bodied, pure copper, no silver.  I’m hoping this will bring me to peace with Audirvana.

 

Roon is, in my assessment, too expensive for a library management system, great as it is along with its capacity to work with HQPLAYER.


Hi, all readers. Yes I agree with DancingSea and another users. For the good sound quality/ambient/tempo of the PCM music listening, Amarra 4 Luxe and iTunes library is the answer (if your system is good quality level). If we need to try another format like DSD/SACD ISO, the added A+ in to the Mac mini is the right answer also. Or if we have time just drag the folder of music DSD file in to the Amarra playlist is also convenient way to do. Farthermore, just LP listening is my favorite way 😁

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I did like the sound of Amarra, after trying 

20 hours ago, DancingSea said:

 

Yes, Amarra is a problem child for sure.  I’m finding it works best with its local library empty.  Either iTunes integration mode, or Tidal seem to work well.  The other day when I loaded a meager 40 tracks into Amarra’s local library I got that loud pop between tracks that causes concern for the health of my tweeters.

 

I downloaded A+ 3.5 yesterday and will try it out.  I so much want to like A+ as it would solve my music player woes.  The new interface is really good, somewhat Roon like.  I’m wondering if my brightness issue might have to do with my 20 year old DH Labs Silver Sonic T14 speaker cables, silver coated copper.  Just ordered some AudioQuest Rocket 33’s (bi wire) that are reputed for being warm and full bodied, pure copper, no silver.  I’m hoping this will bring me to peace with Audirvana.

 

Roon is, in my assessment, too expensive for a library management system, great as it is along with its capacity to work with HQPLAYER.

Agree, change your cables and stick to A+. Amarra is a dead-end in my opinion. I advised them in the past to make only an iTunes attached player, like Pure Music, and I would buy it. But they don’t want to listen. I did Listen to A+ 3.5 beta and it sounds really great with the ultraRendu/Chord Qutest DAC in my setup. In my case with the Qutest I could also choose for two warm filters, but even that is not necessary.

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The only thing I use Amarra for is to stream Tidal. It sounds quite good for that and it doesn't crash relentlessly or malfunction the way it always has as a library-based media player. 

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Restating my experience, Audirvana sounds great with Tidal & Qobuz, and never problematic.  


HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

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Hi all!, for what it's worth I gave up using my Mac all together as a music streamer because I found something better, so I'm not using either Amarra or Audirvana+ anymore.

 

I found that using my mobile phone connected to my DAC through an OTG interface cable delivers a better sound than both Amarra and A+, I mean I get a pleasant crystal clear sound from my mobile phone, yes you read it! it's posible to get a hi-fi sound from a mobile phone.

 

We need to realise that current mobile phones are not just phones, they are pocket computers with plenty of RAM and multiple cores capable to deliver great sound as a digital source/streamer.

 

So to sum it up the sound I get from my phone sounds very natural as opposed to A+ which delivers a detailed but fatiguing and bright sound (at least on my system) whereas Amarra offers a darker, warmer sound with muffled highs. 

 

All in all Amarra sounds better to my ears than A+, so I suspect both apps manipulate the sound digitally so as to make us believe they sound better whereas my mobile phone gives me the real thing: a balance natural sound.

 

I'm using an Android phone and the Tidal native app with very good results, and if you're interested you can get this inexpensive mobile phone which unfolds MQA completely:  https://darko.audio/2018/09/lgs-g7-one-is-another-audiophile-smartphone/ + OTG cable to be connected to your current USB DAC, so you don't either need to spend a lot of money buying an expensive streamer nor using your Mac as a streamer. You can also use other music mobile apps such as Neutron and USB audio Player, the latter allows music streaming from Tidal, Qobuz etc. and it even plays DSD.

 

Greetings,

MosfetMist

 

 

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I do still like the Amarra sound.  iTunes integration mode functions well for me, but doesn't sound quite as good as stand alone.  Tidal streaming works great.

 

The last few days I have been playing around with the latest Audirvana 3.5 beta 21.  The new interface is great, somewhat Roon like.  Its still a beta, so there are a few minor bugs that are being sorted.  The remote is also quite good.

 

As for sound, using the attached Copy_of_A Amarra like Izotope settings for Audirvana, as well as the Wave Arts Tube Saturator (I have the paid version, but there is a free one) AU plugin, I have to say, Audirvana is sounding pretty good.  And I've not liked A+ for years, but the latest sound is better.  And the level of programming is way way beyond Amarra.  And it handles DSD via DoP, which Amarra *still*, after all these years, does not.

 

I've also been dragging AIFF files directly from iTunes into HQPlayer, and that works well also.

 

The upsampling below ought to be "Power of 2"....

Copy of A audirvana settings.png

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Today I bypassed Amarra Luxe and played Qobuz at hi-res directly in the Qobuz for desktop on a Mac Mini, because Qobuz in Amarra seems to lose the ability return Qobuz search results. I should do a back to back comparison of the sound with hi-res downloads in Amarra and the same tracks in Qobuz desktop. The idea of using a mobile is interesting ... I have an iPod touch I could use. Will certainly try that out.

 

I tried Audirvana+ 3.5 and still found it a little too bright and harsh so have not been inclined to replace Amarra with it. I believe MQA to be a bit of a con as it is not lossless so I pay for Qobuz and get their hi-res, whatever that means, rather than Tidal and MQA.

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58 minutes ago, DancingSea said:

I do still like the Amarra sound.  iTunes integration mode functions well for me, but doesn't sound quite as good as stand alone.  Tidal streaming works great.

 

The last few days I have been playing around with the latest Audirvana 3.5 beta 21.  The new interface is great, somewhat Roon like.  Its still a beta, so there are a few minor bugs that are being sorted.  The remote is also quite good.

 

As for sound, using the attached Copy_of_A Amarra like Izotope settings for Audirvana, as well as the Wave Arts Tube Saturator (I have the paid version, but there is a free one) AU plugin, I have to say, Audirvana is sounding pretty good.  And I've not liked A+ for years, but the latest sound is better.  And the level of programming is way way beyond Amarra.  And it handles DSD via DoP, which Amarra *still*, after all these years, does not.

 

I've also been dragging AIFF files directly from iTunes into HQPlayer, and that works well also.

 

The upsampling below ought to be "Power of 2"....

Copy of A audirvana settings.png

 

 

@DancingSea bear in mind that a lot of DACs already do upsampling internally without even advertise it (PSAudio, Chord Qute etc.), so this settings would make no sense in many cases unless you have a NOS DAC or you're sure your DAC doesn't do any implicit upsampling (also DAC chips can do internal upsampling too, Burr Brown comes to mind).

 

Cheers,

MosfetMist

 

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