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New Amarra 4

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23 minutes ago, NickDun said:

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. 

 

 

Yes you're right, Audirvana+ is bright and a bit harsh, it manipulates the audio signal digitally to create artificial detail but it comes at a cost: it becomes ear fatiguing and sometimes boomy.

 

Cheers,

MosfetMist

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23 minutes ago, NickDun said:

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.

 

I agree, A+ has always sounded bright to me compared to Amarra.  3.5 seems less so, and with the Wave Arts Tube Saturator, and the settings I posted, it sounds very close to Amarra...  but I still like Amarra’s sound...

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29 minutes ago, MosfetMist said:

 

 

@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

 

 

I agree.  I have the DirectStream Junior DAC.  It upsamples everything to DSD 1024.  But I still like to manipulate the sound before it reaches the DAC.  Amarra is a colored sound, one I happen to like.  So the settings are just a way to make A+ 3.5 more like Amarra.....

 

If Amarra had Audirvana’s and Roon’s level of stability and functionality, Amarra would win hands down.  But Sonic Studios seems incapable of such a product.

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14 minutes ago, MosfetMist said:

 

Yes I recommend you give it a try, Android is a better option because of this: https://darko.audio/?s=iphone

 

Cheers,

MosfetMist

 

I use Korg's iAudioGate on the iPod touch so I can play FLAC and ALAC etc. I can also use the Qobuz iOS app. So then I can pass the digital signal through the lightning port to my NAD DAC. Not sure what bit/data rate I will get but the DAC will tell me. I will try it and see.

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14 minutes ago, NickDun said:

 

I use Korg's iAudioGate on the iPod touch so I can play FLAC and ALAC etc. I can also use the Qobuz iOS app. So then I can pass the digital signal through the lightning port to my NAD DAC. Not sure what bit/data rate I will get but the DAC will tell me. I will try it and see.

 

That sounds good, let us know how it goes,

 

Greetings,

MosfetMist

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27 minutes ago, DancingSea said:

 

Amarra is a colored sound, one I happen to like

 

Yes, both Amarra and A+ are coloured sound, I just think "they should announce it" because I didn't know it and had lots of issues trying to set up my system to my liking, and on top of that they should offer a "direct source" option,

 

Cheers,

MosfetMist 

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1 hour ago, NickDun said:

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 have found that in A+ 3.5, using the Sox filter, per Damien’s suggestion, lowering the “bandwidth” filter does reduce brightness to taste....

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1 hour ago, MosfetMist said:

 

Yes, both Amarra and A+ are coloured sound, I just think "they should announce it" because I didn't know it and had lots of issues trying to set up my system to my liking, and on top of that they should offer a "direct source" option,

 

Cheers,

MosfetMist 

 

To my understanding, if you’re using a Mac for instance, when sound is sent from the Mac towards the DAC, its inherently processed by the Mac Core Audio.  Most audiophiles believe Core Audio is not a worthy sound processor.  Thus software like Amarra or A+ bypass Core Audio and use their own processing instead.

 

In A+, its possible to turn off the A+ sound engine and use Core Audio if you like.

 

Even something simple like BitPerfect, I believe, sets aside Core Audio in favor of its own scheme.  Which is to say, all of these software solutions to bypass Core Audio do their own thing to the sound to varying degrees.  Core Audio is the problem, and others can correct me, but I believe that if Core Audio is going to be bypassed, it must be replaced by something at the computer level in order to get sound from your Mac or PC to the DAC.

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Thanks for letting know about the upgrade... love this , besides HQ


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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On 4/10/2019 at 2:31 PM, 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.

 

A one time cost of $500, and the ability to use as many clients, of as many different varieties as you like, seems pretty inexpensive in the long run, to me. YMMV!  Plays just about everywhere; computers, Rendus, iPads, iPhones, Android whatever. 

 

I own licenses for Amaraa, A+, JRMC, Pure Music / Pure Vinyl,  Bitperfect, and a half dozen others. Some I like, some drive me crazy with crashes, some are just dogs.

 

Roon never seems to crash, is easy to add stuff to, and sounds great, depending upon the platform and DAC. That’s my biggest reason for being a Roon fan I guess. Crashing software is my number one hate when it comes to audio.

 

I am am definitely not a fan of A+ - for me at least, it crashes almost as often as Amarra, which seems to be the champ at crashing while charging just about the same as a Roon. 

 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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26 minutes ago, Paul R said:

 

A one time cost of $500, and the ability to use as many clients, of as many different varieties as you like, seems pretty inexpensive in the long run, to me. YMMV!  Plays just about everywhere; computers, Rendus, iPads, iPhones, Android whatever. 

 

I own licenses for Amaraa, A+, JRMC, Pure Music / Pure Vinyl,  Bitperfect, and a half dozen others. Some I like, some drive me crazy with crashes, some are just dogs.

 

Roon never seems to crash, is easy to add stuff to, and sounds great, depending upon the platform and DAC. That’s my biggest reason for being a Roon fan I guess. Crashing software is my number one hate when it comes to audio.

 

I am am definitely not a fan of A+ - for me at least, it crashes almost as often as Amarra, which seems to be the champ at crashing while charging just about the same as a Roon. 

 

 

Can be, but I have tested Roon and Amarra twice in conjunction with Audirvana. Amarra is a nightmare indeed with a more wooly sound. I have had no crashes at all while playing music with Audirvana Plus,  so it can be your equipment/software that causes Audirvana to crash. I agree with DancingSea that Roon is too expensive, if you don't need all the metadata. So, Audirvana is in my opinion a clear winner in price-quality.

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2 hours ago, Paul R said:

 

A one time cost of $500, and the ability to use as many clients, of as many different varieties as you like, seems pretty inexpensive in the long run, to me. YMMV!  Plays just about everywhere; computers, Rendus, iPads, iPhones, Android whatever. 

 

I own licenses for Amaraa, A+, JRMC, Pure Music / Pure Vinyl,  Bitperfect, and a half dozen others. Some I like, some drive me crazy with crashes, some are just dogs.

 

Roon never seems to crash, is easy to add stuff to, and sounds great, depending upon the platform and DAC. That’s my biggest reason for being a Roon fan I guess. Crashing software is my number one hate when it comes to audio.

 

I am am definitely not a fan of A+ - for me at least, it crashes almost as often as Amarra, which seems to be the champ at crashing while charging just about the same as a Roon. 

 

 

 

For me, Audirvana always functioned well, much better than Amarra, but A+ always sounded too bright and aggressive no matter what I did.  3.5 sounds much better to me, though I still prefer the Amarra sound. 

 

Roon is unquestionably the most most functional and best programmed of the lot.  No close second. But for me, Roon on its own sounds mediocre, and their subscription scheme is off putting. 

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2 hours ago, jos said:

Can be, but I have tested Roon and Amarra twice in conjunction with Audirvana. Amarra is a nightmare indeed with a more wooly sound. I have had no crashes at all while playing music with Audirvana Plus,  so it can be your equipment/software that causes Audirvana to crash. I agree with DancingSea that Roon is too expensive, if you don't need all the metadata. So, Audirvana is in my opinion a clear winner in price-quality.

 

Maybe, but I do not think so. I have several Macs and it acts the same way on all of them, and has for several years, despite version upgrades. Do something simple, like change the output to a second DAC and - beachball. I leave it running 24x7 and within a few days, beachball.   

 

It is more likely that I just do things that you do not do, perhaps that nobody else does. :)  In any case if it works for you and you like it, that is what really matters! 

 

 

-Paul 

 

 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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33 minutes ago, DancingSea said:

 

For me, Audirvana always functioned well, much better than Amarra, but A+ always sounded too bright and aggressive no matter what I did.  3.5 sounds much better to me, though I still prefer the Amarra sound. 

 

Roon is unquestionably the most most functional and best programmed of the lot.  No close second. But for me, Roon on its own sounds mediocre, and their subscription scheme is off putting. 

 

I have always liked the sound from Amarra, though it is the most subtle player of all when it comes to sound, I think. If it would just not be a crash beast. :)

 

Yeah, I could not deal with the subscription model either, so I ponied up the one time license cost. I also prefer it running through the uRendu, which I figured would be a little improvement but turned out to be a very significant improvement for me. It also sounds good thought the iFi DAC. Just okay on the iPads and iPhones. Oh, and I do have the Roon server separate, I only play music from clients. That makes a difference to my ears. Natural too, as I am always adding music from two or three different machines. My laptop, the desktop, etc.

 

Hope the cable switch works for you. I have a USB cable made out of silver that puts a nearly unbearable edge on the sound to some DACs and sounds just right on others. It is never dull.  

  

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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6 minutes ago, Paul R said:

 

Maybe, but I do not think so. I have several Macs and it acts the same way on all of them, and has for several years, despite version upgrades. Do something simple, like change the output to a second DAC and - beachball. I leave it running 24x7 and within a few days, beachball.   

 

It is more likely that I just do things that you do not do, perhaps that nobody else does. :)  In any case if it works for you and you like it, that is what really matters! 

 

 

-Paul 

 

 

 

Dear Paul, did you send crash reports to Audirvana/Damien to solve this, because it’s certainly not normal. I never see beachballs with SSD/16GB/NAS and always the latest MacOS software.

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9 minutes ago, jos said:

Dear Paul, did you send crash reports to Audirvana/Damien to solve this, because it’s certainly not normal. I never see beachballs with SSD/16GB/NAS and always the latest MacOS software.

 

I expect I did. :)

 

Honestly though?  I have been on Roon for two years now, and it has really satisfied me quite a lot.  I didn't realize A+ was available for Windows, so I will give that a try later. Other folks whose opinions I respect really love A+.  -Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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21 hours ago, DancingSea said:

 

To my understanding, if you’re using a Mac for instance, when sound is sent from the Mac towards the DAC, its inherently processed by the Mac Core Audio.  Most audiophiles believe Core Audio is not a worthy sound processor.  Thus software like Amarra or A+ bypass Core Audio and use their own processing instead.

 

In A+, its possible to turn off the A+ sound engine and use Core Audio if you like.

 

Even something simple like BitPerfect, I believe, sets aside Core Audio in favor of its own scheme.  Which is to say, all of these software solutions to bypass Core Audio do their own thing to the sound to varying degrees.  Core Audio is the problem, and others can correct me, but I believe that if Core Audio is going to be bypassed, it must be replaced by something at the computer level in order to get sound from your Mac or PC to the DAC.

 

Mac's will support ASIO, but only to limited devices I think. Core Audio is much improved over the past decade, and is easily capable of sending bit perfect output. Just don't use the Mac volume controls. 🤪 Yeah, a bit of an annoyance. One reason I use a uRendu in my main audio system. The Mac is far away, and the uRendu talks to the DAC very nicely from Linux. 

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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My solution, though this may seem a bit combersome, has been to use SQ+ as the sound device.  My experience has been that to get this to be pretty solid, one has to upsample everything to the same rate because SQ+ does not handle well sample rate changes.

 

I use either Audirvana, now on v3.5, (when I am controlling using my ipad), or JRiver/BubbleUPnPServer controlled by the Bubble Android app on my Android tablet.  In both A+ and JRMC, I use SOX upsampling to the max rate my firewire output can handle (192).

 

A+ and JRMC are set to output to the Sonic device which then feeds my Mytek.

 

I don't experience crashes, but SQ+ does not allow me to save this as the default set up, so if my MacMini has to reboot then I do have to go back in to SQ+ just to reset the sound output device.

 

I like the sound this gives me which, at the end of the day, is what is important to me.


David

 

MacMini, Mytek Manhattan I DAC, Avantone The Abbey Monitors

Audirvana 3 or JRiver MC+BubbleUPNP

 

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6 hours ago, church_mouse said:

My solution, though this may seem a bit combersome, has been to use SQ+ as the sound device.  My experience has been that to get this to be pretty solid, one has to upsample everything to the same rate because SQ+ does not handle well sample rate changes.

 

I use either Audirvana, now on v3.5, (when I am controlling using my ipad), or JRiver/BubbleUPnPServer controlled by the Bubble Android app on my Android tablet.  In both A+ and JRMC, I use SOX upsampling to the max rate my firewire output can handle (192).

 

A+ and JRMC are set to output to the Sonic device which then feeds my Mytek.

 

I don't experience crashes, but SQ+ does not allow me to save this as the default set up, so if my MacMini has to reboot then I do have to go back in to SQ+ just to reset the sound output device.

 

I like the sound this gives me which, at the end of the day, is what is important to me.

 

That’s interesting.  Do I understand correctly that you’re using Sonic Studio’s SQ+ app for the sound?  How does that work.  For instance, if you’re using A+ and its feeding through the Sonic Studio SQ+, are you ending up with Amarra like sound via SQ+?  Or is it a mixture of A+ and SQ+?

 

To qualify my A+ 3.5 endorsement, I really only like it with the WaveArts Tube Saturator to soften the A+ highs.  The plugin doesn’t seem to work with DSD.  While DSD sounds good in A+ 3.5, the highs are a bit much, no matter how I adjust them in the Sox/ Izotope settings.  The same files in HQPLAYER are silky smooth in comparison.

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2 hours ago, DancingSea said:

 

That’s interesting.  Do I understand correctly that you’re using Sonic Studio’s SQ+ app for the sound?  How does that work.  For instance, if you’re using A+ and its feeding through the Sonic Studio SQ+, are you ending up with Amarra like sound via SQ+?  Or is it a mixture of A+ and SQ+?

 

To qualify my A+ 3.5 endorsement, I really only like it with the WaveArts Tube Saturator to soften the A+ highs.  The plugin doesn’t seem to work with DSD.  While DSD sounds good in A+ 3.5, the highs are a bit much, no matter how I adjust them in the Sox/ Izotope settings.  The same files in HQPLAYER are silky smooth in comparison.

Feeding the sound through SQ+ does "flavour" it with the Amarra house sound (others more knowledgeable than I will no doubt have a better idea as to whether this is because SQ+ is avoiding elements of coreaudio, or simply that Amarra applies some proprietary dsp to everything fed through SQ+).  However, the upsampling settings chosen in A+ do impact too  - in Izotope terms, one can still hear the differences between a shallow filtered, minimum phase setting and a very steep, linear phase setting. 

 

Since I use SOX upsampling in JRMC (and one has no control over the SOX setting), I switched to SOX upsampling in A+ when it was introduced some time ago and played with the settings until I got the sound coming through SQ+ to sound pretty similar whether I fed it via JRMC or A+.

 

I do not have any DSD material, so I have no idea how my set up would handle that.

 

The Air Motion tweeters in my speakers are quite gentle (soft), so I am reluctant to suggest feeding A+ through SQ+ could tame the A+ sound enough for you.


David

 

MacMini, Mytek Manhattan I DAC, Avantone The Abbey Monitors

Audirvana 3 or JRiver MC+BubbleUPNP

 

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17 hours ago, church_mouse said:

My solution, though this may seem a bit combersome, has been to use SQ+ as the sound device.  My experience has been that to get this to be pretty solid, one has to upsample everything to the same rate because SQ+ does not handle well sample rate changes.

 

I use either Audirvana, now on v3.5, (when I am controlling using my ipad), or JRiver/BubbleUPnPServer controlled by the Bubble Android app on my Android tablet.  In both A+ and JRMC, I use SOX upsampling to the max rate my firewire output can handle (192).

 

A+ and JRMC are set to output to the Sonic device which then feeds my Mytek.

 

I don't experience crashes, but SQ+ does not allow me to save this as the default set up, so if my MacMini has to reboot then I do have to go back in to SQ+ just to reset the sound output device.

 

I like the sound this gives me which, at the end of the day, is what is important to me.

 

When I was using a Mac mini for my audio pleasure I used sQ+ in the same manner quite often. If I ever go back to a Mac I will certainly use it again .. I'm a fan. It indeed brings the Sonic Studio house sound to any audio stream. Being a product of Sonic Studio it has some idiosyncrasies, of course, but I found it to be quite stable for the most part.

 

@DancingSea .. if memory serves I also tried sQ+ with HQPlayer (along with JRMC and Audirvana) to good effect. BTW, I'm basically in the same camp as you regarding Roon. It's a great product but a bit too pricey for my needs/wants. As to being back in the Amarra world .. best of luck and good listening. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Melvin said:

 

When I was using a Mac mini for my audio pleasure I used sQ+ in the same manner quite often. If I ever go back to a Mac I will certainly use it again .. I'm a fan. It indeed brings the Sonic Studio house sound to any audio stream. Being a product of Sonic Studio it has some idiosyncrasies, of course, but I found it to be quite stable for the most part.

 

@DancingSea .. if memory serves I also tried sQ+ with HQPlayer (along with JRMC and Audirvana) to good effect. BTW, I'm basically in the same camp as you regarding Roon. It's a great product but a bit too pricey for my needs/wants. As to being back in the Amarra world .. best of luck and good listening. 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback.  I do prefer the more full  Amarra sound to A+ 3.5. I tried SQ+ a couple of years ago. It did something weird to my entire Mac audio system that required me to delete it entirely.  I don’t recall what version that was. 

 

Luxe has has been performing well as long as I keep its local library empty and use iTunes or Tidal.  It’s an intriguing notion to use SQ+ with Audirvana or HQPlayer. 

 

Luxe in browser mode sounds really good. Just always waiting for something weird to happen!,

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