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Mac OS X Music Players - alternatives to iTunes - Page 133

post #1981 of 2219

The other great thing is that, whilst I personally love Audirvana Plus, JHern can still download a trial of one of the other programs such as Fidelia or Decibel etc. once he/she has their 32 bit USB-Dac and compare to iTunes for themselves ... if they can't hear any difference then, there is no sense in spending money on a playback program unless they require some of the other conveniences such programs confer.

post #1982 of 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaHamster View Post
 

The other great thing is that, whilst I personally love Audirvana Plus, JHern can still download a trial of one of the other programs such as Fidelia or Decibel etc. once he/she has their 32 bit USB-Dac and compare to iTunes for themselves ... if they can't hear any difference then, there is no sense in spending money on a playback program unless they require some of the other conveniences such programs confer.

+1 on your well said prose above.  Any well trained ear can hear the difference between itunes and A+ on a good system.

 

If you really want to try audirvana again, get another email account and see if that works.

post #1983 of 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by bixby View Post
 

+1 on your well said prose above.  Any well trained ear can hear the difference between itunes and A+ on a good system.

 

If you really want to try audirvana again, get another email account and see if that works.

Thankyou for your praise bixby - it helps me to understand that I am not "speaking into a vacuum" here - the only vacuum I want is in my tubes ...  :beerchug:

post #1984 of 2219

It takes time to learn to listen and to listen with an open mind.  And sometimes the equipment is not up to snuff.  I am always learning new things and have been listening to music and equipment with an open ear for 4 decades.

 

Oh, speaking of tubes, I am really enjoying very real vocals with a little portable tube hybrid headphone amp.  

 

cheers

post #1985 of 2219

Very true. I had to go against several very experienced people when I said that I preferred Audirvana Plus 1.5.9 to 1.5.10, but so be it. I truly gave the newest version a long try based upon their urgings and recommendations, but ... I was right - at least for me ... 1.5.9 has more body and isn't as thin harmonically, even if it is more detailed with a better soundstage.  So be it.  We are all alone and have only to please ourselves - it is somewhat gratifying to finally understand that you can trust your own ears rather than being swayed by popular opinion and hyperbole.

post #1986 of 2219

Sounds similar, when an audio geek I know insisted that Jriver was so much better than A+ he was never going to use A+ again.  I listened to Jriver 18....something and it sounded nowhere near as good as A+ on my system.  So be it.

post #1987 of 2219

I don't mind spending $74 to support a good product and company, particularly one trying to push desktop audio at the frontier, so I bought the Audirvana license…it is worth it just knowing that I can get much better sound straight out of the MBP headphone jack. And if I can make my Fostex sound even better, then it's certainly a great value!

 

So...I never imagined my query would spur such debate, but after running it again with my Fostex HP-A3 there is now absolutely no question in my ears that Audirvana blows away iTunes, both without and with a DAC.

 

As promised, the differences are very similar in some respects to iTunes vs Audirvana through my headphone jack…brighter, better clarity and separation, wider soundstage, better bass extension and texture, crisper high frequencies. I've tried it with my Audio-Technica ATH-ES10 and ATH-A900X cans, and I notice a much larger improvement for Audirvana vs iTunes on the A900X, it seems to make up for some of their cardboard-esque timbre and lack of bass extension, without losing any quality in the mids (their greatest strength). The ES10 sound better also, it is just not as dramatic a difference as with the A900X.

 

Also, many knobs to turn in Audirvana in the preferences, I look forward to exploring it further than in the past.

 

 Thanks for the advice!

post #1988 of 2219

Cool - glad you are happy !!  :beerchug:

post #1989 of 2219

jhern:  Glad you are enjoying, let me know if you desire help with any of the settings.

post #1990 of 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHern View Post
 

I don't mind spending $74 to support a good product and company, particularly one trying to push desktop audio at the frontier, so I bought the Audirvana license…it is worth it just knowing that I can get much better sound straight out of the MBP headphone jack. And if I can make my Fostex sound even better, then it's certainly a great value!

 

So...I never imagined my query would spur such debate, but after running it again with my Fostex HP-A3 there is now absolutely no question in my ears that Audirvana blows away iTunes, both without and with a DAC.

 

As promised, the differences are very similar in some respects to iTunes vs Audirvana through my headphone jack…brighter, better clarity and separation, wider soundstage, better bass extension and texture, crisper high frequencies. I've tried it with my Audio-Technica ATH-ES10 and ATH-A900X cans, and I notice a much larger improvement for Audirvana vs iTunes on the A900X, it seems to make up for some of their cardboard-esque timbre and lack of bass extension, without losing any quality in the mids (their greatest strength). The ES10 sound better also, it is just not as dramatic a difference as with the A900X.

 

Also, many knobs to turn in Audirvana in the preferences, I look forward to exploring it further than in the past.

 

 Thanks for the advice!

It also blows away Amarra to my ears too. That and Amarra's customer service is the pits. I put in a ticket that their 2.6 version was skipping with every song and still have yet to hear back. I called them to follow up and was promised that someone would call me back....and that was 2 weeks ago. 

 

Good thing Audinirvana has kept me very happy.

post #1991 of 2219

I recently bought a Macbook Air. I started out using Vox but it's lack of gapless playback drove me to look at alternatives. I used to use JRiver on my PC and before that foobar. To be honest I used JRiver more for it's functionality, I can't say I heard any significant differences between it and foobar so I wasn't expecting to hear any significant differences between the OSX players.

 

For the majority of players I tried that held true but Audirvana Plus and Amarra both surprised me by sounding significantly better than all the others. I was even more intrigued that both of those sounded significantly different from each other. I really like both for different reasons but after a couple of days with Amarra and A+ I was leaning towards Amarra for my preferences and setup. I just about jumped on their $99 Halloween deal but then I discovered that Amarra lacks gapless playback of FLAC files. I could forgive many of Amarra's idiosyncrasies but a lack of gapless playback on FLAC files is what drove me to look for alternatives to Vox in the first place. For the asking price it seems totally unacceptable, especially when you consider A+ has no issues with gapless and seems less finicky overall (although I really dislike the interface, they should take a page from Vox's UI for a mini version). I'm just waiting to see if A+ might have a Black Friday special before purchasing.


Edited by elnero - 11/27/13 at 2:29am
post #1992 of 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by bixby View Post
 

jhern:  Glad you are enjoying, let me know if you desire help with any of the settings.

 

Thanks...I have the output set up direct to the Fostex DAC, and I am getting the "INT" indicator so Audirvana seems to be coupling just fine. Audirvana also consistently indicates that it is sending a 24-bit/96kHz signal, which is the maximum for the USB input channel on the Fostex. My files are pretty much all 256 kbps (VBR) AAC imported from CD into iTunes (now wishing I had done a bit-for-bit rip instead, but that's water under the bridge). So I think everything is properly set up. Converter is izotope 64-bit SRC, quality=best. There are a number of "advanced parameters" not sure I want to mess with these? Also the forced upsampling=none, should I set it to something else? Audiounits are off, and I generally don't use much equalizer or other filters, but some of these look like they could be fun to play with…not clear what is a "Realtime Audiounit?"

post #1993 of 2219

I'm not sure about the Audiounits question, as I don't use "plug-ins" either, but I can tell you that at the moment you are not using the Isotope 64bit SRC as at the moment you are not converting the sample rate (ie. if you have a 16/44.1 file it is being played at 16/44.1 etc.).  This is also what the "advanced parameters" control.  If you do wish to upsample your files, turn the "forced upsampling" on - 2x or 4x will sound best ... however, some people like upsampling, some people don't - in some cases it even depends on the album being played.  Personally, I like to keep it simple: I believe the best sound quality is at the native rate of whatever file I am playing - however, you should experiment for yourself ... turn the Forced Upsampling on and play a low resolution file and see if it sounds better or worse to you than when the forced upsampling is off - hope that helps !!

post #1994 of 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnero View PostI'm just waiting to see if A+ might have a Black Friday special before purchasing.

Yes, wait to see ... but even if it doesn't go on special, I can vouch for it being an absolute bargain anyway ... :L3000:

post #1995 of 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHern View Post
 

 

Thanks...I have the output set up direct to the Fostex DAC, and I am getting the "INT" indicator so Audirvana seems to be coupling just fine. Audirvana also consistently indicates that it is sending a 24-bit/96kHz signal, which is the maximum for the USB input channel on the Fostex. My files are pretty much all 256 kbps (VBR) AAC imported from CD into iTunes (now wishing I had done a bit-for-bit rip instead, but that's water under the bridge). So I think everything is properly set up. Converter is izotope 64-bit SRC, quality=best. There are a number of "advanced parameters" not sure I want to mess with these? Also the forced upsampling=none, should I set it to something else? Audiounits are off, and I generally don't use much equalizer or other filters, but some of these look like they could be fun to play with…not clear what is a "Realtime Audiounit?"

I use Audirvana Plus so my notes may not fly for regular Audirvana:

 

The Int indicator is integer mode and indicates your dac supports this.  You can select mode 1 or 2 depending on which sounds better.  As for the 24/96 indication.  That should only show when Audirvana is not playing a song and it is in the lower right part of the player screen.  When you hit play it should have two ratew, one on the left which indicates the native rate of the track and its type like aiff or wav and one on the right which indicates the rate the dac is paying at which might be 16/44 or 24/88 etc.

 

 

Audio Units refers to what plug ins you  might use and should normally be off unless you use the native Apple AU for EQ for example.  I don't know what advanced parameters are but on A+ you can select all of the system optimization setting for better sound.  Oh, and I use Playlist mode with no itunes iteration, it sounds better on my system.

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