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Mac OS X Music Players - alternatives to iTunes - Page 187

post #2791 of 2795
Quote Originally Posted by Krutsch View Post
 
That's not really what I've said, with respect to the playback engine issue.

 

As a software engineer with 25 years of experience, I know how this stuff is built. Assuming that the playback engine is there to decode an audio file and then transport to the DAC, via direct I/O pathways, without modifying the PCM data, I am puzzled by what could be causing perceived differences in sound. Not the same thing as saying: "...it's a mystery and so must be snake-oil."

 

My apologies. Most of us think that part of the reason is activity within the CPU, I/O et cetera which, in turn, subtly modulates the supply rails, plus alters the resulting eye pattern and recovered noise floor. Noise directly radiated from the circuitry as duty cycles and other activities change may also be an influence…dunno. Alas, that what research scientists (and grad students) are for!   ;-)   I know quite a few senior audio-only software engineers, and they freely admit that, at times, they too are puzzled by the subjective change heard from seemingly minor changes in their code.

 

Caution: anecdote not directly associated with the above topic…

I was reading a really interesting interview with Bob Ludwig, of Gateway Mastering fame, in a recent TapeOp magazine, and he mentioned how bad early PCM DACs and ADCs were, since they were designs "ripped from the textbook.” With Matlab, almost anyone can design a signal processing block, but it’ll most likely sound like crap. It usually takes experience to know what form or approach will sound good, maybe without knowing why. The “why” will come later, as the state of the art is advanced.

post #2792 of 2795

I was just comparing a jazz hybrid SACD title (Perfect Houseplants at the moment) playing back in iTunes (12.1.2.27 & OS 10.9.5) against TIDAL running in Chrome against TIDAL running in a standalone player app currently in beta, and they all sound different. Not huge, “OMG, this is dog meat and this one ROCKS!” differences but subtle differences in transient response and soundstage. I know for a fact that the two TIDALs are delivering the same bits from their server so, that’s a given. And yes, the Red Book layer may be different bits, though it certainly is closely related to what TIDAL is delivering.

 

Same results hold true across players; Audirvana Plus, Fidelia, Pure Music, Amarra or what have you…same bits, different presentation. BTW, was using a simple, convenient signal path for this test; a Geek Out 1k into LCD-3s.

post #2793 of 2795
Quote:
Originally Posted by omasciarotte View Post

 

Same results hold true across players; Audirvana Plus, Fidelia, Pure Music, Amarra or what have you…same bits, different presentation. BTW, was using a simple, convenient signal path for this test; a Geek Out 1k into LCD-3s.

 

I am learning this to be true... even though it makes zero sense to me.

 

I added a Bryston BDP-1 to my playback chain, a few days ago - still learning it's quirks - but the SQ is a significant step-up from my MacBook Retina playback chain. More clarity and presence in sound than I've personally ever experience from a Head-Fi rig.

 

I was very surprised by what I heard. I know the guys at Bryston put a lot of effort into mitigating electrical noise and maybe that's the key element.

 

All I know is: my local dealer "encouraged" me to take one home for an audition and it's staying on my desk.

post #2794 of 2795

Quote Originally Posted by Krutsch View Post

 

All I know is: my local dealer "encouraged" me to take one home for an audition and it's staying on my desk.

 

Nice!    

post #2795 of 2795
My experience is the same. I've heard them all & believe them all to be different. I have no idea why that is and it flies in the face of everything I previously believed to be true.

I settled on JRMC 19 as the best but that's as much for the UI as it is for the actual sound.
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