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Mac OS X Music Players - alternatives to iTunes - Page 203

post #3031 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 


Yeah, it wasn't a fair comparison. Foobar2000 got destroyed in every sound aspect. It was super stable though.

 

Maybe in the future if I end up getting my hands on a decked out PC, I'll give it a shot.

Inquiring minds would like to know.  Was the windows machine tweaked?  What flavor of ASIO?

 

I had to do a lot of stuff to the machine to get Foobar to work and wound as it does today.  I agree, it is very stable on my machine and it kicked my Linux setup out of the room for sound and stability.  I have not brought it down to compare to the Mac system, but yea, I don't think it would win.

post #3032 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by bixby View Post
 

Inquiring minds would like to know.  Was the windows machine tweaked?  What flavor of ASIO?

 

I had to do a lot of stuff to the machine to get Foobar to work and wound as it does today.  I agree, it is very stable on my machine and it kicked my Linux setup out of the room for sound and stability.  I have not brought it down to compare to the Mac system, but yea, I don't think it would win.

 

Here are the specs on my Mac:

 

 

 

The Windows machine on the other hand was a HP laptop - Intel Core duo with 2GB of RAM and clocked at about 2GHz (forgot the processor as well). I forgot the rest of the specs. I simply don't want to wait right now for it to boot up. It had a hard drive, whereas my Mac runs on SSD. I also run my Audirvana Plus on extreme under "SysOptimizer" FWIW. Meanwhile, nothing like that was enabled on the windows machine.

 

I tested the same FLAC albums on each laptop at same headphone volume output on my Dangerous Source. Digital out volume was maxed on both setups to be fair. Only used my HD 800 for this test.

 

For some reason I wasn't able to install WASAPI or ASIO. I checked up on hydrogen audio and they basically said not to bother with it for playback purposes. It's apparently good for live playback with low latency, but creates problems as well on certain computers. So I played it straight out of the stock Foobar. I was a bit out of my element as I hadn't properly used a windows machine in many years.

 

 

Sound comparison:

 

Sibilance was very noticeable through Foobar. I can now totally understand why some people might say that HD 800 needs mod or tube amps. Through Audirvana Plus, it was completely removed and only present in very bad recordings.

 

Treble - treble energy was elevated in general on Foobar. Top end had more airy feel, but it felt more forced and synthetic. Whereas, on Audirvana, it's done a lot more naturally with dynamics to spare.

 

Stage presentation: Foobar with HD 800 throws a soundstage that it ahead of you completely. Audirvana throws a soundstage where you are in the middle of the stage. So with Audirvana, anything that is in front, feels in front of your ears, and anything in rear sounds behind your ear. With Foobar, anything placed in the rear of the recording is near your ear or slightly forward. On the other hand, anything placed at the front of the recording is held in front of your face. Foobar just shifts the stage away from you. I actually enjoyed both presentations. I could live with either one of them.  

 

Mid range: This is where Audirvana was leagues apart. I couldn't focus on aspects like imaging or decay too much because the mid range on Foobar simply didn't hold up. It felt dry, recessed, and lacking in resolution and dynamics. I could tolerate the treble of HD 800 through Foobar, but the lifelessness in vocals was the dealbreaker.   

 

Bass texture and slam: Audirvana won this in every way technically possible. Still, Foobar maintained a nice kick and rhythm.

 

Soundstage: The panning of instruments and sounds was more diffused in Audirvana Plus, whereas it felt more distinct in Foobar (a more rigid left, centre, and right). 

 

________

 

Overall, I actually really enjoyed my Foobar2000 experience. The overall sound and presentation was very nostalgic. I grew up with that flavour of sound and presentation for many years in my youth.

 

I really want to give Foobar a proper shot at some point with good hardware and optimized settings. I didn't bother quoting more specifics on the two computer, because of the large mismatch between them in specs. I have no idea how Foobar scales with better hardware and software tweaks.

post #3033 of 3044

Initial impressions for Roon 1.1: fantastic.

 

I found a number of software issues with 1.0 (some of which I reported on their forum) and they fixed every single defect I'd discovered; even stuff I didn't bother to report. A very thorough release, so far.

 

If you review their release notes, it's crazy how much they put into this release; the UI is full of easter eggs.

 

Next step: I need to get Roon Headless running on my Mac Mini in the 2-channel system.


Edited by Krutsch - 8/26/15 at 7:28pm
post #3034 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

The Windows machine on the other hand was a HP laptop - Intel Core duo with 2GB of RAM and clocked at about 2GHz (forgot the processor as well). I forgot the rest of the specs.
[...]
For some reason I wasn't able to install WASAPI or ASIO. I checked up on hydrogen audio and they basically said not to bother with it for playback purposes.

I'm not all that experienced with Windows audio, but I've read quite a bit about it. The real kicker seems to be that if you don't use WASAPI or ASIO you have to go through the Windows System Mixer, and the system mixer resamples! So if you don't use the exact same sample rate on the mixer that you use in your player, windows is going to resample it for you, on the fly. It won't be a high quality resample either.

What you want to do, is have the player control the sample rate completely. Most people would tell you that you want to have the player output the sample rate of the song you are listening to. So CD rips at 44.1kHz for example. Some people want to upsample in the player (for example from whatever the song is, up to 96kHz). If you want to do that, you want the player doing it, NOT windows.

So, as good as your report of your observations seems to be, your test was flawed if you weren't careful to eliminate the system mixer's resampling.

Brian.
post #3035 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgentry View Post


I'm not all that experienced with Windows audio, but I've read quite a bit about it. The real kicker seems to be that if you don't use WASAPI or ASIO you have to go through the Windows System Mixer, and the system mixer resamples! So if you don't use the exact same sample rate on the mixer that you use in your player, windows is going to resample it for you, on the fly. It won't be a high quality resample either.

What you want to do, is have the player control the sample rate completely. Most people would tell you that you want to have the player output the sample rate of the song you are listening to. So CD rips at 44.1kHz for example. Some people want to upsample in the player (for example from whatever the song is, up to 96kHz). If you want to do that, you want the player doing it, NOT windows.

So, as good as your report of your observations seems to be, your test was flawed if you weren't careful to eliminate the system mixer's resampling.

Brian.


I didn't have WASAPI or ASIO, although I do remember setting up playback stream to my DAC at native sample rate. I think that option exists for me because I previously used to hook up my MIDI controllers and needed to specify those settings. I'll bring out the machine again tomorrow to try getting ASIO/WASAPI working and double check on any resampling. I also hate resampling anything on the software ends. With all DACs I've tried so far, it doesn't mesh well with their internal oversampling.

post #3036 of 3044

Also, what do you guys think of the Microsoft Surface lineup for audio purposes? I figured I would get relevant feedback from the people here.

post #3037 of 3044

Been listening to Audirvana Plus with my monitors. Same results as with the HD 800. Feels like a veil was removed allowing vocals to sound more lifelike and present in the room. Bass tightened up as well. Most pleasing was having a really good centerstage performance. Vocals that are supposed to be panned smack in the dead middle actually were dominant in the middle with the right weight. This is a huge thing for me!!! IMO lack of strong centerstage performance is one of the things that I've observed in nearly all low-mid end components or systems. It seems like a trivial thing but it makes a huge difference in the long run. It removes listening fatigue as well.

post #3038 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krutsch View Post
 

Initial impressions for Roon 1.1: fantastic.

 

I found a number of software issues with 1.0 (some of which I reported on their forum) and they fixed every single defect I'd discovered; even stuff I didn't bother to report. A very thorough release, so far.

 

If you review their release notes, it's crazy how much they put into this release; the UI is full of easter eggs.

 

Next step: I need to get Roon Headless running on my Mac Mini in the 2-channel system.


I just tried Roon and it completely messed up my Audio File Folder structure!

Not just the structure also the folder names have been changed. 

Thanks a bunch Roon! I really didn't need this. ….

 

 

And in the Trash it goes!

 

:angry_face: 


Edited by joeexp - 8/27/15 at 3:58am
post #3039 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeexp View Post
 


I just tried Roon and it completely messed up my Audio File Folder structure!

Not just the structure also the folder names have been changed. 

Thanks a bunch Roon! I really didn't need this. ….

 

 

And in the Trash it goes!

 

:angry_face: 

 

Surely it doesn't actually change the names of the folders?

post #3040 of 3044

I creates new folders and moves the files into them; Kind of Artist > Albums; This really doesn't work for classical Music ...

 

There should be a big warning sign telling the user that the folder structure is about to be tempered with..


Edited by joeexp - 8/27/15 at 4:21am
post #3041 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeexp View Post
 

I creates new folders and moves the files into them; Kind of Artist > Albums; This really doesn't work for classical Music ...

 

There should be a big warning sign telling the user that the folder structure is about to be tempered with..

 

I presume you have a backup of your music folder?

post #3042 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 

 

Here are the specs on my Mac:

 

 

 

The Windows machine on the other hand was a HP laptop - Intel Core duo with 2GB of RAM and clocked at about 2GHz (forgot the processor as well). I forgot the rest of the specs. I simply don't want to wait right now for it to boot up. It had a hard drive, whereas my Mac runs on SSD. I also run my Audirvana Plus on extreme under "SysOptimizer" FWIW. Meanwhile, nothing like that was enabled on the windows machine.

 

I tested the same FLAC albums on each laptop at same headphone volume output on my Dangerous Source. Digital out volume was maxed on both setups to be fair. Only used my HD 800 for this test.

 

For some reason I wasn't able to install WASAPI or ASIO. I checked up on hydrogen audio and they basically said not to bother with it for playback purposes. It's apparently good for live playback with low latency, but creates problems as well on certain computers. So I played it straight out of the stock Foobar. I was a bit out of my element as I hadn't properly used a windows machine in many years.

 

 

Sound comparison:

 

Sibilance was very noticeable through Foobar. I can now totally understand why some people might say that HD 800 needs mod or tube amps. Through Audirvana Plus, it was completely removed and only present in very bad recordings.

 

Treble - treble energy was elevated in general on Foobar. Top end had more airy feel, but it felt more forced and synthetic. Whereas, on Audirvana, it's done a lot more naturally with dynamics to spare.

 

Stage presentation: Foobar with HD 800 throws a soundstage that it ahead of you completely. Audirvana throws a soundstage where you are in the middle of the stage. So with Audirvana, anything that is in front, feels in front of your ears, and anything in rear sounds behind your ear. With Foobar, anything placed in the rear of the recording is near your ear or slightly forward. On the other hand, anything placed at the front of the recording is held in front of your face. Foobar just shifts the stage away from you. I actually enjoyed both presentations. I could live with either one of them.  

 

Mid range: This is where Audirvana was leagues apart. I couldn't focus on aspects like imaging or decay too much because the mid range on Foobar simply didn't hold up. It felt dry, recessed, and lacking in resolution and dynamics. I could tolerate the treble of HD 800 through Foobar, but the lifelessness in vocals was the dealbreaker.   

 

Bass texture and slam: Audirvana won this in every way technically possible. Still, Foobar maintained a nice kick and rhythm.

 

Soundstage: The panning of instruments and sounds was more diffused in Audirvana Plus, whereas it felt more distinct in Foobar (a more rigid left, centre, and right). 

 

________

 

Overall, I actually really enjoyed my Foobar2000 experience. The overall sound and presentation was very nostalgic. I grew up with that flavour of sound and presentation for many years in my youth.

 

I really want to give Foobar a proper shot at some point with good hardware and optimized settings. I didn't bother quoting more specifics on the two computer, because of the large mismatch between them in specs. I have no idea how Foobar scales with better hardware and software tweaks.

Sounds like you Win machine needs a bit more horsepower.  WASPI is preferable not ASIO, I was wrong about that and it does sound better than Windows direct mode.  Settings in Foobar can be hard to setup especially if you found getting WASPI to load.  I will say it took me a lot longer to get the Win machine sounding good, but now it is much better than the Linux setup.  

 

Glad you tried it.  A+ is a great sounding player and hard to beat in many systems.

post #3043 of 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeexp View Post
 

I creates new folders and moves the files into them; Kind of Artist > Albums; This really doesn't work for classical Music ...

 

There should be a big warning sign telling the user that the folder structure is about to be tempered with..

 

If you read the release notes, Roon shouldn't be touching your files or folders - even meta data changes you make manually are stored in an external database (see: 3 Layer Meta Data in their release notes).

 

For me, I've never seen Roon touch or move a single file - with earlier versions or the new 1.1 release.

 

Are you setting up Roon to sync use your iTunes Library (i.e. synching your iTunes library) or just pointing it at one or more folders (i.e. Watch Folders)?


Edited by Krutsch - 8/27/15 at 8:57am
post #3044 of 3044

I compared the SQ of Vox to Audirvana Plus yesterday over the course of three hours and prefer the latter by a fairly large margin. It offered greater resolution, more natural timbre, greater rhythm and pace, and simply a more involving listening experience without any increase in listener fatigue. The former is free and good for what it is. Audirvana Plus is not free, but worth it. I do have a caveat; I did not get the chance to use it with a large library and have read that it is very slow loading one. 

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