A short (audiophile) guide to Winamp (/w Maiko WASAPI)
Jan 4, 2012 at 4:56 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 124

BleaK

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This is a short guide to show how to use Winamp in general and as an audiophile music player.
I have recieved alot of help here at head-fi, and wanted to give something back. Hope you will enjoy this little guide!
 
Why Winamp?
 
No particular reason...
No really, if you already use Foobar2000 or mediamonkey with asio or wasapi, winamp won't give you any advantage in SQ, but it may do so if you use other music players without these output plugins (e.g. iTunes).
 
One of the reason I use Winamp with this WASAPI output is that it can run in shared mode (explained later), what that means is that you can run other audio applications (like youtube, games etc.) while playing music in WASAPI mode.
 
You can also customize your skin and so on. If you prefer your layout looking something like this...:
 

(Sorry for the bad quality photo, that's my personal simple version)
 
...to any of these:
 

 
There are alot more skins and customization, but this guide will focus on setting up how to get the best soundquality out of winamp.
I personally like simplicity and stick with the big bento skin.
 
 
Winamp, step by step:
 
-Start here:
http://www.winamp.com/
 
-After download and installation you can add music in Winamp:
File ---> Add media to library ---> Choose the folder which you have stored music
 
-Then go here:
http://maiko.elementfx.com/
 
Download the plugin, cut and paste it in the winamp folder named "plugins"
I will come back to how it works later.
 
-Now to Winamp again:
Options ---> Preferences
 
In preferences go to playback, and "allow 24-bits".
Then go to output, and if you did everything right you should see the "maiko WASAPI output" ---> Press "configure".
 
This is (aprox.) what you should see:
 

 
Choose what device you are using for source (soundcard or DAC), and close the window.
 
 
Congratulations, you now have Winamp with WASAPI!
 
 
 
"But, but, is it just that easy? Isn't there more to it?"
-Yes and yes.
 
For the more than average interested computer geek, there is more. However, the "more" in this case will (in most situations) not ensure a better SQ. It only gives better control over your bits and bytes.
 
 
For the advanced!
 
This picture show how the output plugin work:
 

You can also read more here where you downloaded the plugin:
 
http://maiko.elementfx.com/
 
As you can see there are two options on how to use the plugin, shared or exclusive mode.
 
As said, in most cases and for the average user you won't need exclusive mode.
But if you are a computer geek, or just need full control over everything coming out of your computer you can start looking here:
 
 
Exclusive mode:
 
Like I said before the exlusive mode is not for a better soundquality (although in some special cases it might), but if you are like me and want full controll over your 0's and 1's, this is the way to go. I present to you: Exclusive mode!
 
The short story look like this:
 

 
"This looks hard, should I just check all the boxes?"
 
Yes! Just check any of the boxes and you almost have bitperfect wasapi in exlusive mode!
 
There is however one important thing to remember. The only important thing is the "Slave to sample rate". If you are listening to 44,1KHz, 96KHz or 192KHz music, you should set slave mode to 44100, 96000 or 192000 to "force" the plugin to play that sample rate.
 
For more info, see the link in More!
 
NB! This will stop any other audio from playing (youtube etc.). You must close winamp and restart your browser/other music players to use them. 
 
 
Mixer:
 
I personally haven't played with the mixer, so I just leave it at automate. Se More! for a link with better explanation.
 
 
Balance:
 
This is a balance mode, it's newly implemented and can look a bit wacky, but if you tinkle with it enough it will provide a great asset for those who hearing are better (or worse) in one ear. This is quite rare, and seldom implemented in a wasapi output. For those with a hearing impairment and want a better sound, it is in itself a reason to use this plugin, 
 
 
More!
Need more info? Click on the link below, this takes you to the forum from the maker of the plugin with alot of additional info:
http://maiko.elementfx.com/forum/index.php
 
This is the plugin forums FAQ which goes over all the features the plugin has:
http://maiko.elementfx.com/forum/index.php?topic=7.0
 
 
CD ripping:
 
When ripping cd's I suggest you use EAC, but if you are gonna rip ALOT of cd's, this method may take alot of time.
Winamp have a really easy ripping feature, and it gets all the info like band/album/song from gracenote automatically .
If you are gonna rip a large amount of cd's in FLAC quality, this may save you some time.
 
I suggest to rip in FLAC with the best compression, you do this by:
Options ---> Preferences ---> CD Ripping ---> choose FLAC - best compression
 
 
EQ:
 
I don't use EQ that much and are not too familiar with, but I hear this is a great plugin for winamp:
 
http://www.winamp.com/plugin/electri-q/147879
 
You can read how to use EQ properly here:
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial
 
 
 
Thank you for reading and I hope that this little guide was usefull!
 
 
 
Also, creds to Maiko/Kitchen-Fu for developing this awsome output plugin for winamp, and PiccoloNamek for the EQ-guide.
 
 
 
Disclaimer and update 16.03.2015:
 
Maiko/kitchen-fu has stopped development for this plugin (happened a couple years ago really).
The latest version is:
 0.53.test.04, and are known working with Windows vista, 7 and 8.1.​
 
While the development has been suspended, the plugin still works, and sounds great! Enjoy! ​
 
-BleaK
 
Jan 5, 2012 at 2:37 PM Post #3 of 124

sonci

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sorry to bother,
as I noticed from the screenshot "speakers Creative xFi", are you using a xfi soundcard?
 
because you should know that xfi doesn`t support wasapi for bit perfect playback, it has been discussed a lot at HeadFi, 
you should use ASIO,
 
 
Jan 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM Post #4 of 124

Mdclol

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Thank you for this, BleaK. Very easy to follow. The eq guide was an amazing find as well.
 
Jan 5, 2012 at 6:52 PM Post #5 of 124

BleaK

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Quote:
sorry to bother,
as I noticed from the screenshot "speakers Creative xFi", are you using a xfi soundcard?
 
because you should know that xfi doesn`t support wasapi for bit perfect playback, it has been discussed a lot at HeadFi, 
you should use ASIO,
 


No I don't have Creative xFi, that screenshot is taken by the author of the plugin used as only demonstration :)
 
 
Quote:
Thank you for this, BleaK. Very easy to follow. The eq guide was an amazing find as well.



You're welcome! :)
 
 
Apr 10, 2012 at 8:35 AM Post #6 of 124

AF115

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Great job, BleaK. Thank you!
Being a keen user of Winamp, you have brought me the last missing piece to forget Foobar without any regret 
bigsmile_face.gif

The plug-in is rock solid with the Tenor TL7022 transport (used in Prodigy Cube and NFB-12 DACs). 
 
Apr 11, 2012 at 3:06 AM Post #8 of 124

Pacha

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Use Kernel Streaming plugin instead if you're using Windows XP, or if you're running Vista or 7 you guys should have a glance at AdionSoft plugin as it's bitperfect, works in exclusive mode, supports auto-upsampling on formats your DAC doesn't support (88.2 KHz files for instance), and do not suffer from drop-outs like ASIO does with Winamp.
The only issue is that it often crashes or creates cracks in songs when you switch directly from a 24/96 song to a 16/44.1, but apart from that it's working flawlessly and is much more practical and simple to use than Maiko plugin. The workaround for sample rate switching issue is to play only 24/96 files then restart winamp to play 16/44.1 files, and vice versa. A bit rough as this bug could be fixed but the guy in charge of the plugin hasn't published anything new since feb 2010.
 
I've done A/B tests between AdionSoft and Kernel Streaming plugin on Winamp (which works only with 16/44.1 files on win7), and with ASIO and Wasapi on foobar also, and I can't tell them apart.
 
Apr 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM Post #9 of 124

Kristjan

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I'm pretty sure I've followed everything to the letter (by that I mean that I clicked on the Use 24bit box), yet I can't see the plugin in the Output tab. I've got no idea what I'm doing wrong, the instructions are really easy to follow (or so it would seem).

 
 
Apr 26, 2012 at 9:26 PM Post #10 of 124

BleaK

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Quote:
I'm pretty sure I've followed everything to the letter (by that I mean that I clicked on the Use 24bit box), yet I can't see the plugin in the Output tab. I've got no idea what I'm doing wrong, the instructions are really easy to follow (or so it would seem).

 

You got to follow this:
 
http://maiko.elementfx.com/
 
Download the plugin, cut and paste it in the winamp folder named "plugins"
 
Then you will have the output in your winamp folder.
 
 
 
 
I will come back and write how to use the exclusive mode so that people will have control over a "bit-perfect" output!
 
Apr 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM Post #11 of 124

brandon4ek

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Quote:
 
You got to follow this:
 
http://maiko.elementfx.com/
 
Download the plugin, cut and paste it in the winamp folder named "plugins"
 
Then you will have the output in your winamp folder.
 
 
 
 
I will come back and write how to use the exclusive mode so that people will have control over a "bit-perfect" output!

 
I guess the site is temporarily down at the moment, or is it just me?
 
May 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM Post #13 of 124

BleaK

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Quote:
@brandon4ek
The site currently works fine for me.
They just published a new version (V 0.02) of Maiko MonkeysAudio decoder.

 
yup, I haven't had time to try it yet, but I will perhaps tomorrow. This is applied the same way as the ouput file. When I have the time (maybe this weekend) I will write how to use the exclusive mode and get perfect bit to bit.
 
May 4, 2012 at 2:28 AM Post #14 of 124

AF115

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A specific contribution for the owners of DACs that have inside the chip TENOR TE7022L and  still use Windows XP.
At last I found an ASIO driver - instead of the not so satisfactory ASIO4ALL - that can works flawlessy in Windows XP:
I tested it in connection to Audio-gd NFB12 and Prodigy Cube.
You can download that driver from here: http://www.ab-system.hk/USB.html
 
Jul 17, 2012 at 1:49 AM Post #15 of 124

oneofthem

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hi
 
just sharing some xp here..
 
ive been using jriver with wasapi event for a couple of years
 
then i read about wasapi 3.0 beta for foobar (previosly i compared  wasapi 2.x foobar vs jriver wasapi event and liked jriver more)
 
now i compared that foobar with wasapi 3 beta5 at event mode and found my jriver sounded abit behind and muddy vs the more clear sound of foobar with beta driver
 
and now  found this winamp maiko wasapi driver and did a/b (ibasso d2+/ultrasone pro900) comparo, now i did hours of quick a/b same tracks (flacs 16/44100) and now im a winamp user. :]
 
just did 1 more quick ab so 2 make sure im not parano, before im posting this lol
 
im not sure if its good that i can hear that diff or not ( this bug will kill alot of time and$ )  sometimes i wish i had no interest in digital audio, think it degrades some of that state of mind thingy :[
 
cheers
 

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