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Author Topic: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?  (Read 1071 times)

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Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« on: February 18, 2024, 05:53:38 pm »

I plan to utilize high-quality audio files primarily in FLAC format. I aim to install JRiver on a PC equipped with a robust Nvidia graphics card for audio sourcing. The AV processor in use is the Denon AVR-X4400H, accompanied by high-end speakers and subwoofers. My goal is to configure JRiver with optimal settings commonly employed by audiophiles. Is there a comprehensive guide available for this purpose?
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kr4

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2024, 06:33:28 pm »

I plan to utilize high-quality audio files primarily in FLAC format. I aim to install JRiver on a PC equipped with a robust Nvidia graphics card for audio sourcing. The AV processor in use is the Denon AVR-X4400H, accompanied by high-end speakers and subwoofers. My goal is to configure JRiver with optimal settings commonly employed by audiophiles. Is there a comprehensive guide available for this purpose?
There are no "audiophile" settings nor are the necessary.  Just use high quality sources, avoid any lossy compression and connect it to the Denon in digital format, if possible.  I fail to see why you need a supplementary video card unless you are  upsampling high res (pointlessly).
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Kal Rubinson
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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2024, 07:24:07 pm »

There are no "audiophile" settings nor are the necessary.  Just use high quality sources, avoid any lossy compression and connect it to the Denon in digital format, if possible.  I fail to see why you need a supplementary video card unless you are  upsampling high res (pointlessly).

The PC I am installing this on is a gaming PC, and i just have a graphic card in it. Hence.
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mark_h

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2024, 01:26:50 am »

There are no "audiophile" settings nor are the necessary. 

Tools->Audio->Settings

ASIO? WASAPI? Direct sound?

Use SoX?


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craigmcg

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2024, 05:51:34 am »

Since it seems like you are planning to use the HDMI output for audio/video, most people enable bitstreaming so that the receiver does the DSP. If you want the PC to do the DSP, and it runs Windows, you'll probably want to use WASAPI so that Media Center has exclusive control of the sound when playing.
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MGD_King

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2024, 06:09:53 am »

I have almost the identical set-up (Denon AVR-X1300W) and craigmcg is correct, set your audio device to your receiver [WASAPI], no bitstreaming, and use SoX for resampling (although I don't hear a noticeable difference when it's not checked). Then, in the DSP Studio, I have my output set as follows because my receiver can't handle anything above 192kHz. I like to have Volume Leveling and Adaptive Volume enabled as well. Just make sure that all of your media files have been analyzed. These settings sound best to my ears. Your results may vary.
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MusicBringer

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2024, 06:32:08 am »

Hello @MGD_King,
a very helpful post.
🎵 Thank You,

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dtc

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2024, 07:39:43 am »

I am not sure if you want to play DSD files, but note than when using HDMI you cannot play DSD files from a PC. That is a limitation of HDMI implementations on PCs. From the manual it looks like you need to use DLNA to play DSD, although the manual is short on details.  I would not recommend using DLNA unless you need to do DSD. The direct HDMI connection should be more stable and more functional. Unfortunately, according to the manual, the usb input does not seem to support PC input, which is common for these receivers. If you want to play DSD, it looks like you need to experiment with DLNA. Alternatively, you can convert DSD to PCM for playback over HDMI.

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MGD_King

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2024, 08:21:56 am »

I am not sure if you want to play DSD files, but note than when using HDMI you cannot play DSD files from a PC. That is a limitation of HDMI implementations on PCs. From the manual it looks like you need to use DLNA to play DSD, although the manual is short on details.  I would not recommend using DLNA unless you need to do DSD. The direct HDMI connection should be more stable and more functional. Unfortunately, according to the manual, the usb input does not seem to support PC input, which is common for these receivers. If you want to play DSD, it looks like you need to experiment with DLNA. Alternatively, you can convert DSD to PCM for playback over HDMI.
You can play DSD files from MC using the configuration I have above. I convert any bitrate above 192kHz to 192kHz (or whatever your receiver can handle) and it plays either in bitstream mode or the "None" setting so it's converting to PCM.
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2024, 08:23:43 am »

You can play them, sure, by converting them to PCM as dtc mentioned above. dtc means playing them back through bitstreaming without a conversion to PCM, this isn't possible over HDMI from any PC, Mac or computer. You either have to use DLNA (if it's supported) or do the DSD to PCM conversion.

For those who care about having a bit-perfect audio output this may be an issue, as a DSD to PCM (or PCM to DSD) conversion is 'lossy'. Granted, the OP didn't mention DSD in their post, so it's not known if playback of DSD is even desired to begin with so this discussion may not apply. And I'm sure someone else is going to mention this but to be clear, yes, if you desire a bit-perfect audio output you shouldn't do any sort of dithering, resampling (via SoX or otherwise) or using any DSP features like volume levelling and peak level normalization as it makes changes to the audio and thus makes it no longer bit-perfect. The benefits of using those DSP features like volume levelling may outweigh any potential downsides of it no longer being bit-perfect, but that's up to the listener to decide.
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dtc

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2024, 08:35:30 am »

You can play DSD files from MC using the configuration I have above. I convert any bitrate above 192kHz to 192kHz (or whatever your receiver can handle) and it plays either in bitstream mode or the "None" setting so it's converting to PCM.

As AD says, I was referring to playing DSD without converting to PCM.

Most "audiophiles" would rather not do a lossy conversion of DSD to PCM. Also, the playback mechanism for DSD in the DAC is different than the one for PCM. So, if there is any advantage to the DSD conversion to analog, it is lost by converting to PCM.

In many cases, converting DSD to PCM in JRiver will not sound any different than playing the DSD file directly, but that depends on the playback system.

People need to experiment with their system to decide what works best for them.
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Drybonz

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2024, 09:57:22 am »

Is there a way to have different audio/DSP studio settings for your audio and movie libraries?  I don't want to use my movie sound settings when listening to music.  I would like to have my "audio" library settings separate.  Thanks for the help.
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TheShoe

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2024, 10:23:04 am »

Yes.  You can set up separate zones (and use zone switch).

For my DSD, I play over USB to an exaSound external DAC.  In Media Center, I have a zone specifically for DSD that kicks in depending on the type of file (I play all audio files, DSD, PCM (FLAC in my case), and any non Dolby Atmos or DTS:X to the DAC.

I have a separate zone created for Atmos and DTS:X that bitstreams to my Marantz pre-processor as the exaSound does not support those audio codecs.

In any case, you can set up multiple zones with different configurations and then either manually select the zone and start playback or configure some rule(s) to auto-switch the zone.
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Drybonz

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2024, 12:40:02 pm »

Yes.  You can set up separate zones (and use zone switch).

Ok, thanks for that.  I haven't bothered with the zones so I will have to look into that soon.
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michael123

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2024, 11:07:53 am »

I plan to utilize high-quality audio files primarily in FLAC format. I aim to install JRiver on a PC equipped with a robust Nvidia graphics card for audio sourcing. The AV processor in use is the Denon AVR-X4400H, accompanied by high-end speakers and subwoofers. My goal is to configure JRiver with optimal settings commonly employed by audiophiles. Is there a comprehensive guide available for this purpose?

There are some guides, but usually JRiver is configured for bit perfect transfer means no any volume adjustments etc

One feature I would suggest to use is memory playback, that will prevent any unwanted delay in the middle of playback

Don't use any conversions, Sox, .. I assume you will want to use the features of your Denon receiver instead
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michael123

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Re: Any audiophile grade setup for the best audio experience?
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2024, 05:21:47 am »

I am re-reading your original post, and I am concerned about "robust Nvidia graphics card"

More important is to have absolutely quiet, both acoustically and electrically PC machine. Use passive cooling with any mechanical components, carefully pick power supply.

I use Streacom chassis...
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