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Author Topic: Sound quality  (Read 9729 times)

Music_Man

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Sound quality
« on: March 29, 2013, 05:36:16 pm »

As a former satisfied Windows MC user, I'm really hoping that the Mac version becomes a huge success, especially for those of us seeking a highly resolved output on our Mac's.  Towards that end at least from my viewpoint, on an audiophile forum where Mac MC was discussed and compared with Mac/iTunes based music players, I inserted the following comments:

Quote
Your sonic comparison between Pure Music and JRiver parallel my experiences yesterday.  JRiver works, but isn’t sonically comparable yet.

Although I own a MacBook, a Mac Mini (strictly for my audio room), and an Apple TV, I'm more knowledgeable of the Windows' OS than Apple's and before converting to the Mac Mini for audio, I used a Windows PC and JRiver.  In my audio room, I was quite happy with the latter, but not so much with the former.  

So, because I prefer the JRiver interface to iTunes related ones, I would love to see Mac JRiver equal or exceed the sonics of the Mac based iTunes players like Pure Music.  

Sonic quality is my first and foremost requirement in a music player.  If the sonics aren't the best, all other options, the user interface etc., are unimportant!  

I use Apple products because they “just work”.  I dislike Apple products because they “just work”; but try to protect me from myself and try to control and constrain what I do with their hardware and software.

Attempting to develop a player that is competitive to iTunes (which doesn’t direct one to the iTunes store) and then meets or exceeds add-on players like Pure Music, would seem to represent a tough task in Apple’s controlled -- we don’t like competition -- environment.    

Although a good deal at its "alpha price", I'm hesitant to purchase until I'm certain that the JRiver Media Center Team has the ability and tenacity to program a stand-alone Apple OS based program that will equal or exceed the sonics of present iTunes based audiophile players.  Hopefully, the sonic bogie is also the top priority of the JRiver Team and that they then plan to (and Apple doesn’t prevent them) from keeping up with future OS upgrades.  If I knew that to be the fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to become an early adopter of Mac JRiver.  
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kiwi

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Re: Comments for the Admin's and Mac MC Development Team
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 05:49:05 pm »

@Music_man  I'm curious, how would characterize the differences between MC and Pure Music?  Do you find that Pure Music is better than the windows RJMC?

I've heard some clicks or pops, but I'm assuming that those are some bugs/incompatibilities in the system that will get sorted out. 

Are you finding that the output isn't effectively "bit perfect"?  Or are you looking for something more than "bit perfect"?  i.e. something that is actually changing the signal in a way that you "want".

These might help the dev's address the issues you're seeing/hearing.

As an aside, I personally have pretty high confidence that they will have comparable audio quality to the PC version.  There have already been a test or two showing that the output is the identical to the pc version
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/513-jriver-mac-vs-jriver-windows-sound-quality-comparison/
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JimH

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Re: Sound quality
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 06:23:33 pm »

Make sure you're using the latest build on Mac.  It's at the top of this board.

If you still have a problem, please provide some details.
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Philthy

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Re: Sound quality
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 02:01:01 am »

I use both, and personally find them sonically the same. Love the MC interface and JRemote, it's just so dang streamlined compared to the Apple remote app. For the price, it's cheaper than some SACDs right now, it was worth the cost for me easily.
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Music_Man

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Reproduction Qualities
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 07:05:28 am »

Kiwi: 
A reviewer on the forum that I posted my concurrence mentioned in my original post, made the following comments about MC vs Pure Music:

Quote
Early Sonic Impressions:
I must say that the sound of the program was not bad given that it is a first release Alpha. Overall, there was no hardness in the sound with reasonable detail and resolution. Compared to my favorite OSX programs, Pure Music and Audirvana Plus, the soundstage of Media Center is smaller, particularly in width. The bass is not as well controlled or dynamic sounding as in the other programs. Pure Music and Audirvana Plus are more open sounding with better detail retrieval. Media Center was able to successfully play gapless titles.

When it comes especially to Mac based players such as the following:
    Pure Music
    Amarra
    Audirvana
    Decibel
    Fidelia
    BitPerfect
your question posed to me regarding whether I'm
Quote
looking for something more than "bit perfect"?  i.e. something that is actually changing the signal in a way that you "want"
is one that is discussed on the PC audio forums that I frequent about the aforementioned players.  That is, if the output is bit perfect, and one player sounds different than another, then the signal is being altered.  I have read various conclusions -- both pro and con -- to that discussion and don't believe that the signal is being altered by players such as Pure Music and Audirvana, but the key words in this sentence are "don't believe".  I haven't the technical expertise to discuss, or make conclusions one way or the other.  But I do want Mac MC to provide a soundstage and dynamics that are similar to what I'm experiencing with other players.

It must be said that we audiophiles are a finicky bunch when it comes to sound reproduction.  We do spend significant sums on equipment to reproduce such attributes as soundstage, transparency, imaging etc.  And one needs the equipment and acousticly enhanced space to accurately portray these attributes. My home theater room has good sound -- new Marantz pre-pro, 7 Energy loudspeakers, Aragon amp, Paradigm subs etc.  However, in my HT room, I probably couldn't tell the difference between Pure Music and Mac MC, nor (more importantly) would I care.  On the other hand, my 2-channel audio room with a Wavelength DAC, CAT amps, and Soundlab speakers is the area I want MC to equal or exceed the above mentioned OS based players.  Unlike the reviewer that I quoted, I found MC's detail retrieval to be essentially on par with Pure Music.  But, that may because I trialed a MC version later than the one reviewed.  However, I did find soundstage and bass dynamic differences between Pure Music and MC, with Pure Music being preferable.  Why one player is different than the other, I can't say.  But I can say that so far, Pure Music wins.  When that isn't the case, I will happily switch to MC.

My goal here is not to be negative, or a naysayer, but to suggest that folks with an audiophile bent, should be involved in MC's design and trials, with an eye (or should I say ear) towards the other players mentioned, in order to make MC sonically equal to them.  If players like Pure Music and Amarra are concluded to be changing the signal in a way that enhances their playback, to fit someone’s preference, then, no, I wouldn't want MC to do the same.  I would however, be grateful to know that is what the other players are doing -- i.e., as you said it: "changing the signal".
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JimH

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Re: Sound quality
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 09:00:15 pm »

I'm going to lock this thread.  It serves no useful purpose.
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