I am curious what version of Audirvana Plus (till now) is the best sounding version.
Do you have experience with the different versions and what do you like most
I am looking for most dynamic but always natural sound
I am an Audirvana user since 1.5 and actually made a comparison of versions 1.x, 2.x and 3.x just yesterday. I set up three identical computers and had each versions on them. (Note, I keep spare Mac Mini Late 2012 machines on hand, identically configured, so they can be swapped in and out when one fails). Surprising the sonic difference in quality from version 1.x to 2.x is not as great as from 2.x to 3.x
My Mac Mini running the latest OS X - Sierra, with 16 GB of RAM. Connected to the Mac Mini directly via USB are two mirrored 8TB USB hard drives. My DAC is an exaSound e32 connected via USB.
Moving from version 2.x to 3.x is not merely and update but an upgrade. I was interested in 3.x because of its MQA support and was not expecting improved overall improved sonics from non-MQA files. Note: am not sold on the value of MQA. I am in no way endorsing MQA.
The DAC plays just as much a factor as does the software. You can download Audirvana 3.0 on a trial basis, so I suggest you do that and listen for yourself. Your ears are your ears and as such the best indicator of what is both dynamic and natural sound.
Thanks for the answer
But when there are still so much troubles with version 3 i now think not twice but tenth times for upgrading to version 3
I dont want to use MQA because i dont see the possitivity in it
I stay with my current version 2.6.5 and had set the automatic update off till all problems are solved
Which troubles? Can you elaborate on the ones you’ve encountered?
There was an incompatibility issue with some DAC USB interfaces that is solved in 3.0.2 by making the MQA DACs auto detection optional, by default off
And what about the troubles with the upgrade or the missing playlistst
And what about the need to delete every older version and have to use clean install version 3 and then again not recognizing the files or all made playlists again
And what about the very slow inreading of the music in the libray each time i startup, and also the slow presentation while running trouht the library
And what about not been able to correct metadata in the search modes and also not been able to correct several metadata at all.
And the issue of myself where i noticed that every version is not ok while reading directorys with music tracks in it
Sometimes there are read some files, Sometimes only one track is read in a folder, Sometimes albums are mixed when there is a 2cd version and so on
I hope you dont forget all that issues to solve too in the near future
I note on Computer Audiophile there seems to be quite a bit of concern about differences in sound presentation between 2.6 and the new v3, most notably more top end and less bottom, and not everyone has the same view as the OP that it is an imprivement. It would be useful to have Damien’s views on the differences, and why they should occur when it is supposed to be bit perfect. Given that 2.X has sounded so good, it is a bit of a concern if anyone contemplates v3.
Re: SQ of A+ v3.0.1 - at first I listened with same filter settings I used with v2.6.6. In v3.0.1, I found an increased transparency across frequencies, more realistic imaging, and increased soundstage depth. Bass, especially midbass, had better control and dynamics, but seemed to lose a bit of lowest extension. Upper bass textures were better resolved. Overall dynamics, micro and macro, are increased.
I found that on some albums the treble of cymbals and vocal sibilants were a touch forward and detracted from the positive SQ changes in v3.0.1. I decided last night to adjust steepness down a touch, and found a better balance for my system for addressing hot
treble. Regarding the lowest frequencies, I’m still not sure whether there is an issue here, because although the change is noticeable, it does not detract from enjoyment. YMMV, but I am now of the opinion that the overall SQ and transparency of this new version are real benefits. I may not purchase right away to allow for more listening and adjustments, but I likely will soon.
I don’t have an MQA DAC and little interest in that path, so I have no opinions to offer there.
Excellent work as usual Damien!