Status update after 3 weeks of Origin usage

I am using a trial license. I am running a 2018 Mac mini running Monterey 12.3.1 with a USB hook-up to a Schiit Modi 3 DAC which feeds a $2,500 tube amplifier and speakers. I have been a 3.5 user for as long as it’s been in existence. I have a large local library and don’t use streaming services other than Amazon Music. The installation was quick and easy. My only issue was that it didn’t import my playlists, which I generate using genius in Apple Music; it was 5 minutes work to use File => Import to bring them all in.

I am happy so far. Sounds better than 3.5 to my ears. I am currently flipping back and forth between SOX and r8brain trying to hear the difference. I don’t have an opinion yet. Here’s a couple of pics of the playback pipeline.

Hey there,

Trying AO since yesterday, works fine for me, i don’t have critically listened to it yet, but sounds good obviously :slight_smile:

I compare with v. 3.5, my main question is : why mini player album art display so small ?

Same thing for remote on iPad, landscape mode is smaller than portrait ??

I know it’s music and first for the ears lol, but cover art is important to me also, and don’t think i’m the only one…

Is it possible, Damien & Co., to show album art like v 3.5, for mini player and remote ?

Library management (303k files) seems OK for the moment.

Cheers :wink:

Well, after a listening session of 3 hours, i have no words…

Audirvana Origin sounds a lot different than 3.5, and by different i mean a lot better !

More room, space, depht, width, tranparency, low end extension and articultation and weight, it’s a no brainer to me :heart:

Damien and your crew : you’ve made an incredible job regards to sound quality, and this is the main point here to me.

I’m happy to say that i will buy AO and stay faithfull to your vision of sound :wink:

Cheers !

After a week AO works fine, i love the new interface, search display, a sense of detail much appreciated :wink:

Bought it :green_heart:

I second what Lolodesiles has written: Origin sounds dramatically better to my ears compared to 3.5. Are there user interface features for which I prefer 3.5? Sure, but they are insignificant compared to the improved sound quality. I will be purchasing. Thanks, Damien, Antoine and team.

My only gripe: I still can’t decide whether I prefer SOX or r8brain.

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Hi All,

Like you I feel great improvements on AO compared to 3.5 : more space, more details, instruments definition, etc…

But I’m stil wondering on one important point, Voices.
I feel they losed a bit of warmness, appears a bit metallic ?

I use : Mac mini, full MC components and L300 Jbl speakers

Am I alone and then dreaming ? Or does someone knows how to settle this ?

Thanks in advance
Laurent

Laurent92,

Wow, this is a tough one. I have done some side-by-side listening and this is what I hear. A couple of disclaimers first.

  1. This is so subjective.
  2. I’m 73 so maybe my hearing isn’t what it used to be.

That said, here are my observations:

  • Linda Ronstadt - What’s New: instruments and vocal all have more air around them in Origin. Her voice stands out more because of the additional space and sounds more vibrant but doesn’t strike me as less warm.

  • James Taylor - Bartender Blues (Linda Ronstadt sings backup): when they sing the chorus together their voices are separated more from each other and from the instruments. In 3.5 they sound more stacked on top of each other. Again, the vocals sound more vibrant to me but not metallic or less warm.

  • Joan Sutherland - Surta è la notte…Ernani! Ernani, involami: about 5 minutes in she sings something impossible. Again, more separation from the orchestra, more vibrant but not metallic.

  • And last but not least, my go-to metric for comparing audio: Steely Dan - Black Cow. The sound stage is so spread out and each instrument and voice is distinct. The lead and backup vocals have more presence because they are separated out, but don’t sound less warm to me, just more vibrant.

My listening experience is consistent across these 4 songs. My confidence level that I am right and Laurent92 is wrong: 0.15. But it’s what I hear.

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Laurent92 (my first name is also Laurent),

To me, like TribecaMikey said, no metallic voices, even a bit.

Perhaps a bit less forward in the center but …

I don’t upsample, maybe is this that :wink:

Cheers.

@Mickey and Laurent

Thank you for your insightful comments!

I wasn’t wrong but I just wasn’t using this excellent software to its potential with my components.

What I did: Abandon the upsampling or only X2, put the room corrector on voices/mellow.

The result: perfect to my ears, my system never sounded like this, a real leap forward, I just have to specify the 0 or X2 in upsampling. The change of listening habits may also require some accustoming.

Conclusion: this new version goes significantly further than the 3.5 on all the items: whaou effect…It is necessary to try all the settings of the set.

Thank you for your help in the reflection and, Damien president!

Now go buy it quickly and have a good Sunday.

Interesting. I have been using the out-of-the-box default for upsampling with my Schiit Modi 3 DAC:

UPSAMPLING:
r8brain with device max frequency upsampling
r8brain filter parameters
Bandwidth = 99.5%
Stop band attenuation 218dB
Phase linear

OR

UPSAMPLING:
SoX with device max frequency upsampling
SoX filter parameters
Bandwidth at 0dB = 95%
Filter max length = 30000
Anti-aliasing = 100
Phase = 64%

I have been switching back and forth between SOX and r8brain trying to hear the difference, but so far they sound alike to me.

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Unexpected bonus. I decided to listen to Glenn Gould playing Bach. No particular expectations: I mean a single acoustic instrument - how different could it be? But the thing is there is greater separation between the left hand and the right: you can hear each voice more distinctly. So it’s easier to appreciate what’s going on in the music.

At least on my two setups - home and work, I prefer Sox over r8brain. Sox sounds more open and natural to me over r8brain which sounds, comparatively compressed. I keep checking g from time to time but still have the same conclusion.

PasDeDeux, thanks for sharing your conclusion. I will compare some more with that in mind and see if I hear a difference.

After two weeks the Wow effect is still there :smile:

Question guys : why do you upsample ? any sound benefit ?

Thanks for your input cos’ i’ve never upsampled with Audirvana, to me it’s a bit of snake oil …

Cheers !

Upsampling is very personal. Some like it and some don’t. Some hear it and some don’t. It also depends on the equipment you have.
There is no right or wrong here. Just experiment and use what sounds best to you.

There can be technical benefits to upsampling (so it is not snake oil per definition) this has to do with the brick wall filters used. Others have different opinions and discussions can get quite heated in forums.

My advise: simply Google on ‘upsampling’ and ‘Nyquist’ and form your own opinion. But in the end: you listen with your own ears and only you can decide what sounds best for you.

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The way I read the documentation on Studio/Origin, the goal is to take as much processing as possible away from the DAC and into the Studio/Origin algo’s. The motivation is that the computer is more powerful and therefore can run more sophisticated algo’s than the DAC. When I loaded Origin for the first time and selected my DAC (Schiit Modi 3), the upsampling was set to the DAC maximum (24/192). This is true for both r8brain and SOX. I have never changed it because I am wowed by the sound.

Perhaps @Antoine or @Damien could comment or point to further documentation.

I have purchased an Origin license. I’m a happy camper.

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Hi there ^^

I’ve noticed since a couple of days that my Origin launches a lot faster :smile:

With +300K tracks it still takes a while, but then runs like a charm !

No updates but i think they work in the background …

Cheers :wink: