For audiophiles and music lovers who love to read...
Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" November 2020 iMac (i5, 256GB SSD, Ventura 13.3), 4TB external SSD, Audirvana Origin, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 switch, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Goldmund/Job 225 on subwoofer; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara, Meze 109 Pro; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf + sound|kaos DSUB15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Qualio IQ [on loan] Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Shanling M3 Ultra into Soundaware D300Ref SD transport to Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: Vinnie Rossie L2 Signature and icOn 4th-order/80Hz; Amplifier: Enleum AMP-23R; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini or Acelec Model One + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF, Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature; Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Active DSP speakers: Fram Midi 120
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: €120 license
Library view by album, dark mode, adjustable cover-art sizing. Like this image, many in this article use the mouse-over loupe enlarger. Or, right-click them to open in new tab for full size.
The king lives on. Long live the new king. It's how my recent report on my 27"-iMac-Rebooted decision kicked off. Today is about a brief pictorial tour of Audirvana Origin as its 3rd-party signal-routing server and GUI engine. iTunes for locally hosted files is dead, Apple Music for cloud files only. My iMac is dedicated to hosting a local library. Here comes a 'currently playing album' view in Audirvana's small window floating on my new desktop.
Audirvana can be pointed at multiple music folders on the local area network. My entire library lives on an external 4TB Thunderbolt 3 SSD drive that plugs straight into the iMac. To sync up, Audirvana copies its metadata to build up what amounts to one enormous table of contents whose album covers are shortcuts to the original files on the external drive. To play, Audirvana pulls media off the target drive, caches them in RAM, applies whatever processing (or not) one has set, then streams out over USB. In my use as a playback hub for local files—I do occasional Qobuz Sublime streaming to scope out new music to buy—the CPU load is ~1%. That's cruising not bruising. As this next window shows, there are any number of adjustments the user can make for buffer size, DSP, upsampling, volume leveling, general volume control, SysOptimizer, extreme mode and more.
Key to navigating any sizable music library are readily editable metadata. To many albums, I add a country or instrument identifier as I did with the below album Coexist by The Secret Trio. By giving that ensemble the 'Turkish' prefix, it sorts under 'T' with all my other Turkish albums, then within that section in alphabetical order. As the first album I bought since I copied over my existing iTunes library off retired iMac to new SSD, I had need of Origin's metadata editor. As the insert windows show, one can rewrite album title, artist name, track names or change the cover art up to 600x600px.
If desired, certain album stats like dynamic range can be appended after downloading them from an Internet database.
Those stats end up in the 'infos' window. Since Origin is format agnostic, my library can now mix in .wav, .flac and .dff files. I'm no longer limited to .aiff. I get to enjoy Apple's superior hardware without being held ransom by Cupertino's closed-system infrastructure.
When we play a particular album, Origin automatically displays the covers of all our other albums by the same artist.
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