Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Sonnet Pasithea, Soundaware D30Ref SD card transport & USB bridge; Preamp: icOn 4Pro S w. hi/lo-pass filter; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 mono, Enleum AMP-23R; Headamp: Kinki Studio; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Aurai Audio Lieutenant w. sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Cube Audio Nenuphar 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 Krion and glass 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: Soundaware D100Pro SD transport clock-slaved to Denafrips Terminator +; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro + 4th-order/40Hz hi-low pass; Amplifier: Goldmund Job 225; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf, Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; 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: Audiobyte Hydra X+; Headamp: iFi Pro iDSD Signature; Headphones: Final D-8000; Powered speakers: DMAX SXC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl SD-9 transport; DAC: iFi Pro iDSD Signature; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Simon Audio; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: €89
Before Roon there was iTunes. Starting my PCfi journey on an iMac, how to bypass Apple's iTunes software for sound not its UI became key. For the longest time my player of choice was PureMusic. It worked pretty much invisibly behind iTunes. Later I added Audirvana to find that I preferred its sound. No, they did not sound alike. On my Win7/64 work desk since running Windows 10, J.River Media Center became the player because at the time, Audirvana was exclusive to Mac. I always found JRMC a bit as though designed by geeks for other geeks. When Damien Plisson's Audirvana Origin announcement dropped a few days ago, I decided it was time to install it on my work desk. The one-time €89 charge was reasonable enough. For the main display window, hover your mouse over the above to launch the enlarger. Ever since iTunes, we've come to expect a certain layout and access features. Origin duly follows suit. Like Spotify's GUI, don't fix what ain't broke. You'll feel right at home. Should it matter to you, there's full DSD and MQA support. I couldn't care less.
Heresy alert: I consider cloud streaming inferior to playing back local files so do it only for casual listening. Before streamophiles get their knickers in a twist, I know about slaving three dedicated SOtM Ethernet switches in series each powered by an external linear power supply then reclocked with an external 10MHz clock generator also on a linear supply before the signal ever gets anywhere near a DAC. That makes my point. Without serious mollycoddling, USB through a simple bridge sounds better than a router connection. In my office, easy wins. I already go audiofool in other rooms. It's why I didn't buy Audirvana Studio for Windows. Studio engages exclusive access mode also for cloud-based data. No need to polish turds. Also, the audio-output window of my Qobuz Sublime account already includes a 'Wasapi Exclusive Mode' option like Audirvana. So I bought their new Origin version which only works on locally hosted files. When you install the program, it asks you to point it at the folder where your music resides. Easy.
This collage of setup options shows key parameters you can adjust. It's all perfectly self-explanatory. For my favorite bit, I not only prefer the interface to J.River. I also fancy the sound more. By geeks for geeks just got uninstalled. Cancelled. Yes. And no, this wasn't much of a review. But you can try Audirvana Origin for free to make up your own mind. So I'll save my breath…
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