In the world of recent audio trend where high resolution entering the market slowly but sure, you can use your PC or Laptop as your ultimate source.
Unfortunately we are all know that every computer is actually a bad source for audio. There are unnecessary system processed and signal interference that can ruined sound quality of our music. Turning off the other resources, in theory could gave us the most power of our computer solely for quality audio reproduction.
B. The Software and The Hardware
I have been searching for such alternative media player and found interesting software to enhance musical fidelity of my Hires music. The software called JPLAY 6.2 (http://www.jplay.eu). There are paid and also free version of JPLAY 6.2 (with some limitation). I bought the official version for Euro 99 and installed on my trusty Asus Laptop with Windows 10 Operating System.
The equipment used for this mini review
1. Asus X series equipped with Windows 10 latest update
2. iFi Nano iDSD DAC 32/384, DSD 256
3. Seagate 1 TB Hardisk of Hires Songs
4. DIY Buffer Tube
5. Cayin A50T Vaccum Tube Amps
6. DIY Loudspeaker with a/d/s driver and Fostex Plannar driver
Actually Windows 10 are equipped with Windows Media Player (and the new Groove Media Player). Both of them are using direct sound with existing audio mixer. Although Windows internal Media Player has been doing some improvement over the years, however both of them still heavily shared resources with other program.
The JPLAY 6.2 work with unconventional approach. The software has been built with philosophy to create the computer environment as pure as possible for audio reproduction. What is JPLAY 6.2 trying to do with your computer
First it will going put your Hires file directly into your RAM (Random Access Memory) which is faster access than any Hardisk access.
Second it will shut down all the unnecessary process and leave the good one special for audio reproduction.
Third it has very simple and minimalist interface for playing music (which can be bad or good depend on people reference).
Fourth it has hibernate mode, but allow me to warn you, the laptop will completely unusable in hibernate mode except for playing music alone! All the control is not function the screen is black and what you hear is only reproduction of music. This can be scary!
Fifth it has an option to link two computers (control computers and source computer)
I set it up like the picture above, then after 100 hours of burn in, I have selected Ultra Xtreme Engine and Hibernate mode,DAC Link 1 Hz, 10 second buffer, and native Bitstream as my final setting.
D. The JPLAY 6.2 Mini Review
For this review I have played three Hires and CD songs using three Software (JPLAY 6.2, Windows Media Player and Groove Media Player just for comparison:
1. Amanda McBroom Those Eyes (PCM)
The voice of Amanda McBroom and her musician sound clear but not clean in WMP and Groove. However when I listened to her being reproduced by JPLAY 6.2 I immediately noticed the great quality of her music and her quality recording as well. the instruments has more air and space than when reproduced in WMP or Groove.
2. Titanic Soundtrack -Anniversary Edition (PCM)
The orchestral session from Titanic Soundtrack on JPLAY 6.2 takes it all when compared to WMP and Groove. The Groove and WMP already sound dynamic with fast transient but the JPLAY also sound like that but with more clear and clean sound reproduction.
3. Immediately Blessed by Keith Greninger from Blue Coast Collection (DSD)
JPLAY 6.2 smoothly and tenderly reproduce this DSD track with ease and the ambience is the best between the three.
E. The Resume
Great for playing Hires on your computer!
1. Clear and clean sound reproduction
2. Fast and dynamic transient reproduction
3. Very good ambience
1. Too minimalist, almost scary when in hibernate mode.
2. Maybe a little bit expensive for some people.
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