I have a Weiss DAC202 and both Amarra and Pure Music. I prefer the Amarra sound quality but don't like its buggy operation. Pure Music is less buggy but doesn't quite achieve the sound quality of Amarra. Having said that I could live happily with PM.
There is something glorious in the Amarra sound. I wonder if that is because we are using Weiss DACs? I am interested in hearing from people who don't use Weiss products to see if it bring out something else.
I have had no bug problems so far with Amarra in its more recent forms. At one point around 2.0 I had issues. Aside from a random skip that would happen in Amarra 2.2 once in a while it has been solid.
PM is still very good & I read many preferred it to Amarra. I never have, but the 1.82 is very close in its likability.
The next issue of UHF Magazine, due out just before Christmas, will include a shootout between Amarra and Pure Music.
I also use both programs on my Metric Halo with very similar results, pros and cons. I want to believe it is the superior Firewire interface that enables the performance. Uh oh, time to get ready for the USB flames. ;)
I have twice tried the Amarra demo but have stayed with PM. I cannot honestly say that PM sounded any better than Amarra and maybe it was familiarity but I preferred the interface and operation of PM. I curious but not motivated to make a move. I run a Bel Canto DAC and use PM in integer mode.
I have demoed both with a MSB Platinum Signature DAC IV with Signature USB interface. I liked PM 1.82. It sounded great. It had a wide deep soundstage and was very warm. Buy in my system and to my ears Amarra 2.3 sounded better. It had better low end extension and the vocals and instruments sounded more fleshed out and realistic. Also Amarra seemed to provide a level of dimensionality that was lacking in Pure Music.
So it would seem Amarra 2.3 is getting the thumbs up over Puremusic 1.82 so far.
How are you using Amarra? In memory as a stand alone or from iTunes.
I use Amarra in both configurations. Playlist mode does sound noticeably better, but memory mode sounds great as well. All sonic comparisons were in memory mode linked to Itunes. Sonicstudio is running a special on Amarra 2.3 for $495.00 until December 31.
Pure Music 1.83 has been released with most changes/improvements aimed at handling FLAC and DSD files.
I still like Pure Music 1.83 better then Amarra.
What do you prefer in PM? Which version of Amarra did you try?
Hello, I have tried both programs in my system (Eastern Electric MiniMax Plus DAC and Paradigm S1 V.3 monitor speakers)and prefer the sound of Amarra over Pure Music. I hear more depth, transparency and better highs from Amarra. Amarra has some of the same code as in the professional mastering program Soundblade, a program widely used in the pro audio community. Also, I like the look of Amarra's interface a lot better than PM. The PM interface looks crude by comparison--a retro 1980s, early PC interface look.
Anyone compare the junior or mini versions of Amarra to PM? More even comparison price wise
Gnobber, Amarra MINI and Amarra full version sound the same to me. I haven't compared them back-to-back but I've heard them both.
The review in the current UHF Magazine, now out, is pretty complete and worth a read. Myself, I like Amarra for the sonics and Pure Music for what you can do with the interface. You can adjust stereo balance, for example, but more than that, you can adjust frequency response so that PM becomes the equivalent of an active crossover.
Neither of them is all that easy to use, though.
I prefer the sonics of Pure Music with my Metric Halo LIO-8. I have Amarra 2.3 now too. I've had it since inception and do think Pure Music sounds better.
Why do you have to buy these through a dealer. Does it not make sense to get it direct from amarra. If the dealer gets it at half price why couldn't I become a dealer. The only thing you have to do is down load a program.
I think this is another example of "best" being what sounds best to you when listening with your ears on your system. I tried both programs a couple of years ago and decided at that time that Pure Music was as good and a lot less expensive. Have been using it and Pure Vinyl since then, but decided to try Amarra again as both programs have been updated many times since my initial trial. For me, Amarra is the clear winner now - better, more specific soundstage, and has more detail with even less digital nasties. I notice the times when I'm in another room, music is playing, and I have to stop what I'm doing and sit down in the listening seat - that happens much more often with Amarra than Pure Music. I also am using and LIO-8 and am driving the power amp directly with a MacMini as the server. As both of the programs offer free limited-time trials, I suggest you try them both and see which one better floats your boat on your system with your ears. I had a trial version of the full Amarra package, but mini now also does 24/192 and sounds the same to me, so that is what I have. At the $200 special price, Mini is now similar in price to PM.
Mbhintz I have been reading that WAV files may sound better than FLAC. I thought that all the high resolution downloading sites do it in FLAC. Are there any that do it in WAV?
Jwm, I thought the download sites used FLAC (which is lossless of course) just to keep the file size down. Very useful with hi-res files!
Once I get the FLACs on my hard drive I can convert them to WAV or AIF. You could try the same thing, play them both and see if the music is different.
I spent the last two weeks seriously evaluating the latest version of PM vs. Amarra. Quick summary: PM is rock solid, very clean and gives a very big detailed sound stage. But, at least in my system, Amarra is much more musical and enjoyable. In fact, Amarra really crosses the border for me from digital playback to music playback.
Details: rather than A/B the two programs, I listened to entire pieces with one program then did the same with the other. At one point, about half way into listening to a Johann Johannsson symphony (orchestral and electronic) my wife turned to me and said, this is really clear, but it just doesnt have the emotional connection of listening to it on (Amarra). Which is a pretty good summary.
To paraphrase what Audioengr pointed out up thread, there seems to be a trade off between smoothness and liveliness. I suspect that in an all tube, super smooth playback system PM might be the better choice. Note that Jon DeVore, who I have immense respect for, used PM in his DeVore Fidelity T.H.E. CES demo room in an all tube system. In my case, this playback system is all solid state and probably a tad on the analytical side.
Two other notes: even though I use TacT room correction and my listening room is highly treated with RPG products, I still like the occasional tone control for playback. The Amarra Sonic EQ, available on the full player, is the best digital EQ Ive ever heard. It sounds like the analog Cello Audio Pallet EQ I used to use at home and professionally still my favorite. As to the price? Yes, there are cheaper players but in a community where spending five figures on system cables doesnt raise eyebrows is $800 a showstopper?
Which is not to say there arent some tradeoffs. The PM code is super stable vs. the current version of Amarra, which is a little glitchy for me. Bottom line: since both programs are available free to demo (how great is that?) I highly recommend downloading both and then spending some time with each in your system to see which one is a better fit for you.
P.S. - Mods, sorry for double posting this -- I meant to post it in this thread.
Check out Audirvana Plus. Stability of PureMusic and the sound quality of Amarra.
I have both program. My set up is iMac , april audio u2 , cary 306 sacd as DAC, cary slp 05 preamp, cary 805 AE set, Proac D38 speaker, kimble cables and nordost speak cable.
I prefer Amarra sounds. It is much more musical and more enjoyable. Of course this is all subjective and depends on listener,s taste.
I think PM is much more stable program than Amarra which is still very unstable and slow IMO. This is radiculous at this price range.
One other thing is that I do not like Amarra can not play certain file such an
88.2 file and push it to itune to play. This is annoying and it should not be this way at this price range. I also think authorization process of Amarra is terrible.
However, I like Amarra sound better and that is only reason, really only reason I use this program.
I've been using Fidelia for some time now after experience with Amara and PureMusic. Every once and awhile I go back an check the others out, but return to Fidela... I'm wondering why no one mentions it.
I prefer the sound of Amarra over PM. The sound seems more musical with a nicer soundstage. The highs are just within my hearing range and the detail seems clearer to me. One feature that I really like is MediaMonkey's scanning all drives for all of your music files. A lot less confusing than any other program that I have used.
I just started playing with XXHIGHEND on a Windows laptop. It is not very user friendly but it does produce a more dynamic sound than my Mac programs. It is also available as a free download. I would be very interested in a discussion about this product in its own thread.
My hardware is AudioNote DAC 2.1B, Art Audio Carissa and Dali Helicon 800 speakers. All tube system.
I tried Fedelia & found it sounded good. Not that different to Amarra. I just can't stand the interface. I like using iTunes as an interface. Not a fan of a list.
Adding Audirvana Plus to this discussion, as per Wilsnet's suggestion. In my system the sound of Audirvana was somewhere between Amarra and PM, perhaps a little closer to the Amarra side. The Audirvana code is rock solid, however the interface is a little goofy in how much screen real estate it wastes (not a deal breaker). It did not however, have the smoothness or analog-esq magic of Amarra for me. Also, I found the software volume control of Audirvana to be not great sounding, but in fairness I really didn't spend all that much time tweaking the dithering options from the default settings.
When comparing Amarra And PM and others, it is critical to specify what version, for instance Amarra 2.3.2 (4317). This is my gold standard. All other versions of Amarra are not as good IMO. Likewise, PM sound quality has changed over time.
If your system is a bit sibilant, then some versions will sound better than others because they are more compressed on top. If your system has clarity and lacks sibilance, you will probably like Amarra 2.3.2 (4317).
PLEASE AUDIOGON, stop messing up the site. Whatever you are doing it is rubbish. Go back to the old site.