ASIO/ JRiver versus Windows Media

I have both and I think media player has a more forward sound more presence/midrange and ASIO/J River is more laid back in the midrange. I was wondering if you guys have any other observations that could be useful. I dont compress any audio I rip Lossless and I cant just use one or the other depending on the artist and I have found live albums sound better with windows so please leave your thoughts on this or a way around this. Thanks A-gon community!
On my rig, Gateway dual core, 4 gigs ram, windows 7 - windows media sounds flat, undeminsenional, pretty poor. I have firewire going into am M-audio solo spidf converter-into Monarchy DIP Upsampler, into XDAC V3with PSU into a Cayin A50T/B&M 685's. The J River with WASAPI sounds awesome. Transparent, detail, resolving, non-fatiguing, excellent instrumnet placement, deep and wide soundstage. I didn't get any of that with windows media. I am going by very good quality recordings.
Jay, where/what is doing the D/A? I used J River with and without ASIO and there was no discernible difference. I rip .WAV and send PCM out USB to decoding in external DAC (Ayre QB-9). I stuck with ASIO because it removes some layers of software so you have less potential of the bits being changed before outputting to DAC.
I am using HP presario laptop customized 500 gig hard drive and there is no partition for ram its all used.And I use WAV not Lossless to rip sorry kinda new to this. And I have a musiland 02 which handles USB to spidf (coax)and up samples 24/192 then to my DAC which is a musiland SVDAC06 and it accepts 24/192 and outputs it aswell. And before everyone kicks my equipment I plan on upgrading but I wanted to see what all the excitment was over computer audio was.So for now this is what I have and this already sounds better than my sony DVP-S7700 with emperical mods.Much deeper and higher soundstage and the detail is amazing so I am not unhappy just trying to learn. My amps are 2 plus John Wright modded Meitner STR-50,s and a tube amp made custom by Ideal Innovations and its SET using 2 6B4G or 6A3 which is an octal 2A3 and can be run ultra linear with a KT-88 or A 6550 and I prefer original Genalex Gold lions or Tung-Sol 6550. And I use a Audio gd preamp now and it replaced a Diva Audio M-7 pre with the outboard tube rectified power supply so it is very underestimated IMO.Thanks for the input!
Hi Jay,
Since you are just sending PCM to your USB port, if you hear differences it is because one of the players is changing the "bitstream". I've never used WMP or tried to set it up for playback. J. River Media player can be configured to not alter the PCM bitsream.

There's nothing wrong with media players changing the sound (EQ, etc) if that's what sounds best to you. OTOH, some people just want the bits to go from the CD, to a file, then when played, be sent out to a DAC just as though the DAC was getting bits from a CD transport.

Ok I have been working on this and finally I have my equpment and my gear synced up and NOW I hear a massive difference between wdm player and J River its night and day!!! Yes J river with ASIO and up sampled to 24/192 is definately the way to go! I agree now about windows being flat and haveing no dynamics.
Cool. Enjoy listening. I am actually pretty amazed at how good my PC sounds.
I agree! As I said before this already beats my sony DVP-S7700 with emperical mods and I didnt think that was possible for as little as I have invested in this setup!Very surprised!
Great to hear. Guys please try to AB or ABX the ASIO you are running with WASAPI. I'd be interested in what your experience.
I'm running JRiver / WASAPI (FLAC only) through an M2tech HiFace (connected to one of my computers USB out's) into an MHDT Havana DAC into and ARC LS17 preamp, into a Sandersound ESL amp, into my Quad 63's. Personally, I don't think it matters much which "brand" of windows laptop is used. I'm a convert.
Actually it really does matter and many test have been done by independent companies on this and hp was #1 and dell was dead last. Its just like any other electronics bad grounds and cheap parts equal cheap sound.
Were these tests done with lossless files sending raw PCM out a USB port? I highly doubt it. Assuming the software is configured and executing properly, if the hardware is so cheap to affect the sound you wouldn't be able to use the USB ports for any other device also. Most likely the tests were done with the machines doing D/A. With the machine doing D/A the sky is the limit of possibilities that can affect what's heard.
no the test were to measure noise, signal fallout, drop signals, and noise on battery vs pluged in you know. The test had nothing to do with sound quality but those things add up to equal better sound.
they werent playing music just measuring which had the most extra measurable sound levels from internal components like fans screens hard drives and all the other noisy parts of a computer that could be measured through the usb along with all the 1 and 0,s. dell was the noisiest according to their test.
Interesting system. You obviously try to DIY the equipment at hand to get the best sound. MIT cables traditionally do not do well with low powered tube gear. I see you got a whooping 5 watts there. Your stand is DIY it looks pretty good.I would get the computer off the floor people can step or trip on it. If this is a dedicated space and you are the only one-I guest it is OK but it would look much cleaner. You spend alot of money on a system and you want it to look its best.If it sounds good to you that is all that matters. JMHO