Audirvana Win10 version and Nova -- No Joy

I was excited to hear that Audirvana had released a Windows version of their playback software.  Audirvana supports Tidal integration and has the ability to do the first unfold of Tidal MQA masters and stream to a UPnP/DLNA Renderer.  I downloaded a trial version and got it up and running on a Win10 computer with no problems.  All my library, ripped and Tidal selections, displayed for playback.  Alas... Audirvana couldn't find my Nova on the network.  After three weeks of frustration I posted a question on the Audirvana user forum.  I got this response back from Damien, the Audirvana software project manager: 

"There is an issue in the Naim Nova firmware causing an incompatibility issue when it is used in UPnP/DLNA Media Renderer mode. The very mode used by Audirvana Plus to play to it.  You may want to check with Naim if there is firmware update fixing this."

He suggested that I contact Naim, describe the problem and ask for help.  I did exactly that.  After a few days I got back this response from the Unity support rep:

"Hi Gregg,
Unfortunately we also do not support "play to" functionality from apps such as JRiver and Audirvana -  it isn't something that we officially support or have any plans to officially support at this time but we are aware that there are issues with Audirvana and autodiscovery with the latest streamers."

So.. a heads-up to anyone that is using a Windows-based computer and thinking about using the Win10 version Audirvana.. it doesn't work reliably.  If anyone has had success with Audirvana for Windows and any of the new streamers I'd love to hear how you made it work.

One other data point... The Nova always shows up as a network UPnP/DLNA device in the Windows version of JRIver Media player.  Sadly, JRiver doesn't do the software unfold of MQA files like Audirvana and Roon. 

Gregg

Original Post

The 'Play To' functionality in JRiver does work on the Nova. There is one annoyance as gapless playback is not available when pushing files to the Nova from JRiver. 

It's evident that Naim consider their app to be the only approved way of using their streamer products. Which is why I won't be purchasing any further Naim products. They are just too inflexible and linear

One further comment regarding JRiver and MQA. The JRiver developers are very responsive to requests for new features. You might want to check their forum for any discussions about MQA.

There's a new version of JRiver every year, and they have to tempt existing customers to buy an upgrade. The Audio side of JRiver hasn't benefited from any splashy new stuff in recent years. Last year TV recording was the main new item and this year it has been playback of decrypted Blu_ray discs.

The developers might welcome requests for MQA decoding as a new Audio feature?

I'm not too surprised; I've never thought of the Naim streamer players as 'push to' devices and apparently Naim don't either.

Now if Audirvana could show up on the network as a server, perhaps the Naim device could see IT.

I would think that MQA-decoding true UPnP servers cannot be too far behind.

Hi Jan-Erik,

I have already installed Roon core and done an 'almost' one month trial.  Streaming Tidal MQA (and everything else) to the Nova as a Roon-endpoint works flawlessly.  I like the sonic results just fine.  However, I'm really disappointed in Roon's management of classical music collections; my main interest.  Roon is 'fixated' on an Artist-Album-work display model.  That's not a good way to manage the viewing and playing of classical collections.  Until there is an option to change the tree display/search model (to Composer, Genera, Work, Artist:  Beethoven, Symphony, Symphony No.3, Cluytens & BPO), I just can't justify plunking down the money for a subscription (but... I do love their 'Opus' search option!). There are MANY threads on the Roon forum discussing this deficiency.  I am going to keep visiting the Roon forum and if this issue is ever resolved I'll subscribe in a heart beat.  

Thanks for the recommendation.  I appreciate the input.

Gregg

EnglishRogue posted:

The 'Play To' functionality in JRiver does work on the Nova. There is one annoyance as gapless playback is not available when pushing files to the Nova from JRiver. 

It's evident that Naim consider their app to be the only approved way of using their streamer products. Which is why I won't be purchasing any further Naim products. They are just too inflexible and linear

I have found virtually no way to 'push' audio to the Nova with gapless working (there are some potential esoteric workarounds) apart from Airplay which is only ok for CD quality or below.

I was hopeful Audirvana on Mac or Qobuz desktop app would allow me to push gapless albums, but no.  I was also lef to believe this is a deficiency at the Nova's end.  Equally attempts at Chromecasting gapless from Qobuz iOS app to the Nova don't work.

I know it's slightly different but gapless playback should be a fundamental feature of an audiophile product especially if they are not intrinsically supporting services like Qobuz and rely on Chromecast.

Solutions that worked on the older streamers do not seem to work with the new Uniti series.

To me, the strength of Audirvana is its rendering, so using it as a UPnP server defeats the object, just being like any other unless you want its Tidal ‘first unfold’ and Qobuz integration.

(As a renderer, with Mac it can in direct mode bypass the Mac’s soundcard and drivers, maximising sound quality - I’ve no idea if it does the same with Windows?)

IB, I can see that you are still fixated with Audirvana output via USB (with RF interference), and that is fine given that you have to live with the limitations of the Chord DAC. However, more and more people are using UPnP for streaming, I have decided to give up all things related to optical link or USB, and use UPnP exclusively for streaming music,

Frank Yang posted:

IB, I can see that you are still fixated with Audirvana output via USB (with RF interference), and that is fine given that you have to live with the limitations of the Chord DAC. However, more and more people are using UPnP for streaming, I have decided to give up all things related to optical link or USB, and use UPnP exclusively for streaming music,

The fact that more people use uPnP for streaming doesn’t make it better (and I think that in hifi it always was a majority using uPnP, and I’m not sure there has been any change - more and more, you say).  The benefit of a combined store-renderer is that you don’t have to suffer the vagaries of networks, worries over best switch, switch power supplies, ethernet cables etc that cause problems for some people and exercise others trying to find the ones with the least negative effect to get best sound quality. And then whatever renderer it goes to will produce RF, albeit that a specialist audiophile quality one will minimise that as far as possible through the design - just like a specialist audiophile quality store-renderer does, like Melco or Innuos products, so they don’t need either the DAC to block/isolate RF perfectly or some other means of so doing.

Nothing wrong with streaming music by UPnP if the system works well and upis adequately optimised for your needs, just that as far as Audirvana is concerned it is not realising its biggest strength, at least to someone interested in sound quality rather than MQA. Otherwise there are plenty of other UPnP servers from which tomchoose if MQA isn’t of interest but a UPnP streamer like a Naim one is.

It is store-renberers with which I am ‘fixated’ as you put it, not Audirvana, which I would drop in a flash if I found something better at reasonable cost, or at higher cost at the stage when my Mac Mini dies - Audirvana to me is only good for its rendering, as I have no interest whatsoever in Tidal (with or without the dubopious benefits of MQA), and its library handling is no better than some library software, and indeed worse than others. I did once do a comparison of MM/Audirvana against Melco N1A into Dave DAC (with Bryston 4B amp and PMC Fact 12 speakers in a dealer’s treated listening room), and no difference was immediately apparent (it was a brief comparison).

As for “the limitations of the Chord DAC”, just what are they? I am unaware of any limitations of my Dave.

 

Innocent Bystander posted:

As for “the limitations of the Chord DAC”, just what are they? I am unaware of any limitations of my Dave.

 

The problem of the Chord DAC is so obvious, it is not a streamer.

It is a deal breaker for me if the DAC does not have a network interface (aka NIC), does not matter to me how good it sounds or how ugly it looks.

Frank Yang posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

As for “the limitations of the Chord DAC”, just what are they? I am unaware of any limitations of my Dave.

 

The problem of the Chord DAC is so obvious, it is not a streamer.

It is a deal breaker for me if the DAC does not have a network interface (aka NIC), does not matter to me how good it sounds or how ugly it looks.

Not being a streamer has never been a problem for a DAC! A DAC is a DAC, not a UPnP device and not a streamer. Streamers contain DACs - and can be upgraded by adding a better extrnal DAC...

 

I note that for some reason you’re wedded to UPnP. Each to their own! 

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