, It would be interesting to hear your experiences with using the Daniel hertz masterclass program
Needs a dongle, i.e. constantly blocking a USB port. It's PCM and Mac only. Will play WAV, AIFF, MP3 and MP4, but not FLAC. Even using it in its purest form, playing back a WAV file straight, i.e. bit-perfect, the sound quality is noticeably more transparent, realistic, non-artificial and larger-scaled than with other media players I've compared it to (Amarra, Audirvana, HQPlayer etc.). The equalizer is a digital implementation of the Cello Audio Palette, which I remember as the finest-sounding EQ device available to audiophiles. Daniel Hertz still hasn't implemented gapless playback, which to classical music aficionado like myself is annoying, especially listening to e.g. opera (I realize one can concat files, as an audiophile acquaintance of mine does, too much of a hassle). It appears to copy files to RAM and play them back from there, but does not appear to purge RAM before it starts jamming (I purge manually either starting up Amarra, which has this function built in, or via Terminal). It's an extremely rudimentary media player to use, one needs to add files from folders. Includes a function called A+ that can be used to render and save files (or folders, apparently batch conversion and tagging still doesn't work), or in real-time (which is what I used because, interestingly, it sounds better to my ears than rendering files, plus I prefer to listen to music rather than spend time tagging files etc.). No one knows exactly what A+ does, my guess is it may be a further development of the Burwen Bobcat software. I looked at spectral analysis a number of times, and whatever low-level "information" A+ adds to the playback, it gleans from the file and reinserts in real-time, possibly noise-shaped low-level information. Mark Levinson called me a couple of times to discuss its benefits for people who suffer, like I do, from migraines, as A+ is said to reduce "digititis" (whatever that means, it works, as confirmed by a couple of audiophile acquaintances). Mark also sent me a link to this review:
Interestingly, using A+ doesn't invariably improve the sound, neither with all types of music or different remasterings of identical music (there's a slight halo or reverberation effect to it that improves soundstage perception, imaging, detail retrieval and coherency, oftentimes by a lot, it may also add a tiny bit of dynamic compression, making unheard spatial cues etc. heard, adding density and timbre, as well as PRAT), nor with all DACs (for example, I almost invariably like it with the dCS Delius/Purcell combo, but not with the Vivaldi stack, which is so resolving one can tell what A+ "does", which really defeats the purpose given the idea is it should put one's analytical mind at ease, also, using more "tools" in combination, such as the Multiwave function of a PS Audio regenerator, may be to much of a good thing). An audiophile acquaintance of mine who has a TotalDAC with tube output stage absolutely loves it. I personally like it best, as does Mark Levinson, with digital files that don't sound quite right on their own. It's almost more of a tool to me than a media player, and indeed, Mark did refer to it as something of a mastering tool in our conversations.
It's also expensive for a media player, but then, it really is the software equivalent of an equalizer (which, admittedly, I rarely ever use, but which Mark thinks is its main purpose). Hope this helps?
Greetings from Switzerland, David.