Amazon Music HD - Thoughts, comparisons

lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Not on a Yggdrasil. Displaying correct sample rate has never been a problem with Tidal or Qobuz both autoswitch sample rate as they are capable of taking advantage of exclusive mode baked into Windows. At present Amazon Music HD is not. Maybe that will change next year.
So you don't believe @Truthslayer about the recent windows update? I can't imagine even needing a dedicated external dac, tho....
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Don't trust what the Amazon Music HD app is telling you on the screen. Does your external DAC confirm that the track you are playing is what the app is telling you? My DAC always showed the sample rate set in Windows mixer and did not agree with the app. The DAC does not lie if it has a display. If Amazon Music HD has all of a sudden enabled exclusive mode it is not being discussed on Steve Hoffman forum, which is usually the best source of up to date info on what Amazon is doing. There are also continuing complaints on Amazon Music's own forum.
Maybe I somehow wasn't clear. Yes, it is confirmed by dac. It changes according to the bit rate being sent. So if you have this problem and some others as you say. ( I read earlier the Steve Hoffman area and discussion as you said before, many have this issue, but not all )
I know the setting when setting up dac in windows varies from one to another ( so that could also make a difference) Drivers being used I would imagine would also play into it. Shared mode vs exclusive mode also makes a difference. Dac being used I would imagine would also make a difference. whether it is capable of auto switching or not.

I'm not saying they didn't have a previous problem before or some people are having this problem now. And when they fixed the issue.

However i dont have this issue. My Dac auto switches according to the sample rate. Maybe some people dont have the version of windows i spoke of before (1909 ) with the nov 26 update to resole audio playback issues. Where it shows you all the formats your dac is capable of and you have to check all those boxes and check auto. Plus you have to check exclusive control. Windows mixer is not control my bit rate when the DAC is being used, it's just a pass through. I agree with you the DAC does not lie. And im not having any issue.
But it's good you posted your concerns as im sure it will help some folks out.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
My setup currently is the Firestick 4K (16bit/ 48kHz max) in my Yamaha 2060 with Unlimited level HD subscription.

I’ll likely buy any future firestick or streamer with better quality when they are available. Ideally they should add Atmos (like on their echo studio) on their next firestick or streamer too.

Anyhow, yesterday I noticed they are adding videos of interviews with artists. They have a 15min one on the Beastie Boys that was really cool. So there’s potential here for lots of video content, music videos, concerts.etc. Not just music.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Actually, now that I think about it I compared with my mp3 download of TOOL's new album also and it sounded better than Amazon HD too...
Yep. I had a copy of the new album and it sounded better than the amazon HD. I was confused for a minute. I finally got a hard copy of the album so I'll probably rip to FLAC.
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Yep. I had a copy of the new album and it sounded better than the amazon HD. I was confused for a minute. I finally got a hard copy of the album so I'll probably rip to FLAC.
It does make you wonder exactly what's going on with their music playback. Is there some sort of extra processing we are not aware of ? I wish they would have some of their tech engineer's, software specialist's or somebody, to tell us what the he.. is going on.
Some music definitely sounds better through a cd or even Spotify. However, music such as Jazz, Classical or live performances sound great through Amazon hd. I've come to the conclusion, it may boil down to various amounts of compression or no compression at all. Who knows. I will keep the service for awhile and most likely keep Spotify for awhile, until I can decide on which one is more pleasing for my senses.
So much has been said about Qobuz it may be worth trying out. So many choices for music now a days. Can be a pain in the arss and also a joy. (LOL)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
It does make you wonder exactly what's going on with their music playback. Is there some sort of extra processing we are not aware of ? I wish they would have some of their tech engineer's, software specialist's or somebody, to tell us what the he.. is going on.
Some music definitely sounds better through a cd or even Spotify. However, music such as Jazz, Classical or live performances sound great through Amazon hd. I've come to the conclusion, it may boil down to various amounts of compression or no compression at all. Who knows. I will keep the service for awhile and most likely keep Spotify for awhile, until I can decide on which one is more pleasing for my senses.
So much has been said about Qobuz it may be worth trying out. So many choices for music now a days. Can be a pain in the arss and also a joy. (LOL)
Could it simply be comparison of different versions?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
It does make you wonder exactly what's going on with their music playback. Is there some sort of extra processing we are not aware of ? I wish they would have some of their tech engineer's, software specialist's or somebody, to tell us what the he.. is going on.
Some music definitely sounds better through a cd or even Spotify. However, music such as Jazz, Classical or live performances sound great through Amazon hd. I've come to the conclusion, it may boil down to various amounts of compression or no compression at all. Who knows. I will keep the service for awhile and most likely keep Spotify for awhile, until I can decide on which one is more pleasing for my senses.
So much has been said about Qobuz it may be worth trying out. So many choices for music now a days. Can be a pain in the arss and also a joy. (LOL)
The only thing I can think of is MAYBE there is some increase in dynamic range, but I honestly don't think that's it. It doesn't sound as full and actually a little dull. I ripped my CD to FLAC and it was a noticeable difference. It just sounds like a better recording.
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Could it simply be comparison of different versions?
Sorry for the late reply.
Some of them I do believe are different recordings (possible remasters).Some are identical recording versions.

I can play the same track on Spotify or on cd or Amazon. And they are different. I do think Spotify is more heavily compressed, which for some songs is nice. But for others, not so nice.
Though Playing a cd vs Amazon is only a slight difference. All the comparison back and fourth over the last week and a half has given me a headache. (LOL) My conclusion, none of them are necessarily good or bad, better or worse. Just kind of depends on what flavor one may or may not prefer.
The only thing I can think of is MAYBE there is some increase in dynamic range, but I honestly don't think that's it. It doesn't sound as full and actually a little dull. I ripped my CD to FLAC and it was a noticeable difference. It just sounds like a better recording.
Yep, I get what your saying. Kind of like comparing a album recorded in a studio vs on a stage.
Or like having the singer or band almost in your face vs stepping back 10' or so.
On some music I prefer the up front in your face, others I do enjoy the music being set back somewhat.
The one thing I will credit to the sound coming from amazon hd is. Speakers do seem to disappear much easier. So I could see why that could be a good thing.
But you are right there are things that are different. And I couldn't swear to exactly why that is.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Sorry for the late reply.
Some of them I do believe are different recordings (possible remasters).Some are identical recording versions.

I can play the same track on Spotify or on cd or Amazon. And they are different. I do think Spotify is more heavily compressed, which for some songs is nice. But for others, not so nice.
Though Playing a cd vs Amazon is only a slight difference. All the comparison back and fourth over the last week and a half has given me a headache. (LOL) My conclusion, none of them are necessarily good or bad, better or worse. Just kind of depends on what flavor one may or may not prefer.

Yep, I get what your saying. Kind of like comparing a album recorded in a studio vs on a stage.
Or like having the singer or band almost in your face vs stepping back 10' or so.
On some music I prefer the up front in your face, others I do enjoy the music being set back somewhat.
The one thing I will credit to the sound coming from amazon hd is. Speakers do seem to disappear much easier. So I could see why that could be a good thing.
But you are right there are things that are different. And I couldn't swear to exactly why that is.
How are you confirming the provenance across the various services and your cds?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
You guys level matching your comparisons to what degree?
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
You guys level matching your comparisons to what degree?
While probably not the best or most scientific way. When I compare, I leave the volume control alone. Keep it in one spot and don't change it. So while it's probably not completely accurate doing it that way, it's about as close as I can get.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
While probably not the best or most scientific way. When I compare, I leave the volume control alone. Keep it in one spot and don't change it. So while it's probably not completely accurate doing it that way, it's about as close as I can get.
Since slight level differences can account for differences....
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Since slight level differences can account for differences....
I get your point. But I think others might agree, even you try and get perfect level adjustments. There is some slight difference in tonality and spaciousness. Or maybe it all could be due to being clean and sober (LOL) everything is different now a days.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I get your point. But I think others might agree, even you try and get perfect level adjustments. There is some slight difference in tonality and spaciousness. Or maybe it all could be due to being clean and sober (LOL) everything is different now a days.
Just throwing it out there, would not be surprised depending on what gear I'd use, that the levels wouldn't necessarily be equal. I just saw this in another group as a response to a thread asking about Spotify vs CD comparo:

"It's got pretty difficult to objectively compare spotify to the CD since they've applied normalisation across the bored in order to obtain a loudness rating of -14 LUFS. This means modern loud masterings will sound even more flat and lifeless. Plus in the early days Spotify lacked quality control for the source of it's files. Some are bad CD rips and in some cases were already compressed." - JA Tooze
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Just throwing it out there, would not be surprised depending on what gear I'd use, that the levels wouldn't necessarily be equal. I just saw this in another group as a response to a thread asking about Spotify vs CD comparo:

"It's got pretty difficult to objectively compare spotify to the CD since they've applied normalisation across the bored in order to obtain a loudness rating of -14 LUFS. This means modern loud masterings will sound even more flat and lifeless. Plus in the early days Spotify lacked quality control for the source of it's files. Some are bad CD rips and in some cases were already compressed." - JA Tooze
No, i'm glad you threw it out there. Kind of wish we would get more people to throw in their thoughts and opinions on this issue.

After I left the thread earlier, me and a few of the boys got into a discussion about it also. Seems like we came up with a general consensus about our conclusion, but no scientific reasoning as to why.

After a long ( to long ) discussion, we all sort of agreed the Spotify premium has a better (thicker) sounding midrange. While Amazon HD, had a better extension of the highs (and depth), while also having better (tighter) bass. The bass on Amazon also seemed to have more range, if that makes any sense.
For clarity, Spotify seemed to win out again in the midrange, yet Amazon HD won out in the highs and bass for clarity. And it was even harder to decide when it came to different genre's of music.
They had views on tidal also (but here I couldn't actually attest to one or the other, since it's been to long since I tried it). One thought Tidal was better than Amazon HD and one thought there was no difference.
So my conclusion is, there is no big winner. I may just try all three or four (throw in Qobuz) services for one month, to try and get an accurate assessment as possible.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Sure like to see some measurements for the differences in highs and bass.... :) Good luck.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Just throwing it out there, would not be surprised depending on what gear I'd use, that the levels wouldn't necessarily be equal. I just saw this in another group as a response to a thread asking about Spotify vs CD comparo:

"It's got pretty difficult to objectively compare spotify to the CD since they've applied normalisation across the bored in order to obtain a loudness rating of -14 LUFS. This means modern loud masterings will sound even more flat and lifeless. Plus in the early days Spotify lacked quality control for the source of it's files. Some are bad CD rips and in some cases were already compressed." - JA Tooze
That's probably a big part of it. I tried multiple sources and even did offline listening so the player software was the same. Maybe DRC is at play?
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Sure like to see some measurements for the differences in highs and bass.... :) Good luck.
Agreed 100%. I want to see the differences for the entire spectrum (midrange included)
Got to be somebody here with enough microphones, software etc who are up for the time consuming challenge.
Show me which service is more accurate on paper and I will stick with that one.

Edit: I'm starting to wonder if the different services are somehow getting different masters or remastered versions.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
It would be nice if the details were provided by the services for the specifics, eh?
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
It would be nice if the details were provided by the services for the specifics, eh?
Yes it would, but apparently that's to difficult (lol) or they don't care all that much.

One of the guys last night (or I should say early this morn) made an interesting comparison or observation however you want to characterize it. He said to him, comparing the services was like comparing amp classes.
He felt Spotify had a more tube amp feel to it. Where as Amazon HD had a class a/b or possibly even a class d feel to it. I thought it was a unique way of looking at it. Since then I keep thinking about it and realized it's not that bad of an analogy.
 

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