Originally Posted by gsr
Sheesh. Is there really no way to please people? People bitched and bitched about not liking their dithering algorithm, so they give you a way to turn it off and that's still not good enough? I'm all for fixing problems, but since JRiver disagrees that a problem even exists, giving you a way to turn it off when there's also a plugin mechanism strikes me as a perfectly reasonable solution.
It is good that you can now disable their dither again, and replace it with a plugin.
The problem that has now surfaced, is that I have been unable to find a plugin which properly dithers multichannel signals. All of the plugins I have tried have been designed for music production and are stereo.
Voxengo Elephant will do it, you have to change the default channel routing.
2LSB TPDF is the industry standard.
It is the standard because there is no distortion or noise modulation, and is equivalent to analog noise, unlike other dithers.
The worst thing it can do if it becomes audible, is add a bit of hiss to the output.
Switching from the 1LSB RPDF which they currently use to 2LSB TPDF should not be a difficult change for JRiver to make. It's not like we're requesting complex non-standard dither algorithms and noise shaping options here. We're asking them to switch to the industry standard - or provide it as an option, if not the default.
It seems like stubbornness more than anything else. It has since been deleted, but Matt's most recent post on the subject was stating that this is not a "real problem".
On some of my 16-bit devices there is a clear problem with their current dither.
On my 24-bit devices there is a subtle but worthwhile improvement to be had by replacing their dither with a TPDF plugin.
The problem is that with dither being a global on/off option now, I can either:
1. Disable their dither and replace it with a stereo plugin for music, leaving multichannel content undithered.
2. Use the JRiver dither, compromising music quality for the sake of having some dither applied to multichannel playback, since that's still a lot better than no dither at all.
So while I appreciate that it's optional at least, in its current implementation it doesn't actually help things at all.
It would be a lot simpler if they changed the default dither or added an option for 2LSB TPDF, which would benefit all users, not only those who know enough or care enough to pay for a plugin.
Until I did testing on the different dithers, I assumed the problem I had been hearing was the DAC, not their software. I'm sure that there are many other people who would hear the difference, but not know that things could sound better on the same hardware, or that this is the cause.
I suspect it would be one of those changes which spawns a number of those "Did something change? It sounds a lot better now..." type posts.
And even if it did not, at least now you conform to the standard used by everything else in the industry, and are not introducing distortion into the playback chain - even if it's mostly at a low volume level.