Having tried three platforms so far for audiophile music reproduction, mac, Linux and Windows, I spent the most time tweaking and perfecting Windows which resulted in great SQ with the help of JPLAY (Femto), AO, FP and many great tips from this and other forums. I have to add: great SQ, provided it worked! I am afraid to say that with Windows I have spent more time tweaking than listening to music. About a year ago (long after I dropped Bughead for a similar reason) this started to frustrate me and I made a switch to Linux. What a relieve that was! SQ was equally great, although different, but everything was plug-and-play compared to Windows. I started to listen to music again, and left the Linux setup alone for many months.
As an old time JPLAY user, of course I was interested when JPLAY Femto arrived at the scene, so I bought a license and revived Windows. The result was really really good with one of my DAC's (Audio Aéro), so now I am switching between two setups:
- Linux audio PC: GentooPlayer from RAM with either mpd and upmpdcli or networkaudiod (NAA).
- Windows audio PC: WS2019 from RAM with JPLAY Femto, AO and FP.
In both cases I use a Windows control PC with WS2016 with either Audirvana+ or HQPlayer, AO and FP (and JPLAY Femto for the Windows setup) to stream music, via optically isolated ethernet, to either of the minimal audio PC's.
With Linux, both players (A+ and HQP) immediately work fine with both my DAC's (Lampizator/Amanero and Audio Aéro) and I can play PCM up to 384kHz and DSD up to DSD256 with the Lampizator. The Audio Aéro itself is limited to PCM and 176kHz.
With Windows/JPLAY Femto, I can only do PCM with Audirvana+. A+ refuses to play DSD in combination with the JPLAY Femto dual setup, and HQPlayer refuses to play anything. As the Audio Aéro is much better with PCM than the Lampizator, I am now limited to PCM 176kHz on Windows.
If I could make DSD work with Windows and my Lampizator, who knows I would be a 100% Windows guy again. But as it is now: 80% Linux and 20% Windows, as sometimes I long for that special PCM sound of the Audio Aéro.
Of course, I will be patient and look for ways here and elsewhere to achieve the full functionality on Windows with JPLAY Femto...