by Kevin OBrien on 02/14/2017


I want to personally thank Marcin from JPLAY for being so generous and turning us onto this game-changing software.

It took me a while to find the time to give JPlay a shot. About almost 2 years to be exact. But here I am and I'm writing this article to tell as many readers as I can that JPlay is the real deal. There is no need for debate on this topic any longer. All of us here at YFS start with theory and end with our ears. That's the ultimate test: what sounds best to us at the end of the day.

JPlay has transformed my system into something I could never have imagined. If you cannot hear the difference between JPlay's basic stripped down JPLAYmini stand-alone player and your current software for Windows, there's a problem with your system. It's that simple.

I've never heard my music the way it sounds with JPLAYmini. There's added dimensionality, more life-like sound, and I am hearing things I never noticed before in my favorite albums. It feels like I have unleashed a newly upgraded system with updated fully burned-in gear. The reality is the only change in my system is my choice of playback software. To me, that speaks loudly enough for me to recommend JPLAY to all my customers using Windows-based servers.

Album Player was our go-to software up until now. I still love Album Player but it sounds boring now compared to JPLAY's suite. JRiver is great for users who want to see their artwork and tag their files. If you want a very neat and tidy way to get ALL of your music in front of you with album art, artist and album names, JRiver is the suite of choice. If you want the best possible sound from your dedicated Windows-based music server, JPLAY has no competition.

Marcin gave me a few hints as to which specific settings should be used to get the best possible sound quality out of my YFS Ref-3 server. Kernel Streaming (Ultra Stream) with a PC Buffer set to 10 seconds along with the DAC Link set to 1 Hz seems to be the preferred way to set up JPLAYmini. This comes directly from the manufacturer. See the JPLAY settings window above for reference (values are not set correctly above but are shown to give end users an idea of where specific settings are located within the pop-up window). If settings are not compatible with your hardware, JPLAYmini may give you an error. It may just play your tracks and you'll get no sound from your speakers. That is how things worked for me. Until I aligned the settings correctly with my hardware, I could not switch back and forth between all formats (DSD64 and DSD128 along with PCM 24.192 files) without spitting out errors in the JPLAYmini window.

Sound quality is the utmost important factor for us when deciding on gear and this comparison between suites was no different. For 100 Euros, I cannot think of money better spent. Most of my audiophile investments cost much more and give me much smaller gains for my money.

Give JPlay a shot. Use it as a stand-alone product and you will be kindly rewarded for your efforts.  I guarantee it.

 - YFS Review Team

 Associated Equipment for this Review:

  • YFS Computer Music Server - HD-Ref-3
  • EMM Labs DA2 DSD DAC
  • McIntosh C2300 Preamp with Siemens NOS Tubes
  • McIntosh MC202 Monoblocks (1 Pair)
  • Von Schweikert Unifield II Mk3 Speakers
  • YFS Custom Room Treatment
  • YFS Custom Interconnects and Cables