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Roon can sound very nice indeed, but hardware matters as well.
I run Roon Core and Roon Ready on the same, "optimised" server. With my DAC connected directly to Core or via Ready, this set-up sounds more to my liking than a Bryston BDP-2 running Manic Moose.
According to the manufacturer of my server - who I have found to be trustworthy - of all the players, Roon is the best sounding.
"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein
I run Roon Core and Roon Ready on the same, optimised "server".
Better be careful what you say or else the Optimisation Police will hound you! :^)
One needs to be very careful with their words over here, it appears.
Perhaps it will be okay because I used the British spelling - folks may take pity and excuse me for my ineptitude. :)
"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein
The situation is reversed from what you think. You need to be wary of the Bobbies who lurk here.
No colonists involved. :)
Started with LMS and a squeezebox in 2007. In the intervening years, I've tried foobar, JRiver and Roon as servers. For me, Roon has provided the best overall experience. I'm 50 and my ears have been well used and abused by playing drums and guitar. If you are older than me, you can stop posturing like you can tell any difference between software players. I use room correction software on all my sources and that difference swamps anything significant between players with the exception of the modulators in HQPlayer. I'd say most of the people here have brass ears and posture far too much. Get on with it and enjoy your own experiences.
I have had JRiver since MC16 and it has always worked extremely well.
I tried Roon and Tidal for a few weeks and, although I appreciated the wonderful Roon interface, I really preferred the sound of JRiver. This is not to say that Roon sounded bad, this is certainly not the case, but JR was just better to my ears. When you factor in the cost of Roon, about 10 times that of JR, plus any additional costs for hardware needed to optimize Roon, I can't see myself ever seriously considering Roon over JR.
I found Roon to be slightly lower SQ than MPD, and the same as LMS.
When you consider that the former are free, -- yipes.
The user IF doesn't work on older iPADs. If you're a MAC household, that means a very cumbersome time with a too-small-iphone. You can't easily play all songs/albums by a particular artist. You cannot quickly scroll through "albums/artists" by selecting a corresponding letter: (like all artists that start with an "L)."
LMS does Tidal, QoBuz, Soundcloud, Pandora, Spotify, & on & on.
For me, Roon isn't in the ballgame....
"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"
Sorry to be so dense...
LMS - Logitech Media Server - First developed for the Logitech Squeezebox Stuff... Now supported by a Cadre of Developers Worldwide with very sophisticated Plugins and updates. I have it running on my NAS... Very Intuitive and the Best (IMNSHO) User Interface of Music Streamer Software.
MPD - Music Player Deamon -- I have not used but you can refer to this page if you're interested.
Thanks very much. I always knew LMS as Squeezebox, but that was before Logitech bought it. I was guessing "Logitech Music..." but ketp wanting to add "Player", so didn't hit upon the answer.
The name "Music Player Daemon" suggests that it is only for the Linux OS, but it appears that there are also compilations for both Windows and Mac. Thanks again.
I find LMS to be primitive compared to Roon but everyone has the right to their own opinion..(perhaps it's a case of rtfm?). I ran LMS with various Squeezeboxes for many years, and I couldn't wait to be rid of it when Roon came along.
In terms of processing power, Roon is not terribly hungry. A while back I was using a celeron J1700 (which has about 1/10th the processing power of a decent i7).
On this I had Roon running with it's database on an SSD. Library on NAS was > 500GB. It outputted to Hqplayer (on the same machine) to upsample to 192k, then passed the data to Acourate Convolver (also on same machine) for real time convolution, then output via USB.
I never had any stablity problems. This used to run at a total CPU load of around 30-50%
I've since moved this to a new i7 and the whole caboodle now chugs along at around 4-6% cpu.
I can see how Roon adds value for those who are very much into pictures, stories and links to related topics about artists and their history. That appears to be Roon's focus :
"In the transition from physical to digital media, something has been lost. We have more convenience than ever, but no feeling of excitement or engagement...
What you get is a searchable, surfable magazine about your music."
As for me, I find excitement and engagement listening to the music using inexpensive tools like LMS and iPeng that work just fine on your phone. :)
That, and reading the back side of LP covers. :-)
For me the 'Best' means efficient access to what I what to listen to. Whether it be a Music Streaming Service, a radio station, or a track from my own library. Clean, concise and accurate.
No pictures or stories needed for myself.
So tell me this : Suppose you're playing a track on LMS and you'd like to see what other artists have recorded that same track (across your library and any streaming services you use)...is that a one-click operation - or even possible? In Roon it's one-click. That's what I call 'clean and concise' (..and you can see how many other versions there are without clicking anything)
Or maybe you'd like to see who wrote the song, and see what other songs they wrote? You can't do that in LMS with a couple clicks.
How about seeing what you were playing to your friend (supposing you have one) last week or last month? I like the way that Roon shows me my complete history going back 18 months now.
In fact the lack of LMS's ability to have any kind of history strikes me as a big failing, something I found really annoying.
Maybe you know every piece of music ever written, but I don't, so I find the music discovery features of Roon very useful. Whereas the LMS way of presenting music is like a text file, Roon is like hypertext, with many links that you can follow, just like the WWW.
You don't like metadata? Well the name of the track is metadata, so is the artist that recorded it. Do you have something against these, preferrring "track01 unknown artist"? So you see, LMS uses and presents metadata, just not so much and not as well.
I can understand people preferring Jriver to Roon, but LMS?
I like the way that Roon shows me my complete history going back 18 months now. In fact the lack of LMS's ability to have any kind of history strikes me as a big failing, something I found really annoying.
That answers a question I've never asked. :)
edit: So, how do you use that information?
Ways to use Roon History - Some examples:
-- when exploring new music (eg new releases on Tidal, or just generally surfing your own or Tidal's library, you don't need to keep track of what you play, in case you like to go back for a second or third listen. (easily answers "what was that new band I was playing two days or two weeks ago)
-- when friends come over you can let them play what they like and later go back and find out what tracks you liked. (For some of my friends that's sometimes "none", but others can play some real interesting things I'd not heard.
-- for myself who spends a significant part of my listening time testing various things, I find it very useful to be able to, for example, go back and play the same tracks I did last tuesday when I was testing XYZ cable or whatever. Sometimes I can't even remember what I played an hour ago, and in fact I don't need to even try to remember.
-- nostalgia - browse what you played last spring, or on your birthday.
Given that my own memory is not what it used to be, I like that I can use computer memory when I can..maybe the history is not so useful to everyone but I love it.
when exploring new music (eg new releases on Tidal...
I use Tidal's "favorites" feature when exploring new music.
...or just generally surfing your own or Tidal's library, you don't need to keep track of what you play, in case you like to go back for a second or third listen...Sometimes I can't even remember what I played an hour ago, and in fact I don't need to even try to remember.
All righty then!
and I'm pretty good at finding out everything I want to know about artists, composers and the like using the internet.
And, as I use both QOBUZ and TIDAL, pretty much everything I wish to hear is searchable using their respective web sites and I always have an iPad or MacBook Air at arms length if for no other reason than to 'troll' the folks who visit here! :-)
LOL and you are the Champ!!!
I didn't think 'being free' was a major concern of most audiophiles, who spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on music, components and cables, etc.
Yes google is free but it really can't do half of what Roon can do.
It's hard to list all the things in this category as there are so many, but for a start, your playing history is a good example - google knows nothing about that. It also doesn't know what is in your library, so it can't automagically link it with Tidal seamlessly.
Now if you only have a few albums, know exactly what you want to play and don't want to listen to anything new then a simpler system might work. But many people really enjoy the music discovery built into Roon. A large percentage of what I listen to now I've discovered via Roon's built-in tools, like "Simlar Artists", hyperlinks from artist or album descriptions and so on, artists and albums I'd probably never have discovered via google. When I'm in the mood I can spend hours checking out new music that I wouldn't normally listen to.
Another really elegant and concise thing is the way the Roon interface is the same across PCs, Macs and iPads. iPeng used to annoy me with it's idiosyncracies and bugs.
Like to know the dynamic range of tracks? Sure you can run an external program but Roon does this automatically.
Same thing with lyrics - you can search but it's so much easier clicking an icon and bang, they are there. Point is you probably wouldn't bother using the internet to search for lyrics much.
I could list many more things like this..
No, but it knows all of the porn you search for, so that's a start! =:-0
I can find pretty much everything that Leonard Bernstein wrote, conducted, recorded, etc. by searching QOBUZ, TIDAL and Amazon.
I care not a whit for 'track' information, 'songs' or similar artists.
Lyrics? They are usually in a language I do not speak (except for Bernstein). ;-)
Well not everybody listens exclusively to music without words, or just non-english words..
But a very quick search on my Roon shows 189 albums with Bernstein as performer, and 251 as composer, across my library and Tidal. Took as long as a single normal google search.
Thing is when I listen to music I like to not fart around with google, etc. ymmv
might be a few compilations and duplicates there I'm guessing.
I doubt I'll get through them all.
"Well not everybody listens exclusively to music without words, or just non-english words.."
But then I'm not trying to convince YOU that YOU should not be using Roon.
Clearly you SHOULD.
OTOH, YOU seem to be convinced that I should be using Roon! I'm just saying that it's likely NOT the case.
When I listen to music I mostly don't like messing around with the software that is playing it and yes, everyone's mileage varies which has been my point all along.
I don't need Roon, I'm not going to pay for Roon and I certainly don't need a 'lifetime' subscription because, at my age, EVERYTHING I buy comes with a 'lifetime' guarantee! :-)
And yes, I'm pretty happy with LMS as it streams TIDAL and QOBUZ and everything on the hard drive of the computer it's loaded on.
Now if you can convince me that Roon sounds considerably BETTER than LMS on MY system, I MIGHT listen.
Nope I wasn't saying that you should use Roon; I was simply talking about some of it's cool features. (This is a Roon thread after all)
As far as sound quality, well one thing that would be an improvement (and I can say this with some certainty) would be to use HQplayer to upsample your 44/16 output to 192/24 or 96/24 and then put it into your Audio-GD dac (just like the one I have). I don't think you can feed it from LMS into HQplayer, but guess which software does support this approach..
Mostly not interested in any topics you raised. If I was interested, I'd use Google..... I only use Streamer Software to stream what I want to.
So, again, we are coming at this from completely different perspectives.
What, Google knows about all the tracks you played in the last year?
And it can search Tidal's database? Cool. Google is better than I thought.
Again, I am not concerned about what I played last year.... Can't you accept that we have totally different needs and wants. Not all people are the same you know.
Boy that is the truth. I'm a visual person and want pretty pictures! When people tell me they want to look a list of file names I can't understand why.
I also suck at Excel and balance sheets.
Different strokes for different folks.
I am about to go sit on a panel of winemakers as a very non-technical winemaker and feel like I'm going to be "found out" for being a slacker.
Just a minute now : You said:
LMS ... Very Intuitive and the Best (IMNSHO) User Interface of Music Streamer Software.
That is what I was arguing about. Having used both extensively I can't see how you can claim it's the best. Like arguing that a horse is better transport device than a car. Sure, you might prefer horses yourself, but that is not the same thing.
And again it depends on what your Criteria is... For me LMS is the Best, because I have completely different criteria than yourself.
I can accept that Roon is Best for yourself, because you have different criteria than me.
Magic Tubes and Black Pod footers?? -- If you believe in this collection of SnakeOil, I am sure there is very little we agree on.
I offered my Opinion, you have yours. But, as a self described 'Mad Scientist', we are clearly coming from a different planet.
These are excellent products that make a positive contribution to the sound of one's system.
we are clearly coming from a different planet
Numeracy was never my strong point but should that not be "we are clearly coming from different planets"? I'm not saying you're wrong, mind.
Is there a point worth making that could not be made stronger via numeracy police approval? ;)
I feel like if I don't address your follow up quip I may be accused of not having gotten it.
Is there a point worth making that could not be made stronger via grammar police approval? ;)
I think I get your point but the joke (for such it was - sorry if you missed it) was about numeracy, not grammar. My point was that, if you're going to insult someone, FFS do it properly 'cos, if you don't, you might just look a bit silly.
Hence the follow-up quip (my mistake being forgetting that some inmates don't do jokes), "I'm not saying you're wrong, mind". IOW, I was suggesting that it's Cut-Throat who sometimes seems to come from a different planet.
If any other jokes from me leave you floundering, don't hesitate to get in touch.
Is it OK now?
Silly me. I'm so embarrassed. That's such an important distinction. Thank you for your kind offer. ;)
Not everyone gets (or appreciates) Brit humor....fortunately, I do.
Carry on, good Sir....
I might be a mad scientist now, but before that I had a 35+ year career as a software designer and programmer. Believe what you like.
I think it's a matter of people being comfortable and familiar with what they have been using for many years. I ran LMS on my Mac for years with the Squeezebox in the kitchen, along with running Pure Music on the same Mac in the main setup. To me LMS was sufficient and worked great for the kitchen setup but I didn't find it particularly special.
I also preferred Audirvana Plus for a while on the Mac, even after installing Roon. But now that I'm familiar with Roon I prefer it over Audirvana Plus, Pure Music, or LMS.
Roon sounds great and the interface is powerful on my computer screen locally or my iPad as a remote control.
My biggest problem with Roon, was the U.I. ---- Not nearly as intuitive as LMS. And then you have to pay for it as well. I think Roon appeals to those that are into Metadata.
Still running LMS, even though I have no more Squeezeboxes in house. Replaced with 5 Raspberry Pies
plus any additional costs for hardware needed to optimize Roon,
That's just misinformation.
There are no additional costs for hardware needed to optimize Roon. Roon sounds more than "good enough" with any decent PC/Mac and now that it has built-in DSP the sound can be tailored to your taste.
what about stability of a 5 to 10 TB plus size NAS library.
Chris at CA suggest one needs a $600 "appliance" (ROCK) to keep things stable where a general purpose computer does not.
I don't mind spending time and effort setting something up, but I want to avoid something that I have to spend time trouble shooting, updating and on going general maintenance.
I had issues with Roon stability for a while.
I run Roon core on Sonictransporter i5. I have about 20K flac files on a 2TB external HDD directly attached to STi5. I also have about 20K Tidal tracks "added" to my library, a very nice option in Roon.
It was all smooth sailing until Roon 1.3 was introduced early this year. Then for a couple of month I was unable to sort the library properly: the control unit (iPad) would just hang with every other sorting task. I understand that searching/sorting library has become very resource intensive with 1.3. Very frustrating ... Switching off Tidal (temporarily) helped, but was suboptimal ... In fairness, no issues with playback, it always remained stable.
I spent considerable time with customer service at Roon, uploading logs etc ... Had the impression they are dealing with a substantial flow of problems and were unable to focus on my issue.
Then, with a new Roon software update, they somehow fixed it -- the control unit still hangs from time to time, but for a short period. I do not know what the problem was.
I am scared that something similar may happen again in the future, perhaps with a Roon 1.4 release, or 1.5 or ...
Bottom line: I love Roon -- it brings my library to life like no other player in my experience -- and will continue to use it, but will avoid "lifetime" subscription.
"Chris at CA suggest one needs a $600 "appliance" (ROCK) to keep things stable where a general purpose computer does not."
That's just total B.S. IMHO.
According to Chris:
"Not too long after I built the PC, I started having issues that I've yet to solve. The PC must be restarted daily for Roon, JRiver, or web browsers to work. I've also installed Roon on a number of NAS units, and been disappointed by the slow speed when browsing and searching my library (300,000+ tracks). The point of my story is to point out that problems will arise with a general purpose computer and a better solution is desirable."
That's a broad generalization to take HIS problems with HIS general purpose computers and suggest that all Roon users will be faced with the same problems.
I can understand having problems with loading Roon on a anemic NAS but no one is forcing a gun to his head suggesting that this is the right way to architect a Roon solution. It's not rocket science!
It's fine for Chris to be enthusiastic about ROCK based appliances since he can't seem to handle his general purpose computers but that doesn't mean general purpose computers are suddenly no longer viable for other Roon users.
All you need is a decent PC/Mac with a few GB of RAM and preferably an SSD for the Roon database.... along with storage for your library locally or on your existing NAS.
Why not try it with what you have first rather than being swayed by one person's inability to manage his computer?
I've been running Roon for a year on my Mac Mini with ZERO issues or any of the problems Chris describes. I'm sure others are having similar success with their Windows/Linux PC's running Roon.
And BTW, Roon sounds better than "good enough".
Take a look at the Sonic Transporters at Small Green Computer. Install and forget. Appliances really. Updates itself (like all of Roon )at the touch of a button.
If they aren't fast enough to do what you need, they will tell you.
I already have a multitude of computers from work, kids etcc.. Both MAC and PC.
But I might think about a $600 (ROCK)appliance in addition to one of my re- purposed computers... that is, if it works as advertised and I don't have to do or buy anything for 3 or 4 years.
Also, a bit concerned that there is no guarantee that ROON won't go up in price.
Is your library too big for the i5?
I have the i3 and it was under 400, but it looks like its no longer available.
I'm sure it will go up in price eventually, but you can always lock in a lifetime membership.
I don't mean to sound flippant, but its good enough. Its good enough that you can hear changes in power supplies and cables. Certainly in dacs.
Good enough that I'm pretty sure its not the bottleneck for me.
Good enough that all I do is listen to music these days.
It sounds great! And they just made some architecture / transport protocol changes in the most recent release a couple days ago. They describe it in detail here. Scroll down to the "RAAT Audio Streaming Optimizations" section for more on architecture and protocols.
If you don't care for how Roon sounds out of the box, it integrates easily with HQPlayer so you can tailor the sound with some HQPlayer DSP. Be warned though.... HQPlayer can be a CPU hog depending on the DSP settings (so in general, low power Pico PCs and NUCs need not apply). I'm running a 2.6GHz quad-core i7 Mac Mini with 16GB RAM and SSDs.
Oh, Roon runs best on an SSD.... or more precisely it's best to run it's database on an SSD especially if you have a large library. Roon also has some nice automated backup features. In addition to a local backup to disk, I backup the Roon database over the internet to my Dropbox account. It's fully automated and 'hands off' once properly setup.
But wait, there's more! Roon has it's own user adjustable DSP as of the February 2017 release. Does it require more or less CPU power than HQPlayer? I don't know as I haven't played with it yet.
Bottom line: Roon sounds great right out of the box but it can be tailored to your liking with some DSP tweaking.
I've been running Roon on my Mac Mini for almost a year now now directly into to my DAC in the office system. I also stream content from the same Mac Mini to my uRendu network streamer in another system and occasionally to the the AppleTV boxes in other parts of our home. I use my iPad as the remote control. Roon also integrates nicely with the Tidal streaming service providing a better 'front-end' for navigating Tidal.
Bonus: Roon was offering an extended trial period through co-marketing promos with some manufacturers. I received a 60-day free trial promo code inside the AQ Jitterbug box. The AQ Jitterbug itself? Meh, yawn.
SQ is great although frankly I never bothered to do a real comparison with other software.
DSP is quite useful if you need it. I tried crossfeed filters with cans and liked it.
I had issues with library management (control unit hanging) but never with playback.
I have tried it and owned it.
I used it for +/- 1 year and tested it against the usual suspects [Picoreplayer, Rune Audio, Moode et.al] including home builds on regular computers and arm boards.
IMO its slightly lean, just a bit tight on the bass, and a bit more open that your average player in terms of 'air'. For me using Picore as a end-point sounds better than using the Roon-Bridge....lots more low end info coming though. In terms of worth from pure SQ...NOT. If you really dig music management, info. and pics then great.
Dynobots Audio - Music is the Bridge Between Heaven and Earth
I have found it to excel when using the RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Technology) Ethernet connections with a Roon Ready DAC or Roon Ready mini network player that connects to the DAC via USB.
The latest version seemed to take a bump up in sound quality due to changes in RAAT streaming optimization.
I prefer Roon over DLNA now.
Can you elaborate on what a "Roon Ready" DAC is?
I am not familiar with this designation.
I am a consumer, not a developer and do not claim to be an expert. That said, I am a lifetime subscriber to Roon and have been following its development since inception.
"Roon Ready" means the device (DAC or whatever) has an ethernet input and can function as an "endpoint" (player) for Roon without being attached to a computer. There aren't may of those yet: PS Audio, Auralic, Sonore, and SOtM are the early adopters. But iit's not a limitation - if you have a computer on the LAN running Roon, any device connected to that computer shows up as an endpoint. I have Roon running on a 2012 MacMini with a CI Audio Transporter connected by USB to the computer with analog output to my Ayon tube integrated amp. The CI Audio unit shows up in Roon as an endpopint by name, and the interface is seamless and sounds beauutiful.
I'm sure there will be others who jump on the bandwagon soon, but right now Roon is a harbinger of the future for consumers.who want better quality than mp3.
. . . in theory, practice and theory are the same; in practice, they are different . . .
Thank you. I understood well what the term Roon Ready meant in regards to a stand alone network streaming/file payer device, like, as you note, Sonore, Byrston etc. I own a Sonore mRendu and I love it.
What I was confused about was the term Roon Ready applied to a DAC. Now of course there are many streaming components with built in DACs, unlike the Sonore.
If I understood Mr. Hansen correctly, a DAC can be configured as a Roon end point with the inclusion of an Ethernet port I was surprised to hear this as I thought certain amount of computing horse power was needed to run Roon and other processes. But it seems not!
Maybe a bit more to it that that circuitry-wise, at least according to Paul McGowan as he discussed the 'Bridge II' option of his Direct Stream DAC at an audio meet-up I attended recently. That said, the 'Bridge II' is more than just a Roon end-point as I understand it (at $899 list, we would hope so).
But how much processor power does it take to be a Roon endpoint?
Not much, I'm guessing, as a $35 Raspberry Pi will do nicely.
But why just Roon?
Why not have an ethernet connection on all DACs and allow them to act as multiple endpoints like the uRendu?
No need for WiFi built in (not a fan of radios in audio myself), but perhaps a USB port on the back which would allow a WiFi adapter to be plugged in?
"But how much processor power does it take to be a Roon endpoint?"
Not a lot, but even tiny modern processors are pretty powerful. One can run Roon Bridge (end point software) on Linux with a Raspberry Pi which is essentially what Bryston has in the Bryston BDP-Pi. The Raspberry Pi is based on the ARM Cortex series processor.
microRendu also runs Roon Bridge on Linux on an ARM Cortex A9 based "System On a Module".
And anyone can load and run Roon Bridge on a Windows PC, Mac, or a Linux machine including a PC or small Raspberry Pi turning it into a Roon end-point.
A DAC with an Ethernet port will still require a small 'computer' of sorts to accommodate protocols like Roon RAAT, UPNP / DLNA, squeezelite, etc.
How much processing power is required can be answered by Charley and others who are Roon partners.
I don't know of any Pi that runs Roon accept the Bryston BDP-Pi, which has a pretty decent processor on board.
I don't know of any Pi that runs Roon accept the Bryston BDP-Pi, which has a pretty decent processor on board.
It uses the latest Pi3 as do most of us.
Is a gigaflop enough horsepower? Good question.
> > Can you elaborate on what a "Roon Ready" DAC is? < <
This is my understanding, but please take it with a grain of salt. (I hope I will be corrected if any of this is mistaken.) The full Roon software system comprises three major components (perhaps not unlike UPnP):
a) The Roon core ("brain") that accesses your both your music collection (and even some streaming services, notably Tidal) , along with access to the internet to retrieve Roon's metadata (much more comprehensive than any previous offerings). It then compiles all of this information into one powerful and flexible database-like repository. This is a powerful application that requires a 64-bit operating system and processor.
b) The user interface that allows the user to control the system (similar to a "control point" in UPnP).
c) The output to an external hardware D/A converter (similar to a "renderer" in UPnP).
The early versions of Roon had to have all three parts in one piece of hardware, which of necessity was a PC (phones and tablets are not powerful enough to support the 64-bit Roon core). I believe that early versions could access musical data across the network, but only deliver that data to DACs directly attached to the computer loaded with the 64-bit Roon core software.
More recently Roon have changed the architecture to make it more flexible and user friendly. Specifically the 64 bit core can reside anywhere in your personal LAN. Typically this is still a small computer such as an Intel NUC or a Mac Mini, but there are also a few NAS drives with 64-bit processors capable of running Roon. The control function is now offered in both Android and iOS version for use with either phones or tablets.
Finally the D/A converter can simply sit on your own LAN *if* it has a small Roon app installed on its Ethernet port. DACs thus equipped are certified by Roon to comply to Roon's standards and are labeled "Roon Ready". Otherwise one needs a DAC with a USB input attached directly to the box running the Roon core software.
I'm sure I've screwed something up with this explanation, so please don't take it as the gospel truth. Hope this helps.
I have been following Roon since the beginning, and I am pretty sure your breakdown is on the money. Thanks for such a clear and well crafted outline of the system.
(You might find it amusing that Bob Stuart of Meridian, from which the Roon guys came from, thought their idea was junk, and they decided to go their separate ways. As you know, they have been amazingly successful in getting hardware manufacturers on board. Another fantastic business decision by the "brilliant" folks at Meridian)
So if I understood the last part correctly, instead of needing a stand alone streamer (Bryston, Sonore, ELAC, Lumin, Auralic) with the Roon protocol built in, which you then have to output to a DAC, you can bypass the streamer, and use an Ethernet connected DAC that has the Roon app running at the port.. Rather clever.
You are listed as a Roon partner on this page, may I ask does your new digital hub, or any other component run Roon?
> > does your new digital hub, or any other component run Roon? < <
Yes, the Ayre QX-5 Twenty is "Roon Ready". What happens is this - an Ethernet input requires a medium-powered microprocessor to connect to the Ethernet - typically running some version of Linux modules. Obviously there is no need to support things like keyboards, displays, mice, and so forth. Instead it mostly just needs to handle the internet connection.
In addition the base Linux code can be modified to interface with other software. The module used by Ayre has "hooks" for Roon, Tidal, Spotify Connect, and Qobuz. Roon has the most rigorous test program and requires a complete unit sent to their test labs to both certify proper operation and then remain there so that they can both test new Roon releases and also verify other future compatibility issues.
This is one reason that setting up a Roon-based system is typically easier than setting up a UPnP-based system. While UPnP standards exist, there is no certifying body that enforces the standards. When setting up a UPnP-based Ethernet sytem, JRiver is one of the most robust pieces of software I've found and rarely has any compatibility issues with any hardware.
Strictly my own opinions, and not necessarily those of my employer or AI-enhanced life-sized doll.
Thanks. Great info.
The one thing I do admire about Roon is they take into account user feedback and they have continually, without deviation, improved the product.
I agree with you that JRiver is stable and robust and, in many ways, is flexible enough for almost anyone. One significant issue is that running it with a UpnP network client bypasses the DSP engine so that employing bass management and EQ is not possible. One must use a directly connected DAC.
OTOH, using Roon with a Roon Ready device allows the user to employ all the features of Roon including convolutions and other signal DSP.
Strictly my own opinions, and not necessarily those of my employer or Charles Hansen. ;-)
Thanks for the additional information. Could you please clarify something which is still fuzzy for me? Are you saying that Roon's DSP capabilities are more powerful than those in JRiver, or that Roon's architecture allows the use of additional 3rd party software that JRiver's architecture does not? (Or perhaps both?) Thanks!
Both have identified clear differences between the capabilities of Roon and JRiver - at least as they currently stand. For audio users, Roon may be advantageous. On the other hand JRiver also supports video devices and formats, which would likely tip the scales for home theater users. (But this is the Audio Asylum, isn't it?)
I was not distinguishing between their internal DSP capabilities since I have not really gotten a handle on that yet.
What I was referring to is that JRiver can apply the DSP to wired (local) output devices (e.g., via S/PDIF, AES/EBU, USB, etc.) but not to networked output devices (via ethernet or WiFi). The latter limitation can be bridged with an appropriate ASIO driver such as is supplied by Merging Technology for the NADAC.
OTOH, Roon can output DSP-processed signals to any connected device, local or networked.
Roon is able to stream to the HQPlayer; something JRiver cannot do.
While Roon's and JRiver's DSP capabilities are good, many folks prefer the HQPlayer for converting files to DSD.
The bottom line is that an Ethernet based audio system can be extremely flexible and powerful. The disadvantage is that each physically separate component requires its own microprocessor in order to communicate to the other components in your personal LAN. In contrast, USB-based audio systems are typically simpler and possibly more well suited to a compact system.
If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer and want to listen to music, it is trivially easy to connect a USB DAC and either headphones or powered speakers. At the other end of the spectrum, wiring a whole house for music with computers and storage out of sight is much more readily accomplished via Ethernet.
The current de facto standard for Ethernet audio systems is UPnP. Roon's architecture improves on UPnP's in three ways for audio - all else being equal it will have better sound quality (being optimized for audio), it should be simpler to install and configure, and it will provide better metadata and system integration (such as categorizing your music collection and seamlessly integrating it with some streaming services).
As always, strictly my own opinions and not necessarily those of my employer or landlady.
I have been on a networked system for 10 years now. I run three systems and they all get fed by the same set of drives attached to a Mac Mini in my office, running Roon. The convenience of using the control point of my choice and being able to tab between systems is unbeatable.
I think Roon may sound better for the simple reason it is, according to what I have been told, a far less complicated protocol than DLNA. Less complicated is usually better in most cases.
such as the PSAudio Direct Stream Jr. or the full sized Direct Stream with the optional network card (Bridge II) installed?
Just a guess.
May be wrong, but I seem to recall that the Bricasti DAC also has an ethernet input which makes it somehow a DNLA (enabled?) device but have no recollection of any claim of it being ROON Ready?
Wish them well.
I gave them my .02 about their business plan etc.
Just like I gave JRiver my .02, way back long ago. JRiver made the choice to ban me from their site, but eventually took my .02. This time I banned myself from Roon and its product. Lets see what time unfolds.
The .02 I gave them is really their only way towards a future. So we shall see....
Dynobots Audio - Music is the Bridge Between Heaven and Earth
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