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Audio System

About Me

Found 70 results

  1. Looking for advice on how to proceed with Audio Server setup. Here is the current status: 1. My house is wired with CAT6 going to a 16-port Gigabit Switch. I also have the house fully wired with RG-6 for video (and possibly audio, see below) 2. I have just acquired a Synology DS218+ NAS which is to be used as storage and back-up. 3. I have an almost new Denon AVR-X1500H Receiver and do not intend to replace it. This what I know about it: The receiver has a Digital Audio (Coax) input The receiver has an Ethernet port. Can receive audio (in my case FLAC files) streaming from a DNLA compliant server. 4. I also happen to have an Intel NUC7i3BNH with 64GB SSD, 8GB Ram and a built -in 500GB HDD. I could use that and also keep my music (about 25,000 FLAC files) on it. I have been thinking of using Roon ROCK on the NUC but I’m not sure yet due to the fact the software license is almost $500. I understand there are other Media Player software out there that could serve me well and cost less? Q1. I assume if I use the NUC setup that I can stream my music directly to the receiver via Ethernet and using any compatible device such as my Android tablet to select music and view music information? Q2. I’m also contemplating getting a Raspberry Pi3 Model 3 and connect with an ALLO DigiOne Signature so that I could connect to my receiver’s digital coax input via my CAT6 coax cable. Cost is very reasonable for this hardware at $239! Is this a better idea? Q3. Or could I perhaps use the NAS (installing the music files there)? If so which Media Server software will work well on my NAS and does not cost a fortune. Q4. Which of the above approaches would you recommend? Q5. Which is most future proof or flexible (I do not wish to make a lot of equipment changes later)? Q6. Which one is most flexible in regard to selecting and providing information on the music played to a portable device and/or perhaps also showing it directly on my TV screen (a brand new LG OLED)? Thankful for any advice/ Bjorn
  2. Ever since abandoning the Apple iTunes/iPod world for a FiiO X5 and Roon life has been a heckuva lot better. I use a MacMini as a media server with Plex and Roon. The only hole is this nirvana is managing the files that I'd like to copy to my FiiO when I travel. In short... is there a Mac OS app that will catalog my music directories or (even better) read my Roon database and allow me to do iTunes-ish things when copying music to my FiiO? How do I come close to the iPod/iTunes experience with Roon (or a directory of FLAC, WAV, DSF files) and my FiiO? Thanks, Adam
  3. Has anyone compared sound quality of a Roon ROCK (lightweight Linux) install vs. running Roon Server on an Windows System, with Audiophile Optimizer in Core mode? I’m currently doing the latter on and Intel NUC and it sounds great bit isn’t the most stable. Have to reboot quite often when the server loses connection to my network- (imagine it’s due to some service I’ve shut off in Windows using AO). Was thinking of seeing if I’d still get the SQ benefits of a minimal OS using ROCK, without the network connectivity issues.
  4. I've been using Roon for just over a month now and I really like it. I stream Tidal and they integrate so well together that I frequently find myself doing a search for one artist and ending up listening to an artist that I wasn't even aware of before. I'm wondering if maybe one of these days another service that's currently waiting in the wings will be introduced that is even better than Roon. On the other hand, will Roon's prices be raised, lowered or could the company cease to exist completely. I'm now trying to decide if I should actually spring for the lifetime membership which is (to me) a pretty steep $499 vs. the also expensive yearly price of $119. Either way, it's not cheap. I know I'm not the first to be weighing these options and I was hoping to hear from some of you who have already had to deal with this dilemma and were able to come to a decision.
  5. creativepart

    Switched! A+ to Roon. Yeah

    For the past year or longer I've been a dedicated Audirvana Pro user. I loved most everything about it. The few complaints I had were very minor. But I'm looking at going to a Ethernet/USB solution and they all seem really setup for Roon users. Not that I couldn't use other server setups - but I decided to give Roon a try. OK, I now see why so many folks use this software. Plus, it overcomes every small issue I had with Audirvana. Key among them was their inability to mark Tidal files with any icon indicating the nature of the file format in Tidal. In A+ you had to play a song file to have any indication of whether or not it was CD, MQA, or some other version. I'd look at Tidal Albums and see two versions of the same title - one would be MQA and the other CD. But neither was marked as to version. It you wanted the MQA or even if you wanted the CD version you had to play a tune from each to find the one you wanted. You could see the format in Tidal because Masters have a "M" logo when on Tidal but not A+. A number of people requested this feature in A+ as much as 6 months ago, but it never happened. So, not only do I have this feature from Roon, but so many more that I wasn't aware of. And, in only 2-days I've learned so much about my music and what else I might like. I have a HD with 750 CD rips at 16/44 in ALAC format. It's great that my Tidal favorites and all 750 CDs are grouped together in Genres and organized for easier finding. Plus the SQ is very good as well. All in all a Win-Win. I wish I had switched earlier.
  6. Hi! Like many in the forum (to which I'm new): - I think Roon delivers the best front-end available; - I discovered (recently) HQPlayer. I subscribed it since the SQ is outstanding; - My experience confirms the idea that upsampling done by a good DSP (like HQPlayer) outperforms the DAC upsampling ... - I've learned how CPU hungry is the HQPlayer (specially in DSD, as expected) So, I need to replace my dedicated server and would like that it would check the following boxes: Be able to run ROON + HQPlayer upsampling to DSD 512 ... and, if this is not asking too much, use the xtr family of filters (heavy as hell but the ones I like the most) Silent and relatively compact due do space restrictions and the fact that I must keep it in the system room. Silent implies fanless cooling and compact means that a case no bigger than the Streacom FC10 would be ideal The FC10 is specified to TDP up to 95W, but 65W is the comfortable(?) TDP. [should I really stick to the 65W or can I stretch it up to the 95W limit? ... air circulation is not constrained] I hope that these conditions are not exclusive ... A CPU like the AMD Ryzen 1700 has a TDP of 65W and its performance seems decent (?) ... but would it support DSD 512 + xtr filters? Other questions: - Would a LPS (say from Teradak or JCAT) bring a significanf improvement regarding a ZF 240 (SMPS but a very decent one?) - Are the Femto USB and NET cards from JCAT a recommendable upgrade? - How important are the SATA cables and SATA noise filters? - Wouldn't it be preferable (even if more costly) using a 2TB SSD than a smaller SSD + an HDD? Thank you! Joao
  7. I have been reading a lot here and learning both from the forums and about myself. I have used my 2012 Mac mini in my system before and I have decided to jump back in for a winter swim! I have a new PCIE SSD based Mac mini on order and my JS-2 is on the way. I will have one side of the JS-2 wired to my Mytek Brooklyn DAC + and the other side to the MacMini. I have several idea threads to run through. Here is a partial list: Digital music delivery process ideas: USB direct between the Mac and the DAC and with an ISO-Regen + LPS-1 and maybe more.... Ethernet - USB with my SOtM SMS-200 ultra. (several threads of setup here to test) Test with the DC grounded NetGear GS105 switch to the network. Using an LPS-1 Start with High Sierra in the default Apple configuration and work through reducing processes. I want to listen to Apple Music with this DAC. I use Apple Music for discovery and mobile listening. I use Audirvana and Roon: How does optimization in Audirvana do before we even tweet the OS. I want to figure out voice control for music. "Hey Siri" or the like..... SOtM clock testing since I already have it! Other possible / probable testing and learning Do I play with Isolation transformers on the AC side? Do I make other cabling improvements? Will I l test with my Rotel power amp to see how it compares to the Mytek Amp? ..... more .... So in summary my music will be stored on a Synology NAS outside of the stereo system so there is no SATA stuff going on in the MacMini. Attached is the basic layout of the stereo system for reference. I am building a few more pages with test outlines. Eventually I want to make an FAQ/WIKI/KB of this as finding stuff in these threads on the forums is really time consuming and I want to make this simpler. So the goals are as follows: Reduce operating complexity. (I dare. you to teach a non- audiophile how to switch inputs on a Mytek DAC +) Improve sound quality Have fun and listen more ???Simplify??? the systems design (I am not sure if changing power supplies and edit Mac processes is simple) Share my experience to help others. Stereo Overview.pdf
  8. The Computer Audiophile

    The Definitive Guide To Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK)

    Who: Roon Labs, developers of Roon software. What: Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK), a custom linux operating system that runs Roon core and works like an appliance. When: Available now. Where: Directly as a free software download from Roon. Why: It's the best way to run Roon (my opinion). How: This guide will attempt to show you how to setup ROCK. The guide will be updated as needed. Note: Before continuing, I must applaud Roon Labs for its detailed documentation found here (LINK). When I first installed ROCK I relied on this documentation in addition to the Roon community. The CA ROCK guide is meant to add value to what is already available from Roon, condense some of the most important information, and to clear up many of the questions I ran into while setting up my first few ROCKs. Let me dig a little deeper into the what and why. Until now, Roon needed to be installed on Windows, macOS, or a NAS (unless one was a geek capable of setting up a Linux machine etc...). Windows and macOS require a full blown computer, keyboard, monitor, mouse, OS updates, OS issues, hardware issues, optimization questions, etc... Installing Roon directly on a NAS seemed like the best of all worlds when it first came out, but some of us ran into issues due to NAS hardware limitations. Plus, the cost of NAS units jumps very quickly into the thousands of dollars, without any hard drives, when the NASes feature fast processors and a good amount of RAM . In my system, I've run Roon on all supported platforms. I built a custom Windows 10 computer with a Xeon processor, an NVMe SSD, a mountain of RAM, a RAID card, and several terabytes of storage. This was to be my Roon core computer that sat in my utility room away from my audio system. It just served music over the network. 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. Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK) is Roon Lab's attempt to solve these issues. Roon Labs has pre-certified several hardware options from which users can chose and has created a custom version of Linux optimized especially for this hardware and to run Roon only. Not only this, Roon Labs has created an extremely simple installation wizard for non-geek users. I've been running ROCK and found it truly works like an appliance. All updates are done through the Roon interface, even updates to the custom operating system. The user doesn't have to know anything other than to click the "update" button. Note: ROCK isn't for those looking to filter or resample audio by routing it through HQPlayer. Only the Roon OS can be installed on a ROCK, not the required HQPlayer app. Fortunately, Roon now features many DSP options natively and these will run on the core i7 NUC. Architecture To understand where the ROCK fits into a system, we must first look at the Roon architecture. Roon requires three components. 1. Core / Server 2. Remote 3. End Point All three components can be on a single computer, two computers, or even split into thee computers or audio devices. The Core is Roon's brain. This is the piece that runs on ROCK. Roon remote can be run on a computer, iOS, or Android device. The end point can be a USB DAC directly connected to any device running Roon software, or a network connected device running Roon software. Roon architecture with ROCK in the system can also be configured a number of ways, from simple to complex. Here are a few examples. A. ROCK running as the core with all music stored on the ROCK's internal 2.5 inch hard drive (a USB drive connected for backup), Roon Remote running on an iPad, and audio sent to a RoonReady DAC over Ethernet. B. ROCK running as the core with all music stored on the ROCK's internal 2.5 inch hard drive (a USB drive connected for backup), Roon Remote running on an iPad, and audio sent to a directly attached USB or HDMI audio device. C. ROCK running as the core, music stored on a NAS, Roon Remote running an iPad, and audio sent to RoonReady network devices. This is how I use ROCK and believe it's the best way, given my storage requirements. I will continue to use my situation as an example system. There are many other ways to do things given peoples' different needs and requirements. I have 300,000+ tracks consuming 11 terabytes of disk space on a Synology DS1812 NAS. This NAS has a 2.13 GHz Intel Atom processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 spinning 2 terabyte hard drives. It's an old NAS using slow hardware. However, running Roon core on ROCK has made this hardware a moot point. All the work is done by the ROCK while the NAS just serves up files. I use iOS and Android remote devices, as well as my 27" 5K iMac as a remote while I'm working at my desk. The Roon core / database files are backed up to the NAS, and the entire NAS is backed up to the Amazon cloud. Amazon offers unlimited cloud storage for $59 per year in the US. I have a 1 Gbps up/down internet connection over which my data is automatically synchronized. Hardware Note: For those who don't want anything to do with this aspect of ROCK, Roon Labs offers a product called Nucleus. It's identical to the systems below, but is sold by a dealer and comes ready to use. The price will be around $2,000 for the i7 model. Roon Labs has pre-selected two Intel NUC based systems on which people should install ROCK. 1. The i3 based NUC7i3BNH NUC, with 4 GB of RAM and a 64 GB M.2 SSD. This system is recommended for small to medium libraries (under 12,000 albums). The price of this system should be around $400. 2. The i7 based NUC7i7BNH NUC with 8 GB of RAM and a 64 GB M.2 SSD. This system is recommend for large libraries and those using DSP features. The price of this system should be just over $600 I selected the i7 based NUC7i7BNH NUC because I want the freedom to use Roon and all its features in any way I can. I selected an 8 GB module of single rank RAM, over the 2x4 GB modules suggested by Roon because I want to leave the second memory slot available, should I want to repurpose this hardware in the future. Roon Labs says it will not use more than 8 GB of RAM and all additional RAM will be a waste. I selected a Samsung SSD 960 EVO NVMe M.2 250GB disk because I've had great luck with these drives. The 250 GB is larger than I need, but it's the smallest size in this model. Samsung also offers a Pro model for an additional $200, but I don't believe the slightly improved sequential read / write speed of the Pro model will have an effect on ROCK. If a users wants to store music on an internal drive, s/he will need to purchase a 2.5 inch SSD or HDD. The M.2 drive is only for the OS and Roon, while the 2.5" drive is for music. A USB drive is also possible for music storage. Note: This NUC supports Intel Optane memory. However, ROCK doesn't support this yet and it's doubtful it ever will. Don't purchase an Optane module for ROCK, it's a waste of money. Here are links to what I purchased. The total price was $660. Intel NUC7i7BNH NUC - LINK Crucial CT8G4SFS8213 8 GB RAM - LINK Samsung MZ-V6E250BW SSD 960 EVO NVMe M.2 250GB SSD - LINK Installation Intel NUC computers ship without disk or RAM, and require a keyboard, monitor, and mouse for installation of ROCK. In the image below you can see the Samsung SSD and Crucial RAM installed in the NUC. The installation requires a screw driver and common sense. No technical skills required. Once the hardware is assembled, connect the peripherals and power it up to make sure it's working. There's no operating system on the disk, so it won't boot to a usable screen, but the hardware should boot. Here is an ultrashort time-lapse of me installing the hardware. It's really this simple. BIOS According to Roon Labs, the both the i3 and i7 NUCs must be at BIOS level 46 or higher. My NUCs shipped with version 0042. Updating the BIOS is fairly easy. Here are instructions. Go to Intel's Drivers & Software download site for the purchase NUC and select the latest BIOS to download. Assuming a purchase of the NUC7i7BNH NUC, here is a link to the download page - LINK. If you want a quick download of BIOS version 0046, here's a direct download link from CA's server - LINK. I compared the BIOS versions for both the i3 and i7 and the files match perfectly. I haven't tried this download on the i3, so use at your own risk. Place the BN0046.bio file on a USB stick and place the stick into the NUC. When booting the NUC hit the F7 key. This will load the BIOS update screen. You will likely see a couple other files on the USB stick, but those are of no concern. Using the keyboard, select the BN0046.bio file and hit Enter when asked if you wish to update the BIOS. Here are some screenshots of the process. After updating the BIOS, there are a couple Roon Labs recommended settings to change. When booting your NUC, hit F2 to enter the BIOS setup. Once the BIOS configuration page loads, hit F9 to load the defaults. Then, click the Advanced tab, followed by the Boot tab. Uncheck UEFI Boot. Also set the M.2 SSD to first in the boot priority. Select the Boot Configuration tab and adjust the following options, enable Boot USB Devices First, enable Suppress Alert Messages At Boot, disable network/ LAN / pixie boot. ROCK Note: The video near the bottom of the page shows the next few steps in detail. Once the BIOS is updated to at least version 0046, it's time to install ROCK. Go to the Roon Labs ROCK Install Guide page, scroll to the download section and find the link to the factory reset disk image. If Roon Labs doesn't change the address, this link will download the image directly - LINK Users on a Mac will be able to uncompress this downloaded file, producing the image file named roonbox-linuxx64-nuc3-usb-factoryreset.img. Make sure the file extension is IMG. Users on a PC will not be able to uncompress this file and will need to download a tool such as 7-zip. Here is a link - LINK. Once installed, 7-Zip will uncompress the file, revealing the IMG image. With the image file ready, you need to write this file to a USB stick. Copying the file to the USB stick will not work, it must be written using a image flashing tool. The tool I've been using for a while is called Etcher. It can be downloaded for Mac and Windows here - LINK. Using Etcher, select the IMG file, select the USB stick, then select Flash. Once this is complete, you are ready to install ROCK on the NUC. Place the newly flashed USB stick in the NUC and boot it up. If it doesn't boot from the USB stick, restart it and hit the F10 key. This will enable you to manually select the USB stick from which to boot. Once the ROCK install screen appears, the rest is simple. Follow the wizard that asks if you'd like to install ROCK, to select an install disk, and to confirm this is what you want to do. Several seconds later, ROCK installation will complete. Remove the USB stick and reboot the NUC. Once it boots, you will see a Roon screen displaying the IP address of the ROCK. This IP address should be entered in a web browser to complete ROCK setup. Note: One can also go into the Roon app and click the button to Configure Roon OS devices, then select the ROCK. The end result is the same. The web interface is brought up. Here is an ultrashort video of me updating the BIOS and installing ROCK. It's really this simple. (Don't mind the dirty, messy, and dusty utility room. You should see the rest of it!). Configuration Note: The video near the bottom of the page shows the next few steps in detail. After ROCK is installed and you go to the NUC's IP address in a web browser, you will see big red letters saying "Missing Codecs." This is normal due to patented codecs. Roon Labs would have to pass on a licensing fee to the customer for these to be installed with ROCK. Instead, these can be downloaded by the end user at no charge. Roon Labs recommends users download the codec file from this website - LINK. However, I've already downloaded it, extracted the only needed file, and made it available directly from the CA server. If you want to download the appropriate file from the original website recommended by Roon Labs, you will need to install a program such as The Unarchiver (LINK) on macOS or 7-Zip on Windows, in order to unzip the file. Either way, you need the file and it makes no difference to me where you get it from. Here are links. Complete package that needs to be uncompressed with one of the apps above - LINK or The only file you need (it's a zip file that can be uncompressed by any computer) - LINK Assuming you downloaded the file from the CA server and uncompressed the zip file, you're left with a single file named ffmpeg. This file needs to be copied to the ROCK's Codecs folder. Connect to ROCK the same way you would connect to any other folder on your network (not with a web browser). On a Mac, ROCK appears in Finder under the Shared section. If asked for a username and password, connect as guest without a password. Copy ffmpeg to the Codecs folder. Once the ffmpeg file is copied to ROCK, reboot the ROCK computer by going to its webpage, clicking the little red power icon in the upper right corner, and selecting Reboot. If all goes well, when it comes back up, it will say OK under Roon Server Software. All other configuration / setup is done via the Roon app. Users who have previous installation of Roon and want to transfer playlists, edits, play history, tags, settings, etc... may want to migrate their existing databases to the new ROCK. This is done by backing up the current Roon database and restoring it to the ROCK from the backup. Roon has an entire page on this process, located here - LINK. Note: When moving to the ROCK you may be asked to unauthorize one Roon server. Just click the unauthorized button next to your existing Roon server, so the ROCK can use your license. After switching to the ROCK, you may have a strange issue where a Roon remote (iOS or Android for example) is still connected to the old database, even though it has been unauthorized. It will play music and cause the audio end points to drop off the ROCK version of Roon. To stop this issue from happening, I uninstalled Roon from the computer that was running the database prior to using ROCK, then reinstalled Roon. Upon reinstallation I elected to use ROCK as the core, thus not creating the database on the local computer. You can also manually remove the core database folders, but uninstalling and reinstalling is easiest. Note when uninstalling on Windows, select the box to remove the database and settings. When uninstalling on Mac, navigate to /Library and remove the Roon folder. Because I didn't have much custom data in the database and all my playlists are on Tidal, I elected to start with a fresh database on ROCK. Launching Roon on my iMac desktop, Roon asked me to select a core. I selected the ROCK, and completed the setup by adding a music file location and signing into Tidal. Once this was done, Roon scanned music folder of 300,000+ tracks and analyzed the music files. the initial scan completed overnight while the analysis took much longer. it really doesn't matter because music can be played while wither processing is going on. I created a little video of me going through the ROCK file downloads and initial setup through the web and Roon interfaces. Nothing special, just a fairly quick run through of what the process looks like. Wrap Up Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK) is my preferred way to run Roon on my network. It may not be for everyone, but I believe it's for many people. ROCK runs like an appliance. It doesn't require technical knowledge beyond the basic ability to click an update button. The installation requires a bit more knowledge, but someone capable of following instructions will have no problem setting it up. On the other hand, those uninterested in setting up a ROCK themselves can purchase the Roon Nucleus. The Nucleus contains the exact same internal hardware and software as that mentioned above, but comes in a nice looking chassis. The Nucleus will be sold at dealers for around $1,000+ more than purchasing the hardware and installing the software yourself. If you have any questions about how to best run Roon or what hardware to purchase for a Roon installation, it's a no brainer that a ROCK (or Nucleus) can and will get the job done as good or better than any other option.
  9. I am about to run an experiment. I would like others thoughts before I make this happen. I have a “spare” Mac Mini that was my music server and my current music server which is the last generation Sonic Transporter i5. I have been reading the threads about using a bridged network to improve sound quality. So I am am thinking about the new ST i7 DSP but before I spend $$$$ I want to experiment. My current NAA is a microrendu with 1.3 hardware and 2.5 software. I am running Ethernet to it. The music servers are in the network rack in the basement. 1. Move Roon Core back over to the Mac Mini and put the music either on my Synology NAS or on a drive attached to the Mac. 2. Test the Mac Mini as the server without bridging for a few days. 3. Setup bridging on the Mac Mini and see what happens. 3.5. Try some software optimization’s? 4. Move back to the sonic transporter to close the loop. I really like the Sonic Transporter for the simplicity in that I do not have to worry about software updates or OS Managment. . There are a lot of ways to spend say $2000 on just the server. —RJF I have a SoTM-200 ultra and their power supply on order to try.
  10. Hi, I have not been on these forums in a long time. I have been working on our family room system, which is listed in my profile, and it is sounding very good given the restrictions. I have been using JRiver MC for several years but wanted to try something else since I only use it for audio and it seems it is more for audio and video and other media. I installed the Roon Core on a 2017 iMac (i7 4.2GHz, SSD, 40GB memory). My audio files reside on a QNAP TS-431P NAS. Installed Roon Bridge on the iMac mini which is in the family room system. Finally, installed Roon Remote on an iPad mini. All but the iPad mini are connected via Gb Ethernet. The NAS is located in my upstairs office while the family room is downstairs. The installations, library building and setup all went well and I was enjoying the Roon interface. A few days later I noticed that the NAS was being accessed every 10-15 seconds for no apparent reason. I could hear it while working in my office. No one was doing anything to access files on the NAS and Roon had not been used for 12-18 hours. I quit Roon on the iMac and about 30 seconds later the NAS access noise stopped. I went through some gyrations that, so far, indicate that Roon is causing this. I posted about it in the Roon Community forum here: https://community.roonlabs.com/t/roon-causing-constant-nas-hdd-access/39937 A friend reminded me about this forum and so I was curious if anyone here has had this experience with Roon? John
  11. Good morning I am playing some MQA using my iPad and to my surprise the signal path is showing as lossless with an MQA 88.2 authentication. Here is the path, marked as lossless : Source : Tidal FLAC 44.1kHz 24 Bit 2ch, MQA 88.2khz Authentication: MQA Studio 88.2Khz This Tablet: Roon Advance Audio Transport Apple iPad: Headphones I knew that iOS devices were limited to 24/48 but this does not seem to be the case. Anyone here experienced something similar? thanks Ale
  12. miguelito

    A word on Roon: Amazing.

    A word of congrats to Roon and committing to work done right. I want to celebrate here that they truly listen to their customers and produce truly amazing software - head and shoulders above all else in my opinion. The particular reason for such praise is their new MQA implementation: They fought tooth and nail to get something that would live up to the Roon standards and finally they did. You might or might not like MQA - I am not advocating it at all. What I am pointing out is Roon's commitment to doing it in line with their design and not destroying user experience. Quite amazing to see such a robust product. Some power users might prefer JRiver for some use cases - in a few better than Roon's. That's very good software as well.
  13. I'm finally getting around to selling my previous server. Details below. Full disclosure: This unit stopped working (I couldn't get to to power back up after reinstalling Roon) and was repaired under warranty by the manufacturer - Martin Smith of Vortexbox UK. It's now working perfectly but just want to be upfront about the history and I have of course factored this into the bargain price. Willing to ship only within Europe. Apologies to those outwith Europe. Model - Audiostore Prestige 2 https://www.vortexbox.co.uk/Audiostore_Prestige_2 Specifications: Martin installed my Samsung 850 Evo TB from a previous server I owned. XL performance with 8 GB RAM (for DSP in Roon) OS: SonicOrbiter system with Roon & LMS players 19v DC input PreBridged Ethernet ports (1 in from LAN and 1 out to End-Point or DAC) to allow you to skip the potentially noise introducing switch in sending music to the DAC (as per the Novel Way thread on this forum) A great low noise server for sending music either directly to a DAC to to an end-point like the SMS-200Ultra or UltraRendu etc. Server cost £1,128 and the Samsung SSD originally cost £258. I therefore think that £700 is VERY, VERY fair given the history and age. (I bought it in July 2017). There is no box and no cables other than the stock power cable. I do also have an Sbooster 19V power supply that I used to power it. Willing to include it for an additional £150 if the buyer wants a better LPS for it. https://www.vortexbox.co.uk/Sbooster_Linear_Power_Supply_-_BOTW_P_P_ECOLinear_Power_Supply Shipping included but I'm only willing to ship in Europe. Apologies to those outside of Europe. Photos to follow. Thanks for reading. Cheers, Alan
  14. I want to experiment with a Roon Ready endpoint MQA enabled network streamer to listen to MQA selections from Tidal with Roon. MQA has been so hotly debated I want to pick up some gear and listen for myself rather than read endless online debates. I'm not interested in portable DACs or music fed directly from a computer. So, I'm inclined to shy away from the Meridian Explorer 2, Dragonfly Red or iFi Nano BL. I suspect that using the iFi Micro BL on a desktop is a waste of much of what that device has to offer. But perhaps I'm thinking of this the wrong way. Since Roon can now handle the decoding, I realize a renderer is all that I need, however, I don't feel compelled to ignore solutions that offer decoding and rendering. This particular system is very simple. It's a Naim Uniti Atom driving ProAc Tablette 10 speakers. The analog input is available. I've been pleased with the Allo USBRidge that I've deployed on one of my low budget systems and was thinking that pairing that device with a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 would do the trick for about $580. An alternative would be the Bluesound Node 2 at about $500. I suspect that the USBRidge/Pro-Ject combo would yield better sound. However, the Bluesound would tie things up nicely with a single box. I'm not interested in any of the other features offer by Bluesound. Are there other alternatives you might suggest? How would you think about the two options I've mentioned? Just to put boundaries on this experiment, let's keep the budget below $750. Thanks, -- Rich
  15. If anyone is interested: https://community.roonlabs.com/t/howto-vsts-loudness-virtual-zones-exclusive-mode-system-notifications-other-apps-sounds-all-together-oh-and-dirac-is-there-too-8/41949 Basically, it is leveraging the amazing EqualizerAPO while providing a workaround for it's one glaring weakness (going through the OS Mixer) using VoiceMeeter. EqualizerAPO developed specific support for VoiceMeeter API so in that case, it is not reliant on the Windows APO framework and will allow us to use WDM Exclusive Mode end-to-end. Example chain: Roon --[WDM Exclusive Mode]--> VoiceMeeter VAIO with EqualizerAPO --[WDM Exclusive Mode]--> Dirac DAP System output --> VoiceMeeter AUX VAIO with EqualizerAPO (set as default audio device) --> Dirac DAP Would prefer to use Dirac as VST under EqualizerAPO and simplify the chain but I don't have access to the Dirac plugins beta. Waiting for the new version. *In the past I used JRiver WDM driver for similar purposes but it had a really audible SQ degradation, cracks, pops, and generally unstable in my system to the point of being unusable. Anyway, I like EqualizerAPO better as a software DSP, at least functionality wise. And it's free
  16. Maybe we need a new forum for high end car audio. 😀 Anyway, I would like to get good suggestions how I best and cheapest can do Roon in my car. I will use an iPhone as controller, and also as the internet access point for streaming Tidal HiFi. I will use the Audioques Beetle as a DAC, since I own one and since it has the only interface my car radio accepts. AUX. The Beetle has USB in, and I suppose that’s the best interface to use. The usb is also power for the DAC. Can I use a NUC with ROCK ? Seems like the obvious choice or ? Other Linux solutions with USB out. (Or toslink). I’m fully aware of the the easiest way is to skip Roon and just do Bluetooth from iPhone to Beetle, and AUX from there. But I suspectes the Bluetooth will degrade the SQ, so that’s why I would like to do Roon. Another idea I just got while writing this is to use the same iPhone with the CCK as endpoint into the Beetle. Or if I would need a second iPhone as the first one is occupied as a access point. This is how I do Tidal from my iPhone today. Works very vell.
  17. This post is my attempt to combine a number of questions/concerns about how to get the best sound out of networked audio--without spending a fortune 'buying and trying'. I'm running Roon core on my desktop PC, pulling files from a NAS, feeding 4 zones. My internet is 150G Xfinity, and I live in a house by myself. I don't expect to get a concensus on all of this, but would love to hear what's worked (or failed miserably) for people, and what some of the real theory behind these things might be. It will become clear that I am not an EE or a network engineer, so forgive me in advance if some of these questions are naive/wrong-headed, but it is useful to understand how I may be relying on an incorrect picture/model of how these things work. I also believe that the stuff in the basic textbooks is not always the whole truth either. Here goes, in no particular order: 1.Switches, beside # of ports, and managed/unmanaged, what matters for performance? 2. I've built but not yet tried some of the JS grounding adaptors, but also have a few metal-cased switches that have grounding screws. Should I connect their grounds as well? Should I do this for every wallwart powered network device in the whole network? 3. I have an ASUS AC88U router with a built-in 8 port switch- will it matter whether I use all 8 ports, feeding other switches as necessary, or should I offload the switching functions from the router as much as possible? Is it good/bad/neutral to have data/music flow through mutiple switches, vs a more direct path? 4. Ethernet cables: Is anything above CAT6 enough? Shielded vs. unshielded? Proximity to other cables - AC, e.g.? 5. Will LPS's work better than SMPS, for all of the networking hardware? That's it for now. Thanks in advance for your replies. Mark
  18. Hi, I am looking to learn more about how Rossini owners are serving files to their dacs. I am mostly interested in Roon setups. Do you have roon core and file server separated? If so, where are the files stored (network and server configuration)? If not, what are you using for core and server? Are you utilizing Rossini's ethernet input or usb with attached storage? Any other relevant information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Udi
  19. I digitized my music library many years ago and have invested a ton of time and cash to this hobby. But all these years later I find myself at wits' end to find a music library solution that fulfills the promise of digital music. There doesn't seem to be a viable option that lets me: easily store, add and manage music files (including rating songs, editing metadata and creating playlists) integrate my library with a streaming service so that as I add new streaming music it can be integrated with existing library (ratings, metadata, playlists) easily playback my integrated library. I've used Roon for a couple of years - but the metadata/ratings/playlist library management capability is just not there to integrate my library with Tidal. Right now I'm back to where I was several years ago, using iTunes/Apple Music on a Mac mini as the source, managing (integrating) the library remotely from a MacBook Pro and feeding it to a mid-fi system that includes an Arcam A38 integrated, irDAC, Sonore microRendu and KEF LS50 standmounts. This option has forced a compromise in both sound quality and playback (the iOS Remote app is just terrible). So much here on CA is focused on gear and SQ, but I've never read much about library management. Playing an album at a time is fine, but shouldn't we be able to take advantage of database capabilities to easily rate, sort and group music from two sources? I'd be very curious to hear what others are doing...
  20. I've just completed the process of putting together a dedicated machine to run Roon + HQPlayer. I'm upsampling everything to DSD 512 (which I feed into a T+A DAC 8 DSD). The OS is W10 (Enterprise) and I've already removed a lot of applications which I will not be using (like One Drive, Skype et al). In this context, and while I'm in awe with the SQ, I would like to get the last drop of performance and Fidelizer or Audiophile Optimizer seem to be the most widely used options. Which one do you think will work best with W10? Thanks!
  21. I have three locations where I want music available and where the “ultimate” Audio quality is not all that important. In addition the ability to voice control music is of great interest. Voice assistant to other things such as alarms, weather, etc is also important. To that end I have removed the three amazon echo devices and put Apple HomePods in the same places: Office, Master Bedroom, and family room. Note that I am getting more and more concerned about what Amazon and Google do with information gathered by my using their devices. (I am also worried about Kindle but that is another discussion). I got the “space gray” ones as they seem to fade into the environment better. The family room space is at corner of a 20x13 room that is open to the eating area and the kitchen. The bedroom is a much smaller space. And the office is a MESS so I did not take a picture of that!! Setup is “just like” the AirPods. Operation is pretty normal If you are used to Siri and Apple devices. There are folks that have written a lot about the setup and operation. Check out the coverage over at http://imore.com I have the three devices in place and I have 14 days of the normal Apple bring them back for any reason warranty. So this will be a lot of testing and listening over a very short time frame. First Notes: The space that the family room HomePod has to “feed” is just too big for the current location. While the voice assistant can hear me just fine from the kitchen it is too far away for a “good” listening experience. I am going to have to find a different location for testing at least. In the bedroom and the office there are no issues of that sort. I have been able to do some basic listening of a few tracks and conduct some initial testing of Siri. The Amazon Echo seems to have some advantages in the voice assistant things it can do over Siri. That will not be a primary part of what I am talking about but it is important to the overall experience. The overall initial impressions are very favorable (comfortable). I will be setting up Roon to talk to them shortly... 1774A41B-64A4-42CE-9325-2099DC7C302B.MOV
  22. I often get asked how to setup our sonicTransporter with Roon Server and a microRendu or ultraRendu as a Roon Ready player. I made a quick youtube video on how to get this done. https://goo.gl/BHN1Jb
  23. extracampine

    My journey to music management app nirvana

    This is a brief blog outlining my journey through various audio management & playback apps which took me to where I am today. 
 Dial the clock back to around 1997. I had gotten into minidisc as a way of making my own compilations and recordings of music - a definite step up from cassette. Also in the mix were CD-Rs which would allow music to be burnt to a CD and played in a regular CD player. Though as time went on, the step of copying the music to some form of physical media became increasingly redundant; the advent of the iPod a few years later in 2001 further accelerated this trend. 
 I began with keeping my "digital" music collection in a folder on my PC (at the time, probably a 486 or equivalent). Downloading was of individual tracks due to low connection speeds. As my collection expanded, full albums were placed into individual folders within Windows. As it grew further, the root folder was divided into genres and the album folders placed within those. As I was keen on being able to browse via album art, I set the folders to be displayed in "thumbnail" mode, which allowed an image (called folder.jpg) to be superimposed on the folder icon. I spent some time acquiring the front covers of the albums, renaming to folder.jpg and placing them within the individual folders. If a folder had a few albums in it, then up to 4 album covers could be displayed on the thumbnail icon. Eventually it looked something like this: 
 At this time I was using Winamp to play the music. As can be seen in the screenshot above, it allowed for a small unobtrusive player to be situated somewhere on the screen. Winamp could also read and display some of the basic file metadata such as artist and song title. At this time I also used the "visualisation" feature that a lot of these players had - graphics that moved in time with the music. Bit of a gimmick, looking back 
 Around this time I also experimented with Windows Media Player. This was the next step up, as it improved on folder structure-based browsing by using file metadata to arrange and display the music. You could then browse by artist, album, genre and year. Album art was shown without the folder icon in the background, and if there were a number of albums by a particular artist, it would show a "stack" effect which was quite nice. I don't have any screenshots of my own of this, though it looked something like this: 
 Always on the lookout for improvements, I think around 2006 I discovered Mediamonkey. This was a more versatile app and allowed for user customisation. What was great was that instead of just growing by artist, album and genre, you could define your own criteria and be able to browse via these criteria in the menu tree. As well as the above, I set it to be able to browse by "compilations by album" and "compilations by genre". As a snapshot, my setup around this time looked like this: 
 Eventually, two other useful features came along. The first was "coverflow" type browsing as popularised by Apple. This was meant to emulate the act of flicking through CDs/the physical media. I found this more of a novelty rather than anything else, as I preferred the "grid view" which allowed a more organised and higher-level look. The second feature was the ability to display a second image relating to the album in a sub-window. For example, the rear album art could be displayed alongside the front album art - the following screenshot shows these two features: 
 The problem with this particular setup was that the rear album art image was quite small - unless you resized the window, in which case it encroached on the browsing tree and made the main window too small. However it was a nice addition, though required quite a lot of extra work to make sure that all the albums had a rear album art image in their folder. The customisability of the browser tree allowed for some other useful features - for example, showing the number of items within each folder or sub-folder. 
 I was happy with Mediamonkey for a few years, though soon something better came along: JRiver Media Player. This just seemed to be a slicker and more polished product than Mediamonkey. It was similarly customisable and had a very helpful user forum with good input from the development team. This forum was necessary, as modifying the tree required the understanding of the particular code that it used, which (to my mind) was not particularly intuitive! It also seemed to be in active development with regular updates. I was able to customise the tree further, e.g. to browse via decade before drilling down to year, along with a range of other customisations over time. It also had the "stacked" album view that I enjoyed in Windows Media Player. Here is a screenshot of my JRiver setup in October 2010 (ignore the albums themselves, as I was having an issue with the code at the time and the screenshot was to show an error): 
 Here is another screenshot, showing the individual album view: 
 However my quest to improve the album art aspect of things continued. I tried a range of media management apps including MusicBee, iTunes, Album Player and many more. Eventually I settled on FooBar2000. This took customisation to the next level, and finally (with a great deal of effort and input from the helpful user forums) I was able to customise it to show what I wanted - including the front and rear album art. It looked like this: 
 To me, this made for a much more realistic browsing experience. Extra features which I added to the app included a detailed waveform seekbar (even the colour of the progress bar was customisable), having the front album art show in a jewel case, a number of information panes (including artist info, news & reviews, comments and other images in the folder), a customised information panel at the bottom (showing information including bit rate, bit depth and sample rate) and having the rating show after each file in the tree. A number of these addons required the installation of special modules - Foobar2000 is quite a modular app. 
 Foobar2000 was my music manager and player for a number of years. As always, I remained on the lookout for any new and interesting alternatives. Foobar2000 was great, and I liked the amount of detail you could get on a single screen (i.e. as per the screenshot above), though it looked a bit "computery". In 2006 the company Sooloos came on the scene; they offered a very slick and elegant bespoke media browsing experience, with great integration of a range of metadata (imported from the AMG service) - though tied in with hardware and with a price to match. In 2008, Sooloos was purchased by Meridian, an AV manufacturing & distribution company founded in 1977 and based in England and the product became (and remains) Meridian Sooloos. In 2015 however, some members of the original Sooloos team formed an agreement with Meridian to start their own new enterprise: Roon Labs. Further details are provided in a blog entry by Enno Vandermeer, founder/CEO of Roon Labs: 
 Roon took all the things that were great about Sooloos and released it as a standalone software app that could be installed onto any PC or Mac. When it was released in May 2015 I knew that it was the app for me. The interface and paradigm was completely different to all the previous media managers (apart from Sooloos). It presented your music collection in a much more visually appealing way - in part due to the ability to run it via a touchscreen. It also (like Sooloos) drew on online sources to recognise your media and pull the appropriate metadata. Roon also has a very active user base with excellent input from the developers onto the forums - and has undergone a number of updates since the initial release, now up to version 1.3. There is also a strong focus on sound quality and compatibility with various devices. There are still a number of features that I would like included (in particular relating to its management of album art) - though there is a new version (perhaps version 2.0) in the pipeline with some big changes in store, apparently. Hopefully I have found my media management endgame. 

  24. I am finding my system for managing and playing music too complicated. I have my library on an external drive connected to a Mac mini so that I can manage the music using iTunes - playlists, ratings etc. But I play the music on Roon. The Mac is connected to a microRendu then to an Arcam iRDAC/A38 Amp and out to KEF LS50s. It seems to me that thus far Roon is not the best place to be doing the management. I’d like a solution like a NAS or Rock or something else that connects directly to my DAC/Amp but still lets me work with my files easily (like iTunes). Any ideas?