€10k - best Roon “player”

Looks like only DSD256 according to their website, tried one and compared to my Holo Spring Level 3 I did not hear enough to interest me, the Holo Spring is very good.

That ‘review’ says DSD128 and no mention of MQA (not mentioned as a requirement, but are Naim in the ‘anti’ camp?).

I didn’t see the DSD limit, as I have no DSD tracks I don’t “see” the DSD specs when looking.
MQA - no idea. Again I don’t care so don’t see.

For a one box Roon solution he would need the Merging +Player.

You sure that DSD512 is really what you like/would like?
I mean, could it be that DSD512 is a format that allows your current equipment sound its best? Im not at all convinced that software upsampling and lots of ”cans” between Roon Core and Endpoint/DAC is best, rather the other way around actually.
(I am not familiar with your products or sound, so this is just speculating)
I do (often) prefer the sound of upsampling myself, more so on my cheap DACs but on the Audiobyte Black Dragon i’m kinda unsure if its better or merely different… Likewise on the Mojo…

My thoughts too. If you are spending this much on a DAC I would leave the upsampling to it. It also further simplifies your system. If you want to keep on tweaking however go for, just make sure you get regular checkups for Audio Nervosa and don’t stop enjoying the music.

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That was what I meant, I understand that all future developments will only be for the Nadac+Player.
I have corrected my original post.

I found one for you at much cheaper than $10K:


It checks all your boxes. And it sounds fantastic! I have one


Hi @Sloop_John_B,

Have a look here http://www.totaldac.com/D1-core-en.htm as a good starting point, and you can upgrade anytime along your way.

IMHO the most natural sounding DACs on the planet, and I’ve heard a lot.


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Those last 2 suggestions look very interesting.

Cary however does not seem to easy to procure in Europe?

Does Roon run on the total dac or is it just an endpoint? @NOA


the total dac is just a dac, unless you get the model with a network player built in. but that isn’t a powerful enough server for roon, it just functions as a controller. It’s a modified Cubox, so it’s just a RoonReady streamer.

Hi @Sloop_John_B,

@danny2 is right regarding the TotalDac. So it’s not really the one-box-solution you might look for. I run Roon server on a SonicTransporter.

However they will introduce a new Totaldac optimised Roon server/NAS module at the Munich high end show this May.

Although it’s lacking MQA for the time being these DACs are at least worth while to listen to. You should do it if you have the chance to, they offer a 14 days trial as well.


No I don’t want a server, just an endpoint. I have a dedicated PC for Roon server.

So I could upsample to 512 in Roon and send it via Ethernet to the totaldac?

It certainly is a contender.


The Total Dac doesn’t do multiple rate DSD. Just DSD 64 and up to 24/192.
The question is will you hear the difference if only upsampling only to DSD 64?
With this DAC I doubt it. My experience with really good DACs that aren’t ESS or other standard chip based ones is that you don’t hear much difference, even if you convert DSD to 24/176. It still sounds great.
Where are you located? The total dacs are probably good enough that they are worth an audition - even if you think you want to upsample to DSD 512. You may be able to find one close by. Take your Holo with you to compare.
BTW, the Bricasti DAC I mentioned earlier plays back PCM through a chip and has a totally separate path for DSD with no processing of any kind - it takes DSD straight to filtering and then to output - a totally “analog” path. I haven’t heard it, but it must sound really good playing back DSD.

I agree to Danny. In the TotalDac case it makes no sense to upsample to 512. Highest bit rates and formats are not a guarantee for good sound itself.

The R2R ladder concept of this dac is certainly a different approach. Audition it, there are much more games into play than just sample rates and highest resolution formats.

I assume you are in UK, so could do the 14 days trial if you find no unit nearby as TotalDac ships from France.


Every so slightly west of the UK. :ireland:


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The Holo Spring (level 3) DAC is really up there. I appreciate what you are trying to achieve, but I wonder if you’ll achieve the same audio quality elsewhere.

Another RoonReady network streaming possibility within your budget would be the exaSound PlayPoint + an exaSound DAC (caveat: I’m not sure if the PlayPoint II is RoonReady yet). Certainly, our in-house tester (not me!) was very impressed with the ESS Sabre implementation in one of the last exaSound DACs he listened to. The latest PlayPoint dual mono network streamer + DAC + headphone amp looks really interesting.


Am I correct in assuming that 64 DSD and above are not available on ROON/TIDAL and would have to be purchased at a significant cost from third-party providers such as acoustic sounds, HD tracks, etc.
If this is so I would have a hard time justifying the added cost of the higher resolution downloads when, in my view, the sound through Roon/Tidal augmented by MQA is so good.
Am I missing something?

Roon can do upsampling to dsd512 in the dsp settings given that you have enough processing power.

Yes, just in case it’s not totally clear to you, Roon can upsample to high PCM rates and up to DSD 512. Some users find upsampling sounds better on their system, others don’t. You just have to try it and see.
Many people would say that the upsampling doesn’t sound the same as a file recorded at those high rates and played back at those rates.