A better sound from ROON

Sonore is coming out with a new product called the Urendu with a USB connection and Ethernet and it will be a Roon Speaker. Apparently it will run Linux and no computer will be required. No info on when it will be released. There are no current plans to add Roon to the Rendu.


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For years, I’ve been upsampling all of my content to DSD - first with JRiver, and later also with foobar & HQPlayer. I like the sound of DSD upsampling so much that I now use a Lampizator DAC that only plays DSD. It’s fed by a dual WS2012 server setup with AO & jPlay so my audioPC can loaf in hibernate mode while my controlPC handles the UI and DSP heavy lifting. The sound quality is incredible.

Thanks to the posters on the forum, I’ve been able to figure out how to integrate Roon into my system. I haven’t ever listened to Roon directly. I use ASIO to send its datastream to foobar for upsampling, so I’m hearing the sound of foobar. Unfortunately, foobar is my least favorite sounding of the three players I have, but HQPlayer integration is not ready yet and I can’t get JRiver to work with Roon. The sound quality of HQPlayer is obviously superior to what I get from Roon/foobar.

So, I’m very much looking forward to the forthcoming integration of HQPlayer and Roon.

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Impossible to live without when first tried

Best Regards Mit freundlichen Grüssen KnockKnock

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Same here. Roon headless on a NUC to MS200 endpoint has got the same SQ as Sooloos which is a dedicated high end streaming machine.

It would be fair to say most of us love the Roon interface and what it has done for interaction with our music, it set now its appropriate to ask the developers what are their plans to improve sound quality as there seems to be a general consensus there are other stand alone solutions such as Audirvana that sound considerably better.

I became a lifetime member because I believe the guys will get there, but just as they did with interface and functionality updates it would be useful if the developers could tell us what the program is to improve the sound quality of the product.

Hmm… Roon subscription for $500 + MS200 for $1000 = $1500. That’s quite steep given that most of us already invested in hardware.

I totally agree. But it seems that many of the Roon users are overexcited about the UI features overlooking the SQ.

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“General consensus” seems to be slightly overstepping the mark, methinks. I’m all in favour of better sound but with Roon one has to factor in the disparity of user setups and end points (and ears, golden or not). Without proper insight and data it will be nigh on impossible for Roon Labs to implement any meaningful changes.

A lot of the SQ you enjoy is due to system architecture and operating system optimisations. I think its unlikely Roon would venture into those fields, which seem very well handled by specialist programs.

Integration with HQ Player is much anticipated, but may not deliver the SQ you have experienced.

What sort of changes do you think Roon could make to improve SQ ? What is Audirvana doing right ?

Edit: I am using AO in minimal server mode. There were reports of users running RoonServer in AO optimised 2012r2 core mode, but as set out in this thread, I havent been able to replicate that. The barrier is reloading wsemp.exe after getting into core mode. If you are able to do that then you might hear an improvement to SQ and it would certainly be of interest to others.

My audio PC is running win2012 with AO in core mode. My control PC is running win2012 with AO in minimal mode. I installed the RoonServer on a CAD optimized MacMini and installed ROON remote on my control PC. Believe me, I did all possible tweaks to make it sound good, but it just doesn’t sound good to me. it has an OK sound but not a WOW music reproduction. Something is missing in the playback implementation.

When you had RoonServer on the Mac Mini and Roon remote on the control PC were you using a private zone output from the control PC to Audio PC or a USB output from the Mac Mini direct to your Audiopphilleo 2 ?

As I understand your setup the different audio paths might look as follows:

QNAP NAS > Ethernet > Mac Mini (RoonServer) > Ethernet > Control PC > Ethernet > Audio PC > USB > Audiopphilleo 2 etc.

QNAP NAS > Ethernet > Mac Mini (RoonServer) > USB > Audiopphilleo 2

It might be worth trying the shorter direct path if you have not already done so. Audio path always goes through Roon core but need not go through a remote.

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Hi end audio sound has always been relatively expensive. Something you have to invest in. The thing with investment is, You get a return, in this case music enjoyment.
Roon is the best UI I know of and it will get better. More compatible end points will appear but the best ones will cost more. Audio grade components cost money. Research and development costs money.
So £500…00 RRP for an MS200 is great value in the Hi Fi world for years of musical enjoyment through whatever other components you have.
All IMHO Chris :chicken:

The thing is that I already have invested quite a lot into my system and it sounds superb when fed from a good playback engine. It’s ridiculous to start adding new hardware just to make a bad sounding software to sound better.

Yes, I have tried all possible configurations with pretty much same result. I’m approaching the end of my trial period soon and I can’t justify paying $500 for software that doesn’t sound right to me.

It’s not the software that sounds bad, it’s the software on your computer and the hardware issues there. (You can read plenty of expert articles as to why computers are poor at quality audio)
With a good endpoint, (MS200 in my case) isolating the computer and handling the audio correctly, Roon and its software sounds amazing. You also get upsampling and anodising into the package.
This proves that good hardware is the answer, of whatever manufacture. The quality will surpass any other solution offered on a computer.
Wether the further investment for a lifetime of great sound is worth it to anyone is, of course, a personal decision.

Have to say you seem to be in a pretty small minority with complaints about Roon SQ, so if its not for you then pass on and use something else. You seem to have spent a fair bit of time refining your system to make it sound the way you like, so keep it like that, not sure why you feel the need to disparage Roon because it does sound the same as what you already have.


Continuing the discussion from A better sound from ROON:

Hard not to agree it is a steep investment, but i was just comparing the current set up I have to my old one, which is Sooloos.
And although MS200 is an expensive kit of equipment (by the way you should be able to get a new one shipped from the UK at less than $800 all-in), that’s the only one I have so have to mention it for my SQ comparison.

My main point was that with a change of a very expensive core component of my system (Sooloos Control 15, which is worth around $7000) to a NUC running Roon, I have seen zero drop in SQ with a massive upgrade in UI and the pleasure factor. So to me Roon is actually a great sounding app as well as a cost effective solution. But I can’t really comment and did not intend to on SQ when streaming over USB as I have never tried that, yet accept that this may be a lot worse than in my set up.

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Hi @Chrislayeruk could I trouble you to give an indication of what Audio Path you’re using with the MS200 and your impressions of it as I’m looking at getting something similar



Mine just sit on my wired ethernet network. I have a Mac Mini running RoonServer and the music files are stored on a NAS in the cellar.

The MS200s feed a variety of Meridian DSP speakers. The main listening room has a galvanic LAN isolator, linear power supply and a stonking big pair of Meridian DSP6000. I’d say the sound is almost 4D and airier than a hyperbaric chamber. :wink:

Yes, indeed…there is a small minority of people who can hear and appreciate the nuances of an audiophile sound. It takes time, passion and patience to listen to and analyze the same tracks again and again trying to hear the subtle differences between different software and hardware elements in your setup. But once you get a taste of an audiophile sound (all subjective of course) you can’t go back to your boombox. Yes, I know many of us listen to cables, amps and wall sockets instead of music, but that’s what we call a hobby and we enjoy it!

Anyhow, I appreciate people responding and participating in a discussion. I’m sure that the Roon team will continue improving their wonderful product. It’s just too “raw” for my subjective taste. I’m also sure that their ideas will set standards for other competitors and we’ll have more Roon like products in the near future.

All IMO.

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My boombox you say, having spent the last 45 years assembling my system and getting it to its current level I hope it qualifies as better than a boombox. I have by the way tried all the other patient listening to various components but come to the conclusion that as few as possible and no cables at all is the best one if you can achieve it. All IMHO of course :wink: