A better sound from ROON

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:

I don’t claim to have supernatural aural powers, but to me, Audirvana Plus 2.x definitely sounds better than Roon. For me, a lot of the difference has to with A+'s capabilities in the area of upsampling and adjustable filter parameters.

I hasten to add, though, that Roon is still a very new product, and I don’t believe the Roon team consider themselves done with optimizing SQ. (No special knowledge on my part, but these guys seem intent on making Roon a best-in-class product.)

So I wouldn’t give up on Roon just yet.

Juri - In your description of your setup, it sounds like your “audio PC” is the one that’s actually connected to your audio systems (and I’m assuming through USB). If so, I suspect your problem is consistent with that I believe I’m observing… that the SQ issue is often with the “end point”. Notice there are lot’s of Meridan users that are happy with Roon. And I suspect that’s not coincidence, as they are likely using Meridan endpoints vs. a Roon Mac or PC.

My current digital music distribution system has a mall ARM based Archlinux OS end point connected to my hifi (to my DAC actually). It sounds spectacular. And I’ll be stunned if the RoonServer NUC pc I’m setting up now winds up sounding as good. But as Roon continues working with other vendors AND finishes their RoonSpeaker spec I’ll wager we’ll all see new end points available soon. Endpoints that are capable of delivering music as as good as most audiophiles could ask for. For that very reason, I see a Aurelic Aries purchase in my near future… :wink:

I think therein lies the problem. I’m not sure the Roon guys would put their hands on their hearts and say that upsampling and filtering is their area of expertise. They must have learned a lot during their time with Meridian, but I’m not convinced they’d be comfortable saying they now know everything there is to know about this particular area (feel free to contradict this, chaps).

What they do know about is how to put together easily one of the best GUIs for music out there. So long as they can deliver bit perfect data to whatever endpoint I choose to run that ticks all my boxes. I can then choose what upsampling and filters that endpoint employs to get the sound that I want. The emphasis here is on the word “I”. My choice, no one elses.

Comparing Roon to other players performing upsampling and other DSP is an apples to oranges comparison.

I don’t get the impression that the Roon team is going to venture into developing their own DSP & upsampling algorithms. I intend to use Roon for its unique and powerful UI and hope that it will soon be possible to send audio from Roon to HQPlayer for rendering. I already do that with Roon/foobar, but HQPlayer sounds superior to my ears.

Is anyone here saying that they prefer the sound of another player even when no DSP is being used?

I think you hit the nail on the head Keith; to me Roon sounds as good as the other players when no upsampling or special filtering is used (or at least close enough that I would always choose Roon because of the more attractive UI).

If you do have a high-end system and work with the upsampling and filtering capabilities offered by an Audirvana or an HQ Player so as to fine tune them to get the best result for your system, they do sound better. But that is also why the Roon team is working toward an HQ Player integration. That won’t be for everyone because the degree to which you can finetune HQP also means too much work for many users, but for the perfectionist it will truly offer the best of both worlds when integrated with Roon.

My MS200 is connected to the network. Roon finds it, and then digitally into my Meridian G61R processor. You can connect the MS200 analog or digital into any brand Hi Fi as far as I know. You may need a cable adapter.
The sound is the quality you would expect from Meridian with upsampling and apodising of 44/kHz material.
A very neat high quality solution for me. Chris :grinning:

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If you want a great Boombox, get a Meridian F/M80 and an MS200 and your in sonic heaven. Stop analysing the sound (That way madness lies) and just play the music you love. Chris :wink: