A better sound from ROON

I heard the Meridian system on TAVES last year. I was expecting to be wowed but I wasn’t. I heard other much less expensive systems that delivered a better musical result. It’s all subjective and comes down to the personal taste…your sonic heaven might not be for everyone. Also, any hobby is a process of searching, researching and improving. Once you “stop analyzing the sound” you Hi-FI journey ends.

Whatever system you get, hopefully you will get to the point where you just forget about it (like I have) and enjoy the music. Enjoy :smile:


Yes, I actually prefer the following:

MinimServer on QNAP -> JPlayStreamer (control PC) -> JPlay (Audio PC)

There is no upsampling or DSP of any kind (as far as I know) except of the flac->wav transcoding performed by MinimServer

I completely agree with this. And with reference to @dpstjp’s comments, besides going (what I imagine to be) the HQP route, there’s also the possibility of licensing upsampling/filtering technology from a third party, like, for example, iZotope or (ahem) Meridian.

I certainly get the appeal of a Meridian endpoint for some Roon users, or an Aries or Aurender for others; however, I suspect that one of the reasons the Roon folks chose to separate themselves from Meridian was so that the software part of the puzzle could be independent of any particular hardware … for users who like to roll their own, as it were. Additionally, Roon’s not being tied to any particular hardware opens the door for new kinds of endpoints, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see some of those before too long.

Hard for me to say, since I’ve devoted a fair amount of time to customizing my upsampling and filtering preferences in Audirvana (and I would more or less gladly repeat the process for HQP, if it comes to that). With my DAC (a Mytek), I can turn upsampling on or off. I normally have it off when I’m listening via A+ (since I’m doing that in software); nowadays, when I’m listening via Roon, I turn hardware upsampling on. It doesn’t sound quite as good as my laboriously tweaked software upsampling/filtering, but to me, especially for RedBook, hardware upsampling is an improvement over no upsampling at all.

Is anyone saying that to enjoy the benefits of Roon’s UX I should have to forgo software upsampling/filtering capabilities? HQPlayer’s developer, Jussi Laako, makes a very compelling case for doing upsampling and filtering in software rather than in the DAC.

I don’t want Roon to license from anyone (other than decent metadata). OK possibly MQA but maybe even that’s not necessary. I want them to deliver bit perfect to whatever endpoint I choose and THEY can decide what to license. If I disagree I can choose a different endpoint. Others can do what they please. Roon needs to be a big church, not Westboro Baptist.

I think that the products like Roon should be self sufficient. Ideally, one should be able to install the software on a PC/Mac connected to a decent DAC, set a couple of parameters and start enjoying it. I don’t know if it should be licenced technology like iZotope or a home brewed filters but it should sound right or at least to be tweakable within the software itself. I don’t buy the idea that Roon must deliver a bit perfect data and then it’s up to the user to decide how to turn it into good sound.

Suppose Roon added upsampling/filtering capabilities and you could easily turn them off, or never turn them on. Would that be okay? (That’s the way Audirvana and a lot of other “audiophile-grade” playback software works, when it has these capabilities you don’t want.) If not, could you explain your reasoning? I’m just not understanding what’s so bad about having the upsampling/filtering capabilities available in software for users who aren’t so focused on proprietary hardware endpoints.

I’m assuming you think the partnership with HQP is acceptable (given that no one knows exactly how it’s going to manifest)? I can certainly live with that, but I’d think that for a lot of users, HQP is pretty durned complex to set up. I’m sure the Roon team, with its stellar UI expertise, could make upsampling/filtering a lot easier — that’s why I raised this as a possibility.

And if we’re talking about a setup where it’s computer -> DAC -> pre-amp/amp -> speakers, how would the user even do that? Something like Dirac Live? I think Dirac’s pretty amazing, but again, it’s not the simplest thing in the world to set up (and it’s doing room correction rather than straight-up upsampling/filtering).

Mine does sound great straight from Roon on my boombox !!!

I really don’t understand your issue myself. I’d love it if Roon could license iZotope. It’s easy to set up as only bit perfect, if you want. From my POV A+ is the best SQ player in my setup and I believe it’s because it’s using iZotope instead of Apple core audio. I’ve also tried setting up HQP but couldn’t get past the interface and really how to set it up correctly.

Well, as far as I remember Devialet performs PCM based DSP in all it’s products. Also, don’t forget that it’s the Devialet software that runs on your NUC and takes care of transmitting data into your amp. So it’s not just “straight from Roon”

HQP has one of the most confronting interfaces I’ve ever experienced. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Roon team give it a decent front end. The Vega upsamples everything in order to use shallower filtering (less pre-ringing etc.) so I don’t really understand why software upsampling and filtering prior to the Vega makes a difference. But it does. Being able to stream Redbook Tidal from Roon using an HQP engine in RoonServer into Aries/Vega will be a thing of beauty.

really? what do you base that conclusion on?

Roon sounds good, but A+ does have better SQ… in my system at least it has a fuller sound and the bass seems to have a little more punch to it… with that said Roon is still my number 1 player as you can’t beat the beauty of it and how it and the ipad remote work and its not like A+ is miles ahead, but it does have an edge. IMO.

I wonder if the good folks at Roon Labs have tested Roon vs A+ on their reference system. Would be interesting to hear their comments.

HQPlayer’s interface is very much outside the norm, but I no longer find it to be difficult to work with.

Every player has a library management system that has its pros and cons but is more or less workable. HQPlayer has one too, but damned if I could make heads or tails of it. So I bypassed that completely once I discovered that I could drag and drop (songs, albums, artists, or any grouping of files) from JRiver to HQPlayer. I only use HQP to play back music I’ve selected with JRiver, which is an excellent (though traditional, and without any of the capabilities of Roon) library manager.

As for HQPlayer’s audio configuration, there is a “Settings” control panel with some advanced options, but largely the defaults there are acceptable. All that remains beyond that is 4 drop down lists on the main screen. The last two of those are not particularly technical - to select output sample rate and whether the output should be PCM or DSD. That leaves the first two drop down lists, which set the algorithms for upsampling. The first of these I’ve set to “poly-sync” which is recommended if your server has the processing power for it. The selection for the second algorithmic drop-down is a matter of taste.

And that’s it. It’s certainly a long way from just pressing play, but it’s not nearly as daunting as I first thought. Plus, you only have to configure it once. I can understand that many people wouldn’t want to bother. The reason I do is because it sounds significantly better than anything else I’ve tried.

I use HQPlayer as a premium audio renderer. I use Roon for its premium front-end. Their respective developers have focused their energies on these areas of expertise with great success. Roon/HQPlayer is the solution I’m looking forward to.

[quote=“k6davis, post:57, topic:3621”]
I use HQPlayer as a premium audio renderer. I use Roon for its premium front-end. Their respective developers have focused their energies on these areas of expertise with great success.
[/quote]You’re completely overlooking the fact that the Roon team has had many, many years of hands on experience developing and deploying an audio renderer for Meridian and added to that the benefit of working directly with Meridian engineers throughout that time. I suspect their insight is somewhat more developed than most.

Well, you’re right about that. I have no experience with the Meridian ecosystem.

My perception has been that the initial intent of Roon was to provide a unique and powerful UX and “bit-perfect” audio to your DAC or endpoint. I get better results from well done DSD upsampling than I do with any bit-perfect player. So much so, that I now own a premium DAC that only plays DSD content.

The Roon team has already begun working on integration with HQPlayer, which I know provides stellar DSP results. If they also decide to incorporate DSP directly into Roon, I’ll happily try that as well with open ears.

Well, in my short time with HQPlayer, the settings that worked best for Redbook audio were abysmal for High Resolution files and I had to keep switching back and forth. In the end, not worth the small increase in audio fidelity for me.

As far as I know there was never an official announcement of such. Just a “we are in discussion” and “looking into it”. Did I miss an announcement?