I thought I’d check in to see if I’m doing things correctly, even though my setup seems as simple as it gets.
Since I first installed Roon/HQP, much has happened to the underlying architecture. RAAT? Roon Bridge? What? All these configs I hear about that involve complex software and hardware chains to multiple endpoints? It got confusing somewhere along the line.
So, I have Roon Server running on a headless Mojo Mac Mini, feeding my stereo stack in the living room. I control via Roon Remote across WiFi on either a MacBook Pro or my iMac. It works pretty well. I don’t feed any other systems, endpoints, rooms, or DACs, nor do I want to. Just the single stereo stack.
Is my approach of Roon Remote -> Roon Server still the best, most simple solution, or should I be doing or installing something else for the best playback?
Define “best”. If your current setup satisfies you, then keep it as it is and enjoy your music.
How is the Mac Mini connected to the Stereo?
Where and on what device are the music files stored?
The Mini is connected Curious Cable USB out to a PS Audio LANRover USB Transporter (a paired device that transmits across ethernet), short Curious Cable USB in to a PS Audio Directstream DAC. The LANRover kicks, as it allows me to place the Mini farther away from the stack, and provides a noticeable cleanup of the USB signal.
Files are stored on a Mojo-modified 4TB FW800 external HDD. All files are CD-ripped AIFF or WAV, minimal DSD.
Thanks for any insight you can provide.
Definition of “Best?” Sound quality, obviously, but simplicity a close second. I’m still not getting the best SQ out of Roon/HQPlayer. If I want to do any seriously attentive listening, I switch over to PureMusic/iTunes, which, for reasons yet to be determined, beats the pants off of Roon/HQPlayer sound quality. The difference is immediately noticeable and quite apparent…
Which, I suppose, is one reason I’m asking if my simple config is still the best for my circumstances.
Hmm. One option, if I understand your setup correctly, to simplify would be to drop the Curious Cable/ LANRover setup and simplify down to a microRendu. So it would be ethernet out of the mac to the microRendu into the USB port of the PS Audio DAC.
Yep, that’s the direction I was thinking of.
I would also suggest the microRendu (ethernet input, USB output). It works extremely well with the Roon/HQPlayer combo.
My device is connected to the Eero router setup via Ethernet Over Power modules. Works well.
Interesting, thanks. I hadn’t been aware of the microRendu.
I see various ‘modes’ that can be used. Would it be easy to switch between Roon output, Roon/HQP output, and PureMusic/iTunes? I can’t quite figure out what it takes to set up the modes or switch between them.
Can you not go into the PSAudio direct over Ethernet now?
Nope. That requires the PS Audio Bridge II, which I don’t have. Other inputs include optical, I2S, USB, etc.
Ah I see - didn’t realise it was a separate thing…
Unless the USB isn’t a great input on the DAC (couldn’t tell you one way or the other) then the lanrover seems like a pretty good bet. There are other dd converters, mutec, Singxer, etc but why make it more complicated.
Modes on the rendu are changed via web gui. I’ve never heard one, but I can’t see that lanrover would be lower SQ.
I’ve tried both the LAN Rover and own a microRendu. When I could get the LAN Rover to gain connectivity it sounded good between my Bryston BDP-1 and DAC, but I had a few issues during tests and I sent it back during the beta testing period. The microRendu worked out of the box, and sounds great even with cheap iFi Power supply. The LAN Rover is a USB device to clean /regenerate USB signal (USB in>module>ethernet cable>module>USB out). The microRendu is an endpoint (ethernet in>module>USB out). The microRendu has similar technology to the Uptone Regen built in (both projects involved John Swenson).
Just bought in a microRendu to test for myself, have to say I need to eat my words about bits being bits as this thing sounds fabulous. Much better separation and more realistic just using the standard SMPS than a RPI-HiFi Berry with a linear PSU. When you put a linear PSU on it as well then it is a quite staggeringly good endpoint.
May even have to look at a better USB cable or a reclocker to test as well.
Bits are bits in situ, but once moving, they really do need to arrive intact, in-order and on-time for optimum performance. I’m very happy with my µRendu. The LANrover seems like it would provide more flexibility if the µR’s modes didn’t work with your player / streamer software, but overall the µR seems like a better, cleaner solution.
Hello Nick, which power supply did you pair up with the microRendu? I’ve been waiting for the Uptone LPS-1 to hit the market. Should be soon.
Hi Robert, just have one of the cheap Chinese ones from ebay at the moment. May try to get a Longdog Audio one a bit later.
A post was split to a new topic: microRendu vs. LANRover
Cannot fathom why you would invest in a micro Rendu or a LANRover when you have the ability to put the Bridge II in your DS. I have a DS with Bridge II that works flawlessly with RoonServer running on my NAS. I mean, really, why? You already own a phenomenal DAC that makes Roon very easy, and it’s not like it’s all that expensive, and it’s ridiculously easy to install yourself. I also own the LANRover that I use with my Select II DAC, and while it is pretty good, it is not as good a connection as straight Ethernet. I am looking at the micro Rendu to see if it would present any advantage over the Mac mini running Roon Bridge (the Select network renderer is not yet Roon compatible) connected to the Select trough LANRover.
But for my DS? Ethernet all the way
“Cannot fathom…” “I mean, really, why?” “…ridiculously easy…”
Because one learns as one goes, hopefully without getting verbally spanked in the process.
I’m looking into the Bridge II, but sometimes it’s a matter of budgetary restrictions. I’ll try it when I’m able, but for some people, $900 street, on top of everything else, is not always easy to come by, especially when no one can really convey whether Bridge II vs LANRover/USB yields a significant difference. Most people on the PS Audio forums suggest that they’re about the same.