AudioPhile Optimizer and Roon

For those looking to tweak their intel Roon server for optimal sound, running windows server 2012 with AudioPhile Optimizer is something that I would definitely say is worth considering, especially now it has shell support for Roon!

Windows server has three modes it can run in:

  • GUI
  • Minimal Server
  • Core

Roon will run in both GUI and Minimal Server mode, not under Core.

I run Roon under Minimal Server mode which runs a command prompt as the standard shell.
@AudioPhil was kind enough (literally overnight) to add Roon as a shell option for AO.
This makes it super easy to use the AudioPhile Optimizer Service Tool to set minimal server with Roon as the shell.

Pronto: minimal OS overhead and Roon started each time automatically at boot, thus also supporting Remote Desktop.

Great work from AudioPhil, creating a very nice audiophile base for Roon!

For those already using AO: download the latest: 1.31 beta 12.
For those on intel looking for maximizing their setup I would suggest it is something to consider.

From my perspective, another nice step towards the perfect Roon setup.


I may go back to Server 2012 then. The best SQ I ever had was two boxes running JRiver, JPlay and AudioPhil’s Optimizer. But the Roon interface is soooo good I can’t do without it! So I went to a Windows 8.1, one box solution. Maybe someday Roon will support JPlay and we can go back to a two box solution. Or maybe HQPlayer will be the SQ answer. We’ll see.


Doesn’t Roon already work with JPlay via ASIO?

I didn’t think so. @danny did I miss this feature?

Roon now supports Asio, although it doesnt yet work with jriver, but jplay i think someone reported working.
I use asio to my dddac and works great.
The asio roon release: Roon 1.0 (Build 21) Released!

Thanks @rovinggecko! Time to get back to the two box solution - even though in my environment it is occasionally unstable, it sounds too good to not do.


Many JPLAYers are running Roon through JPLAY’s ASIO driver. It works fine.

I was honored and fortunate to be asked by AudioPhil to be a part of the closed group of beta testers for what at the time would be his latest AudiophileOptimizer AO 2.20 beta 5, which is now a reality for those who have been waiting and I guess some of whom have been chomping at the bit for this remarkable update for the already universally accepted as the best software for computer audio.
There were several iterations of AudiophileOptimizer 2.20 beta 5, as the releases evolved and the tests and reporting kept improving by identifying few bugs and suggested tweaks to Phil, the excitement grew for the day when the computer audio enthusiasts will be able to experience what the testers were enjoying with outstanding sound quality and new unheard of features in Microsoft Windows Server core mode.
I will end my pre-amble and report on the unbelievable features and greatly improved sound quality.
From the early onset, I realized that Phil had placed his magical fingers on the keyboard and coded yet another improvement in SQ.
All my tests and evaluation were done on a dedicated Audio-PC running Windows Server 2016 Core mode, the new AudiophileOptimizer 2.20 beta 5 also works and improves sound quality for Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2 (GUI and Core) Windows Server 2016 (GUI and Core)
As the previews were sent to the team, there was always an improvement is SQ, more open, better imaging, wider, deeper soundstage, bass improvement over the previous general releases to the AudiophileOptimizer community.
When Phil sent a screen capture of the Control Panel in Windows Server 2016 core, that was the icing on the operating system, I had to comment to him, “Phil is this WASAPI in core?”, he said yes, and not a word to anyone. I immediately imagined Roon finally on my audio-PC in full core mode.
Then he sent another preview with instructions on how to get to Device Manager in Windows 2016 core “devmgmt.msc” when Device Manager opened and I was able to expand all the devices, my immediate reaction was I can finally install troublesome drivers using the driver update in Device Manager, also I can finally see any and all device that may be showing “unknown” etc. and update the drivers.
In my estimation having the Control Panel and Device Manager in Windows Server Core, is definitely worth the price of admission to install and use AudiophileOptimizer 2.20 beta 5, best of all; the price of admission is “Gratis” for folks who are already purchased AO 2.10 or 2.20
How can any serious or non-serious computer audiophile let this new release pass them by. I don’t think they can and I don’t think they will.
Roon, HQPlayer and Tidal works flawlessly with this new release.
Roon will install and work without having to install Media Pack for Windows Server 2012, that is a big plus IMHO.
If you are running Windows O/S that is compatible with AudioPhil AudiophileOptimizer, download, install and enjoy. You will be glad you did, it will be music to your ears.

Hi Leon,

Was your DAC connected directly to your audio PC or were you using a network connected renderer like microRendu ?

In this review I was surprised to see that the reviewer was using a microRendu, but still found improvements from optimising with AO.

I say surprised, because in the comments section after this review of the SonicOrbitor SE Chris said:

I setup five different computers as Roon servers to send audio to the Sonicorbiter SE.

  1. Windows 8.1 noisy, non-tweaked (hardware or software) PC with 6TB spinning drives of local storage.
  1. Windows 2012 R2 server SOtM / AO server with highly tweaker hardware and software.
  2. OS X El Capitan MacBook Pro
  3. OS X El Capitan / Windows 10 (Boot Camp) MacBook Pro retina
  4. OS X El Capitan iMac 5K

I couldn’t hear a hint of difference between the sources when sending audio over Ethernet to the RoonReady Sonicorbiter SE. This combined with the fact I have no idea how the source could possibly effect the sound of the Ethernet endpoint in this situation, lead me to believe the source has no effect on sound quality.

Note: I completely respect the opinions of others who will try similar tests as more RoonReady endpoints become available. In addition, my conclusion here has absolutely nothing to do with locally attached server / DAC combinations not using audio over Ethernet.

How might processing in the Core affect SQ when using a network renderer ?

Hi Andy,
The DAC is connected to a MUTEC MC-3+ Smart Clock USB via a Pachanko AES/EBU cable.
Audio-PC =>Mutec via Pachanko USB then Mutec =>B.M.C. PureDAC MK2
A friend came by to listen and said the sound is “Heavenly”

Is there a simple way to do A/B comparisons between AO and ROCK (when ROCK is released)? I wonder if a dual-boot setup would be possible with those two?

SFAIK ROCK doesnt support dual booting. It takes over the whole drive on which it is installed. But there are many things I don’t know and we won’t know exactly what ROCK can and can’t do until we see it.

I’ve read the AO setup guide (maybe not the most recent one, though), and it seems like it would be plausible to go back and forth between a Windows 10 machine and a ROCK machine once (maybe twice) a day. The Windows 10 install would probably take the longest. It sounds like the ROCK install will not take much time at all.

That’s probably not frequent enough for a meaningful comparison, especially within the 14-day trial period for AO. Going from just Windows 10 (my current setup) to ROCK will be revealing, but only because I’ve been living with the Windows 10 setup for a while.

The best strategy, I think, will be to live with ROCK for a while and then try Windows 10 with AO. If I hear an improvement with ROCK, though, it will be tough to motivate myself to install Windows 10 again just to see if a $130 Windows “fix” will improve sound quality.

AO will allow HQPlayer to be used, so that might make it worth it. Has there been any consensus about whether Roon 1.3 (DSP) obviates the benefits of HQPlayer? I’ve never tried it.

The easiest would be to buy 2 OS drives, install ROCK on one and Windows with AO on the other and A/B them that way.

Brilliant. Thank you.

People prefer different filters in different systems for different reasons, and possibly at different times. My current favourite using DSD 512 upsampling is the poly-sinc-xtr-mp-2s filter in HQP which I understand makes similar choices as the closed-form filters. Others have referred to it as similar to the Chord sound. Roon doesn’t do that at the moment.

Are there any advantages in using this software on the Roonserver side when you for example stream via the network or wifi?

I don’t think so and would refer to Chris Connaker’s remarks quoted in my post upthread.