Auralic Aries G2.1 with Roon or LightningDS?

Hi folks, I’m new here so please forgive me if this topic has already been covered or is common knowledge.

I have new Buchardt A700’s active tower speakers connected via WiSA hub with digital sources (Tidal Masters and local FLACs) streamed through either LightningDS (the Auralic platform) or Roon (via Nucleas Plus Core) with my new Auralic Aries G2.1. I’m loving the combination of A700’s and the Aries G2.1

Roon vs LightningDS streaming sound VERY different to my (middle aged!) ears. Not necessarily better / worse, just different. LightningDS sounds brighter and clearer on many tracks. Roon is a little more balanced and warmer.

Has anyone experimented with the two platforms? Keen to learn about others experiences with the two platforms and whether you have a preference.

Many thanks


Hi Matt- Interesting. I use both as well and can’t hear any difference. Mostly I use Roon/Nucleus + when grouping multiple endpoints in a group as the processing power of the Nucleus is much faster than the Aries. For a single zone I prefer the now playing/queue screen of LDS.

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I did experiment with what now feels like ages ago. My experience then was as you describe now. For me, LightningDS felt a bit harsh compared to Roon (that said it didn’t sound at all bad). I’ve then talked to several people, also IRL, that stated that to them LightningDS was superior. Seems like a matter of personal taste.

A side note on a similar but different topic: I am demoing a DAC/streamer this week that I thought I was going to buy. Some people will probably prefer this DAC/Streamer over my Aries G2 + Chord M-scaler & Chord Dave. It has slightly more body and bass foundation. It is more forgiving on tracks mixed for “lesser speakers/ headphones/Bluetooth” and at first listen maybe more fun. But it’s also a bit blurred, has less focus and definition.

I’m always listening for the more balanced sound, and nuances can be very small but significant. Roon was superior then. Have not tested this versus Lightning DS in a while, it’s probably time to do so again. I like to challenge my Roon subscription every year. But since 1.8 looks so stunning I will probably stay no matter what :sweat_smile:

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I have the exact same experience. The Roon sounds more relaxed and correct, where the Lightning DS ove4 Auralic Aries and Vega G2 may present the sound more detailed, but also lifted a bit in the high midrange. I prefer the sound by Roon.

Fascinating! Thanks for all your replies. It seems for most types of music for me I prefer Roon (can’t wait to get 1.8!) but L-DS has the edge on baroque style music recorded at high fidelity - the clarity is stunning - though one can feel quite fatigued if listening over many hours. The L-DS interface isn’t bad but Roon’s is just on another level with 1.8 coming down the pipe it is set to get even better. At the end of the day it is nice to have the choice :blush:.

I have Vega g2.1. I can’t hear any difference between roon and LDS. Roon is far better in terms of user experience.


I have a similar experience using my Aries G1 with Roon on my i7 PC vs (not LDS but) MinimServer on a NAS and BubbleUPnP. The Roon feed seems notably mellower – better to my ears, in my room, with my system. I’m at a loss as to why this should be.

Hello, sorry I’m a newcomer and lost.

I’ve bought an aries G2.1 with a 4 To SSD inside which I’ll use both for streaming and my music on an SSD.

I’d like to be able to compare Roon and LightningDS both as streamers AND players.

Could anyone let me know which architecture I should use ? I know : an IPAD but where it becomes a nightmare is where should I put my music (legally download CD’s, DSD, rip of my own CD’s) ?

Thanx for your kind help and sorry for my frenglish. Take care. Best

Phillipe - It is an interesting question. The best place to store music for Roon is on a drive attached to the Roon Core. The best place to store music for Lightning DS is on the internal drive of the Aries G2.1.

If you have a network-attached drive, that should work for both systems. If the drive attached to the Roon Core is shared on your network, that also should work for both Roon and LDS.

As I understand it, LDS caches the entire track before playing, which Roon caches ahead, but not the entire track. So a fast connection may be more important to Roon than to LDS.


Mike, or any1 else,

I have a NUC on which Roon Rock Server is installed. My music library, however, is hosted by a rapsberry pi4 (linux) with two external usb-drives where my music is stored (close to 6 TB).
I am using a pi so I can backup my music during the night using the rsync command (if you’re familiar with that).
Do you know: if I connect my usb-drives to the NUC, 1) is there a way to make a daily incremental backup to a TrueNas or Synology drive and 2) if the music is accessibly by other systems through a samba or NFS share?

And to answer the possible question: I prefer to play my music from a source that is very close to the Roon core system (50cm cable only) rather than playing it from my Sinology which travels 30 meters.

Agreed, though I do miss the ‘folder view’ option in Roon.
I have a pretty organized music structure. I use SongKong to rename the albums/songs and group them by artist.
When you’re playing an artist album, it’s all good. When you’re playing a folder that is not an album, like f.e. Radio10 top4000 (Netherlands), then Roon tries to connect each song to an album which I understand from Roon’s philosophy but I’d like to play songs while browsing through this one specific directory. I do know you can sort on storage location but it’s still not ideal, in my opinion of course.

I do this to my qnap every night using its backup system. Roon will create smb mounts for any drives. You should be able to add those as a storage space and then be able to sync the contents to the Nas.

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Though I here no difference I rather prefer Roon.

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