Aurender & Roon, We Can't Be Friends? We can

Had a phone conversation with Aurender support today. Extremely helpful. I asked about whether or not Roon will ever make it to Aurender?

They said that with the new line that utilizes Intel instead of AMD, that they are working on a Roon Ready status for Aurender. It won’t be able to run as a Roon Core, but the current generation, will hopefully at some point, become Roon Ready in the same way that so many other devices are Roon Ready.

They still feel that Conductor will sound better because it’s purpose built precisely for the Aurender hardware, but it does seem that Roon will become a viable option on the Aurender platform.

It won’t work on the older AMD centric Aurender lines, only on the latest releases.

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This may still take a very long time!

As a previous Aurender user, I was disappointed about Aurender‘s approach to run a totally closed system. Hopefully they‘ve changed their minds!

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Agreed.
I was an Aurender user until I discovered Roon.
Was bitterly disappointed that Aurender at the time would not even entertain the possibility of being Roon Ready.
Hopefully this has changed as they do make very nice gear.

However now a firm Antipodes user who have been in the Roon family since day one so I’m not likely to change back but still the more options the better.

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Aurender was hampered by two things. Their dogma. And their CPU.

The AMD processor was not powerful enough to be Roon Ready. And they maintain that Conductor sounds better than Roon because of that low power.

They still believe Conductor sounds better, but now the new Intel is more powerful than the AMD, and uses even less power to run. So now they can have both worlds. Conductor for critical listening, and Roon Ready for those that prefer such things.

The market has forced Roon upon them. Being perhaps the only significant audio company to not play nice with Roon is not a great place to be.

How long it will take to qualify as Roon Ready, I’m not sure, but Aurender is working on it. And unlike before, they have the processor to do it.

I used very expensive Aurender gear to audition headphones at my local dealer. The headphones sounded just the same when I got them home, driven by an Arcam headphone amp and fed by Ropieee on Pi3 with IQAudio DAC. Probably a fifth to a tenth the cost. Headphones were Focal Clears.

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@Anthony_B

But at least in the future you could audition the Aurender with Roon before preferring the Arcam :vulcan_salute:

Right, that was my feeling, too! The Aurender gear is incredibly nice and well built. But sonically, there was not so much of a difference when running Roon in combination with a Raspberry Pi 4. For the N100H I had at that time, the 3 K Euro certainly didn’t translate into sonic superiority! Maybe the higher tier Aurenders easily beat a Mac Mini/Raspberry Pi combo? But we‘re talking here about substantial money for an isolated system (perhaps not in the future).

My N100H arrives in a few hours. I’ll put it to the test to see how it compares to my Roon/ZenStream/iFi Elite PS setup. Have 30 days to decide.

So far my Marantz SACD 30n playing physical CD’s and SACD’s has easily bested Roon for sound quality.

I‘m sorry! I didn’t want to ruin your anticipation!!! Enjoy the Aurender to the fullest! It’s nonetheless a very nice piece of equipment!

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Believe me, no one is more skeptical of Aurender than me. But why not give it a try at home for a month?

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Any feedback?

@Traian_Boldea

It arrived on Friday. I did a quick comparison with zero break in on the Aurender.

My Marantz SACD 30n remains the champ when playing physical CDs and SACDs compared to the file or streaming abilities of the Aurender, ZenStream, or Mac Mini Roon/ HQPlayer setup.

The Marantz has some special disc playing mojo.

The Aurender sounded better with Tidal than (second place) the ZenStream, or (third) Roon on the Mac Mini.

And the Aurender sounds better playing the same local files than Roon.

All sound quite good. It’s only when comparing that the differences appear. It’s like a 10% swing one way or the other, not night and day.

But that was with no break in. Aurender advised 150 hours which will complete in a few days. I’ll return to evaluating then.

Conductor is “ok” and “adequate”. It’s very stable, sounds great, but is a bit clunky in terms of navigation.

Roon is in a different class of library management software. But of all the endless software I’ve tried, I’d put Conductor in second place behind Roon, so it’s not too terrible.

Sound quality is my priority. Once I start extended listening with the Aurender, and if the early results hold true, I will shift my server life over to Aurender.

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@DancingSea

Thanks for taking the time to write.
Somehow I’m not surprised. Marantz SACD, Aurender, Zen, Mac.
One day I think I’ll be in your shoes and at that point I’ll see the choices. It is dependent on system to system and on person to person what upgrades we choose over other upgrades.
Looking forward to final thoughts.

The Conductor app is perfectly adequate for file serving duties I found.
Playback was flawless with it.
But its the rich bios and the seamless multi endpoint playback with Roon that will win the day for me every time Im afraid.

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@AceRimmer

I truly appreciate Roon. I have a lifetime license. But I only got it because HQPlayer’s GUI was so Byzantine.

I’m a different sort of listener. While I appreciate all the Roon metadata, my brain can’t read and listen to music simultaneously. It’s one or the other. And I only have one zone.

Sound quality is my priority. I’ve tried, but I just can’t listen to something one way if I know I can listen it to better another. That’s not Roon’s problem, it’s mine :v:

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,Conductor is „OK“ and „adequate“‘ sums it up quite well! It’s not an app that provokes storms of enthusiasm! But it’s functional and stable. Soundwise also, the N1000H is not lightyears ahead of Roon, certainly not justifying the hefty 3 K Euros/Dollars they ask for an admittedly nice equipment.

Recently, I tried an entirely different solution, namely the new JPlay iOS app. It really is a great app, requiring only a server (in my case MinimServer running on an old Linux/Mac Book Air) and a simple Raspberry Pi as endpoint. Cost me 50 Euros for a one year subscription. Very nice app, not quite at the level of Roon, but close enough to almost replacing Roon entirely. SQ is very, very good in my setup! Sorry if off-topic!

What is the “problem” you were trying to solve?

Without provoking huge discussions (bits are bits) I was never happy with Roon’s sound in my system. That’s now solved!

After years of trying, Roon sound quality is not to my liking. Even with HQPlayer.

My Marantz, Aurender, and the cheap little IFi ZenStream sound noticeable better than Roon to my tastes.

Love it’s library acumen, but my Roon days are largely over.

So are mine

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