Bad sound quality with Roon [Resolved, Ethernet Switch]


Two posts above:

“If the lan cables make a differance then that’s nothing to do with Roon. The audio leaves a Roon bit perfect and if you have dodgy cables you degrade that.”

“it was general belief few years back that bitferfect is always the same.
however as time progressed people learnt that timing is crucial (jitter)”

Anyway, it was just an example. I don’t doubt the concern for noise entering the DAC and analog audio components, although I think good engineering includes defense against that. But some of the concerns here seem far afield.

Btw, one related observation: if we are concerned about the effect of cables, including power cables, some people say that more sensitive systems are more apt to show that. In my view, there are two opposing views that are both defensible.

  1. If I pay $20,000 for a DAC and it is dramatically improved by a $100 USB cleanup gadget, I would be displeased with the DAC. $20,000 worth of engineering should not be vulnerable to cable noise that is so easily cleansed.

  2. “People put $5,000 (each) Pirelli Pzero tires on their Ferraris, I don’t believe they make such a big difference, I’ll make a test for my YouTube Vlog, I’ll buy some and test them, but I can’t afford a Ferrari so I’ll test them on my Prius.” Ridiculous, of course you need a high performance car to notice the subtle difference in high performance tires.

I have sympathy for both views.


Not only does Roon send data out bit perfect data, RAAT use TCP/IP which means the data that is sent over RAAT will get to the endpoint perfectly as well.

Scott, if you are referring to my comment regarding UPnP vs RAAT SQ, then UPnP is also using TCP. Roon was using UDP in the past and switched also to TCP later, so eventual packet reordering and retransmission is happening in the IP stack of OS. Benefit of TCP is that it also handles window sizes which allows better control over buffer filling on the client side.

I read that as a general comment about jitter over the years, not as an issue in RAAT but I could be wrong.

Click on Anders’ avatar.

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Huh, forgot about that.
Just updated to show Nucleus.

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No matter how expensive gear you buy there is always place for improvement.
All the gear I’ve owned had a benefit of good power cables, footers, etc etc.

I’m curious Anders… were do you live? Your name seems danish :smile:

I’m Swedish, but I have lived in the U.S. for 40 years.
Currently in the Seattle area.

And you? Denmark?

Btw, I’m a software architect, and as such I focus on making the right architectural decision, rather than tweaking things after the fact.
Meridian vs. Lumin is indeed a parallel, but the Nucleus is not at all like the NAS. From what you write, you are very conscious of eliminating extraneous noise of all kinds. So am I. But the Nucleus, with its SSD, is much cleaner than the NAS: no spinning drives or fans, it’s as close to the proverbial “block of silicon” as we can come. No vibration or noise, minimal electrical activity. Optimized operating system, nothing going on other than serving music. I think you would appreciate that approach.

I do have a NAS, but it’s for backup only, not involved in music playback.

Thomas, did you say you are using shielded cables or not (floating or not)?

The Lumin pulling from the NAS sounds good to Thomas. Roon from the same NAS to the Lumin doesn’t. Why are we still trying to fix cables and power, it’s the same path for both playback topologies.

If the Lumin is that sensitive to upstream noise injected by a slightly heavier Roon process on the NAS, it’s time to look for different hardware. Maybe something with Wifi to get rid of that physical connection.

If RAAT on the Lumin just doesn’t sound as good as the Lumin’s internal player, there is not much that can be done. Use the Lumin software.

Am I the only one that feels like some sort of quantitative measurement of this quality difference is much needed?
Thick cotton blankets, really?
If that’s the case, even an iPhone recording from the same position of the same song at the same volume via the two different paths would show the difference.


@Jeff i am in similar situation as Thomas , however I am running both minimserver and Roon core on the same quadcore i7 NUC with 32GB Ram outside of my listening room. As endpoints I am using either integrated Bridge2 card in PS Audio DirectStream DAC, or my DYI digital transport based on RPI and USB reclocker+isolator with I2S output to he same DS DAC. Playing UPnP has small advantage over Roon whatever I try to tune from OS/network perspective.
It is not night/day difference, but UPnP sounds more fluid, airy, transparent - in one word slightly more real. As someone commented it is not just my imagination as I have friend (I trust his ears more than mine) and we have heard the same differences, maybe described in other words but at the end agreed we are hearing the same.
I have built the DYI streamer just for the the purpose to try to get same SQ out of Roon as I am having with UPnP and although this streamer sounds a bit better than Integrated Bridge2, the UPnP over this streamer sounds still a bit better than Roon via the same streamer.
I am thinking i will try ROCK OS on the spare NUC with same configuration I have spare as i have not tried this yet…


Question. Roon only switched to TCP relatively recenty for their protocol. Would an older RAAT version of the RAAT SDK in hardware be updated to use UDP?

Thomas, if you have a spare computer where it’s possible, try a direct bridged connection between the computer and the audio device. I actually forgot about it as I did try that one before before I made other changes to the rig.

No switches and routers in the middle. A direct ethernet cable between the computer and your Lumin. I’m trying it right now with my BDP-1 and MacBook Pro. I think Antipodes recommends this method with their players. Something about the comms layers.

I get bit perfect playback with all the wifi and ethernet solutions I have and all cables. Not a single dropout. I have 6 ethernet solutions here, 3 routers, 2 switches, and 1 Powerline D-Link AV500 here. All get the job done perfectly. I can daisy chain them and it still works flawlessl.y They sure as hell don’t all sound the same though. Whether it’s electrical noise or something else, I am not sure, but doesn’t change the fact regarding the sound.

Quote from Antipodes:

Jenkins clarifies: “They [Roon Core and Roon Ready] talk using RAAT but when they are in the same device they do not need to use the not-so-good comms layers that sit underneath RAAT when the two apps talk across a network”.

I’d love to see the results of both you and Thomas reliably picking out your preferred solution in an unsighted test over which you have no means of discerning other than your apparent hearing acuity.


I once sat in front of my stereo changing the HQPlayer filters between 3 choices deciding which I preferred. After hearing the very obvious differences, I then realized I was playing a DSD track all along and the PCM filters aren’t used.


:rofl:, it takes a pretty confident individual to admit that.

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I guess my point is: Everyone could trust their ears if their brain wasn’t connected to them.

I had all kinds of information to what these filters should sound like in my brain so it took over, similar to the DLNA or memory playback sounds better than Roon posts all over the internet.


Agreed, but none of us will convince those that are not prepared to challenge their own beliefs. They’re convinced they hear a difference and thus to them it is real, I just wish they wouldn’t try make it someone else’s problem when it’s really theirs.


Hi everyone


As I have previously said, I did try to move my synology to another room without any difference but now I’ve moved it into my basement (where my fiber comes in) and this time connected directly to my router without going through the switch that split the cables to all rooms in the House (as i did earlier).
Unlike previous experiments, I have now connected my router and synology to my LPS in the regular power outlet in the basement without the switch but directly in the router. Therefore i now also had the opportunity to remove the switch in my listening room as I only need to connect my LUMIN (with the nas missing) therefore lumin is connected directly to the Ethernet wall outlet and this cable is also going directly into the router in the basement . All these things had done the trick. FINALLY!!!
Through roon I get a bigger soundstage and a little more “black” than via LUMIN. There is now just a slight difference and it’s a matter of taste. LUMIN plays a little more up front and a bit more detailed but there is a nicely larger sound stage through Roon. I’m about to build a LPS for my fiber box that I’ll expect to give a further step up.

I now know that a switch is NOT an option in my system… ever!!

hope my description makes sense. :slight_smile:

I’ll keep you updated when I get the LPS to my fiber box.

Thanks to all of you guys