Confused on optimal setup

Hi everyone,
I’ve been using Roon for a long while now and recently I’ve been experiencing occasional glitches in playback.
My current setup is Roon installed on a windows PC straight into my DAC (Mytek Brooklyn - which is a roon device) via a good USB cable. There is no ethernet input on my DAC. I can use DSP and upsaple to DSD254 if I want and I also use MQA . I have no other rooms (dedicated listing room)

Now I’ve been reading for the last couple of days but I’m a bit confused as I’m not a PC / software guy. I’ve been considering a Nucleus but price is a bit prohibitive. So next best thing as far as sound quality goes?, Would I benefit from using an Endpoint bwtween my PC and my DAC? From what I read both PC and endpoint into a router and USB between endpoint and DAC? Is this the way to go?
If I do this will I still see the Mytek in the signal path and still decode MQA as I do today.
Any help would be appreciated and easy to configure endpoint suggestion …

Hi Eric,
I’ve had a similar setup to yours once, with a Mac feeding a Bel Canto Dac directly over USB. And I too had these occasional glitches. At first I thought they were down to faulty CD ripping, but I discovered the usb data stream was to blame. My solution was implemented in two steps: First by running roon on a dedicated NUC with ROCK. That did away with the dropouts. However, down the line I added a network streamer to the equation, so now the Roon server / ROCK is wired via ethernet to a Moon MiND streamer, which in turn has an EBU output that feeds my DAC.
Though the dropouts and glitches were done away with after the initial change to ROCK, I feel the streamer adds more airiness to the sound than the usb connection between the nuc and the streamer did. Anyway, I know this is highly subjective.

In summary, a windows / mac os machine with lots of other stuff going on in the system may be to blame for the sound glitches you’re experiencing. If a Nucleus is hard to justify, you can get a pretty decent server with a NUC/ROCK combo that far undercuts the Nucleus pricewise.

Thanks for your input. Being unfamiliar with NUC’s, this completely eliminates the current Windows PC from the mix right? So in essence a mini pc with ROCK, wired directly to dac with USB: correct?
I assume I then need to install the required Mytek drivers into the NUC for the Mytek to do the MQA decoding etc…?

I’m set up both ways in my office system. Roon Ready Chord Quetest DAC (USB from my iMac), and Bryston BDP-1 Network Player and Sonore MicroRendu Network Player (Both fed from the network).

You can purchase a MicroRendu for around $429 from Small Green Computer. I have two of them and they are very good devices. There are more expensive options and less expensive options available (like a small RPI3 (HiFiBerry))

Frankly, I’m not sure you would gain performance improvement since if your PC is hiccuping, it’s tough to say if its the PC or the ISP/network. What kind of PC are you using? (Does it meet minimum Roon Specs) and do you have good internet delivery speed…?

If your DAC is Roon Ready you won’t need to add any drivers. The regular USB drivers of the Roon OS on the NUC will work fine.
Keep in mind you have two choices if you go with a NUC. You can certainly install Windows and run it as a RoonServer feeding the DAC. Or you can install ROCK making it a turnkey device.
When it comes to MQA you’d probably have Roon run the first unfolding and use the MQA decoding on the DAC. Roon, of course, won’t do MQA decoding at all.

These are the PC specs with i5 - 4590 8gb ram SSD 230GB speedtest 650mbps download AND 500mbps upload. So I think I’m ok this pc runs nothing else really. Note that i expecience these noises randomly never in the same place streaming or on downloaded albums so I’m thinking it’s not network related…I’m picking up something somewhere …

Is your internet and network solid with other uses and applications. As long as your computer meets spec, it’s more likely a network performance related issue. Might be worth the support folks taking a look at your logs. My experience is its the internet or the network that gums things up. You have much better ISP speed than I do.

If this happens on albums that are stored on your PC, here are a few possibilities:

  1. Some task on your PC is preempting Roon. This is hard to track down, unfortunately. PCs do all sorts of maintenance tasks that may briefly take a lot of resources;
  2. Your PC’s SSD is starting to fail, either because of fragmentation or because SSDs have a limited number of write cycles.
  3. You have an intermittent hardware problem.

If you continue to get glitches with local music files, the only suggestion I can give you is to try a different machine for the Roon Core. Do you have another PC around that you could test with? If you don’t, getting a NUC with ROCK would be the most cost-effective move. Adding a streamer like the MicroRendu won’t do any good if #2 or #3 above are what’s causing the glitches.

1 Like