Given that the roon Core runs on a dedicated computer,
the computer can be connected directly to the DAC via USB or
the computer can be connected to a bridge/streamer and then go to the DAC.
I have currently no option to make comparisions between both ways with my own ears, so the question is:
Will there be any differences in SQ ?
Will there be an another dis-/advantage to choose the way through a bridge ?
Gear I will have to work with:
Computer (not to be discussed) - Auralic Mini (Bridge) → Chord Qutest. or
Computer (not to be discussed) → Chord Qutest.
Roon’s recommended architecture is via an End Point,
Much depends on what the PC is , a silent NUC for example will be fine USB . Also depends on aesthetics, is a sexy fanless box etc.My core is a “tower” PC Desktop, marginally quieter than a tractor hence kept is room FAR away and out of earshot
In terms of SQ Opinions will vary , mine is no difference
For what it’s worth - and this is my own opinion - you might find an improvement in sound quality if you use a bridge.
I use a Zotac Mini as my ROCK server. If I connect my Denafrips ARES II directly to the Zotac, the sound quality is not as good compared with connecting it to an ALLO USBridge Signature. For example, piano and clarinet - clarinet sounds harsher and piano sounds less precise on higher notes.
It’s all subjective, so, of course, people will disagree. However, I’m just offering a counter view which is based on real world experiences.
Depending on your entire kit you may or may not notice better SQ… Additional thing to consider is with a streamer/transport/bridge is you have the ability to use multiple sources via your LAN like cell phones, tablets, laptops, desksides and NASes connected via ethernet and/or wifi… I use a iPhone, MacBook, i7 Windoz deskside and NAS with my Lumin U1 mini and Chord Qutest… Its called flexibility…