Sorry if this is addressed somewhere else. I did look for it.
Assuming a powerful enough processor on a Roon core PC separate from my endpoints (which are all PCs), does grouping zones affect audio quality?
Here’s the layout - I have my Roon core (AMD quad core 3.6, 16GB RAM) streaming audio through Roonbridge to what was a modified CAPS PC now repurposed as a headless Roon endpoint output by USB to my W4S DAC2. The priority is to maintain the highest sound quality at that endpoint since that feeds my ML preamp.
But I also like to fool around with visualizations and other things that require a separate analog audio signal, or a signal that shows up in the Stereo Mixer in the OS. Splitting the analog signal from the DAC or the preamp affects sound quality (duh). So, if I stream to a separate computer zone-grouped with the above headless CAPS PC, does that affect the sound quality of what goes to the CAPS PC?
I’ve grouped the zones and cannot detect a difference in audio quality, but it is hard to A/B test. The signal path shows that it remains bit perfect to the CAPS PC (says “enhanced” - presumably because it is upsampling) and that for the second PC it is going into the OS mixer (high quality, not bit perfect).
So is Roon really doing this - sending separate streams such that the one to the CAPS PC is truly as good as I can get it, and streaming the same music to the second OS zone, grouped with the CAPS PC, is not affecting that sound quality?
That’s awfully cool, but it’s making me neurotic. Please help me get back to mental health.