Does Roon have a problem with my Auralic Aries?

Setting up Roon on my MacBook Pro (MBP) earlier today, here’s what happened:

Moved the USB HDD library disc, the CD ripping drive, and my Roon installation over to the MacBook Pro. Cranked up the tunes & everything played for about a half-hour and then died.

Troubleshooting from the audio back to the source:

The speakers, power amps, preamp, DAC, streamer, and interconnects are fine.

The Ethernet switch in the living room has power and is connected to the internet.

The iPad with the Roon control software is connected to the music server via wireless and then Ethernet and was working perfectly before dying. The iPad has internet just fine, even after Roon died.

The switch in the computer room has power and internet connectivity through the cable modem.

But the Roon server program on the MBP isn’t seeing the Auralic Aries streamer, even though the MBP has internet (though the same switch and cable modem) both before and after Roon died.

Intermittent don’t cut it.

I can download internet-sourced audio and video to both the computer and to the iPad through the same system without any problem, so connectivity isn’t the issue. The only thing I can think of is that the Aries streamer is occasionally glitching and losing the Ethernet audio stream from the Roon server.

There are two ways to test this theory:

  1. Reconnect the library drive directly to the streamer via USB (no ethernet or Roon involved) and use the Auralic Aries streamer software again (Lightning DS). If it works reliably, then the problem is probably at the Ethernet / streamer interface.

  2. Move the Roon program to another laptop and place the laptop on the equipment rack with the audio gear. That way, I could easily test Roon’s performance into the streamer using both the Ethernet and the USB interfaces.

Is this a feasible and logical test plan?

Ignoring the current issues and looking down the road, if I wanted to stick with USB, I could get the streamer completely out of the system & let Roon play via USB directly into the Auralic Vega DAC / preamp. This would have the additional benefit of letting me pull the Apple Airport Express (wireless router) out of the system too. The MBP could create its own wireless network that the iPad could connect directly to.

So the questions then become:

If I choose NOT to use the Auralic Aries’ streamer functions, is there any reason to keep the streamer in the system at all?

Will the Roon laptop sound as good or better connected directly to the DAC via USB rather than by Ethernet?

Does anyone else use Roon with these models of Auralic equipment, and have you had any similar problems?

How much (if any) sound quality improvement would I hear down the road if I opted to substitute a Roon ROCK system for the MacBook Pro?

Thanks - Boomzilla

For a while I had an Auralic Aries as one of my Roon endpoints. Everything was wired with Ethernet. It mostly worked well, but a few times I had to power cycle the Aries. I might have had to reinstall the Aries firmware from my iPad once or twice, too, can’t really recall as it was quite a while ago. One test suggestion: it should be possible to get the Aries via Lightning DS to see the library HDD on the Macbook Pro, if you configure the Mac to make the disk visible on the local network via System Preferences>Sharing (I’ve not done this recently myself so I’m going from memory). If that works, it’s something between Roon and Aries; if it does not, maybe you need to get the Aries reset and possibly reinstall its firmware.

Thank you, Fernando - I appreciate the feedback!