Dropout Analysis

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Intel NUC7i5BNH, ROC vers 1.0 build 227, Roon server 1.7/667, 128GB SSD, 2T internal HD for library

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

NUC hard wired ethernet to Google Mesh router (less than 1 foot away)
Google Mesh router hardwired to Arris Surfboard 6183 modem via ethernet cable (less than 1 foot)
Arris modem connected to cable ISP
ISP speed pretty constant 225mps down

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Google Nesh router hardwired to 2nd Google Mesh router via appx 60’ of ethernet cable
Google Mesh router connected to Google Chromecast audio puck via ethernet (less than 2 feet)
Google Chromecast puck connected to Cambridge Audio CXN vers 1 via digital cable (less than 2 feet)
Cambridge Audio CXN vers 1 connected to Philips DFA 1000 amplifier via digital cable (less than 1 foot)
Philips amp connected to Allison One speakers via appx 60’ of high-quality 12g speaker cable.

Description Of Issue

Having dropouts playing 24-bit files from the library, i.e. not streaming. Have played a 16 bit version of the same file and experience no dropouts.
Want to know procedurally how to isolate the problem. These seem to be options, but I have no idea which should come first or whether it will have no effect. I feel like I’m throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what sticks.
a. connect the CXN via WiFi, eliminating the Chromecast audio and all the wiring?
b. downsample the 24-bit file to 16-bit and see if it is the Roon DSP that’s the problem?
c. Go around the CXN somehow?

Thanks -

Hello @robert_vanarsdall, and thanks for your report! I’d be happy to help you resolve this issue and here’s what I’d recommend:

  1. Let’s see if you experience Dropouts playing to system output of your remotes
  2. Can you connect one of your endpoints to Ethernet and see if that plays
  3. Temporarily disable DSP and see if the dropouts occur less frequently

If we can simplify your setup and work up from there we’ll find the cause of the dropouts.

Thanks for your reply. I’ll try to set up each trial as an A/B and will let you know.

I’m not sure what you mean by 1. “…playing to system output of your remotes”. I have 3 Roon endpoints, a desktop computer (PC, Win 10), the Chromecast/CXN/Philips endpoint described in my original post, and a pair of headphones… Do you mean play the same file on each endpoint to see if all endpoint exhibit the same dropouts?

Thanks again -

Hello @robert_vanarsdall, by system output I mean the built-in speakers of your devices, like the Windows desktop’s speakers.

I have only one “system output”, for the desktop computer. I tried one of the 24-bit files with which I’ve been having problems and don’t notice any dropouts on the desktop speakers.

Having tried that, I tried to simplify the throughput to the main speakers. I changed the path to the Cambridge Audio CXN from NUC=>Google Chromecast Audio=> CA CXN => amplifier/speakers over ethernet to NUC=> CA CXN via wireless LAN. No dropouts!

So this tells me it is either in the ethernet wiring or in the Chromecast Audio.

The only reason for the Chromecast Audio to be in the system was that it was supposed to pass a higher quality signal to the CXN over ethernet. When I A/B the wireless connection vs. wired through Chromecast the only audible difference I hear are the dropouts with the Chromecast.

So even though I don’t know the exact cause of the dropouts, I’ve solved the problem - at least for my system.

Thanks for your help.

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