Dropouts and clicks

Getting really frustrated trying to run down the source or sources of clicks and dropouts. To level-set, I would say the frequency and severity of this behavior varies between “occasionally annoying” and “materially impairs enjoyment” of the music. The degree and frequency varies such that when I have made a change to hardware or software configuration, I can often get through an entire song or most of a song before the disappointment sets in again. I’ve been up and down this board and hardware manufacturers sites, employed google search creatively, and I’m stuck looking for a new hypothesis.

I’m willing to throw some money at solving the problem, but I don’t want to drop a large sum on DAC or renderer hardware unless I’m confident that the problem has been isolated. I really like Roon (full subscriber), but I’m hesitant to commit to re-configuring everything (or upping to lifetime) until I’m confident I can make it stable. Other than the clicks and dropouts, I’m getting some really good sound from both endpoints (eg way better than I used to experience using a Sonos ZP90->Creek OBH playing the same 16/44 WAV file).

Hardware and network configuration:

Roon core is located on core i7 desktop: Windows 10, roon db and software on 256 gb SSD, 12GB internal RAM. all local data other than applications is located on separate 3TB internal hard drive. This machine is hard-wired via Cat 6 to the router.

Music files, mostly 16/44 WAV, with some 24/96 and 24/192 located on synology ds716+, with two very new WD Red 6TB drives set in RAID configuration. Library size is about 1600 albums/15000 tracks/1.2TB. These drives also house other media files, but no other data are being accessed or streamed from this media-only NAS when the dropouts are occurring.

Subscribed to Tidal, although most listening is with locally owned/stored files.

Network - recent vintage 1GB ASUS AC router, connects directly via cat 6 to two additional 1GB ASUS routers, configured as WAP’s. A 24 port GB switch is also connected to this router, but the WAPs go straight into the router, not via the switch. The Synology NAS is connected to this switch.

Currently, I am using only two Roon endpoints for listening, although a third (SOSE to main listening room) is waiting for successful resolution of this problem:

(1) the aforementioned core i7 machine, with an older vintage 24/96 HRT music streamer DAC connected via USB (exclusive mode). This configuration experiences fewer dropouts than (2)
(2) SonicOrbiter SE connected directly to one of the WAP’s via cat6 (short run). Running latest firmware (2.2). Connected via USB to Musical Fidelity V.90 DAC, in turn connected to Creek OBH Headphone amplifier. SE uses IFI power supply.

Tweaks attempted:

  • Tried two different V90 DAC’s.
  • Changed the native 12V wall wart for the V90 to a separate IFI 12V power supply. (saw some improvement from this in unrelated ways, btw).
  • Uninstalled and reloaded Roon core after experiencing a number of crashes. Crashes seem to be fixed, clicks and dropouts, no.
  • switched out USB cable from the SOSE to the DAC.
  • switched out network cable from SOSE to WAP.
  • various tweaks to software configuration within Roon. Using fixed volume / no volume leveling or other processing at the core level.

Any reasonable hypothesis will be given serious consideration. I’m willing to ditch the DAC, a WAP, the SOSE for a mac mini or (other??), power supplies, cables, etc. I could migrate the Roon Core to the Synology NAS, but I’m not using an SSD on this device. Changing out the NAS or the core i7 desktop would be really unpleasant, and I don’t see any evidence that either is the culprit, but willing to listen to good ideas. The network performance seems very good for all other applications (eg HD video streaming wirelessly on the the same WAP as to which the SOSE connects). Massive file transfers over the wired network complete successfully at a seemingly appropriate rate (averaging 50+MB/sec transfer rates).

Just a thought, but I would look at the network. Can you change the wiring on a temporary basis to isolate some components and see what the effect is? E.g. take out the switch or the WAPs.

It’s just that I found a supposedly modern switch with management capabilities introduced dropouts and skipping with Roon. It sounds similar to your issue.

You know, as I was writing, I was thinking about that as well. Maybe temporarily disconnect the switches so that the SOSE, the Roon Core, and the NAS are totally isolated from everything else.

Thanks for the suggestion.

As you say the NAS and PC aren’t likely to be the cause, but if you are looking to eliminate the NAS, you could copy the music to PC and reroute the core to the local destination and see if it makes a differences.

Another good idea. I guess I could pull a subset of the library to the local physical hard drive and point Roon to that location instead of the NAS temporarily, switching back later?


I second Nick. You should dial everything back to 1 machine first and then expand out.

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Should have mentioned, take a backup of your Roon database before you start, just in case things get in a muddle once you start experimenting.

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This KB article sets out some techniques for troubleshooting.

I would firstly see what happens if you connect the NAS directly to the Router instead of through the switch.

If that doesn’t solve the issue then I’d proceed as Rugby suggested, from a one machine direct connection (which will presumably be good) adding things one at a time until you find the problem.

Thanks all. Weekend plans now set (in addition to NFL week 1).

Oh man, this just keeps getting more complicated. Seems like I have several of these issues, plus two not listed (bad punchdown on my ethernet connection and possibly something happening with the disk controller).

Has anyone seen a behavior where the Roon process cyclically peaks out certain resources (disk/network)? Disk peaking (while running the suggested experiment of loading all content on the local disk in order to eliminate network a potential source) appears to be solved by eliminating background analysis, although a bunch of traffic is generated at the beginning of a new track?

Think it might be time for a new machine or a new motherboard. A fully body waxing would be less painful.

Sorry to be a pest, but I’ve spent most of the weekend diagnosing per the suggestions from fellow users. Either I have multiple problems delivering the same symptoms or perhaps there is something inherent to Roon.

Tried isolating my core i7 with Roon and a USB DAC: still had issues with zero network dependence. [All music pulled from local database, Roon data on SSD drive]. I suppose its possible there is a problem with the internal power, the motherboard, the USB bus internally …

Moved core to a dedicated machine on the network (SSD drive, core i5). Better, but still have clicks. could be the switch or the router in this case, I suppose.

Did find one bad network cable in the diagnostic process.

Again, this network streams HiDef video to all endpoints in my Roon experiments without flaw

What DAC are you using, what connection/input options do you have?
Are your USB ports properly recognized and functioning in Windows?

Any reason you started a new thread instead of following up on your original thread. With a new thread, you lose the history of your original comments/posts and the people that were posting with suggestions on your old thread won’t automatically be notified that you’ve posted on the issue (so that they can respond).

Regarding your issue, AS A TEST, can you create a directory of 16/44.1 FLAC files and see if you get dropouts and clicks. If no, add some 24/96 or 24/192 FLACs to the mix. Any dropouts or clicks? In particular clicks when transitioning from, say, 16/44.1 file to 24/96 file (tracks changing bitrate is a known click causer for some DACs).

Tried a bunch of combinations, the basic elements are:

SonicOrbiters (2 of them, tried both)
HP Pavilion core i7
DACS: HRT Music Streamer 2 (various combinations on the software side, exclusive mode, limiting to 24/96, etc)
Musical Fidelity V90v2
Also treid onboard DAC’s on Marantz 8802A

All combinations exhibiting these behaviors
Tried different USB cables, network cables, etc.

Purest experiment was core i7 machine isolated with Roon core local, music files local, Roon files on local SSD drive, output through Music Streamer. Confirmed Roon generating essentially zero network traffic in this configuration.

This is what I did before

You’ve tested with 16/44.1 FLAC files? Missed that in any prior posts.

What os are you running, is your AV intercepting every file as you try to play it?

excellent thought.

What else are you running on that HP. Try disabling anti-virus and see If there is a difference.

[quote=“Bradley_Reid, post:15, topic:13993, full:true”]
This is what I did before
[/quote]Please don’t create new topics for the same issue. I’ve merged them together again.