Dropouts with 2 Macs and crossover cable



Arising over last week (never before). Tracks stuttering then skipping on several tracks or stopping althogether. Music AIFF 16/44.
Core on 2014 Mac mini with 16 gig ram and 1Tb fusion drive. All music stored locally. Playing to endpoint on a 2012 Mac mini via Ethernet direct cross over cable. Endpoint via USB to DAC. Control on iPad. All software up to date.
Help appreciated.

Hi @james_lockie ---- Thank you for the report and my apologies for the troubles here. Our knowledge base has very good documentation on what can cause audio dropouts to occur and how to go about troubleshooting them. Can you give it a read and let me know what you have tried thus far?

Moving forward, can you provide me with details of your network configuration / topology? From your report it sounds like most of your equipment is hardwired via ethernet, while your remote device(s) are accessing the network via Wifi. Are there any other pieces of networking hardware in the chain of communication (switches, power line adaptors, extenders, repeaters, etc)? Can you also verify the make and model of your router?


Thanks Eric @support. I have reviewed the drop out docs. So far i have tried the performance issues stuff. I have restarted both core and endpoint machines. Ensured software on both is up to date. Checked task manager to see no CPU or drive bottlenecks. The restart did reduce skipping although after one albumn of listening the dropouts started again.

I am using a Huawei HG659b Gateway Router. This is Fibre modem and dual band wifi router.
Both mac minis are connected to it via wifi. Connected to eack other with a 30cm ethernet crossover cable.There are no switches, powerline adaptors, extenders or repeaters.The endpint/bridge mac mini is connected to my dac with a transparent 1m USB cable. So a really simple set up.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Hey @reeve_mike or anyone else, did you figure out a fix for this? It’s still happening on my end, but I’ve learned to just live with it. If I restart Roon when it happens, it’s usually ok for a few days, then I repeat the process.

Tried rebooting everything. No better. So I remove the bridge Mac mini. And connected USB cable directly to the Core. Needed to reset up Roon to point at the DAC. This time set as directly connected to core rather than networked. So far it seems to be playing without glitches. 2 albums. Do I need the endpoint at all. My DAC is not Roon ready. Should I place a sonore micro rendu in place of the Mac mini endpoint.

When both Macs were connected to your WLAN, they cannot be connected to each other with an ethernet crossover cable at the same time. Remove that cable and it will work better.
But to make it work you need to to hook the computers up using a ethernet switch with a cable to each of the macs. Then you need to connect that switch to your internet/WLAN router using either a cable (absoulutely best) or a “bridge” such as an Airport Express which connects to your WLAN and then a cable to the switch.
Atb /Mike

Hi @james_lockie -----Thank you for following up and taking the time to answer my questions/review the provided document. Your feedback is appreciated!

Based on your observations it sounds like the issues lies between the core and the Mac mini acting as the end point, as when the DAC is directly mounted to the device hosting Roon, there are no issues.

Do I need the endpoint at all. My DAC is not Roon ready. Should I place a sonore micro rendu in place of the Mac mini endpoint.

This really depends on what your needs are :slight_smile: At home I use a MircoRendu in my living room (router - > ethernet - > rendu - > USB - > DAC) and I have yet to have any issues streaming content to this end point.


Mikael. They have worked fine for 8 months directly connected with an ethernet crossover cable. Some software setting seems to have changed to make the set up unstable. Thanks. James

Feel free to ignore sought advise. :slight_smile: Your connection setup is unorthodox to say the least.

This could be an issue with one (or both) of the minis renegotiating the ethernet connection parameters. I’ve encountered this a couple of times with certain switches where the network interface in the mac would drop momentarily and get into an argument with the switch over speed and duplex settings.

If you haven’t already try manually configuring the interface parameters. Given that all it’s doing is streaming audio I would probably set both sides at 100Base-T / Full duplex and I’d likely start with flow control disabled.

I read you have wifi AND Ethernet active. This makes life a little bit more complicated. To communicate, your Macs use IP addresses. On the wifi you get them dynamically from your router. On the Ethernet you do not get the IP address automatically. To make it work, you have to set the addresses manually.

  • What are the IP addresses on the different interfaces?
  • Did you just plug in the Ethernet Cable without configuration?
  • What IP address does your Roonbridge show in the Audio Settings of Roon?

If you did not do any configuration, your traffic uses the wireless connection and not the Ethernet connection.