Frustrated with Roon's sound quality vs Lunin Minimserver app

Buy a solid state amp

Interesting i have found minimserver’s sound to be inferior to Roon by a large margin.

What are you using as endpoint/streamer?

I also have the solid state Conrad Johnson Premier 350 amp and used it.
Streamer/end point is Teac NT-505.

First, the simple issue. The USB drive direct to your TEAC sounds better because the signal path is extremely short. It’s why Roon recommends using a local USB drive connected to their Nucleus vs. using a NAS.

With respect to Roon vs. Minimserver and the LUMIN app, I agree with you. Same signal path so in theory there should be no difference. Maybe there are code differences in the different softwares. Perhaps the LUMIN app is better at handling weaker or noisier signals than the Roon app.

I have a LUMIN U1 mini connected via Ethernet to the same Ethernet switch to which my MacMini i7 music server is connected. Short cat 8 cables used on both, with a 30’ run of CT 5e to the switch serving the audio system. I also have an upgraded power supply on the audio system switch. I notice no material difference between Roon and LUMIN app. So perhaps the best answer is to have the music source closer to the renderer. I have read several articles recommending connecting the server and renderer to the same switch to shorten the signal path.

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Stephen has described pretty much what I have done.

Thanks for suggestions, it would be big $ to have the server sat close to my endpoint. I would have to buy may be the MacMini, Windows Laptop, Inneous or Roon Nucleus.

Or you could purchase a very inexpensive NUC computer optimized to serve as a Roon core. Check the Roon knowledge base for info about Roon supported cores besides their Nucleus. The NUC is a cost effective and supported alternative. If I find the link to this info I will include it in another reply.

Here’s the link to the Roon Knowledge Base article on the Roon Optimized Core Kit. It is no big deal to put together and can be purchased on Amazon. The key is that unlike my MacMini, the NUC computer is supported by Roon, so if you have issues, Roon will provide support. It is about the same price as a base MacMini, but with a faster processor. Get the more powerful unit if you plan to use DSP or have a larger library of music.

A thought. One thing I would ask Roon is if the NUC will support Minimserver so you can continue to use the LUMIN app as well. If not, you can purchase a pre-owned MacMini at OWC ( or a refurbished, fully warranted one from Apple and run it headless (no monitor) as I do with mine. You can use another computer to mirror the video from the MacMini and control it. Using the MacMini will allow you to install Miniserver on it. I run both Roon’s core software and Minimserver on my MacMini without any problems.

Or install Windows on the NUC.

With respect, you’d still need Minimserver to run the LUMIN app with or without Windows. The Minimserver site indicates it can be installed on a Linux machine like the NUC, so why pay for and bother with Windows? See the info at this link you can use the Minimserver forum to get answers to questions.

If this seems like too much of a bother, you can purchase a pre-owned MacMini with a short-term warranty from OWC and use that as your core. Cost could be even less than the NUC depending on the age and features of the model you purchase. An i5 processor with 8gb memory and a 128gb SSD is all you’d need for a Roon Core and Miniserer.

You can install Roon and Minimserver on Windows. Some people prefer it as an OS.

Understood. My point is simply that if Minimserver can be installed on the NUC’s Linux operating system, why bother with Windows? It’s not like the computer would be used for anything other than music. And Linux uses far less resources than Windows.

I have done few things last couple of days:

  • installed a switch in my HT room, connecting existing 50ft Cat 5E cable from the cable modem/router upstaiirs, then extended it with Cat7 or Cat5E (i tried both no SQ difference) 35 feet to the ASUS router which sit next to the Teac streamer/DAC, then use a 3ft Cat 5E cable to the Teac. Plug the Asus router to the same power conditioner as rest of system.
  • run the Teac 24/7 to further burn-in.
  • swap RCA cable from Purist Audio to Harmonic Tech Teac to CJ preamp- with this change the sound also change from warm to a bit bright.

Roon SQ seems more dynamic, holographic 3D. warmer than from Lumin app, but still not as transparent as Lumin’s. BUT on some recordings, Lumin sounds more edgy/ bright at loud passage. The sound from Roon is closer to live music, only if it could be a bit more transparent then perfect!
My guess is that the SQ from different piece of software can never be 100% identical. Even with a cable change alters the sound. It could be that my systems are hyper sensitive.

I wonder if I get a dedicated streamer like Lumin U1 Mini or the Bluesound Node 2i and use its streamer to feed the Teac DAC, SQ could be enhanced or even degraded.

Are you sure you’d be able to tell which is which if someone else was driving and you had no visual cues as to what was being used to play the music?

How many hours do you have on the NT-505? Mine was on 24/7 for a month before I was certain I was keeping it.

Lots of interesting and valid comments above. One thing that I feel is regularly overlooked when I comes to this area of discussion is the impact clocks have.

I would hazard a guess and offer up my humble opinion that aside of general external electrical interference, back emf from your gear, vibration, both mechanical and electrical, and the overall synergy of your system as a whole that the clocks in your win server are impacting the sound quality.

The Lumin would have been designed ground up to have a result and in this case that out performs your PC.

The clock in your system closest to the DAC will most impact your sound and the quality of it.

There has been untold discussions longer than a Russian novel as to if Ethernet connection have any impact on SQ. I’m on the yes it does side of the line.

For a while I used battery powered fibre switch for the last run to my Devialet Dual Mono Expert system. Made a big improvement. Only factor was the fibre switches themselves had a sonic signature.



ROCK is based on Linux but it is not open. No other software can be installed on a ROCK NUC.

If you install Ubuntu, for example, then you can. But, at that point, if a user is more conversant with Windows, why would they want to use Linux; better to stay with the Widows environment. And since, the OP was using a DELL computer, I assumed a familiarity with Windows.

Daniel, I’m not arguing with you. I do hate Windows and the crashes and freezes, especially on some of the many updates. (I have Windows 10 on a machine used for business.). I just subscribe to the simpler is better theory and Linux is nice and simple.

If the OP is comfortable with Windows and doesn’t mind paying for the license, I agree with you. And I also understand why he likes the LUMIN app. It works very well and is intuitive, though certainly nowhere near as elegant and comprehensive as Roon. And it doesn’t require a costly core, just an app loaded on a smartphone or tablet. I use both - the LUMIN app when I know exactly what I want to hear from my collection or from Qobuz, and Roon when I want to discover new music, learn about an artist, have Roon radio create a playlist, etc.