Getting the optimum set-up Mac Mini

Dear Roon,

I am new to Roon and wanted to make sure I am getting the best from my system.

I have downloaded Roon to my 2020 Mac mini and made that the core. I have then connected directly to my Cambridge CXA81 amplifier via usb.

I have read the guidance on DSP and other settings but am unsure where the various changes are going to be applied eg are sampling changes being made at the Mac mini or the Cambridge CXA81.

At this time I am cautious about throwing the various settings features. I also notice that some changes are more demanding on the processors and some have caution advice.

I guess I have 3 questions,

  1. By experiment can I cause damage to either the Mac mini or the amplifier? Are there any settings that should be avoided? Is it safe to experiment fully with all option settings?
  2. Where are the changes being made, the Mac mini or the amplifier (or combination of both)
  3. How do I get the optimum playback SQ for my system.

I will be grateful if you can help.

I have attached a picture below of my system;

Hi @Andrew_Todd,

Welcome to the forum!

Yes, you can certainly play around with the DSP settings. The only thing that I would exercise caution with is the volume control types, you don’t want to accidentally set the volume to 100% and then switch to Fixed Volume. We also have a great guide on DSP features, see: DSP Engine Documentation & Audio Basics Setup Guide.

Generally, any processing is done on the Core before sending it over to the DAC. Some DACs support additional operations, such as if they are MQA render’s for example. Your CXA81 is not an MQA device though, so most (if not, all) of the processing should be done on the Core. Of course, Signal Path shows all the processing that’s being done, as you can see in your screenshot.

Well, that depends on what you want to achieve. You can use Roon’s DSP engine to up-sample everything to the highest supported bit-rate if you like up-sampling. You can add Convolution or EQ if you prefer your sound in a certain way. It’s all about personal preference here and what sounds good to you. Our recommendations on achieving best sound quality can be found here: Sound Quality Article.

All blue links above are click-able, and that should get you started on the right path.

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