Goal: to sync my two systems with Roon's help

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

Windows 10/Roon build 416

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


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

I use a basic y splitter to split an SPDIF connection out of my soundcard (Asus Essence STX) to two different preamp/amps:
Preamp + Amp #1: Onkyo PRSC866 preamp + Outlaw 7700 amp
Integrated Amp #2: Peachtree Decco65

These two systems are out of sync, and I’d like them to sync up. Note, the #1 system is using a 75ft coax cable, whereas the #2 system is only using a ~5fit coax cable.

Description Of Issue

These two systems are out of sync. Specifically, system #1 is a bit late compared to #2. I’ve just read that Roon can be used to sync up multiple systems, if I purchase some additional hardware. I’ve been looking at the Schitt DACs (given their performance and affordability). Could either the Modi or Bifrost DAC help me to sync up these systems? If so, how would this be connected?

Much Appreciated!

That setup won’t do what you want, neither would the two separate Schiit DACs. Roon’s sync mechanism is for network play via RAAT involving multiple network endpoints. For example, you could have your core machine on Ethernet, and two Ethernet endpoints (say Allo DigiOne) each connected with its own S/PDIF cable to the relevant preamp/integrated amp.

Hi @Colin_Garvey,

in addition to what @Fernando_Pereira said: if you use your computer as one Roon output you’d need at least one more device with a network connection which supports RAAT. The Schiit DACs alone won’t help, because they have no network support as far as I do know.

See also: https://kb.roonlabs.com/Zone#Zone_Grouping

It might be a good idea to network the system farer away from your computer.

The issue is that this is only one output as per what Roon sees. It’s just your sound card. The de-sync happens after Roon has no control over the system.

Roon has delay functions that can be used to sync, as between two linked Roon zones, but you need those two zones to use it. So you’ll have to create a separate RAAT endpoint from your soundcard to use that feature.

Also, I doubt you are getting anywhere near max quality using the S/PDIF output from an internal sound card. I have tried many…only a few prosumer cards had an SPDIF output anywhere close to USB or LAN DACs in terms of sound quality.

Try using the USB input on the Decco65. That should allow you to sync AND give you a sense of the quality of a USB DAC.

Thanks James. Re: soundcard vs USB DAC, I actually did an A/B comparison with Decco65 vs the Asus STX sound card, and there was very little difference (I think the STX would fit into your “prosumer” category). When I did this test, I also wasn’t able to produce sound with the Decco65 at the same time as system #1–only one system would play at a time. All this said, I’m open to purchasing/testing out an external DAC configuration. Knowing what you do about my cobbled-together set-up, what would you do to 1) achieve synchronization, and 2) optimize sound quality across both systems? --much appreciated

Appreciate the info… If I understand correctly, the DigiOnes (you are referring to the spdif output version, or the DigiOneplayer?) would serve as endpoints w/in Roon network, allowing me to use the Roon sync feature across all three endpoints. I assume these would be installed in my PC, next to/attached to my sound card? How would these be connected/set up?

The DigiOne is an Ethernet to SPDIF converter based on a rasp pi. You run ethernet to it, coax out to the DAC and then the DAC to the amp. Nothing to do with your PC at all.

I think it’s a budgetary question. Just to test and get things in sync, it doesn’t seem to make sense to spend much. Then of course if you get it working to your satisfaction, you spend whatever is in your budget to get to your desired system configuration.

Have you Grouped Zones in Roon? i.e use the Group Zone functions to combine the Decco65 (via USB) and the ASUS card so that they both play together? This is not a physical thing with connections - you use Roon to Group the zones, then you get the option to use delay to sync them together.

I’ve failed to get grouping to work with my system(s). I suspect it’s because Roon probably sees #1 and #2 systems as one, as they only interface with my PC via the soundcard’s one spdif output. My PC also only recognizes one system, called “spdif pass-through device” in window sound. Solving the sync issue with Roon zones/grouping would be great, but I think I need to my PC to recognize two outputs, one for each system in order to do that. Hooking up the Decco65 via direct USB cable would probably allow Roon to see it, but it does not solve this problem, as my PC is not able to play music via the soundcard and USB output simultaneously–I have to switch back and forth to play one at a time.

Actually, you WILL be able to do so. Roon takes over the system and does it entirely differently than through the Windows kernel. Hook the Decco up Via USB and enable both outputs in Roon, and then group the zones.

By the way, this is only to play music through Roon. Roon won’t help you with any other audio source.

Well, shit, that’d be great. I need to buy a cable and I’ll give it a shot. I’ll let you know how it goes in a coupla days. Again, thanks so much for the help–

Yes, do, and good luck!

For better or worse, Roon is its own silo of processing and signal path, and that includes how audio flows through.

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