Having problems with Roon with Innuos Zenith

I have a lifetime subscription to Roon, so I thought I would never write a topic like this.

Having a lifetime subscription gave me the illusion that I was helping Roon in its immediate development by making a modest financial contribution, but I had forgotten that I was becoming entirely dependent on what Roon could achieve without any means of fallback.

Roon is a fabulous way to discover artists, to get interested in their work, to understand their work and on the market there is nothing better at the moment.

Since this famous update 1.8, Roon became slow, very slow, then improved, then became slow again, then fast without really knowing why with successive updates.
Many functions have been added which for my use are not relevant at all, like statistics…I think it slows down the process.

The application on iPad (pro in this case) is not stable and literally cuts out for no reason, despite a very high speed.

Searches have become so advanced that writing symphonie or symphony does not give the same result, a new artist is proposed by Qobuz, Roon does not give any information while Qobuz can write half a page, …

The most disturbing point is the sound quality. I use an Innuos Zenith and I had previously compared Roon and Squeez box with Ipeng, the differences in rendering were tenuous. Since the new Innuos OS and their Innuos Sense application, the sound quality has improved a lot (3d soundstage, transparency …) to the point that I only listened to Roon for a long time and I got used to a style of rendering. Making this new comparison has allowed me to see the difference and the differences in rendering. Roon tends to be more generous in the low frequencies with an excess of “fat”.
Listening through Innuos sense, brings the music to life.

Roon is now only used in a discovery configuration and when I want to listen to music I switch to Innuos sense, maybe in a few times Roon will propose a simpler version and another one more pro which would allow us to choose functions, and that the sound rendering will be reviewed, in the meantime with the arrival of Innuos sense Roon has taken a serious train of delay for the listening.

Good luck to the team.

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Thanks for your support as a lifetime member @jean_luc_Fere!

It sounds like you’re mostly suffering from the constraints of using a Zenith as your Roon Core (slowness, dropouts, etc.). We wrote up a summary of why Innuos products are unsupported here:

There’s no doubt you’d have a vastly improved experience if you were using a Roon Core that meets our minimum requirements.

If you’re looking to upgrade and want something turnkey, then Nucleus is your best bet. Or you can go the DIY route with ROCK. Both are excellent options!

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Are you using a direct connection from the Innuous to your DAC ? If so, and you take Kevin’s excellent advice about using a Core that meets minimum spec, then I would suggest auditioning a low footprint network device between the Core and your DAC.

The idea of the Innuous is to make a computer electrically quiet and connect it to your DAC. This is a difficult task. Computers are inherently noisy. This strategy can see people using low footprint players, minimal OS and spending a lot on isolating the noise in the computer from reaching the DAC.

Roon is not the ideal player for this strategy. It does a lot of background processing compared to simpler players.

But there is another strategy. The ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ side idea. This strategy uses a big, powerful, fast server that has no problems running Roon and can also run HQ Player, if you use it. This server is in a different room, away from the listening area, and it can be cooled with fans so you don’t need to pay to make it silent.

The dirty server connects to a clean side network device, which is Roon Ready, runs Roon Bridge or the HQ Player NAA. It is connected by Ethernet which has magnetic coupling avoiding a galvanic connection. Some people use optic fibre Ethernet, for even greater isolation.

On the clean side, you use a small footprint device. I like the microRendu with a super capacitor power supply that is isolated from the mains.

I haven’t A/B compared a direct connection with a network connection. Last time I read about it I think the pundits and mavens thought that a direct connection could be tweaked to sound as good or better than a network connection, but it took a lot more money and the difference was a diminishing return.

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I agree my server sounds like a tractor, but is walls away from my listening sweet spot, I use a cheapy RPi/Riopeee end point then coax to my DAC

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hmmm, I understand, but this implementation will not change Roon? I mean the search problems I mentioned, the stability of the Ipad application, the cumulated functions which as you say requires systematic additional resources and what about the next update with even more statistics. I understand some statistical needs for you or a category of music lover, but this is not my case. Music is simply pleasure, the version 1.8 is very beautiful but is loaded. Why not dissociate player and search principle and statistics?
Audirvana, is heading to the same kind of problems, where from a functional simplicity we arrive to a pile of services/functions that are secondary to the music (selfishly I specify it :slight_smile:
I can always try to put the core on my iMac Pro, it will be powerful enough and pass the Innuos in end point, I’ll see if it changes something.
But spending for something I don’t use, I don’t see the point, knowing that before the 1.8 version everything was working perfectly.
Thanks for your advice and help.

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I would steer clear of Audirvana Studio until they got the glitches out of the system. It won’t even play to my Cambridge Audio CXN without butchering the signal. Also the remote is a mess it’s nearly impossible to find an album

But it sounds ok ….

If you’re having problems with the iOS app, try uninstalling the Roon app, closing down the iPad and restarting it and reinstalling the Roon app. I use an iPad Mini 3 as a controller and don’t have connection issues.

You could configure the Innuous as a Remote by pointing it to a Core on the iMac Pro, but it isn’t a low footprint network device. You could hear an improvement from removing some of the processing from the Innuous, but a smaller device just running Roon Bridge is a better ‘clean’ side.

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There are more issues with Innuos Zenith than just Roon sound. Innuos 2.0 does not support Tidal Masters and may never, which for me is a red line. So if Tidal is part of your discovery process with Roon, Sense may not be able to access the files.

Hi

Oh you change the title?

So, I try with the iMac Pro like a core, the Innuos with end point, same for me the sound is better with Innuos

The I replaced Innuos with the sotm neo 200 (no more Innuos) and same I prefer The Innuos sound

Now, I search with Roon and listen with Innuos and it’s ok for me, but for your knowledge, try a Innuos to compare…

I think you’re answering my comment but not sure.

Your original complaint was that Roon running on Innuos doesn’t sound as good as the new Innuos “Sense” mode. My comment was that Innuos 2.0 doesn’t support Tidal Masters and likely won’t, according to Nuno. If accessing Tidal and Masters is important to you, you’ll need something other than Innuos Sense.

I owned a Zenith Mk3 for a couple of years and have replaced it with Antipodes K50 so am very familiar with the company.

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Hi Robbi

I’m not using Tidal, but thanks for your help :slight_smile:

Well, I was completely sure I was going to buy an Innuos Zenith Mk III and use it for streaming, but still keep using my Mac Mini M1 16GB 2 TB SSD as Roon Core. And then came Innuos 2.0. I understand that, by Innuos’ decisions, Roon has no place in an Innuos-based system any longer. So I am considering an Auralic Aries G1 ou G2.1.

I do not believe that Innuos has the knowledge or the structure to compete with Roon. Innuos is a small hardware-based company (and very successful at it). Roon is a more experienced software-based company. I do not mean that building very good hardware is easy; but building very good software is surely more complex. Innuos is in the process of learning that (just see the long delayed launch of Innuos 2.0 and its several releases.)

On the other hand, I believe that there is a sound quality problem with Roon that has to be addressed. From what I gather from people using Innuos, dCS and Auralic, their native apps sound better than Roon. And I am talking about people that have separate high-performance dedicated Roon cores and are careful with electrical noise etc. As Roon basically caters for audiophiles, it should sound extremely good.

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hello, I almost agree with you. I started Roon according to their recommendations, big and powerful NAS, Roon on SSD, music on another hard drive, a roon ready SOTM for endpoint …and the quality was not there.

Objectively, there is a problem of sound quality with Roon. Innuos is a simple free player and for that the work it does is remarkable, Roon is paid and indeed we should be able to obtain an excellent sound rendering.

Innuos 2.0 has been long in coming, but is free, and I don’t know if Roon 1.8 is stable enough after its complicated start.

For my part, Roon is becoming too full of useless information for the music lover; but I understand that Roon can use them, resell them and then display them in the app.

So no desire to change Innuos, I’ll just use Roon less, until…

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Yes indeed. Very high sound quality is not a feature we should request from Roon. It should be core.

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I didn’t find Roon usability issues when I owed an Innuos Zenith Mk3, but sound quality very much degraded with 1.8, so much so that I opted to sell the Zenith and move to an Antipodes server. HQPlayer integration made Roon more listenable for sure, but I only use it when I’m in music discovery mode. When I know what I want to listen to and it’s on my server’s drive, I use MPD.

I’m not chiming in to change anyone’s mind regarding Roon’s sound quality as I know that’s impossible. I just wanted to mention that Roon was usable with v1.8 on my Zenith.

I wish this was true, and it may have been at one time, but clearly that’s no longer the case. It seems to be more about the dollars now and audiophiles must not represent a large of enough of an opportunity.

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Just curious, are you using DSP with Roon? If you’re using HQPlayer, I guess you do all DSP with HQPlayer. If that’s the case, I wonder where the quality issues are coming from.

The sound quality issues are coming from Roon. The sound improves over Roon/RAAT when streaming either to HQPlayer/NAA or Squeezelite. Even shutting down Roon completely improves the sound quality. I have opinion on why, but whenever I offer it on this forum, the bullies show up and start sneering.

I use HQPlayer both with and without scaling. Usually when playing music from Qobuz I use one of the sinc filters to upscale to 16FS.

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I have been having issues with Roon for the last few weeks, plays about 14sec of any track and suddenly I lose connection with the core and it takes about 3-4 mins to sort itself out.

Then the same thing happens.

I have uninstalled apps, reconnected to core etc but no cigar.

I too have just pulled the trigger on a Zen Mini MkIII to try out their own platform and to see how Roon might work for what I require.

I have become increasingly frustrated with Roon, especially as everything was great when version 1.8 rolled out but I can’t seem to listen to my music anymore and that’s sad, especially when I’m in lockdown and it’s an important part of my job.

Hi Kevin, Also having problems with dropouts for no reason and I have a nucleus?

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