How good/bad is Roon with Linn?

Hi folks,

I am looking to build a setup in my living room for both turntable and streamer listening, initially with headphones, but I will probably add speakers later.

Trying to decide between an all-in-one box or getting a decent streamer/transport and then feeding that into something else.

Streamers are so dependent on their software stack that it doesn’t really matter how good the audio hardware is if the software is not up to the same quality.

I am trying to decide which brands to look at for a high-quality setup. I have always fancied a Linn so I have been looking into the Selekt DSM, which handles MM/MC phono and obviously streams as well. I am also looking at Naim, Lumin and Auralic.

However the Linn hardware is only Roon Tested, not Roon Ready, so my questions are:

  1. How good is the audio quality of Roon on Linn gear?
  2. How reliable is the software on the Linn gear. I have seen quite a few reports of people having to reboot frequently, etc.

Thanks in advance for any help and/or opinions,

Charlie

Roon does not use its proprietary RAAT to communicate with Linn hardware. It actually uses Linn’s format. I think you’ll find it excellent. But it will work as a lone endpoint and you can’t group it with others in your home. The other options you suggest will at least allow that.

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I’ve been using Roon for a year now, with a Klimax DS. I don’t use Roon’s DSP as Linn’s ‘Space Optimisation’ does what I need.
Roon is a pleasure to use - Linn’s software is basic by comparison, and suffers from a variety of connectivity issues (not everyone has these issues, in fairness, although I regularly did, over twelve years of owning a variety of Linn DS boxes in two different properties).
As Henry says, Linn kit is ‘Roon Tested’ rather than ‘Roon Ready’, but in practice that’s not an issue unless you intend on using multi-room with gear from other manufacturers, in which case music won’t be synced across zones. Linn multi-room is fine.
You’ll still need the remote to select your phono input, but otherwise Roon works wonderfully well.

Michael

Thanks Henry, in this case I am not interested in any grouping at all, so I am not worried about losing that feature, but useful to know.

Thanks Michael.

Just so I’m clear, are you saying you had issues using Linn’s own streaming app with their DS boxes, but Roon itself is working reliably for you with your DS?

How does the Linn appear in the Roon signal chain? Is there any signal degradation sending to a non-Roon endpoint?

Also do you get the artist/track info from Roon displayed on the DS screen?

Yes, I used to frequently get “waiting for room” using Linn’s control points on iOS - both Kazoo and the later ‘Linn’ app (which I believe is based in Kazoo) gave me those issues.
Roon has found the DS every time I’ve run it up in the year since I started using it. The only issue I originally had with it was that sometimes the animation that shows how far through a track it is was stuck at zero seconds, and the DS would stop playing at the end of the current track. However, this was when I was running Roon on an eight year old HP Microserver, which I think may have been faulty, as since moving to a dedicated NUC back in June, I’ve had no problems, and Roon has worked perfectly.
As for sound quality, I can detect no difference at all between playing back content from either my local library or Qobuz, compared to using Linn’s own apps.
Display-wise, as I recall (I’m not at home at the moment so can’t check to be sure) the track info is scrolled at the start of every new track, then the display turns off. I think this is a setting in Konfig (the Linn setup/configuration program) though, and it’s likely it can be set to constantly display ‘now playing’ info - I’ll check later.

Michael

Roon works perfectly on my Selekt DSM. Starting to play music will wake it out of standby and show track info and format information. The Roon remote can be used to adjust volume and put the DSM into standby mode. I have one of the favourite buttons set to select my turntable - the MC phono stage is excellent.

Just one note of caution: there’s no headphone socket on the DSM so you’d need to find some other way of connecting your headphones.

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This is a typical Roon signal chain to a DS.

As others have already said, Linn works fine with Roon, especially as a single/ungrouped endpoint.

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Thanks Ashley, yep shame it has no built-in headphone output, I am thinking of using the SPDIF output into a dedicated headphone DAC/amp, and I’ll use the Exakt output or line outs if I decide to add speakers later.

Good to know it is working well for you.

Thanks Martin, signal chain looks good.

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I’ve been using Roon with my Selekt for almost 2 years. Works (and sounds) great.

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No problems here with a Klimax Katalyst and Klimax Renew, Roon works great.

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I am using Roon with a Linn Akurate DS/3 and basically everything works fine.

I am experiencing this issue again as I am writing these lines. To be fair the problem didn’t appear for quite some time now.

I found a reboot of the DS sorted it - I think it was a communication problem between DS & Roon. I’m still using the old HP server on the network (although, obviously not running Roon since I got the NUC), but I’m aware of some issies it has with networking, so maybe some NICs work better than others?

Hi again - home now and have briefly checked artist/track info display. As I have a KDS the display is quite small so I don’t tend to use it, and have it to change on track change, and then to sleep, so all track info scrolls past then once it’s done so the display goes blank.
If I turn sleep off, the info scrolls on every track change, but then the display simply shows ‘Roon’ until the next track change.

Michael

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I have the same issue as you. Room not found and roon being successful.

Been trying to get linn support to believe me. They are stubborn.

Hi,

I use a Linn Akurate DSM with 350Exakt and Majik DSM / 4100 with Isobarik. No issues, sounds great.

I use SQ+ with some tweaks and no DSP in my Nucleus+

Kind regards
Tom

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Does Roon manage to control the DS volume?

It can control DS volume if you set it up that way in Konfig - in other words, keep Internal Volume Control on in Konfig and Roon will be able to adjust it. As for me, I use my Klimax DSM with a Trinnov preamp, so I have Internal Volume Control off and control volume through the preamp

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Brilliant. It worked. Level very low though. I need to work out how to adjust that.