I don't understand the core connection that Roon show me using

Roon Core Machine


Networking Gear & Setup Details

Connected Audio Devices

Number of Tracks in Library

Description of Issue

I am trying to figure out what Roon is telling me about my configuration, which starts with a Nucleus.

When I go into my Roon settings, it shows a McIntosh C53 (Roon Tested) connected directly to my core. I have enabled it and everything is working as expected.

However, the C53 has no network connection and its USB port is not connected to anything.

When I am streaming to the C53, Roon shows me this data path.

The actual configuration is:

Nucleus via USB to,
MCD12000 (Roon Tested) via XLR audio cables to,
MP1100 (not Tested nor Ready) via XLR audio cables to,
C53 (Roon Tested) then to amplifier.

There is no digital data path (for example AES/EBU or coax) to either the MP1100 or C53.

The reason I am asking is that I want to be sure that the DAC in the MCD12000 is being used and not the one in the C53. Of course, there is no way the DAC in the C53 could be being used because there is no digital data path to it. But, I do want to know what is going on.


Wow, that is some chain.

I think Roon is showing you the last DAC in your chain, which seems to be the C53 and is in fact connected thru XLR. That’s the DAC that is getting the last word.

I don’t speak McIntosh, so all these models and their capabilities have my head awhirl, but why do you have, as far as I can make out, two pre-amps in your chain?

Never mind; one is a phono-amp.

But there is no digital connection to the C53, only audio. The XLR being used is not from/to and AES/EBU ports, only analog left/right ports.


As far as I can see Roon is getting it’s stream from your C53 DAC.

You can play music, right?

Weird. For me roon it is not seeing after the XLR, but maybe being all McIntosh they do have a way to speak :slight_smile:

I would suspect the same

do you have a way to disable the dac inside c53?

Ok, I get your chain now and what your mean by no digital connection. Took awhile. :slightly_smiling_face:

Because there is a DAC in the C53 and that is the pre-amp feeding the amp, it might be the case that Roon is simply confused and the DAC in the 1200 is converting the stream, as you want.

I’ve opined enough.

Good idea!
I can’t directly turn off the DAC , but I can turn all the digital inputs off, which I did. System still works as expected. Whew!

On roon settings audio tab the options look like the ones for mcd12000 or like the ones for c53?

Does Roon still think it’s the C53 DAC?

That’s possible, but I’m not sure why it would pick the C53 because a number of McIntosh include a DAC.

Because it’s the last in the chain and the one feeding your amp? Dunno.

Yes, it does. I shut down the Roon client app and restarted it and it still sees only the C53.

I think it may be the case the the McIntosh products are doing some kind of communication over the audio connections when they start up, so some how the MCD12000 knows about the C53 and that is what it passes back to the Nucleus over its USB connection.

But is would be nice to have something definative.

I would think that would screw up the timing.

Strange. I would hope Roon could shed some light on this, out of intellectual curiosity, but since there’s really no problem, probably not. They have bigger fish to fry.

Still, there a lot of users here that can get down in those weeds.

I’ve just noticed that when I open the device setup there is a link for “Not your device”. If I click on that I can make a selection from a list of Roon Ready/Tested devices. So I picked “MCD12000” from that list and updated the zone name to “MCD12000” and now everything looks right!

My guess is that the only thing Roon can tell from the USB connect is that it is connected to a McIntosh product and then it just makes a guess.

Still it would be nice to have a definative answer…


No, they are not, certainly not over line level analog connections.

Dan, you probably just manually edited the Roon Settings > Audio tab device entry to read “c53” and then forgot that you did.


1 Like



WOW… now that never passed thru my mind :slight_smile:

I fairly sure that I didn’t do that. I remember starting up Roon after I first installed the MCD12000 and being pleased that Roon device list saw the newly added device, even if the name was wrong!

The Signal Path dialog you can get when playing a stream gives you a link to the device manual. Now it gives me a link to the MCD12000 manual on the McIntosh site, before it took me to the C53 manual. If I do Settings->Audio->Device I can change the name to anything I want and it still takes me to the MCD12000 manual.