Innuos Zenith MKIII as Roon Core

(Johnnie Pearson) #21

I have several systems in two main house zones.

  • Zone 1 is my basement that has the Zenith (Roon Core) and NAD M12 pre/dac (Roon endpoint) in my main system, and a Raspberry PI RAAT endpoint in my rec room connected to a mixer and a bunch of vintage McIntosh, Pioneer, Teac, Technics, Soundcraftsman, and dbx gear - some of which I’ve had for over 35 years. I’m in the process of downsizing, so all of this is going away.

  • Zone 2 is my 1st and 2nd floors that have RIVA Wand speakers and a Chromecast Audio device connected to an AudioEngine A5 speaker.

Before moving to Roon, I used LMS for everything with Squeezebox Duet, Raspberry PI, and LMS AirPlay Bridge endpoints. Worked fine and sounded great.

I’ve had Roon for about a week and am taking advantage of Tidal MQA using the NAD M12. I much prefer playing Tidal via Roon than the BluOS app, and the SQ is great. When playing FLAC or DSD files from the Zenith, everything goes though the MyTek Liberty DAC. The Liberty supports MQA, but of course the Zenith does not. Most DSD and well mastered FLAC files sound as good or better than MQA to me. Ripped Red Book CDs sound good, but not as good as the other files when played at the same volume level.

I’m building my retirement system and music room. I considered buying a DirectStream DAC when the price dropped $2000 over the holidays, but I had just purchased a Technics SL-1200G with Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge, the Zenith, and the Liberty DAC. I bought the Liberty DAC to see how it compared to the M12 DAC. To my ears, the Liberty DAC sounds a tad better. I do plan to upgrade the DAC by years end, to something. The DirectStream in on my short list.

(H Thorpe) #22

(H Thorpe) #23

The Innuos is far away from the ROON advised specs,

The Innuos MKIII is a compromise between an optimal Server Spec and an Endpoint Spec. The result requires the 3 linear power supplies, and other expensive tweaks to make it sound like a real endpoint.

(Chris) #25

Hi together
First of all I loved Roon ! Its simply the very best Software i discovered in the last 10 years.
BUT - if I use my Innuos Zen Mk 3 as UpnP server and not as RoonCore it sounds slightly better. Its not night and day but on my system it is audible. (Rockna Signature DAC and ATC SCM 25). Besides the few objectively audible differences, it touches my heart less, … quite simply.
Till now, nobody could tell me what the real reasons for this difference in sound quality is. PCU Power ?
I am thinking about to buy an Intel NUC with a linear Power Supply to give Roon Rock a Chance. But i am a bit sceptical, because its a „simple Computer“, like the Roon Nucleus.
Thanks for your help.


Its the simplicity that makes it better IMO. Less other crap to deal with. It’s designed to do one thing and do it well. As for SQ you might want to try separating end point from the core. This is Roons recommendations and what a large proportion of users do. Have the core do its thing and send via RAAT to a network endpoint connected to the dac.

(H Thorpe) #27

Agree, i did some extra testing with all kinds of players and NUC8 i3 and NUC8 i5. Together with different endpoints.

(Chris) #28

Does that mean that I should buy a Intel NUC and use the Innuos only as a RoonEndpoint or Roon Player ?


Are you having issues with using your Innuos as Roon Core?

(Chris) #30
(H Thorpe) #31

The Innuos, is a very good " all in one " solution. If you are having problems because of features like " DSP / Library size / Number of streams" you could experiment with a separate Core.


Try your Innuos as Roon Core with Squeezelite (experimental). I bet you it will sound as good as with UPnP

(Chris) #33

This is what i expected … but


You will have to activate SqueezeLite support on Roon settings. One box to check there. I am not home to check now, and I don’t remember which part of the settings

(Chris) #35

Hi thyname
Thank you so much. I solved the problem.

Found it under the Innuos Support Release 1.4.1
Disclaimer - this is an experimental feature which may have occasional dropouts. It uses the Squeezebox integration within Roon which supports only audio up to 24bit/192 and DSD64. Quarantine and Import will be disabled as they require the internal LMS to be active and that would conflict with this feature on Roon.
Go to Settings > Choose Server Integration
Activate the Roon switch then select the option “Use Roon Core with Squeezelite Player (Experimental)”
Click the Apply Changes button
Launch the Roon App
Go to Settings > Setup
Activate the switch for “Enable Squeezebox Support”
Go to Setting > Audio
Disable any players shown under “Connected to Core”
Enable the Squeezelite player under Squeezebox.

And WHOWWWWWWWWW my god !! Thats it. Absolutly fantastic - a big, big deal - the music is back.


Innuos ZEN MK3 as Roon Core with Squeezelite Player/ DAC not found

Awesome! Glad you figure it out.

I am also happy you like the sound now. There is a big discussion on the thread below. It’s a pity people don’t believe us about Roon, Innuos, and RAM memory playback.

(Chris) #37

As is so often the case in life, despite all the discussions one has to make certain experiences oneself.
I never expected that. Of Course I didn’t have that in mind when I bought the Innuos.
Player and music data in one place, that’s simply ingenious and sounds stunning. Even if it’s still experimental, its fantastic.


You are 100% right!

(Chris) #39

What would only happen if this mode were coupled with even more processor power ?!

(Hugo) #40

Yes the squeezelite on innuos core is amazing. And shows that the roon recommendation to have the core and endpoint separate isn’t necessarily the best solution.

As to your question about exploring this method further, there’s a whole other thread where it got very heated. Those asking Roon to explore these type of options and then those stating ad nauseam that there is no evidence to even warrant trying. That’s pretty much where it ended so hopefully one day Roon takes SQ up a level by exploring these options more.


The first group of people own an Innuos device. The latter group of people don’t. They just request evidence / proof.

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