Is sound quality affected by what AC cable is connected to a Roon Server?

I would like to understand the way Roon Server communicates with a Roon Ready device, if they are two separate devices connected to the same network switch, then my question is would the quality of the AC cable that the Roon Server is connected affected the quality of sound that you get? Is the way that a Roon Ready device “receive” data from a Roon Server the same as that of a DAC from a Roon Ready device? Is it necessary to invest in expensive AC cables to get the best digital quality data signal from an independent Roon Server? In terms of the quality of a AC cable (in the context of a Roon Server), which one is more important, EMI/RF noise, or, the purity of the conductor (eg. copper)?

I know this is quite a lot but has been bothering me and would like to get a better understanding of what’s in the digital domain vs analog. Many thanks.

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I think some of this depends on how good or bad the individual components are. If you have a noisy computer hooked directly to a DAC with poor noise rejection, it might matter. The concern is noise from the computer getting passed to the DAC. Once you separate these components by ethernet that method of noise transmission is greatly reduced.
If a DAC is connected directly to a computer via USB, it doesn’t matter if the DAC is Roon Ready or Roon Tested. That really has more to do with how well each device can adhere to Roon RAAT standards.
After you get past that, it becomes religion. Some people swear to night and day differences, others hear no difference. I don’t hear a difference. I tend to think if you want to hear a difference, you will. To me, it’s illuminating that high end amplifier makers ship $30,000 amps with their stock AC cords. If it really made a difference, what’s another two grand for a ‘high end’ power cord?

If it’s bugging you, then why not audition a power cord or two, although I agree with Tony and Scott completely.

To echo Scott’s point, every change is system dependent. A change in someone else’s system may not equate to improvements in other’s systems.

If you’ll accept a bit more humble advice…be careful not to get too anal about chasing improvements. Some folks get pretty carried away, and that may impact their enjoyment of the music. Of course, YMMV …

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No, it does not.

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Doubtful you would see any improvement, but cable routing can matter. Try to keep your cables as separated as you reasonably can. Also some cables: power, ICs, digital, and speaker will pickup hum or act like an antenna around computer equipment.

Cheese ‘n’ crackers, not again. :roll_eyes:


Maxwell, Tesla and Faraday suggest that all things transmit and receive… All noise is additive…

The power cable is only the last few feet (meters).
Since cabling is so sensitive, what you really need to do is rip all the power cables out of the walls and rewire the house with Audiophile cable. And from the house out to the street. Ideally, you should talk with the power company as well.


I also think, that the cables, if they meet the specifitations, wont affect the sound quality.
Keep in mind what type of cables are there before they meet the wall-socket. And further the power goes thru super tiny wires; the fuses.
But… That type of cables are often looking very nice. Thats why even i bought them for my components :wink:

Firstly, thanks to all who have responded and offer their kind opinions & advice. I don’t mean to offend, if you are in the camp “cables don’t make any difference and if you believe otherwise then you are dumb as ■■■■■■ then thank you and I am not here to debate with you. To each their own, as they say. However, I have a very sensitive system and every cable that I connect to any of my components have made a difference, better and worse. I won’t spend the time here to convince you of this. I merely want to get the expert advice on how Roon Server actually communicates the bits and bytes with Roon Ready devices. The reason being I don’t want to invest in high end cables if it won’t make an iota of difference to the sound because data packets passed from Roon Server to Roon Ready device is preserved in its complete form without any influence by noise etc., much like when you open up a Microsoft Word document, you are certain the last saved version is completely preserved and you will get 100% of what you saved. It is different when a streamer passes those bits and bytes of a piece of music to the DAC. That is what I want to ascertain here, how is the data treated between Roon Server and Roon Ready device. Simple question and I hope the Roon technical staff is able to help here.

Roon Ready devices use Roons streaming protocol called RAAT to receive music from the core transported over TCP. If connecting via USB then it uses USB Audio Protocol. Both are bit perfect transfers nothing is changed unless you apply DSP.

Which is better is dependent wholly on your setup. On the whole USB is deemed to be more susceptible to noise and issues and can be more susceptible to noise if a DAC is connected directly to the core machine. As computers are inherently noisy things and can pass via USB. Network endpoints are what Roon recommend for best experience keeping the noisy device away from sensitive audio equipment it’s galvanically isolated.

Whether using an expensive AC cable will make any difference Roon will not answer as it’s not something they will comment on as it’s highly subjective and system dependant. I changed my stock PSU on my core for Linear one and did not really hear any difference over the stock switching one and I use Roon Ready devices over network. Your experience may vary.

There was a chap in the UK who had a house built around his HiFi. Quite literally, he had his mass loaded custom horn speakers embedded in the wall.

He paid the electric company a huge amount of money to have a custom feed straight from the local sub station to feed it so it has been done.

When we got our house re-wires I did have a custom ring put in just for the hifi but only because it was so cheap to do given the whole house was being done anyway. I doubt it made a difference :rofl:

Many thanks CrystalGipsy, if RAAT is meant to be bit perfect via Ethernet, then you have already answered my question. In this case, the quality of the cable should have little or no effect to the quality of the sound. Thanks again.

More on it can be read here.

You don’t have to just sit there and take the schlock the power companies dish out. That’s for dopes!
We send DC power from our solar panels to a bank of audiophile-grade lithium batteries filling the lower third of our house. The DC current from the batteries feeds a custom device (military grade capacitors, etc) which synthesizes the 120.0V AC sine wave. Output from this is carried via a cryogenically cooled Sukhavati to the heavily modded Paul Hynes SR7 LPS and then to my Intel NUC8i7BEH. Power distribution to the amps and DAC is slightly more complicated, of course, but also draw from the battery bank.
This gives much better rhythm and pace, and it lifts so many veils Salome would be embarrassed. The benefits are there if you pay attention to details. And it helps if your children don’t aspire to college. :wink:


You may wish to checkout the Uptone Audio network switch optimised for Audio.
I have been impressed with their ISO Regen.

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Here in Australia your power socket is wired with cheap 2.5mm2 solid copper or, if you’re lucky, stranded wire. It’s worth about $AUD90 per 100m. That then goes to some Chinese cheapy circuit breaker, probably an RCD and then a main switch to be finally connected to the mains via a fuse. All that’s then connected to the street mains, usually aluminium because copper is too expensive. Connected to the same supply are probably fridges, welders, a heap of motors etc all introducing noise on the power supply.

1.8m of audiophile mains cable is not going to make the slightest difference with the hundred + meters of crappy wiring to the supply.

I’m an electrician, when I wired my house I put in a separate power feed just for my stereo. I also use a power conditioner for my valve amps, etc.

I don’t waste my money on 1.8m of voodoo magic at the end.


I chuckle when I see these threads about using expensive power cords. Think of this: your home or apartment is wired with builder grade Romex cable - that is the plastic stuff you see coming out of your house power breaker or fuse box. I can guarantee that none of that stuff has “audiophile” characteristics. So, connecting 5-6 feet of “special” power cord makes no difference at all to the whole circuit.

Now, lets back up a bit. Consider the power cable connecting your house to the power pole or underground distribution. Back up a bit more to the lines on the utility poles; a bit more to the high voltage transmission lines; a bit more to the power generation stations.

I designed electrical systems for power generation stations for 49 years. Again, I can certify that no attention is paid to any special audiophile characteristics in the power generation station, the transmission lines, the utility poles or underground distribution, the lines connected to your house, the house power box, or the internal wiring at your place of residence. So, what do you think spending $$$s on the last 5-6 feet of cable will accomplish?

—end of rant:-)


Good cables have an advantage, but the most important thing IMO is the quality of connection to the wall. Cheap plugs and IEC connectors suck. Spend a couple of bucks on a decent receptacle as well. A hospital grade receptacle can be had for $10. Regenerators are nice components if you can employ one.

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