I want to avoid network noise. I have cheap switches with cheap power supplies.
My Aires G2 player has internal drive with music, but my Roon Core is on my NAS (which also has music). Can Roon send music from the G2 internal drive to the G2 player directly, and avoid music flowing on the network?
“The Network” generates a heck of a lot less noise than reading from media. For this reason (and if you’re trying to remove noise), I would suggest you move all your media to the NAS and let it stream across the network. This will keep the Aires G2 quieter. Now, to go even further… use a wired and then wireless connection as an A /B to identify what sounds better. I believe Aires has some tricks to keep wireless very quiet but that’s black magic I’ll let them keep to themselves.
Others, whom I respect, had said that network SQ improved with audiophile network equipment, or with linear power supplies. I just assumed it would apply to me. That difference in SQ is what I meant by noise and quiet.
I take back that I wrote “When I use the internal direct, it is noticeably better sounding.” That’s what I recalled from a couple days ago, but after tests tonight, I may have got mixed up with a lot of testing I have been doing on various players.
After reading your comments, listening tonight with Roon on wired network vs Auralic direct hard drive seems minimal difference, in favor of direct, but too minimal to be sure that it is not bias. Maybe network with good equipment will sound better than both.
I may do more listening tests: including the Roon network wireless. Any network test will use files on the NAS core. And I may try an etherregen since they allow returns.
Not really. As Christoph says, it’s digital data. All these network protocols are checksummed and bit-perfect, end-to-end. The only thing that can affect the SQ is dropped packets, and that’s mainly a matter of speed, not equipment quality. If you’re hearing pops or clicks while listening, that’s dropped packets, and some part of your network needs to be faster. Otherwise, there should be no effect on SQ.
In any case, it’s moot. The Core, wherever it is located, delivers a lot of the value:
Interprets the various file formats and converts them to a straight PCM stream — the. Endpoint may not support all formats, due to licensing fees or processing capabilities (e.g. DSD, very high sample rates)
Does RAAT streaming which is robust
Supports a few non-RAAT capable devices
Synchronizes multiple streams, including dealing with different device stream protocols
DSP, adapted to various file formats (e.g. DSD)
MQA management, adapted to various endpoint capabilities
Streams Tidal, Qobuz, Internet radio
I’m sure I forgot a few
Each of these may or may not apply to you, or to your endpoint, or to your content. But delivering a consistent experience where the capabilities are the same for all content and all devices is a central Roon value. Setting up a direct path from storage to an endpoint, with limited capabilities, would not be consistent with the product.
It is of course possible to use a single-box architecture, with Roon or other software, where storage, Core processing and output are all in one device (Roon Core cannot run on the Aires G2, but there are devices that support such a configuration). But most would argue that the noise from having storage and processing inside the endpoint would be worse than whatever noise you get from the network.
Finally, whatever noise or other depredations you may get from the network do not depend on the number of round trips. As people have pointed out above, the digital bits are perfect, that’s what the network stack delivers, they don’t get dirtied by travel. Some people argue that any cable can deliver noise in the analog domain, but that does not depend on the number of round trips.
(FWIW I have not experienced any of this noise trouble, with USB, Ethernet direct, Ethernet through a switch, or wifi.)