I’m preparing to tinker with my living room set up and would appreciate comments/thoughts from this group about the likelihood of meeting my objectives. My objectives are:
" Obvious improvement in sound quality for both digital and analog chains
" Remove Roon Core from main listening room (living room)
" Reduce box count and clutter
" Provide full decoded MQA playback to take fullest advantage of my current TIDAL Hifi subscription
" Improve phono preamp
Digital: Roon Core on Macbook Pro Early 2011 with SSD for OS High Sierra with music files on external HD connected through Firewire to iFi Nano iDSD connected to Macbook with supplied USB cable to Marantz AVR 6008 (direct mode) to Aperion Audio Verus Forte Towers
Analog: Pro-ject Debut Carbon with acrylic platter and Ortofon Red cartridge and Pro-ject Speedbox to Musical Fidelity V90-LPS phono preamp to Marantz AVR 6008 (direct mode) to Aperion Audio Verus Forte Towers
Digital: Roon bridge on ethernet connected Allo USBridge to Mytek Brooklyn DAC + to Marantz AVR 6008 (direct mode) to Aperion Audio Verus Forte Towers
Analog: Pro-ject Debut Carbon with acrylic platter and Ortofon Red cartridge and Pro-ject Speedbox to Mytek Brooklyn DAC + phono preamp to Marantz AVR 6008 (direct mode) to Aperion Audio Verus Forte Towers
Moving the Core out of the listening room and going from the iFi nano to the Brooklyn should yield an improvement in SQ on the digital side. But as @Rugby advises, an in-home demo, if possible, is the best way to know for sure.
I actually improved my sound quality by moving my 2014 Mac Mini running the Roon core back into the system. I changed out the power supply in the computer and hooked it up to a linear PS using the gear from uPtone Audio. I am using the JS-2 to power the DAC+ and the Mac Mini that has their MMK conversion that runs directly off of the power supply and replaces the fan controller.
You could also try something like a Sonic Transporter.
There is a lot of work folks are doing to run lower power computers to play music to reduce noise.
The Allo USBridge is a low-power computer. Lower power than a Mac mini or a sonicTransporter, neither of which is especially low power. IMO, the USBridge and the DigiOne Player are both very good RoonReady devices that can run Roon Bridge. To get something substantially better you need to spend substantially more money.
I have a JS-2 and love it. I guess it’s worth considering for the DAC+ (and possibly the USBridge at the same time), but it’s a substantial investment, and there are many lower cost options.
Do you have thoughts on SQ of Allo option vs Sonic Transporter or other options?
I’ll have to wait on LPS. I want to upgrade my wifi from airport extreme/airport express to mesh first. It’ll be nice to have an obvious upgrade path (LPS) after I get the wifi stabilized.
I have an Allo DigiOne Player that I really, really like, and I’m contemplating getting a USBridge to replace a CuBox-based endpoint I’m having some issues with. To me, using a sonicTransporter (or almost any i3-, i5-, or i7-based computer) as a Roon network endpoint doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in most situations.
If you want to spend more, you could consider a Sonore ultraRendu or one of the similar SOtM offerings, but I think the USBridge is a solid, cost-effective choice.
Thanks. I’ll take a look at the ultraRendu to be open minded. All things being equal, I’d like to keep the endpoint simple since in addition to the wifi upgrades I want to do, I’m dreaming of a cartridge upgrade for the analog system.