Please help me optimize my Oppo/ MacBook Pro Roon system. Thanks!

Hi everyone. I’m brand new to Roon and Tidal but so far have really been enjoying it. I have a 2018 MacBook Pro as my Roon Core. I have a 4TB USB drive filled with mostly ALAC files that I ripped from my CD collection. I also have a few DSD files purchased from Acoustic Sounds.

I’ve been getting by with hooking the USB drive up directly to my Oppo UDP-203. It can handle converting the DSD to PCM with no problem and sound quality is very good. The interface is extremely lacking however.

Enter Roon and a new Tidal subscription. I’m now using the Oppo as a Roon endpoint and mostly getting the purple “lossless” light for my streams. I moved the USB drive to my MacBook Pro core. The Oppo feeds into a Marantz SR7011with B&W 685 speakers. I like what I’m hearing so far but would like to optimize this system.
Any suggestions?

For hi-res music I have two questions:

  1. When I choose a DSD file, it looks like Roon is converting DSD to PCM and then downsampling it before streaming to the Oppo. Is this due to the Macbook? Is there a better way to do this to allow the Oppo to perform the conversion to PCM? Would it matter if I connected the MacBook core to the Oppo endpoint via USB?

  2. The Oppo doesn’t do any additional conversion for MQA Tidal streams. It looks like Roon does the first unfolding of the MQA file. I can’t help but be curious how much better a full MQA conversion would sound. Does anyone have much experience or opinions? If I wanted to add a MQA capable DAC, how would I go about fitting into my existing system?

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions for this newbie!

To unfold MQA you would need to replace your Oppo 203 with a 205 or some other MQA capable DAC. The Oppo 203 does not do MQA.

Thanks. I’m thinking of trying out an external DAC. I’ve read good things about the Pro-ject Pre Box S2.