Pro-ject DAC DS2 Ultra, Volume device or not

Hey Guys,

just setup my ROCK on a NUC and enjoying it via Auralic Aries Mini to my amp. I hear some crackling and humming in the signal when system is idle and volume is above nothing (by lack of better terms). To upgrade my chain i am thinking about replacing the Auralic. I think/hope she’s also the culprit of the hums and crackles. I want my setup to be as simple as can be with a modest budget but still try to keep the best available quality from my Qobuz account. After thorough research i gather a nice setup would be the Pro-Ject DAC DS2 Ultra. It’s supported by Roon and i understand a USB cable between the NUC and the DS2 Ultra should be all i need (combined with PowerQuest Jitterbug).

Currently my Auralic is listed as a ‘Volume device’ and this enables me to control my music and the volume from the Roon app. Will this still be available with the DS2 Ultra?

Subquestion: would you agree for < 1000 EUR this is a recommendable upgrade and make my Roon from Core to analogue RCA’s complete?

I would be trying to eliminate the source of your hums and crackles first.
I seriously doubt it is the Aries, that is actually an excellent unit that punches way above its price point IMHO.
Some days I regret having sold mine!
How are you connected to the Aries and from Aries to the amp?
If line level to the amp can you try a different input or cables?
I would be very surprised if the Aries itself is truly the cause of the extraneous noises.

Check for ground loop first.

@Kevin: thanks for your tip. At the moment the NUC sends the audio via RoonReady to the Auralic, which is connected via analogue RCA’s to my amp. This via a reasonable quality Oehlbag cable of 0.7m. I changed this yesterday to the included cable from my Auralic, seems stock (red/white connectors) but with thicker leads. I will fiddle some more with this to see about the hum/crackle (which seems to be in the right channel the loudest).

@Peter: thanks for this tip, how do i go about checking/fixing this? The NUC, nor the Auralic, nor my Amp have grounded leads. All connected with Euro flat current connectors.

Hey Guys,

for research purposes for anyone who finds this topic: I contacted Pro-Ject and they replied promptly - so kudoes to them - and confirmed i will be able to control the volume via Roon. So yes it is a ‘Volume device’. He did stipulate the DS2 Ultra does not have a preamp so all is managed (soft) via Roon.

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