Replace switched power supply of Roon server to improve sound quality?

Since a few months I use a Roon server. Although the sound quality of Roon is good, listening directly to my Lumïn D2 streamer gives a better sound quality. I wonder what could be the reason for this.

The existing setup is as follows:
Roon ROC (1.7 build 710) on a NUC8i3BEH <> Silent Angel Bonn N8 ethernet switch <> Lumïn D2 streamer with a Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO MKI power supply. The NUC still uses the original switched power supply. All these components are in the same room, the NUC however uses another separate power outlet. I mainly listen to Qobus. And I use no DSP settings on Roon.

I still hope that something can be done to improve the sound quality of Roon so that it comes on the same level as when directly listening to the Lumïn. Has anyone a suggestion for me? The only thing I can think of is replacing the power supply of the NUC. What may be expected from the use of a linear power supply? The Sbooster is not suitable since the new generation of NUC’s use too much power. Has anyone a suggestion for a good suitable linear power supply, based on own experiences? Thanks for your reactions!

This is a topic much discussed on the forum.
The nuc is a computer that delivers data to a streamer/audiodevice over a networked connection.
As such there is nothing to gain in changing the powersupply of the Nuc.
It is data being sendt over a network, its not music being sendt, its data representing music.

I know it is not what you are asking though :wink:


The only way to truly know if it helps in your setup is to try one. One you can return if you are not positively finding improvements

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First of all, don’t ever listen to any advice regarding power supplies on this entire forum.

Second, do some experimenting that is free of cost first. What kind of ethernet cable are you using? If shielded, try some unshielded cable.
Have you tried to tightly couple the groundpath by feeding the nuc from the same outlet as your equipment? Try these two things first before even considering to spend any money on a psu, isolator, reclocker or whatever.

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Most NUC power supplies as shipped have no earth

The first point voids your second.

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True, everything in life is relative :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reaction. Between the NUC and the switch I use a Cat7 double schielded ethernet cable (Melco C1). Why should I try an unshielded cable? Why could this give an improvement?
The power supply of the NUC has a ground connector so I can try your suggestion. However I do not understand why this could make any difference. Could you give a short explanation?

I agree but finding a dealer who can deliver a linear power supply 19V 5A for a try is difficult (in the Netherlands).

I use this one:

Since ground current causes a voltage drop over a resistive path there two things you can do to lower it’s influence, either by making the resistive path as low as possible or completely isolate it. Since your nuc is grounded and you have shielded cable you can either remove the shield connection or make sure the groundpath has the lowestnpossible resistance by tightly coupling the ground of the nuc to the ground of the rest of the system, in other words, put them in the same outlet.

Wether or not it will make any difference in sound depends on the situation, wether there was a problem to begin with and how sensitive your equipment is to ground noise. But try it first before spending money on any fancy “cure” devices

Thanks Daniel! Could you share your experience with this power supply? Did you hear a significant improvement? In what way?

Thanks for your explanation. I will give it a try and let you know!

I use Intel NUC8i5BEH fanless. When I tried to see the influence of the power supply for NUC on the sound quality in my audio system, I had Roon ROCK installed.
I tried 3 power supplies:

  • an older, more massive switching made by a relatively good company
  • the original one of the NUC
  • the linear one from the link I provided previously.

I felt differences in sound quality. These are not major differences, but some quite small but noticeable ones: the sound has become cleaner, clearer and firmer, this from the first to the third of the above power sources (the linear one being the best).
Knowing that NUC does not contain ideal electronic components for audio, I preferred to take a decent linear power supply, not an exceptionally good (and more expensive) one.

I was using NUC as a streamer via Ethernet. I expect the power supply influence to be greater when it comes to DACs connected directly to the USB in the NUC (but I haven’t tested that).

Compared to price and benefits, I find it much more beneficial to replace Roon ROCK with AudioLinux (or similar) than a linear power supply.
Obviously, both together combine the benefits. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yup, and ethernet has two types of transformer coupling to eliminate noise. Isolating transformers and common mode chokes.

I have a Sbooster linear power supply connected to my 10th gen i5 NUC with roon Rock. To all sceptics out there, I can only say one thing: you really missing something if you do not try a better power supply to your NUC och computer.

Feel free to listen to the interviews below with designers of innous, Mola mola and Audioquest on how electrical noise affects digital transmission. John Darko is interviewing:
Why isn’t digital audio simply a matter of ones and zeroes?

EXPERT OPINION: Bruno Putzeys (Purifi, Mola Mola, Hypex, Kii)

What is electrical noise and how does it affect your DAC?


Hello Daniel, I finally bought the power supply you mentioned, the AUDIOPHONICS LPSU100 Stabilized Power supply 19V 5.25A 100W NAS / Intel Nuc. I’m very happy with this power supply. Within the setup in my house it gives a significant improvement of the sound quality. Now, the sound quality of ROON equals the sound quality of the Lumïn. There are differences of course, but that is more a matter of taste. In most cases I prefer the sound quality of ROON, but occasionally (f.e. classical music) Lumïn gives slightly more detail. Thank you again for your advies!!

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Hello Nyquist, I have put the power supply of het NUC in the same power outlet as the rest of the audio equipment. Het NUC, the amplifier and streamer shared the same groundpath. However, in my situation (audio setup) it made no difference. Finally I decided to buy an lineair power supply and that improved the sound quality of ROON significant. Anyhow, thanks for your suggestions. It was worth to try!

I’m glad you’re happy with AUDIOPHONICS LPS.
Enjoy your music!

Reach out to Yair at Teddy Pardo. Well made, affordable linear power supplies for just about anything. Great customer service & very responsive!