Resubscribing and a new direction

A bit of history: I’ve been a digital tinkerer for years. Sonos, Bluesound, various PC app players and USB output into various DACs, music library on Synology, Spotify, Tidal etc etc. and I was a subscriber to Roon for a while too. I ran my Core on my Synology (DSM v6.x.x) and it performed pretty well despite never bothering with the SSD option for hosting the database. My last primary Roon endpoint was a Bluesound running coax into an RME ADI2 FS DAC and then XLR into my old Musical Fidelity M6si amp. I also fed various Sonos appliances from Roon on occasion too, but for listening to CD and higher resolution, the Bluesound in to the RME and M6si was preferred.

A few things started happening which resulted in my need for Roon dissipating to a point where I couldn’t justify keeping it (these issues were all “of their time” and some have been fixed since had I stayed the course):

  • some uncertainty with running the Core on Synology upcoming DSM v7 prior to its release
  • a desire to drop Tidal meant my only CD/PCM options were the 500 or so albums stored locally on my NAS
  • I wanted to go to Qobuz, but it was not available at that time in Australia

All-in-all, I decided to let my Roon sub lapse. I used Spotify to serve the Sonos ecosystem for background music whilst doing domestic stuff or hosting parties etc and allowed the Bluesound to connect to my NAS for PCM playback when I wanted to connect properly with my favourite music. I started listening to more vinyl again. It wasn’t a terrible predicament, to be fair.

Being a perpetual tinkerer, I had it in mind to always come back to Roon once Qobuz was launched. It took longer than expected, but the launch happened eventually. My plan was to wait for the fixes or new release for the Roon Synology Package to work on DSM 7. Upgrade to DSM 7 on the Synology and then install the new Roon Synology Package. Then I got overtaken by my own lack of attention span. Here’s what happened:

  • bought a Lumin T2 because of so many recommendations on here (@Rockhound - looking at you here!) and because I witnessed first-hand how good customer support is for the product (@wklie - what a legend)
  • note to self: sort out Roon :memo:
  • found an irritating input crosstalk issue on the M6si which resulted in a RTB for investigation by the Australian distributor - ended-up being declared within spec anyway - just noticeable due to high sensitivity of Tannoy DC10 speakers
  • bought a McIntosh MA352 after the amazing 100% refund from the M6si distributor as the amp could not satisfy my use case - incredibly generous and more than fair
  • note to self: sort out Roon, :thinking: :thought_balloon: :butterfly: stop procrastinating!!
  • started rolling tubes in my McIntosh
  • inadvertently deleted my old Roon backups from my Synology when doing some housekeeping
  • bought and listened to more vinyl
  • Christmas
  • are you going to get Roon working yet? :sloth:
  • started buying and hoarding valves in bulk
  • new MC cartridge and phono amp and lots more vinyl sessions
  • became annoyed at the poor Qobuz options for an artist radio type function so decided to get Roon going again (Roon Radio really is the bomb) and got ready to resubscribe - discovered the above deletion :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
  • oooh, look! :honeybee: A bee!

So fast forward a fair bit more and I finally ran out of procrastination options and was looking to grab a new SSD to add to my NAS for the Roon database and do it properly this time, but a generic fanless i5 3317U with 8G Ram and a 64G SSD (System Drive) came up for sale on another forum I am on for very little cash. Despite the fantastic work done by @crieke in providing ongoing Synology support, I figured maybe I ought to go the appliance route this time and not put all my eggs in one basket with the 9 year old Synology.

So the fanless box arrived this morning and it took me less than an hour to get it up and running with ROCK, resubscribe, point Roon at my Qobuz account and index my NAS music repository. Stupidly easy.

Damn. Roon Radio is worth the price of entry alone - Mrs Tel always was a big fan and found the lack of radio-type options within Qobuz meant she often would just use Spotify Connect and not care about the quality. This was probably the catalyst that finally got me to sort it out.

It’s good to be back - it really is the icing on the cake of enjoying my music.

Tel

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And it’s darn good to have you back in Roonworld Tel!!

Enjoy the music and pray tell more about the vinyl sessions and new MC carts and phono preamp :innocent:

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Must admit, I felt like a bit of a fraud hanging around whilst not subscribing, but I always knew I would be back as a subscriber. Roon is too good not to have it in my life.

I posted in the Who has a turntable in their setup? - #534 by ElTel thread about moving the MoFi Mastertracker MM cart and the AVM pre-amp on to a new home and replacing those with a Hana SL MC and Graham Slee Accession MC respectively (some gratuitous TT-porn pics in that link too). My vinyl game has moved up a couple of notches and now it has got to a point where I am reticent of making further changes - at this price-point, it’s that good.

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Ha, yes I saw that but did not connect the dots… until now.

Glad to see you "back":sunglasses:

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I think Tidal app may have something like that (even though I know you don’t like Tidal).

In addition, try setting up a Spotify free account. See if it offers something you may like. You can pay to have 320kbps OGG streaming (to Lumin), or if/when HiFi service is launched that’ll sound even better.

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Thanks, Peter. I’m loving the quality or Qobuz and now I have Roon Radio back in my life I think I’ve got the near-perfect scenario.

I still find Spotify’s Artist Radio to be the real deal for when I am in the car or on the move, so I’ll be keeping my stock subscription with Spotify (I think I’ve been a continuous subscriber with them since about 2011ish, I think). I can’t see that changing; I’m perfectly at peace with Roon being a home solution and not a mobile one (the complexities of data charges, lack of high-speed rural mobile data coverage, and all the associated nonsense in setting up firewall rules to allow connection back to home when I am out are probably a step too far for me to worry about).

I am really impressed with ROCK. So easy to install and delivers on the promise; it’s certainly more responsive than when my Core lived on the Synology.

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Awesome story Tel! So good to hear you’re back in the Roon world. But you really don’t need to be led astray by @TheHammer with all that vinyl nonsense - especially with a Lumin T2 in your rack :rofl:. Before long he’ll be conning you into buying cassettes!

I probably don’t use half of Roon’s features (although I integrate Tidal as we don’t do Q in Canada), but it has totally transformed our listening experience chez Rockhound. Rock on, and enjoy the music!

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I’m all about the 8-tracks these days :wink:

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Nooooooooooo! Not the 8-tracks!

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I see you guys are living in the past, it’s all Edison Wax Cylinder’s here :rofl:

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I think the proper term in “tourist” and the best places in the world have the best reasons to visit as a tourist so don’t worry about it :wink:

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Excellent example of determination and documentation of your progress. Thank you for sharing.

Ahh, you’re an Aussie too. Good investment with the McIntosh - I have the 6700.

As a matter of interest, what was your issue with Tidal? How does Qobuz compare?

One thing I’ve discovered in the last six months is the Tidal mixes - one of my biggest challenges is simply finding new music. The mixes have been great.

Not completely happy with the MQA / sound quality, but since I worked out what was happening with the MQA not being unfolded through the digital out, that’s improved.

I’m in exile from London originally… Been out of Blighty for most of my adult life - France, Spain, USA, Singapore and now Australia. Mrs Tel was born in Melbourne, but grew-up mostly in Adelaide. When we decided to quit SE Asia, it was a coin-toss as to whether we came here or went to the UK.

I looked at the 7200 (I think that’s the current equivalent to the 6700?), but I wanted to divorce my amplification completely from any digital (even card-based digital inputs/DAC). My line of thinking was that the digital realm changes on a regular basis, yet the analogue side is now mature and changes are evolutionary there. I also really wanted to indulge my curiosity with valves, so the MA352 hit that spot.

Two main issues: mqa and Jack Dorsey. On the first point, I just won’t support the attempt to own and ransom the entire playback chain. As for Dorsey - not only is social media a scourge, but I also don’t want to see anyone silenced online, no matter how idiotic or controversial they are - I prefer to see morons given the ability to megaphone their BS to the world unadulterated so we can judge and mock accordingly.

For sound quality, Qobuz is superior in my view. YMMV. Hi-res can be truly outstanding, but it can also easily highlight poor mastering too. The interface is a bit clunky and there is no algorithmic artist/song radio function for when you are on the move; Roon sorts that when listening at home though. I have built a few large playlists for the express purpose of listening to Qobuz in the car, but sometimes Spotify is good enough when you just want to be fed a continuous stream of surprises whilst on a road-trip.

Thanks - I’m ex Melbourne, now in Sydney.

I auditioned the 6700 with Sonus Faber Olympica III’s and fell in love with the sound - I never tried the 352s, but probably should have.

I also never intended to use the internal DAC, but after a bit of experimentation, found that worked best.

I don’t instinctively love the idea of MQA, but it’s so critical for me to find new music - for a time, I used Spotify Discover, converting the playlists to Tidal, but some reason Spotify completely lost it. Tidal’s mixes have been great on this - discovered the National (the Boxer and self titled albums are great), Patti Smith’s 12, Rilo Kiley, Connor Oberst and the Mountain Goats, to name a few.

I should add that when I say new music, I mean new to me - a lot of this music is 10 to 20 years old, of course.

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