ROCK Sound quality

Ok, this might be a stupid question, but I couldn’t really see anyone commenting on it.

If I understand it correctly ROCK is primarily intended to make it easier for people who have a lot of files on hard drive and who want a simple server.

But say and install ROCK on an appropriate machine and stream Tidal. Can I expect an improvement in sound quality compared to streaming from a windows machine? A significant one?

On the one hand its linux, which might be better? Additionally its very optimized, which should improve it as well?

With a network connected DAC zero difference, with a locally connected USB DAC then maybe dependent on the hardware chosen.

I wanted to post the same question but then I saw this thread.

At the moment I am running Roon core on my late 2014 iMac (i7, 16GB RAM, SSD) and it is very smooth in operation. My Roon endpoint is the new Sotm sms200Ultra (had the sms200 before) which is connected directly to my iMac (bridged connection), thus bypassing the router/switch option. I also use the Sotm ISO-CAT6 passive filter in between.

I am thinking of moving to a NUC in order to run Roon core from there, but it’s not a necessity unless there is a clear sonic upgrade in such a move.

So, would running Roon core from a dedicated ROCK unit powered by a linear PSU sound better then running it the way I described above?

Nope. The benefit to ROCK is to create an easy dedicated appliance for the Roon Core. Due to the architecture of Roon there’s no sonic benefit to any particular core platform or implementation unless you are connecting your DAC directly to the core via USB.


Many logical things fall apart in the audio world. I have experienced clear sonic upgrades with Fidelizer Pro on my machine running Windows 10 and Roon core, connected via Ethernet to a dedicated streamer/Roon endpoint (sms200).

The NUC (at least) allows using a linear PSU (the iMac can’t be modified in such a way), so I guess clean power should be beneficial in some way, regardless of the protocols Roon uses. Right?

… no they don’t! Thankfully, digital audio uses the same logic and laws of physics as digital banking and digital anything else.

Suggest you take this topic to , where discussion of such matters is routine. I used to read those forums for amusement value more than anything else but it is where I first heard of Roon. One of the nicer things about the Roon forum is that it is refreshingly free of snake-oil discussions and I hope it stays that way.


The truthful version of the quote should read, “Many a person’s logical thinking falls apart in the world of audio.”


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I think discussions about any aspect of Roon or ROCK are perfectly legitimate here. That includes sound quality, especially as there are rival and related products which are claiming ‘better’ sound quality . Talk of snake oil is premature and I would have thought with a product as pure as ROCK, not at all relevant.

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Of course I’m not sitting in your listening room, but I can only see this being true if your Roon core is underpowered and needs to have non-audio processes stopped as a matter of making processing power available for audio. Fidelizer is meant to optimize the endpoint; I am skeptical it could help at the core.

That is, of course, all theoretical.