Roon compared to some other software players

I found this to be interesting last night which was mostly the result of idle boredom but was a little eye opening.

First set the scene.
I was playing an old fashioned CD through my system using my trusty old Oppo BDP103, this is connected by SPDIF to the onboard DAC of my Levinson amp. It was sounding very good indeed.
I was messing around with Bubbleupnp on my phone and noticed it saw the Oppo as a renderer so when the CD finished I thought I would try it out.
It truly shocked me how good Santana sounded at a native 96/24, to my ears a lot more bite and attack than Roon provides, it might be a little too forward but I was captivated for the entire album.

So this morning I tried a few different players that I have going through my Antipodes server which can be switched between Roon core and regular upnp server in seconds.
MConnect…tbh this sounded terrible, like a funeral dirge, flat, lifeless just meh!
Roon… well spectacular as always!
Bubbleupnp… better than MConnect but nowhere near as good as Roon.

Hmm, this was not what I heard last night, then I realised where I was now different, last night I was not using the Antipodes at all.

So turned on the Oppo and played through that using Bubbleupnp and it was outstanding again.
A real shame that Roon does not see the older Oppo as network devices as that would be a very interesting test then.

Not sure just why this should be but for now it is a worthy alternative as a player if Roon barfs at all.

I’m having a difficult time visualizing the signal path in each case. Are you using the onboard DAC in your Levinson amp for all of these? What is the transport for each case where you’re not using the Oppo?

In my experience, the recording and mastering matter the most. Delivery format and protocol are usually not that important. Depending on the DAC, the device acting as transport can have an impact on sound quality…especially if it’s CPU-based and the CPU is busy.

If the Antipodes server is directly connected to your DAC, I’m not surprised that the Oppo sounds better. Regardless of what Antipodes may say, this is not a recommended configuration for Roon when sound quality is a priority.

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Normal usage is the Antipodes is streamer, Roon Core and Renderer.

For the tests the Antipodes was still the streamer and renderer with just the server function exchanged for dlna server for non Roon software.
Antipodes is direct connection to the Mark Levinson DAC by USB.

Using the oppo the Antipodes is still the streamer and dlna server but now the Oppo is direct connection to the Levinson DAC by spdif.

As a FYI, the sq of the Antipodes going direct by USB surpassed using a Lumin T2 as an endpoint after the Antipodes and before the Levinson.

Don’t get me wrong the sq with the Lumin was outstanding, the Antipodes direct even better though.

I need to listen through the Oppo more as it was more forward and possibly over time it would grate on my ears.

I found that using my dac’s with upnp they sound better than with roon, but that could be my roon server that is noisy an degrades the sound a bit.

Sadly roon does not support upnp.

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and never will !!

It can be made to work with UPnP if you really wanted it to with a little effort but I’ve never found it to be better than RAAT. My solution used a MicroRendu.

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Well… it would not be the first DAC (or integrated) that has a mediocre USB receiver compared with its S/PDIF receiver. Unfortunately, even “high end” vendors are not immune to just getting some off-the-shelf USB receiver parts and firmware and call it done, ignoring the multiple ways that receiver can affect the performance of the DAC itself (jitter, electrical noise, …). I’ve been through quite a few very well-regarded DACs and only two of them had USB receivers competitive with their other inputs.


Was this streaming files from a UPnP server running on the Antipodes , a local file on phone or from a streaming service via the respective apps. What I find strange is that mconnect is just a UPnP controller and if sending a lfile from your UPnP server to the Oppo then their is no way it should sound any different it doesnt touch the audio path as it’s just telling the server to push to the player or player to pull from server. If your playing from files on the phone or a streaming service via it then it’s the phone streaming it to the device not your server. Same goes for BubbleUpnP (unless you have bubble UPnP server running elsewhere where it will pull from the UPnP server and send it on to the device. The latter would account for differences the former shouldn’t at all.

Your first sentence was correct one, Qobuz streamed from the UPnP server on the Antipodes.
All remote software tested was from my Android phone.

That is a very good point and could very likely be the reason.
Something I had not considered.
Thank you for food for thought.

On further reflection there maybe this to consider as well.
I know some here do not hold any stock in boutique cables but…
The USB cable being used is a cheaper generic Pangaea model about $40 new.
The spdif cable is a much more expensive Cerious Technology Graphene model circa $500.
No I did not pay that, lol, it came in a bundle with something or another I bought a while back that has now departed but I kept the cable.

The one question that has not been asked: What were you drinking last night? What were you drinking this morning?

Music always sounds better with wine and whiskey than it does with orange juice! :rofl:


Very odd how just a control app could change the sound, unless everything via mconect goes through the device your controlling. Turning it off during streaming would check for that.