Roon Consulting

Does anyone know whether there are any “Roon Consultants” or the like in the greater Toronto, Canada region who could provide assistance to a novice and electronically unsophisticated user? I have read extensively through posts to the Community but don’t have the training or experience to understand the vast majority of them. I do, however, enjoy great music!

Any referral would be greatly appreciated. Please note that I would not consider a referral to be an endorsement of that individual’s / company’s competency, so feel free to refer away!

Many thanks


Where are you getting stuck? Since you managed to create a profile here I’m sure with some online help we can get you started. :yum:

Try following this guide first and then ask questions here.

Thank you so much for your generous encouragement. I am a 65 year old retired lawyer. Although I’ve always been enthralled by gadgets and computers, I have been left struggling in the wake of technology, turning to others to “set me up” from time to time.

I have equipment in various locations in my home. In general:

  1. Living room
    –Exposure amps (bi-amp setup)
    –Exposure pre-amp
    –Yamaha tuner
    –Linn LP 1200 turntable with outboard power supply (not certain whether this is the correct model ID but remember that it was at or near the top of their line when I purchased it)
    –Yamaha equalizer (lots of hard walls in that room)
    –Snell type AIII loudspeakers with outboard electronic crossover
    –Teac CD player

This is my listening room. Obviously, the equipment is very dated however it’s performance is spectacular. I have concluded that a piecemeal upgrade plan would not improve the result measurably and a complete upgrade path is now beyond my means. Having learned about Roon software I thought perhaps I could gain a significant improvement here. I have a redeployed PC in the cabinet waiting to do so.

The living room equipment, as with other spaces and equipment within the house, is connected to my home wifi via AppleAirport devices. There is a Synology NAS on the network which contains cd’s recorded in WAV format and I also subscribe to Tidal high-res service. Tidal is now my primary source.

  1. Family Room

A somewhat more modern system is located here, one which provides both audio and video processing. Equipment consists of:
–Marantz 7007 receiver
–Marantz 7 something amp used to drive outdoor deck speakers only
–Popcorn 400 player (now dated and perhaps unnecessary)
–large power conditioner etc.
–usual add one like disk player and Android box of no particular importance
–I use Snell C series speakers for the front, some fairly good small speakers for the back I cannot recall their name but most likely Snell), as well as a Definitive subwoofer and sound bar for the TV
–TV is a 4 year old top of line Panasonic 1080P plasma 65 inch screen

Significantly for our purposes, I already own and have deployed some Crestron control processors in my home. The main unit, the one that is most highly tasked, is located in my family room. I have an iPad in that location which, among other things, connects to the Crestron processor and controls my TV, and the other items mentioned above, and allows me to separately control both source and volume etc. for the outside deck. Its functions would be supplanted to some extent, by the Roon software. All of the family room equipment is network attached.

I have other rooms containing equipment, including a home theater in the basement. However, perhaps I have provided you with sufficient information at this point to dialogue further

My near term goal is to secure an appropriate DAC to enhance the living room listening experience and elsewhere if possible. I would also like to achieve the goal of improving my control system by implementing Roon, to which I have already subscribed.

Confused? I know that I am!

Thank you very much for replying to my post.

Best regards,


I’m in Mississauga. You can email me

Hi Dave,

I’m a lawyer too and until 2015 my main source of music was vinyl and tape. Since then I’ve added a computer digital source, including Tidal, so I hope I can help you understand the steps involved and some of the pitfalls to be avoided. You may already know much of what I say, but if I start from the beginning you’ll be able to identify where more information or explanation is needed.

Your request for a local Roon consultant is quite understandable and it may be that there are Roon users near you who can help, but in these virtually connected days this Forum can also act as a collective consultant.

Before making any decisions about particular gear, it is useful to think about the architecture of your systems generally, including the architecture of Roon. This post will just talk about architecture, we can look at gear options later.

As an experienced audiophile you’ll be familiar with the basic structural components of source, amplifier(s) and speaker. Sometimes these functions are combined in the one piece of equipment. A source may have an inbuilt amplifier or active speakers incorporate amplifiers.

Digital music initially presented as a conventional source, a CD Player being the classic example with an inbuilt DAC and an analog output.

Nowadays there is a cornucopia of “digital ready” equipment which can see the DAC located anywhere; inbuilt into the source, stand alone or integrated with an amplifier or even incorporated into an active speaker.

Stand alone DACs have a variety of digital inputs, making them a useful switching centre for digital sources. Some have gone further and developed volume controls, analog inputs and even phono sections in a bid to become true preamplifiers.

The variety of inputs into the stand alone DACs can be bewildering, each supporting one or more transmission protocols that can impose their own constraints.

Streaming music, either over the Internet or from a local server, makes use of transmission protocols (TCP/IP or UDP) over cabling (Ethernet or optical fibre) or WiFi. The unusual thing about streaming is that it is time independent. A digital signal is broken into conveniently sized packets, which are then routed to the receiving IP address. In theory the packets could go by different routes, even including carrier pigeons or smoke signals. At the receiving end the packets are sorted into correct order, error checked, and sent to a digital output with reclocked timing. This is the job of the digital transport or streamer.

Roon has it’s own architecture which separates out the concepts of Core, Control and Output. An Output acts as a digital source, sending a digital signal ready for a DAC to use.

A minimal approach to adding Roon into your existing system would see the deployment of small digital transports to each zone (living room, family room, etc) that can be fed into an appropriate DAC or digital ready amp. The output from such a DAC would be sent to your existing amps, with the Creston controller continuing to select sources in the family room. Roon/Tidal would just become another source.

I’ll pause here for any questions or further explanations you might ask.

The next thing to do is look at what existing cabling or WiFi you have so that we can choose the best location for the computer to run the Roon Core. That will probably be next to your NAS. Do you have existing Ethernet cabling from your NAS to each room where you want Roon capability ? If not, is it possible to run such cabling ?


Hello David –

I would recommend you look at the following two retailers –

  1. Alternative Audio:
  2. Trutone Electronics:

Both of these stores are avid Roon users.

Best Regards,


Thank you very much Dylan. It’s great to know there is someone like you nearby.

I’m heading out of country for a vacation on Thursday and may or may not be in a position to contact you before I leave. However, I will endeavor to do so but if we are unable to touch base, I will most certainly contact you mid-September on my return if that’s ok with you.

Thanks so much for your reply.


Hey Jeff:

I have read the guide earlier on but that was a while ago and it would be logical to review it again. Thanks for your advice and interest.



That’s great information Jeff. Thanks very much.

There have been many readers who so kindly responded to my post. I thank you and all of them for their kind advice.



Wow! Thanks so much for your lucid explanation. It provided me with greater insight on various matters I have read about. I’m delighted as well to know we share the same occupations.

Is there any way to contact you offline so that we can discuss my situation in more detail–that is, if you have the time to do so and don’t mind getting involved (to whatever extent you wish). Please let me know.

Thanks again,


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Oops, I intended to address this 2nd reply reply to Steve instead of Jeff. Thanks.


No worries David,

You’re welcome to send me a PM (personal message) on this board. Just click on my avatar (the stylish jellyfish next to my name). The blue “Message” button will pop up and can be used to send me or others a message.

But I’d suggest continuing to provide information and receive feedback in this thread. The strength of the collective approach is that when one person is offline or omits something or even makes a mistake, others can step in and assist. It can be a very effective way to quickly obtain information or troubleshoot and you know that the people posting are involving themselves only to the extent they want to be involved.

While you’re thinking about networking, I’ll continue with some comments about the various types of DAC that you might consider.

The most important thing about a DAC, of course, is how it sounds. Most of the things I’m about to mention are aimed at getting a better sound, rather than being ends in themselves.

Important features of DACs include:

  • the number and types of input and output;
  • the resolution and bit length of the input signals it can process;
  • the internal architecture, including any upsampling features;
  • capacity to deal with particular source material such as MQA or DSD.

RCA - receives coaxial s/pdif (Sony Philips Digital Interface Format) signals. It is nominally 75 ohm, but the physical construction of the RCA plug usually results in a 50 ohm impedance.

BNC - also 75 ohm coaxial s/pdif, but the bayonet/sleeve construction preserves 75 ohm impedance.

Toslink - fibre optic s/pdif.

AES/EBU - uses 3 pin XLR hardware to receive balanced AES3 signals.

USB - receives USB audio signals.

HDMI/I2s - this is not HDMI audio/video, it just uses HDMI connectors to receive I2s or Inter-IC audio. There is no standard for the plugs yet, so it is prudent to check the pinout for compatibility.

The main distinction between these inputs is the resolution that the hardware and associated transmission protocols support. S/pdif can now carry 192kHz/24 bit signals, but some DACs will only support up to 96kHz spdif.

USB and I2s are less constrained and can carry 384 or 768 kHz/32 bit or DSD 512 signals. Once again, the actual resolution supported will depend on the DAC.

Many audiophiles (including me) have a listening zone, where they have hi resolution capable gear, and other zones, where 44.1 or 48 kHz resolution is fine.

Most modern DACs will support 192kHz/24 bit into RCA or BNC inputs. Toslink is more often limited to 96kHz. There are some very good DACs that go no higher in resolution, the Schitt Yggdrasil being a well regarded one at a $2,299 price point.

DSD capable DACs (more about that later) will often support > 192 kHz resolutions.

You won’t find much music for sale at resolutions > 192 kHz. The higher resolution capability is mainly used to receive upsampled signals from a computer audio program such as Roon or HQ Player. I’ll talk a bit more about upsampling later. For now, just remember that if you’re not into upsampling then 192kHz/24 bit is all the resolution you will need.

First lets try to get back to the basics, get Roon up and running and forget the ‘irrelevant’ (but fun) audiophile details for now.

The system:

  • One audio system without digital inputs, Airport (I’ll assume it’s the smaller Express version).

  • One cinema system with digital inputs, supports Airplay.

  • iPad for Roon Remote (which version iPad is it?).

  • PC for Roon Server (what are the specs?)

(very) basic first setup summary:

  • Install Roon or Roon Server on the PC. (basic “Roon” comes with graphical interface if you want to use the PC to control and check as well, “Roon Server” is without this and needs slightly less system power but a remote control).

  • Enable Airplay for the Airport and connect it to the Exposure pre-amp with a 3.5mm -> RCA cable. (Airport Utility app on the iPad can do this).

  • Make sure the Marantz SR7007 is connected to your network.

  • Install Roon Remote on the iPad (if it supports it, an iPhone 5S or newer, laptop etc)

  • Once this is done: enable the Airport endpoints in Roon and point Roon to your Synology NAS.

There are more steps to optimise the system but IMO those are the first things needed to setup and experience Roon.

My stepfather is very happy with an Airport Express -> optical cable -> high-end DAC, but you can also bypass Airplay as source with some nice Streaming devices. In your system I’d say: get a simple digital streamer and a proper DAC, or a good Streamer with DAC built in. Don’t spend too much thought on the digital side of things, the DAC stage is more important.

I’m not familiar with Creston, but I assume you use it to switch sources etc? I figure you could make a ‘play roon’ setup where it switches the Exposure and Marantz to the proper inputs and handle volume but I think Creston doesn’t really play a part in the setup of the Roon system in your house. If you do use Creston to handle the volume, make sure you disable volume control in the Roon endpoints so there is only one point of volume regulation (your amp). You don’t want to accidentally blow things up. (Roon soft, amp loud, switch source -> boom)

just a bluesound node 2 and active speakers will do.

Excellent! Thanks Andrew.

I’ll be out of the country from tomorrow until September 11th, at which time I hope to pursue this further with you and a couple of other generous members who responded to my post. I look forward to communicating with you around that time.

All the best,


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Probably the mistake you are making , as a lawyer , is over anlysing the website. It is actually very easy just plug your computer into you amp…maybe through a DAC…but hey who cares and what is the worst that can go wrong. Might even be fun. Good luck.

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The well tempered computer

It’s anot quite idiots guide

Also check out Computer Audiophile website, gets a bit esoteric but some basic stuff too