Roon Rock with Linear Power Supply, does it make sense?

Hello,

I’m preparing a Roon Rock Server (NUC) and was thinking about buying a LPS like the SBooster.

But does it make sens in my case?

My setup will be the following :

[ NUC Roon Rock ]-------[ switch ]-------[ Roon ready streamer/DAC ]------[ Preamp ]—etc.

In the setup above it doesn’t make sens, IMO, to add a LPS to the Roon Rock for the following reasons :

  • The Roon Rock is not directly connected to the streamer
  • The Switch does not have a LPS
  • Other devices are connected to the switch (Computers, WiFi Access point)

The goal of adding a LPS is to eliminate the noise induced by cheap switch mode power supplies. In the above setup all devices connected to the switch use switch mode power supplies…

So how would a LPS connected to the Roon Rock help with sound quality ?

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Why not try it as is for now…then when you have had it for a while maybe you can try with an LPS and option to return? I’m not sure if that is an option (returning) or not.

Use the LPS for the Roon Ready Streamer/DAC, otherwise it’s does’t make sense IMHO.

For the streamer and the rest of the HiFi I have dedicated mains and consumer unit.

If you are not connecting a DAC direct to ROCK I would say no.

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I recently started using a Roon Rock (Nuc 7i5 with 1GB SSD) feeding a Devialet 440 via USB and although generally happy with the convenience have always felt that something was lacking.

Whilst searching on eBay I came across an 18v/4.2 anp Linear supply from a Chinese source at what seemed a reasonably attractive price (just over £110). The unit arrived within a week and all I can say is that it has revolutionised the sound quality. Suddenly music is more focussed with musicians having their own space, backgrounds quieter, instruments cleaner with the ‘digital edge’ gone, vocals have taken on a new dimension.

The difference to me is enourmous and can be likened to when I moved from a reasonably expensive CD transport to a full 4 box dCS stack connected by Nordost Valhalla’s.

If you like the Roon Rock, I think you will be over the moon moving to a linear supply

Julian Mullins

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After putting the NUC7i7bnh /rock together i ran it for a few days being very impressed.
I took the step and purchased SBoosters LPS, and for me it improved music rather like when i swap a bog standard lens on my DSLR camera to some top notch glass, bring out the finer details etc.

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my post was inaccurate

Hi Andrew,

How is your NUC connected to your DAC?

Is it a direct connection, NUC to DAC ?

Or it connect to your switch?

Cheers,
Tom

my post was inaccurate

Hi Andrew,

If I understand correctly you have the following setup:

[NUC-fanless]-----ethernet----[Switch]----ethernet----[Streamer]

Changing the power supply to a SBooster made an important change in sound quality?

You also say you no longer need to use Roon’s DSP.

Did you try to put back the original power supply ? And make a direct comparison between the original power supple and SBooster?

i did a swop from the linear power supply to the switch supply and found little difference.

I recently replaced the power valve on my pre amp which must account for the SQ improvement.

I did not mean to mislead.

Thanks for your answer.

If the Roon Rock is networked, and not directly connected to your DAC/Streamer it is unlikely that a linear power supply would make a significant difference in sound quality.

A networked Roon Rock is galvanically isolated from the DAC/Streamer, which should mean it won’t “pollute” your audio system.

But, of course, a linear power supply is crucial for your Roon Endpoint which is directly connected to your DAC/Streamer. You don’t want anything “noisy” (EMI/RFI) any near your audio system.

Wich is a completely unfounded assumption. In many cases linear power supplies are performing much worse with regard to power delivery and emi/rfi then smps supplies specially with high transient loads like computers. There is no such thing as ‘linear is good smps is bad’ It all depends. This is a general made false assumption.

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For me statement was qualified in the noise comment. Wether linear or switch mode, you need a good PSU. And that doesn’t just mean noise at the output of the supply, it also means noise injected back into the mains which is the characteristic many bad SMPS’s display and one measure almost always missing from any performance data.

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Sorry for the long long delay,
connection i rock >usb>ifi usb3>devialet
The sound is so open controled deep bass etc etc
But now i’ve put an aurlic aries in to the mix,
So it rock ethernet>melco>aries>xlr>devialet.
Will be trying the usb route later this week.
Auralic brings loads more to the party.

Just replaced the supplied power supply for a NUC7i3BNK with a 19V ATL L100 Linear PS. It’s taken a long time because the first unit I ordered was lost in post.

The NUC is in an Akasa case with ROCK installed and is connected by HDMI to a Marantz receiver in an AV system. I use it to play Flac and DSF multichannel files stored on a NAS.

I installed the NUC in the AV system as an experiment to see if I could make surround music as enjoyable as stereo on my much better quality main system. The results were pleasing at first, but I found the sound a little rough and fatiguing.

With the new power supply, the sound is a lot smoother. I am still undecided on whether I’ll persevere with surround sound in the long term, but at least it’s now listenable.

As a postscript, I couldn’t hear any improvement with the LPS for music files sent over ethernet to my main stereo system.

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Definitely a plus for surround. I bought the 19v version of this $129 Chinese ZERO ZONE LPS: https://www.ebay.com/itm/100VA-DC-9V-6A-Ultra-Low-Noise-LPS-HI-END-Linear-Power-Supply-for-Audio/222604274210?hash=item33d43faa22:g:jQ0AAOSwjC9ZhqCy:rk:1:pf:0
for multichannel (5.1) music from my NUC’s HDMI output. Recommended.

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I bought a ZeroZone 12v for my ROCK as an experiment, made no difference to sq at all, but then I am not using USB so it was not a shock.

I reported earlier that I couldn’t hear a difference with a Linear Power Supply for my core Rock running NUC when connected to the endpoint (Linn Klimax DSM) by ethernet. I bought it for a NUC endpoint connected to an AV receiver by HDMI.

After more careful comparison, I have changed my opinion. I now consider that the LSP does improve sound quality when playing flac files from my NAS. I swapped several times this evening between the LSP and the supplied PS for the NUC. It’s clearly more musical with the LSP. In fact, I am going to forego to improvement to the surround system with HDMI connection and leave the LSP on the core NUC.

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