Roon sound quality related to drift?

(Benny Van Looy) #1


I have 2 Roon server installations: one on Synology NAS and one one a ROCK device. The playback chain is Roonserver -> Ethernet CAT6 1Gbps network wired -> SoTM SMS-200 Ultra -> Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ -> Amplifier -> Speakers.

I find that when playing from the Synology Roon server there is much better sound quality, cleaner, more depth, smoother highs than when playing from the ROCK server.

I am puzzled as to why this sounds better via NAS than ROCK. The ROCK device has much better hardware (core i3) while the NAS is a Intel Atom device (DS1813+).

I have had a look at the log files in both machines. I found that the drift differs:


Trace: [sMS-200 living] [zoneplayer/raat] sync SOtM sMS-200 (): realtime=2309989355751 rtt=500us offset=1293278355us delta=17us drift=-9086us in 879.1145s (-10.336ppm, -37.208ms/hr)


Trace: [sms-200] [zoneplayer/raat] sync SOtM sMS-200 (): realtime=101336024969793 rtt=500us offset=37670983969us delta=135us drift=-5885us in 152.191s (-38.675ppm, -139.228ms/hr)

Could this be an explanation why the sound quality differs and if yes, what can be done to improve it?

(Andrew P) #2

These drift numbers are used by the core when multiple zones are grouped together as part of a method to keep different devices in sync with each other. For single-zone playback (as you’re using it) they don’t have any meaning.

It’s not uncommon for the sync messages (the first ones logged during a playback session) to show what appears to be a lot of drift. That has to do with how this part of RAAT works. There’s no concern there.

I’m not sure why you’re perceiving a difference in sound quality as there should be no difference from core to core, regardless of hardware. I tend to run multiple cores and have never experienced a performance difference between them even when very different hardware was in use (Synology vs ROCK vs Nucleus+)

(Benny Van Looy) #3

Strange. The difference is not subtle to my ears.
Could the power supply be of any influence? With the Rock the PS is built in (Rock installed on PC hardware) while the syno has an external PS.


What core do you perceive as better sounding?
I also find the sonic difference between different cores is not subtle


Andrew, please let me tell you something off topic here:
dCS is not my cup of tea sonically but you are an absolute top bloke.
Always extremely helpful (also in non dCS matters) and VERY knowledgable. Thank you very much for that :+1:
I just wanted to tell you already some time ago but never got around to.
So I thought it’s time now :sunglasses:

(Benny Van Looy) #6

In my case I like the core on Synology much better than the core on ROCK.

(Henry) #7

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a device that is specifically designed to serve up media is quieter than a NUC or general PC designed for desktop or industrial use.

(Benny Van Looy) #8

Has anyone had a similar experience i.e. Synology core sounding better than ROCK (or maybe also NUC)?

(Ged) #9

Nope. I’ve tried Windows, ROCK and NAS and they are indistinguishable, as they should be IMHO.

(Andrew P) #10

Thank you @Christoph, that made my day!

1 Like

Honor to whom honor is due :+1: