I just started my 14 day Roon Trial. I like what I see with Roon but have a couple of major concerns.
I have two locations with seperate audio systems. Location A is all Linn with an Akurate System Hub that feeds into an Exaktbox with internal Amps and DACs. Location B has a Linn Majik DSM streamer feeding into a Pass Labs preamp and amp. AFAIK you can use a single Roon license with two locations but you can only actively utilize lone location at a time?
I am at Location B currently. I installed the Roon Core on a recent MacBook Pro. No stored library, just using my Tidal and Qobuz for now. I don’t have a lightning to Ethernet adaptor so all my Roon play is via AirPlay. The down sampling with Airplay in Roon sounds inferior to playing Tidal/Qobuz with the Linn Kazoo app.
I know using a laptop is not the best solution but I think it might be my best option if I bounce between my two locations? I would need to move the Core with me? So, I assume I need some connector to hardwire the MacBook Pro to both Linn Streamers. Should I connect the MacBook to the Linn streamers directly with (HDMI ?) or should I use a lightning to Ethernet adaptor to connect to the network switch I have in place at both locations?
Is there anything obvious I am missing here?
If your MacBook Pro can AirPlay to the Linn systems, it should also be able to connect via Linn streaming over WiFi by enabling that on Roon’s Settings>Audio. Roon (righty) recommends wired Ethernet for the core, but you should be able to try wireless. I have two Linn systems at home, here’s how they show in Settings>Audio:
I have a pair of NUCs, one in each location, as well as two NAS. The NAS sync with each other so I also have a remote back up in the event of a fire in one location. This back up includes the Roon back up so I can use that to update any changes to the Roon database I’ve made.
Since you only have streamed services my set up would be a little bit more extreme than necessary, but it does work and is pretty seamless.
So far all I get soundwise is via AirPlay which sounds quite bad when compared to playing the Linn DSM directly with the Kazoo app.
This second location is on a small island so I can’t get any Ethernet adaptor until I am back on the mainland.
I think I need to take my time here before rushing into buying two lots of new hardware. I need to listen to a simple wired setup first. I really like the Roon UI, the magazine style layout and the Radio feature. But the sound quality has to be on par with playing the Linn DSM sources directly.
Interesting that you can easily get the two NAS systems to mirror each other at different locations…
I just use the R-Sync feature. The first sync I did in situ for the extra speed then it’s a simple process to set up a remote replication.
What’s your network setup at location B? Since you can run Kazoo, I assume you have a WiFi network, and the DSM is wired to the router for that network. If so, I don’t understand why Roon Core on your Macbook does not “see” the DSM as a Linn Streaming endpoint over WiFi. Note however that Qobuz/Tidal streaming to the DSM controlled by Kazoo is direct from the streaming service server to the DSM, whereas with Roon, the Roon Core is in between. It should not matter soundwise (with Linn Streaming, not Airplay) but it may be less reliable (one extra hop).
My Linn DSM shows up under Other Network Devices. It plays Roon via Airplay.
The Linn is connected to a switch which is hard wired to my router. The Roon Core is on my MacBook but only reaches the network via WiFi and not an Ethernet cable. When I go to Device Setup in a Roon for the Linn DSM I don’t see anyway of getting sound beyond Airplay?
I wonder if there is a setting in the Linn software (Konfig) I need to adjust? Right now any stream from Qobuz gets heavily downscaled in Roon before playing with Airplay.
Ok, some progress. I quit the Roon Core app on the MacBook and rebooted the Linn DSM. I now see the DSM listed under Roon Tested Devices. It is streaming a 96K FLAC source. Sounds way better than Airplay…
Edit: the one issue I have here at this location is that I am on a remote side of Orcas Island. The internet we get out here is via a small service company (50 clients) built by a tech local. It is all radio based with no cable or fiber. Each house has a radio receiver/transmitter that bounces the signal between homes. It is affordable and quite reliable. The broadband is limited to 20-30 Mbps though. I can stream Netflix and 44K audio just fine but the higher res Qobuz streams will hiccup for sure…
Glad you got Roon to discover the Linn DSM. Nice location for music 96/24 PCM is about 5Mbps, so you might be able to have reasonable streams, assuming your service does not get congested. Is 20-30Mbps shared among the 50 clients, or per client? If shared, you’ll almost surely experience dropouts for Qobuz streaming.
In your situation, I’d go for locally stored music, assuming you have a good local library separate from streaming (this is my case). Then I’d carry my Roon Core server between locations, or have two Core servers and carry the storage medium between them (2TB SSD stores quite a bit of music).
Once I rebooted everything I streamed the first Santana album at 96K. No hiccups! Much better than Airplay. Then streamed the Eric Clapton & JJ Cale album and it sounds great via Roon. This album received mixed reviews but I love it. It seems very well recorded. I get super rich detail, nice bass, good treble, full sound stage and solid toe tapping fun. No digital harshness, no overly bright solid state steel or tube mushiness. Wish more albums sound this good. I have been experimenting with different hardware at this location for months, a single large square shaped cabin room with sloping wood ceilings. Been through SONOS, Rega, Bryston and now loving the sound I get out of this mixed Linn and Pass Labs system playing new Spendor D9 speakers.
I love the Radio feature with Roon. It has been playing all afternoon with zero issues. At this stage I just want to listen to the sound and if all goes well then plan a course for using the Core and storage at two locations.
Edit: I am not totally sure how this bandwidth gets shared between the local clients. I ran a speed test this afternoon. Download speed was about 25 Mbps and Upload speed was a bit higher at 30 Mbps. This is a June Sunday, but the number of people on the island is way down to Covid. I will run the test again this afternoon when many people might be using Netflix, etc.
That’s surprising, I’d think people who have them would be going to their remote hideouts
All the camp grounds, vacation rentals, restaurants and marinas have been mostly closed for months. Looks like a large number of mainlanders arrived this weekend though. This brings some fear and resentment amoungst the full time locals but tourism is the main revenue source…