Songs have bad distortion [Resolved]

I really like Roon now that I have been using it for a while. I have one BIG issue. Some of my files on Roon come on horribly distorted to the point I worry about it hurting my speakers. First I thought it was just Tidal saved tracks but it did it on a file a purchase from HD track recently. Any suggestions on what to do ? Please help if you can. If I cant get it fixed I will have to cancel my Lifetime subscription before the 30 day trial period ends on Aug 26th and go back to using jriver
Thanks very much

I’m sure this can be solved but in order to help you support or anyone else will need to know some details of your setup. Please provide as much of the details under reporting an issue in this link as you can.

Give me the specific questions you want answered and I will give you what you need . I dont have time to go searching your community site.

The specific questions are in the link I provided above if you scroll down just a bit.

Version 1.3 build 248 stable (64 6.4)
Imac OS Sierra 10.12.6
8GB 1600
Processor 3.2 GHz
10,455 Tracks
Let me know what else you need

Are you up-sampling in the DSP Engine? If so, are you providing any Headroom Adjustment in the Headroom Management filter?

Or any EQ adjustments too?

Have not touched the EQ

Dont know what you mean DSP engine ?? Or Headroom Adjustment ?? Can you help out with more specifics and type in laymen ( or supid ) audio file language ?

If you don’t know, this probably isn’t the problem…

Which Track?

Digital Signal Processing, which can mean applying EQ, Filters, Upconverting, Converting from one format on the fly to another, like DSD to PCM or the reverse, etc.

During some of these functions the peak volume can change which can cause unintended clipping and in turn distortion. This is mitigated by lowering the overall volume, aka Headroom Adjustment, so that when the peaks occur they don’t exceed the maximum safe limit and distort.

Please read the following FAQ section:

Bottom line, to eliminate DSP as a possible cause for the distortion, turn it off.

What kind of DAC are you using Kent ?
Can you upload screenshots of the Settings/Audio page showing the description of the Zone you are using for your DAC and the Playback tab under Device Setup (right click the gear icon) for that Zone ?

I’ve had some FLAC tracks from HDTracks not work properly in some players. I convert them (lossless to lossless, so OK) and then they play fine. Others have had similar issue with Quobus files. Something not standard in the files, but lossless conversion solved.

Hi @Kent_Adamson ----- Thank you for the report and sharing your feedback with us, both are appreciated.

Moving forward, there is some more information I would like to gather from you in regard to your setup and also offer some tests to see if we can figure out what is causing this behavior to occur. I will be breaking this up into two sections to avoid any confusion. Please see below.

General Data Gathering:

  1. I see from your setup description that you currently have “10,455 tracks” in your library, can you please verify how this content is being stored/accessed.

  2. You mentioned in your PM to @mike that you are using “B&W speakers”, can you please provide the following:

  • The exact model speakers you are using.

  • Is there any other equipment involved with this “audio zone”. In other words, what are you using to drive the mentioned speakers and how is the device communicating with the iMac hosting your Roon core?

  1. In your report you stated that you made this observation (at first) with TIDAL content and then noticed that it had occurred again with some recently purchased HD tracks. Can you confirm if this observation is being made with the same TIDAL and local content (i.e purchased HD tracks) every time OR are you experiencing this distortion with anything you try to play. I want to have a better sense of what you are trying to listen to when you make this observation.

  2. Please provide screenshots of…

  • The signal path leaving Roon when you notice the issue.

  • The playback settings you are using in Roon with the B&W speakers. This information can be obtained by going into “settings” - > “audio” - > then clicking the gear next to the desired zone and selecting “device setup”. I am looking for complete screenshots of the “Playback” tab.

  1. You mentioned that you’ve been using Roon for “a while” and my assumption is without issue (please do correct me if I am wrong). If this is indeed the case has there be any changes or adjustments made to your setup in this time period? I am curious if something could be having influence on this reported behavior.

General Troubleshooting Techniques:

  1. If you are accessing your musical content via a network storage device (i.e NAS) or an external HD, I would recommend moving some content (that you noticed this issue with) to the internal storage on the iMac and confirm that you are still hearing distortion.

  2. If you were to bypass the mentioned end point (i.e B&W speakers) and play directly out of the internal speakers on the iMac, do you still hear distortion?


Hey Eric, thanks for taking the time to help me solve my issues. I know this will make me sound like I’m nuts ( and maybe I am :slight_smile: but last night when I opened Roon and it is working perfectly. I went back and played tracks that had the worst distortion and they were perfectly fine. This is the second time this has happened. The last time I just thought it was because of an update Roon had done but then the distortion started again and no matter what I tried I could get rid of it on the tracks that were affected. Anyway needless to say I am afraid to touch or close anything now that is is working. I guess I will just pray that it stays this way and what ever was wrong somehow fixed it self. But I am worried as I ave only had a 2 maybe 3 days of it working out of the 60 trial period.
Just to answer a couple of your questions my 10,455 are a combination of files saved from Tidal and files I have purchased from HD Tracks or Accoustic Sounds and compact disks that I have put in. Everything except the saved Tida files are on the harddrive of my Mac. My speakers are B&W Diamond series 803’s.

Hi @Kent_Adamson ---- Thank you for touching base with me and sharing your latest observations. I am pleased that you have music back and no distortion.

Here is what I would recommend moving forward. I just reconfirmed with our accounts manager that you have a lifetime license so no need to worry about time :wink: I am going to leave this thread “closed” and marked as “resolved”. In the event that you start to experience the same issue, just send me a PM and I will reopen the thread and we can continue where we left off.

All the best,