Sony TA-ZH1ES - Failed to initialize the audio device

Roon Core Machine

Playback: Mac Studio, running Roon 2.0 Build 1223 production

Server: Synology NAS running Roon 2.0 Build 1223 production

Networking Gear & Setup Details

10GbE Ubiquiti network & internal Mac Studio NIC

Connected Audio Devices

Sony TA-ZH1ES via USB-A to USB-B & Chord cable

Number of Tracks in Library

6,300 tracks

Description of Issue

The Sony DAC will frequently fail to initialise, temporarily disappear from Roon, then reappear.

Happens when starting a new track. That same track may play perfectly once the DAC reappears. Playing mainly from Tidal and I can’t see any consistency in tracks that cause this issue.

Happens whether using DSD over PCM, or Initial dCS method.

Any tips appreciated!

Hi @abadr,

Thank you for your patience while we worked through the tech support queue to reach your report. First off, I’m sorry you’re experiencing playback issues with this DAC.

First off, are you running Ventura on this MacBook? If so, it’s first worth verifying if you lose this DAC in the System Output, as well. Ventura shipped with changes to the audio kernel that were widely reported to cause devices to disappear temporarily in the pro and consumer audio communities; many of these unconfirmed instabilities were resolved with Ventura 13.1 and 13.2. To check if this is what you’re experiencing, open Audio Midi Setup on your Mac from Applications → Utilities, and check if the DAC also disappears from the system output list there.

If the issue is specific to Roon, then it’s very likely resolvable with a few settings tweaks.

  1. Are you able to supply us with a screenshot of your Signal Path (the green dot above the playback bar) when you are streaming in this setup?

  2. A screenshot of the Device Setup page for this Sony TA-ZH1ES will also greatly expedite our investigation. You can find this window in Roon → Settings → Audio and clicking on the gear next to the Sony zone.

  3. Let’s refresh RAATServer, since you’re connecting to this device via USB. You can generate a new RAATServer instance on your device by following these instructions, but please be aware that this will reset your Roon Settings → Audio Tab to factory settings and I would advise making a backup of any custom DSP settings you have.

  • Create a Backup of your current Roon database
  • Exit out of Roon
  • Navigate to your Roon’s Database Location
  • Find the folder that says “RAATServer”
  • Rename the “RAATServer” folder to “RAATServer_old”
  • Restart the Roon App to generate a new RAATServer folder

Let us know if the above changes the symptoms at all, and we’ll keep a lookout for the screenshots at your convenience. Thank you!