Sound quality deteriorating (Devialet Expert 400, ROCK)

Over the past 3 to 5 weeks, I noticed that the sound quality with my Roon ROCK deteriorated, with the following two issues:

  • More often than earlier, heavily-distorted sound suddenly in the middle of a song for only about half a second to maximum 2 seconds (and then sounding normal again), at random times… On average it used to happen only maybe a couple of times over several weeks, but in the past few weeks it happened more often, maybe even once or twice per day (on listening days)…
  • more concerning but happened only twice (both times over the past 3 weeks): a couple of times, the sound was distorted continuously on all songs, not as extremely distorted as when happening for a second, but distorted all the time, and I had to restart Roon (i.e. I had to also restart the Roon server software on the ROCK device, not only on the laptop) to make it go away. Alas it happened the first time exactly on the day I was showing off my installation to a Geman composer visiting me at home (who now got a wrong impression of Roon :-/ … ).

My configuration:
I use a Devialet Expert 400 (and B&W Nautilus 802), via Ethernet (with Roon’s integrated Devialet AIR). My ROCK device uses Roon 1.6 (built 401) 64 bits, with OS 1.0 (built 159). The ROCK-server is a powerful device (NUC7i5DNHE i5 7th Gen, 8GB of RAM with 2x Crucial 4GB DDR4 dimm 2400Mhz, the OS is on a Samsung 960 Evo NVMe M.2 250GB SSD; the music is on another internal SSD: Samsung 860 2TB SATA MZ-76E2T0B/EU)… Lossless signal path (all DSP disabled for many months, so it can’t come from any DSP I guess.)

PS: I just updated right now the OS to Build 174 and the Server Software to Build 416, hoping the bugs won’t come back…

I had exactly the same problem with my Devialet Expert 200 - a reboot/reset of everything seems to have solved it, and it’s been stable now for around two weeks. Looking to eventually upgrade to the Devialet 220 pro/core infinity board, which will then run the RAAT transport over Ethernet. Had a lot of trouble with Devialet’s Air protocol in the past, so it’s always felt like a bit of a lottery - never entirely surprised when things go south.

Thanks for your feedback. Well, for my part it is out of question to ever “upgrade” my Devialet 400 (not to ‘upgrade’ my ROCK again, which was already expensive enough). That amplifier is more than expensive enough for it to be an acquisition for decades. The answer to problems should not be a never-ending cycle of hardware upgrades. So I hope that such bugs will disappear or at least become less frequent as Roon versions/updates roll out (or that someone from Roon can tell me how to get rid of them, without any hardware changes).

At the moment Roon’s AIR sounds better than RAAT in the Devialet (to me in my system anyway). I have not experienced any distortion or problems using a 250 Pro CI with AIR, but I have not used AIR for longer periods as my preferred chain is a microRendu (1.4) into a Mutec MC-3+ USB and AES/EBU to the amp.

The mR is running the same RAAT version as the Devialet amp so it is a bit strange that the longer signal path into AES/EBU is clearly better than direct to RAAT, but I am sure Devialet will sort this soon.

I would prefer if this thread would stay on topic please.

It is now getting distorted for a few seconds every few minutes. UNBEARABLE! I will contact the Roon support to ask for diagnostics…