Sound Quality not a good as expected

I recently built a i7 8th gen Nuc with Roon Rock. It sounds OK but I was expecting it to sound better than my cheap i3 Dell laptop with JPLay Femto. Can this be? I would have bet the farm that Rock would sound way better than a Win 10 laptop. Any ideas on what could do to make sure I am getting the most out of the NUC? I am goind USB directly into my Auralic Vega. Thanks.

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Are you playing uncompressed files (wav or flac) or mp3’s downloaded via Napster in 1998?

There’s no reason for a NUC to sound significantly different from anything else, but you could try electrically isolating the computer stuff from the playback chain and see if that fixes the flaws you’re hearing.

There’s a bunch of ways to do that, from USB gizmos to SBC endpoints like the Allo or Sonore devices to power conditioners.

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Why do you think that it would sound ‘better’? It’s a Roon Core and ‘directs’/processes the files. That’s all.
All Cores should sound identical. It’s what is ‘downstream’ from the Core that makes a difference, DAC, network player etc.


Really? Yes, “should” “if the technical things are done right”, but in the real world things may be different

I agree that Rock ought to outperform your laptop, but the USB output of the old laptop might be “better” than the one in your new NUC. As Martin says above the ‘downstream’ components are important too. Maybe a networked endpoint would do the trick? The new opticalRendu for example (if you can use fiber in your network…)

ROCK was a distinct improvement over my old laptop which was underpowered and running Windows 10 which was always a pain in the arse to use because of the amount of interventions it needed. But my core is networked so I powered it up and forgot about it. Which is the real forte of ROCK. Perceived improvements of SQ are a bonus for those that might get that.

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Here we go again :slight_smile: Why should a digital 0 or 1 sound “different”???


It is not the 0 and 1 that sounds different…

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One time Dell other time NUC connected to Auralic Vega via USB so where is the difference? One time JPlay Femto, other Roon :slight_smile: digital info to the Auralic in both setups.

Did you try anything like this yourself?

I am playing FLAC files

my downstream equipment is the same so the only variable is the core

Right and it should sound same or close.

In my experience never listen directly from the Roon Endpoint to DAC, but isolate the path through a dedicated streamer, fx Sonore MicroRendu, Auralic Aries or similar.

In this setup I in fact realised improvements through Roon ROCK on a NUC 8 i5 when upsampling or decode MQA. You will probably afterwards never look back in this setup.

And yes: 1 and 0 is not the only word in the digital sound world, as the timing aspect is not 1 and 0’s

I have a Lumin D1 I am not using could I use that?

Yes. I think it’s Roonready.

Yes, it is.

I made the same experience on a Mac Mini running Roon Server and Output on the same device is not a good idea.

I choose RoPieee as an endpoint with much better quality, an ifi PSU helped to pimp up the quality even more. So use a separate endpoint and enjoy.


Ok so how would i connect my lumin and would that in turn go to my DAC (my auralic is the better dac of the 2)

If you output USB direct to a DAC from a good laptop like yours using battery power. It would probably sound better or at least as good as rock.
1st Try a quality power supply on the Rock.
2nd Isolate by using an end point, joined by at least cat6.
Hope this helps.