Sound Quality not a good as expected

(Aigars Adri) #21

I had come to same conclusion. Direct output from PC USB sounded better than Roon.
Until I changed all network wires and upgrade network switch also power supply for network switch. Any network component from Roon server to device that is playing music will affect sound quality.

After network upgrades Roon sounds better than direct output from PC with Jplay

(Henry) #22

I find it strange that some are recommending connection via USB to a Roon Ready streaming DAC. Is it just me?

(Jeff) #23

I think they thought the D1 had USB out for his Vega.

(Peter Galvin) #24

Interesting that folks are saying indirect is the best way.
I have my mac mini USB connected to my DAC (with a usb enhancer between the two) and it sounds terrific. Would love to try some streamer instead but not worth buying one to test it…

(Henry) #25

You can get very good results from USB but it is by no means consistent. I think Networking is more consistent and should have a baseline well above that of the worst USB implementations.

(Peter Galvin) #26

Yah perhaps my upgraded USB cable and active regenerator help a lot…


This discussion is confusing. I would second using the Vega as Roon endpoint and have the Rock server in another room and see(hear) if there is any difference.

(Luis Gaivao) #28

Just a few questions here. What exactly was wrong with the Dell laptop that led you to go Nuc? Were you not enjoying the music?
Or is this a case of spec sheet expectations not turning out to be true?
That could help understand your disappointment.

(Henry) #29

I’ve been on that treadmill. But at some point I looked at what I was having to do to get satisfactory results and decided to at least try a networked DAC and right now I have no regrets.

(jim giordano) #30

I have had reliability issues in the past with JPlay. The UPNP app would disconnect from Femto. At first I thought it was JPlay (it wasn’t) then I thought maybe the app (nope). I now believe that it was my network router. Anyway, I did a trial with Roon and liked it and the “idea” of getting away from a cheapo Windows 10 laptop and getting a single purpose machine. I was under the impression that it would in all likelihood sound better.

(jim giordano) #31

OK so the next step is to connect the lumin to the network and use that as an endpoint. I could go SPDIF into my DAC.

(Henry) #32

Tell me again, what is your DAC? Is it an AURALiC Vega?

(jim giordano) #33

yes auralic vega. I think the dac section of the lumin is not quite as good as the vega.

(Henry) #34

So I am assuming you have the original Vega, not the G1 or G2 both of which are streamers.

(jim giordano) #35

yes that is the one, no streamer embedded

(Peter Galvin) #36

Hmm, don’t streamers also output USB? Don’t they have the same USB being high-quality issue? Or perhaps internally they do the USB optimizations…

(jim giordano) #37

ha ha yep thats one of the things that confuses me. But since I have the equipment it costs me nothing to try it

(gerald forstater) #38

I never usually reply to blogs like this. So this is a significant exception. Simple is better, and I’m not a W10 fan. It has serious DSP hazards unknown to many, and used by others to tweek sound without full disclosure. It has vast video, mpeg decompression and audio manipulation built in with PC’s capable to use them. Not NUCversent.

Without telling you how many different systems I’ve been through for the best digital streaming service and MQA using TIDAL, I ended up with a Mac Pro, 12 cores, and all the other good stuff. That goes to a Brooklyn plus one DAC. USB.

At the same time ROON allows me to run an optical output to a smaller Grace DAC unit (which sounds excellent) while paralleling the fiber output to an M 900 TC electronics monitor. I’m an audio engineer so I don’t do anything without visual monitoring. This allows me to visually see if the content from TIDAL and if output from the ROON CORE is violating input standards to the DAC.

As in:

  1. overloading the input’ to DAC - an infrequent but untrivial issue.
  2. Viewing the poorly recorded or converted content to adjust systems
  3. Viewing wide spectrum sound content to avoid analog overload (blown speakers. )
  4. Viewing stereo channel relationships ( separation) directly
  5. Verifying ROON playing - again, infrequent but… you get it

p.s. I’m driving 3 sets of big Maggie’s flown on light-truss, 9 cubic Ft of dual bass drivers, 2000+ Watt’s, with a Backert labs Rhythm 1.3 vacuum pre.

No Hum. No static. No hiss. No noise. 0. At MAX.

The room rocks!

And…no medical grade noise reducers, Low frequency earth tremor demodulators and definitely no gemstones, no brass weights and definitely no “still(theykeeprippingmeoff)points.”

(Henry) #39

I hate you! :slightly_smiling_face:
I’m in a box bedroom!

(WillK) #40


I was in the same situation as you a few months ago, though in my case with a Nucleus+ and a Benchmark DAC3. Sound quality compared poorly with bitstream output over coax from an Oppo 205 and was frankly not acceptable.

In my case, two things made a huge difference and brought the sound quality to a level above that from the 205, which had been my standard source up until then:

  1. Turning off DSP in Roon settings;
  2. Replacing the Roon wall-wart PS with a Teddy Pardo 19/3 PS.

Frankly, I’m amazed that a Roon LPS has not appeared, despite being rumoured last year. I assume the calculation on Roon’s part is that there are just not that many customers using the direct USB output. My experience is that direct USB output is not acceptable without replacing the stock PS.

Good Luck with it. You’ll find that when you get there the trouble will have been well worth it.