SQ not quite what it was

Recently while I’m listening to Roon I noticed that the music was strangely less satisfying than I’m used to hearing. Nothing huge. It just wasn’t quite right and induced some listening fatigue. All indicators are normal. I’m not new to Roon or computers. Roon is installed on a late 2008 MacBook Pro and goes WIFI to an Auralic Aries using RAAT. After some testing it appears that Audirvana and iTunes using Airplay to the Aries suffered the same degradation. A hard drive connected directly to the Aries and controlled by Lightning DS sounds fine as does vinyl and the CD player.

The only change made is replacing the hard drive in the MacBook with an SSD. Data was transferred between drives. The load on the process was fine before and is improved now. Can anyone suggest why the SQ would be reduced by moving to an SSD? I’d prefer not to reinstall the old HD. No idle speculation please. If you have had something similar please comment.

Hi Gerhard

I’d probably have an easier (easier, not easy) time trying to explain (to myself) potential technical mechanisms if your Macbook with new SSD was hard wired to the endpoint and DAC.

But over WiFi (not to say there is no possible technical mechanism still) it makes it tougher to think of a potential cause.

Sorry to read about more listening fatigue - that’s the thing we all try to avoid.

Have you run an extended SMART test on the new SSD drive? I use DriveDx on Mac.

And is the Macbook in the same room as the DAC/amp/speakers? If you take the Macbook out of the room, no difference in SQ? My thinking here is increased RF but if you take the Macbook out of the room, it reduces that potential quite a bit.


Although the only change to your system that you have made has been the SSD, it is possible that some coincidental change in the WiFi environment, such as increased congestion, is a factor. I’d suggest trying a different band or channel for the WiFi and seeing if that makes a difference

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With symptoms like that, the only thing anyone can offer is idle speculation. The only thing that I can think of that would make an audible difference is something to do with power. Is the SSD more demanding than a HDD in a machine designed to take the latter? Does the SSD feed noise back into the MacBook? It is only speculation but that is where my curiosity would be taking me. Also a sanity check is in order just to eliminate the SSD. So if the HDD is still available and you haven’t wiped it then I would make putting it back part of the trouble shooting process. Sorry I can’t offer more but I do think your circumstances are unusual.

Good point. It will take a while but I also thought that the increase in speed from the SSD may cause some network congestion. Maybe time to replace the Apple Extreme. I also intend to attach an Ethernet connection to the Aries and see if that helps. That said, I may have to rebuild the Aries since it fails to complete startup recently without powering down first. Logically, since the USB drive connected directly to the Aries has better resolution and sounds fine to me there may be a WLAN issue that needs resolving. It’s just odd that there are no drop outs, it just sounds a little off now compared to other sources.

On checking my network I noticed that my Auralic Aries was using the hardwired Ethernet port instead of WIFI. When I attempted to switch it back to WIFI (RAAT) the streamer rebooted back to hard wired. Long story short, it went back to have the WIFI module replaced. All good now and the stream sounds fine again.

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