Roon v 1.8 (build 790)
Mac Mini (Late 2009)
GPU 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM 4 GB DDR3
OSX Yosemite 10.10.5
Connected to SKY router via Ethernet through a different Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch to the one I refer to below. It is located upstairs in a separate room to my Audio system.
SKY Broadband and SKY Router
Netgear Gigabit Ethernet Switch connected directly from the router to distribute wired ethernet connections to the AV equipment below.
Connected to Netgear Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Innuos Zen Mini, Node 2i, Sonos Port, Apple TV, Sky Q mini box.
Innuos Zen-Mini Mk3 music server/CD ripper/streamer and external LPSU power supply.
Bluesound Node 2i streamer
Denafrips Ares II DAC
Rega Elex-R Integrated amplifier
Acoustic Energy AE500 speakers with REL t7i Sub
I’m very happy with the sound, especially when playing/streaming my CDs from either the Zen Mini internal drive or the Mac Mini. The system is very responsive with no lag or playback stuttering. I am currently experimenting between the internal DACs (on the ZenMini and Node 2i) and the Denafrips Ares II external DAC.
However, whether selecting the Innuos Zen Mini or Bluesound Node 2i as the Roon endpoint, I am unable to play DSD files or Hi-Res WAV files. Anything above 24bit/44kHz seems to be a major problem. I don’t have any problems with Tidal Hi-Res playback, however.
For example, I am unable to playback the DSD music I purchased as a download from Octave Records. Roon attempts to play the DSD files but fails. It starts to playback WAV files at 192kHz and 96kHz, but fails after 10 seconds or so. I have tried using both the Mac Mini and Zen Mini as the source and also the Node 2i and Zen Mini as Roon endpoints (selected Audio Output devices in the Roon Remote software? I apologise if my use of ‘Roon language’ isn’t accurate).
The error message from Roon says something like:
Audio file is loading slowly- this may indicate a performance or hardware problem
Apart from Roon, I have also tried the Bluesound BluOS app and Node 2i. The Bluesound system won’t even index/recognise the DSD download from Octave records (although it finds and copes fine with playback of the 24bit/96 or 192kHz files).
- What am I doing wrong, or what hardware am I missing?
- Maybe the Innuos ZenMini and/or Mac Mini aren’t powerful enough?
- Is CPU power/RAM important for Hi-Res/DSD playback?
- Perhaps the speed of the ethernet connection is most important and creating a bottleneck. My old Mac Mini may not have a gigabit ethernet port (it’s listed as 10/100/1000Base-T).
- Why does the Node 2i cope with Hi-Res playback when using the BlueOS app instead of Roon?
NB. I am not using the Zen Mini as a Roon core, just as an endpoint and Music server for my media files. I have also tried putting the DSD and Hi-Res audio files on the Mac Mini. I am NOT using any DSP.