Using Jplay or Network Streamer with Roon server

Edit This started as a conversation about the merits of Jplay, but morphed into a conversation about Network streamers from post number 16. Thread title changed from “Using Jplay With Roon Server” to “Using Jplay or Network Streamer With Roon Server”


Just wondering if anybody has any thoughts on running Jplay with Roon server? Good, bad or indifferent?

I have a Roon server(not Roon Nucleus) and it’s normally connected to my amp with USB cable.

I am doing a trial with Jplay, so at the moment my set up has changed. I have the Roon server mentioned above as my core, and JPLAY is installed on a PC. Jplay Driver (asio) is selected as Audio output for Roon on the PC, and the USB cable runs from my PC to my amp.

Is this the correct config to utilise Jplay or should I be setting up some other way?

Sounds pretty good, although it’s not night and day difference from my normal ordinary Roon setup.

Guess I’m asking if anybody who has experience of Jplay and Roon thinks it’s worth the outlay?

Search for jplay in the forum lots of threads.

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Yeah I have done search, but lots of the stuff I came across was 4 or 5 years old - maybe I’m not searching well enough :slight_smile: A lot has changed in 4 or 5 years so just looking for folk to share any experiences, good or bad.

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I used Roon Nucleus USB into my DAC and worked OK. Tried adding the Jplay USB Isolator and Roon would not recognize my DAC as the endpoint. Put the Nucleus into the LAN and added a Lumin U1 network transport. Next step was to put the Jplay between the Lumin and my preamp/dac and it worked fine. I listened for a week or so and tried to take the Jplay out to see how it changed the sound. It only lasted a few songs worth of listening to hear that there was less there there. Less weight in the dynamics , flatter smaller soundstange etc. It’s been part of my system since then. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for reply John, sounds like you’ve got a heck of a set up there, even if how it all hangs together kinda goes above my head lol.

I’m just wondering about my pretty basic system, is what I am doing correct? Or could I get more out of it by connecting it up differently, although even with my limited knowledge I’m not sure I have any other options open to me given what I am working with.

With Jplay added in to my set up am I negating/impacting what my Roon server actually does - eg the streaming?

Also, if I was to purchase Jplay at the end of the trial to go with Roon, am I better just buying Jplay Classic, or go the whole hog and buy JPlay Femto which includes the Classic version bundled in?

You don’t mention where your music is stored, on an external drive to the Nucleus? Or on a drive inside the server.

If that is the case, I’m wondering if you could try running Roon on your PC and connecting directly to the Nucleus. That way, the PC is out of the loop, Roon runs on the server/core and plays music directly from the internal or external drive.

Am I missing something? I have a JPlay account I haven’t used in years due to their little dustup with JRiver. My understanding is their claim to fame was the ability to bypass the Windows OS overhead for handling music so that the digital signal was optimized.

If you connect directly to the Roon core on the Nucleus that all goes away, the PC doesn’t process anything.

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Hi Stephen, the music is on an External HD connected by USB to the Roon server (it’s not a Nucleus though, but it acts like one lol) and the Roon server is connected to my router by ethernet and so also provides Tidal and Qobuz if I understand things properly. As far as I know the only thing the PC is supplying is the Jplay driver audio, although I’m maybe getting that wrong? USB audio cable goes from PC to my amp. So hopefully that means that things are configured properly and the Roon server is doing what it’s supposed to, and Jplay is not interfering with that process.

I think we are talking about two different things. Jplay makes hardware designed to minimize digital noise. They make pci cards designed to be put in desktop computers, linear power supplies, galvanic isolators,etc. They don’t have an app that I am aware of. I use Roon to play my music and my ripped files are stored on an ssd in the Nucleus. I use the LUMIN app to manage the transport/server only. Everything else is Roon and it sounds great.

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JPlay started as a “driver” for Windows with their big claim to fame being that it would sound better because it would bypass all the OS overhead. The hardware came many years later.

JPlay had an issue with JRiver, based not only on the name but also on presuming they could do something that JRiver wasn’t already.

JRiver wouldn’t allow the use of JPlay, people were upset and cried, and the rest of us moved on.

To the OP, I think you need to look at the configuration for your playback device. I don’t know how JPlay is helping.

I could use some help from someone more knowledgeable on this topic than me.

Roon, what say you?

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I am only vaguely familiar with JPlay, so take this for what it’s worth, but…

Based on what it says it does I’m not sure how it would make any difference. Roon already does that, and more if you need/want dsp.

Further, if it sounds good, better, different, etc., that suggests something is wrong somewhere. Playback software and drivers should just deliver the bitstream to your dac transparently and unmolested, unless you specifically want to alter it with dsp, upsampling, filters, etc., which roon can do if you want.

That’s just my opinion, though, and I am frequently wrong. So if you prefer the sound you get from it that’s the main thing. Hopefully somebody who is using it with roon can help you figure out the optimum way to set it up.

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Thanks for your replies so far guys. If anybody else wants to chip in I’d be grateful, every day is a school day :slight_smile: .

Hi @support, anybody care to chip in here? Thanks.

I’m just curious to know if Jplay brings anything to the Roon party in general, and particularly for my setup described in first post. Equally importantly I guess, is Jplay doing anything that would detract from what Roon does?

I asked for advice over on the Jplay site as well, and one of the admins replied to me that with my configuration “JPLAY should be installed on a PC connected to USB DAC. (Roon Bridge)”

So as I said in my first post in this thread this is exactly what I have done already - eg JPLAY is installed on a PC, and Jplay Driver is selected as audio output for Roon on that PC which is connected to my amp via USB cable, but not sure what the JPLAY admin is suggesting by saying (Roon Bridge) in his reply. Is he saying that Roon Bridge is a description of what I already have in place (ie Roon core on my Roon server, Jplay driver on PC), or is he saying that a Roon Bridge is what I need to put in place? I notice that there is Roon Bridge software on the Roon site that I can download, is this what I need to do?

@support - feel free to advise here as well.

Just to be clear, you have a Roon server on a PC. this PC is connected directly to your amp via USB. And you have JPlay installed on this PC. Then that is all you need.

The others were talking about a scenario where RoonServer was on a different PC, you would then load RoonBridge on a different PC along with JPlay and plug THAT pc into the amp. Not needed in your case.

Hi @Rugby, thanks for your reply. I am probably getting the wrong end of the stick as usual, but in your reply you say “Just to be clear, you have a Roon server on a PC. this PC is connected directly to your amp via USB. And you have JPlay installed on this PC. Then that is all you need”.
Given that I have a dedicated Roon Server box as described in first post (which is the Roon core in my set up) isnt my PC with Jplay loaded not effectively playing the same role as the “different PC” that you mention in the 2nd paragraph of your reply, when referencing the scenario that the other posters on this thread were talking about?

I know I’m probably being thick here but thanks for bearing with me.

JPlay generally recommends two PCs, one hosting the music server (whatever that is) and the other being dedicated to audio output. I think this is what the JPlay admin is suggesting with Roonserver running on one PC and sending audio to Roon Bridge on a second PC which is also running JPlay. The second PC will use JPlay to send audio via USB to your DAC.

JPlay requires quite a bit of computer knowledge and tweaking to get the best from it. I used it before Roon and with Roon for a short while but all on a single PC which was not ideal since JPlay has modes that minimize the operation of the computer to “reduce interference in the audio signal” which is not compatible with Roonserver.

I then added a microrendu between the computer and the DAC and that gave me as good a sound as JPlay and was much simpler and much less tweaking. Subsequently I bought a Roon Ready DAC which is connected by network, even simpler and more control and great sound.

Unless you are really computer knowledgeable and want to spend a lot to time tweaking I would recommend one of these alternatives over JPlay.

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That post was really a question as what you have described was unclear to me. Let me try a different way, Are RoonServer and JPlay loaded on the same PC? And is that PC connected to the amp via USB?

If the answers to those questions are YES, then “YES” to this:

Maybe it’s the terminology that is confusing things here for me, and therefore I am not explaining myself properly.

I purchased this machine - - and on Roon it is called Roon Optimized Core Kit and is used as my Roon Core.

I also have a Windows PC, and that is also where I have loaded Jplay. I run a USB audio cable from this PC to my Lyngdorf amp to play the music - I do not have an external DAC.

On my Roon app, I select Roon Optimized Core Kit as my Core, and then go to Settings, and then Audio, and from there I can see the output devices available to Roon on my Windows PC, Roon identifies the Windows PC as DESKTOP-2DABAT9. This allows me to select the Jplay Driver as Audio output, I have called it “Jplay pc”

I do have Roon loaded on the Windows PC, but I no longer use the Windows PC to run Roon since I purchased the Roon Optimized Core Kit machine. However if we forget about that and imagine for a minute that I have uninstalled Roon from my Windows PC the answer to your question is that RoonServer and JPlay are not loaded on the same PC.

I would forget about JPlay all together. Connect the Roon Core machine to you Lyngdorf amp and use the other PC as a Roon Remote to control everything (it looks like the second PC has Roon installed on it already, so you don’t need to install anything else).

Hi @AnimalOnDrums, why would you forget about Jplay altogether? Do you not think it will enhance the sound quality?

And if I was to consider your advice and ditched Jplay would it not be better reversing what you suggest - ie Roon Core machine acts as Roon server, and PC supplies the audio via USB to the amp?