Using Jplay or Network Streamer with Roon server

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.

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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 - https://tinyurl.com/y3n8yymu - 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?

Thanks for reply @Philr

“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.”

This is the part that I am struggling with. Roon Server is running on my customised Roon Optimized Core Kit machine(effectively a Roon Nucleus), and Jplay is running on the Windows PC. Do I actually need to download Roon Bridge software and then run it on the Windows PC (aka second PC) which is running JPlay to achieve the full benefit of Jplay? Because at the moment , as long as Roon is running on the second PC, I can select Jplay as my audio output and it does play music without Roon Bridge software running, so does that mean Jplay does not need Roon Bridge to be running because Roon is running on this PC (and effectively is a Roon Bridge?), or is it simply a case of having either/or of Roon or Roon Bridge running on the PC and the end result will be exactly the same?

Not sure if this helps any, but this is my signal path, where “DESKTOP-2DABAT9” is my Windows PC

signal path

And this is my Zone Setting

Sorry for labouring the point, but I obviously have a mental block here!

If Roon is running on the second machine that is the same as Roon bridge running on it. You could simplify things further and run just Roon bridge rather than the Roon remote on the second machine. With this you are more likely to be able to get some of Jplays more extreme features such as hibernate to work. Wether any of this matter or not is hard to tell you will have to try it yourself and decide. Personally I moved away from this endless tweaking and worrying about the right setup a while ago and determined to focus on the music.

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Hey @kevin_wynne1,

Hope all is well! I do not think JPLAY will enhance your sound quality. What you are doing by having a dedicated machine for your Roon Core is what JPLAY is trying to emulate when used on a single computer that both stores and plays music. Simply, JPLAY is trying to make a person’s PC focus only on playing music, and bypassing all of the Windows OS audio software, which in theory can enhance sound quality (and this is if it works as advertised).

How you have it set up now is you have one machine as a Roon Core, running Roon Rock. This core only does one thing, which is to store and/or play music. It does nothing else that a PC does and only does was is absolutely necessary to function. This means that it is already quiet along with having ROCK on it to optimize this type of set up. Then you are taking the music and sending it to your noisy PC that is always doing something and playing music is not its main goal. You have basically defeated the purpose of having a 2 computer set up. So then you use JPLAY to try and make the PC sound better. Why do all of that when you have your Roon Core doing a better job than any program, JPLAY included, could do?

To answer your second questions it would not be better to reverse what I said. you want the Roon Core Server connected to your DAC/AMP (if you are using USB to it, it has a DAC inside of it). Why would you want to hook up a regular, noisy PC to it instead of the Quiet Roon Server that is meant to only store and play music. The Core was meant to only do play music so it is a a specialty appliance

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Hi @philr and @AnimalOnDrums.

Thanks for your helpful and detailed replies.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Jplay is not the route I want to go down, and am considering going down the route phil suggested - ie a network streamer. I’m in the UK so the Sonore microrendu is harder to source, I did find the SOTM SMS-200 Neo (https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/portfolio-item/sms-200/) and is easily sourced in the UK.
Anybody got any thoughts on whether this would be a worthwhile upgrade? I sometimes get a bit lost in terminology, but my “headless” Roon Server is already a streamer, so isn’t adding the SOTM Neo just duplicating what the Roon server is already doing? Or would it hopefully be a noticable upgrade in sound quality?

Hey,

Good choice. So you are correct that the Roon Core Server machine is running both as a core/server and as a streamer. There is nothing wrong with this method, but there are a couple of reasons people (including myself) use a separate network streamer. One reason is to get your Roon Core/server out of your music Roon. If someone puts their Roon Core/Server on a regular Intel NUC, it will cause the fan to kick on when it gets hot. The fans can get loud and can be annoying. At this point your options would be to get a fanless case like you already have or to place your Roon Core in another room and stream it to the SOTM unit, which is placed in the same Room as your DAC. The streamers are small and they do not make any noise from fans or from hard drives. The Other potential benefit is sound quality. A lot of people agree that Ethernet is better to use than USB because it is quieter and galvanically isolated from the computer, so it cant pick up as much noise as USB potentially can. With asynchronous USB 2.0, most decent DACs do not pick up enough noise and jitter to hear, but the streamers themselves do things like “rechecking” the incoming signal and “reducing jitter” even further while cleaning up the signal. It can then be connected to a DAC with a USB cable. Some streamers also have additional digital outputs like optical and I2S to connect to a DAC that has those. I am one of those people that thinks that streaming sounds better and I also own and use SOTM products. So I do have a little bit of bias in favor of streaming with SOTM :grinning:

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Nice one @AnimalOnDrums. It’s a pity I can’t strech to the Ultra version of the SOTM at the moment, but got to start somewhere. I’ve been reading up on the SMS-200, and watching some youtube reviews, and the overwhelming opinion seems to be that this(and other streamers)benefit quite a bit with a decent power supply to replace the supplied wall wart. I’m a bit on the fence about power supplies, not quite in the “snake oil” club that many seem to be members of, but a couple of these reviews are suggesting the uplift in sound quality is quite noticeable. Do you use a power supply with your SOTM?

Have ordered the streamer for delivery Friday!

Hey @kevin_wynne1 for streamers I think a good power supply is important. I use one with mine. In fact, I use the matching SPS-500 power supply. I don’t think the difference was that huge, but the darker and quieter background was pretty noticeable. SOTM makes great stuff and its hard to beat SQ wise.

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Have changed the title of the thread to “Using Jplay or Network Streamer with Roon server” to make it more meaningful as the thread took a bit of a swerve from discussing Jplay to discussing Network Streamers

My SoTM SMS-200 Neo came yesterday and right out the box I could tell a difference. Sound had more depth, bass fuller and tauter. I wouldn’t say treble was ever harsh before, but now it seems more controlled. Very happy with things so far.

I’m looking to optimise things as much as I can by adding enhancements as and when I can afford.
Off the bat I’ve read that ethernet cables, power supplies, and usb signal filters or usb noise eliminators can all improve performance, so have listed some products below for general advice and recommendations.

Ethernet cables - I notice that Sotm do a cable that costs £500. I was not even aware that hifi ethernet cables to improve sound were an actual thing - does anybody buy into this theory at all, especially at this price?

Does anybody use a hifi ethernet cable at a more realistic price - perhaps £50 max?

USB - iFi do some products to filter out noise


I quite like the idea of the ipurifier3, has anybody used this, or similar product and found it beneficial?

Power supply - I cannot afford SoTM’'s own range of power supplies, but came across this one which is custom made for SoTM products

Again, has anybody used this and can comment on performance? Or any recommendations for other power supplies with a £300 ceiling?

I’m clueless when it comes to jitter, noise isolation, power supplies etc so would be interested to know if any of these products would enhance the SoTM-S200-Neo in any meaningful way?

Thanks in advance.

There’s tons of chatter about all these components on how they are useless, but who really knows. I’m still researching some upgrades to my power supplies for some of my components, and these 2 are on my list, I’ve read some good reviews of the ipower, its an SMPS, not an lps, and is like $50. the ipower X is new and about twice the price. For $50 to $100 this sounds like a easy test to check for an improvement and if there is none, your not out too much.

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I don’t mean to offend, but if you searched the forum, you’d find several days worth of reading about how all these mentioned devices shuold or should not work, with no final consensus but just going into partisan territory.
Sorry, you asked for it, just watch, what’s going to happen…

Hi @geoB

Thanks for your reply.

I ordered the iFi iPurifier 3 from Amazon yesterday and it arrived at lunch time. I have ordered the iFi iPower X from Amazon today for delivery tomorrow. If nothing else there might be some uniformity due to them both being the same brand. I’ll let them both bed in for a few days before deciding whether they are keepers or not.

While waiting for the iPower X to arrive I have tried out the iPurifier 3 on it’s own and I think I can definitely notice a further tightening and deepening of the bass, while retaining the characteristics of my newly acquired SoTM network player. It certainly doesn’t seemed to have made the sound of the SoTM “different” thankfully, which I have noticed some reviewers/customers mention can happen to their network player.

Got to say, having lived with it over the weekend I’m massively impressed with the sound I’m getting from the SoTM SMS-200 Neo. My only criticism is the web based control interface (Euhansu) is incredibly slow at loading, and then selecting any changes you might want to make. My PC and laptop are not turbo charged, but are decent spec, and I have absolutely no problems performance wise for any other function I use them for.

You can direct connect Roon ROCK to your SMS-200 using a second ethernet connection. Here is a link to the Roon forum where this was discussed. I followed the suggestions and it works a treat. I’m not a computer expert so if you want advice on how to set it up please go the link below:

I had to fiddle endlessly to get it to work but it was worth the trouble.