Would Roon / Core be a solution?

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Not yet

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)


Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Cambridge Audio 851N streamer/DAC. Qobuz. Control via WiFi/ Ipad / iPhone Cambridge app (stream magic)

Description Of Issue


**I tried the iPad and the iPhone in parallel and while switching the same songs (same settings on max 192kHz) there was a clear difference on my system. Via iPhone it sounded natural and via iPad there was irritating sharpness in the mids.

How can this be (can this technically be explained like processing-balance is shifted more towards the 851N in case of the iPhone and leaning more towards the more capable iPad in case of the iPad?

Had ROON for the trial period but then I did not focus too much on the SQ aspect but more on the functionality. Would ROON with a core be a solution to get the best SQ,and why would that be (hardware/processing approach difference)? **

Are you talking about playing to the i devices or using them as control points.

Indeed as control points

Let me add that the 851N is connected to the modem via an ethernet cable

Hi @Arno_Pfennings,

The sound processing is done in the Core, so sound quality shouldn’t matter based on which Roon Remote you are using.

Can you please share a screenshot of the Signal Path when you are both playing via iPhone and via iPad? Maybe you had some DSP set up on one that you had different on the other remote.

The thing is, there is no ROON/Core yet in my explanation (see opening of the topic), the question is two-fold…is the perceived sound difference between iPhone/ipad as RC explainable en next would a ROON/CORE (Nucleus) be a solution (and why?)?

Hello @Arno_Pfennings,

The Roon Remote you use to control the Core should not impact sound quality.

The only way I see this impacting is if you had some DSP active that you didn’t have enabled on the other controller, and Signal Path would provide this info.

A Nucleus is a great server and has more optimizations than other Cores, but it wouldn’t necessarily help with sound quality if the issue is elsewhere (like DSP options being active).

If you have a PC, I would suggest using that again and taking a closer look at the signal path from both Roon Remotes.

Hello @Arno_Pfennings,

If you wish to receive another Roon trial so you can test this further, just let me know and I can flag down our accounts team to see if they can assist with that.

That would be Great! In this way I can compare With ROON, Via the CA-APP as well as with either iPhone or IPad (quite a matrix :wink: ) and I will report the findings of course

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@Arno_Pfennings - Just followed up via private message :slight_smile:

This evening I had a quick trial. Macbook as ROON core, USB cable to DAC…and for a start…no stress-full sound :ok_hand:
For a change…
I will cross check the old combination with the CA App and control with iPad/Iphone of that…to see how this compares again. For now a HUGE step forward with the ROON core.
(Looking at my Qobuz favorite Albums in ROON I did not see the high-res logo’s as you do in Qobuz. Would be great if these were visible in ROON and/or one could filter on hires as well)

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Hi @Arno_Pfennings,

Glad to hear the new trial is going well!

You could turn on show format and that should help a bit:

Thx, I just found that option…a step forward. If these had a colour (yellow/gold for hires) the visibility could be excellent.
Implementing a sort for the format wouldn’t be too hard I figure…?
After a search in Qobuz (outside ROON) it is possible to filter on HiRes for example but not when your in the favourites section

You can only filter by resolution for items that are in your library from Qobuz using focus but not by general searching using general search

Hello @Arno_Pfennings,

Yes, as @CrystalGipsy mentioned you can sort tracks/albums that are in your library by using Roon’s Focus Feature in the Tracks/Albums browser.

As for this specific aspect, this functionality does not exist yet. If you would like to request it you can certainly open a thread or locate an existing one in the feature request section of this forum.

I am impressed by ROON (and the support). Listened again today (and mind you, my system is built over many years and very discriminating on whatever might be different or “off”)…again the SQ is that convincing I am tempted to have a comparison to my vinyl (how weird it might seem to non vinyl freaks).
Before the comparison would not exceed CD.
As a sanity check today, I also played the same music via the iPad->CA app->851N DAC/Streamer…and it’s NOT good at all…it is very wrong for any critical system (I can imagine that on an average system this could sound “vibrant” or anything but its definitely not ok). Tried to invite developers here at home to have a listen so that they could learn from but no one was tempted :wink: )
Happy, that ears and experience don’t lie…but I must admit that I went through a serious phase of doubt here.

Replacing my macbook as core for a Nucleus probably is the most obvious step to follow…soon.


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Maybe related. Maybe not.
Had a Naim Mu-So once that sounded significantly different depending on what device I was using the Naim app on. Finally did some packet captures and found one of my devices was actually pulling the stream to the device and then re-sending it to the Mu-So. Sounded terrible. It cleared up in a subsequent software update. To illustrate:
Device 1 (control) -> Mu-So <- Stream <- Internet
Device 2 (control) -> Mu-So <- Device 2 (audio) <- Stream <- Internet

Device 2 was very broken and sounded not great. Took a packet capture to trace this but your description in the original post sounds somewhat similar to my experience. Good you’ve moved to Roon. The signal path in Roon has always been true, stable, and sounded great no matter which remote I’m using (as it should be).

Hi @Arno_Pfennings,

Thanks for the update, that is good news indeed! It looks like you’re on your way to a great Roon experience so I will go ahead and mark this thread as [Solved].

If you have any further issues feel free to let us know here in #support and we can take a look, more general Roon setup/preferences questions belong in the #roon (software) section.

Until next time, take care!

Thanks a lot!

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Seems very similar indeed!

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