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uRendu output SQ comparison: Tidal via Kazoo/DNLA vs. Tidal via Roon/RoonReady


sockpit
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I'm considering adding Roon to my setup permanently. I'm not at this point interested in adding HQPlayer and its upsampling tools. I know that is one way to get the very best SQ. (I like to keep it simple and I don't want my computer working so hard--it's with me in my listening room).

 

I have been using Kazoo as controller via Minimserver (my library)/BubbleUPnP (for Tidal) to the DNLA Output ever since I bought my uRendu. Works like a charm.

 

I've just installed Roon and connected it to the RoonReady output, and I think I'm hearing a slight SQ improvement (a bit "airier").

 

Have others done serious comparisons between these outputs and come to a conclusion about SQ?

 

For those of you who understand how all this technological magic works: Is there a theoretical reason why one output would sound better than the other? My weak understanding is that in the DNLA output, the uRendu's software is actually doing the playing, whereas with RoonReady, the Roon software is doing that work and passing it through the uRendu.

 

In any case, views about why one might be theoretically superior interest me.

 

Thanks!

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No takers? Aren't uRendu outputs ripe for SQ discussion?

 

I got the microRendu with Roon specifically in mind. I've therefore compared only the RoonReady mode to NAA mode (with Roon/HQPlayer integration). The latter sounds better to me, even with HQPlayer in pass-through mode.

 

As far as the other modes, I'm sold on Roon so I won't be trying the other modes.

 

Maybe others aren't chiming in as they are also committed to just one mode.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

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I use Roon & HQPlayer together on a Mac Mini i5 with 4 gig RAM, and they talk to the uRendu in NAA mode. Upsampling to DSD128 with HQPlayer makes such a massive positive different to SQ in my system - I just can't understand why you wouldn't run it??!!

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Thanks. Am relative newbie, and it seems complicated, that's all . . . But I've gotten this far! My DAC is an Exogal comet. I believe it translates all DSD to PCM, so that strikes me as a lot of processing back and forth. Remind me, does HQP have trial? Then there is thought that my 2013 MPB would be working up a sweat running both Roon and HQP. Core i7, so maybe the worry is unwarranted. Not too computer savvy.

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Hi Sockpit - yes, HQP does offer a trial so you can spin it up on your hardware and see if it copes with the load or not. I was surprised that my i5 worked so well running both Roon & HQP. A quick look at Activity Monitor shows that the CPU runs at about 30% capacity and there's no hint of stuttering, so I'm very happy.

 

As for HQP, I bought my copy after 10 mins of listening - the improvement was that obvious to me. I have a BMC PureDAC and I have no idea how it's innards work, but my ears tell me everything I need to know. If you do try out HQP, you might want to start with the poly-sinc & DSD7 settings. Its where I ended up having listened to every combo.

 

Good luck

 

Nikko

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Thanks. Am relative newbie, and it seems complicated, that's all . . . But I've gotten this far! My DAC is an Exogal comet. I believe it translates all DSD to PCM, so that strikes me as a lot of processing back and forth. Remind me, does HQP have trial? Then there is thought that my 2013 MPB would be working up a sweat running both Roon and HQP. Core i7, so maybe the worry is unwarranted. Not too computer savvy.

Interesting DAC... Looked at the docs I could find and they are not too specific, but if you are right that DSD is converted to PCM, then there's no reason for you to use HQP and convert to DSD. The main benefit of conversion to DSD is that standard delta-sigma DACs can convert DSD directly to analog with very little additional complication. But if your DAC only takes PCM, or converts DSD to PCM before going to analog, the intermediate DSD step is wasted. As for your original question, all my music is stored in a NAS (no Tidal). Originally I used DLNA/MPD on my microRendu, later I switched to Roon, and I noticed an improvement, both with a microRendu (with a good LPS, driving a Schiit multibit DAC that takes only PCM) and with a Sonicorbiter SE connected with a Bel Canto mLink USB>S/PDIF converter to a Bel Canto C7R DAC/amp (also PCM only). I suspect that the reason is as you noted originally, the endpoint does less work with Roon and that may affect the level of electrical noise flowing from the device into the DAC (computer, even very little ones custom-built for the job behave electrically quite differently depending on computing workload).

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