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Innuos Zenith MkII / Hegel H360 Incompatibility

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Innuos Zenith mkII / Hegel H360 incompatibility

I am reaching out to the computer audiophile community for help with a problem I have encountered with my digital system. I have a Hegel H360 amplifier/DAC Integrated and an Innuos Zenith MkII music server running ROON Core and player. They are connected via USB. The problem is that the intergrated amplifier/DAC and the Innuos server appear to have an issue communicating via the USB interfaces. Let me describe what happens when I begin to play music. 

 

  1st problem: I connect the Innuos server USB output to the Hegel USB input to the DAC. The Innuos is operating as a ROON Core and player. ROON does not see the Hegel at all. 

I assumed there is a compatibility issue between the USB ports as they are both proprietary implementations. I installed an iFi USB3 Purifier to see if that would solve the communication issue. It did her. allow the them to communicate and recognize each other, but problem not completely solved. Please read on.

 

2nd problem: Well it seems work, as ROON now was able to recognize the Hegel DAC as an audio output device but it is very unstable. When I select a song to play from Tidal via the ROON app,  it begins to play and in less than a minute ROON no longer sees the Hegel DAC and I am no longer able to play music. 

 

Further background: I have also tried a different approach in an attempt to understand the source of the problem by using the Ethernet output on the Innuos connected to the Hegel H360 Ethernet input. This implementation works and ROON recognizes the Hegel DAC as an Airplay audio device, The Hegel supports Airplay natively via Ethernet connection as a streamer. The problem with that is it does not support high rez music and the SQ is not very good when compared to the USB implementation.

 

I have brought this problem to the attention of Hegel, Innuos and ROON, but thus far no solution has been provided. Innuos support have been excellent and they are most actively pursuing a solution. That said, I know this forum has many knowledgable digital audiophiles that know a lot more than me, so I am hopeful that  you may be able to offer a solution to my problem. If not, I am thankful for your concern and kind assistance. 

 

Thankful and confused

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Doesn’t Roon require the Hegel to be on the network in order to find and recognise it. If you’ve only get the USB connection then its not going to find it.  Obviously as soon as you use ethernet or wi-fi you have a network connection to the Hegel. Have you tried connecting the Hegel to your network while using the USB interface between Innuos and Hegel?

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Not what you are looking for, but two suggestions: try a USB to spdif converter between the server and the Hegel; or try an Ethernet to Usb Roon endpoint (streamer) between the server and the Hegel. 
Both of those solutions can be bought for relatively small sums and should work. Maybe your Hegel dealer can loan you one of them? 

Roon,, btw, only needs your server to be on the network, it doesn’t demand other parts of your playback to be network oriented. 

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On 3/4/2019 at 7:18 PM, ALLDIGITAL said:
Innuos Zenith mkII / Hegel H360 incompatibility

I am reaching out to the computer audiophile community for help with a problem I have encountered with my digital system. I have a Hegel H360 amplifier/DAC Integrated and an Innuos Zenith MkII music server running ROON Core and player. They are connected via USB. The problem is that the intergrated amplifier/DAC and the Innuos server appear to have an issue communicating via the USB interfaces. Let me describe what happens when I begin to play music. 

 

  1st problem: I connect the Innuos server USB output to the Hegel USB input to the DAC. The Innuos is operating as a ROON Core and player. ROON does not see the Hegel at all. 

I assumed there is a compatibility issue between the USB ports as they are both proprietary implementations. I installed an iFi USB3 Purifier to see if that would solve the communication issue. It did her. allow the them to communicate and recognize each other, but problem not completely solved. Please read on.

 

2nd problem: Well it seems work, as ROON now was able to recognize the Hegel DAC as an audio output device but it is very unstable. When I select a song to play from Tidal via the ROON app,  it begins to play and in less than a minute ROON no longer sees the Hegel DAC and I am no longer able to play music. 

 

Further background: I have also tried a different approach in an attempt to understand the source of the problem by using the Ethernet output on the Innuos connected to the Hegel H360 Ethernet input. This implementation works and ROON recognizes the Hegel DAC as an Airplay audio device, The Hegel supports Airplay natively via Ethernet connection as a streamer. The problem with that is it does not support high rez music and the SQ is not very good when compared to the USB implementation.

 

I have brought this problem to the attention of Hegel, Innuos and ROON, but thus far no solution has been provided. Innuos support have been excellent and they are most actively pursuing a solution. That said, I know this forum has many knowledgable digital audiophiles that know a lot more than me, so I am hopeful that  you may be able to offer a solution to my problem. If not, I am thankful for your concern and kind assistance. 

 

Thankful and confused

 

This is not the first time the Innuos Zenith MkII servers have had issues with USB DACs. It appears the USB chipset on the ZENith's motherboard is quite fussy. I had a similar issue with my Ayre Codex, but as I recall, the iFi iPurifier 2 solved the issue. Of course, it could be that there are other DACs that are even more fussy. From the postings at the time - search this forum for Zenith SE threads - it appeared to be more of an issue with bus-powered DACs.

 

Good luck getting either manufacturer to resolve this. The sad truth is we live in an era when these components are OEMed from 3rd parties, so neither Hegel nor Innuos can do much other than try different drivers and such.

 

As regards Ethernet, for the Hegel to function with Roon on Ethernet, it would have to implement a Roon endpoint internally. Looking at the specs, it does not appear to - it only does DLNA/UPnP. So you cannot use the Hegel as a Roon endpoint directly.

 

Potential solutions (from cheap to expensive):

  1. Try the iPurifier 3
  2. Try a cheap powered USB hub between the Zenith and the Hegel. Don't worry about quality until you can solve the functional behavior. If this works, you can consider one of the options in 3. below.
  3. Similar to above, use a double headed USB cable (examples: iFi Gmini, and Lightspeed 2G). Use an external 5V PSU to supply power on the power leg of the USB cable.
  4. Use a USB regenerator. This adds significant cost, but also improves SQ considerably:
    • Uptone ISO-Regen
    • SOtM tX-USBultra. In my case, I used this, and it solved the USB handshake issue.
    • both need to be powered by a good PSU like the Uptone LPS-1.2
  5. Use a USB-to-SPDIF converter like the Singxer SU-1. I have no direct experience with this route.

 

 

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Austin thanks so much for your excellent response. It continue down this habit hole and hope I come out with a solution that works and sounds good. Best regards

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On 3/5/2019 at 9:18 AM, ALLDIGITAL said:

I have brought this problem to the attention of Hegel, Innuos and ROON, but thus far no solution has been provided.

 

A very similar case occurred before:

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/hegel-hd30-dac-innuos-zen-mk-iii-roon-not-playing-together/56618

 

You may connect the Hegel to a computer USB port to verify its USB hardware is not faulty first.  If it's not faulty, then it's a compatibility problem.  Even if your get this fixed, DSD from the internal DAC still won't work due to known Linux incompatibility.

 

I think the best course of action is to bypass the internal DAC.  See my PM for more details.

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