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miguelito

Best Roon Core server when streaming over RAAT?

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I run Roon Core on a Mac mini (2012 model, i7 quad, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 3TB FW800 HD). Playing to a dCS Rossini over the network. Rossini is connected directly to the mini's ethernet port, the switch is connected to the mini via an Thunderbolt/Ethernet adapter, and the two ethernet ports are bridged together (so I can see the Rossini from anywhere in the network).

 

Questions:

1- Are there sound quality difference from switching to, say, a Roon Nucleus+ or other servers - assuming I always play over the network?

2- Are there any network configurations and/or hardware that are better?

3- Any other advice?

 

Thx.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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You may try:

1. USB/Ethernet adapter instead of Thunderbolt/Ethernet adapter. I tried both with my mini, and it seems former influences overall sound less than latter.

2. Mini -> switch (powered by LPSU) -> DAC. It may or not filter noise from mini generic PSU.

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Am using a home built Roon Rock i3 using the very cogent and easy to follow directions on the Roon site as well as our Chris's set of directions.  Installed it with paired, mirrored, ram, an iBooster LPS, fanless case and an USB/Ethernet adapter.  

Inexpensive and reliable.  Did have a mini quite awhile ago but nothing to directly compare to.  

Think the Rock OS must be idealized for serving music but this is only supposition on my part.

Everything suggest this is as minimal as can be and therefore less noisy an environment...who knows?

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, AnotherSpin said:

You may try:

1. USB/Ethernet adapter instead of Thunderbolt/Ethernet adapter. I tried both with my mini, and it seems former influences overall sound less than latter.

2. Mini -> switch (powered by LPSU) -> DAC. It may or not filter noise from mini generic PSU.

Mini is on an Uptone J-2 LPS including the internal MMK board (removes the fan’s electrical noise).


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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3 hours ago, wdw said:

Am using a home built Roon Rock i3 using the very cogent and easy to follow directions on the Roon site as well as our Chris's set of directions.  Installed it with paired, mirrored, ram, an iBooster LPS, fanless case and an USB/Ethernet adapter.  

Inexpensive and reliable.  Did have a mini quite awhile ago but nothing to directly compare to.  

Think the Rock OS must be idealized for serving music but this is only supposition on my part.

Everything suggest this is as minimal as can be and therefore less noisy an environment...who knows?

Thx, although I would like a more definitive answer as you would expect! :)

 

Key here is I venture it makes no difference where your Roon Core is running when going over the network. Surely there must be some godawful scenarios but I am guessing there would be no improvement for me to move to some special setup. 


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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1 hour ago, miguelito said:

Thx, although I would like a more definitive answer as you would expect! :)

 

Key here is I venture it makes no difference where your Roon Core is running when going over the network. Surely there must be some godawful scenarios but I am guessing there would be no improvement for me to move to some special setup. 

 

Although...the easily heard improvement with a "bridged" ethernet connection; your Thunderbird to Ethernet, my USB to Ethernet connection, suggests that devices that can help separate electrical noise (in this case an additional powered switch) are well worthwhile...have a suspicion that a Nucleus would have a small but noticeable improvement in that signal path...I'm suspect the Roon Rock OS is written to emulate a very dim-witted turtle with very limited requests to change the signal path...just guessing but suspect it to be true..

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10 hours ago, wdw said:

Although...the easily heard improvement with a "bridged" ethernet connection; your Thunderbird to Ethernet, my USB to Ethernet connection, suggests that devices that can help separate electrical noise (in this case an additional powered switch) are well worthwhile...have a suspicion that a Nucleus would have a small but noticeable improvement in that signal path...I'm suspect the Roon Rock OS is written to emulate a very dim-witted turtle with very limited requests to change the signal path...just guessing but suspect it to be true..

Honestly, when I tried bridged vs a small switch serving both connections I didn’t really hear much of a difference. Also, to be complete about the setup description, between the mac mini’s ethernet port and the Rossini, I have one of thos SoTM isoCAT ethernet isolators (it’s a passive transformer-transformer filter). 


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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@miguelito look at a device running the JCat net Femto.

This requires a mini ITX build with a free pci slot. I use an Asrock H310M-ITX/ac board. I use ROCK and don’t bridge Ethernet but you can with AudioLinux and Windows. I also think some have Mojave running on this board but Ive no idea how easy that was to achieve or if it would recognise the JCat card. It is all passively powered, 12v via a picoPSU-160-XT and 5v into the JCat card. The results are, to me, impressive even without bridging.

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Andrew, from dCS, is very skeptical about anything upchain of the ethernet port of the streamer (I am using a Vivaldi upsampler) would matter much. I am connecting the Vivaldi to a SOtM switch. Tried other configurations, but without noticeable change. 

 

My guess is that, to make a real difference, one would have to implement a really optimized ethernet card/port. Like the jCAT or a server like the Innuos Statement (with a modified supermicro board, sporting two lan ports, optimized with their own clocks etc). I have seen reports from people using Innuos and noticing improvements. But I did not hear it myself.

 

Consulting with jCAT, they were fair enough to tell me they could not assure I would get a better quality with their card than using the SOtM switch. Maybe the upcoming EtherRegen would be a step further.

 

I am beginning to itch, because I cannot find any more sensible path to tweaking...

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On 8/27/2019 at 9:50 PM, jvvita said:

Andrew, from dCS, is very skeptical about anything upchain of the ethernet port of the streamer (I am using a Vivaldi upsampler) would matter much. I am connecting the Vivaldi to a SOtM switch. Tried other configurations, but without noticeable change. 

 

My guess is that, to make a real difference, one would have to implement a really optimized ethernet card/port. Like the jCAT or a server like the Innuos Statement (with a modified supermicro board, sporting two lan ports, optimized with their own clocks etc). I have seen reports from people using Innuos and noticing improvements. But I did not hear it myself.

 

Consulting with jCAT, they were fair enough to tell me they could not assure I would get a better quality with their card than using the SOtM switch. Maybe the upcoming EtherRegen would be a step further.

 

I am beginning to itch, because I cannot find any more sensible path to tweaking...

You will definitely get better performance connecting the JCAT NET card to the sotm switch vs. connecting via motherboard Ethernet

 

Regards, 

Marcin


JPLAY & JCAT Founder

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On 8/22/2019 at 2:57 PM, miguelito said:

I run Roon Core on a Mac mini (2012 model, i7 quad, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 3TB FW800 HD). Playing to a dCS Rossini over the network. Rossini is connected directly to the mini's ethernet port, the switch is connected to the mini via an Thunderbolt/Ethernet adapter, and the two ethernet ports are bridged together (so I can see the Rossini from anywhere in the network).

 

Questions:

1- Are there sound quality difference from switching to, say, a Roon Nucleus+ or other servers - assuming I always play over the network?

2- Are there any network configurations and/or hardware that are better?

3- Any other advice?

 

Thx.

The two things I found mattered the most for media server as I played around with changes over the last 11 months

 

1) server power supply, the better it gets, the "blacker" the quiet space between notes and the less excitation of digital artifacts when a server is USB

audio source

2) Server software: audiolinux OS run in RAM easily bested the micoRendu I had before in a server <> endpoint to USB DAC solution but had digital artifacts

if server was direct connected via USB to DAC. Euphony OS with a good power supply eliminated the need for an Ethernet player endpoint, now I run

as a 1 box Roon server solution to USB DAC. Surprising how much detail and dynamics are compromised when  the OS isn't optimized/dedicated for audio.

 


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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16 hours ago, Marcin_gps said:

You will definitely get better performance connecting the JCAT NET card to the sotm switch vs. connecting via motherboard Ethernet

 

Regards, 

Marcin

Thanks for the input. I will consider once again the solution with the jCAT. My main doubt is that, right now, I am going to the SOtM switch via fiber. 

 

The path is: NAS (Roon) -> Ethernet switch -> fiber ( the switch as a sfp port) -> SOtM switch -> Vivaldi upsampler

 

so the PCI+net card would have to yield better results than the nas+fiber solution..

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11 hours ago, davide256 said:

The two things I found mattered the most for media server as I played around with changes over the last 11 months

 

1) server power supply, the better it gets, the "blacker" the quiet space between notes and the less excitation of digital artifacts when a server is USB

audio source

2) Server software: audiolinux OS run in RAM easily bested the micoRendu I had before in a server <> endpoint to USB DAC solution but had digital artifacts

if server was direct connected via USB to DAC. Euphony OS with a good power supply eliminated the need for an Ethernet player endpoint, now I run

as a 1 box Roon server solution to USB DAC. Surprising how much detail and dynamics are compromised when  the OS isn't optimized/dedicated for audio.

My mini does run on a LPS (Uptone JS2), and that improved the sound with my previous DAC connected over USB. But that was not the question. The question is what, if anything, would improve RAAT sound.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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9 hours ago, miguelito said:

My mini does run on a LPS (Uptone JS2), and that improved the sound with my previous DAC connected over USB. But that was not the question. The question is what, if anything, would improve RAAT sound.

Answer: running a dedicated audio OS with Roon core support such as Audiolinux or Euphony.


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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On 8/30/2019 at 2:47 PM, davide256 said:

Answer: running a dedicated audio OS with Roon core support such as Audiolinux or Euphony.

 

Would this server O/S change only offer an audible benefit if connecting the server directly to a USB DAC?

 

If the server connected to a Roon EP via bridged ethernet, would an improvement in SQ still result?

 

Curious.

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What I found was that running a server with Audiolinux or Euphony OS improved tone correctness and instrument resolution for both

direct USB connected DAC or DAC USB connected to a RAAT supporting Roon endpoint. Power supply for the server is critical for direct USB

connection, PS options like SOtM SPS500, HDPLex 200W had more digital artifacts/edginess vs using a RAAT endpoint but obtaining an Uptone Audio JS2

has made server  direct USB connection my preferred solution vs using P7JYH endpoint with LPS 1.2.

 

Note that Euphony functionality for Stylus EP (Roon endpoint) is enabled in trial mode and that the trial  expiration clock only starts ticking if you do the

trial registration. Server functionality (attach drives) requires trial  registration


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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12 hours ago, George Hincapie said:

 

Would this server O/S change only offer an audible benefit if connecting the server directly to a USB DAC?

 

If the server connected to a Roon EP via bridged ethernet, would an improvement in SQ still result?

 

Curious.

Euphony is effectively sold as a one box solution. The impression I get is that everything on one box with USB to a DAC or perhaps bridged Ethernet to a streamer are the preferred configurations. Both would require good power and need the server and DAC/streamer to be in relatively close proximity. 

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