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I have had it with Roon, their lack of support, their user forum, and it's users...


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5 hours ago, austinpop said:

I had the same experience in the Roon forums as you, @AudioDoctor, and left in disgust. Life's too short for that nonsense.

 

All one has to do is to listen to alternatives, like Stylus on Euphony OS, or HQPlayer 4 Desktop playing files directly, and the case is made.

 

I had a simple request to the Roon team. "Conduct listening tests on your competition." But one can't just go to them directly and ask them. No, you have to post on their forum, and then endure  the taunts and insults of the peanut gallery.

 

I accept my lifetime subscription is a sunk cost, but I do use Roon for noncritical listening and music discovery on Qobuz. Their UI and UX are excellent. Pity about the SQ.

It is indeed sad that Roon is not prioritizing sound quality. And I, like you have found the Roon forums to be a lost cause.

 

I'm now evolving into mixed-use model. For "multiroom aka multizone" mode, Roon is great. I normally listen this way in a "fill the house with sound" mode in the early evenings - and I have 3 systems all playing the same content. I'm not aware of any other solution that works as well and that sounds "good enough".

 

That said, I've somewhat recently become a convert to PGGB (nothing short of amazing! Know anyone who wants to buy a used MScaler?) for direct listening on my highend system (Abyss headphones, Dave DC4 modded DAC, Formula S amp) and have been amazed at how much better the direct-feed (even direct from my Mac) is than Roon from a server. I'm wanting to head to a Taiko Extreme (or maybe a new gen 2.0 Innuos) server feeding the content directly to my SRC-DX which then feeds the Dave (and also some other systems - but perhaps only one system at a time??). But for an interim solution I'm experimenting with just using the standard Mac "Music" app to play my PGGB files (not even using the server for playback) and they sound quite a bit better than Roon sourced playback of those same PGGB files. I imagine something like Audirvana on the Mac would be even better - but I am going to go the Taiko or Innous route for the best SQ.

 

One last thing that makes Roon less important for me (except for multi-room mode) is that since moving to PGGB, I stream much less (mostly Qobuz, some Tidal), and listen to purchased and "garble blasted" upsampled files a lot more. I also have a large ripped CD library that is slowly being upsampled. 

 

The game continues!

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8 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

I accept my lifetime subscription is a sunk cost, but I do use Roon for noncritical listening and music discovery on Qobuz. Their UI and UX are excellent. Pity about the SQ.

I have been testing different OS variants and MPD + UPNP and more.  They all sound better than Roon.  Some of the control point apps are “funky”!

 

I have played with Lumin a bit and it is pretty nice.  I think I might have found a home in Aurender.  I  will have a post up shortly on some of my findings.  

 

At least with the Linux variants you have some more control of your world!!

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FWIW, after using the trial version of Roon, I could see no justification for its high cost. Moreover, I was not particularly enamoured of its display interface. After acquiring HQPlayer years ago, which provided a significant improvement in SQ, I have been more than satisfied using HQPD Control, Ales Prochazka's free Android app. Not only does it address my need for a user friendly HQPlayer interface, support from Ales has always been both prompt and helpful.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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1 hour ago, bobfa said:

I have been testing different OS variants and MPD + UPNP and more.  They all sound better than Roon.  Some of the control point apps are “funky”!

 

I have played with Lumin a bit and it is pretty nice.  I think I might have found a home in Aurender.  I  will have a post up shortly on some of my findings.  

 

At least with the Linux variants you have some more control of your world!!

 

When I built a server and started testing the different options for which OS to run on it is when I noticed the differences, they were impossible to miss.

No electron left behind...

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5 hours ago, bobfa said:

I have been testing different OS variants and MPD + UPNP and more.  They all sound better than Roon.  Some of the control point apps are “funky”!

 

I have played with Lumin a bit and it is pretty nice.  I think I might have found a home in Aurender.  I  will have a post up shortly on some of my findings.  

 

At least with the Linux variants you have some more control of your world!!

Aurender does sound better than Roon - I verified this a while back. One challenge I and perhaps some have is that I sometimes do still need to use Roon (for multiroom playback) and Aurender does not run Roon at all (even as an option) from what I understand. Other servers like Innous and Taiko do albeit can get quite expensive...  At least we have options and more clarity that Roon is distancing itself from folks who care a lot about sound quality. We can always hope thought that the big 2.0 Roon release might actually give us great SQ again!

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I agree with many of you that Roon’s SQ is suboptimal. However, it’s UI is simply great and no other player matches that.

 

Since some time, I am using Roon in combination with HQPlayer which in itself is not set to upsampling anything, just what goes in comes out. Just using this simple combination is already better than Roon alone.

 

My question is, do I get the ‚real‘ sound quality of HQP when combining it with Roon, or does Roon have a hand in the game and still influences HQP‘s sound in any way?

 

I guess I should just try HQP on its own and compare. If someone has made a direct comparison, I’d be glad to know.

 

Nevertheless, having Roon‘s UI is still better than hqpd control.

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3 hours ago, biosailor said:

I agree with many of you that Roon’s SQ is suboptimal. However, it’s UI is simply great and no other player matches that.

 

Since some time, I am using Roon in combination with HQPlayer which in itself is not set to upsampling anything, just what goes in comes out. Just using this simple combination is already better than Roon alone.

 

My question is, do I get the ‚real‘ sound quality of HQP when combining it with Roon, or does Roon have a hand in the game and still influences HQP‘s sound in any way?

 

I guess I should just try HQP on its own and compare. If someone has made a direct comparison, I’d be glad to know.

 

Nevertheless, having Roon‘s UI is still better than hqpd control.

 

In my opinion, HQPlayer sounds best when Roon server is shutdown completely and the only thing running is HQPlayer.

No electron left behind...

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14 hours ago, bobfa said:

They all sound better than Roon.

 

14 hours ago, bobfa said:

At least with the Linux variants you have some more control of your world!!


Did you test with Linux / Sonicobiter/ ROCK ?

I assume endpoint in use with all comparisons ?

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1 minute ago, R1200CL said:

 


Did you test with Linux / Sonicobiter/ ROCK ?

My recent listening is with audiolinux and Euphony.  I have a ROCK server and it is "soft and mushy".   I have not used Sonic Orbiter in a couple of years.  

 

I have also been testing with my Melco N1Z using MinimServer and it is right up there! (commercial product).  

 

I have been using MPD UPNP, Minim Server, etc.    I have fussed with an iPad direct,  Stuff on the M1 MacBook Air.  A very long dance.

 

RJF

 

 

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1 hour ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

In my opinion, HQPlayer sounds best when Roon server is shutdown completely and the only thing running is HQPlayer.

Thanks, will try that later.

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1 hour ago, AudioDoctor said:

In my opinion, HQPlayer sounds best when Roon server is shutdown completely and the only thing running is HQPlayer.

 

I'm running Roon Server, HQPlayer Embedded on HQP OS and an NAA all on separate machines.

 

Would you (guys) expect that I'd get better results by removing Roon? Specifically, I mean running HQP Desktop to my NAA? Or should isolating Roon to its own server minimize or eliminate any negative SQ impact from Roon?

Roon Server: Core i7-3770S, WS2012 + AO => HQP Server: Core, i7-9700K, HQPlayer OS => NAA: Celeron NUC, HQP NAA => ISO Regen with UltraCap LPS 1.2 => Mapleshade USB Cable => Lampizator L4 DSD-Only Balanced DAC Preamp => Blue Jeans Belden Balanced Cables => Mivera PurePower SE Amp => Magnepan 3.7i

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58 minutes ago, k6davis said:

 

I'm running Roon Server, HQPlayer Embedded on HQP OS and an NAA all on separate machines.

 

Would you (guys) expect that I'd get better results by removing Roon? Specifically, I mean running HQP Desktop to my NAA? Or should isolating Roon to its own server minimize or eliminate any negative SQ impact from Roon?

 

Roon influences the sound I hear even when I am not using it, but it is still running on the machine. I however run Roon and HQP on the same machine.

No electron left behind...

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1 hour ago, bobfa said:

"soft and mushy"

 

That's a good description of the Roon sound. I'll add hazy. Running Roon on Euphony and outputting with either HQP or Stylus goes a long way to making it better. However it gets even better not using Roon at all.

No electron left behind...

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6 hours ago, biosailor said:

My question is, do I get the ‚real‘ sound quality of HQP when combining it with Roon, or does Roon have a hand in the game and still influences HQP‘s sound in any way?

 

Roon, as an interface, contributes no beneficial influence on the SQ provided by HQPlayer. OTOH, the experience of others indicates that HQPlayer running without Roon may provide superior SQ.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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11 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

Roon, as an interface, contributes no beneficial influence on the SQ provided by HQPlayer. OTOH, the experience of others indicates that HQPlayer running without Roon may provide superior SQ.

I am just listening to HQPlayer alone, no Roon in the queue, and first impression is that HQP sounds cleaner, less edgy. This, to keep it simple, is without any upsampling and filtering at all.

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14 hours ago, happybob said:

Aurender does sound better than Roon - I verified this a while back. One challenge I and perhaps some have is that I sometimes do still need to use Roon (for multiroom playback) and Aurender does not run Roon at all (even as an option) from what I understand.

How were you able to verify that Aurender sounds better without being able to run Roon on the same box?  I’m sure you’re right - just curious though.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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6 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

n my opinion, HQPlayer sounds best when Roon server is shutdown completely and the only thing running is HQPlayer

This has been my impression too.  Antipodes makes it pretty easy to shutdown Roon.  I will say though that I think shutting down Roon makes less of an improvement if I’ve shutdown my network, which I can do using a smart plug to kill the power to my opticalModule.  Roon is very active on the network and I think much of its sonic degradation comes from that.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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10 minutes ago, kennyb123 said:

How were you able to verify that Aurender sounds better without being able to run Roon on the same box?  I’m sure you’re right - just curious though.

I compared Roon on a Mac to Roon on a Nucleus to an Aurender - all with Dave DAC feeding Focal Utopia headphones. All playing the same content, and yes these were different boxes so to speak, so we can’t know how much is due to Aurender software or Aurender hardware - but other folks have tested the same hardware (like Innuos) with Roon vs other software  on the same box and Roon generally loses the competition. In my test Mac and Nucleus about equal, Aurender was noticeably better.

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9 minutes ago, happybob said:

with Roon vs other software  on the same box and Roon generally loses the competition.

More like always, unfortunately.  But yeah I know what you mean.

 

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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7 hours ago, k6davis said:

 

I'm running Roon Server, HQPlayer Embedded on HQP OS and an NAA all on separate machines.

 

Would you (guys) expect that I'd get better results by removing Roon? Specifically, I mean running HQP Desktop to my NAA? Or should isolating Roon to its own server minimize or eliminate any negative SQ impact from Roon?

That's how I run it:

1. roon core on Ubuntu server which is a small form factor i7-9700 with a NVMe for the DB and one large capacity HD for music (in Utility room)

2. HPQ on high end wkst on server 2019 (in Utility room)

3. OpticalRendu as naa > to DAC (fiber is run from network rack to listening room)

 

Not sure how much roon influences (HQP) in this type of config being everything is "separate".  Dunno.  I've been tempted to get a fiber nic and a PF or jcat XE usb card and install in the wkst (#2), move it to listening room and connect it to DAC.

 

A lot of options I'm evaluating at the moment.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Foggie said:

That's how I run it:

1. roon core on Ubuntu server which is a small form factor i7-9700 with a NVMe for the DB and one large capacity HD for music (in Utility room)

2. HPQ on high end wkst on server 2019 (in Utility room)

3. OpticalRendu as naa > to DAC (fiber is run from network rack to listening room)

 

Not sure how much roon influences (HQP) in this type of config being everything is "separate".  Dunno.  I've been tempted to get a fiber nic and a PF or jcat XE usb card and install in the wkst (#2), move it to listening room and connect it to DAC.

 

A lot of options I'm evaluating at the moment.

 

My HQP server has Windows Server 2019 and HQP Desktop on its internal drive, but I always boot it from a USB drive running HQP OS. 

 

It will be simple enough for me to shut Roon down and play music by dragging and dropping it into HQP Desktop to see if I can hear any improvement that way. Of course, it's not a perfect comparison, given that there will be an entirely different OS, but it's always fun to experiment. 

Roon Server: Core i7-3770S, WS2012 + AO => HQP Server: Core, i7-9700K, HQPlayer OS => NAA: Celeron NUC, HQP NAA => ISO Regen with UltraCap LPS 1.2 => Mapleshade USB Cable => Lampizator L4 DSD-Only Balanced DAC Preamp => Blue Jeans Belden Balanced Cables => Mivera PurePower SE Amp => Magnepan 3.7i

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On 7/7/2021 at 7:59 PM, AudioDoctor said:

 

Just as a control point, my server runs linux. The crash was due to the non standard theme. 

 

edit: My server has been up for 1 day and 5 hours, it is using 9.5GB of RAM in total and Roon is using 3GB by itself. However, RAM usage isn't the problem, it's the background processing that causes a loss of sound quality.

I've run Roon core on Windows 10, Ubuntu and ROCK (MOCK) over the years. Windows is by far the most efficient. Ubuntu and ROCK are seemingly always busy doing something. ROCK in particular makes ~10x more DNS requests than Windows (same db and music files). Roon uses a framework that is compatible with all but native to none. I've forgotten the name but I think they made a grave error back in the day hitching their horse to this model of non-native apps. They seem to continually chase their tail trying to fix issues because of this and it takes away from 'advancing' the product. All of this is in my 4 years experience opinion.

 

Try a Windows machine, even a virtual one, with your db and see if the activity is less. No need to ever activate Windows to just host RoonServer. My lowly i7-3770 with 8GB settles to <1% activity 10 minutes after startup and stays there throughout playback. I have HQPe and NAA on separate machines.

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