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Playing Roon over RAAT - Does the server matter for SQ?

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Also adding a final thought on why buy a Pachanko, Taiko, Pink Faun,or Roon Nucleus(+)...


It is NOT just the hardware. I think all the above mentioned companies spend A LOT of time fine-tuning the operating system that drives the server, killing processes that are not needed, adding tweaks that are critical to a good listening experience.

By choosing to buy my Pachanko Constellation I chose to buy into this already optimized platform and the service that comes with it...."is it broken...pls fix it"...."does not play well....why?...pls fix it".


Maybe if I spent countless hours I could arrive to the same level of sound with a DIY solution.

I just decided it was beyond me...the hardware AND then the software....

I also know people that have had success the DIY way...and a lot that have not.


Roon has an obvious advantage in knowing "Roon"...but I also think that the engineering team of Roon shall spend alot more time developing their own software rather than looking at "pc optimization"

The other companies which I mentioned only have one goal with their server products...improve the hardware and operating system to cope best with Roon....I think it is a different set of objectves.

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Just to add on Roon Nucleus - I don't think it is any different than if you build NUC with Roon OS / ROCK yourself. I think I remember reading on Roon forums where the Roon guys were saying it's basically NUC in a passive box, just pre-built, for those who just want to buy a Roon Core that is ready to plug and play. I believe the only difference vs. ROCK is they optimized thermal management, so it's slightly different version of the OS, but the Roon guys said there should not be any audible difference.

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I doubt it's very different either.   What the Nucleus gives you is a compact, quiet, turnkey solution that ensures speedy operation of Roon -- this is appealing to both me and many of my clients. .   I did add an LPS; whether this makes it sound better or not I haven't tested, but a couple of respected friends, and John Atkinson of Stereophile all rec'd it, so I did it.   One day I'll get around to testing it, but there's no great way to A/B.

Industry participation disclosure: dealer for Paradigm, Anthem, Audiovector, Scaena, Hegel, NAD, Bluesound, Parasound, Teac, Roon Labs, Artnovion acoustic treatment, Storm Audio (best AV prepro on Earth!), JVC, Clarus Cable and Power, more.. www.outreachav.com


2 channel system:  EERA Majestuoso II DAC, Teac UD-701N DAC/Streamer, Teac CG-M10 Clock, Technics 1200GLE TT, Dynavector XX2mkII cartridge, Hegel phono stage, Hegel P30A preamp, Hegel H30A amp, Scaena 3.2 loudspeakers, Clarus Crimson cabling/Duet power conditioner, PS Audio P20 power regenerator,  Roon Nucleus+ server.  Surround: above plus Storm Audio ISP MK2 prepro, Paradigm Persona subs (2), Paradigm XR13 sub, NAD M28 amp (2)




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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/19/2022 at 9:00 PM, Yiakubou said:

In every Roon setup, the audio file playback is performed by Roon core. Endpoints only receive the final audio stream that Roon bridge receives and turns into PCM / DSD / whatever... Every Roon certified device has Roon bridge in it (plus some additional integration I believe). Even when you run Roon from a single machine and just send the audio to DAC e.g. via USB, the way it works is the same - Roon core does the playback, this is then transferred via RAAT to a Roon Bridge component that turns it into digital audio signal.


In every streaming setup I tried, the quality always degraded when Roon was in the mix. Either it does something weird during playback, or there is something in the RAAT protocol, but that is my experience. Even when using it with HQPlayer, it's still worse than using HQPlayer alone - again because Roon pushes it's own continuous audio data stream to HQP, it's not just a remote HQP controller.

My first post here, hi 👋 


Long time reader but decided to register because I share your conclusions after doing my own experiments - the quality is degraded with Roon in the mix.


I really appreciated your posts, clear description of testing method and setup. Thanks 🙏 

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  • 1 year later...

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