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Does Roon Sound Better?

Ron Texas

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#1
From the Absolute Sound today:

The Sound of Roon
Which leads us, at last, to the sound of Roon. The fact that Roon even has a sound may surprise some readers. But remember that all music playback software and associated renderers have a sonic signature. That’s why TAS runs reviews on those products. Roon is no different.

To find out whether Roon’s impact is positive or negative, I compared it to dCS’s own proprietary renderer, which runs in conjunction with UPnP. This comparison was particularly telling for two reasons. First, dCS DACs are considered among the best in the world, so their own renderer is obviously no slouch. Second, since both the dCS and Roon renderers were running on the same dCS Rossini DAC, any differences I heard had to be due to the renderer.

Some comparison tests are of a “drop the needle and listen for two seconds” nature, where the result is immediately obvious. This was one of those. It took no time at all to determine that Roon constitutes a significant sonic upgrade over dCS’ own renderer. For example, playing Mark Knopfler’s “Golden Heart,” Roon delivered extra clarity, tonal color, and stage depth, making the performance more compelling and involving. Similarly, on the hi-res (176/24) version of Rickie Lee Jones’ “Jolie, Jolie” from Traffic in Paradise, Roon again conveyed greater clarity and detail. Further, the samba-like rhythms came through more propulsively, and the entire presentation breathed more naturally. One last illustration: On Bruce Cockburn’s haunting “Charity of Night,” Roon produced more dynamic shadings on the acoustic guitar, while Cockburn’s voice became more three-dimensional and natural sounding."

The only thing I know Roon will do is dent your bank account $120 per year. That's what Photoshop costs. (OK lifetime is $500 and Photoshop doesn't have that.)

Is this possible, or from the realm of megabuck wires?
 

amirm

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Is this possible, or from the realm of megabuck wires?
Only way it is possible if his alternate UPnP path truncated the bits or changed sample rates. Otherwise, it is all imagination. I know because I have tested the Roon path and against my Audio Precision analyzer and there is no measured difference whatsoever.
 
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#3
Absolute Sound:

Remember we're only in this for the bungs and as a result one can't believe a word that comes out of our filthy mouths.

Okay they didn't say that in as many words but looking at what they wrote, they may as well have done.
 

Ron Texas

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Only way it is possible if his alternate UPnP path truncated the bits or changed sample rates. Otherwise, it is all imagination. I know because I have tested the Roon path and against my Audio Precision analyzer and there is no measured difference whatsoever.
I am glad you have the time, gear and knowledge to test this stuff. By the way I have some monster cable speaker wire with magical properties as it is over 30 years old and has survived floods and a fire.
 

Headphonaholic

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But remember that all music playback software and associated renderers have a sonic signature.
What is that guy smoking? Unless the software has some sort of DSP settings they should literally all sound exactly the same. He probably believes your audio files will sound different on different hard drives too...
 

restorer-john

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Headphonaholic

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Dialectic

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I do not use Roon because I had a trial, during which I confirmed that its metadata for classical music are disastrously useless. I use the Windows version of Foobar under Windows, Linux, and, yes, Mac, using Wine for compatibility with the latter two OSs. It sounds excellent, and I can get native DSD out even with Wine (although it doesn't matter).
 

FrantzM

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In a world of $15,000 USB cables. I can’t comprehend Roon “making a dent” in those folks bank account at that paltry monthly fee. Even if you pair it with Tidal, that about $50/month. Buy the lifetime Room at $500 and the est of most of their readers probable lifetime inTidal subscription.
 

JJB70

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#16
I have always thought that a big part of the problem for audiophiles and magazines is that they have ever managed to accept that digital isn't like analogue and all of the tweaking and adjustment that was useful or necessary in the vinyl era isn't anymore. So they end up trying to imagine that there are dark secrets in digital data streams and that software is like a tone arm or cartridge or something.
 
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#18
On a slightly related note, is there an easy way to measure if a specific digital chain is bit-perfect? My chain is DLNA server (FLAC files) -> BubbleUPnP application -> Chromecast Audio (TOSLINK output), and I would love to perform some testing.
 

amirm

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On a slightly related note, is there an easy way to measure if a specific digital chain is bit-perfect? My chain is DLNA server (FLAC files) -> BubbleUPnP application -> Chromecast Audio (TOSLINK output), and I would love to perform some testing.
Nothing that is easy. There are some DACs like Berkeley audio where you could feed them HDCD encoded content and it will light up. Any modification of the content destroys that identification.

Roon is good at identifying if the interface it is talking to is bit exact or not. But it can't tell anything past that point.

The only option then is to play a 24 bit file and then measure to see if you see a THD+N that is greater than 97 dB (assuming the DAC is capable).
 

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