The sound of Roon

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The sound of Roon
« on: 18 Feb 2021, 09:07 pm »
My primary source is a NAD M50.2 vault/player which has BluOS as its built-in and default operating and music management system. It's also a Roon endpoint.
I bought a Roon lifetime license years ago when it first came out and I used it on a home-built music server, but never set it up with the NAD until this week when I updated to Roon 1.8. At that point I decided to compare my system's sound with both.
I'm finding that Roon sounds consistently "dryer," more analytical, and - I think - more transparent. I'd characterize the BluOS sound as fuller, more "romantic" sounding. It's kinda like a high-end solid state sound with Roon, and a tube-like sound with BluOS. I'm not using any DSP/EQ.
Anyone else?


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Re: The sound of Roon
« Reply #1 on: 2 Apr 2021, 11:33 pm »
Not sure how it would be different.  Diff clocks?  If its the same source material, why would it be different coming out of the same unit.


Re: The sound of Roon
« Reply #2 on: 3 Apr 2021, 03:35 am »
For what it's worth, I tried Roon for a year. I could hear no difference between Roon and DLNA on my home-networked setup, using the Auralic Aries as the stream renderer (to a Classé CP-800 DAC-preamp).
So this seems to be specific to the particular setup, as with so many things.
Happy listening!


Re: The sound of Roon
« Reply #3 on: 3 Apr 2021, 09:14 am »
My experience on the low-powered Antipodes DX, relative to LMS, Roon tends to homogenise music - there is less contrast, less sense of touch... less expression; music sounded more "easy listening" or background. I didn't notice tonal differences between the two players. I suspect is a matter of resolution and dynamics. Not what I expected or wanted.

Roon was once the preferred player for Antipodes servers but I believe that has changed.


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Re: The sound of Roon
« Reply #4 on: 3 Apr 2021, 01:38 pm »
Roon likes pared-down Linux boxes dedicated to Roon. I had an Auralic Aries G2.1 and their implementation of Roon is terrible. They have a big bloated operating system tuned to work with their badly designed smartphone apps. Their implemenation of Roon is an afterthought, and it did not sound good.

I switched to an Allo DigiOne Signature running Ropieee (an extremely pared Linux purely dedicated to Roon) and a Roon ROCK server on an Intel NUC (following Roon's excellent instructions to put it together) and my system sounds amazing. Very very detailed, huge 3D soundstage, wonderful tonality, and bass tone and texture that has been a revelation.

I just moved from a Benchmark DAC3 to a Holo May KTE DAC and the improvement is fantastic. Roon is not limiting my ability to improve the sound in my system at all.

I think the problem is that Roon has done such a good job of making Roon work on bloated non-Linux systems and Swiss army knife Linux systems (like the various embedded players in stuff like the Auralic) with sloppy implementation that the bits-are-bits crowd assumes that anything that runs Roon will run Roon equally well. Roon is designed for pared-down Linux. It sounds incredible running on these tiny, free Linux distributions (Roon ROCK and RoPieee). The Roon Nucleus that Roon sells as the canonical Roon server is just an Intel NUC running Roon ROCK in a very nice fanless case. For half the cost you can put your own together.

Here are measurements of Roon feeding various endpoints and DACs, for those curious abou the measurement side of the story:

Rusty Jefferson

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Re: The sound of Roon
« Reply #5 on: 3 Apr 2021, 02:02 pm »
So, you're running the Roon Core on a NUC on your network? Since your NAD is Roon Ready you don't want to be using bridge software.