Hi, So my Roon core is a dedicated Mac Mini. I have the option of outputting core audio output from the Mac Mini to my DAC (Direct Stream), via USB, HDMI or Optical. But, my Direct Stream has the Bridge installed, so although it is sitting close to my computer, I have the option of using my ethernet input. Which is better? Thanks!!!
In my experience the network connection sounds better as you are not directly electrically connected to your computer. I would still recommend trying each method out to see which you prefer though.
HDMI is not an option to directly connect the Mac Mini to the DS DAC. One must have an i2S source in order to connect to the Mac Mini via the i2S port which is a variant of the HDMI protocol.
And thus enters the Matrix!
I have a related question: I will be receiving my DAC w/Bridge II within a week, and I need a little assistance with the ethernet/network setup. I currently stream most of my music through the Qobuz desktop app on my computer via USB to my Stellar Gain Cell DAC. (I also have all of my CD’s ripped to flac files on an external hard drive connected to my laptop) If I connect my ethernet/home network to the Bridge II, what will I need to do in order to be able to use my iPad (or my Android tablet) to remotely control my Qobuz desktop app on my laptop? Thanks for any help anyone can give me!
Indeed it does!
You can use Roon or the free MControl Connect App to connect and control your Qobuz account. Personally I use Roon because it has a much better interface and is great for organising your music library but it is not free. The Roon interface for Qobuz and Tidal is also better than the native interface of their respective apps (especially for Tidal).
Thanks, so do both MConnect and Roon connect to my laptop to access QoBuz, and then the DAC is able to access my laptop? (sorry, just not sure how it’s all connected!)
Yes they would connect to your laptop or wherever you have your music library stored locally so you could have a separate server too if you use one. I think for the streaming part though (Roon/Qobuz) they would connect using the app (Roon/MConnect) the settings might be stored on your computer but the music would be streamed direct via the internet.
If you are interested in Roon I would recommend reading up on it on their forums and website. There are some basic explanations here:
You can check out their forums here:
Thanks, that’s very helpfuI - I will take a look at their website this afternoon!
HI JSCHANDER, You are close to where I was a year ago, streaming some tidal and cd’s from my MacBook, either plugged in via optical out or using Apple Airplay.
Then I got Roon. Oh my so nice. One computer needs to be the core and wired into your network, I use an older Mac mini that is dedicated for audio. You can use your iPad, phone or computer for control, and your DS with bridge (Roon endpoint) will see it all your music over the network, and stream Tidal or Qbuz. use network into your DS DAC, and Balanced out into your Stellar Gain Preamp Analog inputs. This will use the best DAC (DS) and bypass the DAC in your Stellar. I had the Stellar also, but upgraded to the BHK preamp (again, oh my!) Roon seems very affordable to me with the lifetime subscription.
Thanks, fast.freight - Based on what you (and a lot of other people here) say, Roon seems to be the best option for me, so I will definitely go with that. It also seems like quite a few people on here use a Mac Mini for their music server, is that a better option than a Windows PC? On an unrelated note, do you have any issues with songs in Qobuz just stopping playing? I have started saving some playlists, and a few of the songs I have saved just stop, sometimes seconds into the song and sometimes after a minute or two. I had this trouble when I initially started using Qobuz, but I think that was due to the fact that I was on a wi-fi connection. Since then, I had a CAT 7 cable installed to my media wall, but it’s also approx 65 feet long and runs through the attic. (my installer said to go with CAT 7 due to the length needed)
There is no problem with using either a Mac or Windows PC with Roon. As for playback issues with Qobuz I haven’t experienced them when using it via Roon. I don’t use the Qobuz app because it doesn’t compare to Roon but have not had any problems on the few times I used it.
It still could be a network bandwidth issue even though you are hard wired. How much bandwidth do you get from internet service provider?
I used to have a heck of a lot of issues with songs stopping, stuttering, etc. I have since switched internet providers and have a much faster service (1GB/s). I also moved away from the Mconnect Control app which may also contributed, but hard to say with certainty. All I know is I have had zero streaming quality issues since upgrading my internet service and using my Mac Mini with Audirvana, then moving to a dedicated music server running Roon.
post is now removed
Thanks, Jeff - My current download speed is 337.46 and upload is 32.11, but I do have the option to upgrade to a 1GB service, if needed. I am currently using an older Windows 7 computer for streaming only, which seems to be working fine with most music, but I wonder if it could be that there’s not enough RAM (4 GB), processor speed (i3), etc.?. I am probably going to download Roon today and see how that works; the Qobuz desktop is really glitchy.
You internet speed is plenty fast, so I don’t suspect that to be the cause.
Your computer on the other hand… Your RAM and processor are definitely on the light side, which is especially problematic if you have a lot running in the background consuming what modest resources you have. I am not a fan of all-purpose Windows machines for music streaming.
You may want to consider an improved music streaming appliance at some point.
Yeah, I agree that I need to invest in a better music server in the future, but between my recent purchases of two REL 5/SHO’s and the PS Audio DAC, I’m a little tapped out at this point! I am going to uninstall any unnecessary programs from the laptop and see if that helps, and I may upgrade my internet to 1GB service anyway, it’s only about $15.00 more a month. You mentioned that you have Roon and Audirvana; I don’t really know anything about either one, but it appears that they both do the same/similar thing; what is the reason to have both of those?
FWIW, it has been my experience that playing files on my iMac and via associated subscription services (e.g., Qobuz) over Wi-Fi to a router that is connected to the PSA DS Sr. via Ethernet is a high quality signal path that also seems to effectively isolate the system from much of the “nasties” associated with “computer audio”. And if you have Roon 1.6 and Tidal, you get the added bonus of enjoying fully “unfolded” MQA-encoded files via the PSA Bridge II Network card. Cheers.