Octave Questions

A lot of people agree with you that Roon sound quality is not optimal, hence Innuos spent 4 years developing their own software even though many of their customers, me included, bought their machines specifically to run Roon. You get the whole Megillah (Yiddish for a “book”, usually The Book of Ester - Magilla is apparently a gorilla cartoon character) from Auralic Lightning and NAD/Bluesound BluOs, which is why they are so popular.

Innuos implemented two data outputs, one using RJ45/CAT and the other usb. As the former does not provide transmit power, and has an isolation transformer built in to the socket, I assume it is effectively galvanically isolated. The usb sockets have a dedicated linear power supply. So the Zen and Zenith models have proven very popular because they provide an exceptionally good Roon output.

Of course there are additional reclocking boxes and more advanced devices like the SGM Extreme, so to get the most from Roon is really a matter of how much you are prepared to pay. A Zen Mk3 with 1TB HD is $2,850, the SGM Extreme something like $35,000.

Frankly, using Innuos, Melco, Sonore or any other device purely as a Roon server with an optical or CAT cable data link (i.e. electrically isolated) sending bit perfect data to a streamer (i.e. without any DSP) is popular as it seems to be very effective.

I’m still rebuilding, but have my ethernet and optical cables buried in the wall and ready to connect up my system to the modem. The AV, audio and internet locations will all have dedicated shielded mains supplies from a 100A phase separate from the rest of the house and its own earthing. The loop impedance is 0.08 ohms, I still don’t know what that means in reality!


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Hi Paul, any feel for when you might start teasing us with some images of new Octave app controller screenshots or info on which music streaming services will be supported etc? How is the chip supply looking? Will it be available for the holidays? Just in the States or elsewhere? Looking forward to the new PS Audio ecosystem!

Steven, looks like you have the ganze (whole) Megillah there in the house network! Looks like fun!

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Hopefully sometime in October.

My incoming power was so appalling that my car charger wouldn’t even work properly and it would have been impossible to power a modern kitchen. I can mange without music, but not food. I was lucky in being able to connect to a 3 x 100A supply from the side of the house, rather than putting in a new connection to the front of the house that would have involved digging up my front garden.

I have a DirectStream DAC with Bridge II streaming Roon to my system.

You have said that Roon does not sound as good compared to other ecosystems. This confuses me. I am assuming that it is delivering bit perfect files to it’s end points.

Therefore, any quality of sound should be dependent on the quality of the endpoint. If the endpoint is well designed have good sounding components and “galvanic isolated” the sound quality should be similar to other options.

Is Roon’s approach altering the bits? What are they doing that degrades the sound quality?

JC

Ahhhh, were it only so simple. Servers can impact sound quality not because they are sending the wrong bits but in the way they are sending those bits - though in some cases with Roon they are not bit perfect. Do be careful not to use any of their DSP or altering features if bit perfect sound is what you’re hoping for.

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I have shut off DSP and anything MQA related in Roon. But, I’m looking forward to having a MK II and the new server, and if the Octave software works for me as well as Roon does for maintaining my very large local library, I’ll stop using Roon even though I have a Lifetime subscription, as I know the PSA setup will sound better. AND, I know the upcoming PSA radio stations will sound better too.

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Curious to hear how Paul and the crew are progressing on this unit and the software that will be used.

I am getting the impression that Roon is becoming expandable given the major improvements in such software work on the part of Innuos,etc. Also, I understand that Roon software sucks-up processing energy and does not do a good job of keeping the music “clean “.
I am in the process of narrowing down the purchase of a music streamer and I am thinking that Roon software is not as important as it was in the past. Funny how fast things change in the software business !

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People that have extensive experience with both Roon and Innuos2.0 have stated many times that Roon is far superior to Innuos 2/0 for everything Roon does, save sound quality. The general consensus is that Innuos 2.0 sounds better. From personal experience, Audirvana Studio and JRiver aren’t even in the same league as Roon for larger libraries. Both for very large libraries (100k+ tracks) were, IMHO, useless. I think, though, Octave has the best chance to be a serious Roon threat. But, only time will tell.

I tried their DSP capabilities, but didn’t like them, so now ALL DSP is switched off. (And will remain so)

You make some valid points.
I am hearing that Innuos is improving their app. It’s no secret that good software engineering can produce stellar results. Look what Ted has done with the dac software upgrades. Hopefully, Octabe will be phenomenal. We shall see. I am curious. I probably will not buy a Roon subscription because there may not be any need for it. I should have gone into the microchip/software business when I was young ! Oh well…

The speaker project tamed Paul too much, now he’s telling nothing until release :wink:

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Maybe that means the release date is within sight, finally.

Back in the summer of 1977, I was selling calculators, and TI had a high end handheld (TI-52?) that used small plug-in memory modules. I envisioned putting music on those modules to turn it into a portable music player. This was two years before Sony introduced the Walkman and 20+ years before Audible gave us the first portable digital music player. If only I had known how to turn my idea into reality. Sighhhh. Oh, well.

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It is within sight. Finally! As you may know, we are playing them and showing them at RMAF. BTW, there’s a full 2-page ad showing them in an upcoming Stereophile Magazine ad.

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Thanks and yes, large libraries and working with metadata are serious focuses for our team - and then add to that classical music which I don’t think anyone has yet tackled as well as we will. To be clear, we’re not looking to threaten Roon. Roon’s great and will continue to be great.

I (like you) don’t like Roon’s sound quality nor do I like the fact of having to host its server on my computer’s hardware, but when it comes to being a pleasure to use, Roon is so far the best. I hope we can come close. What Octave’s benefits will be is the elimination of the computer in the chain, the best sound quality out there, and a beautiful, fun, and interactive GUI.

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Good to hear. But I am in love with Idagio.

I’d love to get more feeling if I have a chance on custom fields and views and a bit of info on the streamer details!

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I’m eager to see how the Octave rollout progresses. From a “sound quality” standpoint, I would take one of my Aurenders over Roon anyday. I probably don’t need one, but then again???

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