PS Audio Music Server In The Pipeline?


#741

Bridge III and the Direcstream Junior DAC

Will a replacement Bridge III be available/compatible with the DSJr? If yes (please, please, please), will the swap require sending it in or will it be user replaceable?


#742

I would think user replaceable.


#743

Roon has just incorporated Qobuz, so I just started a trial. Logged Roon into my Qobuz account and it is indexing the SSD drive inside my Aries Mini as a network share, from which I’m playing Beethoven at the same time. It’s all very clever.

I feel sorry for developers having to keep up with all this stuff.


#744

As of Mac Qobuz app version 5.0.1-b002, I’ve been unable to get it to play to the Bridge - the application sees the Bridge, but won’t play to it.


#746

Yes, it is alleged to be user replaceable.


#747

Paul,

It was mentioned earlier that the Bridge III will also be compatible with PWD mkII.
I hope that will not change?


#748

As a 1-day Roon convert, because it has now embedded Qobuz, I’m interested in what makes it sound good and getting the best server set up.

I’ve been looking at the Roon RAAT web page. It makes a huge amount of sense. Basically “Airplay for Audiophiles” and “RAAT is plumbing. It gets the audio from point A to point B without screwing it up”.

It says that “Audio devices must own the audio clock”. I had an Aries streamer that had a Femto reclocking chip feeding Devialet Core Infinity that also reclocks. As Roon suggest can occur, they can be out of sync and clock-drift-compensation is expensive to implement and another layer of processing. My combination resulted in audible clicks, so I put in the cheaper Aries Mini without reclocking and left it to the Devialet. All is good. The same problem arose with another brand of hi-end server/streamer.

There is a salutory compatibility lesson here about designing computer server and streaming hardware for use with other sophisticated DACs and streamers.

Having used several streamers and servers, and espoused about the need for the best control software, something at which Devialet are famously poor, have now effectively decided to rewrite their operating system and put Roon at the heart of it, saying: “With the integration of RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transport) to Devialet OS in progress, you’ll soon be able to stream in multiroom and bit-perfect mode bewteen your Expert Pro and any other Roon Ready devices”.

That’s good news but, to be honest, anything acting as a music server should be completely transparent on the home network.

Darko, who is my new best friend as I understand his accent and what he says, swears by the Roon Nucleus, also attractive to me as it allows a user-installed SSD drive like my current set-up. The price is good as well, but you still have to pay for Roon and an SSD drive.

It will be interesting to see how Roon integrates with Octave. It is very easy to see Roon becoming a standard platform. uPnP is all well and good, but the available apps just aren’t good enough or reliable enough.


#749

Hopefully not. We’ll see what’s possible.


#750

I couldn’t agree more with this analysis though Roon won’t integrate with Octave (not likely).

Roon, as you have correctly pointed out, is third party computer software trying to play nice with a variety of other company’s sophisticated DACs. That, along with uPnP, are valiant attempts at democratizing a complex world and will, by their very nature, be doomed to some level of mediocrity. It’s inevitable because you’re trying to dumb things down enough to fit all “sizes”.

Octave will be its own OS and hardware. It will be a fully integrated system capable of seamlessly connecting to any DAC in the world with perfection because of it—the walled garden approach. Which is why, over time, our course will be to build a line of hardware/software devices spanning the economic landscape from very affordable to the same price as a DS.

The advantage of our approach, also multi-room ready, will be one of seamless integration and guaranteed sound quality without the requirement for external computers (as you have with Roon).

Once we have gotten the affordable hardware out it will come down to a simple choice for buyers: Octave hardware physically connected to any DAC for a seamless user experience and guaranteed sound quality, vs. Roon’s requirement for an external computer with its ability to stream to devices—sacrificing a bit of sound quality and tolerating the occasional glitch.


#751

Have you given any thought to integrating Octave with smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home? I like the idea of using voice commands to control playback as opposed to needing a remote, smart phone or tablet. I don’t know if this would require licensing fees or additional hardware, but I think that having the ability to use voice commands would be a plus.


#752

I’m not sure about the cost of entry to play with Echo or Google Home, but I can’t imagine it is cheap as each of these organizations wants their pound of flesh ton enable this type of access. Seeing how Octave will be rather niche, targeting a limited and very specific consumer (unlike Sonos, B&O, Bose, etc.), it probably wouldn’t be financially feasible.

Like you, I do love voice command. But I wonder, at the music levels I like to play, I don’t think Alexa would ever hear me :smile:


#753

Presumably years ago planning decisions were made about Octave that it should:

  1. Get music from online/offline to PSA and other DACs “without screwing it up” (to quote Roon); and

  2. Provide the offline storage
    No doubt there were a host of other things.

  3. is streaming and 2. is serving.
    There are almost too many proprietary streaming apps to count. PSA has the benefit of being able to evaluate the good and bad of what is out there already. As for serving, it simply has to work and be transparent on the local network. No one will buy a system that requires more than one music library in the same property. “Can’t share, don’t care” is the consumers’ view of poor servers.

Audirvana has very similar functionally to Roon, and pre-dates it, but Roon does it so much better. Roon also costs a lot more.

Computers were not designed for audio and I’ve rarely used them. Only my MacBook via Devialet Air because it’s easy and works well. Much of the time I still use the Aries Mini usb streamer/server. The Roon Core is temporarily on my QNAP server. The I prefer the idea of a dedicated server.

The thing about Roon is that it is plug and play in 5 minutes with no tweaks or infinitely tweakable. bubble uPnP has loads of tweaks just to get it stable. Roon does seem unique in that it allows you to control any device from any control point at the same time, using OSX, iOS, Android or Windows. Whether you need this is another matter. It also has a superb AoIP, called RAAT, which is the basis of any good ethernet/wireless streaming system, such as Sonos and Devialet Air.

Where we differ is that:

  1. I don’t think there is anything mediocre about Roon, it is a joy to use and clearly very sophisticated at the same time.
  2. It no longer needs an external computer as they now have their own server (Nucleus) designed to audiophile standards. For me that is a pre-requisite. My Aries Mini server runs off linear power itself fed with PSA regenerated mains.

#754

I love my Roon Nucleus+ and love Convolution Filtering. I’m using the PS Audio P20 power plant, then SBOOSTER LPS to power the Roon Nucleus+. I am also using the AQVOX-SE switch powered from P20 through SBOOSTER LPS. This set-up sold me on not using my DMP other than once and a while. The sound is amazing. So, my next step is either Pink Faun or the Octave. My 2020 time-frame will fit in nicely with the next gen PF streamer or Octave… For $2500 + $500 LPS, the Roon Nucleus+ is amazing.

Forgot - I started streaming in July, 2018 and it took me 15min to set up the Roon Nucleus+ after I installed a 1TB SSD (Samsung 860 pro). Streaming is amazing… now I listen to music instead of spending time getting to listening to music. The Roon interface (iPAD 2017) is great. There is never any down time or issues and I am jumping from TIDAL to NAS… I can’t wait till Qobuz is very stable to switch over…


#755

I haven’t monitored this blog previously and it is very long, so I hope I am not bringing up a topic already covered.

I was an early adopter of Sooloos (about 10 years ago) and have gradually ripped my collection of about 7000 CDs into it. In recent years I have been digitizing the “desert island” portion of my nearly equally large LP collection (using the NPC and VinylStudio at 96/24 res). Currently, I have about 1000 LPs on the Sooloos. Both the CDs and the LP files, but especially the LPs, have required careful massaging of the metadata for use on Sooloos. It has required a whole lot of time and effort!

When I discovered that Meridian seems pretty much to be abandoning Sooloos, I did a trial run of Roon. The results were not great so far as my metadata was concerned. Roon does not import the metadata from Sooloos and misidentified or just skipped many CDs. (I should note that I think I understand why Roon doesn’t import my LP metadata, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it!)

I guess what I’m wondering is whether Octave has any plans to allow somehow the retrieval of Sooloos metadata for those who might wish to move to it as a music server. Otherwise, I seem to be locked into Sooloos until it dies. Sooloos has always worked well for me, but it may be time to move on.


#756

I think Paul was referring to sound quality as it isn’t as good as it could (should?) be.


#757

Right, but that external Nucleus server IS a computer. Sorry, I wasn’t being clear.


#758

Yes, there are a good number of us who find Roon does not sound good. But the interface is OK.


#759

Just updated to Roon 1.6… running great… took a minute… will chew on it for a while before opting for Qobuz… a little difference in the format, nothing difficult.


#760

Agreed. Great interface not great sound to my ears.


#761

Sooloos was founded by the Roon guys. I don’t know where its metadata came from. I think Roon uses a combination of Gracenote ands a few other services.

We are using our own sources of metadata with Octave and it’s scoring better than Roon in our tests: we get about 85% right and they about 70%. We, like they, allow users to change the data and our tenant (I am not sure about theirs) is to honor
the customer’s metadata first, ours second.

That said I don’t know of any way to import Sooloos metadata.