Roon 1.3 & Upsampling with DS Sr or Jr


#1

Roon 1.3 has extensive upsampling capabilities, including to DSD. I don’t understand all the nuances or implications of the Roon upsampling options but am wondering if there is any advantage for a DS user given that the DS upsamples to DSD all input signals.

I’d grateful for perspectives or explanations on how the two approaches work and if there are redundancies…and especially advice of how one best sets up ROON (upsampling) for best sound quality output, including the option of turning off altogether, which is my inclination.


#2

I would turn Roon up-sampling off. The DS will do a much better job than Roon will.


#3

Ted Smith in another thread says he believes that the DS FPGA upsampling to be better that software based upsampling however he suggests that if you have the option, try it and choose your preference.

In another forum a DS Snr owner says his preference is to use Roon upsampled music as source to the DS.

Give it a go and report back.


#4

Hardware upsampling tends to beat software - if only from the point of view of noise. And particularly the upsampling hardware in the DSJ, compared with any other upsampling I have heard. But one would hope that the hardware in a multi-thousand-dollar device would outperform a computer churning the bits in realtime and outputting via whatever means. I have not compared yet.


#5

I tried Roon v1.3 with upsampling into the DS and preferred the sound with upsampling off. I did find the Roon v1.3 crossfeed feature worthwhile for headphone listening.


#6

My system: MacBook Pro connected by CAT-5 via Ethernet to PS Audio Directstream Jr Bridge ii. I use Roon v 1.3, upgraded through April 13.

In Roon, I use DSP primarily for the parametric EQ function (I have an Audeze LCD-4 powered by a Headamp GS-X Mk II and like to add up to 3 DB from about 3K to 8K). I have activated Sample Rate Conversion (“SRC”) from time-to-time, and found that, for my file of mostly AIFF 44.1 lossless ripped CDs, the best setting when SRC is activated is to upsample to “Max PCM (Power of 2)”. HOWEVER, compared to leaving the SRC function disabled and letting the native sampling rate flow to the DSJ untouched, the audible difference is virtually indistinguishable and I don’t have much of a preference either way.

This does not surprise me, because the DSJ DAC performs the same upsampling, and then some, to convert to a 1-bit DSD output. To my thinking, enabling SRC simply creates a potential processing redundancy that may tend to invite additional ringing (which Roon can and does filter, but cannot completely eliminate). So I’m inclined to leave Roon’s SRC function disabled and let my DSJ handle these tasks. I simply see (and hear) no sonic upside to enabling SRC in Roon.


#7

Welcome, Dizzard!

Your approach makes good sense.


#8

Thanks!


#9

So I have seen a lot of negative comments on the web in regards to Roon sound quality. Everyone loves the interface. Any comments?

I use Jriver and like it. But I have a tendency to like software that gives me control vs it taking control. I like file systems and knowing where my files are. :).


#10

Playing from my Mac Mini to the Bridge 2 I did not notice a qualitative difference going from JRMC 22 to Roon. I can’t speak for the USB connection. Lately JRMC has been very flaky in my system, losing connections and being unreliable in general (after a couple years of generally reliable service). My files are in exactly the same place using Roon as they were in JRMC.


#11

I use Roon in the same config, more or less, as stevem2. I prefer Roon in most every way, including sound quality. I hate JRiver’s GUI. Very utilitarian. Plus, I find JRiver to be unnecessarily complex and confusing. I think a lot of the Roon hate comes from people without DS DACs and need to use HQPlayer in order to upsample, noise shape, dither, etc. for their DAC that benefits from such treatment. HQP gives a lot of options and is generally considered better at upsampling than Roon. Still, I don’t find HQP upsampling and such better through USB as compared to my DS Sr through Bridge II. (HQP won’t play through B2) I did use HQP with USB for one main reason, though: it worked well with LANRover and made my USB connection solid.


#12

Yes… I bring up the sound quality question because it seemed to be fairly consistent across different forums… but not so much here… And - yes - I have a tendency to like JRiver because - as opposed to something like ITunes as an example (I have never seen Roon) - finding your files… where they are located on hard disk… how to filter out things that you don’t want - like my kid’s ‘screamo’ rock… becomes a bit of a chore… I mean I am sure there is a way to do it… but being able to just import exactly what I want - organize it by library…directory path is a beautiful thing for me… And the best thing is … if for whatever reason - the software can’t find my files - or something doesn’t play… I know right where to find it on my C drives or USB external drives…

Let me ask those of you with Roon – how often do you really go back to the info on the artist? I usually just press play - and sit down…sorry if this is off topic – it is roon related and sound quality related …


#13

Early on Roon didn’t sound great on the DS (or DS Jr.) They (and I presume PS Audio) did significant work to make sure it sounded good on PS Audio hardware before the first release of PS Audio hardware that supported Roon.


#14
timm said

Let me ask those of you with Roon – how often do you really go back to the info on the artist? I usually just press play - and sit down…sorry if this is off topic – it is roon related and sound quality related …


Roon is easy to set up your folders for synchronization. You could easily separate out your son’s music!

One thing I love about Roon, especially with Tidal integration, is that you look at all the artist notes and artwork. It’s there in plain view. Plus there are a lot of hyperlinks to other artists you can explore in the bios. I often wind up in a totally different place than I started and discover new music all the time. It’s very liberating, IMO.

I really think Roon sounds fantastic, given your server and chain allows for the delivery of excellent SQ. It’s at least as good as JRiver and much easier to use.


#15
timm said

Yes… I bring up the sound quality question because it seemed to be fairly consistent across different forums… but not so much here… but being able to just import exactly what I want - organize it by library…directory path is a beautiful thing for me… And the best thing is … if for whatever reason - the software can’t find my files - or something doesn’t play… I know right where to find it on my C drives or USB external drives…

Roon is very easy to setup to use 'watched' folders, only using the music you want it to know about. Check their blogs for 'how to'.

I’m a member of the Roon forums and from MPOV the people with the problems and complaints are those who are putting everything including the kitchen sink in the signal path. I read about sound quality, dropped connections, stuttering, etc. When you start to peel the onion on those peoples’ problems you find that they have so much junk in the signal path. My guess they’re trying to impress their friends by the amount of equipment and software they have for audio at the expense of the music.

I keep it very simple - Roon sits on a MacMini that does nothing else but Roon. It is hard wired to a Mytek Brooklyn (USB) in my office and PS DSJr in my main listening room (Bridge). I’ve never, ever (hopefully not jinxing myself here) had any problems with getting my signal or the quality of it. Furthermore IMHO Roon is the best software I’ve purchased in a very long time whether we’re talking business, work or pleasure. It’s brought back an old time for me of reading liner notes, news stories, etc about the music I’m listening to. I can simultaneously play the same material in both my office and main listening room, I can play different music at the same time. I even have it hooked to a Sonos box in my Bedroom (can’t synch that though).

My view is the sound is excellent on both my Brooklyn and Junior. I often listed on my Brooklyn with Audeze LCX headphones. I feel the sound is excellent thru the Brooklyn with the Audeze. On my PS DSJr I couldn’t be more pleased with the sound and setup.

So in summary keep it simple, keep it clean. Lose the boxes and extra software that you don’t need and just get the digital files to your DAC in the shortest, cleanest path and you should be very happy.