Roon, Audirvana and Jriver on the DSJ


#1

I went through and evaluated each of the three products with the DSJ. It was kind of painful but I came away with some impressions and opinions.

  • Dedicate 2012 Mac Mini (8Gb ram with external USB 3.0 drive) running High Sierra.
  • USB connected to DSJ using iDefender3 (nasty ground hum. iDefender fixed it. To many components in the system. Don’t ask.)
  • Mac Mini and DSJ ethernet connected to a router on an isolate network. Mac Mini wifi interfaces to the home network to get to the internet. Had to change the service order for the interfaces to put WIFI on top. Wifi network is 192.168/16 and the isolated network Mac to DSJ is 10.10.10.0/24
  • The mac is HDMI connected to a TV, no dedicated monitor. Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad for when I need access.

Roon was the easiest by far and was the most solid. I don’t need the enriched content or Tidal and Spotify, so the subscription is a needless expense. If they offered just the software with a license to stream my own content, I would be all over it and be done. It works great and so is their remote app. The only gotcha I found is that there does not seem to be a way to stop it from real time scanning the media libraries. If it were an internal drive, it might not bother me, but constantly hitting the external USB drive is just distracting (Lights and noise with every read). I am surprised there is not way to modify the frequency that it does this or just change it to scan on demand. Also, and their screen format is too big for the HDMI display (Might be my 720P set…). The radio feature of randomly selecting music for you when the play list empties is really nice. I liked it more than I had expected to.

Audivera was not as easy to implement but I was also battling connectivity issues between the Mac and the DSJ at the time I was evaluating, trying to use a crossover cable or a 10/100 switch using static addressing. When I put the router in the middle, using DHCP, the drop outs and bloopy sound via the bridge resolved itself. Audirvana sounds very good. Is not quite as solid as Roon but way more solid than our last entry… by a mile… It is a license for the software which is nice for me. Handles all the formats I need. There is no scaling DSD128 to DSD64 so using the bridge all the time is not possible from what I could see. The remote app is only for iOS which sucks. (Android tablet, iOS phone). Media import is a bit slow. Navigating is not as slick as Roon. But it is manageable.

JRiver… Going in I thought JRiver was going to be the one. License, no subscription, runs on mac, windows and linux. Remote app on iOS and Android. I saved it for last figuring it would just stay and I would buy the license and get on with listening to music. Boy, was I wrong. All the glowing comments about Jriver… I don’t get it. Maybe it runs better on PC (I am,a PC person, this Mac Mini is my first Apple computer and I am NOT blown away… but it is the path I am on for Music). More futzing around with this crap that either of the other two… Unbelievable. Just getting it to stream 44.1 and DSD via USB was a challenge… Then taking on the ethernet to the bridge? oye… More often than not it just quits playing via the bridge after a random period of time. Forget about restarting play back. It won’t work. I had to terminate and restart the server software to get it going again on the bridge. The USB connectivity was pretty solid. Hinky interface (some will say flexible… maybe at the expense of being intuitive) Figuring out options? uggg. And then every doc/config guide you find is worthless when a new release comes out. None of the keywords are in the same place, named the same or even present anymore. THE WORST…

So, it is looking like Audirvana will be the way I am going given all this. Too bad on Roon. I’d love to have it. But $120/yr buys a lot of stuff I don’t need and $500 lifetime is nuts. (Who’s lifetime? in the tech world Roons life time might be 5 more years before Logitech buys them out and turns them into the next Harmony… )

I wanted the option of the bridge but after gaining some experience (and having some DSD128 releases) I think the limitations of the bridge will be too significant to make it viable. Having to switch back to USB to play output greater than DSD64 will be too big a PITA. I am thinking something like a Rendu front ending the USB input on the DSJ might be the better way to go. It is pretty obvious the bridge in the DSJ is never going to be upgraded beyond DSD64 so an outboard solution will be necessary regardless and the Rendu’s already support up through DSD512 (I don’t know how you prove that…)

Thanks for all the input on this journey so far. This is a lot more work than slotting a CD or putting on an LP. We will see how it all works out.


#2

Thanks! An interesting review.

As you note, for all of its claimed convenience, streaming is a great deal of work. It can make setting up a cartridge appear trivial.


#3

Thanks for the reviews. I have yet to jump into the streaming bandwagon, and am only just beginning to rip my collection of CDs to flac. But frankly, the more I read about the various options, the more confused I get regarding the best direction to go, and every time that I start reading about 10,000 different ways to optimize window for streaming, I quickly stop reading, and just spin a disk to avoid the oncoming headache.

Heck, I can’t even get a read on PS Audio’s direction with Bridge II vs. Bridge III which seems to trade some of the really cool features that Bridge II gives you in favor of some other cool features. And that uncertainty alone is likely to keep me from purchasing either one. And if I should decide to go with Roon, then Bridge III seems like it would instantly become a non-starter.

Streaming appliances really have a genuine appeal for their sheer simplicity. But future proofing of such devices seems impossible, and so this fact will likely keep me from ever spending very much on dedicated streaming hardware.


#4

I have to concur with the OP here…regarding JRiver.

I’ve been streaming, 4-EVAH; and back when I had a C.A.P.S. and JRiver, like v18…it was the bee’s knees.

But since…I’ve been exposed to the likes of Aurender (Conductor) and Auralic (DS Lightning). And so, now that I am using a DsJ…and trying JR24 (with JRemote); I thought we’d be in the ballpark.

And I guess maybe it can be…once you get it all dialed-in, and such; but even for an experienced digi-phile like myself…it ain’t easy.

For one; now that we know, what we know about streaming (and overhead, and eliminating that which is unnecessary)…why do we need, photos, video, TV, etc.? Two…to the OP’s point; if your DSD isn’t set-up correctly; when you try to play a file. BOOM; you BOMB JR out…and need to physically go to the server you have it installed on, for a reload :roll_eyes:

And…there are times; where it’s quirky…whether you’re switching from one sampling rate to another, etc. Where it decides to skip the selected track; and play the following one. You can then go back, of course; but again…in 2018…hardly cutting edge.

And, it’s a shame; because a) I do run on PC (Win10), and b) that makes Audirvana not even an option for me.


#5

Foobar is free and there is a MAC version… I don;t know if it works well on the MAC, but check out this thread.

Oh, and Foobar is free…

Peace
Bruce in Philly


#6

Can someone point me, to the DSD set-up…for JR into the DsJ Bridge?


#7

see my post below


#8

Have the Bitstreaming turned on already
jr1

Wondering about this


#9

Oops. Sorry for my mistake. Just back home and checked the settings.

After you enable the DLNA server. You should see DSjr on the device panel:

And then you should go back to the media network setting page then enable DSD for UPnP device:

BTW, you may also need to set the Audio Mode to Original:


#10

Well…that’s got it working; kinda :roll_eyes:

DSD64 plays; but like NEVER, the first track of an album. Always tries…and then says f*ck it, and goes to the second. And my one DSD128 won’t play at all.

Is it me…or does JRiver and the Bridge, SUCK!


#11

Have gone back…to my $500 Auralic Aries Mini. No stuttering, DSD128; and oh yeah…TIDAL and Internet radio too. :roll_eyes:


#12

Chris

Did you not have any luck with mControl or mConnect? Granted the interface is not as smooth as Lightning DS but it does work.


#13

The Bridge II and JRiver work very well. It takes a little fortitude. That’s just the way these things go. The Bridge II is less than perfect but fixable in JRiver.

First: run this analyzer and complete all the suggested settings: http://www.whitebear.ch/dmra

Second: Right click BridgeII in JRiver. Click DLNA Controller Options. Select all three choices. The Bridge II fakes DLNA into thinking all three options function properly. The Bridge does not comply to the standard. JRiver has these options available to fix that.

Now, try again! You should have more success. Please also note that the Bridge is limited to DSD64 (look at the PS Audio specs on the Bridge - think they’re pretty clear on that).

Good luck. In my view the problems have been worth it. JRiver and BridgeII work great and changed the way I listen to music. Also, if you want TIDAL and Internet Radio, MControl works great with JRiver and provides both. Normally, I use JRemote for 99% of my listening.


#14

Yeah; I was afraid I read that. And let me ask this: does it limit MQA to 24/48?

IDK; for such an off-the-charts, technological machine…this is just feeling, very 3 years ago to me.

And it’s too bad; I don’t mean to hate. I know where I am. But when a $500 appliance, beats out your $4k “all-in-one”; that’s a little disappointing.


#15

Bridge2 is DSD64 only.
The way you got 128:

  1. via USB
  2. via Coax
  3. via I2S

I personally use Roon + iPad(with camera kit) + USB port to enjoy DSD128.


#16

Yeah; or again…my $500 AAM.

But the Bridge, was a BIG part of why I bought this. :neutral_face:


#17

Not using Roon / Jriver over here mcontrol(HD) delivers full unfolding of MQA files up to 24/192 without any problems.


#18

OK; time to give MConnect a try I guess.

Is there a set-up guide, to go with Bridge?


#19


This ’how to’ refers to mconnectControl, using a tablet I prefer mconnectControlHD.


#20

Just for the record, Audirvana does do MQA, and appears to support the DS Bridge as a Renderer, although it does not automatically recognize the capability in Preferences. (I haven’t tested the function, as I don’t care much about MQA.)
Now that I know how to avoid a couple of bugs, it’s been pretty stable for me, and I do like its sound, and the ability to intermix tracks from both Tidal and Qobuz within the play queue.