When Copying CD's

I’m not the religious guy, so don’t expect any final truth from my side. I store my files (ripped CDs (FLAC), purchased FLC high-res and some DSD) on my music server (Innuos Zenith MK II) that also acts as my Roon Core.
So there you have it, I use Roon. It’s a great software, but I can only compare it to iTunes, that I used for 15 years and finally decided to not touch it anymore (I want more control about what’s happening). Via Roon I also integrate Tidal and now Qobuz, which gives me access to more music I’ll ever be able to hear in my life time. Streaming SQ is good enough for me, no complaints there.
The Roon Core handles all the data integration, zone control, DSP (if wanted or needed) and I control my music via iPad(s), iPhone(s) and Laptop(s). The Zenith is connected to my main Player (SOtM SMs200ultra with separate SOtM PSU) via Ethernet (and is one of my Roon Zones). The Player connects to my DirectSteam DAC via USB (i ditched my Bridge II). From DAC balanced to Pre and balanced to active speakers.
There are thousand of options, methods , ways and components to choose from, I guess you can tweak almost any to a good SQ.
In my case budget was a factor - I wanted a machine that did ripping, file storage and acted as Roon Core. I did not want a NAS, as we live in a smaller flat with an even smaller child and there is no place where you would not hear it, and lots network cables are also an issue for me. I’m happy that I found the Innuos, as it’s on the “cheap side” of audiophile music servers… And then I wanted a dedicated player (Roon endpoint), separated from the music server. Via reviews I found the SOtM, which I love and heard nothing bad about from anyone so far. The SOtM btw. supports a lot of protocols, you should check that out.
Before the DS I had a MUCTEC to transfer USB from the SOtM to AES/EBU to the (old) DAC, but with the DS I couldn’t hear any difference anymore, so it had to go.
Don’t know if any of that makes sense to you or is of any help.

The Roon Core solves a lot of listening issues of interconnectivity between music, components, rooms, and finally volume control. That alone is a big lift when trying to make all these things work in your home.

In your design have you ever thought of how many components in your path from music file to speakers, have seperate DAC’s in them and are those DAC’s reprocessing the file.

In my system the RaspBerry Pi and HIFIBerry Dac do thi first processing, which is sent to my Marantz 7011 which has a Direct ( no signal processing - Straight Stereo ) and also can reprocess into my 5.1.2 system which I prefer actually.

This second reprocessing is more common than you would think, Ie you have high quality CD Player, DAC #1 which is then sent to your modern AVR which is DAC #2, then to your speakers

getting all your setting just right is a real pain, but worth while.

Agree, it’s a pain - but one of those enjoyable ones, at least for some of us :wink:

To your point: you can’t convert a signal twice to analog. So yes, you should think which DAC you want to use (e.g. the internal from a CD player or go digital out and use an external DAC) or if adding another component to the signal path does harm to the signal. In my case the music server could act as player, too. So I would not need the SOtM and go direct USB into the DSD. Or I could use the Bridge II in the DSD and connect via Ethernet to the music server. I could also skip the preamp and go direct from the DSD in my active speakers. But all these paths do not sound as good as with the SOtM and the XP-22.

It’s all about quality of the components, synergy, listening preferences and if you want a radical simple, minimal system or if you are OK with having to deal with lots of components (the pain thing again…).

So, have you reached a conclusion how you might want to layout your system?

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I think I The Roon Core looks very promising and would work with my existing various setups. What is making me think of going that way is the ability to have volume control in all the various interfaces.

In your setup where do you set the various components volume output, as I assume you use Roon Core to adjust your amps volume

I am thinking of using my Marantz 7011 as a pre-out so I can get the processing for my 5.1.2 setup, then use Crown Amps for each Front Left and right, another smaller Crown amp for the two rear surrounds and another small Crown amp for the .2 Ceiling speakers. Will use the Marantz for the center channel and sub out.

As to the impact of multiple DAC’s in the signal path, I guess as long as you can enjoy the end result stop worrying and have a glass of wine and listen to your music.

Sorry, I’m not sure if I get everything right here, what do you mean with your “existing various setups”?

So far I understood that you have the Marantz as the DAC and central amplifier that connects via pre-out to other amps, driving FE/FR, surround etc. I’m not familiar with multichannel setups, but I guess that you control the volume of all amps (or your system) via the Marantz.

That’s actually how I control volume, via the remote of my preamp (I prefer to have my line signal fixed).

About Roon: It’s important to understand their “system architecture”: you have a Roon Core that handles the file management, integration of streaming services, DSP and zones, and is delivering music stream to so called “Roon endpoints” (which are essentially the zones). If you can adjust the volume via the Roon App depends on the ability of the endpoint. You can e.g. connect any Sonos loudspeaker to Roon. And then send music to it and control the volume via the Roon App.

An endpoint can either be a e.g. Sonos loudspeaker, a dedicated Roon Ready Network-Player (like my SOtM or e.g. an Auralic that then delivers the signal to a DAC) or a Roon-Ready DAC. Some support volume control, some don’t. As your Marantz is not Roon Ready you will need an Endpoint/Player that has that capability. Or you just control the volume via the remote from the Marantz.

If you are considering Roon I can recommend their community, it’s huge, they use the same forum software as PS Audio (so you will feel familiar) and I’m pretty sure there are people that have similar setups and can help narrowing down the options.

Hope that was of any help.

(Sorry, I’m still confused about the “many DACs” you are mentioning - where are these? You have one - the Marantz, I have one - in each zone. Or do you mean the multiple zones?)

Multiple DACS -

Raspberry Pi with HifiBerry Dac Plus Pro - is my music streamer

BlueRay/DVD has a DAC which is then connected to Marantz and its DAC then to the speakers

Win10 PC -has the worst DAC and houses my Plex Media Server

The Marantz has a DAC and all of the above are fed into my Marantz AVR via HDMI or RCA in the Case of the Raspberry Pi

So in the case of the Raspberry Pi streamer ( Moode Audio ) finds my music on my NAS Drive sends it to the HifiBerry DAC ( use 16/44 setting ) then RCA to Marantz input and Marantz DAC then to speakers.Double processing

Same for BlueRay/DVD Player has it own DAC then HDMI to Marantz and its DAC then to the speakers. Double processing

The Plex Media Server on the Win10 PC I think by passes the PC DAC but no shure

The Good News is the Marantz AVR has a “Direct” setting, which supposedly bypasses all the processing but I am not sure that it eliminates passing thru the on board DAC

Bottom line, the end results are still very good and I enjoy it

I can assure you there is no such things as “double processing”. A digital signal can only be converted to an analog signal once.

If you pass a signal via HDMI you pass a digital signal, which gets converted later. It was not processed by the internal DAC from the sending unit.

E.g. your BR/DVD does not convert the signal to analog, it just send a digital signal which is only once converted in the receiving unit, in this case the Marantz. Same for your PC (as you already assumed). It sends digital files, no analog conversion there.

Just follow the cables and you will understand what happens where. If it’s a digital cable/signal (e.g. via USB, HDMI, Toslink) the signal was not converted by a DAC yet. If it’s an analog cable/signal (e.g. Stereo RCA, Stereo XLR) the signal was converted before.

So your HiFiBerry send an analog signal to the Marantz, the Marantz is not using his internal DAC, but amplifies the already analog signal.

And: the “Direct” setting on the Marantz will not bypass the DAC, it will bypass tone controls (like Bass, Treble, Loudness).

Bottom line: you did nothing wrong, you enjoy the results, all is good, and you can relax as none of your signals gets processed twice.

Thank You for understanding my question/concern and providing a simple explanation.

I truly appreciate it, and yes I do enjoy my music

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