Roon Discussion

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by AllanMarcus, Jul 3, 2016.

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  1. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I'm not sure I've seen much about Roon Audio here. Anyone using it? Seems a bit pricey to me, but it also seems to have a nice feature set and a growing momentum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  2. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I agree there is very little on Rune here. There are threads where the RAAT protocol is being discussed. I have a budget setup (Mobi/Vali2) and I am researching inexpensive Roon endpoints. I currently use JRMC and tried using Chromecast audio as a cheap endpoint via SPDIF to Mobi. I prefer the sound via direct USB connection. I was debating getting a Microrendu or a Sonicorbiter SE but if using Roon then everything runs RAAT protocol. Therefore I ordered a Nanopi Neo after reading about it on Computer Audiophile. After I get it and try it out with Roon and my setup I will post my impressions.
     
  3. AllanMarcus

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    Have you considered a Pi?
     
  4. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I have considered the Pi 2/3 (I have a Pi 1B) but the Nanopi Neo is $12 shipped and is a small investment to try out Rune. Whereas the Pi with Hifiberry Digi + is over $100 shipped. If the Nanopi doesn't sound good then I will consider going the Pi route vs NUC/microcomputer or other small computer that is powerful enough to run Roon Core or JRMC.
     
  5. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    So I have learned a ton about using Roon and creating endpoints with Roon's software. I also learned from other posts about "Rune" audio software which is different from Roon altogether. I am still in my trial period of Roon and using it with Tidal. IMHO, I am not impressed with the sound. Roon uses their own proprietary RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transfer) protocol which via direct computer USB or endpoints (Coax or USB) imparts a distinct sound on the music that is not my cup of tea. I am working on a review of RPi2/Hifiberry, Nanopi Neo and Roon which will delve deep into all of this.
     
  6. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    A lot of people use HQPlayer with Roon (myself included sometimes). This may get around your sq issues with Roon. RPi3 > UBS DAC works well for me using RAAT & others report HQPlayer NAA also works well that way (when I use HQPlayer I just have it on the local Roon server).
     
  7. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    From what I understand, the draw for rune is the meta data. Any comments on how better rune is from a library and music management perspective over iTunes or other tools?
     
  8. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I think Roon is trying to market itself as having biographies, artist information, album reviews, tour dates etc. However, all of the data is pulled from Allmusic/ Rovi. You could lookup all the same info for free. I am still searching for the value in paying for their software. I was hoping it was the RAAT protocol and sound quality but I am disappointed. I think the hardest part is trying to understand why the mainstream audiophile media loves it so much. It is hard to not be cynical.
     
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  9. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Personally, I'm a huge fan of the way Roon manages my music. But then, for years I used to browse around on Allmusic.com whilst listening to music. Roon does it better imho, and with quite a large collection I find the relational database side of it really fun to use...eg, click through a guitarist on a particular album to find his other collaborations; check out a producer's other work; etc etc. It's not cheap, but coming from JRiver previously the interface and value add from Roon is incomparable imho (and I've not noticed a deterioration in SQ). They've also released a boat load of updates since release, including Squeezbox support (I have three of 'em), HQPlayer integration etc. I also subscribe to Tidal and Roon integrates the Tidal library really well...to the point that I'd say it's essential if you use Roon.

    I think ultimately it depends on whether the interface works for you. If it doesn't, then no amount of bells & whistles will help. Also, having Tidal as the sole streaming service that Roon integrates with is risky...I wouldn't bet my house that Tidal will still be around in three years time.
     
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  10. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Thanks folks. I will take a closer look at Rune at RMAF and eventually get the trial version. I don't use Tidal now, and I'm not the type to pay for that. The main thing I want is the date recorded tag so I can make playlist associated with times. Since release date may be 2016 for a remastered 1968 album, release date is useless for this purpose.

    I also read that Rune was really good for classical libraries, but mine isn't that large, so no great loss.

    Any recommended scripts to pull tag info from Allmusic that works at the library level?
     
  11. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    @AllanMarcus, not to be pedantic but an important distinction in spelling is Roon vs Rune.
    Roon is the pricey software we are currently discussing.
    Rune is free open source software that turns a raspberry pi (or other tiny computer) into an audio player.
    Your thread should be labeled "Roon".

    I agree with @pedalhead about the advantages he mentions but the degradation in SQ is pretty much a deal breaker for me. It may be equipment specific but I can easily hear the degradation (mainly collapse of soundstage and huge decrease in microdynamics) with Moby/Vali2/HD650
     
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  12. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    @Gaspasser, would you consider trying HQPlayer with Roon to see if it makes a difference to the SQ? You can get a free trial and I'd be very interested to hear what you think.
     
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  13. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I will try it out tonight, I am not thrilled about potentially buying more software to correct something that should be good from the beginning.
     
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  14. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Excellent thanks, though I totally understand your point.
     
  15. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Fixed. Thanks.
     
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  16. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    Downloaded HQPlayer and then realized it basically works as a separate endpoint itself. Thus I won't be able to use it since I am doing my listening via endpoints away from my tower computer (which acts as Roon core). I would like to demo it, but it will have to wait until I receive my GO2A. I decided to trade in the GOV2 after the in-your-face soundstage was crushed even further by Roon. That was the tipping point for realizing what Roon does to sound for me.

    @pedalhead it sounds like you are already heavily invested in Roon. If I may ask, what equipment are you running and do you experience a flattened soundstage?
    I will be putting all of this in my review of all these endpoints, but I think the best bang-for-the-buck has to be the Nanopi Neo at $12 USD shipped. It is ridiculously good for the money and given that Roon has a distinct sound to me, I honestly wonder how much better something like a Microrendu can sound. Let the hatefest begin. I will even go as far to wager that for Roon-use-only it is the same as a Sonicorbiter SE since it uses RAAT. In fact the Sonicorbiter SE is just an off-the-shelf CuBox-i, just add Roonbridge software and it is the same when used with Roon.
     
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  17. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    You can put HQPlayer's NAA on an endpoint just like roon bridge. I run a dual-PC* set-up and the second PC runs both roon bridge and NAA. I can send to either just like any other roon endpoint. I go in cycles. At the moment I'm perfectly happy with the roon player so not bothering with NAA at the moment.

    * This is now a 3-PC set-up technically. I run roon core off my QNAP NAS now, but I need my main rig's power to run HQ Player if I'm upsampling much.
     
  18. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    Unfortunately one must have a paid license to download the HQ player endpoint software. Since I am a cheap bastard and already don't want to spend the money on Roon, I am not going to drop the coin just to try HQ player out.
     
  19. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I don't mean to hijack the thread, but can i2s hats for the Raspberry Pi fit on the Nanopi Neo? Or are you using it with USB?
     
  20. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    No hijacking man, that is a great question about i2s hats. To be honest, I don't know if it would and how to program it to work if it does. I am only using the Nanopi Neo direct USB to Moby. I also have a RPi2 Digi+ Coax and I ran both with Roonbridge and there is a small difference to my ears. The USB has a little louder presentation with a bit more compressed soundstage.

    The most important part of the story is how different and better the same RPi2 Digi+ coax with Volumio driven from JRMC sounds!
     
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