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  1. #1

    Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    So Iím starting to get the itch to upgrade my Roon and streaming aspect of my system.

    Since 95% of my listening is now not physical media but Roon/Qobuz/Tidal, it would be worthwhile to put a bit more effort into this digital source of things.

    Iím currently running Roon core on an older (7 years) but well speccíd Windows PC and am using a Bryston BDP Pi as a Roon end point that feeds my Luxman D-06 sacd/usb player/dac.

    What are my options these days? Small green computer package? Roonís own Nucleus? What else is out there?

    Iím open to suggestions and appreciate the input.
    Serge

  2. #2
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    if you are even the littlest bit technical and can use tools such as a screwdriver, then DIY is an option where you can pretty much design what makes exact sense for your system as well as pimp it with extras such as fiber ethernet, audiophile USB cards, NVMe SSD storage, internal DC-ATX power supply, external LPS and, of course, a processor with as much compute power as you desire.

    this is the path i went down after not finding anything available that fit my needs. if this is appealing you can read more about my project at this link.
    ________________

    note: when choosing a processor to use with roon it is important to consider that roon only uses one core for audio signal processing (except when doing intensive DSP where it is possible to enable another core) ...so, it is important to select a CPU with the highest base speed rather than one with the most cores. also, heat dissipation is a key issue so you want a CPU with a TDP below that for which your fanless case is rated.
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  3. #3

    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Cool thanks for the link and Iíll read over it with interest. While Iím not involved with any of the computer stuff much lately, back in the day, I used to repair computers down to component level.

    That was right before surface mount technology came to town, so it was if you want that hard 10MB (yikes) drive to work, better replace the IC chip on the controller board. It was a quick ride to electronic supply store while the soldering iron was warming up...

    When we popped the hood on a brand new IBM and saw SMT for the first time in our lives, we knew our days as bench techs were done LOL. That was right around the time that networking was just getting stated.
    Serge

  4. #4

    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    So Iím starting to get the itch to upgrade my Roon and streaming aspect of my system.

    Since 95% of my listening is now not physical media but Roon/Qobuz/Tidal, it would be worthwhile to put a bit more effort into this digital source of things.

    Iím currently running Roon core on an older (7 years) but well speccíd Windows PC and am using a Bryston BDP Pi as a Roon end point that feeds my Luxman D-06 sacd/usb player/dac.

    What are my options these days? Small green computer package? Roonís own Nucleus? What else is out there?

    Iím open to suggestions and appreciate the input.
    You already have a PC and Roon. So Here is a fairly inexpensive path to try:
    1. Install HQPlayer on your PC that you use for running Roon ( HQP has a free try-out period).
    2. Connect your computer to the Luxman via USB. (You might need a driver from Luxman for this)
    3. In Roon, enable HQP and choose it as your Roon End Point.

    HQPlayer allows you the option of converting all your music to various versions of DSD. Like 64DSD (similar to SACD) all the way to 512DSD. Your Luxman May limit you to 64DSD max but not sure.

    Depending on the capabilities of your PC you will be able to experiment with different filters.

    If you decide to buy HQPlayer it will cost you about $250. Otherwise all that you are spending is your time.

    And if you like what you hear, you can probably sell the Bryston and end up with money in your pocket.

  5. #5
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    I agree with the HQPlayer suggestion. It really depends on budget, DIY capacity, etc. I personally love using a custom designed and modified PC to get the best for my buck. My "server" runs Roon and HQPlayer and all music is stored internally on the machine. I send all output through USB to the T+A DAC for a couple reasons. First off, T+A requires a Windows machine and USB to accept DSD512 coming from the server. With few exceptions Windows is the best way to upsample everything to DSD512 (and HQPlayer does an amazing job at this).

    This configuration gives me everything that I want out of my digital setup!
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  6. #6

    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Using my current computer via USB to DAC would not be an option as it is at least 20 feet away from the audio rack. The maximum recommended USB cable length is 15ft.
    Serge

  7. #7

    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Using my current computer via USB to DAC would not be an option as it is at least 20 feet away from the audio rack. The maximum recommended USB cable length is 15ft.
    You can buy an active USB cable to take care of that. Just saw a 32ft long active USB cable for less than $20 on Amazon. If you try it and you hear music without clicks, then you know that it works.

  8. #8
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I agree with the HQPlayer suggestion. It really depends on budget, DIY capacity, etc. I personally love using a custom designed and modified PC to get the best for my buck. My "server" runs Roon and HQPlayer and all music is stored internally on the machine. I send all output through USB to the T+A DAC for a couple reasons. First off, T+A requires a Windows machine and USB to accept DSD512 coming from the server. With few exceptions Windows is the best way to upsample everything to DSD512 (and HQPlayer does an amazing job at this).

    This configuration gives me everything that I want out of my digital setup!
    Would it be "better, optimized" (don't like to use those words but..) to have Core on a straightforward NUC while keeping you custom PC config with HQP, music files, direct to DAC, thus keeping core activity off your audio PC? I think you have stated you're in the camp to avoid any network hops so to speak and this would prob go against your view, but again just curious.

    Many ways to skin this for sure, just curious if you have tried this. Don't want to veer to much OT from OP's question, but think this is a valid option to consider.

  9. #9
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    You can use a usb repeater at 5 meter increments. In your situation you would need only one.

    USB Cable Length Limitations And How To Break Them
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  10. #10

    Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swisstrips View Post
    Would it be "better, optimized" (don't like to use those words but..) to have Core on a straightforward NUC while keeping you custom PC config with HQP, music files, direct to DAC, thus keeping core activity off your audio PC? I think you have stated you're in the camp to avoid any network hops so to speak and this would prob go against your view, but again just curious.

    Many ways to skin this for sure, just curious if you have tried this. Don't want to veer to much OT from OP's question, but think this is a valid option to consider.
    Not sure how much, if any, would be gained by having two computers.
    First, buying a NUC means an additional expense. Then you need to involve a router or a bridge to pass info between the two computers. And the Luxman capabilities limit you to DSD128 which is not very taxing for a single computer running both Roon and HQP.
    HQP only needs heavy power when one is upsampling everything to DSD512 AND one is running fancy filters.

  11. #11
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Get rid of the PC and buy a dedicated streaming box. Many choices across a wide budget spectrum.
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma
    Most recent acquisition: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4

  12. #12

    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    Get rid of the PC and buy a dedicated streaming box. Many choices across a wide budget spectrum.
    A dedicated streaming box is just another computer. So you get rid of a computer to buy another computer? Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

  13. #13
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Not sure how much, if any, would be gained by having two computers.
    First, buying a NUC means an additional expense. Then you need to involve a router or a bridge to pass info between the two computers. And the Luxman capabilities limit you to DSD128 which is not very taxing for a single computer running both Roon and HQP.
    HQP only needs heavy power when one is upsampling everything to DSD512 AND one is running fancy filters.
    Understood, but adding another device to the network "should" be easy. I think my main point was having the Core on its own (simple) device away from the audio PC can have its benefits and I think ROON even recommends that if possible. At the end of the day it comes down to how far one wants to take it. I think some/many would agree putting everything (swiss army knife) on one device can have drawbacks. Although the Lux isn't accepting DSD512 or anything, isolating the source is a good idea IMHO and from my personal experience. Thus the optical rendus et al are nice for a multiple computer setup.

  14. #14
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    So Iím starting to get the itch to upgrade my Roon and streaming aspect of my system.

    Since 95% of my listening is now not physical media but Roon/Qobuz/Tidal, it would be worthwhile to put a bit more effort into this digital source of things.

    Iím currently running Roon core on an older (7 years) but well speccíd Windows PC and am using a Bryston BDP Pi as a Roon end point that feeds my Luxman D-06 sacd/usb player/dac.

    What are my options these days? Small green computer package? Roonís own Nucleus? What else is out there?

    Iím open to suggestions and appreciate the input.
    Roon Rock installed on an intel Nuc. Look at Roon site which nucs you can use. The thing is: this microcomputer is very silent, starts up in 25 seconds, shuts down almost instantly, and does not use a lot of power. When installed, a screen is not needed anymore. And most important, it sounds great.

    Oh and more fun, install a small linux version instead of Roon Rock on the Nuc, like Kubuntu, install a normal Roon server on it, and it sounds the same, and then you have an extra PC as bonus.
    enjoy the music

  15. #15

    Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    Roon Rock installed on an intel Nuc. Look at Roon site which nucs you can use. The thing is: this microcomputer is very silent, starts up in 25 seconds, shuts down almost instantly, and does not use a lot of power. When installed, a screen is not needed anymore. And most important, it sounds great.

    Oh and more fun, install a small linux version instead of Roon Rock on the Nuc, like Kubuntu, install a normal Roon server on it, and it sounds the same, and then you have an extra PC as bonus.
    I agree that if the OP keeps his computer off and turns it on when he wants to listen to music, this would be a good improvement. But startup time aside, I am not sure this this would change the sound he hears now.

  16. #16
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    I agree that if the OP keeps his computer off and turns it on when he wants to listen to music, this would be a good improvement. But startup time aside, I am not sure this this would change the sound he hears now.
    I am sorry for that misunderstanding: That it sounds great does not mean a pc does not sound great too. Like I said in another post, to my ears a Roon Rock server, an Euphony stylus, or simply Roon installed on a pc, for me they all have the same great sound. There is no difference between these 3.

    What does improve the SQ is somehing else: technically I donít understand why: that is the use of an audiophilic switch feeded by a lineair power supply with the use of an audiophilic network cable between the switch and the streamer.
    enjoy the music

  17. #17
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    Re: Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

    Octo, I went from a dedicated SSD laptop to an i9 Small Green Computer with UltraRendu connected and the sound difference is amazing.

    I am not a tech person so the plug and play ability was exactly what I wanted. I connected my Synology NAS to it and everything worked flawlessly. The minor issues were created by me making illogical moves. Andrew at SGC is wonderful. At one point he logged in to my iPad and set things up for me.
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra, IC's and PC's. Audio Quest Vodka CAT 7's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

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Streaming makeover. Pimp my streamer?

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