Best Connection Method To Rossini Player From These Options


I’m new to the forum and new to dCS products. I brought home a none Apex Rossini player with master clock a couple days ago and I’m looking for suggestions on getting the best sound from the unit using the equipment I have available, which is as follows:

Aurender N10 server/streamer with 2TB internal and presently holding a lot of music including many DSD files (1000’s)

Small Green Computer Sonic Transporter i5, Sonore UltraRendu and UltraDigital. I have a USB drive connected to the i5 with the same library as is stored internally on the Aurender.

I use a basic Asus wireless to a fairly inexpensive switch. I can run standard Ethernet from switch to devices or I also have two pairs of fiber optic TX/RX units so I can use those in place of the 35’ runs of Ethernet cable.

While 90% of listening would be via served files, I would also like to give Qobuz another try. Would this sound better handled via the Aurender N10 and Conductor App with USB to the Rossini, or via the Mosaic app?

Sorry for so much on my first post, I guess I am just trying not to have to reinvent the wheel and maybe benefit from other folk’s experience with similar choices.

Many thanks in advance for any help!




Good choices to have. My pick would probably be (well it is because that’s what I use) the sonicTransporter i5 connected via ethernet to the Rossini, since dCS products are apparently optimised around their ethernet inputs.

That said, for the price of a digital coax you could also compare with the Aurender which is an excellent server, albeit no longer exactly state of the art. If the differences in SQ are insignificant you might find it more meaningful to make the choice based on UI/UX. You could well find the differences between Conductor and Mosaic much more significant.

My own preferred UX is Roon, which I find facilitates my musical discovery and leads me to listen to much more music, which at the end of the day is what it is all about!


For me, the greastest improvement was the use of Roon. This meant that I could fully integrate my Rossini in my primarty system with my legacy equipment (first generation Chord Streamer/Dac with ‘Small Green Computer UPnP bridge’) in a my office system. Some will say Roon degrades the sound quality but for me it makes the whole system.

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It’s a shame the Aurender N10 is missing both dual aes output (outperforming USB) and wordclock input.

Me myself I’m very very happy with the Aurender W20SE using dual AES/EBU and Vivaldi’s wordclock output to sync both. Given my experience, I can wholeheartedly recommend trading in the Aurender N10 to a higher model with wordclock in- and dual AES/EBU output…

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Thanks for the suggestions above. The W20SE was on my radar before I cheaped out with the N10. That choice was made prior to the Rossini coming along so I may have to revisit.

Is it commonly accepted that RCA SPDIF is superior to AES/EBU or is that sufficiently subjective to warrant investigating?

Otherwise the above has been helpful and I will bring my i5 back into service and perhaps renew my plan with Roon.


Vivaldi manual:

This is what I’m using (read ‘Aurender’ instead of ‘Vivaldi Transport’), which works like a charm! Did use Audioquest Diamond USB for some time but switched to dual AES/EBU (which performs by substancial margin!). No experience with SPDIF/SDIF-2 and not eager to find out, I’m done :wink:

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Not as far as I am aware. AES\EBU has a potential advantage over S/Pdif as its differential structure means that it has greater immunity ( rejection) regarding induced noise. Further, and subject to the source, dual AES/EBU allows the use of very high resolution files such as DMX particularly with dCS units ( should you feel that is significant).

I am going to repeat myself from another current topic; whatever theory may suggest the practical result is the outcome of its implementation and this involves both output and input circuitry and the cable interface joining them together. So investigation using your own equipment is advised before you make up your mind.

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Go for it, Qobuz will definitely not disappoint!

There should be no difference in quality using one or the other control point, the bits follow the same path and are handled equal. Just try them both to find out yourself.

To me it’s a joy using Aurender’s Conductor app. Wonderfully intuitive, lightning fast, equipped with many options and formidable integration of Qobuz, Tidal and vTuner internet radio.


Welcome to the dCS Community. Am I missing something? It seems you have some extra gear that may not be needed. I generally find that less is better.

With the Rossini Apex, what’s the reason to also use an Aurender N10, especially since you have a dCS Master Clock that can’t be used by the Aurender. (I assume your dCS Master Clock is a Rossini). The Aurender Conductor app may be a tad better, but the Mosaic app is more than acceptable for local song files, a music service such as Qobuz as well as Internet radio stations.

Is the Small Green Computer i5 and the Sonore UltraRendu and UltraDigital for your locally stored music files? I connect my Synology 12TB NAS to the Rossini via my Ethernet network.

I have an unusually long Ethernet cable from my router to my Rossini so I use an Uptone Audio EtheRegen to help clean up electrical noise that may exist due to the length of my Ethernet cable.

I don’t claim to be as technically aware as many members on this forum, so perhaps I’ll learn ways I could improve my setup.

Brian …

@Cycles2 Hi Brian… thanks for the welcome!

Yes, I’ve some hardware that has belonged to previous system iterations.
Yes, Rossini clock but player/dac is not yet Apex’d.
The Aurender N10 is solely used for its caching hard drive playback (internal). I do not presently have a NAS, my external hard drives are USB only.
I can certainly buy a NAS drive if that’s considered a better option sonically, but so far that hasn’t been suggested.
I still haven’t tried i5 versus Aurender.

Do you think buying a NAS and just using the NAS with Mosaic for local files would sound better than streaming those same local files from internal storage on the Aurender? That would certainly free up some expensive hardware?! But I thought most people use some form of streaming hardware beyond just a NAS drive, and I’d assumed, rightly or wrongly, that there must be some sonic benefit in doing so, beyond just a practical advantage from having a different control app than Mosaic?

I just haven’t had much time lately so I haven’t been able to experiment with the stuff I have here.




I’ve never done an A/B comparison between ripped music on my Synology NAS compared to using the onboard 2TB storage on the Aurender. I’d be more comfortable if a member that has done such a comparison would chime in.

@PAR Pete, your thoughts?

Brian …

I have not heard an Aurender N10 so cannot make a subjective comparison.

I am unclear how @AudioResurgence uses it from his posting :

Perhaps he would care to expand as he seems not to be using its storage preferring USB HDDs and the N10 specification shows no network output port in order o send bit perfect files to Rossini for replay. Some explanation would help. I have probably got things wrong.Given an explanation and if such files can be sent to the DAC then the text book answer would be that if Rossini receives bit perfect files from a Synology NAS or from any other source then they should be sonically indistinguishable. At this point I want to add " everything else being equal". Unfortunately reported experiences of subjective differences support the idea that they may not be. There is , no doubt, a reason but only unsupported hypotheses are offered so far e.g. “noise”.

Sounds like there are two configurations you should try out to compare which you like better:

  1. Switch → LAN Cable → N10 → Coax/AES/USB → Rossini
  2. Switch → LAN Cable → Rossini

Configuration 1 lets you continue to use the N10 internal storage for your files and the Aurendar App for control, but since the N10 can’t synchornize to the Rossini clock you’ll theoretically lose some performance vs. configuration 2.

Configuration 2 replaces the N10 network transport with the one built into the Rossini. This has the advantage of all components in the chain syncing to the Rossini clock, but you’ll need to store your files somewhere else and use Mosaic or Roon for the UI.

Configuration 2 is recommended by dCS and many folks here consider the LAN connection the best sounding input for computer audio on the Rossini. I guess the other advantage is that you can sell the N10 and the coax/AES/USB cable!

You should see what you like best though, might be fun to A/B test the two in your system!

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@Gibraltar @AudioResurgence
Carl, as mentioned by Jeff, Configuration #2 provides 2 SQ advantages; 1) taking advantage of the Rossini Master Clock and 2) use of the Rossini LAN port vs. the Aurender USB connection.

With Qobuz you can create and access any number of playlists containing your favorite songs that the Rossini can access. You can also access the Qobuz playlists away from home via your smartphone, which makes car trips or train commutes more enjoyable. I also believe once you start using Qobuz more you may realize that many of the Redbook song titles you’ve stored on your Aurender drive are available in hi-rez format on Qobuz, thus negating the need to store / access from your Aurender hard drive. I hardly ever access the songs on my Synology NAS due to the convenience and hi-rez titles offered by Qobuz. I have an Ayre CD/SACD transport that I use to play the approx 50 SACDs that I have. This takes care of the age old debate as to which sounds better, an SACD spinning disc or a hi-rez title provided by Qobuz.

Hope this helps,
Brian …

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Hi Carl,

A number of users on this forum, including Vivaldi stack owners, use Roon.

Accordingly, I would consider:
(a) selling Aurender
(b) buying Room Nucleus
(c) use savings to fund Apex upgrade

This will provide a meaningful sonic upgrade because you will have the Apex board.


Nice idea @keiserrg but the math doesn’t
really work. N10s can be had for as little as $3.5k on hifishark. Even if Carl can get $4.5k it is not going to cover half of an Apex upgrade, let alone a Nucleus (although with a sonicTransporter i5 he doesn’t really need a Nucleus anyway).

Given that he already has the N10 and the i5 I still think it makes sense to explore the UI/SQ trade-offs before selling anything.

Does Roon still offer a 30-day trial? I’m sure theatRoon is Carl’s best UI option for all the rich text and metadata it provides but everything I’ve read is that Roon’s doesn’t necessarily improve SQ.

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Hi Carl , during 2022 I had an Aurender n20 on extensive home loan ( 2 months ) and it was connected to my then bartok / Rossini clock with a fancy usb cable . I played music stored on the Aurender ( CDs ripped using dbpoweramp , high res flac , ripped MQA CDs , DSD etc ) and I found the sound quality to be quite unremarkable - in fact I heard no difference than simply plugging a usb thumb drive directly into the bartok . I returned the Aurender n20 and took a punt on a Melco n1 and the sound quality was so much better - as if a veil had been lifted from the music . I understand that streaming via Ethernet rather than usb gives the best sound quality results for dCS DACs and my experience confirmed this . I did not try the ebu / aes connection between the n20 and the bartok which I understand gives better results . I have since upgraded my Melco to a newer version n1z and have a Rossini apex and I am very happy with the performance . I don’t use any fancy Ethernet cables nor switches . I use mosaic with the Melco as upnp and what is lacks re UI is outweighed by the superior sound quality compared to the Aurender and conductor app .

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Hello folks,

Sorry for not dropping back in here sooner to close the loop on some of my earlier questions and your responses, but I’ve been laid up recovering from a neck surgery so I haven’t been doing much on the music/system front.

I got around finally to doing some back and forth testing with various hardware, most notably a comparison between playing files stored on the Aurender N10, versus doing the same thing via the network.
Long story short, I’ve settled on this as the best solution:
SMC i5 SonicTransporter (kinda like a Roon NUC) loaded with MinimServer, a USB hard drive connected to the i5 and the i5 connected to a network switch via Ethernet. Then the Rossini to the same switch via a long run of Ethernet. Control and playback via Mosaic.

This is the best solution and frees up the Aurender which I could potentially liquidate, investing the funds into a better switch and Ethernet cable. I’m still not sold on the benefits of expensive switches, I doubt my aging hearing could detect much difference.

Anyway, I like the way this sounds and I’m a happy camper. I do have a cabling dilemma which I’ve talked about in a different thread.

Thanks for everyone’s input above, it saved me a lot of wasted time and effort, which I appreciate!