Best Roon End Point For Vivaldi Stack

What is considered the best combination Music Server-Roon Endpoint to use with my Vivaldi stack? I have about 4 TB of music and have been using an Aurender W20, however, it is not compatible with Roon.

Your Vivaldi DAC is your “endpoint”. I think you are asking what is the best storage device for your music since Roon will be handling the GUI.

I was never a big fan of Aurender until I flew down to hear a Taiko device. To say I was underwhelmed after all of the hoopla I was reading is an understatement. We them switched over to a Aurender N30 and we were surprised how much better it sounded than the Taiko. I still will not go with Aurender because as you note they are not Roon compatible.

I am very happy with my Small Green Computer i5 storing my music and handling Roon. There are many others that will work too including Lumin.

Hi,

As Jim has suggested there’s an excellent Roon Endpoint already built into your Vivaldi Stack (it’s in the Upsampler rather than the DAC but realistically it makes no difference to how it works) …

You need to set up a Roon Core to be the hub of a Roon setup … that can either be a purchased Roon Nucleus, a NAS or other server type device that will run Roon Core or a small PC running the Roon software … it really depends on how much involvement you want to have with setting up your Roon Core vs how much money you want to spend on it.

Once you have your Roon Core set up then you can either have your music on a USB drive connected directly to the Roon Core or the Roon Core can access music on network shared folders.

I run my Roon Core on an old HP EliteDesk Mini G1, I bought a number of them second hand from eBay for about £150-£200 each.

Best regards

Phil Harris

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I have Qnap Silent Nas in the same room as my Vivaldi stack, it works great.

I use Roon nucleus built by Roon. Easiest solution, just plug and play without any issue. Hardware is tested by Roon, so it is very stable.

Hi Phil @Phil

In this context (slightly derailing), I would like to know should there be any reason the RAAT implementation in Mosaic would have some impact in sound quality compared to Mosaic accessing the music files using upnp ?

I am using

  • Roossini Apex Dac (not Vivaldi Upsampler).
  • My upnp server is run by Naim Uniti Core.
  • My Roon Core runs in a MacMini. And I am not using Roon Core for any kind of processing. Roon Cores job is just to direct RAAT server to the Music files in Naim Uniti Core.

I initially thought there should not be any difference in sound quality in these 2 cases (RAAT in Mosaic in Rossini Apex Dac serving the file vs Mosaic using upnp of Uniti Core to server the files). But to my surprise I also found (as many others in this forum) Mosaic serving the file using upnp is more musical, well rounded in high treble areas and surely better defined bass. Not sure whether it was because the dac is still burning in (it is just 2 weeks old - but I am running it continuously almost so around 200 hrs by now).

Regards,
Sourav

RAAT and UPnP operate differently.

UPnP sends the raw file to the playback device, which does all unpacking/decompression of the file (e.g., FLAC/AAC/MP3 decoding) and then plays it out.

With RAAT, the Roon Core does the unpacking/decompression and then sends it to the playback device as an uncompressed 24-bit (in the case of dCS gear) PCM. (DSD is, of course, handled differently than PCM and can be sent either as raw DSD or DoP (which dCS uses).) RAAT also includes timing information to allow synchronizing playback across multiple zones. And the Roon Core also allows you to configure various DSP options that are also performed on the Roon Core (such as room correction, EQ, cross-feed, etc – not all DSP options are relevant/useful to dCS gear).

@cwichura I beg to differ. Based on my understanding from the details I got from discussion in Roon forum.

If one does not use any processing capability of Roon, the file directly moves from the store to RAAT endpoint. It does not move through Roon Core. But if one uses DSP capabilities at Roon then obviously the file needs to move through Roon core.

Regards,
Sourav

Sorry, but your understanding is not correct.

There is plenty of information, both in Roon’s knowledge base, as well as responses from Roon engineers on their forums, that all clearly state that EVERYTHING is processed by the Roon Core, and it in turn sends the resulting PCM to the RAAT endpoint for spooling to the audio hardware. Keep in mind that Roon Bridge (or the Roon Ready equivalent of it that companies like dCS license) is designed to be extremely low resource usage and run on very low power embedded hardware.

You can also verify this using network monitoring tools. The bandwidth from Core to a dCS endpoint is always ~3mb/s, which works out to 24-bit stereo 44.1k (or 48k, they are close enough in bandwidth demands), If it was sending unprocessed MP3s, for example, then the bandwidth used would drop to around the rate of the MP3 (so max of ~320kbit/s). But it does not. The bandwidth to RAAT nodes always works out to [num channels]*[bitrate of uncompressed PCM].

@cwichura most probably you are right. I was digging through some of my old posts in Roon forum and I found same answer from Anderw P (though I believe he is from dCS not from Roon engg team). Hope someone from Roon would answer this point more explicitly someday.

However, based on Andrew’s answer to my post (https://community.roonlabs.com/t/signal-path-when-roon-is-polling-files-from-remote-nas/21748) it seems that even if the data is passing through the Roon Core it should not have any impact on the SQ given that n/w bandwidth is not even 2% utilized even for 24/384 data.

So with that if I (and many others) still find that Mosaic fetching data directly from upnp server provides slightly better sound quality I am wondering what could be the reason.

Regards,
Sourav

This is almost always observer bias. Do a proper double blind test and I suspect you won’t find any meaningful difference.

However, I’ll say no more than that, since this is where things tend to turn “religious”.

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@cwichura cant agree with u more.

But to be honest, So far I never heard any difference in my PS Audio direct stream Sr or in Naim NDX 2.

But in Rossini Apex dac I kind of started hearing the difference. But may be because it is still burning in.

Yes I need to do more blind test.

Regards,
Sourav

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