I have recently discovered how much better usb stick playback on my Network Bridge is, compared to Roon on my MacBook Pro. The interface obviously isn’t comparable, so for casual listening I will keep with Roon, but if I want to dive into an album, I am likely to use a usb stick straight in the back. It would be great if there was a ‘play from here’ or ‘Play folder’ button, so I don’t have to add every album track to the play queue.
If you read page 19 of the User Manual for the Network Bridge you will find out why what you want is not possible. As it points out a USB flash drive does not contain the computer required to manage the content for searching etc. unlike NAS .
Frankly if your replay is better from a USB flash drive than from Roon then you must be doing something wrong and I am sure that there will be ways to improve your experience.
I would gladly hear your views on what I can do to improve things. I posted about my set-up in this thread.
Unfortunately I am not alone in noticing that Roon is detrimental to the signal. I have just received a fanless NUC than I will install ROCK on, in the hope of improving the situation with a dedicated device and software.
Thanks Oliver for the link to your earlier posting.
I was simply wondering if there was some kind of obvious factor, such as connectivity, which might explain your finding but nothing obvious like that occurs to me. I am no expert on Roon or Tidal so I won’t go there, at least as much as I can avoid it. However I still believe that resorting to copying tracks to a USB stick is a “clunky” solution that should be able to be improved upon.
You make a number of comparisons, Roon v. USB flashdrive, CD v. Roon, Tidal via Mosaic v. Tidal via Roon. Some of these should result in identical sound at least from a viewpoint limited to bit perfect delivery. Others are more suspect as one may not necessarily be comparing exactly like with like. It’s hard to comment sensibly therefore especially as use of the word “flow” is a metaphor and my interpretation may or may not be the same as yours (not that I doubt your finding in any way).
I would just say , in a very general sense, that my experience is that although replay via a general purpose computer source can produce good sound, to get to great sound requires a more dedicated approach so I hope that your new NUC may improve matters. Even given this some would feel that attention may still need to be applied to matters such as its power supply and the background activities of the OS installed.
I am also aware that although Roon delivers a bit perfect stream, since the earliest days of Roon some have claimed that the result could be improved upon and I am aware that certain users prefer to substitute HQPlayer as the music player linked with Roon where it is used in substitution for the native one. I am not recommending that, merely reporting it
Unless one uses Roon’s DSP capabilities or runs HQ Player, Roon does not change bit-perfect files. The fact that you are “not alone” in perceiving a degradation in sound from Roon doesn’t—by itself—prove anything more than confirmation bias. Just as many, if not more, people don’t hear a change in SQ. And the engineering has demonstrated over and over and over again that Roon delivers bit-perfect files. I read your other post; thanks for linking to it. Unfortunately, terms like “tense” and “flow” have no meaning to me. You may be describing something that is actually very real, and not only to your ears/brain. Others might hear it, too. But I have yet to hear anyone offer even an hypothesis as to why Roon bit-perfect files should sound any different from any other delivery mechanism’s bit-perfect files, other than confirmation bias.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but if it’s really happening, I am betting it’s not because of Roon. By way of example, for quite some time both PS Audio and its customers had a difficult time figuring out why their DirectStream DAC’s network bridge sounded different from I2S signals delivered from their Memory Player transport. In retrospect, it now seems obvious, because the DAC was receiving signals over two interfaces, one of which was engineered better than the other. It wasn’t the data; it was the interfaces inside the DAC themselves. But in the case of your TotalDAC (nice unit; I enjoyed mine and working with Vincent), if both USB and Roon-generated files are being delivered bit perfect by the dCS Network Bridge, there is no reason they should sound different except for what’s happening between your ears.