Most Recent ROON Upgrade Quite Nice

Yesterday I did the current upgrade to ROON for the Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i7 4T AP and SONORE Signature Rendu SE units I am using following my review of them at

In the months following the review this two-piece digital source has exceeded expectation, and I do not see a limit for its improvement to audio systems. I have an extreme performance level now that I have not attained in the past, even with $10K CD players. The streaming quality of ROON and Tidal's upper tier subscription has surprised industry members as to the quality of sound. Just recently representatives of VanL Speakerworks were most gratified at the sound of their speaker (also reviewed; quite a lovely small floor standing speaker!) as heard through this combo. The sonicTransporter and Signature Rendu SE is strongly recommended for the finest systems. If set up properly, i.e. with aftermarket Ethernet, USB, and power cabling, it yields premium sound. I am happy to discuss such products that have shone brightly in review and continued use, especially in extreme systems that I set up. 

The upgrade yesterday was to the ROON software on the digital front end. The gatekeeper is the home Macintosh upstairs, and the two units mentioned above are in the basement listening room. I noticed a marked improvement across the board in sound quality. I am very pleased with this software upgrade. Now the ROON as source has been made even more valuable, not just by convenience, but by quality of sound. I am using a Samsung Tablet S3 as my "remote" control, and am happy with the interface and performance. I would now consider the combo of ROON and Tidal's upper level subscription service to be in the category of exceptional streaming sound quality. The quality now seems on a par with previous file playback through same system. I have not yet explored file playback; this is simply y first impression regarding streaming audio with the upgrade to ROON. 

As an aside, let not those who have WiFi connectivity problems in their home stress too much. If you can get the Power Over Internet modules sold at places like Best Buy, you can use the home electrical wiring to channel the signal to the listening room, and there put a hard connection to the digital front end. In the room I use wireless control of the digital front end. I have been euphoric over the quality of sound, as it has far, far exceeded what I expected. I thought it might be deleterious to the sound, but there has been no ruinous result. Rather, my digital performance has far outstripped what I was doing years before, even with dedicated servers in the room controlled directly by wire. 

In fact, I had for a while a system using WiFi with a Windows based laptop and a different media software, and the sound was worse. While it may sound incredible, actual comparison and development of the IOP (Inernet over Power) for the digital signal has been a big success in my case. Now that ROON has updated I am elated once again. 

Has anyone else done this update to ROON and noticed the sound improvement? BTW, I killed all the manipulation of the digital signal in ROON. I have disabled the Headroom adjustment as well as all signal management, i.e. bit rate, frequency, etc. I'm not interested in arguing the merits of my settings, but sharing what I feel is a significant improvement to ROON's sound quality. 

@douglas_schroeder  -  I agree 100% , it has come a log way and will continue to get better.  Catalog depth, sound quality, new music exploration, and convenience is combination that is hard to beat.
I just started using Roon a month ago, and do like it quite a lot for the info and navigability.  One thing that perplexes me, however, is the lack of a function to pause the playing queue at the end of the playing track.  I previously used Foobar2000 and used their "Stop After Current" feature all the time.  I miss that.....
My sound quality for digital in the past five years has soared far beyond what I thought possible. The advancement in sound quality of both streaming and file playback is exhilarating! 
I recently moved from Logitech Media Server (LMS) to Roon 1.5, and now to Roon 1.6.  I really like the Roon interface and functionality, and its SQ over LMS. I haven't noticed any SQ difference between 1.5 and 1.6.  

I've been using Roon for about a month and I'm still playing with DSP headroom management and DSD upsampling.  I have a sonicTransporter i7 w/ DSP (to run Roon Core), an Innous Zenith MKII streamer/CD ripper, and a Mytek Liberty DAC.  I really like the SQ I get streaming Tidal MQA and the Zenith playing CDs ripped to FLAC, and FLAC and DSD downloaded files. 

I look forward to trying Qobuz to see how much better it's supposed to be than Tidal MQA.  I'm also going to have to compare Roon without DSP.

I already loved Roon and couldn’t imagine my system without it. Roon 1.6 is even better although I have not noticed improved SQ. But the GUI is better than ever and I really like Roon radio reaching beyond my library. Finally, I can’t wait to try Qobuz. Tidal MQA is not as good as 24 bit PCM.
When all of the sub-functions of the ROON DSP Engine of 1.5 were Off I heard no difference between toggling between enable/disable DSP Engine. I would anticipate a similar result with the 1.6

I found that with the DSP Engine disabled the software upgrade to 1.6 improved the sound in comparison to same settings in 1.5. YMMV

Bill, nice to hear from you. I have to say the Lush2 does look interesting.

yyzsantabarbara, My experience was that moving from a Mac Mini to a dedicated server was propitious, and there is a surprising difference in performance between servers/streamers. My eyes were opened to this when way back as I used the Mac Mini a kind soul brought over a dedicated two tower PC system for file playback. He felt the hardware was a major contributor to the end result. As we discussed/listened he said he could load the same software for Mac on my Mini. We did so, listened, and were all quite surprised at how very close the performance was between the Mac Mini and the twin tower PC system. Since then the Mac mini has been supplanted handily. There is also a range of performance between the playback software. The combinations can be come bewildering. Imo there are as many parameters of sound quality with a server as there are other components. You work with a few products and you'll become a believer.  :) 

Roon 1.6 does sound better. I noticed it immediately once installed. 

 Just for grins since you can probably get sample to review, check into Phasure Lush2 USB cable, and as just as significant look into their Ethernet cable also, ET^2 cable. Huge improvement across the board.
For my musics, I’d say that Qobuz has 90+% of the catalog depth of Tidal.

The hi-res selections on Qobuz seem to be around 10% of the entire catalog, proportional to the amount of MQA currently in Tidal (and nearly all titles available in Tidal MQA are also in Qobuz as high-res.

Doug, I was among a number of users who swore they could hear a sonic improvement in 1.5 by turning the DSP engine off completely; likewise the Roon developers on the forum said that this wasn't possible.  So be it.  :-)

@cymbop How is the selection on Qobuz compared to Tidal?

@douglas_Schroeder  I imagine you have heard a lot of dedicated music servers. I am of the opinion that an Ethernet-2-USB device connected to even a noisy computer should sound good as a dedicated music server connected to a DAC. I think this way because no matter how much strain I put on my 'work' computer, which contain my FLAC music files + TIDAL, I cannot make the sound get worse via my microRendu.  Do you have any opinion on this considering your good words for the Signature Rendu?
cymbop, I expected an answer along those lines. Had I not been in the middle of a listening session when I upgraded and replayed the track listing I likely would not have assurance of a change. Perceptions are notoriously difficult to substantiate, so I suppose many would discount my conclusion. So be it.  :)  

I have not tried Qobuz, but sounds like something to do now that it's integrated with 1.6 ROON. 

Roon developers on the Roon forum, for what it's worth, say that the 1.6 update itself has no bearing whatsoever on sound quality over 1.5.

But, Doug, wait until you can hear Qobuz hi-res streaming through your setup!  I've had access to the Qobuz beta trial for 72 hours now, and it's heaven.  Generally I've quite preferred the sound quality of Tidal MQA to its regular 16/44 streams, but 24/96 from Qobuz provides the highest fidelity I've ever heard in my listening room.  Hi-res streaming is a game-changer.