Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
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earnmyturns

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Believe it or not, you can update software without a UI. Obviously we interpret Jason's words differently.
Late to this thread, but... One interesting thing about Roon's RAAT protocol is that it is designed to be dynamically upgradable without change to the basic protocol receiver software. IOW, it's designed to be burned into a ROM, and later protocol changes are just pushed remotely by the Roon Core. Normal streamers have a lot more software than just a RAAT receiver, and in particular they need to work with many different DACs. Incidentally, even USB audio is not as "standard" as people seem to believe, the spec is so complex than apparently different implementation fill in ambiguities in different ways. Indeed, one could argue that a USB audio receiver line the new Unison board Schiit is developing may more complex than a RAAT/Ethernet receiver (remember that TCP/IP/ARP/RARP/... were designed when network processors were very small and slow...). All of this to say that If Schiit wanted to build an Ethernet RAAT receiver, they probably could without getting into the software upgrade whirlpool. But should they? It's a market fit/development/support cost question. My guess is that the market for DACs with great USB receivers that work with any USB audio source, even noisy ones, is at least 10x, possibly 100x larger than for a Roon-ready Ethernet DAC. Almost everyone has a PC or laptop with USB, very few people have Roon or even solid Ethernet setups (just go read the Roon support board for sob stories about one home networking issue after another).
 
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winders

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You guys can keep dreaming but you are just fooling yourselves.

Roon is a small subset of the streaming market. So, not only would Schiit Audio need to build in Roon Endpoint support to this Ethernet port on their DAC(s), they would also need to support at least DLNA/UPnP if they wanted to support the most common streaming protocol.

Also, to do updates, you need some kind of UI. Otherwise it would have to happen automagically without any user interaction.
 
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CharlesC

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Late to this thread, but... One interesting thing about Roon's RAAT protocol is that ......
Thanks for this. Definitely informative for me. Unison first! I agree. I hope it will be available on a user installable board for my Gumby.
 
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rkw

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My guess is that the market for DACs with great USB receivers that work with any USB audio source, even noisy ones, is at least 10x, possibly 100x larger than for a Roon-ready Ethernet DAC.
I think you are at least 3 orders of magnitude off. The Ethernet audio and Roon markets are each already tiny markets. Their intersection would be extremely minuscule.
 
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earnmyturns

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Ha. I'm dreaming of a world where network bridges are a thing of the past.
In the real world, as opposed to the weird world of us audionuts, the next step from USB is wireless. In fact, not even WiFi, just 5G and that's it. Schiit has to walk a careful path in satisfying the main audionut urges without getting swallowed by audionut insanity. As a card-carrying audionut, I want Schiit to be in business creating great gear for as long as my hearing holds, and that means avoiding ruinously expensive corner cases like Roon-ready Ethernet.
 
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ipeverywhere

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As a new Roon user this year but a long time Schiit DAC user I thought I'd throw-out an opinion on the whole Roon thing....
First some info on "Roon Ready": There are two ways to be a Roon partner. One is that your DAC is recognized when plugged into the Nucleus which is their all-in-one ready to go turnkey Roon Core Server. Basically this means the Linux kernel (OS which Nucleus is built on) will recognize the DAC and therefore it will pop-up as a "Zone" within Roon when the DAC is directly connected. The second way is that your device sits on the network (wired or wireless) and runs Roon Advanced Audio Transport (RAAT). That second part requires a network interface, network software stack, an OS of some sort, and an implementation of the RAAT software. _Most_ manufactures already have everything but RAAT so it's easy to move forward with just launching that bit of software needed to be "Roon Ready". But starting without any kind of network interface is some pretty heavy lifting just to get RAAT working.

OK.. opinion time...
Convenience would be for all DACs tagged as Roon Ready (support RAAT). I think Roon is excellent software and their concept of "Zones" and ability to apply DSP, volume leveling, room correction, and grouping to a "Zone" is very well implemented. Not all of these features work unless you're using a RAAT endpoint. Also, RAAT itself is really excellent in my experience. It sounds great, supports darn near every bitrate, native DSD, multichannel, multi-room, and probably a hand full of other things I forgot. It's just, again personal opinion, all around "good". So, yes, popping an audio device into my Roon network when it is "Roon Ready" seems like the right purchasing direction for me.

But.. I don't want Schiit to implement RAAT if it will degrade sound quality. They appear to be on the verge of "solving" USB. Maybe their next project would be to "solve" adding network connectivity without any kind of sound quality shift.... but... I assume that may be a long ways away. If it happens I'd certainly buy. Until then there are plenty of excellent "digital transports" that support RAAT and I'm happy using those. In fact....

If you think about the "high end" at the height of the CD era all of those "players" were transport+DAC. While all in one box is convenient I think we're very much into the era of digital transport+DAC as the way to buy and customize your set-up. Because of this, and if Schiit was looking to launch into the world of network streamer, I'd rather Schiit focus on a digital transport rather than forcing a network card into their DAC line-up. Maybe make the output of that transport USB (if their new USB is really that good) and BOOM... you've got a Roon Ready Schiit stack and it works with your existing Schiit DAC with the benefit of clean USB on both sides. Until then, I'm buying my transport from someone else but still enjoying the sound of my Schiit DAC.
 
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CharlesC

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A Schiit transport would be a great compromise. And once USB is solved we won't need the LPS, right? This does make me think of the Schiit-Pi.
 
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Brubacca

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Just attach a known working Roon transport.

Sotm and Sonore have excellent ones.
On the cheap load up a Rapsberry Pi and plug USB into your Schiit DAC.

Lets others quagmire themselves with that horrible internet/protocol thing.
 
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earnmyturns

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Just attach a known working Roon transport.

Sotm and Sonore have excellent ones.
On the cheap load up a Rapsberry Pi and plug USB into your Schiit DAC.
I know patience is not the strongest trait in us audionuts, but for anyone who is considering new digital music arrangements, I'd recommend you enjoy what you have, or go on a long vacation to listen to live music like @bosiemoncrieff, and wait for what Schiit does on the Unison front. There's no intrinsic reason why a carefully-designed DAC USB audio receiver cannot compete with the ridiculous arrangements of digital-to-digital converters (DDCs), USB purifiers, exotic power supplies, and the like upstream of DACs that have been the obsession of digital audio nuts until now. It is possible, and it would be wonderful, if any USB audio source, even generic PCs and cheap Pi-based streamers would just work transparently with a Schiit multibit DAC. Then, the whole "why not add Ethernet to Schiit DACs" thread would be dead, given how easy it is to get a low-cost Ethernet>USB streamer.
 
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winders

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Except the RPi using USB does not sound as good as an ultraRendu on Schiit DAC with Unison. Crappy USB still sounds worse than quality USB even with Unison.
 
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johnjen

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You have amazing ears. I don't hear these things. I hear that 20min warm-up gives a little change for the better (bit warmer/smoother/nicer sound) After I cannot tell further changes ... Don't know if i am lucky or not :)
Yeah I do have an acute sense of hearing, and it is both a blessing and a 'curse'.

But being able to hear these changes and subtle shifts are also dependent upon the entire system and not just the dac.

IOW if the signal coming out of the dac is 'obscured' then these forms of masking or veiling can all to easily 'hide' these subtle nuances.

As for you being lucky or not, your wallet and your lack of falling into the trap of audio nervosa are 2 big pluses, and as long as you are pleased with and enjoy the music you like, then all else is fluff.

My 'curse' if you will, is that I DO hear these nuances and have gotten pretty good at identifying and describing them.
I also got 'Calibrated' for what is possible in terms of SQ many decades back, which helps set a 'target' of sorts to aim at, when I make tweaks to my system in order to know what, for me, is 'better', or not.

But really the primary goal, at least as I see it, is to enjoy the music, to get sucked into the emotional and personal involvement that music can deliver.
And all of these audiophool details and nuances of SQ etc, are just 'icing on the cake'.

And a couple of my indicators of this involvement is what I refer to as T3 (Toe Tapping Time) and HB&W (Head Bobbing & Weaving).
This is when your whole body starts danc'n in your chair, which can easily lead to a 'sing along'.

That is when reaching my SQ goals (and more) have fed back to me that I'm get'n into the music.
Just like I like.

JJ
 
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johnjen

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No, your brain adjusted. We are not robots, we change minute by minute. To be able to observe such small change would require a vantage point other than what our humanity offers. It's good! It means you're alive!
Yes I agree that is PART of this, but not all of it.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that as we dial in the SQ of the acoustic waveform we experience, the auditory reconstruction we generate gets more and more precise, involving, and captivating.
In short there is more there, there, as the reproduction of the music we listen to gets further 'cleaned up'.
This is the role of 'tweaking' the hardware/software delivery system.

Another way of perceiving this is, as the acoustic waveform that is delivered to our auditory input is closer to the original, thru time, we can resolve down to finer degrees of realism of the actual source of that acoustical energy.
IOW if the acoustical energy that is created that we hear isn't altered or smeared thru time, then we have more 'accurate data' that we can use to create our experience.

This involves ALL of the hardware of the entire system reaching peak operation, as well as us 'learning' how to listen, what to listen for, and most importantly being able to evaluate what is being heard and determining what is 'better', as we make changes to the hardware/software music delivery system.

I call this "'learning' how to listen, what to listen for," portion, 'Calibration'.
And it involves direct experience, but it also involves being able to deliver sufficiently resolving acoustical energy for us to use to create our musical experience.

And in my experience when approaching these levels of SQ, both the h-w/s-w AND our degree of 'Calibration' must come into play and interact, and perhaps this may help to explain why there are these lengthy periods as the SQ morphs after changes (new dac or amp etc) are made to the playback system.

Just a few thoughts to ponder.

JJ
 
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Ultimateaudioslave

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Guys, I have an honest and straight question to you. Why are people so obsessed about Roon, audionirvana, Tidal etc. so much? I mean I get it. I have a tidal subscription; sometimes I go and enjoy super high quality audio and satisfy my geek self; I also have quite a few CDs. I do have a record player (bad one) and few records which I use when I feel like class :p. But then there is so much music/ movies everywhere else that I think is little too good to be obsessing over only a limited and finite source over and over. I freed myself of that bondage long time back. I listen to every bit of obscure world music at you tube. Well recorded music at you tube is of course not as good as tidal; but not bad either. I feel so free now. Thoughts? I want to understand how you guys think.
 
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GearMe

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Guys, I have an honest and straight question to you. Why are people so obsessed about Roon, audionirvana, Tidal etc. so much? I mean I get it. I have a tidal subscription; sometimes I go and enjoy super high quality audio and satisfy my geek self; I also have quite a few CDs. I do have a record player (bad one) and few records which I use when I feel like class :p. But then there is so much music/ movies everywhere else that I think is little too good to be obsessing over only a limited and finite source over and over. I freed myself of that bondage long time back. I listen to every bit of obscure world music at you tube. Well recorded music at you tube is of course not as good as tidal; but not bad either. I feel so free now. Thoughts? I want to understand how you guys think.
Ditto...rather hear a good tune on a transistor radio than one that doesn't move me in high-resolution. As such, I don't buy high-resolution recordings...CD's and music downloads are good enough for me -- yes, even mp3's :astonished:

TBH...this 'critical listening' thing is no longer for me! Wasted a lot of $$$$$$ and time back in my 2-channel stereo days chasing this unicorn!

It's a bonus if I can get a great song playing on some solid equipment, but I'm boppin' my head or tappin' my feet even if it's playing through BT iems at a park or sitting at my desk!
 

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