an Innuos Zenith ripper server can work well with a Vega G2?
is it better to use roon for everything (streaming + server) or lightning ds?
what is the most qualitative?
Great questions!.. So this reply is mainly to bump the topic.
BTW, besides USB,
I think the Zenith has an Ethernet connection (Streamer) that may work with Vega G2.
You can always get better sound if you use the streamer function of VEGA G2.
Using streaming function directly will avoid half of the process and should sound better.
Using the Streamer function in the Vega G2 implies that it would have to do more than just the DAC function.
I suppose it’d be worth trying both options (USB and Ethernet ) to determine which yields the best results… In either scenario there are quite a few variables at play, at both ends, so testing seems like the thing to do.
Zenith as Roon Server, VEGA G2 as Roon Endpoint.
Is that using the Ethernet connection?
I have a Roon Core running on an Linux server with SonicOrbiter NAS/streaming software. This feeds a Chord Qutest DAC and then on to a Linn 6100 power amp with aktiv Linn Kaber speakers, via a Tisbury Audio passive pre amp to control the volume.
Here’s the journey I’ve taken…
Initially, I had set up as a direct USB feed from the SonicOrbiter into the Qutest DAC, using Roon as the streaming application. While I thought the sound quality was a step up from my previous DAC (Emotiva DC-1), there was still some ‘edginess’ in the upper registers, which led me into looking into how that could be improved.
My first step involved comparing a 16 bit 44kHz stream from th e NAS to the Qutest via USB, with the same track on CD into the Qutest via a CoAx connection. The CD CoAx stream produced a much ‘cleaner’ sound than the USB path, leading me again to look at ways of reducing noise in the direst USB stream. I tried the Uptone Audio ISO Regen and an iFi USB Regen units, with some success, but still felt there was some more room for improvement.
At this point I started to look at ways I might use an Ethernet or Wireless connection, instead of the still noisy (to my ears at least) USB fed signal. I had a Simple Audio RoomPlayer+, which I was using as a Roon endpoint in another room/zone, so I moved this to the main system, connected it to the SonicOrbiter NAS via Ethernet and then to the Qutest via CoAx. I would have liked to have connected the Roomplayer+ to the Qutest via USB, but the Roomplayer+ does not have USB audio out. The Ethernet and CoAx connection via the Roomplayer+ however, gave me a noticeable improvement in SQ over the direct USB connection, even with the Uptone Audio or iFi Regen devices in the chain.
As I like to stream hi res PCM and DSD files, a CoAx connection is somewhat limiting. So, having concluded that I needed to isolate the noisy USB bus on the streamer from the DAC, to get better sound quality, I went in search of a streamer/end point which gave me the ability to connect to the NAS over Ethernet or wirelessly and then allow me to connect to the Qutest via a clean(er) USB feed, which would support hi res PCM and DSD streaming.
After a good bit of research, enter the Auralic Aries G1!!.
I have the G1 connected wirelessly to the SonicOrbiter NAS and to the Qutest via USB. This resulted in really big step up in sound quality!. More space around the instruments, no hint of previous edginess in higher registers, wider and deeper soundstage, more texture and emotion in voices and, most importantly, more foot tapping!!
I did compare using the G1 connected via Ethernet verses Wirelessly to my streamer, but I was had presssed to consistently hear any difference there. Auralic however do recommend connecting wirelessly if your Wi Fi network is up to the task.
Having the G1 also means that I have the option of using Lightning DS as a control point in place of Roon. This allows me to use the DSP capabilities of the G1, verses doing DSP in Roon. Sound quality wise, my feeling is that using Lightning DS as the G1control point, has a slight edge over using Roon, but, when it comes to the user interface and music meta data, Roon is the winner for me.