Sound quality of Lightning DS and Roon

Dear all,

Have u compared the sound quality of Lightning DS and Roon? I agree the interface of Roon is excellent and good at showing all the albums from difference source. However, I find the sound of Lightning DS tend to be more analog and smooth. The sound from Roon is still good, but a kind of digital feeling, especially when converting to DSD format. What do u think?

My setup is Aries G2 and Vega G2, with a set of Soulution pre + power amp combo.


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Same thing for me LDS > Roon with an Auralic product. May not be the case with other streamer.

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Ditto for me too.

I believe the G1/G2 decoding algorithms are different to those in Roon, which may go some way to explain what I/we are hearing.

As well as the SQ of native (non upscaled) files seeming better using LDS, I also prefer the sound of files upscaled on my G1, verses the SQ of the same file being upscaled in Roon on my Roon Core machine. This may again be due to different algorithms and, possibly, the better performance/lower noise of the Teslar platform on the G1, compared to my Roon Core machine.

My set up is G1 (connected to NAS over wi fi), Chord Qutest (usb connected to G1) Hattor Audio Passive Pre Amp, Linn Akurate 4200 power amp and Martin Logan Electromotion X speakers.

Roon’s built-in upsampler sounds very artificial when upsampling to DSD. I would suggest to avoid it.

I agree. I found the Lightning DS to sound better than Roon. That’s why I didn’t buy Roon. I also had to have my computer on all the time for Roon to work. I loved the extra information from Roon but sound quality was just mediocre.

I strongly agree.

I love my Aries Femto/Vega setup. The sound is analog and smooth. What I don’t love is how the Aries is engineered (sorry Xuanqian). I have a lot of problems: need to reboot at least once a day, the wifi module doesn’t work as it should (changed it, no luck), network disconnects, USB interface disappearing when switching back from coax, runs very hot, remote suddenly stops working. Yes, a soft or hard reboot usually fixes most of these issues, but come on! And this is my second Aries Femto with these problems, so, I assume, these are general issues. I changed the wifi/ethernet router too, three different models. No luck.

So I tried Roon on a Nuc, connected to the Vega via USB (with and without galvanic isolation) and via the Aries used as a Roon endpoint. Unfortunately the sound, in both cases, is lacking the analog quality of the Aries/Vega setup. Are the Roon decoding algorithms? Maybe. Great user interface by the way.

So I will keep the Aries but this is hardly acceptable on a near €2k device.
Love my Vega, no issues here.



I agree the sound of lightning DS is more analog when compared with ROON. However, I find that Lightning DS can’t locate my Nas frequently. Can u let know why?

And I never have the same problem when using ROON. Anyway, I agree that ROON is more stable when compared with Lightning DS, even though it’s sound very digital.

While i agree that LDS did sound better than Roon (poor Roon implementation in Auralic product?) historically, i cannot detect a difference since firmware 6.0.

How many of you have tried to identify any differences in blind tests?

And have you also compared Roon SQ via your Aries product vs other Roon implementations? (Say Allo USBridge, SOtM sMS-200, Sonore microRendu)

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@mdr. Where did you get your wifi module and which one exactly is it? Do you have a link to where you bought it? I bought one and I no longer have the problems. Just thinking you may have gotten the wrong or just a bad one

Bought from eBay at
Any suggestion to get a working one?

My Pleasure. Take a look at this post I did.

But I have (almost) the same problems when connected with the Ethernet cable. I don’t think the wifi module will help.

I noticed a mild improvement in overall sound quality with 6.0, when using the AG2/VG2 with Roon, both with native files and upsamped ones.

I can’t wait to compare Sirius upsampling with Roon’s. Getting a demo Sirius unit to test for a week or so in a few days…and will be sure to report back my impressions.

If you are using Ethernet and having problem then try to reboot your WiFi router.

@mdr Well, for $25 you will know for sure or you continue to be frustrated.

Ok, I’ll try and I’ll let you know how it goes.
Thanks again

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Right now I’m using ROON and the G2.
I’ve let ROON do the upsampling. And the G2 option to select the best resolution for my DAC.

Is this the preferred way to set it up?

Or would it be better to have the G2 do it all?


Well, I’ll be damned! After two different Aries Femto and three Intel cards I had lost all hopes.
But the new Intel card makes my Aries a new device. Everything is working now!

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That is good to hear! I know exactly how you are feeling now.