Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

With respect to the Taiko Extreme how do you connect it to your DAC

  • USB

    Votes: 49 69.0%
  • Ethernet

    Votes: 10 14.1%
  • Both USB and Ethernet

    Votes: 6 8.5%
  • AES/EBU

    Votes: 8 11.3%
  • Dual AES/EBU

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 5 7.0%

  • Total voters
    71

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
312
400
68
67
Here’s the problem for Roon. Servers like Extreme, Statement, Pink Faun et al. have, over the past couple of years established entirely new levels for streamed music SQ. Unless Roon have a really well equipped listening room equipped with Extreme or another top server, they do not have the ability to test their product’s ultimate sound quality. The alternative would be ‘audiophile’ beta testing, which they also don’t do.

As it clearly takes a certain level of server to extract the most SQ and reveal any deficiencies in that area, unless Roon are completely committed to extracting the absolute ultimate SQ from their SW, the result is always going to be SW whose SQ is untried and untested at the highest level. As you add yet more overhead to SW, it puts digital playback systems under greater stress, increasing memory demands, CPU burden, latency etc so is BOUND to sound worse if not optimised. Given the fact that servers are so dependent on the interaction of hardware, software, firmware and network, server manufacturers are in the best position to create and optimise playback software, assuming of course that they have the skilled resources. Why server manufacturers? SW has a MAJOR affect on the SQ of their products and they are the only ones in a position to tune and optimise the entire system.

Once Taiko has a solid, stable version of TAS that’s well accepted by their users, another obvious area for them to look at is the operating system, as this also has a major influence on SQ and is currently not under Taiko’s control. With TAS and OS, Taiko has all the elements to ensure long term SQ improvements. It will then be interesting to see how future generations of HW choices change once SW and OS features are fully under their control.
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,399
1,132
400
Here’s the problem for Roon. Servers like Extreme, Statement, Pink Faun et al. have, over the past couple of years established entirely new levels for streamed music SQ. Unless Roon have a really well equipped listening room equipped with Extreme or another top server, they do not have the ability to test their product’s ultimate sound quality. The alternative would be ‘audiophile’ beta testing, which they also don’t do.

As it clearly takes a certain level of server to extract the most SQ and reveal any deficiencies in that area, unless Roon are completely committed to extracting the absolute ultimate SQ from their SW, the result is always going to be SW whose SQ is untried and untested at the highest level. As you add yet more overhead to SW, it puts digital playback systems under greater stress, increasing memory demands, CPU burden, latency etc so is BOUND to sound worse if not optimised. Given the fact that servers are so dependent on the interaction of hardware, software, firmware and network, server manufacturers are in the best position to create and optimise playback software, assuming of course that they have the skilled resources. Why server manufacturers? SW has a MAJOR affect on the SQ of their products and they are the only ones in a position to tune and optimise the entire system.

Once Taiko has a solid, stable version of TAS that’s well accepted by their users, another obvious area for them to look at is the operating system, as this also has a major influence on SQ and is currently not under Taiko’s control. With TAS and OS, Taiko has all the elements to ensure long term SQ improvements. It will then be interesting to see how future generations of HW choices change once SW and OS features are fully under their control.
Sometimes I think we are a little too harsh on Roon as 99.9% of their users are probably very happy with the SQ which makes it understandable as to why they don't spend lots of time and money optimizing it for that tiny demographic. Of course i hope we are wrong and Roon does take SQ seriously but as someone said there simply aren't that many 25k server users in the world so economy of scale can not be maximized for a home grown Roon equivalent. All the more reason to thank Emile for going this extra mile.
 

EuroDriver

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2015
407
347
148
Monaco
Here’s the problem for Roon. Servers like Extreme, Statement, Pink Faun et al. have, over the past couple of years established entirely new levels for streamed music SQ. Unless Roon have a really well equipped listening room equipped with Extreme or another top server, they do not have the ability to test their product’s ultimate sound quality. The alternative would be ‘audiophile’ beta testing, which they also don’t do.

As it clearly takes a certain level of server to extract the most SQ and reveal any deficiencies in that area, unless Roon are completely committed to extracting the absolute ultimate SQ from their SW, the result is always going to be SW whose SQ is untried and untested at the highest level. As you add yet more overhead to SW, it puts digital playback systems under greater stress, increasing memory demands, CPU burden, latency etc so is BOUND to sound worse if not optimised. Given the fact that servers are so dependent on the interaction of hardware, software, firmware and network, server manufacturers are in the best position to create and optimise playback software, assuming of course that they have the skilled resources. Why server manufacturers? SW has a MAJOR affect on the SQ of their products and they are the only ones in a position to tune and optimise the entire system.

Once Taiko has a solid, stable version of TAS that’s well accepted by their users, another obvious area for them to look at is the operating system, as this also has a major influence on SQ and is currently not under Taiko’s control. With TAS and OS, Taiko has all the elements to ensure long term SQ improvements. It will then be interesting to see how future generations of HW choices change once SW and OS features are fully under their control.
Getting the OS optimized, tuned and voiced is very much the foundation that Emile builds the sonic landscape. With Windows LTSC, it’s 10 year platform stability from Microsoft.

You are quite correct about the interaction between hardware, OS and software. Taiko has had the first two under full control, but the software has been a slippery eel. Sometimes taking an unexpected uptick, and at others times changes which a lot of Extreme owners find disappointing.

With TAS, there is a stable Software foundation on which the Team can build. We have a bunch of ideas, and some have been third part tested and shown to actually work !

What is also an advantage of TAS for Extreme is that the fleet is identical in both hardware and software so we don’t have to release compromise builds, one size fits all which other software providers need to do

How the software is voiced for Intel is quite different from how you would voice it for AMD

What has made this all possible is the support of the Taiko Owner community. We remind ourselves of this every day.
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
312
400
68
67
Sometimes I think we are a little too harsh on Roon as 99.9% of their users are probably very happy with the SQ which makes it understandable as to why they don't spend lots of time and money optimizing it for that tiny demographic. Of course i hope we are wrong and Roon does take SQ seriously but as someone said there simply aren't that many 25k server users in the world so economy of scale can not be maximized for a home grown Roon equivalent. All the more reason to thank Emile for going this extra mile.
Hiya Howiebrou,
You are absolutely right....which is why I said a problem ’for’ Roon rather than ‘with’ Roon. I’m sure Roon do care a lot about their sound quality....but we are the bleeding edge of SQ and the problem for Roon is that maximising SQ very likely has a major impact on features.
By not trying to extract the last drop of SQ, they are a still able to meet the needs of 99.9% of their users, as you correctly point out, so going for that last 0.1% is very likely not in Roon’s interests or those of the vast majority of their clientele......which is exactly why that 0.1% is better in the hands of audiophile suppliers, via alternative SQ orientated players.
 

vjayh

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2012
24
15
233
Hiya Howiebrou,
You are absolutely right....which is why I said a problem ’for’ Roon rather than ‘with’ Roon. I’m sure Roon do care a lot about their sound quality....but we are the bleeding edge of SQ and the problem for Roon is that maximising SQ very likely has a major impact on features.
By not trying to extract the last drop of SQ, they are a still able to meet the needs of 99.9% of their users, as you correctly point out, so going for that last 0.1% is very likely not in Roon’s interests or those of the vast majority of their clientele......which is exactly why that 0.1% is better in the hands of audiophile suppliers, via alternative SQ orientated players.
Agree. In earlier iterations of Roon, and perhaps this was the case when the Extreme was developed with it, there appeared to be more opportunities to turn off the "features" that were degrading the sound. I know when I set up the Extreme with my CH Precision C1 Mono I had to go to all kinds of gyrations of setup for the CH DAC as Roon Renderer turning off the processing, and getting back to a simple, bit perfect "path". It took some work in the beginning with the Extreme candidly to surpass the sound of my previous UPnP setup, but I do feel like I finally got there once setup into the vaulted "What's Best Forum" reference sound. :)

Unfortunately Roon's development path more and more sounds like this flexibility just isn't part of their plan. It's a shame because for me Roon interface and metadata capabilities were the best I'd encountered (I know not everyone agrees, which is fine). It was also the most stable and assuming you had associated equipment that was compatible, it just worked. It has tons of flexibility to run multiple endpoint systems off the same server core, which I'd utilized so that all the systems worked on the same software. I'd run a lot of different software, mostly others that were to varying degrees proprietary for specific players, with lesser consistency. It also had a large enough installed base where they could (and did) make continued investment.

So I'm excited to hear the enhanced sound that TAS will bring to the Extreme. Roon has to stay part of my program given other Roon based systems, and hopefully switching the Extreme back and forth using the software being developed won't prove too cumbersome.
 

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
1,354
405
440
Interesting discussion. Based on my experience I think that a well tuned BIOS and operating system are more important (have a bigger effect on the music) than the audio software assuming the software is not purposely manipulating the data stream.

I am curious where Emile falls on this scale.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Sometimes I think we are a little too harsh on Roon as 99.9% of their users are probably very happy with the SQ which makes it understandable as to why they don't spend lots of time and money optimizing it for that tiny demographic. Of course i hope we are wrong and Roon does take SQ seriously but as someone said there simply aren't that many 25k server users in the world so economy of scale can not be maximized for a home grown Roon equivalent. All the more reason to thank Emile for going this extra mile.
According to what I read previously, of all Roon subscribers only 5% are audiophiles
 

matthias

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
341
103
48
Germany
Based on my experience I think that a well tuned BIOS and operating system are more important (have a bigger effect on the music) than the audio software assuming the software is not purposely manipulating the data stream.
Interesting, however Steve found big differences between TAS and Roon, both running with the same OS.

Matt
 
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Likes: oldmustang

Skanda

Active Member
May 3, 2020
88
118
33
i have heard detrimental impacts from roon updates on my rockna NET server as well. i thought i was crazy and imagining it until i was browsing the taiko thread days later to see others complaining about it too. its not something only extreme users are experiencing.

i grew up on digital audio. roon is convenient but honestly it's not a great piece of software. it gets the job done and i view it as a very very minor trade off in making a system convenient. i can't go back to computer -> usb out -> dac. if tas can make a system convenient AND keep sq high as possible then thats a win. i saw a post mentioning playlists and i am seconding that. that's a huge feature for me as well.

i have 3 big complaints with roon - none of which have to do with sq:

1. discovery is honestly terrible compared to most other services. i get all sorts of random stuff in the middle of a jam session that i can't for the life of me figure out why its coming up. for example, i'll be listening to rap and enjoying myself and roon will throw on some absurd screamo (no offense if that's your musical preference but it very much isnt mine). i thumbs down more frequently than i thumbs up. also annoying, it seems to "discover" non-explicit versions of songs. i've asked the team if they can add a feature that makes it only play the explicit versions of songs where possible.

2. the search is god awful as well. i usually have to type out a full artist name and exact song title

3. integration with tidal is okay. i have to usually keep a tidal session open so i can add stuff to my tidal playlists and then it will take anywhere from an hour to a week for it show up in my roon playlist. i believe this is a tidal api issue

all that said, i'm a "lifetime customer" for roon. as steve mentioned above, it's not a kings ransom and i've already been using it for 2+ years so even if i bought it annually i'm close to breaking even. despite my negative comments on it, i still reccomend it because the convenience is well worth it and much better than most other options i've seen.
 

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
313
130
128
If I were designing a music player software from the ground up, one area I'd seek to improve on would be Classical organization and search. I don't know if the problem is Roon or Qobuz/Tidal, or both. I don't want to bog this thread down on what's wrong with Roon , but imho it is insanely bad. I believe there are some programs focused on Classical. Maybe studying what they do right and emulating their methods in the new TAS software would worth looking into?
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,409
1,815
260
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Interesting discussion. Based on my experience I think that a well tuned BIOS and operating system are more important (have a bigger effect on the music) than the audio software assuming the software is not purposely manipulating the data stream.

I am curious where Emile falls on this scale.
They're all part of the system :)
 

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
1,354
405
440

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
161
251
295
If I were designing a music player software from the ground up, one area I'd seek to improve on would be Classical organization and search. I don't know if the problem is Roon or Qobuz/Tidal, or both. I don't want to bog this thread down on what's wrong with Roon , but imho it is insanely bad. I believe there are some programs focused on Classical. Maybe studying what they do right and emulating their methods in the new TAS software would worth looking into?
I think part of the problem for classical is what the software developers are given to work with -- the standardized fields provided for metadata tagging lend themselves much more to conventional "artist" "group" naming and not so much to multi-work, multi-composer classical recordings. Certainly, the implementation of search and sort functions by software developers varies in effectiveness, but the tagging system the search and sort have to work on are pretty basic.

That said, there is still room for criticism of how Roon searches and displays results.

Going to the trouble of curating all the appropriate metadata fields, track by track can help, but I am aware that even folks who have painstakingly done that still find a lot to be desired with Roon searches. I know I do. It can be very frustrating to try to find a specific performance of a classical piece in Roon, and even easier jazz/pop/rock searches in Roon can end up not turning up all available works on the first attempt. Even simple attempts to get Roon to consistently display all the albums of an artist or group that I've ripped and stored and imported into Roon's library can be variable.

I realize I'm piling on the "wish-list items" for Emile and team, but I second the requests for better search and display functions and especially preserving playlists.

Steve Z
 
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Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,409
1,815
260
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Dear WBF community,

We are open to suggestions on how you would like your music browsing and discovery service experience implemented.

Let's start with some general background information. To be able to provide any browsing or discovery service beyond folder based browsing we need metadata. Metadata can be stored with files in something called a ID3 container. This includes information like artist, genre, label, song titles, album name and track numbers. For classical music this can become more expansive as there are can be a desire for additional information like the name of the piece(s) of music, the composer(s), the album it's from, the performers, the recording venue, the label that released the recording and the year it was recorded.

There are cloud based metadata providers who have build and maintain a database where they collect and provide all kinds of information on your files. As you can imagine this is a considerable task. Roon provides this service, you need a Roon subscription to access this and it's likely the biggest part of what they base their purchase price on. Data has become a valuable commodity. Music streaming services like Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, Apple, Deezer, Amazon, Last.FM, etc provide this service as well. It's good to note that you are generally paying to access the metadata they have collected and organised for you. You are also "at their mercy" on what data they provide on a query to their databases (search). Most, if not all, of these also provide music discovery services extending beyond for example showing all albums released by a specific artist. This used to be based on generating recommendations based on music in the same genre and/or release period with similar popularity. Nowadays most music service providers have moved on to a tracking model where they base recommendations on the listening behaviour of others similar to your own behaviour (the questionable privacy invasion thing).

To sum up:

For music browsing we have the following options:

1) Folder based browsing, where you organise your music collection by maintaining a folder structure on your physical drive like \artist\album\track.
2) Database browsing where the database information is provided on ID3 (file based) information where you can be in control of your metadata if so desired, metadata is usually already included in your files by cd ripper software or by the online store where you purchased and downloaded your albums from.
3) Using a 3rd party tool which can replace the metadata of your files with metadata provided by their online database, works otherwise the same as 2)
4) Database browsing where metadata is fetched from an online metadata provider system, this is basically what you are doing when you are using online streaming services, though not when using Roon as they provide their own metadata even when using services like Qobuz and Tidal. This is probably why you sometimes can't find albums on Qobuz/Tidal when searching for them in Roon.

My own personal preference is for a hybrid system. I'd like to be "in charge" of the metadata of my own files. I'd like to use the metadata provided by online streaming services like Qobuz and Tidal for when I'm streaming files and I'd like to search directly in their own database. I would also like to be able to get additional information on the music I'm playing on demand, like reviews, background information, maybe on occasion even the songtext, for both my own library as for the streaming services I'm using. For music discovery I do not have very large issues with my privacy using a tracking based service, the best service for this seems to be Spotify btw, unfortunately they don't provide lossless music.

Feel free to share your own preferences, desires and/or wishes and we will take those into account.
 
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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
My own personal preference is for a hybrid system. I'd like to be "in charge" of the metadata of my own files. I'd like to use the metadata provided by online streaming services like Qobuz and Tidal for when I'm streaming files and I'd like to search directly in their own database. I would also like to be able to get additional information on the music I'm playing on demand, like reviews, background information, maybe on occasion even the songtext, for both my own library as for the streaming services I'm using.
I tend to agree Emile
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
161
251
295
Likes: onlychild

matthias

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
341
103
48
Germany
4) Database browsing where metadata is fetched from an online metadata provider system, this is basically what you are doing when you are using online streaming services, though not when using Roon as they provide their own metadata even when using services like Qobuz and Tidal. This is probably why you sometimes can't find albums on Qobuz/Tidal when searching for them in Roon.
Hi Emile,

as I use Qobuz only without stored music files 4) would be perfect for me.
Please use Qobus API if possible. Roon did not use Qobuz API and so you got new music much later than via Qobuz API.
If your own personal preference can be implemented without sacrificing SQ that would be fine as well.

Thank you

Matt
 
Last edited:
May 30, 2010
16,756
1,591
720
Portugal
(...) My own personal preference is for a hybrid system. I'd like to be "in charge" of the metadata of my own files. I'd like to use the metadata provided by online streaming services like Qobuz and Tidal for when I'm streaming files and I'd like to search directly in their own database. I would also like to be able to get additional information on the music I'm playing on demand, like reviews, background information, maybe on occasion even the songtext, for both my own library as for the streaming services I'm using. For music discovery I do not have very large issues with my privacy using a tracking based service, the best service for this seems to be Spotify btw, unfortunately they don't provide lossless music.

Feel free to share your own preferences, desires and/or wishes and we will take those into account.
Isn't metadata subject to copyright and its use conditioned to a fee?
 

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