Clock vs Streamer advice


My current system is/was

Aurender N100H>Bricasti MC1>ARC Ref6 Pre>PS BHK 300 monos>B&W 803 D3

I sold the Aurender to try a different streamer and am temporarily using a MacBook to run Roon straight the the DAC through USB. I currently don’t have a huge budget. I emailed a local shop that has a used Melco N1Z to demo at home. I am going to try it out. I also want to try the Bricasti M5 streamer to see if there is synergy with my DAC.

I also came across the Mutec MC3+USB and Mutec Ref10 Nano combination in a similar price point, but I won’t be able to demo this.

If I have to pick between using a mac>Multec MC3+USB and Ref10 Nano>dac and the Melco>DAC option, which do you think will improve sound more. I’m still pretty new to this hobby and can’t currently afford the Melco and Multec combo.


All PC’s but Mac lapotps in particular have a couple of issues related to power and grounding. Get a USB isolator and consider keeping your laptop charger off while listening to music OR move it outside your power conditioner clean area OR get a linear supply.

For the power supply issue, the good news is you can validate if this is an issue or not simply by playing music with/without the laptop charger plugged in. I’d wait until your laptop was down to about ~ 50% charged though. That way the charger is working at it’s hardest and therefore making the most possible noise.

Ironically, if you put your laptop on a different circuit the USB isolator becomes even more important.  Well, this depends on the DAC, but sad to say too many modern DACs still don't have galvanic isolation built in.

zpatenaude37 OP

28 posts


I guess Aurender is close to being Roon compatible. 

What is the source of this information?

Melco’s Ethernet out sounds much better than it’s USB. Great filtering too..


All we know it’s in the works and newer generation Aurender will be compatible as Roon endpoint. You still need to source another piece of hardware to run as a Roon Core. Personally, anything off the shelf NUC or mass produced laptop to run Roon core will be a non-starter for me. I will not likely try Roon on my N30SA until Aurender comes out with a customized solution to run Roon Core 😊

@audphile1 not a real source I guess. I called Goodwins Audio in Massachusetts and am doing a demo with their N200. I believe he used the word "soon" when referring to Aurender and Roon. I am not sure if he knows more or less than anyone else.