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Headphones and the Devialet
#61
Assuming you're using Roon on your Nucleus to play music, this is what's happening in the two different cases:

With the 200 in the path:
  • the Nucleus sends the music in digital form (I think over USB in your system?) to the 200
  • the 200 extracts the digital audio samples from the USB input, and converts them to its native internal format
  • the 200 does some Digital Signal Processing (DSP) on the digital audio samples - I guess this includes volume and tone control, for example (but I'm ready to be corrected), and possibly other things depending on your 200's configuration and settings
  • the 200 converts the digital audio samples to analog using an internal DAC, and presents the analog output on the stereo pre-amp outputs you've configured
  • in your system, the 200's analog stereo pre-amp outputs go to your Taurus where they're amplified in the analog domain to drive your headphones
The main things the 200 is doing in this set-up are (I think) volume and tone control, and digital-to-analog conversion using the pre-amp output DAC.

If you had multiple input sources, possibly a mixture of digital and analog, the 200 would also allow you to switch between them so that you could choose which source you listen to on headphones.  You can think of it as being "the pre-amp" for your headphone amp.

This is only part of the job the 200 is doing when you listen via your speakers.  In that case, the internal digital signal in the 200 might be processed further (for example if you have SAM enabled) and is then fed to the ADH output section that drives the speakers.  This is where a lot of Devialet's "magic" lives, and what allows them to produce an amp that combines the sound quality of a class A amp with the power delivery of a class D amp, while fitting it into such a small case.

Without the 200 in the path, if you're still using your Nucleus, you'd need a headphone amp with a digital input.  This is how it would work:
  • the Nucleus sends music in digital form (over USB, Ethernet, wi-fi, ... depending on what digital inputs your headphone amp supports) to the headphone amp
  • the headphone amp converts the digital samples to analog using an internal DAC and amplifies the analog signal to drive the headphones
  • the headphone amp looks after volume control, of course (maybe in the analog or digital domain)
For me, if I were only considering listening to a single, digital source (Roon/Nucleus), I'd say the 200 is not bringing a lot of "value" to that from an audio quality point of view.  However if your headphone amp doesn't have a digital input, the 200 is doing the essential job of converting the digital stream from the Nucleus into analog.  Just my 2p-worth, of course.
Roon (Mac Mini), Wilson Benesch Full Circle, Expert 1000 Pro CI, Kaiser Chiara
Warwickshire, UK
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#62
(15-Apr-2020, 09:23)thumb5 Wrote: For me, if I were only considering listening to a single, digital source (Roon/Nucleus), I'd say the 200 is not bringing a lot of "value" to that from an audio quality point of view.  However if your headphone amp doesn't have a digital input, the 200 is doing the essential job of converting the digital stream from the Nucleus into analog.  Just my 2p-worth, of course.

Ian many thanks again. This last sentence is what I was starting to think.
So it may be best to get a dedicated HP amp the Conductor 3X for eg as this is primarily a HP amp with a dedicated DAC etc.
I know we cant answer that question until I try it.
One last question and forgive me if its a stupid one. So my Nucleus is connected by USB to my Conductor amp. I control Roon as normal with my Roon Remote IPad app. How does the IPad app see the Conductor? Does it work in exactly the same was as it recognises my 200?
I ask as it sometimes loses my 200 and I have to reboot the Nucleus
Devialet 200 -- Roon Nucleus-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Burson Conductor C3XR Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HEK, Sennheiser HD800S
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#63
(15-Apr-2020, 09:45)Womaz Wrote: One last question and forgive me if its a stupid one. So my Nucleus is connected by USB to my Conductor amp. I control Roon as normal with my Roon Remote IPad app. How does the IPad app see the Conductor? Does it work in exactly the same was as it recognises my 200?
I ask as it sometimes loses my 200 and I have to reboot the Nucleus

It's a perfectly good question.  In that configuration, Roon Core running on the Nucleus would "see" the headphone amp either as a directly-attached device (if via USB) or ideally as a Roon Ready device (if via Ethernet/wi-fi).  Either way, it should show up on the list of zones you'd see under the Settings->Audio menu in the Roon app on your iPad.  You'd also be able to select the headphone amp zone in the playback toolbar (bottom right, just to the left of the volume icon, where it probably says Devialet 200 currently) to stream music to it.

The exact mechanism by which Roon Core on the Nucleus would "recognise" the headphone amp would depend on how it's connected.  If you have a wired USB connection, it will use the normal USB device enumeration mechanism which should be rock solid.  If it's connected on your network, the detection mechanism might depend on whether the headphone amp is Roon Ready or uses some other protocol (Apple AirPlay, for example).  How reliably this works might also depend on the quality of your network set-up and, if the connection is wireless, the quality and strength of the wireless signal.  If you're planning to use a network connection it would be a good idea to try it out in your system to be sure it works as you expect before buying, if you can.
Roon (Mac Mini), Wilson Benesch Full Circle, Expert 1000 Pro CI, Kaiser Chiara
Warwickshire, UK
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#64
Once again thank you Ian.
The Nucleus will be connected to the Headphone amp by USB, so it should recognise this no problem.
Like I say though my 200 is connected to Nucleus by USB and every now and then it does not find it.
I have just ordered the Burson Conductor 3XR as it has a 30 day money back guarantee and the dealer was very good. This will take the 200 out of the chain so it will be interesting to see the results.
As I was saying when I move I may have to take the 200 out of the Headphone chain anyway so it sounds good. It looks like an impressive piece of kit.
Devialet 200 -- Roon Nucleus-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Burson Conductor C3XR Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HEK, Sennheiser HD800S
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#65
I think the only reason to use Devialet's preamp headphone output is listening to the phono input.

 I've tried all the way to developing a headphone output and my final solution is Roon on NUC and Hugo2 headphone amplifier directly connected via usb with RAAT protocol and Devialet via digital out to Hugo2 to listen to TT.

  Roon recognizes the headphone amplifiers according to their certification on the roon website.  If your amplifier is not certified, roon will use driver or protocol.  The advantage of roon is the use of DSP functionality for your type of headphones.
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#66
(15-Apr-2020, 11:06)jvoki Wrote:   Roon recognizes the headphone amplifiers according to their certification on the roon website.  If your amplifier is not certified, roon will use driver or protocol.  The advantage of roon is the use of DSP functionality for your type of headphones.

Can you explain what you mean by this?
I will use my IPad Roon Remote app to control the music playback. This will recognise the Burson Conductor although I know it is not ROON certified so yous post has me a little confused.
Devialet 200 -- Roon Nucleus-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Burson Conductor C3XR Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HEK, Sennheiser HD800S
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#67
(15-Apr-2020, 11:17)Womaz Wrote:
(15-Apr-2020, 11:06)jvoki Wrote:   Roon recognizes the headphone amplifiers according to their certification on the roon website.  If your amplifier is not certified, roon will use driver or protocol.  The advantage of roon is the use of DSP functionality for your type of headphones.

Can you explain what you mean by this?
I will use my IPad Roon Remote app to control the music playback. This will recognise the Burson Conductor although I know it is not ROON certified so yous post has me a little confused.

when you connect Burson usb to Nucleus on the Ipad in the roon configuration menu in the audio device you can see the new audio device.  if it is not certified, you must set its name and properties on how it should be used by roon.  Once set, you will see it in the lower right corner of the roon main page.
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#68
(15-Apr-2020, 11:39)jvoki Wrote:
(15-Apr-2020, 11:17)Womaz Wrote:
(15-Apr-2020, 11:06)jvoki Wrote:   Roon recognizes the headphone amplifiers according to their certification on the roon website.  If your amplifier is not certified, roon will use driver or protocol.  The advantage of roon is the use of DSP functionality for your type of headphones.

Can you explain what you mean by this?
I will use my IPad Roon Remote app to control the music playback. This will recognise the Burson Conductor although I know it is not ROON certified so yous post has me a little confused.

when you connect Burson usb to Nucleus on the Ipad in the roon configuration menu in the audio device you can see the new audio device.  if it is not certified, you must set its name and properties on how it should be used by roon.  Once set, you will see it in the lower right corner of the roon main page.

Thanks for the clarification
Devialet 200 -- Roon Nucleus-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Burson Conductor C3XR Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HEK, Sennheiser HD800S
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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