Disappointed with Tidal would Roon be the solution?

How annoying!

You can also try tidal directly in the AppleTV

You point out 2 separate problems here:

You do not listen for long periods (I paraphrase), which may be due to the sound quality you’re getting or you’re bored with the material you’re hearing. Roon won’t fix any sound quality issues you have, but, it sounds better than the Tidal application. I am presuming you have Tidal Hifi, otherwise, that would be your first step.

The second point you make about seeking out new music will be cured by Roon. For me, it is far superior to any software out there for this. It will integrate your collection with Tidal or Qobuzz and suggest new stuff. I think the Naim app stinks too, btw :slight_smile:

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I don’t use Naim amplification, so many of my experiences may not be relevant to your own setup. I have streamed Tidal for some time now going back to when I got my first (Naim) streamer. I don’t recall finding albums on Tidal to be significantly worse than those on my own NAS, but I did feel that there was a subtle improvement when I first installed Roon using my current steaming systems. Others have reported the opposite finding. I certainly wouldn’t vouch for that now, but with Roon installed, music streamed from Tidal is good enough that I simply don’t bother to check if the album I am playing is sourced from Tidal or from my own NAS.

I set the hi-res albums I have on my NAS as the ‘preferred version’ in Roon, which means that if I have a hi-res version of an album it is the one that is automatically played.

One thing that Roon would definitely do for you is to carry out the first MQA unfold of ‘so-called’ Hi-res MQA albums on Tidal. This is a controversial topic. I’ve qualified my reference to the use of the term ‘Hi-res’ because some people feel very strongly (in a negative way) about MQA. I personally find this to be a worthwhile bonus because 3 of my 4 systems don’t support MQA, as do some others on the forum, and I find Tidal MQA albums to be pretty close to equivalent ‘true’ hi-res albums from other sources. However, others have a different opinion of the value of MQA (unfolded or not).

My recommendation for you to use Roon would be based on the hugely improved quality (in my experience) of the front end interface by comparison with other interfaces such as Kazoo or the Naim app, the integration of music on your NAS and favourites on Tidal into an integrated and seamless music library or the integration of multiple systems in your house via Roon end-points (if you have multiple systems) rather than on any potential (real or not) upgrade in sound quality.

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Second-hand Mac Minis are fairly inexpensive and IME offer better SQ than Macbooks (I have both and use Audirvana), especially with the Mini’s wi-fi turned off.

The Mini is also eminently upgradable. I’ve just fitted Uptone’s DC conversion / fan controller: quite a revelation, and that’s even before adding a decent linear PSU.

Suffice to say that my Tidal now sounds much improved versus the native version through the Naim app.

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In the past you certainly could using ‘clamshell mode’.

Current support article is rather brief, and discusses an external display - I’d have though that ought to be optional and akin to running say a Mac Mini ‘headless’.

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That appears to be quite recent advice, referring to USB3 charging ports, and certainly different to the advice I’ve seen in the past from Apple Support. Perhaps the newer MacBooks have better cooling fans, and maybe SSDs run cooler than spinning hard drives. Still, if I were the OP I would proceed with caution with a HDD MacBook.

Thanks for all the feedback!
I spent the best part of Sunday afternoon installing an ssd in my MBP the mechanical part was a breeze but making the restore see my TimeMachine backup on my nas that took some googling and “mounting the backup” using the terminal window ( new experience for me). Anyhow, finally got all the required information correct and now it’s up and running again :sweat_smile:
The performance increase far exceed my expectations well worth the cost (and installation frustration).
Will download Roon when I recovered from this slight overdose of computer frustration…


Did you not get yourself a USB enclosure for the new hard drive so you could clone it straight from the MBP? That would have saved you a whole lot of frustration.

Clamshell mode has been around for quite some time I believe, I can’t to be honest remember whether it’s always been available ‘headless’, though suspect so.

Kids have last year’s MBPs and they seem to get the fans whirring with minimal CPU usage which is a shame. Apple’s constant goal of making ‘thin’ devices has thermal downsides, at least I suspect until they switch to ARM processors.

Yes, that would have been far easier especially using something like Carbon Copy Cloner, then a straight swap.

I have a Time Capsule but don’t really trust it.

You don’t even need that, reboot the MBP in recovery mode and Disk Utility does the job just fine

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Good thought.

I do like CCC though for backing things up every so often even if not strictly needed.

I guess that could be useful as part of a regular backup strategy but in my case it was strictly a one-off clone the hard drive to SSD and swap the disks over so Disk Utility was all I needed. Regular backups are down to him. He was surprised when he got it back that I was able to clone the hard drive without him giving me any of the Mac passwords :slight_smile:

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