McIntosh has announced that two more of its DAC equipped products have received Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs: the C53 Solid State Preamplifier and the C2700 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier, bringing the total number to 14. This coincides with Roon 1.7 ‘Valence’ launching.

McIntosh products started receiving Roon Tested status in March 2019 and all Roon Tested  McIntosh models utilise McIntosh’s eight-channel, 32-bit digital-to-analogue converter, used in Quad Balanced mode.

Roon Tested

Products designated as Roon Tested have been profiled and tested by both Roon and McIntosh for maximum compatibility. Roon will recognise these devices and send them audio optimised for their capabilities. The device settings in Roon are optimised to improve the customer experience; no fiddling with checkboxes or dropdowns, Roon Tested devices are automatically identified and configured out of the box.

Roon & McIntosh

New users will need to create a Roon account, then download and install the application. Existing Roon users can trigger their system to acquire the McIntosh device icons and optimised settings by restarting their Roon Core. Then they can use the Identify My Device feature in Device Settings to apply the new information.

Roon Valence

Roon Labs is also unveiling an entirely new technology for Rooon 1.7 that they call Valence.  Valence is a system built on a massive new cloud database, which uses machine learning algorithms to model the many dimensions of relatedness more deeply than ever before.

The secret ingredient is the Roon community; Valence learns from the musical tastes of over 100,000 expert listeners who use Roon. The result is the “ultimate music expert”, which presents the world of music through a lens personalized just for you.

If you’ve used Roon Radio, you’ve seen an early example of Valence in action. In the same way that the meaning of “radio” was transformed in Roon 1.6, Roon Labs say that today you’ll see Valence transform your understanding of ideas like “new releases for you” and “suggested for you” in Roon 1.7.

Roon 1.7 includes three entirely new features that are powered by Valence:

New Releases For You

In most streaming apps, “New releases” are just a list of everything that’s been released this week, or sometimes only certain titles that are being marketed. Valence lets Roon show you new releases you care about, based on your library and listening history. The more you use Roon, the better the “New Releases” will get.

Recommended For You

Valence also powers a small selection of recommendations on the album screen, selecting relevant albums and allowing you to a browse a nearly-endless supply of similar music.

Artist Play And Composer Play

These new play options use Valence to pick a selection of an artist or composer’s best music by determining their “heyday” periods, finding their most popular albums (based on Roon users’ listening history), and digging deep to find lesser-known gems. Whether it’s an artist you know and love, or someone new you’re ready to explore, now you can just click Play.

Valence will also improve several long-standing Roon features as well including faster, more accurate search with a re-engineered search algorithm based on feedback from the Roon community. There is better context for classical compositions and the credits metadata is improved.

Other features of the 1.7 release include Live Radio directory, streaming optimisations for TIDAL and Qobuz so that buffering is less disruptive and Android audio improvements.

Performance Improvements On Roon OS

Starting with Roon 1.7, when running on Roon OS, Roon will use the Microsoft .NET Core Runtime, which offers higher performance and improved memory efficiency. Library management aspects of Roon typically run 30-40% faster, use less power, and generate less heat. This also enables larger music libraries on the same hardware.

Zone Icons allows for more customization for the Roon zones around your home, with more than 40 zone icons included. Roon can now automatically create “Roon Tags” from special file tags at the album or track level. This is a hugely flexible mechanism for the importing of nearly any external organisational system. This release includes support for importing lyrics and credits from file tags as well.

Visual Improvements

Roon’s font and color rendering has also undergone a major overhaul. Across the app, on all platforms, text shapes will appear cleaner and smoother, and the intent of the font is better preserved, improving readability. Additionally, the coloring of album covers should feel truer to the physical media on a wider range of LCD monitors.

In addition to looking better, Roon now has complete support for right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew. Faster performance in the user interface and less resource-intensive rendering makes a significant impact, especially on tablets and phones.

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