Roon Musings

regarding Cyrus products and other hifi related threads
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SimonJ
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Re: Roon Musings

Postby SimonJ » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:30 pm

RichardLowe wrote:OK, stupid me! I've been digging a little more into the Roon options and can see the higher spec CPU/memory isn't just for DSD number crunching as I'd thought. Its also required for sound EQ (if you care to use it), room correction features, and several others that require a bit of processing grunt.

Rune, Simon, have you any experience of i5 or i7 for all the different processing options? If I'm going down the Roon route I may as well get it right first time. I'd rather not spend the extra on an i7 if I can avoid it, but I'd also like to future proof the investment should I start to use more of the processing-heavy options.


I have not tried any processing options. I read and i7 is required on that front if you want to do lots of processing for multi room at the same time, I dont need that
Main system: GyroDec>Dynavector XX2MK2>Auralic Aries>Pimped DDDAC 1794>Coherant 4d>TE Vibe & Pulse PSU>Coherant 4D & 4D Mains>Sugden Sapphire FBA-800 & 4D Mains>Coherant 4D Speaker Cable>Focal 1028
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Re: Roon Musings

Postby Rune » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:40 pm

@Richard,
What is your worst case usage senario?
Eg.:
  • how many simultanious zones will you stream to?
  • How many zones will use upsampling?
  • How many zones will use EQ? to at the same time?
  • If you are upsampling is it to PCM or DSD and high sample rate.

It really depends on your use case. If you ask on the Roon forum there is always someone disconnected from reality that believes that you have to do the highest possible upsampling and EQ to all rooms in your house simultaneously and recommend spec based on that.
I never stream to more than 1-3 zones at the same time and do not find it necessary to upsample to my kitchen radio ;D

I use a desktop Intel Core i5-7600 @ 3.50G with 4 cores and no HT. It has no problem with upsampling to DSD512.
It is also fast enough to do EQ maybe not while doing DSD512 at the same time. But DSD256 is probably feasible have not tried it. And PCM no problem.

But to be hones I am not convinced that upsampling bring any benefit. Which is also why I am very skeptical about the value of the new Chord M-Scaler. If you do not do DSD512 then the i5 has sufficient headroom. Of cause you can bring any computer to its knee if you make a wrong EQ filter. like only one for 44khz and not the higher sample rates. one for 768khz.

I have a feeling that you do not need a i7, but it depends on your use case.

And for storage I use two external UBS 3 drive (also have the music on my NAS as a backup). It is quite flexible you can actually run roon on any old computer for a start.
Source: Synology NAS, Intel NUC Linux RoonServer, RPI RoonBridge
DAC: Chord Hugo
Pre amp: MFA Baby Ref.
Amps: 4xHypex nCore
Speakers: Dali Epicon 8
Cables: ML Cryo Ref. XLR, Yannis RCA, Analysis plus big silver oval
AV: NAD 758 v3 (DiracLive), 5.1  B&W M-1, PV1D sub

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby RichardLowe » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:03 pm

Simon, Rune, thank you. I feel comfortable in going the i5 route now. 90% of the time I will be steaming to one zone, with a possibility of two 10% of the time. The second zone is just a Sonos system so no processing going on there. The only possibility of up-sampling would be if I change my main system DAC to something that takes DSD, but I may play with room correction and EQ at some point. As all that's single zone the Gen 7 i5 sounds like it will be plenty.

Oh well, better get my skates on and order it, my Roon demo ends soon!
(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w11

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby SimonJ » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:28 pm

RichardLowe wrote:Simon, Rune, thank you. I feel comfortable in going the i5 route now. 90% of the time I will be steaming to one zone, with a possibility of two 10% of the time. The second zone is just a Sonos system so no processing going on there. The only possibility of up-sampling would be if I change my main system DAC to something that takes DSD, but I may play with room correction and EQ at some point. As all that's single zone the Gen 7 i5 sounds like it will be plenty.

Oh well, better get my skates on and order it, my Roon demo ends soon!



O0
Main system: GyroDec>Dynavector XX2MK2>Auralic Aries>Pimped DDDAC 1794>Coherant 4d>TE Vibe & Pulse PSU>Coherant 4D & 4D Mains>Sugden Sapphire FBA-800 & 4D Mains>Coherant 4D Speaker Cable>Focal 1028
Office - DIY System: MMStreamer>DDDAC>KT88 Valve Amp>Focal 1008

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby caine » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:51 am

Really impressed by the pi (ROPIEEE) end point. Quick build and a doddle to setup. Currently I am running roon from my main office pc i7; its not perfect, but am holding out to build a decent ROCK. Found this recently: silent i7-5500u with 16gb / 256GB ssd = £600.

Running ROON on my PC, Pi and SBT. The only problem with the PI is a lack of cases for versions with risers or HAT cards. So its still stuck in a perspex click & lock together shell. Sure it would sound far better in a decent case. Its still running of its wallwart (SMPS) again sure that can be bettered. Considering with a decent case + linear PSU; its £500 all in give or take. Decent solution as a roon end point and suits me as I am not sure what to do streamer wise.
SBT (mod) >7d coax> TAD D1000 mk.2 >5d> Belles LA01 (gen2) >5d> Marantz MA9S2 >4d> Vivid Audio B1
Townshend rack/platforms, Coherent interconnects, DIY mains. Room Conditioning.

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby RichardLowe » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:29 pm

caine wrote:Really impressed by the pi (ROPIEEE) end point. Quick build and a doddle to setup. Currently I am running roon from my main office pc i7; its not perfect, but am holding out to build a decent ROCK. Found this recently: silent i7-5500u with 16gb / 256GB ssd = £600.


Caine, the CPU in the silent PC you link is only 5th Generation of the Core series. Looking at the benchmarks for it, its around 70% of the 7th Generation i5 found in Intel NUCs. Benchmarks here for comparison - https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cp ... Hz&id=2470 and https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cp ... Hz&id=2993. As mentioned in this thread it entirely depends on what you want to use it for, but the CPU is on the low end.
(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w11

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby caine » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:44 pm

5th generation will be absolutely fine for most, I've only 3300 albums. Really its VFM, except for seriously top end gear PC stuff is junk in one to two years. 8th generation intel CPU's are out now.

Hows about this: i7-8650U and unlike the i7 7th gen NUC's its 4 core, rather than 2 as much DDR4 ram as you like an M.2 ssd and off you go. Probably another £200 for ram/ssd. Sure it will make a hardcore ROCK platform for a huge library. If you need to go beyond this then xeon's are the way.
SBT (mod) >7d coax> TAD D1000 mk.2 >5d> Belles LA01 (gen2) >5d> Marantz MA9S2 >4d> Vivid Audio B1
Townshend rack/platforms, Coherent interconnects, DIY mains. Room Conditioning.

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby Rune » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:23 pm

The i5 NUC will have no problems handling your 3300 albums. i5 will also be more quiet than the i7 if you choose to have it in your listening room.

To be honest I think the best option is to have it in another room and not worry(spending money on) about it being silent. Put it next to your NAS or Router/Switch. Also do not spend money on an LPS for it get one for the RoonBridge device instead.

8gb RAM is enough, it is only if you have around 20,000 albums you need 16gb.
Even with 128 SSD you will never run out of space for ROCK. But 256 will be faster.

I have just made this performance test upsampling to 3 zones, the sample rates is the limit of the respective DAC's:
Zone 1 Navite DSD512
Zone 2 PCM 192Khz
Zone 3 DSD128 DoP

I use a quad Core no HT desktop CPU Core i5-7600 3.5Ghz, 8GB ram. It seem that there is still headroom for more zones. I have about 15K albums in my library a mix of local files on a USB drive and Tidal. But I think that the the performance impact of a album is the same no matter if it is stored local or in Tidal. Because it have the same impact on your Roon DB. It has to store almost the same amount of data.
Source: Synology NAS, Intel NUC Linux RoonServer, RPI RoonBridge
DAC: Chord Hugo
Pre amp: MFA Baby Ref.
Amps: 4xHypex nCore
Speakers: Dali Epicon 8
Cables: ML Cryo Ref. XLR, Yannis RCA, Analysis plus big silver oval
AV: NAD 758 v3 (DiracLive), 5.1  B&W M-1, PV1D sub

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby caine » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:58 am

Stereophile have done a decent writeup review of ROON and ROCK and their Nucleus+ hardware.

I'm going down the NUC route. Will start getting all the gear ordered this week as I would prefer to future proof as much as possible and getting a i7-8th gen with 32gb of ddr4 and a 512gb ssd will sort me out for years. I do use 3 zones and on occasion concurrently. Further I'm hoping to pick up a few TB's of music from a past member some time soon; which will boost my album count closer to 20K; than my current 3300.
SBT (mod) >7d coax> TAD D1000 mk.2 >5d> Belles LA01 (gen2) >5d> Marantz MA9S2 >4d> Vivid Audio B1
Townshend rack/platforms, Coherent interconnects, DIY mains. Room Conditioning.

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby RichardLowe » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:06 am

My NUC7i5BNK arrives today, 256 GB M2 SSD and 8 GB memory. Looking forward to the build, it seems straightforward looking at the Roon site. I would certainly consider a Nucleus or Nucleus+ if you want a silent, all-in-one solution, with no technical input at all. I'll report back on the ease (or otherwise) of the build.
(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w11

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby Rune » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:13 pm

32GB of RAM is future proofing the future proofing ;D

Cane I am sure you will be satisfied with the performance of your build. 8)

A 512 GB SSD will be faster than 256GB, but also more unused space. I have 77% free on a 128GB drive with about 20K tracks.

Looking forward to hear about both your impressions when your builds are up and running.
Source: Synology NAS, Intel NUC Linux RoonServer, RPI RoonBridge
DAC: Chord Hugo
Pre amp: MFA Baby Ref.
Amps: 4xHypex nCore
Speakers: Dali Epicon 8
Cables: ML Cryo Ref. XLR, Yannis RCA, Analysis plus big silver oval
AV: NAD 758 v3 (DiracLive), 5.1  B&W M-1, PV1D sub

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby RichardLowe » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:23 am

I unboxed the NUC when I got home from work. I'd already downloaded the required software:

The latest NUC BIOS
Etcher USB utility
Roon Core

Then I had to:

- Install the M2 SSD and 8GB memory (2 x 4GB modules), connect power, connect network cable, keyboard and HDMI cables so the NUC booted and displayed on my TV. All that was involved was unscrewing 5 screws, plugging in the memory cards and the SSD, and putting the screws back in. The memory and SSD can only fit in their required slots so there is no technical knowledge required at all. (15 minutes of effort)
- Format a USB drive as FAT32 and copy the BIOS file onto it. Connect the USB drive to the NUC, reboot it, and go through the BIOS update process. (10 minutes of effort)
- Install Etcher and use it to format the USB stick and transfer the Roon software onto it. (5 minutes of effort)
- Connect the USB to the NUC, reboot it and follow the few prompts to install the Roon core. (5 minutes of effort)
- Open a browser and browse to the network address the NUC displayed on my TV. Go through the Codec update process (downloading a single file from a link, copying it to the USB stick and connect the USB stick to the NUC, then pointing Roon to that file). Roon reboots to install the codec. (5 minutes of effort)
- Install Roon Remote App on a smartphone or tablet to use as your remote controller. Login to your account and purchase the Annual or Lifetime membership if you haven't already. Connect to TIDAL if you have a TIDAL subscription. Point Roon to your network drive(s) and any other music folders you may have on the network. (5 minutes of effort)

Roon then does its magic, creating the database of your music. This is the bit that can take a while depending on the number of tracks you have. Allow an hour or two for a larger library.

Within an hour of starting to open the bare bones NUC box I had everything done and was playing music in 4 different zones as a test. I do work in IT but the instructions are very clear on the Roon site and I'm sure anyone could do a simple NUC build/install and have Roon up and running very quickly. The NUC i5 isn't totally silent but its very quiet. I will put it in the study, but I could probably live with it in the lounge where the Hifi and TV are. However, I don't need to, all it requires is a network connection, so I might as well put it out of the way.
(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w11

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby SimonJ » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:15 pm

RichardLowe wrote:I unboxed the NUC when I got home from work. I'd already downloaded the required software:

The latest NUC BIOS
Etcher USB utility
Roon Core

Then I had to:

- Install the M2 SSD and 8GB memory (2 x 4GB modules), connect power, connect network cable, keyboard and HDMI cables so the NUC booted and displayed on my TV. All that was involved was unscrewing 5 screws, plugging in the memory cards and the SSD, and putting the screws back in. The memory and SSD can only fit in their required slots so there is no technical knowledge required at all. (15 minutes of effort)
- Format a USB drive as FAT32 and copy the BIOS file onto it. Connect the USB drive to the NUC, reboot it, and go through the BIOS update process. (10 minutes of effort)
- Install Etcher and use it to format the USB stick and transfer the Roon software onto it. (5 minutes of effort)
- Connect the USB to the NUC, reboot it and follow the few prompts to install the Roon core. (5 minutes of effort)
- Open a browser and browse to the network address the NUC displayed on my TV. Go through the Codec update process (downloading a single file from a link, copying it to the USB stick and connect the USB stick to the NUC, then pointing Roon to that file). Roon reboots to install the codec. (5 minutes of effort)
- Install Roon Remote App on a smartphone or tablet to use as your remote controller. Login to your account and purchase the Annual or Lifetime membership if you haven't already. Connect to TIDAL if you have a TIDAL subscription. Point Roon to your network drive(s) and any other music folders you may have on the network. (5 minutes of effort)

Roon then does its magic, creating the database of your music. This is the bit that can take a while depending on the number of tracks you have. Allow an hour or two for a larger library.

Within an hour of starting to open the bare bones NUC box I had everything done and was playing music in 4 different zones as a test. I do work in IT but the instructions are very clear on the Roon site and I'm sure anyone could do a simple NUC build/install and have Roon up and running very quickly. The NUC i5 isn't totally silent but its very quiet. I will put it in the study, but I could probably live with it in the lounge where the Hifi and TV are. However, I don't need to, all it requires is a network connection, so I might as well put it out of the way.


Yeap its sooooooo easy to build and get working it really is! Happy days O0
Main system: GyroDec>Dynavector XX2MK2>Auralic Aries>Pimped DDDAC 1794>Coherant 4d>TE Vibe & Pulse PSU>Coherant 4D & 4D Mains>Sugden Sapphire FBA-800 & 4D Mains>Coherant 4D Speaker Cable>Focal 1028
Office - DIY System: MMStreamer>DDDAC>KT88 Valve Amp>Focal 1008

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby ozzric » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:27 am

A couple of questions to this:

Is the Roon nucleus Music Server just the same thing as a home-built NUC, albeit in bespoke casing?
Can you install all your music folders onto an HDD in the NUC instead of network NAS etc?

Ta!

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Re: Roon Musings

Postby Rune » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:55 pm

Yes it is the same exept that it comes in a nice looking fanless case and have ROCK preinstalled.
Nucleus can house the taller 4TB 2.5" hard drive where as a normal NUC the taller H model can only house max 2TB because max hd height is 9mm.
You can always add additional USB external drives if you run out of space. using internal HD or external USB drives perform better than using a NAS.
Also you need two drives one small M2 SSD for the OS (this cannot hold any music) and one for music which can be a normal HD.

Also against normal audiophile logic the best place to have the Roon server is actually connected to your Router or swith away from your hifi.
So a fanless case might not be that important.
You send the music to a streamer which can also be had for very little money.
Source: Synology NAS, Intel NUC Linux RoonServer, RPI RoonBridge
DAC: Chord Hugo
Pre amp: MFA Baby Ref.
Amps: 4xHypex nCore
Speakers: Dali Epicon 8
Cables: ML Cryo Ref. XLR, Yannis RCA, Analysis plus big silver oval
AV: NAD 758 v3 (DiracLive), 5.1  B&W M-1, PV1D sub