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Article: The Definitive Guide To Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK)


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42 minutes ago, MarkS said:

How does it sound?  Especially compared to a sonicTrasnporter, which, regrettably, I literally bought TODAY :(

 

Don't worry about it mark. I'm sure the sonicTransporter will work great. Plus, you'll get great support from SGC. 

 

I don't notice a sonic difference between the ROCK or my custom NAS. It's all good.

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4 hours ago, gomle69 said:

Nice guide. Does ROCK support uninteruptable power supplies, like the ones from APC?

 

As far as I know, it only supports them like any other "dumb" device. meaning, you can't connect a USB cable to an APC and have it shutdown gracefully etc...

 

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7 hours ago, gcoupe said:

The Intel NUC has a fan, whereas the Nucleus will be fanless. How much noise does your NUCi7 generate? Is it quiet enough to place in your listening room, or have you put it in a cupboard somewhere? Thanks.

 

Very good point. The ROCK has a fan. Right now it's really noisy because it's analyzing 300,000+ tracks for my newest installation. when it's running regular, it's pretty quiet. i can't say for sure if nobody will hear it in a listening room, but I'd be comfortable with it sitting in my room. 

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30 minutes ago, gary1 said:

hi

how dows rock cope with 300,000 tracks as i roughly have the same.

 

No problems at all with 312,505 tracks. Here's a little video. Keep in mind that in the ROCK is using all four cores to analyze the entire collection as I recorded this video. Its resources are taxed heavily during this process. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, rickca said:

The premium for a pre-built system is ridiculous.  I hope your article empowers people to do it themselves.

 

Hi Rick - It certainly is a steep price jump, but let me give you a little background. Since Roon was released audio dealers have been pushing the Roon Labs team to release hardware, so it can be sold by dealers. For quite a while Roon Labs pushed back because they were in the hardware business when they first started Sooloos (before Meridian purchased Sooloos), and they'd didn't really want to get back into that business. Roon Labs is a software company. However, more dealers kept the pressure on and Roon Labs saw an opportunity to increase software sales if the company offered a limited amount of hardware. 

 

I don't believe Roon Labs is making much money off this Nucleus hardware, considering the cost of parts, chassis, and labor and the dealer margin. The money is made somewhere, just not by Roon Labs. 

 

That said, the final cost is much lower in terms of the multiplier, compared to the rest of HiFi. Given that I spent $660 without a chassis (yes retail pricing), using a common multiplier of 5X, the price should be $3,300 without a custom fanless chassis. 

 

I don't want it to seem like I am defending the price or the typical multiplier or anything like that, I just want to provide some additional info. Heck, I just told people how to save over $1,000 :~)

 

P.S. Other companies already sell competing products, such as Small Green Computer and ELAC. SGC has a few products at many price ranged - https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/collections/audio-server

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Just now, rickca said:

The added value of the pre-built Nucleus is also way lower than the typical audio product.  If Roon isn't making a lot of profit, the dealers are.

 

If I had to guess, and this is only a guess, I'd say the dealers are adding 40% to the cost. 

 

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14 minutes ago, firedog said:

Well, it all depends where you are coming from and if you have any inclination to do it yourself. 

Not everyone has easy and cheap access to all the parts. The pre built,is then a lot more attractive.

Personally, I'm capable of building it, but may prefer to spend the money: a)to save time and hassle; and b) have someone responsible. just on the small chance I build it something doesn't work.

 

I'm with you. As used car salesmen say, "There's an ass for every seat." Meaning, the Nucleus is a great product for many people. One either spends his own time or spends his own money. Doesn't matter to me which one. 

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Here is a little more information about the differences.

 

From Wikipedia:

 

PCB of an M.2 module provides a 75-position edge connector; depending on the type of module, certain pin positions are removed to present one or more keying notches. Host-side M.2 connectors (sockets) may populate one or more mating key positions, determining the type of modules accepted by the host; as of April 2014, host-side connectors are available with only one mating key position populated (either B or M).[4][11][16] Furthermore, M.2 sockets keyed for SATA or two PCI Express lanes (PCIe ×2) are referred to as "socket 2 configuration" or "socket 2", while the sockets keyed for four PCI Express lanes (PCIe ×4) are referred to as "socket 3 configuration" or "socket 3".[1]:15[17]

For example, M.2 modules with two notches in B and M positions use up to two PCI Express lanes and provide broader compatibility at the same time, while the M.2 modules with only one notch in the M position use up to four PCI Express lanes; both examples may also provide SATA storage devices. Similar keying applies to M.2 modules that utilize provided USB 3.0 connectivity.[4][16][18]

Various types of M.2 devices are denoted using the "WWLL-HH-K-K" or "WWLL-HH-K" naming schemes, in which "WW" and "LL" specify the module width and length in millimeters, respectively. The "HH" part specifies, in an encoded form, whether a module is single- or double-sided, and the maximum allowed thickness of mounted components; possible values are listed in the right table above. Module keying is specified by the "K-K" part, in an encoded form using the key IDs from the left table above; it can also be specified as "K" only, if a module has only one keying notch.[4][11]

Beside socketed modules, the M.2 standard also includes the option for having permanently soldered single-sided modules.[11]

M.2 sockets with an "E" slot support Dual-Band Wireless LAN/Bluetooth cards (2230 or 1216).[19]

M2_Edge_Connector_Keying.svg.png

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Just now, gary1 said:

thank you for the video,after analyze as finnished would the i7 nuc rock not be taxed as much?

 

Correct. The i7 ROCK won't be taxed much at all I suspect.

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Just now, wdw said:

Very helpful, thanks again...is there any value in the higher speeds of the SSD you've chosen?

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 9.12.10 AM.png

 

Given the fairly small price, I elected to go with a faster one. however, I have no clue if it's beneficial for ROCK.

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2 minutes ago, gary1 said:

great news,my next issue is storage would my old icycube which is only usb 2 be fast enough or would i realy need usb 3 Icy Dock MB561US-4SB-1 Quad Bay USB 2.0 and eSATA External Enclosure?

 

My guess is that you'd be totally fine. I'd definitely try it before purchasing a USB 3 version. 

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49 minutes ago, John Milton said:

Thanks for the thorough guide!

 

You named the NUC7i3BNH and the NUC7i7BNH, personally I had my little eye on the NUC7i5BNH. Could you venture an educated guess how that would fare with al large (2TB) library, that will probably continue to grow?

 

You'll be totally good with the i5.

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11 hours ago, mickllogon said:

Can anyone advise whether or not Chris C. has any plans for a new CAP's roon server running rock i.e. the i7 from SGC? 

 

No current plans. 

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32 minutes ago, stevebythebay said:

Great review of your purchase/setup.  One thing I was wondering about: does the NUC purchase include the necessary 19v 65w power supply (I'm assuming so, it's not mentioned, and I'm also guessing that purchasing the Akasa, which uses same spec power brick, would work as well)?  However, it would appear from the Akasa page that the i7 version is not explicitly supported).  

 

e.g. http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?tpl=product/product.detail.tpl&no=181&type=Fanless Chassis&type_sub=Fanless NUC&model=A-NUC35-A1B#

 

Would using an LPS make any real difference (especially if, as you have done, are simply asking it to be your Roon Server (Core) device)?  And in accessing Roon via iOS or Android, are you relying on the NUC's WiFi or via the Ethernet connection to an attached WiFi Access Point?  

 

Yes, the NUC comes with the PSU. 

 

The Akasa should work as well, as long as support for the i7 is figured out.

 

Using an LPS wouldn't make a difference to me in this type of setup, but many experience the benefits. I don't rule anything out.  

 

I'm using wired Ethernet.

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21 minutes ago, fheller said:

Hello Chris

could you comment on the noiselevel the fan of the i7 Nuc produces?

Can it be placed in the same room as the Stereo?

Any comments are apreciated!

thanks.

 

 

On 6/2/2017 at 9:29 AM, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

Very good point. The ROCK has a fan. Right now it's really noisy because it's analyzing 300,000+ tracks for my newest installation. when it's running regular, it's pretty quiet. i can't say for sure if nobody will hear it in a listening room, but I'd be comfortable with it sitting in my room. 

 

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My guess is that the noise level of ROCK running audio will be similar to Windows 10 idle.

 

 

Power off (noise floor) 33.3 dB

 

Windows 10, idle on desktop 35.6 dB

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33 minutes ago, mnt111111 said:

I 'm very interesting by this configuration but I have an Ayre QB9 as DAC and the only driver is a windows one so I think I couldn't connect directly the NUC computer with ROCK directly with the QB9 it won't reconize it??

 

What do you think?? Does it work with this AYRE dac?

 

Thanks

 

99.999% sure your QB9 will work great. This Linux supports USB Audio Class 2. 

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3 minutes ago, granosalis said:

What about latest Intel ® NUC6I7KYK ? Is is compatible with ROCK?

 

I believe it will work fine, but I see no reason to purchase it over the i7 recommended. If you have it already, I'd give it a shot. I believe others have had success with it. 

 

P.S. Roon makes no promises with this specific NUC and the Thunderbolt port may not function. 

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Hi Guys - Here's an update for everyone.

 

Based on my testing, the i7 NUC is much louder than I expected. It's clearly audible from across my listening room, when no music is playing. The annoying fan hasn't stopped spinning, and I'm not even playing music. 

 

In addition, I just updated to the newest version of Roon. Like some other updates, the database needed to be updated after the install. The NUC took 35 minutes to complete this update on my 300,000+ track library. Not a showstopper, just a data point.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, mdzaki said:

i have a problem so love to get some help 

 

I installed rock on a nut based comp ...unfortunately I get no sound

my nuc is connected to metronome le player 2 ( a transport with build in dac which i think is m2tech )

 

please advice 

 

zaki

 

You're connecting the DAC via USB to the NUC?

 

Does the DAC appear in the audio device setup as Connected to the Core?

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 9.36.16 AM.png

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Just now, mdzaki said:

yes my nuc is connected via usb to the dac 

 

and what appears in the audio device setup is HDA intel PCH (ALSA)

 

If your DAC isn't listed in the device list, my guess is it's not recognized by the NUC operating system.

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