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


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

- Mark

 

Synology DS916+ > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > Netgear switch > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > dCS Vivaldi Upsampler (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 Dual 110 Ohm AES/EBU > dCS Vivaldi DAC (David Elrod Statement Gold power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > Absolare Passion preamp (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > VTL MB-450 III (Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords) > Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker > Kaiser Kaewero Classic /JL Audio F110 (Wireworld Platinum power cord).

 

Power Conditioning: Entreq Olympus Tellus grounding (AC, preamp and dac) / Shunyata Hydra Triton + Typhoon (Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron umbilical/Shunyata King Cobra CX power cord) > Furutec GTX D-Rhodium AC outlet.

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

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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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.

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3 hours ago, MarkS said:

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

 

The SonicTransporter gives you a lot more - support for different platforms as well as support from the vendor themselves. The price difference is relatively minimal for all of the added flexibility and capability you get.

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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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13 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

That said, the final cost is much lower in terms of the multiplier, compared to the rest of HiFi.

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.

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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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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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.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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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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13 minutes ago, firedog said:

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

Sure, I agree.  The biggest risks of building your own system are typically selecting the parts (potential compatibility issues), software compatibility (drivers) and sizing (can the system deliver the desired performance).  

 

These risks are really minimized in this case, because Roon has tested the whole thing for you.   Of course, you can always get a DOA part.

 

 

 

 

 

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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Chris,

 

The Samsung SSD you've used appears to have a differing end connection when compared to the Transcend SSD recommended in the ROON ROCK article.  Yours has two "fingers" while the Transcend has three (shown below).  I'm a complete novice on this subject so just wanted to confirm either will seat into the NUC.  Planning to install to a ROCk once the Devialet AIR inclusion is announced...assumed to be next week or the following.

Also note your choice is blazingly fast...is this a valuable upgrade from the Transcend?

Thanks for your guide...very helpful.

59318e91247e7_ScreenShot2017-06-02at9_12_10AM.thumb.png.6e6aea2dc1681da31a01b0bc75a93ef2.png

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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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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

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. 

 

 

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

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Thanks Chris, you have made it crystal clear that if you want to use HQ player than you should not use Rock. I was unclear on this. 

Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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