Questions & Comments about Roon

Not strictly about Roon, but about a device pictured in the Roon 2.0 launch video. What’s this?

I’ve answered my own question: it’s the unusual remote control for a Devialet Expert Pro series integrated amplifier.

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That’s a cool device! Something that would make me ask “woah, what is that thing?” too!

For those that have LCD-5 or CRBN headphones, and use Roon, the presets for these were added in the latest Roon 2.0 update.

They’re the same EQ profile as the individual convolution filter files Audeze provided a few months ago, but these are easier to use and you can use the “Customize” option to adjust how wet/dry they are.

@robson thought I’d move this here away from what’s in the box.

Basically buy an intel nuc (can be barebones or you can buy one with the processor you want (I went for 11th gen i7)and swap a few things out. I added better ram, m.2 ssd for OS and a standard ssd for music storage. I built one better than the nucleus plus for under $1k. I bought everything during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The case is an aftermarket case. The nuc will come in a plastic case with a fan. I didn’t want to worry about dust or anything maintenance wise so wanted to use a fanless case. The ssd that ships with this is junk imo. I erased everything and use it as an extra ssd for whatever (move files etc.). I wouldn’t use it as an actual storage device. The m.2 heat sink below isn’t necessary but I wanted a little better one. The Akasa case comes with one. Makes sure you get the correct case for your intel nuc. Different generations will need a different case.

Intel NUC 11, BNUC11TNHi7 Intel Core™ i7-1165G7 Processor 12M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz, Intel UHD, Wi-Fi 6 AX201, Bluetooth, Dual HDMI 2.0b, Win 10 Pro (8 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD | Win10Pro)

Akasa Turing TN, for Intel NUC 11…

Samsung Electronics 870 EVO 2TB…

MHQJRH M.2 2280 SSD heatsink,…

Crucial RAM 16GB Kit (2x8GB) DDR4…


Next to router for size. It’s fairly small.


Hey thanks for all the info!

I’ve built my own PC (for my son, which we did together), so I’m confident I could do this.

The only hold-up right now is free ca$h! :laughing:

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No problem and good luck. You can always go with a more affordable build. Those specs aren’t necessary. Could even start with just the nuc and then add the case later.

As @Rhodey said, the NUC is super easy to build and there’s no harm in buying one without the case, to begin with. I’ve been meaning to buy a case since I built the NUC back in April 2021 and haven’t got around to it yet.

There are plenty of Youtube videos if you ever get stuck. Most things just click into place. The only problem I had was with a ribbon cable that didn’t have a connector on the end, which I’d never experienced before, so it took me a while to figure out how to plug it in.


I am currently running a Roon server from my PC and using a iFi Zen streamer (also have a RPi 4 running Ropiee) with Holo May DAC. Now this works mostly ok but I have a few problems with this setup:

  1. The main problem is I can’t use HQP in this setup. I have been running May in NOS mostly with doing some upsampling through Roon now and then but I feel like I am leaving (a lot?) on the table with not using HQP with May.
  2. I am not a big fan of the iFi as it often drops connection and is quite annoying to restart all the time.
  3. Every time I want to listen to music (most evenings), I have to go and turn on the PC in the other room and then remember to turn it off at the end of the night - this is a minor inconvenience but still there nonetheless.

So I have been considering getting a dedicated Roon headless server, maybe an M1 Mac mini or an Intel NUC so I can use HQP. I would think I could just connect this to my DAC over USB and eliminate a device but I see people still using streamers in such a setup. Is that to mainly avoid computer noise? If the DAC’s USB implementation is good at isolating noise, then would using the streamer be unnecessary?

Another option is to get something like a Lumin U2 mini streamer (I have a deal on one) which has better upsampling capabilities than Roon and continue using my PC as the Roon core. But the Lumin streamer is still more expensive than a mac mini or NUC would be.

Any advice from more experienced folks is welcome. I have built several PCs and have good software chops so I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.

I wouldn’t call it unnecessary, personally. You can still gain much benefit avoiding the PC entirely, ime. I have a spring 3 with the same USB module as the may and I still heard very noticeable improvements using a streamer with it.

The USB on the spring is great (fantastic even), but it’s not perfect (sonically). So you can still benefit from anything that’s not a PC.

That being said, if you don’t pay attention to the digital USB cable connecting them, then the improvements might not seem worthwhile.

Interesting, that makes sense. I have been using a streamer for over a year, mostly because my Roon core is in a different room so I haven’t noticed the PC noise in a long time.

I guess I was just hoping the galvanic isolation of Holo would be good enough but fair enough.

I’m not sure I understand what you mean here? Right now I’m actually using Coax out of iFi Zen Stream to May.

I am slowly updating components and USB cable was on the list along with server/streamer and I was looking at Curious cable.

Well realistically for most people it might be good enough. For some (like myself), they’ll want more.

I’m just talking about your digital cable be it USB or spdif via coax/AES. If all you’re using is a generic one, then it’s very likely you might not hear a difference (ime).

Never heard a curious but, fwiw, they all have their own unique presentations. It depends on what you want your system to lean into.

PS; might want to reply through a more appropriate thread if you want to discuss more

I have two locations with HQPlayer, one with Mac Mini M1 and Holo Spring 2 KTE, the other one with a beefy PC and May KTE. I keep the servers away from the DACs to avoid fan noise, although the Mini is pretty quiet. I use NAA endpoints (Up Gateway) driving the DACs with USB Intona isolators. I don’t have any plans to change any of this, sound quality is excellent.

In your situation, if you are fine with any minor fan noise from the Mini, I’d start by using direct USB or USB via an additional isolator like the Intonas I use.

That’s curious. I’m using the iFi Zen V2, and it’s rock solid BT5 AAC to my iPad Pro. I don’t think it has ever dropped a connection.

I used to run ROON on an older Mac Mini and it was more than adequate. Now I run it on a 2021 MacBook Pro 14 and it barely budges the CPU usage. I’ve not added HQ Player, but I believe @Torq uses the MacBook Pro 16 with ROON and HQP and has said it does well, so I would anticipate that an M1 Mini would also do fine.

I’m very new to Roon end still testing it (many year LMS user though) but regarding the Core/End-Point subject, the Roons philosophy is mainly to run the core in a separate (dedicated) computer (NUC with ROCK or Nucleus etc) and use end-point(s) for streaming from it!
This way as I understand it you gain by assigning the hard work on the Core and leaving the end point to the music playback only!
As far as the noise there is the physical noise from the beefy computer that for sure might be an issue if you use it in server/streamer configuration, so it should be near the hifi system, but there is also the “digital” as it’s called noise from the processors etc of a “strong” computer, running all the core tasks (library, upsampling, eq, HQPlayer) and all the other “computery” stuff if the machine is a general use computer, that might affect the sound so you want the streamer/dac combo to be out of this environment!

Curious note - I finally updated to Ventura on the MacBook Pro where I run ROON. Roon did not restart when I updated. Clicking on it gave me a note that it was corrupted and should be moved to trash. Not likely, I thought and opened it using the finder and overriding the warning. Everything was fine, but there was a ROON update available (perhaps it showed up when I switched to Ventura).

I’m glad everything was fine, but I did have to re-enable some of the audio zones, including the BF2/64 on USB and the MacBook speakers. Also, I see that the library somehow found an old iTunes folder in addition to the usual music folder (this is a nostalgia iTunes backup folder from the 90s with MP3 rips)

Has anyone else experienced oddities after a MacOS upgrade?

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MacOS updates break a lot of stuff. Software, printer drivers, etc. I think it’s an afterthought for the vendors, including Apple.

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It’s not usually catastrophic, but more like niggling issues with some apps that aren’t ahead of the curve on updates.

Since I “upgraded” to Ventura, I’ve had issues with Default Folder X, Bartender, Little Snitch, and others. In some cases I get repeatedly nagged to enable the app permissions in Settings (btw I hate what is now “System Settings”, formerly just “Settings”.)

Also, after installing 13.1 yesterday, Sound Source is now warning me that some of the components in ACE are problematic, and they are working on an update. No issues with 13.0.1 before.

The fun never stops with Apple OS updates these days! I feel like Apple doesn’t give developers enough time to examine updates before releasing stuff into the wild.

If you don’t already know about them, is a great Mac resource…

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RoPieeeXL can act as a network endpoint for HQPlayer. (See description here) So you can try out HQPlayer with your current setup, before deciding on any other hardware purchases.

Thanks, I actually saw that yesterday. Also found that even iFi Zen Stream has NAA and is supported with HQP but I’m still unable to see either of them on my HQP trial version. I tried the audio daemon as well but still can’t see either NAA endpoints yet.