Advice on NAS selection

I’ll try to keep this short. Currently my Roon Core is a Mac Pro which is hard wired to a Mytek DAC. They are located in adjacent rooms (office and living room) so making sure that Roon is up and running on the Mac takes a ten second walk.

I am about to move. My office and Mac Pro will be located in an office above my garage, which is a detached building. Audio system will be in the main building. Not sure I’m looking forward to the walk at 10PM in the snow just to turn on the Mac Pro/Roon.

So, I’m thinking that a NAS located with the sound system is the easiest solution. I like the Cocktail Audio X45 Pro ($6K, and sell the Mytek), but I’m sure there are cheaper solutions. Besides, I like the Mytek.

Any advice on a NAS device with a CD transport? Would prefer two drives that can be RAID configured. I’ve done the typical searches, but haven’t found anything.

Thanks for any suggestions.

I’m sure NAS proponents will give you suggestions, but personally, I would choose a ROCK/NUC setup over a NAS any day, particularly if there are only music files being stored on it. And RAID is not a backup strategy…


My setup is similar to what @Geoff_Coupe describes and to your future setup as well. The machine that I download & rip music on is in a different physical building than my NUC & my “NAS”. This has an advantage of having two copies of my music on two different sets of disks in separate locations. Because I had an extra computer and I’m the only person using the system, I simply setup a Linux box with a Samba share (instead of a full blown NAS) to store extra music and other media files that would not fit on the NUC.

Others may have good arguments against this, but personally I prefer multiple separate copies for redundancy instead of striped disks especially with disk storage being as cheap as it is (FYI - I have four copies of my collection).

What inputs does your Mytec DAC have? If the Mac Pro does a decent job of running your Roon Core, you could continue to use it, with a network connection. You may need a bit of extra hardware to make your DAC into a Roon endpoint, but that’s easy enough. I ask because I’ve used both a Macbook Pro and an iMac as a Core, and they both worked well. I know it’s fashionable to run a dedicated Roon Core box of some sort, but I find that these Macs don’t break a sweat feeding a couple of Roon endpoinds, so I have stuck with them. Over a network connection, the Roon Core on a Mac is still discoverable when it’s in sleep mode, so no need to go and wake it up.

If you plan on running your core off it, please keep in mind an ARM processor won’t run RoonServer. You can of course find something that does it all, but not listening to that reviewer and going with specialized, cheaper devices will likely be easier and less than 6k.

A NUC + fanless case + USB drive (or one of SGC’s offerings if you want someone to do it for you), and a decent USB streamer (from, say, Allo or SoTM, I’m sure Team Sonore will also jump in and evangelise) with a PSU that doesn’t need to be built by elves on an island will do just fine and be totally silent, probably for a quarter to half the price you’re looking at. Add an adequately sized USB hard drive for backups, maybe a Backblaze subscription to keep a copy offsite in case of a disaster, and you’re done.

I currently run my core on a Synology 918+, which seems to do just fine, along with having the music on the NAS. The drives chuckle a bit when Roon scans them, but works OK. The music comes over WiFi to a plain vanilla Raspberry Pi 3B+, which feeds my Mytek DAC over USB (and to my other endpoints, which are mainly based on the Chromecast protocol). Works like a charm.

You asked about CD drives. You might plug a self-powered CD drive into the NAS. Or more probably into the Mac Pro, since you will be ripping CDs, not playing them.

I would avoid a NAS. Instead, I would get a Roon core appliance with local storage like a sonicTransporter or a Nucleus. I think the sonicTransporter family is a better solution than a Nucleus but that is up to you. Then you would need a Roon Endpoint as well. You can get a sonicTransporter i5 with 2GB spinner drive for music storage and an ultraRendu with a decent 7v LPS for a total of $1998. If you don’t use heavy DSP functions, that setup would be great and great sounding.

The sonicTransporter i5 could be up in your office area away from the sound system and the ultraRendu would be right with your DAC. The advantage of this setup is you could setup another Roon Endpoint in your office and play music there too.

I just left the Mac Pro in the office (one of the trashcan models) turned on all the time.

First of all, I really appreciate the time you guys took to help me out. As you can tell I’m a little late to this party (had to look up ROCK). Anyway, with the limited research I’ve done so far, looks like the SonicTransporter I5 CDR with SSD storage will fit the bill. I have a few months before moving, so I have time to settle on a solution.

BTW, the Mytek DAC (Brooklyn Bridge) is Roon certified and I use it as an end point now from the MAC Pro. I have no complainants using the MAC Pro as the Roon core. However, my upcoming situation would require a very long CAT 6 run, which I am trying to avoid.

Again, thanks to everyone for your time and advice.

Does your Mac Pro not need an Ethernet connection anyway? Do that, and I don’t see that you need to change anything, or spend any more cash on extra boxes to run Roon.

He doesn’t want to have to walk outside to get to his Mac Pro over the garage. Take a look at the Roon Nucleus. It is a little more pricey than building a NUC, but not much and it’s turn-key. I just received mine yesterday and it’s great.

He doesn’t need to. As I mentioned earlier, a Mac does not need to be manually woken up to run the Roon Core.

This is a base Nucleus at MSRP. For the more DiY inclined, there is a link to Amazon for the list of parts that Roon’s knowledgebase provides to help you build it if you scroll down the page a bit (Nucleus is the i3, Nucleus+ is the i7).

For some people, the handholding, support, home automation integration, and nice case are worth it. For others, quadruple a number, or $1000, is just a little.

Kudos to team Roon for recognizing it isn’t the case for everyone, their transparency, and making ROCK free.

Hey @Xekomi. The Amazon link is showing an empty basket for me…

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Seems like it won’t work here either. I’d clicked it to check from the KB before posting, it added the stuff, but doesn’t seem to work from here.

Anyway, if you’re curious, scroll down the KB page for ROCK, what you want is the “Add to cart Amazon” bit. Nucleus is the i3 option, Nucleus+ is the i7.

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I did the “Add to cart Amazon” (for the US) a few weeks ago for the i7. I took a slight gamble on buying it used (really open box) from OEM XS INC. That unit cost $350 USD when compared to the new i7 at $630 USD. My unit came with all standard components and worked fine out of the box (well, after configuring the NUC following the KB).

Others may want to try this approach and save $280.

I just did the same thing and bought 2 nuc i7’s for 315. I have 3 nucs in 3 different locations now. I use a nas for backup only and use a 4tb wd passport on each of the nuc’s for local storage. Having said this, its important to point out you could still use the mac and run another core but authorizing/unauthorizing the cores as needed. It would require running 2 disks but save you the trip. Think put a backup system in the least used location and run a nuc w/wd at your primary location. Hope this helps,

If you don’t need the NAS for the reason a NAS exists, like massive storage, automatic backups, VMs, cloud access. Then I would just go with a NUC.

I’ve been using my QNAP TS 251+ with 8GB of RAM and 2TB SSDs for about 2 years now as my rooncore and roon player. I have it connected via USB to my DAC. It’s clean simple and also does film / photo duties to the TV. I have a decent 12v Linear PSU on it too.

Highly recommend this route.

I got mine for $1119 It works great. I considered building a NUC, but decided to go with the Nucleus. You cannot build a NUC in a fanless case for $279.75.