Advise on setup around 10K to spend

I have a good friend who has a massive collection of CDs. He has ripped them all to hard drive 15K CDs and is thinking of taking the deep dive into Roon. Would a Nucleus + be the best way to go here?

I have one myself and it’s worked great direct ethernet wired to my DCS Rossini DAC and also have 9 other Roon endpoints throughout my house. I didn’t know if there was other less expensive options out there but seems like the 2500 for a Nucleus + might be the best way to go and then have the rest of the money to go to a nice endpoint DAC/pre or DAC that can go direct to his amp which he wants to keep as is.

There is another options, DIY NUC/ROCK. You or your friend would need to acquire the components and build it yourself but you do get to pick what goes inside.

As I recall, mine was less than $1000.00 for the NUC8I7BEH, 16GB ram, 250GB m.2 drive for the Roon OS and Database, an internal Sata drive for the music library, a USB attached backup drive and a USB attached CD drive for ripping with Roon.

If you don’t want to build it yourself then the Nucleus + is the way to go. In my opinion.

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Hi there,
Difficult question as besides the information you gave us, it is very important what your friend is expecting from this next step in his audio adventure. Let me please explain.

Giving the 10K to spend and a ROON Nucleus plus is about 2,5K there is 7,5K for a good DAC.
Given the 15.000 CD’s, probably several end points and DSP requested, the ROON Nucleus plus is the right direction. The bigger problem will be a DAC which plays on par to your dCS.

Can he use the DAC of his actual CD player for the time being and save some more for a real nice DAC?
This reply is not to say there are no good DAC’s below 7,5K :joy:. Just looking at your system and what he might expect of this next step in his setup.

I am playing with a ROON Nucleus plus with 4TB SSD and a Synology NAS DS1817 plus with 64TB.
dCS Rossini Player and Clock. To stream on par by Tidal, Qobuz or ripped CD’s in comparisson to the Rossini Player with a CD is not easy. The Nucleus plus is upgraded with a Full option Farad PS but still not easy.
All depends what your friend is used to and what he expects.

Hope this gives some more ideas to think about!

As per the previous posts I agree re the Nuclues + as the best route. As for what can be achieved with money left over, I recommend considering TotalDac for the DAC solution. Great sound and no matter what level you buy in at (and do consider pre-owned as well)!the DAC can be upgraded by Vincent at TotalDac offering a route to the very best sounds produced by digital.

There’s one on sale as well on this forum (I’m biased though) :slight_smile:

I don’t think we are trying to equal the sound of the Rossini necessarily, just get him the best we can for around 10K or less even hopefully. I was just trying to confirm that the Nucleus + is his best move here? He has 8TB ripped to a tower PC computer that I was think he could transfer to a USB drive hooked to the Nucleus + then look into endpoints for his main system and maybe a couple satellite systems in his house, just something like a Naim Mu so or single speaker type thing. The main thing is that he can browse his own personal library which is many obscure jazz recordings that may or may not be on Tidal/Qobuz.

I would definitely recommend a Nucleus + or an equivalent NUC. Do the Nucleus + if he isn’t into DIY. The NUC might be fun, but it can also have some issues he might have to deal with. Some people breeze through it and others struggle.

A nucleus is nice to have, but its crazy expensive. I run it through my windows surface book perfectly. I just have all my music files on the computer. Of course I keep a back up of all the files on a separate drive flash drive just in case. It you have a decent wifi network there is zero need to hook it up to the LAN. Given the huge amounts of space on modern drives you can keep tens of thousands of uncompressed music files on any laptop and barely make a dent on your capacity.

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Nuc 8i7BEH ,
Holo audio may kte,

Thats all

Has to be a Nucleus+ with a Chord Dave

Bullet proof reliability with the Core & those Chord Electronics DAC’s are untouched by anything else out there

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Am a Chord fan and owner and you’ll get plenty of recommendations for them. In truth, if I had the budget, I’d give one of these a listen: You can only tell so much from the press but I like to focus on products with at least 5 reputable reviews, where no one has had anything bad to say. There’s a lot of love for this.

I think your original question was regarding the server, Nucleus+ or other options. Besides the DIY Nuc there is also Small Green Computer. If your friend just wants to play music via Roon and doesn’t need to run DSP, the Small Green Computer i5 for less than $1k will do a fine job. For a few hundred more, he can bundle the i5 with a MicroRendu or UltraRendu streamer. The other option is an NAS like Synology or QNAP. He can get one with sufficient power to run Roon for around $500 without drives. This can be a great, simple one-box solution.

To offer advice about an appropriate device to run the Roon core on, I think one important question must be answered by the interested person. Namely, am I able to put together a device from its parts? Do I have enough understanding to know which parts to get and how to employ them to assemble a nice and powerful device for Roon? Do I have experience and feel comfortable with the admin tasks that come with running a standard operating system on standard PC hardware, be that Windows or Linux?

Or do I rather wish to avoid this trouble and get some pre-assembled device, an appliance, one to connect and forget about it? Because I don’t have experience with PC hardware and operating systems, because I can’t be bothered or whatever…

If it is the former, I believe much money can be saved and put to better use. And I believe that for a collection that big as owned by the OP’s friend there are better options than simply put together a NUC and put ROCK on it. If one knows ones way around the hardware basics, some powerful and very flexible systems can be put together, for relatively little money.

If it is the latter, then a Nucleus+ might be the most adequate solution, or a device by Small Green Computer.

So, to the OT… which one is it? Do you feel comfortable with putting something together yourself and take care of it? Or would you rather be able to buy a device which offers an out-of-box complete solution and which counts with some degree of support by its seller?

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No need to spend $7.5K on a DAC. You can get a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge for $3K, or a Topping D90 for $700.

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What amount is he budgeting for speakers?

pickup a Devialet expert pro 140, a set of KEF LS50s, and run full Roon on any pc. Turn on SAM and play with Roon for 6 mos before deciding on a final platform after you figured out how to use it and make all your music look right. That should easily fit in the budget, all you’ll need is a set of speaker wires for your 10K budget.

Assuming downstream of the DAC is not needed. So, no new speakers or amp.

I would consider calling (on the phone) Small Green Computers and having a discussion with Andrew Gillis (@agillis). He will be able to give individual attention to the user’s library and future needs. He will also be there if there are any problems getting it up to speed.
The Nucleus+ is very attractive and a no brainer for most of us. If it was my friend, I’d want some additional assurance for possible fringe cases. If it doesn’t work, you can also send it back. And it’s probably cheaper.

True, but if audio consumers only bought what’s necessary a significant chunk of the consumer industry would be bankrupt within months. I’ll admit it’s unlikely I’d ever put my money where my Mola Mola mouth is. I could by my entire system twice for that money. However, if I was musing on a close to 10K DAC…

ROCK is also compatible with NUC10i7.
8GB and M.2 128GB for Roon (database and system), and the biggest SSD (8TB) for music? Alternatively music on NAS, but user experience will be better and faster with all music on the SSD (just remember to keep backup).

I actually don’t think ROCK will use more than 8GB of RAM, so no point installing more.

It takes 10 minutes to mount the NUC. Full description exist here at the Roon community. Much cheaper and no need for quiet cabinet unless you stack the NUC box in your listening room (connect it via gigabit ethernet in a different room, sound quality will be exactly the same).

DAC/streamer. Have a peek at Matrix Audio’s devices. They work really well with Roon.

And please don’t buy linear power supply for the Roon-core (NUC or Nucleus+). Send me the money if you have too much :wink:

Ripping 15k+ CDs; I hope the ripping process is done correctly (biggest mistake is to read the CD at too high speed. It is also preferred to check the rip against source). Also I hope meta-data is in place on the FLAC files (if it is MP3, start over!) :slight_smile:

With 15.000 albums, it might be better to go with NUC10i7 (6 core), 16GB RAM and Windows10. I don’t think there will be any problems with 15000 albums on Nucleus+ or NUC i7 - but the collection will grow over time.

My collection over the last 4 years (I have ripped a bunch of CDs!)