Antique Mac fun

Hi all! Thought I would contribute my first post by sharing a few thoughts about my first week tinkering with Roon.

I’ve always considered myself a bit of an audiophile and still have my first set of Klipsch Heresy speakers I bought at age 16 – 41 years ago. I have the second set too, purchased 34 years ago. That said, in recent years, work demands, and other life distractions have kept me away from much music listening and some great gear was gathering dust. So was a huge iTunes library of several hundred albums ripped over the last 10 years.

About a month ago, I decided to go ahead and try iTunes again to simply put some music on my iPhone for a trip. To my dismay, I could not even find a way to do it anymore. Perhaps it’s possible, but I couldn’t figure it out. To make a long story short, I decided to find an alternative and that led me to discovering the high-resolution audio options of Amazon HD music, Tidal and Quboz. I then researched different DACs and settled on an the EarMen TR-AMP, which I’m very happy with. It’s not on the Partner Devices Matrix but I can confirm it works nicely with Roon, including the USB volume control capability.

My DAC research caused me to stumble on Roon being mentioned in various audiophile gear marketing materials. Once I got the EarMen TR-AMP hooked up to my 10 year-old Arcam Solo, I decided to try out Roon as a way to get back to enjoying music in my home.

This is where it gets really interesting. I had been simultaneously looking into ways to upgrade a mid-2008 MacBook that is unsupported for anything beyond El Capitan. Before I even decided to install Roon, I successfully got the MacBook to run Catalina using the macOS Catalina Patcher. While this is a completely unsupported upgrade to this older Core 2 Duo MacBook with 8 GB of RAM, I can attest that Catalina runs great on it, especially after installing a nice new 1 TB SSD.

I then installed Roon and added just the ALAC music files from my iTunes library. Roon quickly identified all the music files and I found that I had to do minimal cleanup.

I think what has impressed me the most about Roon is how seamlessly the Roon remote software works on my iPhone, an antique iPad (2012) and an antique (mid-2011) iMac to control the Roon core on the antique MacBook. I routinely switch between the EarMen TR-AMP and a Bose Portable Home Speaker without any problems at all. I love how Tidal integrates seamlessly into my large ALAC file library. I told a friend that I thought Roon was one of the finest software applications I have used in a long time. Overall, I could not be happier other than the fan noise from the MacBook, which I’m obviously pushing to its limit LOL. (It is dedicated to Roon and not being used for anything else but from what I can gather reading other forum posts, fan noise is an issue for a lot of folks.)

Bottom line: I look forward to gladly handing over $119 next week when my trial ends. Roon has made listening to music fun again and it has allowed me to find joy in some older Apple equipment that refuses to die. I look forward to being a part of this community.

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Welcome. Maybe you can move your MAC to another room where you can’t hear the fan. All you need is an ethernet connection. That is, if you’re not connecting your DAC and amp to the MAC.

If you are having fan noise problems, this utility allow you to disable the turbo boost.

The cpu will run slightly more slowly - but produce much less heat.

I use my MacBook for studio recording - and it’s fantastic.

Cool! I started with a Mac Mini Core 2 Duo with 8 GB of RAM, too. Too old for MacOS, so I put Linux on it, then Roon, and bigod it just worked! I was tremendously impressed.