I am looking for advice on what is the best advice for using Roon on two separate systems in my home. My main system is on the second floor of my townhome in my living room. It includes a Mac Mini and a Wavelength 24/96 Cosecant Dac.
In my bedroom on the third floor I have a Mac Mini and 24/96 Wavelength Brick Dac. On the first floor of my townhome in my office I have a Synology DS415+ that has all my music stored in it.
Where should the Roon Core be located in order to get the best possible sound quality for both systems?
I have two Roon systems in my house, with music on a Synology NAS: living room speaker system Auralic Aries streamer>Schiit Yggdrasil DAC, and home office headphone system Sonore microRendu streamer + UpTone LPS-1 power supply>Singxer SU-1 USB to I2S bridge>Holo Audio Spring KTE 3 DAC. Both are fed by Roon Core on an Ubuntu Intel NUC, with the music on a Synology NAS. Everything is wired with Cat 6 and NETGEAR ProSAFE 1Gbps switches. The NAS and NUC are in my home office, which is not theoretically ideal but the least intrusive place given the rest of our house’s layout and usage. I’ve played with a lot of different configurations and hardware and this is working very well both in stability and in sound quality. The best improvements I’ve had on both systems came from upgrading from USB streamer-to-DAC connections.
The NUC is a small Intel-based computer. My NAS (Synology DS216+II) is not beefy enough to run Roon. In your case, your Dell PC looks like the place where you should run your Roon Core, unless your NAS is one that Roon can run on.
I tend to think the other way, install Roon Server as a native server on your NAS and rid yourself of all the noisy computers humming away and adding to your electrical bill and world destruction
Your Nas with it’s quad core Atom will gladly serve your two zones simultaneously without fault, i’m sure. If you are into DSP’ing, upsampling and EQ/Convolving it will suffer though. Make sure you put the Roon Database on fast solid state though, minimum SSD over USB3.0.
I know, but i’m pretty sure the KB want to give advise that will provide a very good UX in most scenarios and depending on your needs this COULD be all you’ll ever want performancewise.
And, as the OP already have got the NAS in his posession it wouldn’t cost a dime to “suck it and see”
You may very well be correct Geoff. I havent tried any Atom-based cores but i’d say it’d be worth the effort to give it a try.
I do have experience with my AMD E-350 low power computer (dual core/thread 1.6Ghz, 2Gb RAM) which provides just as good user experience as my QNAP NAS (dual core, quad thread i5-3470T, 16Gb RAM). Perhaps a slightly longer delay when displaying Overview, Discover or Search results while using the lowpower unit but not enough to cause irritation.
And i cannot detect any difference in audio quality between these two servers. The low power AMD wont do complex DSP though, even DSD128 upsampling taxes it to much.
His DAC’s are both 96k so any up sampling will be well within the gift of the processor in the NAS. It would really need to be the 8 Gig variant rather than the 2 though and don’t forget the obligatory SSD for Roon. That said, I get considerable comfort from the fact my Core is on a dedicated and supported machine and with a little effort is silent both mechanically and electrically. I’ll stick solar panels on the roof if I want to contribute to the world’s salvation!
Answering the OP’s question directly I would have storage, Internet access and core all in the same physical location connected together on the same unmanaged switch. I would hardwire each zone to this switch too. Keep it simple wherever possible.
I have two Atom powered machines in my system and it was running the Core on one of them which convinced me to become a customer of Roon. It was my second trial, my first being on a cheap laptop which resulted in poor sound quality despite being equivalent to an i3.