Keep current older, dedicated i7 imac as Roon core and purchase a dedicated streamer to my DAC
Roon Nucleus direct to DAC (short USB cable) (no streamer)
In other words, does a dedicated streamer give best results vs using the imac or Nucleus direct to Dac? Internal file storage is no issue. Although the Nucleus is built for a single purpose, it is still a computer.
Assuming your DAC has usb-in, get a Raspberry and use that as a streamer.
Total cost: sub $100, nice metal case included.
Get a NUC kit, install ROCK on it, and have a Nucleus for a fraction of the price. Get a neighbourhood kid to install RoonOS on it if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Get them to assemble that Pi from before.
Total cost: Nucleus equivalent, $389, Nucleus+, $620. Add $130-260 for a passive case if you require silence. Raspberry, $100. Kid: depends on your negotiation skills.
fewer boxes and improved sound, I currently have a super long usb cord from my core to my dac. My Dac is a Pro-Ject Pre Box s2 that is 4 years old. The Matrix will probably be the winner if the Dac is at least as good or better than what I currently have. Thanks
If your question is “what’s the best SQ bang for $1500”, then my answer would most likely not be “a new dac”.
Famous last words…
In all likelihood, because there’s nothing wrong with it (at least that I know of…), it’s good enough. It’s your money, but I’d just get something to stream to it, either a commercial offering, or go DIY. If you want a major leap in SQ, get Mitch Barnett or the guy from HAF to design a convolution filter for you.
There has been no human evolutionary leap in the past 4 years, and no design breakthrough either. There might be an audible difference due to the differences in analog stage design, but beyond that…
And yes, the Matrix will give you a display and it’s pretty and it’s one box. If that’s worth 900 dollars to you, and when it’s actually certified, go for it.
Definitely wait until the Roon certification is confirmed! It’s been a long time coming.
Lost count of the times that I’ve heard of potential Matrix Mini owners talking about adding in an RPi as a “temporary solution”!
Matrix do make top performing good DACs when it comes to measurements, although I don’t think I’ve seen measurements for the Mini i3. I’m not convinced we’re talking about audible improvements over your current DAC, but you will be getting good engineering and a fine looking machine.
Having said all of this, I don’t own one and I’m more than happy with my RPi as a network solution!