I was running Roon on my Mac mini - and all was well. But I kind of wanted my mini back - not in the middle of the stereo!
So I got a new NUC 7i5BNH from Amazon, with 8 GB, 256 GB M.2 boot drive. Flashed it up to the latest, and installed ROCK. I can see it on my network, restart it from a browser, and use a Roon Remote on my iPad or MBP.
I have the NUC on Wifi. But it has the music files attached to USB - I’ve tried a 256GB flash drive, and a 1 TB USB LaCie HDD. And it is plugged right into the USB input of an Audiolab M-DAC - the original one.
Backup restored fine, and music files are seen and working.
When the music was on the hard drive of the Mac mini, and the Mini fed the USB connection to the M-DAC, the sound was excellent. And the Mac mini was on Wifi as well. With the DAC direct attached, and the music files direct attached - surely Wifi or wired makes no difference.
But now with the NUC replacing the Mac Mini, I have constant clicks or pops - almost one every couple of seconds.
Any ideas? Something I should know about NUC USB config?
(Also have to say - very disappointed at fan noise from the 7i5 NUC - almost constant.)
I have the exact same machine, I also just bought it to move off a Mini. I run WIN10 on it and Roon core.
When trying to use it as an endpoint, I experienced the same clicking and popping. Wired or WiFi doesn’t matter; I tried both. I changed my endpoint to am SMS-200, although an RPi or Allo would have been just as good. With the change the pops and clicks stopped.
I conclude the USB ports on the NUC are sub-par. It is disappointing as it requires yet another device in the chain, which I was trying to avoid.
Oh yeah, before someone brings it up, I tried with music files on both a NAS and a local USB attached drive.
So before I report - let me say - while it’s nice to document this for anyone for whom it may be useful, it may be that my experience is just my experience, and not universally relevant!
That being said - I’m now the proud owner of Windows 10 Home - burned it to a key formatted as FAT32 using this link https://www.joshbeam.com/2017/11/23/making-a-bootable-windows-10-usb-drive-on-macos-high-sierra/ - the only way that actually worked to make it from a Mac (and have a NUC be able to boot it). Then imaged up the NUC - and now I have a real live Windows 10 PC for my first time - I’ve always run it for software testing within Parallels. I can now clean that off my MBP!
Connected up the music external LaCie 1TB drive via USB-C (an advantage for Win-10 on this H/W over Roon OS BTW). Set it up on the local Wifi. Inserted it into the Stereo system (with monitor, ugh - and Mac wireless kybd/trackpad) - had it chew through my paltry 5000 tracks - then it was time to listen and see if it was all worth it … Connected to the Audiolab M-DAC it drove my restored Celestion Ditton 25’s like a trouper! Year of the Cat gave a Cheshire grin and rejoiced in its excellent imaging and clarity
So for me at least, I think the truth seems to be that the original Audiolab M-DAC does not like a linux USB feed. And as a dedicated Cupertino fan who diarizes every Keynote in advance - I have to give brownie points to Redmond here - the codecs and USB feed out of Windows 10 are if anything better than those from the Mac - the sound is everything I could have wanted. More than I could have imagined, really - so I celebrated by signing up for a Roon lifetime (on top of the CDN$165 for a Win10 license - sigh)
All that’s left is perhaps to move to the fanless case at some point.
Thanks very much to everyone who chipped in - what a great, active community you have here!