Down-to-earth recommendations to newcomers

(Mike O'Neill) #43

Computer audio is not for sissies :face_with_head_bandage:. It’s NOT Roon specific

Hang in there explain in detail what your issues are be inundated with help from 5 continents

Then you can join the FUN




(Mike O'Neill) #45

It does take a little tech savvy …

At least that’s what I found when I first dipped the toe

But I’m a bit of a PC bashed anyway



I think @luleanu is objecting to the term ‘sissies’. Depending on the person and/or the country, that term can be construed as an insult to certain demographics.

You just meant ‘fainthearted’, right?. :laughing:


You’re right, it is possible that I interpreted Mike’s response as being tougher than he intended, my bad.

(Mike O'Neill) #50

It comes from a local T shirt

“Africa is not for sissies”

No offense meant I assure you

Faint hearted is probably a better choice



Well, what my “Really???” was really about :slight_smile: is the fact that I believe that one doesn’t really :slight_smile: need to be strong hearted in order to became a little tech savvy, it’s just a matter of willingness.

Anyway, going back to the topic, you’re right, unfortunately the computer audio it’s a complicated thing from the beginning till the (never) end!

(Robert Kosara) #58

This thread got a shout-out in Paul McGowan’s blog today:

The comments are also pretty interesting to read, largely along the same lines as here. Seems like there are a lot more frustrated people wanting to use Roon but running into issues than I had realized.

(Reader of the Internets) #60

Just wondering: shouldn’t there be a separate X50 thread by now?

(Anders Vinberg) #62

In general, this idea of people putting storage into devices that will be used as endpoints is not ideal. I think people build like that for other software systems. But in the Roon architecture, that’s not normal.

It isn’t really a network load problem. Think of it this way: you have storage somewhere else than the Core, the Core pulls the content from the storage device, does its thing, and sends it to the endpoint. Common arrangement, no problem. In the Cocktail case, it appears the storage and endpoint are the same device, but the network doesn’t care.

That said, with all this talk about using a networked endpoint instead of direct USB connection, you want the endpoint minimalistic. That’s the last point I would want spinning drives. It will work, but it’s not ideal, it’s ass-backward.

What I would do in that case, with an endpoint with two RAIDed spinning drives, I would copy the content away somewhere else, and then pull those drives out of there.

Store it where? How to reuse those 4TB drives? No matter. Remember, storage is free. No, really, it’s free. On Amazon, 6 TB drives are less than $200. One album is about one GB, so 6,000 albums for $200, that is 3 cents per album, about 1 % of the cost of the albums.

You say you have 10 TB of music? That’s a hell of a lot. But it is still a few hundred dollars total. Roundoff compared to the other gear discussed here.

(Mike O'Neill) #63

It comes from a T Shirt

when I got to South Africa 23 years ago it was a very common phrase fort us IMPORTS (From England) to warn of of the pitfalls of South African life.

I just think it fits nicely with the pitfalls of Computer Audio

I am a retired developer so PC’s don’t phase me

Certainly no offence meant just humour


(Geoff Coupe) #64

I had this Bette Davis quote and photo as a postcard years ago. Truer words were never spoken.

(Rene Bouwmeester) #65

I have split off the X50 related posts into a thread of its own in the support forum:

(Mike O'Neill) #66

That’s probably where it came from, both statements are too accurate !!

SA was a bit different from rural UK !


(David Toole) #67

The Brazilian version of the phrase is “Brazil is not for beginners”. Perhaps that would be more appropriate.

(James Heckman) #68

Awright this whole thing is probably downstream by now, but responses:
(1) I do like simple, and think many of my (admirably) knowledgeable fellow hobbyists don’t realize how much knowledge many of us commoners don’t have. There’s a place for both, sophistication and simple. I’ve had a learning curve with Roon, even using it in straightforward manner. (2) Jeremy, with all due respect re your comment that better wires don’t fix poor performance, I wouldn’t have known what to think about that until this past year, when replacing three wires in my system (ICs, power cord, speaker cables) made, each one, a night and day difference, to the point that I now think wires are the best upgrade money a person can spend. But maybe this issue relates to system quality to begin with, in other words, if the system can’t produce a quality signal in the first place, the best wires aren’t going to make much difference. (3) Re Africa, I lived there decades ago (Peace Corps Volunteer Ethiopia) in a remote location with no electricity, potable water or medical service, and loved it. Easy? No. Fascinating and exotic? Yes. (4) Finally, Bette Davis is right. Aging is no place for sissies, because sissies are afraid to enjoy the fantastic and steadily increasing landscape of life and consciousness that comes with age, or can come with it, if one doesn’t obstruct it with thoughts like “old age isn’t for sissies”.
Jim Heckman



You hit the nail on the head. When I first explored Roon several months ago, I too felt that the whole thing felt too complicated, especially the question of networked connection vs. USB.

What I ended up doing, during the trial period, was to simply connect a MacBook Air (with the music library on an SSD), to my Schiit DAC, which connected to my Amp. My ears could not discern any noise whatsoever. Ultimately, it all came down to the quality of the original recording, and the resolution of the rip.

I did several A-B comparisons between music played via the MacBook Air - Schitt combo with Apple Lossless files, and LPs with the same content playing on my Linn Sondek, outfitted with some of the most recent upgrades. I honestly could not tell the difference.

When I pulled the trigger on the Roon lifetime subscription, I therefore decided to keep the hardware and configuration unchanged. In future, any possible upgrade path will involve: a) the DAC; b) Acoustics in the room, and then anything else.

For newcomers I’d simply say, get a MacBook Air SSD, as there are no spinning disks involved (you can get these used for next to nothing), connect it to an SSD hard drive with your music loaded on it, and connect direct via USB to the DAC. You have to do way more to eke out better SQ than configure via any of the networked solutions.


PS. I use Chronosync to ensure that the music library on the Air is synced with the iMac to which I rip music. The iMac is located in a different room, but this arrangement works optimally.

(Brian) #70


Most people just want to know what time it is, not how to build a watch.

(Steve) #71

Boy, this comment sums it up for me perfectly!


This is not what I would call great advice. First of all, it doesn’t take “way more” to get better sound quality. The USB port of any MacBook is not exactly quiet. They inject a lot of unwanted noise that will affect the sound quality in a negative way. Second, a MacBook Air is not the most cost-effective device to use as a server/endpoint. Heck, I would rather use any number of servers such as Intel NUCs or a sonicTransporter.

Personally, I would much prefer using a separate core and endpoint than a just a MacBook anything to act as a core/endpoint connected directly to the DAC.