Help with my new Roon setup with Sonos / NUC / NAS or indeed alternatives

Evening all. Apologies lengthy words coming up but hopefully paints an accurate picture of where I am and where I’d like to end up.

Have had Roon loaded on an old (11 years old but still kicking) and very under powered laptop and tried it in 2020 and loved the concept.

I sort of accidently parked it (but still paying the subs … sign of faith) due to slow moving hardware and dropped back to my Sonos system. And in fairness I’m ok with Sonos. It’s served me well in past. Had my core hardware been more responsive I’d almost certainly have moved forward with Roon.

But that was then and this is now and I’m in a position to revisit things with some improved hardware and some imminent purchases to add to that.

I thought before I do, I’d ask the question of skilled Roon hands if they can spare the time. I should add thanks to a couple of Roon enthusiasts in AVForum that reignited my interest to do so.

I have a reasonably powerful QNAP NAS box … a new TS-453D (a Celeron Quad Core 3.0) with 8GB fast memory and a 10Gb NIC card. it has 4 x reasonable fast WD RED 12TB drives but no SSD at this moment. The SSD can be added … I have a spare and recent gen and size Samsung one. The NAS is not well configured yet but all new and ready to go and migrate from an old ONAP TS-410 that has worked hard for years.

Discounting the old laptop, I have an option to buy a high configuration NUC 11th gen and was thinking the Extreme or Enthusiast model with lots of memory and fast M2 SSD and graphics with Win 11 on it. It’s a trojan horse … the granddaughter needs a machine here to use for on-line tuition and schoolwork. Totally over the top for those needs but all the same I saw an opportunity :slightly_smiling_face: I would struggle buy a dedicated Nucleus, but this can be turned a blind eye to … things for kids (especially educational) get a lot more financial diplomatic immunity! :slightly_smiling_face:

Sound wise, I have all Sonos and mainly new Sonos … AMP’s, Subs and one or two slightly older boxes. Understand that we can do better sound wise than Sonos but having ‘nearly’ made the leap about the time of the S1/S2 uproar, I stayed put.

The Sonos boxes feed good quality in-ceiling B&W’s CCM 682’s and similar in all rooms. All are RJ45 fed, none are wireless. We have a decent home network fed via a Netgear 48 port GB switches and a 500mb VM ISP. All the AV and PC and storage equipment are located in one area away from listening rooms in my office. We have recently added a decent wifi environment that said. We went with the Netgear Orbi RS853 and an added 4th satellite. But so far that’s not used for music streaming but definitely for controller on Android phones. We have zero Apple stuff bar Apple TV+.

The current Roon is under Win 10 on the underpowered laptop. The new NUC 11 would be Win 11 and I’m sort of comfortable and familiar with Windows land. I get the impression other options maybe a preferred route and I am open to that so long as they do not involve weeks of learning … days are ok. And also, that could co-exist with Win 11 on the NUC 11.

Smaller details - The Sonos boxes are working under Alexa. It’s not a deal breaker but it would be nice to maintain that. I have also installed Violet Smart switches which I would also like to continue living with if that were an option. They control Philips Hue’s and Sonos. I’m using Tidal HIFI and Amazon HD and a normal Spotify account. A weird mish mash that I should also revisit and rationalise. Oh, and I do use Audible a lot as well as our own CD rips on the NAS box.

Sorry, that’s a lot of data but hopefully covers everything you might need. As I say I loved what I saw of Roon but was not in a position to fully commit. There’s no huge rush now but I’m still motivated and would appreciate advice based on what we have now. This could be the right time.

Many thanks in advance

Sounds like you’ve got everything you need already except for an always-on computer – which would be the new NUC. Roon can talk to Sonos boxes, and that would co-exist with your Alexa usage.

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