High Quality Roon Endpoint

I have collected the parts for what will be a very high quality dedicated Roon endpoint. It will combine the abilities of an Atom powered NUC running ROCK at the front end and my AudioByte Hydra Z. This will give me a box that has a RJ45 socket in and SPDIF and i2s over HDMI out. I have been using this combo for a while as individual units but I have a very limited space to listen in and box reduction (size and numbers) is a big driver in making my space more useful.

Why the rather exotic Hydra Z? Well it is built into commercially available enclosures, so purchasing a slightly longer enclosure was easy. The front and rear panels simply bolt onto the new case. Rolling back to the original configuration is easy.

Why the DE3815TYBE Atom NUC? It runs ROCK flawlessly and is rock solid so gives me the ‘appliance’ type operation that most other options on the smaller SBC’s don’t quite manage. No SSH required, updates controlled and tested by Roon before rolling out so true headless operation. So the aim will be to have a box that will run fine with the NUC powered or with extra quality if the AudioByte ZPM is employed. A LPS-1 would also do a sterling job in the ‘enhancement’ role too. I have both so there may be comparisons in time. I will update this thread as I make progress in the coming week or so.


Forgive me Henry, but why would you want run ROCK on a “dedicated endpoint”? It will naturally have the server component running i assume?
(Or, can you disable this by chosing “opps, i meant to run this as a remote”?)

If you are not signed in to Tidal through it and you don’t point it at storage it just behaves like Roon Bridge and appears as a network device you can configure and play to via your proper Core. My core is on an i5 NUC in a silent enclosure.

Ah, i see! Good thinking!
But it must be said, a wired Raspberry Pi 2b with DietPi and RoonBridge is just as much an appliance as a Rock-NUC.
I’d say it’s even more resilient against power outages and other influences. 100% rock steady, so to speak! :joy:

And, i am curious about your use for the i2s output from the Hydra? (I use a Black Dragon myself)

I use DietPi on my Odroid C2 and I have to SSH into it to update. That isn’t a great hardship but the NUC is just that bit better to use for as long as it works! We know there are no guarantees on unsupported hardware. Power is via 12v lead acid gel batteries so no issues there.

I tried a few USB conditioners on the USB input of the Black Dragon. The Hydra Z eclipsed them all despite being the oldest solution but a SU-1 did show the way. It is really worth finding a way to utilise the i2S if you can, particularly if you use DSD.

You are my freakin’ hero. What’s the WAF quotient on those things?


They are quite small and fit into a case identical to my amp. And are hidden in a room she refuses to enter! :wink:

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