Yes it had to happen I am at last setting up a digital system. Took a while to decide to delve in topic but it will be so practical especially with the severe muscle handicap I have developed in last years.
First thing I have picky ears. Current system is 2 channel based on SET amplification. Cdp is relatively old Meridian 808i that unfortunately cannot be modified for streaming.
-does the hard drive storage chosen affect quality of playback? Current plan is to use QNAP- would there be a reason to rather choose a hifi core (like Bluesound Vault or NAD M50.2 for example)? I like the idea of ripping directly.
-streaming: plan is to go for a one zone controller ie Meridian 218 that would be distance connected through house wire to the qnap (latter connected to modem)- what other options in terms of one machine for streaming and DAC including mqa decoding? Budget flexible to a certain extent- but will stay in 4 digits
-is there much to gain by using a standalone DAC and separate streamer?
-Roon vs Sooloos- what are main digital info treatment differences?
The quality of your audio endpoint and Hi Fi system will determine the sound quality.
I use a QNAP server. There is also Rock on a NUC. You must Back up your digital media in case of catastrophic failure.
I recomend studying the Roon Knowledge Base as a good way to start planing your set up.
Enjoy the journey
I use a QNAP for storing my music and a separate PC to run the core as its got more juice. Unless your using the core as an endpoint as well I very much doubt it effects the sound quality at all as to what you use as long is its got the speed to stream it without any doprouts.