Need help getting started

I need some real help from a real human. I’m seriously thinking about joining Roon after a strong recommendation by a close friend who is the publisher of an Audio magazine. However, everything seems so complicated and oriented towards a maleniel techie not a 71 year old music loving user. I want a user friendly setup that I don’t have to fiddle with endlessly to make work…ie: as close to plug and play as possible. I purchased a Roon Ready device a Cocktail Audio X35 and nobody at NOVATRON can tell me how to make it work with Roon. I’ve read endlessly thru FAQs on this site and am clueless. My audio dealer doesn’t even know what Roon is. I want to be listening to my TIDAL not spending long hours online reading tech support whitepapers. My friend who turned me on to Roon says it’s easy to set up…but where the heck is the quick setup guide?

Hey @DrJRapp – sorry you haven’t received any help here.

Why don’t you tell us what you’ve tried so far, and where you’re planning to run your Roon Core. Then @support can point you in the right direction.

Once things are up and running I’m guessing it will be smooth sailing, but Roon can run in many different configurations, so it can be a bit overwhelming at first. A good summary of how the pieces fit together is here, but for now just let us know what you’ve tried and we’ll get this working for you.

No need to worry it’s not as complicated as it may seem. I am 65 years young and just in the last few weeks purchased and setup a Roon Nucleus and like you was a tad nervous however connecting and setting up was a breeze. The hardest part if you could call it that was fitting an internal ssd drive inside the Nucleus and apart from needing a special Torx screwdriver which i did not have ( Used a normal cross head screwdriver which worked fine ) all went well. Previously had the core running on my Windows desktop but the Nucleus takes it up to a new level. Just copied and pasted my files over Wi-Fi to the ssd in no time. Mind you i have only about 6K of tracks which helped. This is a very good forum and any questions gets replies very quick. Go for it.

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where did you need a Torx? Nucleus does not use Torx.

These guys are deep in the weeds again. Torx screwdrivers, indeed!

Jerry, do you also have a PC or Mac? Is it on the same network as the X35? If so, you’re good. Go to your computer and find the Roon downloads site ( and download Roon. If you can’t figure out what to download, just yell for help here.

Sign up for an account (you have to do that before you can even try it). Run the Roon program you downloaded. It should “see” your X35. If it doesn’t, yell for help here. Otherwise, tell the Roon software about your Tidal account, and you’ll be off to the races.

Oh, and – strictly my advice – whatever you do, don’t click on one of these links like “how Roon works”, or the link @mike posted. They’re confusing and not for folks getting started.

My observation is that a large percentage of people on this forum are 50+. I’m 67, so you are well within a peer group.

First question - Do you have a home network? The answer to that will determine how you implement the Roon devices.

BTW - Your audio dealer doesn’t know what Roon is? You need a new dealer and, since your Roon recommending friend seems to be MIA, maybe more friends.

Found this diagram on the Cocktail site. Except for the omission of Roon, it seems clear.

Some other points -

  1. You need a PC or Mac or NAS to run Roon software on. Another poster has mentioned Nucleus and that’s what a lot of people use. Since you are on this forum, you probably already have a PC or Mac. You can load the Roon software on there.
  2. You don’t need to purchase a license, Roon comes with a free trial.
  3. You’ll connect to Roon either wired or wireless thru your home network or thru the USB port of the machine that Roon software is running on.
  4. You don’t need a Torx screwdriver.

Keep answering and asking questions. There are plenty of people here who will help you, probably more than you need.

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I’ve been looking at your device on the NOVATRON web site. It looks tasty and as close to an all-in-one as one could want.

To get set up, lets take the simplest case first, you can always refine it later.

!. Download the Roon software onto your computer.
2. Connect the X35 to the USB port of your computer. (we can worry about other connection options later)
3. Open the Roon software and go to Settings–>Audio.
4. Make sure X35 is turned on. In the section ‘Connected to this PC’ (it will reference PC even if you have a Mac) you should see the X35 listed. Enable it in Roon.
5. I don’t know were you music files are. There are many options with the X35. If you tell me where your files are, I can give better advice. Wherever they are, you’ll need to tell Roon about them.
6. Connect speakers

There will be details to iron out, but let’s start with the above first and take it from there.

Those are the people who have the problem Roon addresses. I spent 40 years buying records, tapes, and CDs. When the iPod came along I was lucky enough to be able to afford one, and spent 5 years digitizing my collection. Now that the iTunes/iPod ecology has molted away, what to do with all these digital files? Roon offers an answer to that question. It’s not a perfect answer by any means, but it is an answer.

Some broad generalizations: Kids under 30 don’t “have” digital music. It’s all vinyl and favorited tracks on Spotify or Apple Music, none of which Roon addresses. Those between 30 and 50 don’t even have the vinyl; it’s all tracks on Spotify or Pandora, which again Roon doesn’t address.

I’m reminded of an observation by a Harley executive. Paraphrasing - he was worried about the future of Harley because there were only some many ‘fat, white guys with beards’.



Should have been more clear. the ssd was originally in my Auralic Mini and fitted using Torx screws before delivery. Sorry for the confusion.

Thanks Fishguttz

With your (and others) advice, I have been able to set up the app, get my Tidal account found and have the X35 running as an endpoint. However, the majority of my local library resides on the SSD in the X35 and I can’t seem to get Roon to recognize the X35 as anything other than an end point. Any suggestions? The ideal situation would have the X35 as the Roon Brain.

Second issue I am experiencing: The Computer and the X35 are booth hard connected to ports on a gigabit switch integral with my Netgear AC1900 router. Comcast provides my service at 120mbps which is more than sufficient to stream Netflix in 4K. I do not use any streamers simultaneously. When I start playing something from TIDAL HIFI on Roon I get about the first 5 seconds, then it drops out for another five seconds or so and then resumes. Annoying to say the least. It doesn’t do this with the native tidal app in the X35. Anyone have any suggestions?


This problem is discussed more fully here -

Short version - For people who want to keep their files on the X35, Roon probably is not the player they want to use.

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Yeah, but, come on, it should be possible.

Jerry, look at page 47 of the X35 manual (section 4-5-1, called “Samba Server”). Turn that on, then go to your computer, and see if it can see the X35. If it can, open a file browser, and browse to the X35, and find the music folder (under “LocalStorages”, I’d think). Put that music location into Roon, and things should work.

I think the objection in the other post was dealing with network traffic. You would be sending the files from X35 to Roon and then the music back from Roon to X35. Some people questioned whether that was feasible.

I think addressing the X35 HDD was successfully done in the other post. Dunno, don’t read it that closely.

Too bad. I like the Cocktail equipment. Never heard of them before the Roon posts. Another Korean upstart?

Since he’s got all the equipment there and connected, try the experiment and see how it goes, would be my advice. I think that if the Cocktail device is well-built, it should be OK. But, yeah, I never heard of them either before this week; more of a low-fi guy myself.

Thanks Mike

Under Core it says the core can be a Mac or a PC or one of the Roon Network partners from a list that includes Cocktail Audio. This brings us back to my original question…how to set up the X35 as the core?

Actually, I don’t believe that you can set up the X35 as a Roon Core. It’s a Roon Ready Network Player only as far as I can make out. It has its own software application to act as a music server - not Roon?

It has a 1ghz. A9 ARM processor. So – no.

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