New house build

Looking for suggestion for new house build. multi room audio
Would you start with a roon nucleus and multiple DACS to amps
Or one or two whirl audio direct to amps
About 8 zones
Want quality audio
Lf

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I have an old multi-room system which I have adapted to roon and added a couple of extra zones.

Older multi-room systems had a central control system with an amp - and speakers and control connections wired from the central point.

You can still do this - but no longer need have to - just cable cat 6 and then you can have local endpoints attached to Ethernet.

I have used multiple Ropieee Raspberry Pis, some driving the old multi room system, others using amp hats, and some driving a local Hi Fi system.

Obviously you can use Roon ready streamers / amplifiers / powered speakers rather than raspberry pis!

Best zone is a Pi2Design AES hat into an RME dac with tube amps into electrostatic speakers.

My shower room has in wall B&W speakers and a HiFiBerry DAC2HD / AAMP60 HAT (with roon dsp room correction to deal with shower room acoustics!).

For my extension I will cable Ethernet - and use Ropieee / amp hats for ceiling speakers for casual zones. If you pick powered speakers you could just use a DAC hat. Hi Fi berry have a 100wpc hat these days.

For critical zones I will still use free standing speakers.

BTW you should think about control too.

One of the roon founders used to have iPads mounted on his walls. Don’t know if he still does.

I have an old Pad on a stand in one zone.

And wall mounted IKEA symfonisk remotes in other rooms (which do volume /next/previous/play/pause - and two playlist buttons (one for our favourite radio station)). This works via Home Assistant running on another raspberry Pi located next to my ROCK

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I have done both. In rooms like living room, dining room, exercise room, etc where listening is not the primary use and speakers are in-wall or ceiling, I use a 4 zone Whirlwind, combined with an 8 channel amp with home run or star wiring for the speaker connections.

For other rooms where I want better quality and where I have higher end speakers and amps, I use various Roon endpoints. Sometimes this is an AV processor with a Roon endpoint built in, or a standalone endpoint feeding a high-end DAC.

I use a SGC i9 Transporter as my core which sits in an equipment rack with some of my network gear and NAS. I control everything from my phone, although am exploring some hard remotes. I’ve been down the iPod/iPad on the wall route and found them to be maintenance headaches that were rarely used when everyone has a phone in their pocket or purse.

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Congrats on the new house build. My wife and I just started the design process last week. I’ve specified eight zones too. For seven of them, I’ll be using in-ceiling speakers (installed by an integrator). Rather than going with their no-name speaker brand, I’m planning to use the following:

Two Outside Zones
Focal Littora 200 ICW8)

Four “background music” Zones"
Bowers & Wilkins Performance Series CCM684

TV / Music Room
GoldenEar Invisa HTR 8000 + REL T7i subwoofer

7.2.4 Home Theater
Legacy Audio bed layer speakers + GoldenEar Invisa HTR 8000 height speakers

For all of the zones except the home theater, I’m planning to deploy the new WiiM Amp. Seven in total. I’m having the builder pull 14-gauge in-wall speaker cable to a single location (probably the large storage space under the stairs) so that all seven WiiM streaming amps can be Ethernet wired to the same switch.

Although the WiiM Amp is not yet Roon Ready, I expect it will be by the time we close in mid-2024. I have a WiiM Pro, and Roon Ready integration enables remote power control. If the same is available for the WiiM Amps (I expect it will be), it will be possible to power each of them on/off via the Roon Remote app.

I would encourage you to go with Roon Ready streamers, streaming DACs, and streaming Amps if possible since using the same protocol (R.A.A.T.) in all zones makes grouping and using them so much nicer. As you may be aware, you can’t group zones that don’t use the same protocol.

In my case, I’m using an eleventh gen i7 Intel NUC running Roon Rock, but the i7 Nucleus will be similar. The NUC will go in the equipment rack under the stairs, so I don’t need it to look fancy and a little fan noise is inconsequential. :slight_smile:

Hope this helps. I’m looking forward to hearing how your build goes.

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So the roon software sits in the whirlwind

The Whirlwind can be either an endpoint or an endpoint + Core. I already have a SonicTransporter that I use for my Core, so I only use it as a Roon endpoint (actually 4 Roon endpoints, as each output is treated as a separate zone).