Thanks in advance for your wise feedback and counsel. Much appreciated!
I need to get quality music back into my life and my home, and am finally getting (semi) serious about going digital. What follows is my best first attempt to design a starter system. Plan is to build the backbone and main listening area (living room) and expand from there.
Excellent value for money.
Repurpose existing equipment/buy used/vintage when smart.
Scalable - I would prefer to make follow-on system investments in endpoints/systems for new rooms or in content (vs. upgrading endpoints so they can be properly grouped, DAC switching, and the like.) I think this means -
a) Building Hi Resolution Capable pipes/backbone (e.g. server, storage, endpoints) once.
b) Selecting an economical hi-res endpoint for the main listening area that will also work in other areas to accommodate grouping.
Legit Sonic Experience in Main Listening Area
User Friendly AF Control for Guest (and Fam) Happiness
*indicates equipment on hand
Optiplex390* > WiFi > RPi3 > USB > Topping D70 DAC > RCA > Onkyo M-5160* > Magnaplanar MG-IIBs
Library ~200G of FLAC
Dell Optiplex 390* - i5 / 8G RAM / 128 SSD / 1T HDD / 2gb Video Card
OS - WIN10, Debian or Nuck?
Plan to run headless
RPi3 running RoPieee
Topping D70 DAC ($425)
Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 ($399)
Magneplanar MG-IIBs ($325)
Vandersteen 1C ($225)
Craigslist Tablet ~$50
System Set-Up $800 - $1,000
Is there any reason to NOT run Debian on the Optiplex? I am fluent enough to install easily, abhor WIN10 (pre-installed) for obvious reasons, but would like to retain the ability to run stuff other than roon from time to time, which nuck would preclude.
Is there some way to harness the power of the Optiplex’s graphoics card if I am running headless?
Assuming line of sight, is WiFi OK for this type of networking? I have cabling issues in the MLA that I would strongly prefer to not tackle.
Does the RPi/RoPieee accomodate unadulterated transfer of all types of hi-res audio data - MQA, 24/192, DSD, etc.?
Thoughts on the D70 vs the S2? The S2 is “Roon Tested” and MQA ready, but there are sporadic user complaints about build quality. The D70 seems to be rock solid, is universally loved, and has XLR output, but lacks MQA or roon testing. Should I care about any of this?
Thoughts on the Maggies vs Vandersteens? Other option to consider in the “non-box” speaker realm?
Anyone have experience with Voight tubes? There are several project builds on youtube and they look CAS. Feel free to talk me out of that nonsense…
Does spec matter for the tablet used as roon client?
What did I miss or forget to ask?