ROCK vs Roon server + bridge

Hi all, I am setting up my audio system now. I am thinking about should I use a one box Roon Rock system, rather then use my Linux base server to build a roon core + a roon bridge.

Can anyone tell me which setting will be the best? thanks

Many of the forum users start out with Roon on a laptop, old pc or Nas device, and many of them carry in that way while others migrated to Rock or Nucleus.
If you are just starting out you could install Roon on your Linux server and get started without spending much money. Then when you are ready to upgrade to a dedicated server it’s easy enough.

You can just back up your database and restore it onto a Rock device then if that is how you want to go.


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Thanks Mike

I am just curious that Roon Rock vs Roon core + Roon bridge. Which one will have a better quality of sound?

There is not much difference as long as you’re machine has plenty of headroom.
I moved from Windows to Synology and then Rock over a year. I’m happier with the Rock, because Synology was also running Plex and Media sharing and Windows was running AV, VPN and having updates so both caused me minor inconvenience. No excuses now it’s on Rock and is completely stable.
Roon will tell you that Rock is stripped down to just what is necessary to run Rock on a NUC with just the drivers needed.

There are also enhanced Linux kernels and distributions geared towards more real time. Not sure that’s necessary but I will be playing with some soon just to be able to make a comparison.

The key to running Roon well is a stable network and hardware that meets the minimum requirements, so have a look at the documentation early. Other than that play and have fun



Hi! I’ve had Roon installed on various computers up to now. Last instance was on Synology and worked very well (just a tad bit slow and made the fans kick in sometimes, but worked flawlessly).

Decided to give Rock a go on a (old) Nuc that has arrived at home. My first idea was to use docker & HQplayer on the same Nuc but after trying Rock, I’m under the impression that the music sounds ¿better? Is this really possible…? Would I loose sound quality if i tired Hqplayer+Roon Server on a Ubuntu Server? In the end, Roons DSP are getting better and better and am doubting if all the hasstle is worth using HQPlayer on such an underpower computer anyway.

Thanks in advance!

Jason generally most users tell you that the Roon server is not involved in the Music quality part of the system. But underpowered devices could presumably suffer from Jitter and not have great clean power supplies etc so I am happy to believe there might be something there.

I started with Roon on Synology, Moved to Windows and then finally settled on Rock on a NUC with a silent Akassa case and a good LPSU. I tell myself it sounds getter, especially in my study where the fans constantly kicked in on the original NUC and got in the way of the enjoyment.

I have also run Roon on Ubuntu on a NUC and it sounded just the same to me, I also tested HQP on the same NUC and my neighbours could almost hear the fans they were so loud. I don’t personally think it is a good match on the same lower powered poorly cooled NUCS, but you may be happy with it
I think HQP really wants something a bit beefier with good and quiet cooling.
But have fun playing with it.

Cheers for the info. I was also really (really) suprised. My idea was to just get a sanpier interface. I’m almost sure I’ll stick to the rock configuration and use normal DSP from roon (My pc is a 3rd gen i7 and is no longer supported in the new versions of HQPlayer)

Will keep you all posted if I have any more findings :slight_smile:

But at least for now, really enjoying the new (placebo) increase in sound quality :slight_smile:

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PS: In case it could help someone. It’s true that now the music is streaming directly to the dac (via WIFI) tu a Pi3 with Volumio. I know it’s not the best config, but I’m starting to think that maybe that’s the actual game changer!!

PS2: I wish volumio when using as a RoonEndPoint would show the Cover as in ropieee. It’s a real shame, and the reason my other endpoint uses ropieee (my other outputs are, {insert uncomfortable pause} AIRPLAY!!)

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Had som problems with ROCK. Seems 8 Gb isn’t enough in the end. Looking at my synology image it consumes 9 Gb so I’m thinking that’s the problem but I’m talking to Roon support to see if that is finally the problem.

Would just like to comment, after trying both configurations that the sound improvement was definitely due to moving the usb connection from a windows Pc to a Pi with Volumio.

Thanks everyone for all the help. Will keep you all posted so we can all learn from (my) mistakes :yum:

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