Roon core hardware recommendation

Hello guys,
I am currently using pi4, using my personal work computer as the core. Recently, I want to purchase a dedicated machine for roon. If I only use tidal to listen to songs, then I will also use dps. Is there any recommendation? No budget limit

No budget limit? Then get a Nucleus+


I actually looked at this, came up with a number of alternatives and then thought that with a Pi4 as endpoint this is the optimum choice. Buy, plug, play. Do you have any other ideas of an option suitable to you?

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Nucleus+ and Pi endpoint? Thats like using a Ferrari with wheels from an old beetle

Its not primarily the nucleus that makes the sound, its a proper DAC / endpoint

The OP hasn’t specified what DAC he has plugged into the RPi4… The RPi4 is not necessarily the weakest link…

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For less than the price of a Nucleus+, you can get this package from Small Green Computers:

i5 server, a very high quality RoonBridge and good power supply. Preassembled. Great service from Andrew at SGC.
Use the difference to buy a lifetime membership to Roon, or lots of music!

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Putting my pedant’s hat on again, I would not describe the ultraRendu (as SGC do) as a “Roon Ready player” - it’s an Roon Ready endpoint, surely? It still requires a DAC to be plugged into it. As such, it performs the same function as an RPi4 running Roon Bridge…

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Agree, that’s why I referred to it as a RoonBridge and not a player. Sort of careless of them IMO, and not really typical of SGC.
BUT, it is a decent alternative to the very expensive Nucleus+/RPi4. There are going to be those that want the convenience of the Nucleus but want other, less expensive choices. The i5 Sonictransporter alone is $895.

In my defence, he did say “no budget limit” :grinning: Personally, I would assemble a NUC + ROCK for my Roon appliance…


There seems to be a lot of options…for me I’m wondering about this (I have a lot of music files including hi-rez):

big storage in NAS (part of 3-2-1 data protection scheme)
use NAS as core so i5 type processor

Optical Rendu (for isolation from upstream) to nice DAC (I use Mytek Brooklyn DAC+)

We’re getting a bit off-topic here, but I personally would not use a NAS as a Roon Core, and I would also only use a NAS for music backup, not as a primary Roon storage location.


If budget is not a concern, I would definitely recommend a Roon Nucleus +. Put a large SSD inside and store all of your local music files in the Nucleus. Make sure you have an ethernet connection to the Nucleus. Plug in a USB HDD drive for Roon backup’s.

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I agree with the recommendations here for Nucleus+ or Nuc/Rock. I went with the NUC for budget considerations but would love to have the Nucleus+. Don’t think you can go wrong with either choice.

Doesn’t $2,400 seem like a lot of (wasted) money to do what a very simple i3 could do?

Not the same as “I only want the most expensive equipment that can be had”.
I’m not intending to offend any of the posters who recommended a Nucleus+. But that is sort of like telling a person to buy a big SUV when a Cooper Mini might be exactly right for the purpose.
The “Plus” in Nucleus+ really means more capabilities than Nucleus. But no higher level of refinement.

If budget isn’t an issue, I’d still say NUC + ROCK and take the extra money and buy music or go on a trip.


If an i3 will do what he wants, then a Nucleus would be the way to go versus Nucleus +. I got my Nucleus directly from Roon last Black Friday for $1119, IIRC. If “money is no object,” I would not opt for a DIY solution unless I just wanted the challenge and satisfaction of building something that works.

Different situations for each user. Given that I can go from unopened part boxes to complete, functional, and working Rock NUC in less than 10 minutes; I fall on the DIY side.

I used to get criticized from some corners because I did not build my own race cars. I was about driving them, not building them. Some people build their own airplanes. I would not want to fly an airplane that I built. I did build two hydroplanes when I was 15 and 16 years old. I also packed my own parachutes when skydiving. But, if you don’t know Linux from Windows, you may not care to learn.

Yeah, it’s not exactly DIY. Unless putting a new garbage bag in the can is also DIY. It’s harder to get a new router to play nice with a cable modem than to build a NUC/ROCK setup. I was a little bummed that it was so easy and I didn’t need to do more fiddling.

If there isn’t a soldering iron involved or a JTAG debugger, then it’s not really DIY. :smiley:


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Really, 10 minutes. That’s pretty good. Took me longer than that to find and flash the software on the drive and then the BIOS to another drive. I was slow, first and only time, it took several hours. I was very surprised when it worked. And very satisfied after it was all done.

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