Roon criticism at Pinkfish Media

Mark me down as “turned off”. A dedicated piece of hardware costing two grand to mediate transferring a bit of music from the cloud to my stereo? Don’t think so.

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Hence the ROCK @$600. Plus some real effort. But I do understand that that effort is not for everyone. At that price, feels like a bargain.

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My point exactly. You DO NOT NEED a Nucleus to run Roon.

That’s an interesting take that I had not considered. I’ve been looking at it from the other direction:

Completely drop Lifetime as a stand-alone subscription option. Make a new limited Lifetime subscription that’s only available with the purchase of a new Nucleus and lock the subscription to the hardware ID. Said another way, the subscription is limited to the lifetime of the Nucleus with which it is purchased.

Nucleus with limited Lifetime, locked to hardware ID at time of purchase: $1,999
Nucleus+ with limited Lifetime, locked to hardware ID at time of purchase: $2,999

Break-even point for purchasing limited Lifetime with Nucleus is four and half years. It’s a bit shorter at three years and eight months for Nucleus+. In the unlikely event that the hardware dies before then, I suppose Roon Labs could offer prorated credit towards an annual subscription as investment protection.

If you take good care of an Intel NUC, it will easily run for double those durations, but when the hardware dies or becomes too slow to run Roon Server version 4.3 (build 3624) with acceptable performance, the (limited) Lifetime subscription expires.

Either way, this option represents good value to consumers and address objections to purchasing hardware that is 100% dedicated to supporting a subscription service. This change would also support long-term operations of Roon Labs by limiting the term of new “Lifetime” subscriptions to life of the physical hardware and eliminating the burden of adding new indefinite-term Lifetime subscriptions.

I think this could be slightly better than completely killing Lifetime. Thoughts?

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So, China is involved in the impending demise of roon? Ok, then.

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This guy has no clue what he’s talking about. He’s either completely making this up or he’s passing on nonsense. I smell lot of FUD here.

We have no outside investors in China, overseas, or anywhere. The company is 100% owned by 3 people who work at the company daily, with zero non-operating debt or external ownership.

His understanding of “cash grab” is quite poor, as one of the examples he gives is the death of the lifetime option. If we wanted a cash grab, we’d just announce that the lifetime is over in 3 months instead of raising the price or killing it as an option.

There is a claim about an ex-financial partner of our CEO @enno, but we both have no idea what/who he’s talking about. We know of no such partner. I’ve been in business with Enno since 2004. @enno, you cheating on me? :crazy_face:

As for his “the products that were working under a development license have been deauthorized by roon” is also nonsense. Those devices continue to work under development licenses, and we’ve made many normal Roon subscribers into developers so they are unaffected by enforcing our intellectual property rights. Since that Roon Ready “uncertified” situation back in September, many affected devices and their manufacturer have since been certified.

Anyway, Roon Labs has doing better than ever, with sustained growth and more new subscribers than ever before. We’ve doubled the team from about 20 employees to ~40 since COVID started. We had been selling Nucleus units faster than we could make them earlier in 2020, but have since stepped up production considerably. In fact, we just launched a new Black Friday sale today.

I’d talk about future Roon software plans, but you will have to wait for 1.8 – it’ll be our biggest release ever, addressing many long outstanding issues.

Anyway, this guy is way off. If he can’t name names and sources then I’d just assume this is all nonsense. Talk is cheap on the internet, and you are hearing about Roon’s situation straight from the horse’s mouth… I can’t tell you who this guy hiding behind “Cereal Killer” is – maybe he’d like to speak up and defend his words with some evidence?


Is this a joke, or are you same guys from the other thread we are talking about?

indeed it is.

Agreed, to a degree - if you’re building and you’ve got home automation going, then I can see where it makes sense. We also need to keep in mind audiophilia tends to skew towards an older, more well-off crowd, and one where building your own stuff isn’t necessarily something one does, for a whole host of reasons. I’d also completely understand why team Roon would want to offload as much of the support burden as possible to local dealers in cases like that. Anyway, my modest proposal was really intended as a gedankensperiment to illustrate the mental gymnastics of “own the hardware, rent the software”.

Oh yeah, I’d be really curious to know that as well.

The way I see it, it’s a bit of a communication thing: since ROCK exists, for people who want all-in, Roon is an outlier in the “let’s sell slightly tuned commodity hardware at audiophile prices”. It’d probably be a bit tricky to add a “build your own” to the Nucleus page, marketing-wise. At the same time, that ROCK existed was one of the factors that drove me to get lifetime, because I felt like it said something about the company (whether I was right about that or not, eh).


All this talk of the value of Nucleus is really strange. The product exists because people asked for it. And it continues to sell well. There is a market for it for buyers who frankly don’t care about those who don’t think it is “needed”. It is certainly wanted by a significant number of Roon users.


Well it’s understandable that not everyone understands that RoonLabs is dealing with a userbase where not everyone has the technical knowledge and / or inclination to build a NUC, or one where people struggle to understand that a magical cable or device will not change the sound of a digital transmission, yet simultaneously believes itself technically competent to advise on architectural minutiae.

To be fair the post said the CEO of Roon’s ex-financial partner … not the ex-financial partner of your CEO :smiley:


Nobody needs an expensive server for music full stop yet they exist and many users have them from Innuos or Melco and they cost as much or more than the Nucleus.

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If you talk to Roon normally, they basically don’t care. But if someone slapped them at the forum, please - a developed statement…

We make hundreds of posts daily here… We read a lot more. I know your name because I saw your joke about Julia’s name. The forum has an enormous amount of daily posts and readership.

Support team and moderators respond daily with feedback to help users, but I only do it when I’m not working. No support person is going to address items like this, and in most companies, no one will.

Unsure what your problem is…


You were doing so well until you tried to draw a parallel with the Nucleus product and snake oil/foo and the sort of people who buy into that!:grinning:
Nucleus people are mostly just folks who buy them because they can’t or don’t want to build and have that sort of cash to drop. If Roon didn’t meet that demand, someone else would.


If that’s what you read, I misspoke… I was just reiterating the obvious context as a marker of how unusual I found RoonLabs’ candor as to what makes a Nucleus, and also the “we make no claims as to audible improvements from our hardware” position.

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Give us a break. You think a basic NUC tarted up to 3-4X the price vs a custom built device for about the same price is snake oil? Well perhaps in your world you see snake oil, but let’s look at it like this - one at least has to actually try and catch a snake, the other just puts lipstick on a pig, which is a snake oil in its own right (why not just sell reasonably priced NUC’s to customers so as to bring in the sub? Or have a tier that doesn’t start at four figures? Esp if it supposedly doesn’t change the sound at all). It all comes down to use as well - if using as an endpoint as well as server, I’d much rather put my money on an Innuos with it’s optimized USB output and power supply.

I’m glad Roon is selling the Nucleus well, just as a longtime Leica user I’m fine with Leica selling pricy special editions for some extra r&d padding (or however they choose to spend the profit). But that doesn’t discount the other fine mfg out there selling equivalent products as 'snake oil. That phrase gets bandied about too much on this forum.

Apologies then for misreading. :slightly_smiling_face:

So defensive Charles. Read my post. I was suggesting someone else thought they were snake oil (which he since confirmed he was not) and in my mind I thought I was defending people who wanted to spend more on bespoke products, be they Nucleus or Innuos or Pink Faun or any other brand. All that matters to me is they love Roon because it’s success means I get to keep on using it! I really don’t care what you choose to listen with and my point was I didn’t understand why others seemed to care so much.