Roon Embraces Many Hobbies/Pastimes – ruminations of an old codger

Roon satisfies a number of human frailties –

  1. Relaxation through music
  2. Audiophilia in making the music sound as satisfying as possible
  3. The collective urge
  4. He opportunity to organize and add personal touches to a music library
  5. Creativity with altered album covers and more data
  6. The power of control to rapidly find musical item buried in a large collection.

I’ll be 88 in a couple of months and have finally given up massive downloading and ripping. At over 32,000 music files registered by Roon it is time to realise enough is enough!! I’ll never live long enough to listen to it all, but not all of it is worth listening to anyway, either because the engineering behind the album is not great or because the music itself is unappealing. One cannot always know ahead of time that about that when downloading. Just because a critic somewhere likes an album does not mean I will. Music appreciation is a very personal and subjective phenomenon. But HDD space is cheap so these less appealing albums might as well be kept as they might be appreciated by a surviving relative!

I’ve been an audio nutter for many decades, ever since being taught how to use a soldering iron as a young lad. First music experience was via old Edison cylinders, all of which have now sadly disintegrated although I still have the player. Progress was then through a wind up Columbia effort playing 78rpm shellac with graduation to electric pickups feeding signals into old radio sets. Then came the microgrooves and 33rpm recordings with electrifying high frequencies fighting against the snap, crackle and pop of surface noise.

Finally stereo and solid state electronics transformed fidelity but misaligned geometry remained a vinyl challenge. The advent of digital was unwelcome to me as the music sounded harsh, something I now realise was the fault of poor DAC design. But laserdiscs and better gear forced me to reconsider digital so, as items improved, the vinyl collection was abandoned and replaced with CDs. The path to this has been strewn with discarded Koetu, Ortofon etc cartridges, fancy arms, Linn and other turntables, “sophisticated” preamplifiers, amplifiers, DACs and assorted elerctostatic and other speakers.

The final move was to abandon CDs in favour of a Meridian Sooloos system, now replaced with Roon with all music easily accessed by a computer. But listening is now via headphones and that has involved a similar path, littered with discarded headphones, DACs and amplifiers. To be honest, a lot of the moves made over the years in changing gear have been sideways rather than forward. Yes, it sounded different, but whether or not that meant it was “better” is rather debatable. And I confess to have messed around with fancy cords although remain unconvinced they are worth the money.

At the end of this long road I have ended up with several headphone systems with Chinese made and designed DACs and amplifiers from Audio-gd and LKS feeding into French made Focal headphones. And some of the latest items coming from well priced Topping are equal to the best but that is another story.

The beauty of Roon to me is the personalization it makes possible. I have devised a tag system to suit my needs and this gives a pathway to the sort of control I want over both playing and searching for music. But it has taken a lot of editing effort to make this happen. Album titles and Artist listings have frequently needed changing with each listing requiring a “home made” tag. Collections of 6 or more albums have often been broken up with Roon adding in an extra chore by doubling up on tracks when I do this. And those 6 or more identical album covers are also better replaced with personalized efforts which might not use the original display but some other concoction using MS Publisher (file converted to .jpg). And many albums remain unrecognized with no descriptive data so that is added by gleaning reviews etc off the net into a pdf file which is attached via Windows Explorer.

Yes, collating and editing the 32,000 albums has kept this old codger a busy little bee and I will continue to add bits and pieces. But it is now time for more extended serious music listening before I go to a place where I cannot take Roon and all the gear needed with me!!


That’s a great read and the most comprehensive equipment diagrams I’ve ever seen. I hope your listening carries on for many years.

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I think many of us have been here over the years.

I’m surprised your HT setup is so mixed up amp and speaker wise but as long as it works for you I guess it’s acceptable.

You didn’t state your age but from the technology you have played with I’m guessing you’re well ahead of most here.

Enjoy the music is what I always say.

Erm… Opening paragraph, first sentence…

Must be showing my age….heheheh my bad