Roon partners, eye watering prices

To pass the time for a while I clicked on the links for Roon partners to see what was on offer. Wow, the cost of some of the equipment on show was staggering £5000 + for some but not all, as little as $1000. I can just see my wife coming home one day and saying to me " That’s a nice looking, Whatever it is! " and of course the next question is how much did it cost? and when I tell her she says " How Much! ". So I was thinking if I did not eat, drink and pay any bills for a year perhaps I could go High End for a Streamer/DAC. Or of course could campaign for a doubling of the state pension to pay for my shinny new audio equipment :drooling_face:.


Though to be fair, Roon covers the full price spectrum: from adding a $30 Raspberry PI or Chromecast, to the skies the limit. Just because I can’t afford a yacht doesn’t mean I can’t have fun in a dingy.


I was not deriding Roon or anybody that can afford the higher audio equipment prices in any way, their money to spend as they wish. Although I was drooling whilst looking at some of the more high end equipment.


You don’t need that equipment to enjoy or use Roon.


…… or music.


You can put together a Raspberry Pi based streamer for very little cost and add a state of the art DAC for a couple of hundred dollars.

Owners of high-end components will wax lyrical using terminology such as ‘organic’ sounding, musicality, Pace Rythm and Timing, and other such overblown hyperbole.

A streamer and a technically competent DAC (have a look at Audio Science Review for suitable candidates) will be “transparent”. They won’t add anything or take anything away.

I’ve been castigated by a few of the high-end afficionados on here. I choose not to buy “high-end” stuff. It’s not that I can’t afford it, I would simply rather spend my hard earned on things that offer more ‘tangible’ benefits, or on enjoyable experiences with my wife.

Save your money and enjoy the music! :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, you do! Don’t be silly, just looking at some of that stuff improves the fidelity of music like at least 300% :astonished: :joy:

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Think yourself lucky , my state pension value was frozen at the 2013 value . I’m in South Africa , a lot of the ex commonwealth countries have the same issue.

We are stuck with tin cans (albeit shiny and new) and bits of string . Works just like Ethernet :joy::joy::joy::joy:


Going 3 parts deaf is cheaper :smiling_imp:, get the music can’t tell the nuances of real hi end hifi

Viva la music


Really!?! “add a state of the art DAC for a couple of hundred dollars”. Not on this planet! A crazy statement!

While everyone is entitled to their opinion the statement above makes no sense. Yes, you can buy OK sounding DACS for not a lot of money but some of us want to hear better quality audio and can afford higher priced components while still having enough money to spend on experiences and save for retirement.

Let’s just be real about value priced audio equipment and what is “state of the art”. You can choose to drive the cheapest new or used car you can find but in comparison to what is on the market they certainly wouldn’t be state of the art.

Spend what you want and enjoy but don’t pretend a $200.00 DAC is state of the art.


If the chips are the same I guess expensive DACs are state of the art because of something else then? Case work? Power supply? Pixie dust?


Define a “state of the art” DAC for me then. To me, SoTA means uncoloured reproduction, with minimal jitter, minimal IMD, maximum SINAD.

You can achieve that at a very low cost. Don’t confuse high price with high quality. Some very “high-end” DACs measure terribly. There’s no point sweating over the real audio reproduction gear (room, speakers, amplifier in order of importance) if the source signal is cr@p.

Many audiophiles seem to believe that high cost=great sound.

High cost (with a few exceptions) usually means audio jewellery - it looks nice, but may or may not sound (or measure) very good at all. Expectation/cognitive bias accounts for a lot in this hobby/obsession…


Style over substance?

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His money, his delusion. I’ve been up and down the ladder, the difference in cost is huge. SQ difference…not much.


I think this is one of the biggest issues with music reproduction. “Audiophools” hear according to price tag.


I have been fooled a few times, so I’m not immune. In the past few months my digital end has progressed downward in cost immensely. I’m happier than ever with the SQ over the expensive stuff I used to have that I sold off. I did not need to sell, however, I’m the curious type and kept at it.

Here’s one for you. As a network transport, a simple Raspberry Pi 4 with a Digione hat using coax out to any dac is at least as good as an Auralic Aries G1 with coax out to the same dac. Price difference is massive, SQ, equal. First hand experience and happy to sell the well made and pretty G1 on.


Both of my “serious” endpoints use RPi 4Bs - the main hifi one drives a Topping DX7 Pro via USB, the secondary, a SMSL Sanskrit 10th V2 via USB.

My main system includes a DK Design VS1 Signature MKIII integrated (tube pre and a monster SS power stage) with a pair of home-built Zaph Audio ZRT 2 sealed bookshelf speakers. Room is heavily treated with diffusion/absorption at key points.

Secondary “office”/“mancave” system in the garden outbuilding is an old Rotel RA870, fully recapped and re-biased with new binding posts driving a pair of Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ with an Emotiva SE8 sub. These are nearfield, but the building construction also lends itself to fairly good acoustics.


It is a great combo, I agree.

I agree totally with @Rugby , I do all my “real music listening” on headphones (Sennheiser HD800) , I use a RPi4 with an Allo Digione HAT to provide a co-ax output to my Audiolab M-DAC as my headphone amp, it sounds great to me .

The reason for the HAT is that my Audiolab M-DAC, only goes to 24/96 on USB but 24/192 on co-ax .

Otherwise a straight USB out will do it.

As a note the RPi3 has a problem in sharing the power bus with USB and Network . This was overcome by Pi4 . You probably can’t get the Pi3 now anyway.

For interest I run a second system into the M-DAC’s co-ax2 input from a Cambridge Audio CXN (V1 ie not Roon Ready) and cannot tell a difference other than level.

I understand your reaction to the Roon partner offerings. But it is the desire of Roon Partners to sell high-end components, not Roon requirements that are driving those prices. Try looking at Crutchfield and filter to ROON, you will see many components well under $1,000 that support Roon.

When I started with Roon, I slowly dipped my toe into the Roon waters and repurposed components I had on hand. I took a 4 year old i7 computer, added an SSD for the Roon index, a Synology DS418 NAS for my library, a Scarlett for my DAC and a pair of JBLSeries3 MK2 Studio monitors. I am very happy with result.

Now just hang low and you can sneak in a new node into the house under the radar every month or two.

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