Roon ready USB Endpoint / ROCK

This is a humble request to roon product management to make ROCK compatible with the latest Celeron based NUCs for roon ready USB endpoint use.

ROCK is great. It’s an ideal solution to build a Roon Core and the hardware limitation to Intel NUC is a very reasonable one to keep development complexity at bay.
It is possible to build configure a ROCK as (USB) endpoint only, but the Intel NUC with core i3/i5/i7 processor is vastly over specified for endpoint duty.

With hifiberry Digi+ Pro there is a good SPDIF endpoint which is fully roon ready.
What is missing is a roon ready endpoint with USB connectivity. Unfortunately the Rasperry PI does not have a good USB impelementation and is not a good base for outputting via USB.

An elegant solution would be to leverage the cheapest Celeron NUC (NUC7CJYH) to make a USB endpoint. I am aware that the NUC7CJYH only boots UEFI and as such is not ROCK currently compatible.

As the NUC family moves forward, ROCK will have to be adapted to UEFI boot (NUC8ixxx is only UEFI boot). It would be nice, if in the course of moving to UEFI, the list of compatible hardware could be extended to a Celeron model, so that ROCK based endpoints could be built at reasonable cost. That would be a very elegant solution. Endpoint functionality itself is already there in ROCK.


Allo USBridge is a good, inexpensive USB Roon endpoint. It’s USB out may well be less noisy than anything you can get directly from a Celeron board.


If you don’t want to use an Allo USBridge just install dietpi on the Celeron NUC and then enable Roonbridge.

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How do you install dietpi on a SSD? Or does it boot from its internal SD-Slot?

I haven’t tried it myself. Maybe @fourdee will chime in

I think you meant to flag @Dan_Knight

There may be a more suitable NUC, the DE3815TYBE. This is a single core Atom powered board (5 watt tdp) and is still readily available. It is still under Intel support. Being older, UEFI is less of an issue. It has properly implemented USB including USB3 and will support Intel wireless modules. I went with a small SATA Disk On Module for the drive and it works well for me. ROCK with Roon Bridge rather than server would be a killer application. The important thing is with Gig E, USB2 and USB3 properly implemented and good power management this is tailor made for endpoint duties.

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I currently have dietpi / roon bridge on my NUC7PJYH. dietpi has an option to install to SDA. Basically this works like a charm. BUT, I am looking for a solution that

  • maintains itself (as ROCK does)
  • is as lean as possible
  • is fully roon ready, not roon networked

Is Allo USBridge fully roon ready?

Henry, thanks for your support of my request. Does ROCK run on DE3815TYBE.

My reasoning for a ROCK with Roon Bridge running on inexpensive (but standardized) Hardware is that with roon gaining a lot of traction now, dealers need to be able to offer server and endpoint solutions to their customers without getting themselves into troubleshooting and upgrading hell. This requirement is pretty much covered today for

  • Roon Core with Nucleus and the NUCs running ROCK
  • SPDIF and Toslink roon endpoints with Hifiberry Digi+ Pro

What is lacking is a USB based roon ready endpoint. I am sure Allo USBridge is a good solution, but it is not plug and play and maintenance free, if it is not roon ready.

In my view it is very much in Roon’s interest to make sure dealers have appropriate hardware / software solutions that allow roon’s business model to scale.

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I use ROCK on that board. It runs flawlessly but obviously Roon support isn’t guaranteed and updates need to be triggered manually. But with ROCK USB support it is an excellent candidate for a USB endpoint.

@Henry_McLeod I have looked up the DE3815TYBE and it seems to be board only, requiring an extra case.
NUC5CPYH and NUC6CAYH seem to be legacy boot capable. Do you think those might work with ROCK?

They should do.
There is a cased version of my board but I think it is the board only really available now. Mine is mounted in a custom case so it fits in with the rest of my kit.

Maybe I’m a bit dense (my wife would agree), but wouldn’t your requirements take you straight into micro/ultrarendu and SMS200xx territory?

Lean, built-for-purpose, turn-key, RoonReady.

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Looking at Chris’ review I don’t find SMS200 is lean. Chris seems to have had some stability problems, which is exactly the reason I would like lean (only roon ready endpoint) and maintained by roon themselves.

Sonore microrendu maybe, but difficult to buy here in Europe.

But that is written from a reviewer’s point of view, switching players, outputs and DACs. A very edge use case, as a user you plug it in and leave it.
I have seen zero evidence of any problems from normal users. Mine performed faultlessly, not a single hiccup in 6 months.

Vortexbox UK is a dealer for Sonore in Europe.

Thanks for your suggestions, guys.
Sorry, I was not precise enough about the price target and the geography. I am in Switzerland and neither SMS-200 nor sonore microrendu are available here. Both have to be imported from the US or the UK, resulting in significant customs duties and issues in case of warranty. Customs duties put both of the suggested choices at roughly 4x the price of an Odroid 2 (with dietpi) or a Celeron based NUC (hopefully with ROCK).

I agree that in the price bracket 500-1000 Euros the solutions are there, incl. an i5 NUC with ROCK with core disabled. That would be fine for DACs in the 2-3000 Euro range. But I am looking for a simple endpoint at a cost of around 200 Euros that runs ROCK for several DACs in the 500-1000 Euro range. Adding the same amount of money for the endpoint sort of defeats the purpose.

I do have the high-end well covered with a dCS Rossini that is roon ready.

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This sentence is an eye-opener to me. Even if I did not pay attention to it first.

Have tried Allo USBridge just a cupple of day ago. Sound was destorted an my Naim DAC V1. Later I saw my DAC is not mentioned in the compatibility list.

I also. And after reading all this, I came up with the idea to try out Roon Rock as an endpoint (I never did bevore). Although I have no NUC, but a Zotac Mini. I installed Roon Rock without any database or music files and plugged in the USB output on my DAC. What can I say: The Rock and my Naim DAC V1 is best recognized as an endpoint, the system plays perfect.

All requirements are met:

  • maintains itself (as ROCK does) >> because it is Rock.
  • is as lean as possible >> I think Rock is als lean as possible.
  • is fully roon ready, not roon networked >> Rock is Roon Ready

Now I’m happy with Rock as an Endpoint. In combination with a Cheap NUC it’s also a price highlight. And it does everything I expect. :sunglasses:

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It does not show as “Roon ready” on Roon>Settings>Audio. It works well, but I only use PCM, no DSP. The bigger issue is that in my experience it requires a bit of hand-holding. I don’t mind, I’ve been messing around with Unix/Linux for most of my working life, but it is not totally automatic for software updates.