Roon server appliance from ELAC

No, nothing has changed. They have improved the message, by stating that works only within their own ecosystem, but they still can’t get the marketing message accurate.

Their customers are going to be pissed when they don’t get full Roon.

The upgrade fee will unlock many features, but not RoonReady devices and forget about DSD… Unsure why Chris said it supports DSD. That box doesn’t have the horsepower to drive all the DSD formats Roon supports. Plus there are limits on library size.

@danny, great points and thanks for sharing.

While I don’t doubt that the Elac is a cool piece of technology, it seems very much like they’re overselling it, particularly if it cannot work with all RoonReady devices. Another question… who will be responsible for software upgrades… ELAC or Roon?

Just hope those pissed customers don’t blow back on you. They’re certainly using Roon to market it.

I’ve left a reference to this thread on the Audioholics site (couldn’t link because of an anti-spam threshold). Hopefully it might do something to reduce the incidence of pissed customers.

I’ve just had an email from a HiFi supplier based in Arnhem, the Netherlands informing me that the ELAC Discovery is now in stock and available. Their product page makes great play of the fact that Roon is integrated, and that there is no subscription cost. Nothing is said about the fact that, according to @danny above, it won’t work with Roon Ready devices.

The ELAC Discovery web site itself is not much better. It links to reviews of the full Roon software, and nowhere is it made clear that what’s in the Discovery is NOT full Roon…

I can’t help but feel that there will be some disappointed customers, and it may have a negative effect on the Roon brand as well.

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Fully agree…especially the linking to Reviews of “Full” Roon, will only lead to false expectations

And as Roon will be the company asking them for more money for a full subscription, it is Roon that will likely end out being “blamed” by most users, rather than the false advertising claims of Elac

Bringing this to the attention of @robdarling, @danny and @mike to act on this information as they see fit

I contacted the HiFi supplier (Wifimedia in Arnhem) and pointed out the potential for confusion. Just had an email back, and they’ve now changed their product web page so that the first bullet point under the product description now reads “powered by Roon Essentials” instead of “powered by Roon”.

Of course, that rather begs the question that people understand what, precisely, “Roon Essentials” is. I certainly don’t.

Not surprised about Wifimedia’s swift turnaround – they’re a great and knowledgeable shop. That they were not properly informed says something though.

I was looking at this a few days ago and it seems that the main Elac website is not talking about Roon at all for the discovery. Though from the screen shots it looks like Roon.

It seems that some efforts are being made to fix thie confusion though I’m not sure if saying nothing makes things better or worse.

Interestingly Elac is not on the list of Roon partners these days.

So it does. I was looking at the Dutch distributor’s web site for the ELAC Discovery, and there they are certainly still making out that the Discovery is powered by Roon, in particular their new web site for the ELAC Discovery is very misleading. Someone should tell them to get it fixed…

Edit: Hang on a minute - the main ELAC web site page for the Discovery specifications also states that it supports Roon End Points. How does this fit with @danny 's statement about it not supporting roon ready devices?

We’ll find out more about Roon Essentals from the devs pretty shortly. I agree with the posters above that the marketing has to be very clear about what people are getting, what they’re not getting and whether they can upgrade or not.

Oooh - look what I found

But no indications of the differences between Roon and Roon essentials anywhere.

Roon Essentials has no signal path, no DSD, no streaming to Meridian, Squeezebox, HQPlayer, the high res PCM audio is capped at 192khz, it has no private zones, it has a 15k track limit (for this box, other boxes will have different limits), there are no composer/work pages, no Roon Bridge support, other stuff.

Technical support for Roon Essentials is done by the vendor, and not by Roon Labs.

It was a last minute decision to give our Roon Ready partners as much support as possible, so Roon Ready devices will work, as will Airplay.

They are on instead.

There is no upgrade path to full Roon.

Thanks, Danny. I can understand the decision to support Roon Ready devices. It makes sense. I’m still happy to have gone the lifetime support route of the software though, rather than buying a Roon Essentials device. Choice is good.

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There are users who will be happy with Roon Essentials and never need anything further. But there may be others who think they can dip their toe in the water with Essentials and then move to full Roon if they like what they see.

I can understand that technical considerations may preclude an upgrade path, but I don’t like the idea of people who didn’t know the limits at the outset being surprised to find that that they need new hardware and can’t keep their database if they want to move to full Roon.

In a perfect world the manufacturer/dealer selling Essentials powered gear would be at pains to ensure users were aware of the limits before taking their money. Unfortunately if that advice would see the user possibly preferring gear that the manufacturer/dealer doesn’t supply, then the world might be less than perfect. It would be great to see Roon making this plain to people on the Essentials website as well as helping product partners get it right.

The best arrangement, of course, would be for manufacturer/dealers selling Essentials gear to also have a full Roon hardware option available to sell. No more conflict, just alternative sales.

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That’s what we want too.

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You would like to watch my review of the ELAC Discovery Series DS-S101-G Music Server.

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Well, Airplay works but my Sonore microRendu (Roon Ready endpoint) is not seen. Will that be updated soon?

(Almost) 6 months later.

  • Roon Essentials now supports 30.000 tracks now instead of 15.000.
  • Roon Essentials supports the same Roon Ready Endpoints as the paid version of Roon.
  • Roon Essentials does not support Squeezeboxes.
  • Roon Essentials does not support DSD files.
  • No signal path is shown in Roon Essentials, but the sound quality remais exactly the same.

If your music library consists of 30.000 tracks or less and you don’t need DSD and you don’t want to connect an old Squeezebox, Roon Essentials offers the same functionality and user experience as Roon.
For 1099 euro you can buy a beautifully sounding Elac music player (with analog/digital outputs and USB), that has a very responsive lifetime licensed Roon server built in.

Or, you could buy a Roon license for 500 euro, and let’s say an SMS200 for 450 euro, and a reasonable quality USB DAC for about 500 euro, and a NUC with SSD to run the Roon server on for about 300 euro.
In that case you spend at least 1750 euro for the same sound quality and het same software experience.

The choice is yours.

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We may see more distinctions between Roon and Roon Essentials as the Roon feature set expands; just a guess.

I think it is vital for anyone contemplating a choice between Roon and Roon Essentials to understand that there is no upgrade path. If a user found at any time that they wanted more than Roon Essentials then they would find some inefficiencies in having acquired Roon Essentials first.

I speak as someone who recently installed a third kitchen sink tap, having opted for less expensive models initially.