Services to build NUC/ROCK core devices?

As a non-techie minnow swimming with sharks, I may be violating sensibilities (or policy) by asking, but are there any services to build/load/configure ROCK/NUC Core appliances? I’m pretty sure I could fumble through myself, but one of my greatest personal epiphanies/evolutions has been the realization that I should stick to what I do best, and pay someone for their experience. Used to think I was smart enough to master anything - and most people are - learning curves are steep but time consuming. By buying someone else’s experience, my frustration level drops, and my limited free time is better used - if for nothing else - doing nothing and listening to music.

I imagine that I am not alone. If it’s not against policy/rules, someone ought to offer such a plug and play NUC/ROCK building service, now that ROCK is available. (After all, it’s about the software, not the hardware - if I understand the ROON revolution correctly). I realize there are manufacturers/partners (including ROON themselves with the Nucleus) who do so with commercial products whose toes might be getting stepped upon, but after all this a public forum to help one another. I don’t really necessarily need all the capabilities that these commercial products offer. For $$$. Don’t think that ROON would make the more economical NUC/ROCK option available unless they wanted to lower the barrier of entry (very smart move IMHO).

Please correct me if I’m wrong. And/or violating policy/procedures. PM me if not.


I was wandering this too. Im technical but strapped for time, so getting a ready to rock NUC which is plug n play would be cool.

Why not just buy a Roon server that is prebuilt. Sonic Transporter has been on the market for several year and it comes preconfigured with Roon Core. Roon itself has released the new Nucleus server which you buy and just plug and play.

A most well reasoned request. There are plenty of people here who would jump at the chance to hand hold.

If you want to do it thru the forum, don’t be embarrassed and say what kind of system you want.

I had EndPCNoise in Vancouver WA (not BC) build me a PC for running Win10 for running Roon. I’ve been very happy. I recommend EndPCNoise.

For the curious, this is the system:

• Fanless Case: Streacom FC10 Alpha Fanless ATX Media Case (Black) (No Optical Drive)
• Motherboard: Asus Z170-Deluxe (1151/Skylake) Motherboard
• Skylake/Kaby Lake CPU: Intel i7-7700 (Kaby Lake, 3.6 GHz, 65W, Benchmark 11035)
• DDR4 RAM: 16GB Corsair DDR4 2666 (2x8GB - CMK16GX4M2A2666C16)
• Fanless Power Supply: External Pico PSU (Fanless, 150W)
• Quiet Video Options: Use Onboard Video (Onboard Video Only- CPU Determines Video Series)
• Operating System: Windows 10 Pro (64bit) (Up to 512GB)
• Quiet System Drive: Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3 x4 SSD (3200/1900 MBps R/W
• Additional Storage Hard Drive: No Extra Storage Installed, No Extra Storage Installed, No Extra Storage Installed
• Optical Drive: No Optical Drive Installed
• Keyboard and Mouse: No Keyboard and Mouse
• Monitor: No Monitor
• Optional Streacom FLIRC-SE Adaptive IR Receiver: No Optional Streacom Adaptive IR Receiver
• Wireless Options: No Wireless Installed (Use Onboard If Available)
• Warranty Options: One Year Parts & Labor Warranty
• Processing Options: Standard Processing- Ships 6-10 Business Days

When I got the built system, I added a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD and a Micron 1100 256GB SSD, which when combined in Win10, gave me 1.14TB of SSD-backed permanent storage. That’s enough for 2000+ (probably near 2500) albums.

Isn’t Nucleus built by Roon exactly what you’re looking for?

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Yes a consideration but more $ and with unneeded capabilities. I just wanna stream Tidal with Roon enhancements to my KEF LS50W’s (whose app leaves a lot to be desired, but more importantly the KEF’s - as great a transducer as they are - are pretty lousy streamers - don’t support gapless which is aggravating). And/or my legacy but excellent Meridian DSP5000’s.

Have next to no library (although a ton of unripped CD’s but no need to with Tidal/Roon). Basically just need a basic dedicated Core device to get me into the game. Don’t think I’m alone as evidenced by the posts above in support.

Nucleus is twice the cost of a NUC build. Sonictrans i5 I notice is on sale (presumably bc i5 may be getting phased out…
dunno, again remember I’m a non techie minnow)

There other Windows and Mac options like a NUC with Windows that are quite easily done by most PC shops. And of course Apple’s MacMini as fine base for such a setup per description of needs.

Building a NUC is not too daunting however - others here who have done so with limited knowledge. Base system specs will really depend on what other roon “enhancements” you are expecting to enable in the DSP settings primarily.

I’ve built two NUC ROCK builds. It really is very easy, and the instructions available are simple enough to understand that even I managed it.

Key is to get the right kit together (NUC with RAM and SSD, and USB stick to load on the software). Based in London SW11 if anyone nearby needs some support.

That has been part of my problem, as well. I hear about all sorts of Roon enhancements and DSP functions, but having no experience with Roon yet, I don’t fully understand what those are. Or what I’ll use. So don’t know even how to answer the question of what I want configured. Is i5 enough? - and do I need i7? Which rules out the only price competitive commercially available core device - the sonicT i5. THEN I just read the review comparing the SonicTi5 to a NUC i5 which stated a clear audible difference between the two running Roon and Tidal. Albeit this was mid 2016 so different generation i5’s…

I’m sure that I can physically assemble - that’s concrete and in this world. I get lost in the digital cyber world end of things. The loading software, setup, configuration, etc. You lost me at USB stick. I mean I know what one is and what it does. But I don’t even own a (working) laptop/desktop. I’m completely iOS - multiple iPads and iPhones. Are you beginning to see the point of my post? Unless I can download directly TO the device itself via an idiot-proof “click here” button on my iPad as a remote/display, I’m incapable.

I see a cottage industry for someone on here who finds this laughably simple - I am willing to pay (a reasonable amount) for that. It’s a win-win. And I don’t think I’m alone. Just didn’t know if that violates any sort of forum rules/policy…

@nstzya maybe put your location / city at least in your profile and those capable might be able to offer you some help…you will at least need a Mac or pc to download the files needed and flash them to a usb stick so sounds like you do need some help. Or bite the bullet and go for an ST or nucleus option.

As additional thought on the matter, Allo is producing some awesome well priced end-point components/jitter reducer/etc based upon the R-pi and their own Sparky boards. They also - wisely - offer prebuilt plug and play assembled versions of the components for the cyber-challenged like me. What I’m suggesting is essentially the same thing for NUC based Core devices… Actually a bit surprised Allo doesn’t already do it. Possibly in the works? Dunno.

I have a very reasonable sonictransporter for sale on ebay. 1/3 off of retail. Tons of extras and cd ripping capability that shows automatically in roon as flac files

Given that you have a 2 week open no questions asked return policy with Apple shops and online stores you could go get a Macmini and give it a college try with a keyboard and mouse and a tv as monitor. Or just get a 21.5” iMac for some fun.

If you can’t make it happen in a week then think about returning it.

Just an option to consider seeing as you are comfortable in the apple camp

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Location shouldn’t necessarily matter for what I’m proposing, wizard, given that shipping for this size item is easy and cheap. And again, this is meant to be at the convenience for all involved. (Refer back to limited free time/schedule/etc lol). These are all good alternatives, but I’m trying to stay on topic with recruiting a forum guy who wants to offer the service to newbies…

That is actually my alternate (and favorite) solution to the problem. Buy an early adopter’s (with a case of upgrade-itis) gently used (and likely upgraded) hand-me-downs. Generally like to know why they’re selling. As I said, I like to pay for someone else’s experience. Just don’t want to buy negative experience, if you know what I mean…

PM me so we can keep this on topic.

well labour costs and taxes for hardware and import etc are regionally dependant.

I could build one for you with my eyes closed but my hourly rates are perhaps not so attractive. Then there comes the issue of support. when you add all this up plus shipping and warranty it all has a cost.

I see where you are coming from. But there are perhaps more attractive option one could explore like friends or local computer clubs even. Even your local PC shop could probably manage a roon install on a NUC for additional cost.

Again a location city even a country where you are would be a good place to start. But the Nucleus or ST are ready built and supported products that when boil it down have a cost for the build, warranty and shipping all catered for.

All very excellent points wizard. And alternatives. And dunno…what IS your hourly rate? You sound experienced. I’m sure you’re overqualified and deserve the rate. This isn’t really a master plumber job, tho. Handyman rates should be sufficient. This is meant to find a handyman. Or apprentice?

(BTW, you may have missed it, but I’m in Indianapolis, USA)

I’ve read up and down this thread 3 times and missed it other than your last post…that aside others might be better located to assist you as I am in Singapore.

IMHO you should get a commercially available unit purpose built for Roon/ROCK.

If you are worried about 2nd hand then its more likely to be on the market due to not meeting newly found performance needs like upsampling or convolution etc in the DSP features or perhaps library space needs if you are storing your music on the same unit.

The build is only one part of the deal… So you get some “nice guy” to agree to a price and build it and you pay him and he sends it to you…all good…now down the road a week or a month it stops working…then what. This is the issue offering such a service entails. Things can break, damage in shipping, who knows what small hardware failures can happen out of the box, a week or month later.

There is a reason why ST and Nucleus come at a cost. DIY is not always cheap as chips…it gets you in at a price where your time is what is not billed…many people don’t have a realistic value of their time - other than its a satisfying result when you have that time invested to get a result. Those doing this as a service ie a business exist already. You know who to call if nobody else chimes in.

I hope someone in your area reads this and can help. I wont recover the 30 mins or so of my time replying here (thats what I like to do :smiley: )…but you are welcome to hold out for someone to come along and help you locally or take some honest advice and look at whats been suggested already.