Setup a new CORE

I’ve spent the better part of 10+ hours considering and researching how best to setup ROON in my home - an apartment where I currently have a MacMini (using iTunes), Pure Music, a BelCanto DAC with a SPDIF bridge feeding a SimAudio Moon 3401 integrated amp. Keep in mind, I use my TV as a monitor connected to my MacMini to control iTunes via a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. If I wanted to go with a purpose built ROCK setup, can you explain the configuration I would want to setup if most of my music is located on external drives? There is a tremendous amount of information on the boards, but a lot of it is confusing. CORE, Bridges, Endpoints, etc. How much of this applies if I want to listen in one room? I’m sure you guys want new customers but the barrier entry seems very high given the complexity of setting up a new system with audiophile quality in mind. I’m not opposed to buying the necessary hardware and DIYing a bit via PI to get a good setup, but wondering if this is what you recommend?

I assume you are using the Bel Canto via USB on your Mac. If not, let me know and ignore the rest of my reply.

Everyone wants such complicated setups… Here is what I suggest for you to start, and can go wild and crazy like everyone else later :wink:

For zero hardware purchases:

  • Install Roon on Mac Mini and be happy.

Building a dedicated Roon machine:

Buying a dedicated Roon machine:

  • Nucleus or Nucleus+
  • Plug Bel Canto into Nucleus and install Roon on Mac Mini or the tablets you have


Later, if you want to move from one solution to another, you can easily transfer your license. Don’t worry about getting locked in.

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super helpful, thank you! how about if I want to locate the NUC in a room separate from the MacMini and the rest of my equipment - I imagine that changes the setup for option #2? I would need something that would enable ethernet to USB into the DAC, no?

Danny, I have a question. If I’m upgrading my MacMini to SSD. Should I look to store my music away from the SSD or would performance be the same or better if they were stored locally? Thanks!

If you want to keep your USB DAC, then you’d need a “USB network bridge”. There are many at different price points, so asking publicly is the best option.

SSD is silent (no moving pieces) so you will not get any audible noise from accessing music content. However, if you went with a NUC or Mac Mini options, you will have a CPU fan inside the device, so there will be audible noise from that. One of the advantages of Nucleus is that it was built to not have a CPU fan; instead, the entire case acts as a huge heat sink.

If you put the Mac Mini / NUC outside the listening room, I personally would not spend the extra money on the SSD for music storage.

Note, that Roon performs really poorly if its database is on spinning disks (as opposed to an SSD). The ROCK/NUC solution or the Nucleus solution solve this by running the core operating system as well as Roon on a small SSD to minimize cost, while allowing for a larger SSD or spinning disk for music storage (which does not care about drive performance).

Very helpful information, truly appreciate you taking the time!

2 posts were split to a new topic: iOS vs Allo in this setup?