Anyone happy/unhappy with this product?
I’m considering it as an upgrade to my Mac Mini, which runs Roon Core and HQPlayer (feeding an ultraRendu and Peachtree Nova150). The ST i9 appeals because it is a bit cheaper than the Nucleus+, yet more flexible (since for example it can run HQP).
One concern is the i9’s power consumption (30w-90w compared to 10w for the Nucleus) and associated heat. My gear is all in a wooden cabinet, open to the back and (as long as the doors are open) to the front. I leave my music server on 24/7. I would want to place the new server in the same cabinet (or very nearby). I could move it to another room, where the cable service comes in from the utility pole, but there is no ethernet connection (only WiFi) from the Orbi cable modem in that room to the Orbi satellite in the listening room. Installing a fiber optic backhaul is about 5 projects away.
The Mac Mini actually works rather well. It’s quiet, cool, has a small footprint, and runs both Roon Core and HQPlayer (as well as a lot of other music-related stuff). It’s fine with PCM upsampling to the maximum my DAC can handle (384kHz), or up to DSD128. I wonder if I’d even get much SQ improvement with a different Core server.