Tips for newbie?

Hello - I am happy to have just joined the community. A week ago I couldn’t have told you what Roon was; today I’m pretty certain it’s exactly what my wife and I have been looking for to bring our music collection into the 21st century. But I’m still not sure exactly how we should to that.

These are our initial goals:

  1. Get our music collection (mainly CDs and some old vinyl) into a digital library.
  2. Be able to listen to music in kitchen (currently no audio system), living room (currently a small fully analog stereo system), and our media room (full AV system with digital and analog inputs).
  3. Be able to listen to different musical selections in different rooms when desired.

We don’t have a lot of computer equipment that’s suitable for reuse other than wifi routers and CAT-5 cable run to a couple rooms, so we’d be building a server from scratch.

Here’s what I’m currently thinking, but I’d welcome any advice or suggestions for other options:

  1. Set up Roon Server on a NUC connected to a RAID array of hard discs. I had thought about a NAS, but Roon suggests that it’s better to go with a dedicated PC that’s set up just for running Roon.
  2. We’d control Roon through the Roon Control app on our (Android) phones or on a Windows laptop over WiFi.
  3. In the kitchen, which happens to be where our main WiFi router is located, I’d run Roon Bridge on a Raspberry Pi connected to the router by CAT-5 cable and use its analog outputs to feed two powered bookshelf speakers.
  4. In the living room I’d do the same thing with another Pi connected to the small stereo, except that I’d use WiFi. If that isn’t sufficient, I could run some CAT-5 cable to that room as well.
  5. In the media room, I would have the NUC running Roon Server at a remote corner of the room and run digital cable to my AV preamp (Outlaw Audio Model 990). The NUC’s output capability would probably determine if this would be coax, fiber optic, USB, or other cable. If necessary, I could set up a third Pi and use the network, but since they’re in the same room, I’m guessing that it would be better just to run digital audio directly from the NUC to the preamp.

Does any of that sound wildly off target?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer,


Sounds pretty spot on to me. Only thing id suggest is keep storage simple. Local storage in a NUC running ROCK is easier to manage… Then perhaps use a NAS running r sync or hybrid backup to “pull” files off your rock for backup purposes.

I use a simple NUC running ROCK with an ssd built in for database and core. Then I connect a usb pocket drive for audio files.

My qnap nas then pulls a backup every night to its own array of drives which are in raid 5.


Hello Bruce and welcome to the Roon forums.

Your suggestions are mostly all good.
personally I wouldn’t go with a Raid in the NUC due to noise. I would look more for a silent case with a second 2TB internal drive or a USB external drive. As long as you have your music in multiple places, that is the key.

Also your thoughts about the media room is flexible so that is good

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Looks like we had the same thoughts on reading the post

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Just to add in I have my library on a NAS, connected via a TP-Lnk Deco mesh network (wired from node) and find that an easy say way to play and manage files-I just file new music on the NAS and Roon picks it up.

Regarding using the NUC as an endpoint Roon doesn’t recommend this-although t does work.
I used mine before I picked up a couple of Logitech Squeezeboxes from CEX for £30 each and I can’t say I noticed any drop in quality, but the Roon blurb advised separate endpoints so I went with that! For the amount your likely to pay for a decent quality high length cable, you might as well add another Pi?
Finally, WiFi is fine for streaming to to Squeezeboxes here on a Deco mesh-network :grinning:

Oh. And I bought my 5i5RYH NUC with 16Gb on eBay for £90, and the install of Rock was done in 30 mins with no swearing! Works a treat!!

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The analog output of the Pi isn’t great. You want to use an external DAC, or USB to your powered speakers, if they have USB inputs, or a DAC “hat” on the Pi.

Other than that, you’re on the right curve. Just note that NUCs can have noisy cooling; you might want to invest in putting it in a fanless case.


These guides may also help you:


For the kitchen you might want to consider one or a pair of Sonos speakers - they are Roon endpoints, so you wouldn’t need the Pi, your Roon core would just be able to connect to them directly. And the Alexa and radio and timer capabilities might be handy too.

Thanks, everyone, for the quick and helpful replies! As I’d suspected, I had not fully understood some of the details of setting up a Roon-based system. Here are some points that I think I’m closer to understanding:

To get a faster, more reliable Roon experience, we recommend moving away from networked file systems in favor of local storage.

I took that to mean that a disc array would be better attached directly to the system running Roon Server and Core, rather than using a NAS. It now seems that people use lightweight USB hard drives for that purpose and run a disc array remotely only for purposes of backup. Is that about right?

I’m old-school and still tend to think of big storage as stacks of drives. In truth, we have only around 400 CDs that we’d be likely to convert, so would that fit on, say, a 4 TB drive? We would like to use a lossless compression scheme, e.g. flac, and will accept the hit in storage requirement.

  • I didn’t quite follow the point @Michael_Dollan made, though. I have not seen where Roon advises against using a NUC as an endpoint, and to be honest I don’t know what that means. If I install ROCK on a NUC, with an attached hard drive for audio files and an SSD drive for the Roon database, is that an endpoint? If so, and if it’s not recommended, then how does one use ROCK?

  • On a related note, I had not recognized the distinction between the Roon Server package on a headless system vs. running ROCK on a NUC. Is the Roon Server package always meant to be installed on a native OS, e.g. Windows? I don’t think I have a need for that, which is why ROCK on NUC seems appealing.

Thanks again,

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Good point - I’ll keep that in mind. We’re thinking that the kitchen is where we’ll be the least concerned about audio quality, so we’ll have to see if can live with the Pi’s built-in DAC or if we’ll want an outboard DAC.

Thanks! I had not seen that, but it looks very helpul.

Yeah … we’re not finding Sonos very appealing for some reason - and maybe not a good one. They kind of strike us as expensive gadgets for people who want to stream music over the internet. WiFi and streaming are lower priority for us, but maybe one of their less expensive models would still work for us.

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I prefer Roon Ready speaker systems for rock solid reliability but there are many options. Take a look at ELAC Z3 for the kitchen. I use them in several locations throughout the house. I generally wait and catch them on sale for less than 300.00.

You won’t go wrong with a NUC/ROCK server for the Roon core machine. With a m.2 ssd for Roon os/databse and 4TB internal SSD for your library you’ll have lots of space to add more music.

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A raspberry Pi running Ropieee with a suitable HAT can be very high quality.

I now use them for all my roon zones.


Hi Bruce to answer a couple of your questions

Pretty much yes and so many options available, but this is simplest (always depends on $ and skills), but you want to keep the noise to a minimum on the any room where music is playing. Hence a couple of suggestions of fanless cases as well for the NUC.

You can run a DAC/AMP out of a Roon server thereby making it an endpoint, generally Roon recommends against this but plenty of people do it.

A NUC running Rock is very simple with low requirements for understanding and maintenance.
All you need is your music and backups and you are good to go.

Sounds like you are already getting the hang of this.


This would actually be your Roon Core, the brains of the operation.
It’s not an endpoint as such but it could be although it’s not really the best way to use it IMHO.

This would then be controlled by a Roon Remote to send audio from your local library on your attached USB drive and/ or streaming service to any Roon Endpoint.


May need to be patient for those Pis, they continue to be sold out everywhere.

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400 CDs ripped to flac should be less than 200 GB