Upgrading main listening room

I’ve been reading abut Roon in Home Theater magazine for a while. I thought I’d try it out. I’d like to know if I;m on the right track and some help on a reasonable upgrade path.

I run a SONOS connect connected to a Grant Fidelity Tube DAC. That stuff is in a rack and feed a housewide system.

I installed Roon on my Synology NAS. I used a SSD on the USB. That was not that difficult.

I’m copying over 600 of so Albums of FLAC files I ripped from my old collection. The seem to be indexing and showing up.

I’m running the Roon remote app on an ipad mini and an iphone.

I’m on the trial of QoBuz. Roon doesn’t work with iTunes, right?

I can see dropping itunes and keeping QoBuz.

The way it is now, I think the Sonos is my bottleneck. My speakers stink too - old Bose AM3s. I do have a decent system in my basement, but practically speaking, I watch movies down there, not music.

I was thinking of getting some decent bookshelf speakers $600-$2000 range. Maybe a set of self powered. The room isn’t the best, but I spend a lot of time there. I could possibly put some powers in the corners.

My DAC supports up to 96kHz sampling. I think I’d just need a better streamer, right? What is confusing is that most reviews talk about the interface of the streamer. With roon, that is all irrelevant right?

I guess in the big picture, what is Roon controlling at this point? Playing files from the NAS, I think it could play directly to a networked DAC without a streamer, but I’m not sure. If I could skip the streamer, I’d just get a DAC and the expensive self powered speakers. If I need a new streamer, I’d run the DAC I have for a bit.

Any insights would be appreciated. IMG_5234

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Hello Chris and welcome.

So, you have one system that feeds a whole house speaker setup then another system in the basement.

A Roon Ready or Roon tested dac feeding one or both systems is a possibility.

Not sure if the NAS has an HDMI out but that is another possibility.

Lots of folks on this forum have a lot more experience with different methods and equipment than I do and will eventually chime in.

What might your budget be? That could help with the suggestions.

Do you have any thoughts of a dedicated music server at some point? Maybe a NUC/Rock or Nucleus for instance, with your music files loaded internally or USB attached and using the NAS for backups?

I have the Nuc/rock setup with Ethernet, USB and HDMI connections into my LR surround system, Ethernet to my PC/DAC in the bedroom, and a Roon Ready speaker system in the Kitchen. I can play something different at each location or group them together for whole house music.

Lots of possibilities. You should get a lot more responses and suggestions. Good luck and enjoy.

Beautiful rug there, Chris. In fact, for something that pretty, there should be a better word than “rug”.

Yes, you just need either a new networked DAC (Roon-Ready) or a Raspberry Pi4 (to work as a streamer, basically replacing the Sonos Connect), to use your existing TubeDAC. I see the TubeDAC-11 has a USB input, so you’d just run a USB cable from the Pi4 to that input to use Roon. Less than $100.

Some of these include the DAC; some are even Roon Ready. Depending how ‘expensive’ you want to go you may not need separate streamer or DAC.

See what you make of the Kii Three… you can go up or down from there!

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I think the room is incredibly elegant.

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I’ve never used iTunes, so I can’t speak definitively about this, but it seems to me that Roon does support iTunes or whatever Apple calls it now.

Try looking at this thread -

Many people on this forum like KEF LS50 speakers.

Thanks.

I started with an Escient Music server back in the day. I liked it, but they went out of business and it eventually failed. So I went to the connect and a low end NAS. I recently updated the the Synology NAS mainly to run Plex for OTA recordings. That is part of my cord cutting venture. The Synology has a lot of cool stuff. Running Roon is a bonus. It does not have HDMI, but it has USB. It might run something like a dragonfly DAC.

It would be nice to the DAC closer to the speakers. I think that is possible with a networked DAC, but I’m not sure.

Here are picture of eh basement rack and the wall pad I use with the sonos. I was going to load the room remote on the pad for the picture, but that iPad is too old Bummer. The pad is removable, but I need to find a suction cup to finesse it a bit.

Thanks This cheered me up at work. I’m the designated infrastructure maintenance person at my office during the lock down in Michigan. Tough day.

Thanks on the rug comment. We tend to take stuff for granted. We bough that when we moved in 20 years ago. The house was build between 1928 and 1934. A little break during the depression. Once I owned it, we did a big technology facelift. Its all cement and plaster, so I now own two hammer drills.

I like this Pi idea. For that price I could do that, plus something special for the room in the picture. Is a Pi hard to set up?

The DAC is a version 9, but it still has the USB input. The tube DAC did make acoustic guitars sounds pretty nice. Subtle, but effective.

Wow… Those are super expensive!

I meant Apple Music. I run that to an apple speaker - a Pod I think they call it. I tried that out for a setup at my office. It really is a decent sounding $300 speaker. The apple music lets you use voice commands to play just about anything.

Does Roon endpoint mean this is all I need? Or do I still need the Pi to stream? These might be just right.

Chris

Am I missing something here. The Sonos connect you appear to have should be able to be seen by Roon (you do have to add/configure it within the Roon app) and then you can stream direct to it as you probably do via Sonos today. Ie it become a DAC for you with phono output. I run this as one of many Roon Zones (12 in total) and it’s very stable and works well. One advantage of adding roon is it can handle the rendering so you can for example, play a source 24bit file via Sonos as Roon does the necessary processing for you.

KEF LS50 wireless at a much more sensible price then… which I think is what @Slim_Fishguttz was suggesting.

And yes, with some caveats, they should be all you need.

Sonos limits the sample rate, right?

Yes. Although I think you can get 48/24 pass through on the optical out. Some caveats about bit-perfect (or not… ) based on the firmware revision I think.

I just configured Qobuz in my Sonos app. It seems to play fine.

What do I gain by playing Qobuz sound though Roon using the Sonos connect as the player?

I’m not totally sure what Roon is doing for me.

Hello again. Roon will be the single focus point for your music selections. It has access to your library and integration with Tidal and Qobuz, if you pick one or the other or both. I have both currently.

The Roon Overview screen presents you with:

  • Your music library selections (recently added and view all)

  • A “New Releases for You” section that has picks from Tidal and/or Qobuz, if you are logged in to those through Roon.

  • a section to access your music by Genres,

  • With Qobuz you get presented with the Grand Selection - Top Albums - Recommend Playlists,

  • With Tidal you are presented with the New Albums - Top Albums - Recommended Playlists

Play a selection from your library and Roon Radio will kick in with what it considers to be like music pulled from Tidal/Qobuz or your library and continue until you stop it.

You will also be presented with album recommendations based on what is currently playing, pick one of those recommendations and a new recommendation list is presented based on that one, repeat, repeat, etc… If you like the streaming selection and want to have it added to your library click Add to Library.

You have access to Live Radio with a selection of internet radio stations from all over the world.

All the music you have in your library, plus Tidal/Qobuz, plus internet radio, in one place, all your player selections in one place, and the ability to select any music and direct it to any player on your network, from your remote device.

The list goes on and on.

@Chris_Maiorana, which input on the Grant are you using for the Sonos?

Mike_Lacey gave an excellent summary of the central role for Roon’s providing a central hub for a system. Those of us who really value Roon become almost evangelical. I personally (with my son) set up a NUC, installed Roon and added Qobuz. That is our system. A Community member helped us select a streamer and to set it up. It is a trouble free center to our music listening.