My journey started with a search for a replacement of a slow and noisy 2010 circa Synology NAS DS110j (CPU Clock Rate: 800MHz, 16bit@DDR800). I researched and considered different options and strategies; however, the solution had to complement the Roon ecosystem. I considered the Bluesound Vault 2i ($1299) which would serve as a node and storage for music. My strategy then shifted to a Roon Nucleus ($1398) with an attached USB SSD drive ($300) for storing music. As I read on community boards and learned more on various set-ups, I landed on an SGC sonicTransporter i5 with a 2TB SSD ($1245) to store music files. Many objectives were achieved: elimination of an aging and noisy NAS, a dedication of a purpose-built computer as the Roon core, and liberation of my main iMac that previously served as the core via Wi-Fi. Impressions after a weekend of operation:
ST is truly plug and play. Set-up required disconnecting the existing iMac core and then assigning that role to the sonicTansporter. Wow, installation does not get any simpler than this.
Performance is excellent. Dead quiet and fast. Library update, playing music and playlists, moving within the Roon software was quick. Audio quality is the same if slightly improved (hint of improved dynamics).
Simple and elegant one box solution avoiding clutter with more boxes, cables, power cords, etc.
Price was the least relative to the other solutions.
One dislike so far. Rear ethernet network light on the i5 is bright and flashes constantly.