Which ST to get to run Roon Core/Server

I am planning towards shifting to Roon and that includes the need to rip about 1,000 cds. The rest of the immediate library will be a modest collection purchased from iTunes. However, I plan on building a considerable library of hi-res music soon.

I already have a Synology NAS for storage and intend on purchasing the MicroRendu and a Mytek Brooklyn. Home is already wired with gigabit Ethernet where relevant.

Having said that, I would like to future proof as much as possible
I would appreciate @agillis input on:

  1. How does ST AP compare to ST i5/i7 in terms of capability as a Roon Core/Server (e.g. CPU performance, audio quality, noise/interference)

  2. Are there any expected short term releases of new version of any of the ST’s?

  3. Apart from internal storage upgrades, what options are available to over-spec the ST to deliver a level of future proofing so that it can handle higher requirements from Roon in future releases?


  1. The AP has higher CPU performance and SSD caching for the spinning drive. But other then that it’s the same in therm of audio quality/noise

  2. no

  3. I could use a faster processor if you want. This would not increase performance in the current incarnation of Roon. But would help to future proof it.

I would recommend a sonicTransporter i5 because the cost is lower and you already have a NAS.

You should go with the AP if you want a single box solution or CD ripping capability. The NAS would make a great backup for your collection.

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My current setup (hardware) software wise.
(MacMini #1) Roon server > ethernet > (MacMini #2) HQPlayer > Dirac > LanRover > PSAudio Directstream Junior USB or Audiophilleo2 to SPDIF input.
How could I use your ST i5 and MicoRendu, for instance, to accomplish the same setup. Dirac and HQP seems to be the big stumbling blocks. I personally feel that PCM with Dirac and HQP @1092khz sounds better than DSD with out Dirac. Room correction, Dirac, is a must.You can use any of the MacMins as needed.

i am curious about Dirac integration as well (with ST and mR). Are you using dirac software on your macmini or do you have a dirac device? if the latter, how is it connected?

i assume that dirac needs to be applied at the last step of the chain. but apart from using a pre-amp/processor/receiver with dirac capabilities, i do not see how this can be achieved.

but i am not an expert on this topic by any means.

Adeeb, I send Roonserver output on the first MacMini#1, to HQPlayer on the second MacMini#2. HQPlayer receives data from Roonserver, via ethernet from the MacMini#1, and sends it internally to the Dirac software on the MacMini#2, which in turn, sends the data out via USB to the DAC. It’s the only way I can figure out how to do it. It appears like you must have HQPlayer to make Dirac work on MacMini#2, not cheap but worth it. If Dirac is available for Windoz, this setup would probably work with Intel NUC’s instead of Mac’s.

Thanks David. I’m glad that works for you, but it sounds like a complex setup with multiple potential points of failure… and it’s not cheap. It would also mean that the [Mac mini#2 (HQPlayer+Dirac) + DAC] would need to be duplicated for each listening room where you wanted to apply Dirac or HQplayer (the DAC is obvious, but the rest adds up).

Now I appreciate your question to Andrew more and am looking forward to his reply. Although I suspect that neither the sT nor the mR can help in a Dirac scenario. (would love to be wrong about that)