Wondering if Roon will work for me

The Bel Canto is only Obsolete in a Roon environment , in a DLNA environment its still a going concern :smiling_imp:

If Tom wants a hi quality low cost solution he can still us it !!

1 Like

You are right, of course!

Ok. Replying to all. I have been building this system for a few years now. Back into 2 channel , kind of a mid life crisis.

It is built to sound as good as possible so any suggestions that stray from that are not going to work. If the whole mess costs more, I’ll just save up and do a little at a time as I have been.

Here’s what I have. I built a small cherry cabinet next to my computer. The back is open. The front is a material that lets air through. I snaked through the walls to allow everything to be wired. I added a breaker for the stereo with an Audioquest plug. I added a separate breaker for the rounter, modem…
My system is Bel Canto ref500 mono block amps, bel canto2.5 dac/preamp, and obviously the refstream. I have Goldenear Groton Reference speakers. This year I just finished doing power cord, interconnect stuff. all audioquest. Audioquest Niagra 1200,Blizard power cords, Earth Aes for the amps, Aes(forget which one ). For the stream, Cinnamon Ethernet cables

I bought the best router and modem that would work with my cable. Dont remember which models

The good thing about the Bel Canto stuff is that it is half size, stays on all the time, and doesn’t get hot. Allowing for the wife friendly small cabinet that I built next to the computer to house it all. And of course sounds pretty good for less then a zillion dollars

For me, this has been a lot of money. I’m not rich. In the stereo world, it may not be an expensive set up, but for me it is. Worst part of the build is that each time I bought a Bel Canto piece, within a few months, they came out with a new model. That sucked

So it sounds like this is what I should do. I can borrow the Bluesound for a couple weeks from my stereo shop. He has 2 so he said no hurry to get it back. I can try Roo n with it. Plus, it will work with Amazon HD which I have. And It is Alexa controlled so I’m hoping I can say “Alexa play Freebird”. And she will. That would be very cool. I could use this for background music or add wireless speakers to other parts of the house if I were to buy it. Cool plan for down the road, although the Goldenears can shake the whole house on their own already.

When I want to sit in the sweet spot and listen, sounds like I will need to save up and buy the new Roon ready bel canto Stream.

This lets me try Roo n for free. If I like it, then we go the Nucleus or NUC route. Maybe keep the Bluesound for its Alexa functions if they work, and plan for the Stream for sweet spot listening down the road cause I will have spent enough money for now. If I’m feeling rich I could buy the new Bel Canto e1x preamp/ dac/ streamer. A little out of my comfort zone at list price $6500

Sound like a plan? Seems like the refstream and roon are hopeless.

Sounds good. In two years everything will be different anyway…

Freebird! :candle:

Hi Tom, I think you have a great system and setup, something that should continue to meet your needs for some time. The part of your system that will see the most rapid evolution (and obsolescence) is the streamer. IMHO, you should get setup with a streaming component that can run different bits of software as they continue to get enhanced. Systems like Roon, and also capabilities like Airplay, etc are great enhancements to the listening experience (at least for me). These will be continuously enhanced and will require the streamer component to be updated to support these new versions plus other stuff that may come out in the future.

I believe that a system like the Raspberry Pi with an Optical out addon card will handle the Roon endpoint, AirPlay and other transports plus be future proof enough (as these things go). In the worst case it’s a cheap enough component that in case it can’t keep up with some future gee-whiz thing, you can just throw it away without too much agony.

My 2 cents.

Ok. Back with the bluesound. If anyone here’s faint of even loud swearing, it’s me trying to get it to work

I did, as soon as someone said it won’t work.

Did road construction for three summers in my college days. I’m immune to cuss words.
Let us know if you run into problems.

How are you going to connect the Node 2i? RCA out’s into your amps?

Let me just say this. Whatever your setup is, whatever kind of hassle and steep learning curve might be involved. IT’S WORTH IT!! I was also very confused and irritated many times getting into Roon. It’s worth the trouble there are lots of users on here willing and ready to help. You don’t have to get a new system. The Bluesound Node 2i is great and is a solid endpoint. I have 2 of them in various systems. I would highly recommend getting a dedicated core computer. I have the Nucleus + which works fantastic and keeps the personal computer out of the equation. There are cheaper options that do basically the same thing. Roon is simply amazing and a must have for any music lover/collector. It’s essential. I want all my music loving friends to know it’s wonders, audiophile or not. If you love music and collect it and keep it on your computer you must have Roon.

1 Like

Optical to my Bel Canto 2.5 dac/pre.

Ok. Up and running. App works on Amazon Tablet. Playing from my NAS which is all I have right now. Don’t have tidal or qubuz. Have Amazon hd which doesn’t work with roon. So far so good. Anything I need to know or try. Just got it running with basic settings

Remember, my main reason for trying this is because I had fairly regular drop outs in my music that I can only trace to either JRiver, or my NAS. Playing Amazon HD, I didn’t get them. So if I don’t get them with Roon, that alone will make me happy.

Still downloading my library

Been trapped here because I used up all my posts for the day so I couldn’t ask you guys anything

1 Like

Where did you load the Roon core?

@Rugby, @Greg
Can you do anything for this poster to allow him higher posting privileges?

1 Like

@Tom_DeLayo, I’ve bumped up your trust level. Should be good to post now.


On my Mac for now

1 Like

If you decide not to purchase the Blusound Node 2i, you can do the same thing with the Raspberry Pi 4 ($74 from Amazon) running Ropieee or RopieeeXL using USB to your preamp. You would use Roon on your Mac as your streamer so you wouldn’t be able to do Amazon, just your local library and Tidal/Qobuz. You might want to consider a trial of Qobuz while you have the Node 2i. I say Qobuz since you don’t have an MQA DAC.

Yeah. That’s what my stereo store told me to do. TheNode does MQA but then I guess I would have to use its DAC which can’t be too great considering the price. Even with Bel Canto, I can buy the new Stream $1600 list which does MQA but then they don’t even make a pre/dac with MQA right now. Then I’d be talking new analog interconnects… It never ends. That’s why it was just easiest to do Amazon basically for my daughter to play with and I look at New music on it for fun. I already have every song That I know on my NAS

Depending on your taste in music, Qobuz has just about caught up with Tidal and you don’t need to worry about MQA.

Roon can do a lot of great things with hardware, but IMO its best feature is the ability to lead you to all kinds of new music. Some of the features that have led to new artists and genres are:

  1. Hyperlinks in artist bio’s to other artists that have worked on a particular album or artist.
  2. Recommended for You suggestions when you are playing a familiar artist.
  3. Roon Radio, which will mix in other music related to the last song or album you have just listened to.
  4. Play Now feature for a given artist, that takes you to a wide selection of their music across their careers.
  5. The Music section of the forum is also a great place to find new music recommendations.

There are a few other features (like New Releases for You) that probably won’t work well during a demo because your play history will be fairly weak. Roon does a great job facilitating music discovery, and it has really changed the way I enjoy music.


Pretty much all of these things that you like about Roo n will still happen for me even if I don’t have a streaming service and just play from my NAS right?