Best Server To Run Roon Core

Hi Folks,

I don’t currently run ROON, but would like to begin correctly in order to give it a chance - and I understand that server (hardware) on which Roon core is installed is important for SQ (due to noise reduction and other factors).

What are the best hardware for SQ and usability where ROON core should be installed and why (be it audiophile dedicated servers or modified PCs)? Please comment on the rest of your setup for context if you could.

Thank you in advance.

Ag insider logo xs@2xjmarshak

Showing 2 responses by verdantaudio

This depends.  Servers range in price from a few hundred dollars for a NUC up to $35K for a Taiko.  If you are at the very high end, you want to take into account what is your preferred connection, what clock you are going to use, etc...  Do you have a renderer or roon endpoint?  Which one?  

It is always optimal to have server and renderer on different devices when possible.  This is also where  a bit more processing power is desirable since this is what is interfacing with the internet.  

Taiko is undeniably the best, but $35K.  There are many degrees between  NUC and Taiko.  A few options:

Roon has their own servers, the Nucleus and Nucleus+.  These are lovely, very quiet devices that are obviously designed around running roon core.  They will also serve as a rendered.  The difference in need between a Nucleus and Nucleus+ is driven by size of your library and your DSP.  These are very good options for devices that are under $2K nd $3K respectively.  

Antipodes - they offer multiple server solutions as the S30, S40 and K40 that steadily get better.  The cool thing about Antipodes is that they allow for upgrades.  You can use add an external power supply, clock and ripper.  These range from $3K to $9K.  The K40 is extremely appealing as its goal is to be a brilliant server with the best ethernet connection to your renderer possible.  For a straight server, the K40 is insanely good at $9K.  The K50 is their ultimate device but is streamer, player and clock in one box.  

There are a variety of other options including Innuous, Rockna, Auralic, Aurender, etc....   Rockna is insanely good but best with their DACs.  

I am a Roon, Antipodes and Rockna dealer, I have no association with any other brands mentioned.  

A Roon server is just that, it is only a Server and its job is solely to handle your music library and communicate with either Qobuz or Tidal.  

A Roon player/renderer processes either the track served to it by server off of your local drive or from Tidal/Qobuz.  That track is then sent by the player to your DAC for decoding.  

If you have a DAC that is a Roon Endpoint and is "Roon Ready" then you only require a server potentially.  

The best case scenario is to have these two things separate and running off of separate "computers".  This is where you will get best performance and generally, the computer for the Server needs to be a bit more powerful than the player/renderer as it is dealing with a volatile internet.  

And then of course there is the outside issue of clocking to ensure minimal jitter.  This is a separate issue and requires understanding what DAC you are using and how you intend to connect.  

Regarding good scotch...I can't recall the last time I had a scotch that wasn't old enough to drink itself.  I am a little spoiled....