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
What is best?
Bang for buck is a RPi 4. You ’ll get better SQ improving the network feed and power supply  than the streaming "server."
If you want easy just get an UltraRendu. I can't recommend it for anything BUT Roon.
if you actually want the best possible server for Roon core, then that would be the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme. it’s a 100 pound beast.

you will wait 6 weeks for it (there is a line of people waiting for theirs). then when it arrives the Taiko team will Team Viewer into your network and optimize it for you.

once it’s set up likely you will upgrade to their new music management system TAS, a Roon alternative with higher performance than Roon. you will be able to toggle back and forth between Roon and TAS and decide for yourself which way to go.

this is if you actually do want the very best server for Roon.

as far as the rest of my set-up; you can view my system page; my digital path is the SGM Extreme server -> MSB Pro USB -> MSB Select II with dual power supplies. i also have a pair of mirroring NAS's as back up for my files; my files also reside on the Extreme server in PCIe solid state drives.
We have tested many different devices running roon and with a good server you just connect your dac no need to have a seperate core and end point

First we started with pics the became an innous dealer and their servers sounded considerably better

Then we fouund a company out of europe whose servers wrw considered to sound better and were hardware upgradable 
So we contacted them to get samples they didn't have a us distributor so we became one

The 442Evo severs sound amazing

And we're designed from the ground up to be roon cores
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.