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
music reproduction performance never is a price/value/performance linear proposition. in any format.

neither is wine, scotch, or sailboats.....race cars or airplanes.

and the Taiko Extreme is not $35k either. in the universe of $50k--$150k dacs, $100k speakers, $150k+ turntables, it’s just another top level product. not for everyone, but for those who do want the best. and it does deliver that and world class support. a completely tech clueless person (myself) can buy the Taiko Extreme and not worry about it at all. the support is phenominal.

Roon Nucleus is a very capable server and renderer. But don’t expect it to sound nearly as good as your existing streamer :-) You need atleast two components (three if you add LPS to Nucleus) if you follow Roon recommended path plus ipad or a tablet for Roon app,

1. Nucleus or laptop or NAS
2. Audio Device (roon endpoint or renderer) SimAudio MiND or EMM Labs NS1

Or you can buy a Innuos Zenith MKIII or Statement that has the both server / rendering functionality. One box, two in case of Statement.

Then there is everything in-between for you to explore.

Also check out Wolf Audio. Another well respected member @david_ten is well versed with Roon. He was a beacon of light for me to navigate through the often confusing Roon lingo. You asked for very best Roon experience and about Taiko Extreme or Pink Faun 2.16 Ultra.

Enjoy the ride!
@mikelavigne  - Thanks.  Agreed with your point - except in case of good Scotch - where there simply is no diminishing returns. At least not after you are done with it :)

@lalitk - thanks for your pointers.  

Basically, If possible, I am trying to see a viable way by which to TEST out roon, get an accurate representation of sound quality and functionality, and not have to drop a fortune in the evaluation process.
@jmarshak  - If you are only looking for a Roon Core, probably the most simple and cost effective solution is an Intel NUC server. Last week John Darko released a YouTube video of the complete purchase spec and detailed build. Check it out via the link below. It's a great video that shows how you can simply and cost effectively build a dedicated Roon Core. 

If you really want a Roon Core, and you don't want a major investment, the NUC build, as outlined by John, should get you where you need to go.

Good Luck and Enjoy the process........
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....