I’m currently running Roon on my laptop, want it off my laptop, and find myself asking the same question as you. As mentioned, the SGC is cheaper, both are fanless, and it looks like the SGC has better specs. I’m leaning towards the SGC based on price and that from what I’ve heard, they are very responsive for support.
I feel like it would be cheaper to just build a computer. Granted you wouldn't have much in the way of support other than having to contact the manufacturer if your RAM, SSD, processor, etc....had problems.
My PC is an Intel DH77DF motherboard, i7-3770 CPU, 16GB Corsair RAM, 500GB Samsung SSD for the OS/Programs & 1TB Samsung SSD for Music files. I think I spent a little less than $350 on the components.
Now, I spent another $470 on the case & power supply, but that was just me going all out on an HDPLEX H3 V3 with 400W power supply.
For what it's worth, my SGC i5 went in for a repair, which Andrew turned around in less than a day. Astonishing customer service.
While it was gone I had to run Roon core on a Macbook Air. My sound quality tanked and died. It was grimy and full of glare, like I went from a hi-fi to a mid-fi system.
Fired up the repaired sonicTransporter, and I'm back in sonic heaven again. Point is, Roon likes to have a dedicated server.
I can't imagine that the Nucleus+ sounds better than a SGC sT; just has a little fancier case and some Roon branding. Small Green Computer is great.
+1 on the SGC comments. I was asking myself the same question a few months ago, concluded the Nucleus was less processing power with a nice case and branding premium.
Having familiarity with the sonicorbiter browser interface, since I have owned Sonore rendu products for a number of years, it made the decision easy.
FWIW, my Sonicorbiter was up and running in 5-10minutes, has run flawlessly and sounds great. Andrew is a gem. Cheers,
@rsf507 An I5 on Roon is only needed if you are using the DSP or room eq functions of Roon. The basic I3 is plenty fine for running Roon and doing upsampling and adding a few filters (e.g. Audeze filter). But if you run Roon on multiple end points at the same time, using room correction or other EQ features (I don't use these), then the I5's processing power is helpful.
I run the basic Roon Nucleus and I like it because it is simple, quiet, updates by itself, and is really set and forget. You can add an SSD to the Nucleus for storage too.
I have run a SGC Sonictransporter (with MicroRendu) for months and it's worked flawlessly. Very happy with it, but recently it's been dropping off the network. I am working with SGC owner Andrew Gillis to sort this out, and will send it in to him. He's been very responsive to my email and has used TeamViewer to log into my computer and try and see what's going on.
>> Hence I REMOVED MY PREVIOUS COMMENT stating some frustration with SGC. The comment *wasn't unfair or inaccurate* but also wasn't meant to hurt SGC's business and reputation unfairly. I'm in sales and know how a bad review can hurt. I originally chose SGC not only because it was quite a bit less $$ than the Roon Nucleus (with an i5 chip instead of an i3), but also because I like to support independent entrepreneurs and was confident that if I had a problem I would be dealing with a person, and not just submitting help tickets.
Andrew of SGC properly points out that with a NUC I would be my own tech support, and with Roon I would be submitting help tickets and using the knowledgebase. There is a learning curve to this networked audio streaming and it's not for everyone or the faint of heart. I appreciate being able to deal with a real human, and Andrew is responsive.
Having familiarity with the sonicorbiter browser interfaceRegarding this, it’s been an issue for me accessing the apps/manage page by clicking the "MANAGE" button when I go to sonicorbiter.com.
On the main page, the sonictransporter and/or the microrendu SOMETIMES show up (one or both) with the IP addresses etc, and sometimes they don’t show up at all. Totally inconsistent, and sometimes a refresh doesn’t fix it.
Then, when they do show up, often when I click the "manage" button for the sonictransporter, >50% of the time I can’t get to the app page (to burn CD’s, check status, do resets etc). Nothing happens, or it tells me that page can’t load. It would seem to be an issue with SGC’s website, and I have asked Andrew and gotten no answer.
Have any SGC folks here had this issue?
I rarely if ever had to go to the SGC management page to manage apps as I just had Roon. Set it up and let it run. It has been working fine for over a year.
Recently I did just enable the UpNP app and had to deal with the web interface. In order to get it to work i had to reload/manually update version 1.8 of the sonic orbiter software. After that everything worked. The UpNP app has a few glitches but i have only been using it for 24 hours.
Overall I am pleased with SGC. I was/am evaluating a nucleus plus (pre-owned) on ebay and a second SGC sonic transporter for a vacation home. The cost is about the same but I will stick with SGC.
Note: Nucleus Plus does not have apps such as the UpNP Bridge. One more benefit to SGC
When I've seen seen any issue like you describe, it has to do with the local network, not sonicorbiter.com. For example, I use Eero mesh routers and look at my eero app to confirm that the rendu and sonicorbiter are visible and active on the network. Eero software updates have auto-installed requiring restarts of connected devices. If I don't know that happened, I might think the devices are giving me trouble.
With my opticalRendu, I have on occasion found that unplugging and re-plugging fixes things that a software restart doesn't. No idea why.
When I’ve seen seen any issue like you describe, it has to do with the local network
It wasn’t my network. I used FING and other network diagnostic tools extensively, and sent all screenshots and reports to SGC. We went round and round but I followed all his many troubleshooting suggestions to the letter and they didn’t fix it. All other devices running on my network operated flawlessly during the same time.
I sent the unit back, and whatever he did ( wiping it and reloading everything? or hardware fix?) fixed it and he sent it back within a day. He never told me what the problem was in followup emails, nor with the returned unit.
It’s been working like new (like it did originally for 3 months) for 6 months and I am happy. Hope that continues. It’s a good alternative to the Roon Nucleus, and smaller and less expensive. Cheers, PD
My Sonictransporter i5 stopped working one month shy of the end of its warranty. After back and forth emails with Andrew I ended up mailing to him. He sent it back to me, started working and then it stopped again. Sent it back, and even Andrew could not figure out the problem. He replaced it, after my insisting about it, with a refurbished one instead of a new one, which stopped working right away. He wants me to allow remote control into my computer system, which I won't do, for him to have access to the i5 and see if he can do anything about it. I am getting to my wits end since this has been going on for several months now.
I am seriously thinking about getting a Nucleus.
Andrew did this for me and fixed my issue in about a minute. I watched/chatted with him while he did it and saw every step of what he did; it's not like you give him your passwords or anything.I terminated his access at the end of the call. Apple Support does the same in certain cases. I considered myself lucky to have this high level of support. Andrew's a high integrity person, IME, and many others have attested to that here and elsewhere on many situations over many years.
FWIW, the issue was caused by a Roon update, nothing with the SGC. Cheers,