Do you need to distribute to different Zones and systems around your LAN. If yes then there will be a benefit. Sound quality will not benefit if you have good gear currently.
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No, no separate zones. Just my living/listening room. The Tidal app
is ok, obviously the Roon app is better. Adding a Streamer brings
more apps. I`m getting app'ed out. Decisions...
iMac(Tidal/Roon)/Local hard drive files as a source. Also Oppo BDP-93
as another source feeding an Essence HDACC external DAC--->
Parasound Halo P5 Preamp-->Krell KAV2250 Amp-->Def Tech
BP7002 Dipole Supertowers
I have a Sonore UltraRendu that I'm using with a Linn Kazoo app. I'm streaming Qobuz. I'm not a big fan of Kazoo but won't bore you with the details. I really don't have a music library to speak of. My question is whether it is realistic to expect a difference in sound quality? I can justify the $499 expenditure for that reason alone. Getting rid of Linn Kazoo would be an added benefit.
I started with a Bluesound node2, great piece of kit. Recently went down the Raspberry pi rabbit hole.
I was using the Node with a Schiit Bifrost multibit, and was happy, until...
The Bluesound node did everything I needed, streamed my music on a NAS, Tidal integration, excellent web radio stations, and more web music services than I thought existed.
However, after experimenting with the pi, and Roon, I’m happier with my new setup. Roon is more than a simple music player, it gives you info on the album, musicians, producers, etc. It helps you explore musicians that you might not have heard of and looks(to me) nicer. The Bluesound app doesn’t do that, it relies on Tidals’ suggestions for you to find new music.
If that is worth $12 a month to you, is up to you, it is to me.
If you have a dac already, the pi route is the least expensive option, but requires a bit of work on your part. It sounds better to me (Allo Digione sig -> ADI-2 dac)
Also in a Roon trial. It creates endpoints that allow wireD connections to tidal. Tidal via Ethernet is more possible via Roon. Roon With tidal is better than heos, and BluOS from bluesound.
Using desktop, in other room, for Roon core, works fine.
May buy Roon lifetime for 600. Bluesound dac is very poor, streamer probably ok.
I used Roon for a 30 day trial and chose not to stick with it. It is an attractive program in many ways for organizing and exploring one's music collection. However, I actually found it frustrating since Roon doesn't have an option to explore my server's folder setup, which is my primary method of organizing my music. They want you to find music their way and to hell with the way you used to do it.
Also, I am very happy with the way Qobuz lets me explore new music and material I don't have in my own collection. Roon didn't improve that experience for me.
All in all, it just wasn't worth the cost for a few bells and whistles, and it went backwards in areas I wanted to keep. However, I know a lot of people who love Roon, so this is a decision only you can make for yourself.
I will say my exploring of Qobuz through Roon is very seamless and once I easily discover titles I wish to stream I can have them always appear in my collection. The experience of having my 13TB of music files and my Qobuz selections all appear in the same singular library presentation to me makes it a superior experience.
Roon is delivered via ethernet to an Ayre QX-5 digital hub that is both endpoint and DAC. The sound, especially Qobuz 192/24, is superb. The suggestions that follow the end of my selections have introduced me to recordings that have become some my favorites. That process is uncanny in its predictive ability -- thumbs up or down helps train the process.
Roon is great. The RPi can be a great endpoint, but honestly, if you get a quiet, dedicated server, I think it's fine to just run USB from the server to a quality DAC. I have an RPi with a LPS and (this changed the game) a quality DC cable from the LPS to the RPi. But I have a 3m AQ Diamond USB and run it from an Intona isolator connected to my server often instead. Keeps it simple, Ubuntu server, fast and few issues. Keep the power clean and consider optically isolating the where you can.
I couldn’t imagine life without Roon. I wake up and pop on the headphones, switch zone when I head to the kitchen, switch again to work in the study, and again for a proper listen in front of the fire in the evening. Each ‘zone’ has a EQ saved for its room profile, and the streamer/dac used. I control what’s playing using whatever device is to hand - my macs, iPhones, Fire tablet, whatever. Nothing I have purchased has improved my enjoyment of music more than Roon has.