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Using Mac Mini as streamer plus music server
(31-Dec-2018, 11:56)alaw Wrote: A Roon Nucleus is a standard Intel NUC board in a nice case, no magic. A DIY NUC build with ROCK, and perhaps a fan-less case, *should* give all the same benefits, save the "home automation" functions.

True! However Intel seems to be doing something very right with their NUC’s. Smile See for some pointers and NUC recipes that are quite the ‘hype’ (in a positive sense) now on
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

The Netherlands

@Antoine Have you had time to replace the LPS yet? Because now it seems the NUC does not surpass the SMS-200. I would prefer to try that route first before burning my hands on fiddling with a NUC.

In either case, I probably would still need my Mac mini and NAS wouldn't I? Would that SQ be comparable with a standalone server like the Nucleus or Melco?
I was considering selling my Mac for a dedicated server, but now I'm again distracted by considering a streamer (keeping the Mac as a Roon core and Nas as server).
Reason for focusing on a audiophile server is that sometimes the mac/nas / D200-eth air combo sounds good. So in my mind it's not the streaming part that needs upgrading.

Another option is buying the Euphony software for the Mac. It has great reviews and would turn the Mac into a dedicated audiophile sort of NUC. Anyone heard Euphony??

In general, if you have about €1000, which investment would have the best bang for the buck? A better server or a dedicated streamer (combined with NAS)? bare in mind I'd like to spend less (also secondhand) if the gain is not substantial, and I like to keep the number of boxes/cables as low as possible.
What I love about my setup right now for example, is the fact that I just need to start up Roon on my iPad and the D200 automatically starts up (if my Mac is not asleep). No need to log in or turn on multiple boxes....
(30-Dec-2018, 21:58)roestano Wrote: @Sailor4W Good news! Have you compared the 6-core to an older 4-core Mini? I would suspect the difference not to be substantial because of Roon. The Nucleus only has an i3 chip and 4Gb RAM.

@audio_engr  Can you explain SQ increase in percentages? For example: soundstage, detail, clarity etc...

Sorry, I have no comparison to an older Mac Mini, as this is the first Mac Mini I bought. Before, I was using a Mac Book Pro. As I wanted to free the Mac Book (still need it for work), I was debating whether to buy a Nucleus or another computer. I decided for the Mac Mini, since many use it as a media server. Also a Mac Mini allows a certain flexibility to use it both, as a music server and a computer at the same time. Therefore, I opted for the most powerful setup I could get (except the 2 TB internal SSD, that was hard to get).

Now this thingy is powerful, period. It gets lukewarm at best. It has an extremely quiet fan. Initially, I didn‘t realize that it went off, I was just hearing a faint noise which I couldn’t locate, till I found out that it is the fan. But 2 metres away, you wouln‘t hear a thing!

I am still keeping an eye on a Nucleus. The local Devialet dealer is now playing around with a Nucleus for his shop and he is very excited about its performance, it seems to extremely fast, even the smaller Nucleus.

I am now playing around with Audirvana plus, it‘s a fascinating player, at least concerning the filters to play with! I installed the FabFilter Pro-Q 3 as a plug-in. Something I realized with my Expert 120 and it always bothered me, was an unpleasant ringing associated with high hats and cymbals. It is particularly annoying with Roon, giving the sound a somewhat nervous and fatiguing tone. In the FabFilter Pro-Q I chose a brick filter, filtering anything away above 20 kHz with a very steep roll off. Now my Devialet sounds super smooth, a joy to listen to. I have to see if I can transfer the filter settings to Roon‘s DSP, as I vastly prefer Roon‘s GUI over Audirvana.
(30-Dec-2018, 23:29)audio_engr Wrote: @roestano

Some of my observations listed below are using the Roon Nucleus unboxed with its supplied power supply which is a typical computer laptop PSU.

1. Streaming directly from the Roon Nucleus to the Devialets, the music is a lot more quieter. You can hear more into the low level details now than you would earlier with the Macbook Air setup.

2. The tonal characteristics too have changed ... its more rounded in a nice way that is more "real sounding" ... I'm a hobbyist violinist and now the violins are sounding soooo real and accurate. It's more analog ... but there's no masking of the sound. It's more organic ! The sound is more richer and warm.

3. The soundstage is better delineated ... better soundstage width, depth & height and more of 3-dimensionality ...

Since then, I built an oversized Linear Power Supply with choke using Audioquest powercords and Cardas internal wiring and once that was incorporated into my system, all the above 1-3 went a measure (or couple of measures) higher ...

Now, from here, I did try and go back to my Macbook Air but no way ... it just sounds anemic !!

Hope this helps !

Very interesting! 
Streaming directly from the Roon Nucleus to the Devialets. Do you use AIR or USB?
Devaliet 220ProCI. Audio Physic Avanti III. MacMini with Roon. Cables from Synergistic Research and others. 
Meanwhile I bought a used Sotm sms-200 with a Teddy Pardo lps. But so far I could not get it to play. So testing is yet to be done....

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