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#275057 - 2018-04-12 02:46 Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now?
Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Laserblues2 Offline
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Laserblues2 Offline
Mostly harmless

Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Loc: Hong Kong
I’m pretty new to Meridian gear (other than just a power amp to drive my speakers) and looking to understand more / make some decisions about the direction in which I should take my system.

Current hifi setup is
G55, G68, HD621 & a Oppo 105D with things being streamed from the NAS.

I was considering buying a MC200 to store the music and to remove any necessity from the NAS. I then started to look at Roon and I do like the idea, as I would like to have a second zone upstairs on our roof and I have a spare G55 and G57 which I can use. I haven’t got any outdoor speakers yet but will get some soon ish.

So ideally I want to have an easy way, with rich info on the music, to play across a couple of zones. Focusing just on the main area first…. Is it better to buy a MC200 now and forget Roon for the time being? Setup the Roon Core on the MacBook Pro Retina then use the Mac Mini with the Dragonfly USB DAC as a source out to the G68 or perhaps use an Apple TV (we’ve got a 3rd & 4th gen which aren’t used these days) out to the HD621 and allow that to process the music?

I was tempted to go down the Sooloos route but reading forums and watching videos etc, makes me think that maybe ending up with Roon and a dedicated Rock on a NUC would make more sense?

Any advice / direction would be really appreciated

Thanks

Nick

Current things at home that could be used
2016 iMac 27” Retina 5k (would rather not have this one 24/7)
2013 MacBook Pro Retina
2011 Mac Mini
2013 Synology DS413 (with a bunch of flacs etc)
Audioquest Dragonfly
Apple TV (3rd & 4th gen)
Meridian G55 x 2, G57, HD621
Oppo 105D


G55, G68XXV, HD621, Oppo 105D, MacBook running Roon
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#275059 - 2018-04-12 05:17 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2013-03-12
Posts: 86
Rick415 Offline
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Rick415 Offline
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Registered: 2013-03-12
Posts: 86
Loc: San Francisco, USA
You could get a 218 but you’ll need a USB to SPDIF converter. Or to avoid USB all together you can use an RPi with Allo SPDIF board which is pretty good especially if you add an LPS.


G68ADV, DSP3100, Rythmik F12 sub, RPi2 with Sbooster LPS, Allo SPDIF board and Roon
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#275060 - 2018-04-12 05:29 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Rick415]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ratbert Offline
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Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Loc: Europe
If you currently have neither then as long as your NAS runs an Intel COU you can download Sooloos free of charge and see what you think of it.

Roon is available on a free demonstration so having tried Sooloos you can then compare, one major difference is Sooloos only supports Meridian hardware, Roon supports hardware from many manufacturers.

Your thoughts of running ROCK OS on a NUC is exactly what I do but compared to running Sooloos on your NAS there is a cost to be considered on hardware and the Roon licence although for testing you could use your iMac.

One thing I would advise before you start, keep a copy of all your music in its native format somewhere safe, Sooloos imports your music but does not follow the typical artist / album file structure, Roon does not.

Russ


Always learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.
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#275062 - 2018-04-12 07:12 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
dpstjp Offline
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dpstjp Offline
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Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
Loc: London, England
What spec is the Mac Mini? How many albums do you have?


Sooloos, Roon, G series (with LPS upgrade), 800 series (with LPS upgrade), HD621, AC200, Prime and PS, DSPs old and new.

Purdeys, Moke, Leica, 'Blad. Only the best.
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#275070 - 2018-04-12 11:12 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: dpstjp]
Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Laserblues2 Offline
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Laserblues2 Offline
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Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Loc: Hong Kong
The Mac Mini is 2.5ghz, Intel Core i5 (2nd Gen) (Sandy Bridge) & I think it's 8gb ram. I'll check as it's not plugged in at the moment. GPU is AMD Radeon HD 6630M.

Apparently we have 700 GB of music across 25k tracks. I'm not sure this is correct though

Looking at the spec of the DS413 I'm not too sure if it's an Intel chip or not.


Rick415 - tried sticking your comment in Google translate but it couldn't understand either! Hahaha sorry!! wink

Maybe I should have a play & copy a small portion of music onto another driver or folder and see how it runs. See whether we like it & then decide. I could also swap out the drive on the Mac Mini to a SSD which I guess would make it better to run Roon.

Could I turn the Mac Mini into a Rock? I don't know whether this would be possible - given I'm not that techy maybe that answers the question!

Thank you!


G55, G68XXV, HD621, Oppo 105D, MacBook running Roon
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#275071 - 2018-04-12 11:18 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ratbert Offline
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Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Loc: Europe
The Sooloos app will only work on a QNAP NAS with an Intel CPU, sorry for any confusion?


Always learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.
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#275073 - 2018-04-12 11:20 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ratbert Offline
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Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Loc: Europe
ROCK is designed for the NUC, some have made it work on other devices but you would be on your own regarding support.


Always learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.
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#275082 - 2018-04-12 12:05 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Laserblues2 Offline
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Laserblues2 Offline
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Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Loc: Hong Kong
Ah ok, no worries to both.

I'll have a play with the MacBook Pro & see what it's like & then make a decision. I guess it'll be best to maybe use the Dragonfly DAC out to the amp with a phono connection or maybe directly into the Oppo but not sure if that'll work. Will have a play and see.

Any suggestions on the best output would be great...

Thank you

Nick


G55, G68XXV, HD621, Oppo 105D, MacBook running Roon
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#275086 - 2018-04-12 12:39 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ratbert Offline
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Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Loc: Europe
Nick

For Roon or Sooloos? Which Oppo do you have, the 203 and 205 are both Roon endpoints.


Always learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.
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#275088 - 2018-04-12 12:56 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,012
spinaltap Offline
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spinaltap Offline
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Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,012
Loc: Bournville, UK
Given the size of your music library, I would buy a QNAP for music storage (it’s more flexible than an MC200). Then, before they all disapper forever, buy 2 x MS200’s - one for each zone to be served. Add Devolo homeplugs for mains/Ethernet connection. Sooloos control via an iPad.

Utilising a QNAP is more practical than having to boot your Mac every time someone in the house wants to hear music.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988.
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#275089 - 2018-04-12 12:58 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal

Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,473
Loc: Europe
QNAP as Sooloos Store and Core? MS200s are ok but obsolete so I would weigh up the options before purchase certainly if MQA is a factor or if considering Roon? Devolo plugs again can be a solution where running a LAN cable is not possible but my preference would be to cable the endpoint if possible.

I think the MacBook Pro would be to demo Roon with possibly a NUC replacing it going forward.


Always learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.
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#275095 - 2018-04-12 14:33 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 507
Greg Wright Offline
Paranoid android
Greg Wright Offline
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Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 507
Loc: Surrey, UK
A cost effective alternative is fit an SSD to the Mac Mini. This will then run very quiet and be quite performant, enough to run Roon.

Then use the existing NAS to store music files.

I upgraded my MacMini recently paying £100 for a 500GB SSD from Amazon. It has transformed the machine. It's a little bit fiddly, but there are plenty of videos on the web showing you how to do it.

Cheers
Greg


M owner since '97
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#275096 - 2018-04-12 14:36 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Laserblues2 Offline
Mostly harmless
Laserblues2 Offline
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Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Loc: Hong Kong
I’ve got the Oppo 105D - I realise it isn’t a Roon end point but could be used I think with the Mac Mini and USB cable to it? Unless I get another endpoint - is a MS200 the best option for this? Or are there are other options that would work as well?

I wonder if the QNAP would offer many benefits over the Synology if just being used as a source of files? Don’t mind getting one if it’s necessary just not sure if it’s going to be beneficial?

I’ve set up Roon on the MacBook Pro to have a play & see. All the devices are relatively close so LAN cables for now won’t be an issue & I should be able to run one up to the roof easily enough for when I have something running up there

Thanks for your help& guidance!!


G55, G68XXV, HD621, Oppo 105D, MacBook running Roon
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#275097 - 2018-04-12 14:41 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Greg Wright]
Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
dpstjp Offline
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dpstjp Offline
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Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
Loc: London, England
Greg beat me to it.

The Mac Mini can be fitted easily with an SSD and more RAM. Don't bother to buy a new NAS, waste of time when you already have the Mac Mini which should easily be able to handle Roon and can be headless if necessary once set up properly.


Sooloos, Roon, G series (with LPS upgrade), 800 series (with LPS upgrade), HD621, AC200, Prime and PS, DSPs old and new.

Purdeys, Moke, Leica, 'Blad. Only the best.
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#275099 - 2018-04-12 14:57 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: dpstjp]
Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Laserblues2 Offline
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Laserblues2 Offline
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Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Loc: Hong Kong
Thanks, I think that’s probably the best option. I helped my Dad swap his out a few months ago & it wasn’t too bad. I just had a go at installing it on the MacBook Pro - seemed to be doing really well & was indexing then suddenly disappeared from the iPad. Not sure what happened but it lost connection to the NAS & lost all the tracks. Will have a play again tomorrow & might try it from the iMac to see what it’s like on there instead. I’ll go out & grab an SSD to swap the Mac Mini & then use that for a while.

I guess the best output would be through the AudioQuest Dragonfly to the G68 for now or maybe even just USB into the Oppo. Will have a play once it’s running again.

It seemed amazingly quick to get it connected & start on the indexing.


G55, G68XXV, HD621, Oppo 105D, MacBook running Roon
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#275101 - 2018-04-12 15:30 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 507
Greg Wright Offline
Paranoid android
Greg Wright Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 507
Loc: Surrey, UK

The dragonfly is definitely a good option, but I would have a look at the MS200. As pointed out, its being discontinued, but that also means bargains are out there.

You dont mention what speakers you have, but personally I would avoid the G68 for 2 channel music, and definitely avoid the HD621.

If you have DSP speakers, I would drive the second input directly from the MS200.

Cheers
Greg


M owner since '97
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#275106 - 2018-04-12 15:54 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
dpstjp Offline
Vogon Civil Servant
dpstjp Offline
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Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
Loc: London, England
You can fit the SSD as a second drive if you get the right connection unit. Slightly more fiddly though.

That Mac Mini will also handle 16GB of RAM if you fancied a little extra.


Sooloos, Roon, G series (with LPS upgrade), 800 series (with LPS upgrade), HD621, AC200, Prime and PS, DSPs old and new.

Purdeys, Moke, Leica, 'Blad. Only the best.
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#275114 - 2018-04-12 21:40 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: dpstjp]
Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Laserblues2 Offline
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Laserblues2 Offline
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Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Loc: Hong Kong
Greg - I’ve got Focal speakers so standard analogue ones. 826VW’s as floor standing speakers at the front, CC800VW as the centre and 807VW’s as rears.

I’m not too sure how I could avoid using the G68 now?

I’d happily stick in some extra ram - should probably check what’s in there right now. I’ll have a look for the second connection options although it’s not used much these days so would literally only be for Roon - I guess it’d be easier if the SSD was a second drive as then there’s no messing about reinstalling it

Thanks

Nick


G55, G68XXV, HD621, Oppo 105D, MacBook running Roon
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#275117 - 2018-04-13 04:03 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2016-11-27
Posts: 180
Struttmaster Offline
Hitchhiker
Struttmaster Offline
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Registered: 2016-11-27
Posts: 180
Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
Hi Nick,

Have a look at the Meridian 218. I have one between my G68ADV and analogues front speakers. It gives me full stereo MQA from its Ethernet input along with seamless integration with the G68, so the processor, (and front analogue speakers, and HD621) can continue to be used for HT duties. I have digital centre and rear speakers and it all blends together fine.

I also have a couple of MS200’s and they are great, but won’t give you full MQA. They would also need to be installed upstream of the G68 as they don’t have a built in DAC like the 218.

Both products work with Roon and Sooloos. Just be aware that the Meridian products utilise a different streaming protocol to Roon, so although the Meridian streaming endpoint gear works fine with both Roon and Sooloos, currently you cannot link zones in Roon with non Meridian endpoints meaning if you want to have numerious zones playing simultaneously the endpoints need to be Meridian or RAAT, (the Roon streaming protocol). I have a mixture throughout my home and it’s no drama, just something to be aware of. I am hoping one day both protocols will be compatible to allow linking of zones.

If you are considering the 218 I would keep a look out for MS200’s so you can easily link and switch between zones. The MS200’s are going out of production and are currently on special. They also pop up in the restaurant. Think there are a couple there now.

I also have a turntable / phono stage plugged into the 218 and it sounds very good.

Andrew



HT: G68ADV w/LPS, HD621, 5000C, Marantz BD, 218, REL SW, analogue fronts & DSP5000 rears.
Office: Fanless 7i5 running ROCK, Prime PS & HP amp, Woo Audio WA2 (w/50yo Tung-Sol tubes), Focal Utopia
Family Room: Allo digi, 568.2mm, 598, 3100's, REL SW
Upstairs: SBT, Explorer2
BBQ/Party: Raspberry Pi, F80
Edited by Struttmaster; 2018-04-13 08:16.
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#275118 - 2018-04-13 04:34 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2013-03-12
Posts: 86
Rick415 Offline
Mostly harmless
Rick415 Offline
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Registered: 2013-03-12
Posts: 86
Loc: San Francisco, USA
Translation:

RPi = Raspberry Pi computer, about $35. Can be used as a Roon endpoint by installing Ropieee software (free). Very easy to set up.

SPDIF = digital audio connection, usually with RCA connectors, but sometimes BNC

Allo = company that makes a board for the RPi which outputs digital audio over a SPDIF connection ($100).

So for about $135 you can make a decent sounding Roon endpoint. Add a good power supply and it sounds quite good.

LPS = linear power supply (as opposed to switching). Linear is much lower noise, so better for audio gear. Can make a big difference. Usually $300 - $400

218 = Meridian 218. DAC, MQA decoder, and Roon/Soolos endpoint. $1000




G68ADV, DSP3100, Rythmik F12 sub, RPi2 with Sbooster LPS, Allo SPDIF board and Roon
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#275121 - 2018-04-13 08:10 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
dpstjp Offline
Vogon Civil Servant
dpstjp Offline
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Registered: 2006-11-08
Posts: 4,000
Loc: London, England
Nick,

I would just clone the current hard drive from the Mac Mini onto the new SSD. I use an Icy Box Clone Station to clone mine. Examples Here. If you are only going to use it for Roon you won’t be needing a massive SSD.

Once you’ve cloned the current drive pop the SSD in and it should just start without faffing around reinstalling OSX. Then clean out any unwanted programmes and you’re good to run Roon.


Sooloos, Roon, G series (with LPS upgrade), 800 series (with LPS upgrade), HD621, AC200, Prime and PS, DSPs old and new.

Purdeys, Moke, Leica, 'Blad. Only the best.
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#275122 - 2018-04-13 09:21 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Rick415]
Registered: 2002-02-14
Posts: 8,455
ncpl Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ncpl Offline

President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2002-02-14
Posts: 8,455
Loc: Surrey, UK
5V Linear PSU

I run an RPi loaded with Roon and a USB DAC on one of these 5V LPS units.

I can't comment on the relative performance vs other branded LPS units at $300-400 but worth a look as the overall cost of a Roon zone is very accessible....especially in Meridian terms.

Performance is excellent.


Rgds,
Nick

#15SE
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#275123 - 2018-04-13 10:28 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Laserblues2]
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 507
Greg Wright Offline
Paranoid android
Greg Wright Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 507
Loc: Surrey, UK
Originally Posted By Laserblues2
I guess it’d be easier if the SSD was a second drive as then there’s no messing about reinstalling it
Unless you boot off the SSD, you wont gain the performance boost, so wouldnt be worth the effort and cost.

What I did was buy a cheap external disk enclosure. Fit the SSD and then just formatted it.
Then fit the SSD to the Mac
Then I booted off my Time Machine backup and restored that to the SSD

Regards
Greg


M owner since '97
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#275134 - 2018-04-13 15:23 Re: Roon vs Sooloos if you're starting out now? [Re: Greg Wright]
Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Laserblues2 Offline
Mostly harmless
Laserblues2 Offline
Mostly harmless

Registered: 2015-03-16
Posts: 73
Loc: Hong Kong
Thanks Andrew - will have a look, having just bought a bunch of other Meridian stuff I may hold off for now but will definitely take the time to look it up & learn more about it.

I don’t think we’ll want to link zones often but I guess it’s worth bearing in mind just in case.

Thanks Rick for the translation!! I need to look it all up & learn more. I have a Raspberry Pi but not done much with it in a long time. Could be a great way to have multiple zones though - is that what you’ve done? Can you link them so they play together?

Not too fussed about any of the data on it, I don’t think. Will have a look and see but think it’s fairly clear. Sounds like it may make sense to buy a 1tb drive as they aren’t that much more than say a 128gb and then I could store music on it as well which would cut out the requirement for the NAS & then means I could free up some space. It’s been playing today but frequently had hardware or network issues so skipped a track - I was reading & sounds like it could be a bug but also the MBPR isn’t connected by Ethernet to the lan. So maybe it’s the WiFi / NAS.

Thanks Nick, will look up the PSU.

Greg - figured that may be the case. Thinking it’s probably better / easier to buy one drive than messing about fitting two.

Thanks again,
Nick


G55, G68XXV, HD621, Oppo 105D, MacBook running Roon
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