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Roon, Rendu, Nucleus, beginners and non computer people, and Pi

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So,

Roon started offering a month-to-month tier - call me silly but for some reason I found that preferable to yearly... yeah part psychological, I know but there is also a practical part - $13 bucks a month - I used to spend more than that on lattes before the lockdown. So in my brain, kind of works... so I jumped in.

I have always been skeptical of Roon - the high price, their claims of "solving" library management, specially Classical Music ( they did not), their support of MQA, etc... that said, I always liked the architecture. The separation of concerns ( Core/Bridge/Remote ) appealed to my IT heart and it makes it easy to implement multi-room/multi endpoint setups. Indeed, my jump to Roon started with my desire to setup a listening station on my WFH desk. Now I can even credit Roon with helping my marriage! :D - it made it easy to setup a listening station on my nightstand - therefore I can listen to music while being (physically) present where my darling wife is - less issues re: the time spent in the music room. :D - Yes, a similar result can be achieved with other products... even open source... but well, they make it easy... and it looks pretty.

So off I go to the Roon Community.. Everything OK until I decided to participate in a discussion re: the Nucleus, which is Roon's hardware offering - basically a NUC preconfigured, pre-installed with Roon's appliance software, their Core plus some management stuff. Definitely aimed at beginners who wants no hassles, not dealing with computers. I get that. Of COURSE you can do better with a bit of knowledge and research.. but that's fine.. I get it... and is not too overpriced. So the discussion was about the needs of beginners, the hiding of complexity and yes, the price tag that comes with that.

I used the Rendu as an example of a computer product for non-computer people. I made a comment re the fact that the USB port was labeled "USB Audio" - I theorized that even in labeling they were trying to hide "computer-ese" - after all a USB port is a data port, not an audio port. So a good example of a beginners/non-computer people product.

Then things went sideways.

Someone replied re: the Rendu's capabilities, price and somehow in replying, my ASR heart got the best of me and kind of mocked the Rendu for being essentially ( or more like functionally ) a Raspberry Pi 4 with ropieee. Oops and Oh boy - that was a mistake.

Stripping out THE CONTEXT (which was the discussion of products for beginners/non computer people) a moderator @andybob moved my comments to its own thread... AT THE RENDU FORUM. He added a contentious title ( "Criticism of Rendu" ). WOW. It was like being kidnapped from Kansas and being dropped at the flying monkey barracks without the chance to grab my ruby slippers...

Some kind hearts, who I think are in this forum defended me - and from them I learned that the moderator is a Rendu owner and fan. WOW. It's obvious to me that he got upset at my comments and decided to teach me a lesson... ah well

Apologies for the long post - in a sense I am unloading because I got really upset at the situation... moderator behaved unprofessionally... well, I don't think they are paid... so I would change that to with partiality toward defending Rendu from criticism - a no-no for a moderator.. and nothing happened after his behaviour was flagged. When I saw that a big person - the CEO maybe? - at Rendu also was in the forum and contributed to the pile up.... well, decided to leave it at that... but the frustration and upset at this situation is making me unload here - apologies.

Because yes, the subject was a good one!

1) Sure, hiding complexity for those who don't want to deal with it has value. I agree. How high should be the price for that?
2) In sense is somewhat unfair that part of the market for that is beginners - it raises the entry cost ! Not only that, how about capabilities - sometimes the cost of not dealing with complexity is not only money but capability
3) Has Amir measured the Rendu? How about comparing it to the Pi 4? Could not find it - but maybe I did not search correctly...
4) Is the solution more education? How-TOs, FAQs and Guides... or is it a moot point? That is, is the majority of this market resolute in using computer technology without dealing with computers?

Thnx for listening!

v
 

TimW

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That forum is filled with well off audiophools that believe in nonsense like WiFi sounds bad and a linear power supply makes their Nucleus sound better. I only go there when I have a problem. The guys that hang out there like to complain about irritated customers coming there to voice their complaints about Roon, which is funny because it's the support forum for that product. I've been using Plexamp on the go recently and I'm really hoping it continues to improve so that I can drop Roon and their overpriced nonsense.
 
OP
V
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That forum is filled with well off audiophools that believe in nonsense like WiFi sounds bad and a linear power supply makes their Nucleus sound better. I only go there when I have a problem. The guys that hang out there like to complain about irritated customers coming there to voice their complaints about Roon, which is funny because it's the support forum for that product. I've been using Plexamp on the go recently and I'm really hoping it continues to improve so that I can drop Roon and their overpriced nonsense.
OH

That looks great - gotta tell you the truth - in my mind "Plex is for video" - gotta re-think that! :D

Thanks for the tip - will also be looking at it - I have been thinking about that after making the jump to Roon... what if they go under? what is more - what if the internet goes out? :D hehe - gotta admit, haven't tested what happens if the Core cannot phone home - gotta do that... either as a backup, in case Roon keeps you out if it cannot phone home ( again I haven't tried) or as an alternative down the line... maybe save those $13 a month...

v
 

somebodyelse

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A title search for sonore review will get you 2 sets of measurements and a teardown.
Summary
Sonore MicroRendu uses an off-the-shelf hobby CPU board as its main computing engine. A simple I/O board with a handful of regulators, some I/O hardware and a USB Hub complete the picture. There is nothing in the design that is unusual or in my opinion, necessary to get better performance out of a high performance DAC. It is the job of a high-performance USB DAC to not care what is upstream of it.

If you are using Sonore MicroRendu for its functionality, i.e. putting your DAC far from the music server computer, that it does. A much more reasonable approach though would be to use Raspberry Pi implementations which will be much cheaper (the Pi 3 retails for just $35).

The price for hiding complexity also needs to include the price of ongoing maintenance for the lifetime of the product because people aren't likely to pay an ongoing subscription for it. Some people will trust a company but not a bunch of volunteers, or get nervous at the mention of a computer, but a 'streamer' is a bit of hifi not a computer to them. I'm at the other extreme, happy to dig into the guts and patch the code, and wouldn't trust most of the companies involved to secure anything connected to the internet. Somewhere in between you have people who aren't afraid to give it a go, but don't have the expertise yet, and a well documented package that makes it easy to get started with a Pi is a good thing for them.
 

TimW

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That looks great - gotta tell you the truth - in my mind "Plex is for video" - gotta re-think that! :D
Plex works okay for music, but it does not do gapless playback. Plexamp does do gapless playback, and it is a simple but well thought out and attractive interface IMHO. You need Plex Pass to use Plexamp and to integrate Tidal streaming though. I got a lifetime subscription on sale for around $80. Compare that too Roon lifetime for $700, which I refuse to pay. Plexamp can also do casting using the google cast protocol, although casting does not support gapless playback. I'm hoping Plexamp will eventually integrate other music streaming services and wifi streaming protocols in the future.
 
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A title search for sonore review will get you 2 sets of measurements and a teardown.


The price for hiding complexity also needs to include the price of ongoing maintenance for the lifetime of the product because people aren't likely to pay an ongoing subscription for it. Some people will trust a company but not a bunch of volunteers, or get nervous at the mention of a computer, but a 'streamer' is a bit of hifi not a computer to them. I'm at the other extreme, happy to dig into the guts and patch the code, and wouldn't trust most of the companies involved to secure anything connected to the internet. Somewhere in between you have people who aren't afraid to give it a go, but don't have the expertise yet, and a well documented package that makes it easy to get started with a Pi is a good thing for them.

Ah - thanks - will read - my search for "Rendu" only yielded two threads - mah bad for the bad search...

Indeed! if you are technologically handy - well - that pays for itself many times over. Truth to be told, I don't need Roon - I could achieve the same with a combination of, let's say Volumio, UpNP and DLNA... or I could learn Squeezebox... just chose it because... you know.. pretty! :D


v
 

abdo123

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I find the price of the MiniDSP SHD a fair price for the complexity it takes away from the user.

I think Roon’s price is fair too for what it does.

The rendu can suck it though.
 

GDK

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So,

Roon started offering a month-to-month tier - call me silly but for some reason I found that preferable to yearly... yeah part psychological, I know but there is also a practical part - $13 bucks a month - I used to spend more than that on lattes before the lockdown. So in my brain, kind of works... so I jumped in.

I have always been skeptical of Roon - the high price, their claims of "solving" library management, specially Classical Music ( they did not), their support of MQA, etc... that said, I always liked the architecture. The separation of concerns ( Core/Bridge/Remote ) appealed to my IT heart and it makes it easy to implement multi-room/multi endpoint setups. Indeed, my jump to Roon started with my desire to setup a listening station on my WFH desk. Now I can even credit Roon with helping my marriage! :D - it made it easy to setup a listening station on my nightstand - therefore I can listen to music while being (physically) present where my darling wife is - less issues re: the time spent in the music room. :D - Yes, a similar result can be achieved with other products... even open source... but well, they make it easy... and it looks pretty.

So off I go to the Roon Community.. Everything OK until I decided to participate in a discussion re: the Nucleus, which is Roon's hardware offering - basically a NUC preconfigured, pre-installed with Roon's appliance software, their Core plus some management stuff. Definitely aimed at beginners who wants no hassles, not dealing with computers. I get that. Of COURSE you can do better with a bit of knowledge and research.. but that's fine.. I get it... and is not too overpriced. So the discussion was about the needs of beginners, the hiding of complexity and yes, the price tag that comes with that.

I used the Rendu as an example of a computer product for non-computer people. I made a comment re the fact that the USB port was labeled "USB Audio" - I theorized that even in labeling they were trying to hide "computer-ese" - after all a USB port is a data port, not an audio port. So a good example of a beginners/non-computer people product.

Then things went sideways.

Someone replied re: the Rendu's capabilities, price and somehow in replying, my ASR heart got the best of me and kind of mocked the Rendu for being essentially ( or more like functionally ) a Raspberry Pi 4 with ropieee. Oops and Oh boy - that was a mistake.

Stripping out THE CONTEXT (which was the discussion of products for beginners/non computer people) a moderator @andybob moved my comments to its own thread... AT THE RENDU FORUM. He added a contentious title ( "Criticism of Rendu" ). WOW. It was like being kidnapped from Kansas and being dropped at the flying monkey barracks without the chance to grab my ruby slippers...

Some kind hearts, who I think are in this forum defended me - and from them I learned that the moderator is a Rendu owner and fan. WOW. It's obvious to me that he got upset at my comments and decided to teach me a lesson... ah well

Apologies for the long post - in a sense I am unloading because I got really upset at the situation... moderator behaved unprofessionally... well, I don't think they are paid... so I would change that to with partiality toward defending Rendu from criticism - a no-no for a moderator.. and nothing happened after his behaviour was flagged. When I saw that a big person - the CEO maybe? - at Rendu also was in the forum and contributed to the pile up.... well, decided to leave it at that... but the frustration and upset at this situation is making me unload here - apologies.

Because yes, the subject was a good one!

1) Sure, hiding complexity for those who don't want to deal with it has value. I agree. How high should be the price for that?
2) In sense is somewhat unfair that part of the market for that is beginners - it raises the entry cost ! Not only that, how about capabilities - sometimes the cost of not dealing with complexity is not only money but capability
3) Has Amir measured the Rendu? How about comparing it to the Pi 4? Could not find it - but maybe I did not search correctly...
4) Is the solution more education? How-TOs, FAQs and Guides... or is it a moot point? That is, is the majority of this market resolute in using computer technology without dealing with computers?

Thnx for listening!

v
Yeah, I saw your thread. That was unfortunate. However, the old folks at the Roon forum are a lost cause. Best to just leave them be. They aren't interested in science. They are much happier complaining about the fonts they dislike on the Roon UI.
 
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V
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Yeah, I saw your thread. That was unfortunate. However, the old folks at the Roon forum are a lost cause. Best to just leave them be. They aren't interested in science. They are much happier complaining about the fonts they dislike on the Roon UI.

Oh G*d yes, the pileup on 1.8 is epic - personally, I used 1.7 for only 3 days, so I did not have the chance to imprint - and the issues I have with it, well, date from well before that... A fair comment ( I think ) about the fonts - should be able to make bigger... for accessibility... would be nice to do that without increasing the size for everything else on the remote device...

v
 

ahofer

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I find the price of the MiniDSP SHD a fair price for the complexity it takes away from the user.

I think Roon’s price is fair too for what it does.

The rendu can suck it though.
My thoughts exactly. Bought my own NUC and made Pi streamers. Roon actually adds streaming value (convenience and DSP), Rendu products do *nothing* that can’t be done for substantially less, and they make unsupported claims about noise and digital signal quality.

I don’t see the new version of Roon that just came out as an improvement, though. It’s fine, apart from having to learn the new navigation. But it didn’t add anything to my experience with Roon.
 

TimW

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1.8 does not bother me very much. I liked the old font more and now that the program is white, I keep accidentally clicking on the miniDSP plugin instead of the roon program. Also the list of albums under a particular artist seems overcomplicated now somehow. It hasn't brought any improvements over 1.7 for me.
 
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