So after a much enjoyable time learning the Raspberry PI for UPnP duties, thanks to members on this forum. I have also been down the Cisco switch route (still am) and even a media fibre bridge with LPS.
I always wanted the Uniti Core but for me the cost versus the functionality, plus the software issues, really put me off. So I looked at NUC’s, Melco, even a basic Roon Nucleus, but I did not see the appeal of Roon.
Again thanks to forum members making further suggestions, I callled me dealer and currently home demo’ing the Innuos Zen Mini 3 1TB.
I took all of 5 mins to decide was so easy, versus the Raspberry Pi the sound is wider, more 3D, better bass and clearer vocals. I purposely kept the Pi in place so I could just switch one ethernet cable to compare.
The Zen was a breeze to setup and use, so easy I thought i wasn’t using the Zen. Sadly I assumed it came with an app, it does not just a web portal for Zen setting, which is very basic and functional.
So I realised the demo unit retained all the dealer account settings , including Roon. Side story, myself and the dealer laughed at the carry bag in the box thinking why, well simple you could unplug take it to a friends, holiday home, a party wire it up and bang it’s all systems go. Dealers are missing a trick here, as with these products allot of the demo time gets wasted in setup or assumes you have all the accounts.
So my Zen is on order, all being well Tuesday collection, I intend to site on my Hi fi stand under the Nova, but to also remove the Cisco 2960 and repurpose the Belden mains cable with SR fuse for the Zen, so I am expecting it to get allot better.
Zen is whisper quite, is instant no issues, coupled with Roon it all starts to make sense, plug it all in, keep it simple = great results and no streamer/app issues. So I will be signing up to Roon (insert humble pie here).
I also plan to load all my ripped media to the Zen and then search the garage for a big stash of old CDs, then let the ripping begin.
The Pi in comparison sounded very 2D, constantly some issue, latest being it would play two tracks and stop.