Audirvana on NUC

Hello All,

first time post here. I just re-discovered Audirvana and I very much like it’s SQ! I have it running on a Mac Mini 2018 i7 and I feed it via Ethernet into my Devialet Expert 120. The sound is fantastic, much much better than Roon!

As my Mac is heavily involved in massive MatLab computing, I am thinking of migrating Audirvana to a single-purpose computer. I am thinking of a NUC i5/i7 devoted solely to Audirvana, running headlessly. Has anyone done this, or would an older Mac Mini be better suited for this?

Thanks for and input!

Regards, Paul

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I would go for the MacMini, but you should also think about something like:
Project Stream Box

It’s a versatile little device. You can stream into it (UPnP and Roon), it can play from a network share and you can attach local storage.

Thanks for the reply! I already have a USBridge Signature running Ropieee in conjunction with Roon. I tried connecting Audirvana via RopieeeXL and it definitely sees the endpoint. But, since upgrading to Catalina OS, my Mac refuses to stream to my USBridge. One of the joys of Catalina OS!!!

Nevertheless, it should be possible to install Audirvana on a NUC running under Windows, shouldn’t it?

Currently listening to Audirvana using Windows version streaming to an Allo DigOne. This outputs via coaxial to any dac with a coax input.
At around £150 (including case etc), this is quite serviceable. However, whatever solution you use, you will still need a mac or a Windows machine. I don’t think you should try to underspec the processor side of things too much but an i3 would probably be OK. RAM is obviously the key variable and you would be best aiming for at least 8gb. 16gb probably overkill but would help with smooth running!
I currently use an old Zotac i3 mini computer as my Roon ROCK server and it copes perfectly with PCM upsampling.

I heard good things about the Allo DigiOne, that’s why I went Allo‘s USBridge Sig route. It‘s a great piece of equipment, at an unbeatable price!
I don’t quite understand if you run Audirvana on your machine, or only Roon.

The other route would be to use an older MacBook Air that I have somewhere sitting around and never used since I bought my MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. I could basically remove all software I don‘t need and turn it into an Audirvana-dedicated machine.
I‘ll decide during the Xmas holidays how to proceed.

Absolutely no reason to prefer the MacMini over the Intel NUC. An i3 Intel NUC with 8Gb will work fantastically.

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I’ll admit it’s just a personal preference which OS to run. I wasn’t claiming any technical advantage that would bring sonic benefits. Just that MacOS is more “polished” experience overall.

Good to know, I’ll think about the Xmas holiday which route to go.

As a long time Mac user, I fully understand your argument! My only reasoning was that I somehow wanted to simulate Roon‘s ROCK with Audirvana on a NUC. I don’t feel like going the Hackintosh route with a NUC (don‘t know if that would be possible in the first place).
There might be another route opening: I bought my daughter a new Mac Book Pro, that will free her aging Mac Air. I could install Audirvana and use this solely for Audirvana.
Along those lines: has anyone tried a minimal install in the sense as shutting off as many threads as possible to only run Audirvana?
Happy Xmas holidays to everyone!

Yes that is exactly what I have done, and there are many guides to accomplish this task. Just Bing/Google for “best way to listen to sound on Windows”. These guides work wonders for your listening pleasure on your NUC.

Here you go, this may as well be the windows audio bible:

I installed audirvana on my nuc 5i5ryh. I did not think that I could get such sound quality on windows 10. I tried jriver on win 10 and it was awful. I used 1 year roon rock on my nuc and I have to say the remote app of audirvana is not so good as roon but I am sure it will be better in the future. 700 usd for roon is certainly not fair.

Good to know that a NUC under Windows 10 runs smoothly and that SQ is good, thanks for your message!

Do you run the NUC dedicated solely for Audirvana?

I must say, I like Audirvana‘s SQ better than Roon. I do have a bit of hickups with Audirvana when playing 24/192 files that I don‘t have with Roon. But it‘s not troublesome at all.

What I have done:

I have an older NUC D34010WYK with 8GB of memory. I have taken it out of its original Intel case and placed it in a fanless Akasa NUC case. I am no longer using the Intel switching power supply either and have bought a proper dedicated power supply as well.

Afterwards I slimmed down all my system processes to a minimum as described in my earlier post. The Audirvana software on both the computer and Android phone used as a remote are wonky so much of the time or as in the case of the remote just woefully inadequate, so I RDP into my headless NUC and run everything from my phone or tablet this way.

Obviously my NUC is a dedicated music server.

Sorry for the late reply!

Interesting setup you describe, it makes me more and more convinced to go the NUC route.

If I get into problems in setting it up, I‘ll get back for advice!

Thanks again!