Music Server Recommendation

Hello AG community,
I have embarked down the path of getting my music off my computer (iMAC>USB Drive>Ethernet) and on to a dedicated music server.  Primarily I am looking for significantly improved sound quality and instant on. It will feed my DAC (most likely via USB). Need 4TB in onboard storage (no attached drives/NAS). I would really prefer to stay with Roon (have a lifetime sub) but will consider others with equal or superior functionality/sound/remote app.
Budget is $4-5k

My current primary equipment:
PS Audio DirectStream Jr/Oppo BDP-105
Ayre K-5xe Pre
Conrad Johnson MF2500a Amp
Vandersteen Quatro Woods
AQ Niagra 1000
AQ cables

I have been considering the below:

In the lead:
Antipodes EX (+ 4TB SSD)/Roon $5100
Innuous Zenith MKII Std/Roon $?? (can't figure out the US cost yet)

I really like the Antipodes especially the modular approach (ability to add a CX down the road), reviews and their reputation. Innuous seems like it may rival the Antipodes in sound quality. Both are not the easiest to buy or figure out sellers/distributors/pricing.

Aurender N100H $3000
Melco N1 MKII $??

Aurender is readily avail. Conductor app is generally well regarded. Would prefer the N10 but it is out of my range. I have heard some negatives regarding this unit being a bit shrill (definitely not anything I would be happy with). The Melco is very interesting and meets the sound quality std but is probably the fussiest from a setup perspective. Their software/remote app is probably the weakest of this group. Also confused about the 2 x XTB setup (is this a raid array or combined storage)?

What other products should I seriously consider in that price range? Is the budget sufficient for my requirements or should I look used or wait and save more?

Thank you in advance and look forward to your feedback


Another vote for Innuos. It is good value and easy to rip, a big plus over some more expensive competitors, such as Aurender. There seems no point using a Server, then adding a NAS, particularly if it doesn't
 use SSD storage. So if you need 4 TB's , you have to suck up the price I'm afraid.

Whatever unit you buy, there will be a Mark 2 or super version out a month later, that's just life. I am still very happy with my Mark 1 Zenith and see no reason to change.

 As a matter of interest Dave or Troy, do you have a favourite reasonably priced DAC to use with the Zenith. My ageing Ayre QB9 is very good, but getting temperamental. I was thing of the Chord Qutest, any other thoughts? Thanks

Whatever unit you buy, there will be a Mark 2 or super version out a month later, that's just life. I am still very happy with my Mark 1 Zenith and see no reason to change.

Very true @david12 

I will have to live with whatever choice I make for quite awhile (ignoring FOMA) which is why I am taking my time and considering extending the budget. Although an upgrade path would be ideal as an option

This is what is looking like right now (all 4TB SSD):

  1. Pink Faun 2.16 ($6.25k) (I2s)
  2. Innuos MKII Std ($6k or Used) (USB)
  3. Music Vault Ultra II ($5k) (I2s)
  4. Antipodes EX ($5k) (Ethernet/USB)
  5. Wolf Audio Alpha 2 ($5.75k) or Luna ($4.4k)
Really like the Pink Faun but not sure if I want to bear the time/cost to ship it back & forth from Denmark for repairs/upgrades.....

Leaning towards options with I2s outputs to optimize the PS Audio DAC
Have an opportunity to buy a Innuos MKII at a clearance price so it is coming down to the below for around $5k:

  1. Innuos MKII Std (USB)
  2. Music Vault Ultra II (I2s)

Anyone out here using the Innuos with Roon?  With a PS Audio DAC via USB? Curious your impressions on the Roon Mngt as well as the USB into the PSA
^ I say go for it! Innuos. 
There’s years of consensus out there about Roon. And you could go USB or Ethernet to your PS DAC with a bridge II right? 

Correct @jriggy I would have 2 choices although PS Audio indicates the I2s is the optimal method. 
I do think the Innuos would have a better resale but who knows