Nucleus, Innuos, Lumin

I am considering the Nucleus + or Innuos Zenith mk3 to replace my old laptop struggling with my 10 000 Roon library.
I might add a Lumin U1 if it beats Bridge2 and the Matrix.
Does anyone have experience with those three products ?
Thank you all for your opinions, advise and feedback.
It is for streaming to a DS Senior.

I own a Zenith MK2 and stream via a SOtM SMs200ultra to my DS Senior. I bought the Innuos mainly because of the CD ripping functionality. If you don’t need that and plan to stick with Roon, AND are OK with adding a network player/streamer to your system, I’d go for a Nucleus+, as it has a more powerful processor and you don’t need to worry about the Innuos software, that you won’t use. If you want to stream directly from the Innuos to the DS (and save the external endpoint) and don’t need hardcore DSP, than the MK3 is an excellent choice.

@Phil - Using a Nucleus+ w/ Samsung (4TB) 860 PRO internal SSD, Matrix to DSD, AQVOX-SE switch & Giga FOIL filter for Ethernet external streaming. Samsung T5 (2TB) SSD off Nucleus+ USB port w/ AQVOX USB A/C cable. About 1,000 hi res albums streaming Nuleus+ Local library. Running Roon ROCK OS and never once below X2 processing streaming DSD128 files & multiple DSP functions engaged. Not one single issue w/ hardware & software after 6 months running and power on 24X7 Using Tidal as external source and ~10 internet radio stations.

Power - single run 10/2 AC line w/ SR BLUE duplex for P20 w/ Shunyata Research Anaconda (6ga, 20A, 1,8m) into P20 Regenerator. 18V Sbooster LPS w/ AC12 power cable (P20) for Nucleus+ power. 5V Sbooster LPS w/ AC12 power cord (P20) for Giga FOIL filter power. 5V Sbooster LPS w/ AC12 power cord (P20) for AQVOX-SE switch. AQVOX LPS for Matrix USB-B power w/ JMaxwell (1ft) “data only” USB A/C cable from 2nd port of Nucleus+ USB.

Interconnect - Valhalla 2 HDMI from Matrix to I2S DSD.

I love the Nucleus+, my next server will be a very hard decision because the N+ is amazing and so simple w/ zero drama. Since this was my 1st streamer I wanted a very low drama platform both HW & SW. I had no idea it would operate this well for SQ. I knew the software was amazing, targeting the i7 nuc platform running only on application, Roon Core. Adding Matrix took 2min and the GUI is so simple to use w/ iPAD. Get the N+ if you are going to get into Convolution Filtering or use a lot of DSPs like auto volume…

Local library. Before adding the Matrix I had (2) T5 (2TB each) SSDs off the dual USB w/ internal 4TB SSD supporting over 100, 000 tracks. Since then I have pruned my local library to just hi res. I use Tidal for CD quality streaming external. The N+ managed that with ease and can do up to 300, 000 tracks with ease from other owners. I thought about going from 8GB RAM to 16GB RAM and was told the 8GB easily supports 300, 000 tracks. For this little block of aluminum, it is very powerful.

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Excellent goal, get rid of that ‘noisy’ computer and avoid the PSA Bridge (I sold mine).
For shopping comparisons, try Small Green Computer’s website. I think their custom made components are reasonably priced with a free 30 day trial. Their products are sold loaded with ROON, Qobuz, Tidal and others.


Thanks Chas.
I tried your link, but here in Europe, no luck :slightly_frowning_face:

Try this one:

Oops, I may have mistyped the link. I suspect that they don’t offer free trial outside USA, or even build to the “230” volts in Europe. Pleasure communicating with you.


Thanks @bootzilla and @1cdfoley

No Lumin owners on the forum ?

Pretty hard to go wrong with the Nucleus+. The interface is hard to beat and reliability is really good. Mine has been running 24/7 for months now (since I first plugged it in) without the slightest hiccup. Some music is on the internal SSD, some on an external USB HDD, some on my NAS.

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In the end I went for the Nucleus + and Lumin U1.
I did not have a chance to listen to the Innuos Zenith mk3 (I heard the Zen mk2).
What a difference compared to mmy old laptop!
The Lumin beats the Matrix and Bridge, and it should, because it costs a lot more.
The Matrix and the Bridge, however, offer great SQ for their price.


I wonder if there is any huge difference using Nucleus + vs the Sonictransporter I7 which is about $1k cheaper. I’m not certain how much advantage the ROCK system has for normal everyday playback using Roon. The SALK players look interesting as well

i’ve had the SonicTransporter for about a month now. It’s been running steady without any glitches. Sounds great - and is super fast! I have not tried a NUC or Nucleus. I can say for sure - it sounds a ton better than my Macbook running Roon Core. Happy camper.

also, there’s a good review on AudioStream comparing the ST to the NUC. fyi

How easy was the ST to set up and get running?

How are you connecting the ST to the rest of your system?

I’m considering getting a ST and connecting to my x spdif 2 via usb.

Or keeping my roon core on my computer and getting a ultraRendu

Trialed a SonicTransporter i5 with a 60 day Roon and sent it back. Andrew from Small Green Computer helped with set up. But it didn’t sound any better than my MacBook Air running through a 10ft USB cable via DSJ and JBL 708P. Then Andrew suggested adding an ultrarendu and power supply, which felt like bait and switch.

The SonicTransporter was pretty straight forward to setup. There’s a simple one-page instruction sheet. Pretty intuitive even with basic computer skills.

hey groovy, I have the SonicTransporter plugged directly into my main router via ethernet - in another room. I use a tablet device as a controller to run Roon software.

In my listening room, I have a Bryston BDP-1 digital player connected to a switch (wireless router). The BDP-1 is connected via AES-EBU to my PS Audio Direct Stream DAC.

I opted not to get the internal memory card option with the SonicTransporter, as i have a good external HD with tons of music already - and using a Curious USB cable to connect the HD to the ST. I find I am streaming directly from Tidal/Roon most of the time, and the ST is quite a bit cheaper without internal storage option.

Recently, i added a GigaFoil v.4 Ethernet Filter between the switch and BDP-1 with a AudioQuest Vodka ethernet cable. pretty neat…

So I basically connect the St to my network (ethernet). Designate the ST as my Roon core (point it to Roon backup file). Point Roon on ST (unless back up files takes care of it) to the network drive that contains all my music. Just use ipad,iphone, macos to control roon as normal (of course deactivating core on old computer- now just using as I would an ipad, etc)?

There is no USB out on the ST to plug into the dac…correct?. One would need a network capable device, streamer, etc to feed dac…correct?

Hey clark, yes that’s pretty much it.
The ST comes with Roon Core installed. So you would just need to download the Roon App (controller) on your tablet or iPhone. And yes, you need to delete RoonCore from your computer. The App controls Roon the same way you control it from your computer.

When I did all of this, i didn’t realize (or didn’t think about it) I would lose my ‘playlists’ I had saved within Roon. A small bummer as I had tons of music organized. Perhaps I could have saved it and exported it prior to deleting, but…i was too excited to install the ST to even think about playlists and library management functionality post-delete.

Correct, the ST does not “play” the music, and therefore does not have an “audio out” function.
The ST is designed to transport information packets that can be received by a renderer or player. Then the renderer or player would need to be connected to a DAC.

Here’s how I setup my musical pathway :

SonicTransport5 > Ethernet cable > MODEM > Wireless > Router > Ethernet cable > GigaFoilv4 > Ethernet cable > Bryston Digital Player (renderer) > AES/EBU cable > PS Audio DSD > XLR cable > PS Audio BHK preamp > XLR cables > Bryston 14BSST^2 > Magenepen 3.6R > REL S5 SHO subs.