Should I get a Roon Nucleus?

Thanks all. Good advice, and very helpful. One of the things I enjoy most about the PS community. There is definitely going to be steep learning curve for me.

But just as an initial question what more do you get from an U1 or G2 that arguably justifies the price difference over a Nucleus or something of that nature or even a lower cost streamer such as Pro-Ject, Cambridge or Mind. Is it simply the guts of the unit (less jitter/noise), the software that allows you to save $$ on a Roon subscription (assuming you are not lifetime), multiple output options? Doesn’t seem to be upsampling capabilities as you could get those through Roon and/or the DSD.

Thanks again,

For me it’s a combination of good sound quality, software developed by the streamer maker that just works and the absence of extra parts and pieces like multiple power cords, multiple USB and Ethernet cables, devices like the Matrix, extra software costs, outboard LPS’s etc. If you want to play with the extra parts and pieces then that’s what good vinyl consists of. When I decide to play music using digital I want to sit down with one reliable device, open it’s software app and play what I want from mostly Qobuz but also sometimes Tidal. If I find the need to know something not available from Tidal or Qobuz then I know how to get it from All Music myself just like Roon does. I can assure you that the sound you get from a Nucleus and the various parts and pieces will sound no better than if you buy a quality device from Lumin, Auralic, Aurender or Innuous and just play using their native software. I have a friend that is a very high end dealer that sells Roon products and licenses as well as Lumin and Aurender and he will tell anyone that will listen that both the Lumin and Aurender products sound better than the Nucleus. And yes the parts quality is better in the higher priced units especially the multiple linear power supplies.

That is one of the things stopping me. All the extra gadgetry required to get the best sound. Years ago I had an Auralic Aries and (which wasn’t completely reliable) but sounded good. I did compare it to the Bridge II and the Bridge was slightly better. Getting rid of another box, power cords and USB cable was appealing.

TLDR: Removing the Roon core from the listening room and introducing an endpoint such as Auralic, Lumin, Sonore, etc produces better SQ in my system.

Roon themselves recommend separating your core (ie Nucleus) and your endpoints (streamers such as Auralic, Lumin, Sonore, etc).

I have a very well specced core - custom built with all the parts people say are superior, Apacer RAM, Optane, LPS PS, EuphonyOS all that good stuff. I tried it connected to my DSD DAC (via USB->Matrix->i2S) and it sounded very nice.

Then I bought an Innuos Zenith III, that sounded even better but I discovered if I reintroduced my custom core and used the Innuos only as an endpoint it sounded better still.

Then I moved the core to another room and it sounded better still. My assumption was noise was a factor.

As I became more obsessed with removing noise, I replaced the Innuos with a Sonore Signature Rendu SE and the increase in SQ was staggering to me. Now I’m no longer obsessed with removing noise and can finally enjoy listening to music. :slight_smile:


I have experienced similar things, possibly due to comments from you. :slight_smile:
I moved my Roon core away, hooked it up to an EtherREGEN, hooked the EtherREGEN to an OpticalModule powered by an LPS 1.2, fed fiber optic cable to my new Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical Level II and like you, my jaw hit the floor. It’s so clean. There are other things that have caught my eye ( MBL N31) but I think I am good.

It is very interesting to me that you moved away from the Innuos. Could be the first time I have heard from someone moving away from that gear.

@aangen Do you go directly from the Signature to the DAC via USB or do you convert it to I2S via the Matrix SPDIF2 or something similar?

Signature > Shunyata Sigma USB > Matrix > RAL HDMI > DSD
The Matrix is powered at 9 volts from an Sbooster + Ultra MKII

1 Like

Congrats on the Sonore and good to hear you like it! You and I have a very similar set up (Signature Rendu, EtherRegen, Matrix, etc), it’s a lot of boxes but so enjoyable to listen to imo.

The Innuos was really good especially in experimental mode but also too flaky in that mode. Once I knew how good it could be with experimental I couldn’t go back to using it without but the flakiness was just too much bother. This made me look for other solutions and fortunately the Sonore was clearly better in my system in every way and rock solid to boot.

1 Like

Since the last two Firmware Updates the Innuos isn’t flaky in the UPNP (experimental) mode anymore. It works like a charm and I canceled my Roon subscription.

I found a used UltraRendu and UltraDigital. We’ll give them a try and see if they beat the Bridge II or not.

With those 2 items supposedly isolating any noise on the line, I’m thinking it may not be necessary to get a Nucleus, Sonic Transporter or some other type of music server?

Can you elaborate? Is it that you are playing only local files and Roon is overkill since you’re not streaming? Or are you using the Innuos to both stream and organize your library without Roon?

(This might be obvious to many but not me!)

The UR seems to be a multi-purpose streamer with a usb output and the UD simply converts usb to SPDIF or other digital connections.

Nucleus just runs Roon (with usb output), Sonic Transporter runs Roon and other streaming services.

As you were using usb storage attached to your Auralic, with Sonore you will need network storage. If you are sticking to Roon, the Nucleus allows you to put an SSD drive inside it.

What I don’t understand is that Roon suggest against a direct usb connection from Roon Core to DAC. However, that seems to be the main option with the Roon Nucleus if using it as a Core, as lots of people do. Whatever the reasons for any reduction in sound quality, apparently the sound can be improved with the Squeezelite option.

Like you, I have a Zen Mk3, but use the ethernet data output, which Roon say is preferable than usb. You then need to send it to a device that can take an ethernet data input (it’s a data line, not a LAN connection).

It seems a shame to love the benefits of Roon for lack of a hardware solution.

1 Like

Yes, it’s a shame, but most people seams to have no problems with it… What do you think, is ist better with ethernet than with USB or not?

Actually, no. My USB storage was never attached to the Auralic. It was plugged into my Mac as it still is today.

Ah interesting. So it might be a situation of that marriage of Roon + Innuos just simply isn’t compatible.

(I don’t use any Innuos product, so I don’t have any experience with it, or what its capabilities are… do you still stream Tidal/Qobuz? Or are you only playing local files? Sorry if this is embedded in that other thread, but i didn’t see it.)

Apologies, must have misread your earlier post. I had Auralic for years with usb plugged in the back and used Lightning Server to distribute (I had more than one Auralic streamer). Works brilliantly.

Roon Nucleus is just a dedicated Roon Core + hard drive plug-and-play unit.

Innuos have been around since 2009, long before Roon or even any streaming services. Based in the UK, they were one of the early people making audio-optimised music servers. They partnered with Roon early on, the Roon people having developed the Soolos player for Meridian, also in the UK. (Soolos was a clever touch-screen server/streamer with rather limited memory, but innovative at the time.) Innuos servers are not restricted to Roon at all.