250k Albums on Nucleus+? (correction: 25k)

Perhaps this will help clarify: I rip and download music files onto external drives connected to my Study PC. JRiver imports them automatically, which I use to edit metadata etc. It’s much easier using a multiple pane layout, a bit like those old Visual Basic editors and on the big monitor I use on my PC. Once that’s done, my backup software runs a script which transfers the new albums over the network to the relevant USB drive attached via a USB hub to a laptop used just for the Hi-Fi, also running JRiver on Windows 8.1. That copy of JRiver imports the new albums and within a few minutes I can access them on my iPad with JRemote. Each night, while I’m piling up the Zs, an automated script on my Study PC copies all the new albums onto another external drive. When that’s full I get a new one and give the full drive to a friend for safe-keeping.

As for the Hi-Fi, as I’ve said, the external USB drives in my music room are attached to the laptop via a USB hub as the laptop has insufficient USB 3.0 ports and the USB hub draws its power from a separate power supply. JRiver, controlled by JRemote, outputs to an ISO Regen with LPS-1.2 battery power supply into my Dave. The rest you’’l know.

What I’m a little unclear about is why continuing to use the external drives via a USB hub would not be a good idea (It appears to be confirmed that it would be technically feasible with an NUC unit running Roon Rock or a Nucleus or similar device.) I could change to NAS for storage in my music room, though I don’t know how noisy that would be, and at present would prefer to avoid that expense unless there were good reasons for doing so.

Basically, I want to be able to continue to copy files over the network to my external drives, which will be connected via the USB hub to, say, an NUS, and Roon would presumably import those new albums into its database as JRiver now does, which I could play using the Roon IOS app.

Or am I completely off the mark?

25k albums w/ Nucleus+ is fine. I believe @mike runs around that number with a less powerful machine.

In the worst case, you would need an extra stick of RAM, which can easily be upgraded later, but I’m not sure it’ll be needed for 25k albums.

There are only 2 exposed USB ports on the Nucleus+.

25k albums in CD quality FLAC should be about 10TB. You can get a single 12TB drive from Amazon for about $375. You could use an enclosure like the one below to put a pair of those drives into a single case for fault tolerance purposes (RAID Mirror) and attach it via USB to the Nucleus+ with a single USB cable.

…or you could get a NAS. I personally would prefer the USB drive solution as it works better with Roon.

While possible, USB hubs are known to be bottlenecks for performance, failure points, and overall introducers of unreliability into any system.


Thanks, that’s very helpful. The Mediasonic case is not available on Amazon in the UK. Can anyone suggest an alternative of the same/similar spec.

If going with Danny’s drive suggestion, the Nucleus+ seems like the wrong choice. You don’t need a more expensive, dead silent and visually appealing computer when you plan to plug a big noisy external drive enclosure into it.

Do a regular NUC build instead, you could do the newer Dawson Creek models and get a little more power.

You will need to use the USB-A connection on the Nucleus+ because the thunderbolt driver for Intel is still not stable. Luckily, that unit comes with the appropriate cable.

There is also the turn-key aspect of Nucleus (ROCK is quite DIY), Crestron/Control4 support, supporting the Roon team, and future Nucleus-only features.

It also won’t look like a computer next to his beautiful Chord Dave :slight_smile:


That changes things and to keep the friendly debate going, something like the dual AES capable DCS network bridge or equivalent would be better than than all the computer and HD USB noise plugged directly into the Dave. Move the computer away from the audio system.

Fan noise is something I’ll have to consider. I might be able to put such a device in a different room, but then I’d have to drill holes through walls and possibly have > 5m run of USB cable. One reason I went for small USB drives via a USB hub was that they were relatively quiet, and I kept adding as my collection grew. Fanless operation with the Nucleus+ is therefore welcome, and although a nice silver box next to my Dave would like nice, would I have to turn it up to drown out the noise?

There is the option of NAS in a different room connected over the network, but I use the mains as part of my network, which is not really an issue when streaming Netflix, but might well be with music files. Again, I’d have to drill holes for a proper Ethernet connection, but at least >5m would not be an issue.

Thanks for the responses — much appreciated.

From Dave’s designer:

"I have noticed some posters talking about AES EBU input - this is not the best input IMHO. It will inject RF noise into Dave from the source, and this will make it sound brighter, due to more noise floor modulation. It is very easy to hear this as an improvement (like I initially thought the audiophile USB had a tighter bass) but this is just how RF noise can artificially spice up the sound. Instrument separation and focus will suffer - in the case of digital inputs, the smoother and darker sound (which can easily sound initially less impressive) is the best sound."

"USB is best; AES EBU is a joke standard, not intended for high data rates, and was simply because studios had XLR’s and lots of cable around."



I looked at the DSc NB, but it apparently won’t handle USB drives over 2TB, possibly lower, and it will not currently output USB, though I understand that will be made available in the future.

I’m happy that any muck passed down the USB cable from my laptop is handled adaquately by the Iso Regen and battery power supply. The issue for me is that it’s probabably time to move beyond a laptop and go for something like the Nucleus+ or similar. Comparing the sound of my Dave via good CD transport to USB has shown me that the USB chain can, in principle, be much improved. I’ve had all kinds of expensive high-end servers and streamers recommended, but my concern is that after a year or so, they might become just very expensive doorstops. Have you see the price of the Zenith statement which someone I know was raving about recently after a Hi-Fi show?

I mentioned it to get the hard drives away from your DAC not as a replacement for a Roon core. I’m going way off course on this and you have USB decrapifiers already. Sorry.

And Rob also likes the jitterbug inline to his Dave what does that say about his USB implementation. Just saying. :flushed: :slightly_smiling_face:

Ha there are owners of $80k MSB DACs that hear improvements when adding the Uptone REGEN… and that’s not even the newer isolating Regen but the original Regen…

Not sure one can make any conclusions (in either direction) based on these observations.

Rob has said his USB input is very well isolated but not perfect (I like his honesty). I’m yet to see/hear a DAC designer say their USB input is perfectly isolated.

In fairness, Rob has said that the jitterbug makes a small improvement as an RFI filter, and only when his laptop is mains powered. On battery, he doesn’t think it makes a difference. He also accepts that any electrical connection can pass RFI, which interferes with Dave’s ground plane, and that limitations in data throughput aside, optical is the best connection. I’m quite satisfied that the USB implementation on Dave is excellent, and for current purposes, it will be the one I’ll be sticking with. I’m wandering a bit off topic, however.

I’d still recommend putting a small Roon endpoint at your Dave and having the Roon server and drives elsewhere. The Regen might not be needed depending how well the USB is implemented on the endpoint you choose.

You could even continue using the laptop and drives in this situation, run Roon Core on it and stream to the Roon endpoint.

An overall cleaner solution at your audio equipment.

I agree. I don’t recommend the Regen here btw - I only mentioned it to bring up the MSB $80k DAC :slight_smile:

Of course having Roon Server far away is best (Roon’s own recommendation).

Just have an ultraRendu or USBridge connected to Dave (if practicably possible).

I was thinking Nucleus+ was a suitable endpoint for the Dave, and I could keep it in the same room as its fanless. What alternative endpoint were you thinking of, other than a fanless NUC with Roon core, once that comes along?

The music files in a different room might be inevitable. Thanks.

The Nucleus+ is a server first that can have a DAC connected to it.

There are allot of RAAT capable endpoints with great USB implementations. Do you have ethernet at your audio equipment or would you need need Wifi?

I do have Ethernet close to the equipment, but only through the mains at present.

@Quaerit is feeding a Dave using the Auralic Aries G2. This isn’t a small or cheap device but it’s dedicated DAC USB implementation is exceptional. I can pretty much guarantee the Regen could be sold if you went this route. It also has wifi which is the recommended method for streaming.

Smaller and cheaper there are SOTM and Sonore streamers, they don’t have wifi by default though. Lots of choices can be found here:


I have the Auralic Mini (admittedly, a cheaper model) fed into Dave via optical, which I use for Tidal. I’ve given it a go with my music library, but I wasn’t that impressed. Certainly, not better than JRiver. Are you suggesting the G2 is likley to be better than the Nucleus+ or an NUC running Roon core? I thought this was Roon forum :slight_smile:

The problem is that demoing all these options is virtually impossible, and there are strong advocates of more or less everything.

The Regen serves a quite different purpose, of course. If nothing else it ensure that a battery powered USB signal goes into the Dave, and I’ve found it beneficial.

I think you might be misunderstanding our recommendation. We all want you to use Roon, but stream to your DAC through a RoonReady endpoint not plug the roon server directly into your DAC.

You have everything you need already give it a try:

  1. Make sure your Auralic Mini has the latest firmware and then go into it’s configuration, choose the USB output. Enable RoonReady and plug it into your usb cable and regen feeding your Dave.
  2. Take your laptop and drives away from your Dave and install Roon Core on it.
  3. Install Roon on your favorite remote control device be it an iphone or ipad or whatever. The remote should auto discover the core on your laptop and let you add your drives. After starting to scan your music Roon should automatically see your Mini as a playback endpoint.
  4. Choose that endpoint, play some music and enjoy Roon
  5. Configure Roon with your Tidal account and really see the magic of Roon/Tidal integration.

Once you get the above working with a Roon trial let us know what you think and maybe you don’t need to do anymore upgrades or maybe you’ll feel you still need do do some.