My setup is very similar to Chris.
We are all suggesting that, instead of using your NUC’s crummy 3.5mm analog output, you should simply employ the 218 as a Roon network endpoint as we do. While not “Roon Ready”, the 218 is compatible with the Sooloos protocol that is recognized by Roon. The “cable from the Nuc to the 218” is your local ethernet connected to both the 218 and NUC via your internet router.
The digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in your 218 is far superior to the one in your NUC. Plus you will be isolating the stream of digital music from a noisy processor to a quality Meridian endpoint. Try it.