Better to connect a Nucleus to a Streamer directly with usb or ethernet?


Is it better to connect the Naim NDX2 streamer directly to the Roon Nucleus via USB?

Or is it better to have both the NDX2 and Nucleus connected to the same network switch via ethernet, as shown in the quick setup guide?


Neither is better or worse. You should do whatever works best for you.

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Why do people use a streamer with a Nucleus? (Serious question)


I use it for multi-zone around the house with various Roon-ready brands, and not just Naim.

The SQ is better with the Roon Nucleus, as I can’t (yet) run an ethernet cable to the streamer or other wireless speakers in different zones.

I’m trying to determine where to place the Nucleus when I do get an ethernet cable run over to that NDX2 streamer since it’s the digital source on my main system.

If it makes no SQ difference to have it directly connected to the NDX2 via USB, I’ll keep it near the router and switch.

There’s no headphone jack? But I don’t see why you can’t plug your mojo into it.

Roon recommend separating core and renderer, I’m not sure if this is still the case, but it’s good practice for grouping zones if nothing else. Ethernet gets all the Roon Ready goodness, otherwise, it’s just a USB sound device. As others have said, try it, and stick with what works/sounds best.

The NDX2 doesn’t work as a usb DAC. Although it has usb ports, these only work for external usb drives.

I’d also suggest a temporary hard wire before committing to running a permanent connection - you might find it makes little or no difference.

I ended up separating Roon server and renderer for similar reasons. My server/core is on a fanless NUC (Corei7), while the renderer / endpoint is a Grimm MU1. Ethernet was/is the preferred connection (also as recommended by Grimm). The separation of duties ensures everything runs smoothly (even with my very large library). I tried (briefly) to run both functions from the Grimm MU1, but it choked on the library size. After Grimm support assured me there would be zero sonic cost to splitting the tasks across NUC and Grimm MU1, I have been trouble-free ever since.

Maybe I don’t know what a streamer is or does. I use a RPi4 and headphone DAC/amp with my Nucleus.

I used to think the same thing Jim.

But listen to something like a Linn Organik streamer, and you’ll ‘find’ the answer! :grinning:

Thanks, but I would never spend that kind of money on this hobby. So, it’s more about the DAC than the streamer, I guess.

There are certain developments that enable us to ‘transcend’ this pastime from being a mere ‘hobby’, to that of a pure music lover.

Chord’s WTA filter, as realised in the M Scaler is one of those developments. IMO, Linn Organik is another ‘game changer’.

To me, listening to music isn’t a ‘hobby’ anymore. It’s purely transcendental. Thanks to Linn’s ‘Organik’ DAC.

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Semantics. I would never spend that kind of money regardless of what you call it.

It seems to me you’re not actually listening to music anymore, but rather to your system. Using expensive, “high-end” gear is what actually brings you pleasure. If you need “game changers” to keep this going, you’re in trouble. And I’m off topic.

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I couldn’t agree more. That “certain development” is, in my experience, alcohol. :wink:


Quite the opposite, actually. And it’s not about things being expensive, or not. Things like Rob Watts’ DACs, and the Linn Organik DAC just ‘get out of the way’, to allow you better access to the music itself.

You don’t listen to the gear. You immerse yourself in the music.

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