Can I use Nucleus without a Roon subscription?

I have a friend that is getting me a Nucleus as a gift. I am really embarrassed to ask this. I have a Verizon Fios Router and an audio system. If I hook up the Nucleus, what can I do with it without a Roon Subscription. In other words without the subscription is it just a paperweight? I don’t know anything about music streaming? Will it help me rip my CD’s?

I’d say not really, it’s a dedicated piece of hardware to run Roon.

Of course it’s possible to take it apart, load a different Operating system on and use it like a NUC … but that would be a DIY project and you should not expect to get help from Roon.

That said … it’s a great piece of kit … so why not get a Roon trial and see how you get one with it.
There’s lots of help available on here to guide you.

Not 100% sure, but I suspect it might … but I’d stick with something like dBPower running a PC or Mac … if that’s the only thing you want to use the Nucleus for.

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It will only help you rip your CDs if you use Roon. Without Roon it’s useless.

If you replace the OS with an alternative it could probably still be useful but it would be a poor value for money proposition.

For example Vortexbox or Daphile are suitable linux based audio OS alternatives and with a usb cd drive would allow you to rip cd’s.

If somebody gave me a Nucleus I would certainly want to invest in Roon.

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Very generous friend.

Maybe you need to just talk with them and explain you won’t be able to use it?

Believe me (and almost everyone here), it is worth your time to get a sub and rip your CDs. After a couple of weeks, you won’t go back.

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The only reason why I asked was two fold. I’m not telling names but a dealer said that Roon was a software company and they built the Nucleus for the purpose of not getting a subscription. 2nd I am on permanent disability and I can see the value of a lifetime subscription instead of $149 per year and $499 lifetime. Now if there was a lifetime discount that would ease the financial pain. I am a 45+ year audio nut familiar with phrases like records, needles, etc.

I do have more than one DAC, a few cd players and a wireless router. I know that it is an advanced piece of equipment and with my computers I am sure it will be a great addition to my system. Thanks for your replies.

Hi, I struggling with that … is there typo in that statement?

It was recently increased to $699, also Roon have indicated that lifetime deals will not be offered indefinitely.
There’s lots of discussion on this if you search the forum.

I think the gentleman that I was talking to, wanted to say something like since Roon only sold software, they could make a piece of hardware with software in it they might attract more customers to the roon side of the audio business.

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Hi @John_Pluta,
Thanks for the clarification.
From what I understand there where lots of requests from potential Roon users that wanted a “turnkey” solution supported by a dealer network … and that was the driving force behind the Nucleus. So it was the market driving Roon. However, I’m sure Roon took into account the figures [increased user base] before embarking on the project.

I bought a Nucleus for this reason. It was the perfect way to get into Roon, without the ‘hassle’ of buying a NUC etc.
And I couldn’t be happier with it :grinning:


I think the numbers tell the tale. I’m pretty sure Roon is selling all the Nucleus’s (Nuclei?) they care to make.

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I love my Nucleus. But first, you need to decide that you want to subscribe to Roon. It’s $119 per year or $699 lifetime. Of course, if someone gives you one for free and you can’t use it, you could always sell it on eBay.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Who thinks the Nucleus is an easy thing to setup and use?

I’ve asked the same question myself – but for a completely different reason than yours. I have a lifetime membership and a Nucleus – purchased together – and I’m very very happy - even with a few glitches that bug me every once in a while.

My reason for asking that question is my concern for what becomes of my Nucleus investment if Roon all of a sudden ceases to be the GREATEST and most desirable music delivery system? Because of market share or financial collapse (PS Audio is promising to do what Roon does for FREE – after one spends a lot on PS Audio equipment of course).

So if Roon goes belly up – do I no longer have a streaming source for my internal disk of every piece of music I’ve ever owned? I know I’d lose out on all that Album/Artist content – but does basic access disappear too?

Doesn’t directly address the Nucleus question, however.

Sort of what happened to Logitech when they killed off the Touch and Transport. They opened the interface and enthusiastic do their best to update LMS.

Pretty sure you can just install windows or any other OS that is pc compatible on the hardware which is just a NUC

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