Connecting roon Rock and Kef LS50wireless

I’m a new user still on my roon trial, but I have to say that I really dig the whole roon experience. I’m now running roon on my Imac i7 which has worked just fine, but I find the power saving settings a bit cumbersome. So I’m planning on getting a NUC7i7BNH that would run Rock and be powered all the time. I’ve been reading that the Nuc makes some noise so I would like connect it straight to my router which is in a different room than my main system. My main system is in the living room and it consist of a pair of Kef LS50 wireless speakers that are connected with a wire to the network. I’m mostly listening Tidal but I’m planning on ripping some cds to the nuc’s HD. So the question is will I loose on sound quality if the Nuc is not connected through USB to the Kefs? Is this a good way for connecting the Nuc or should I do it differently? Do I need a separate Dac?

And also is it sensible to get the NUC7i7BNH or should I at this point get Nuc8. I’ve been reading that there seems to be some problems with the 8th generation?

Advice would be greatly appreciated.

You probably don’t need an i7 for “just” Tidal - sizing recommendations are here. Roon’s own entry-level Nucleus is an i3 in a nice case.

The noise thing you can fix with a screwdriver and a passive Akasa case. Different room works as well, of course.

The LS50 wireless have built-in Roon support. You’d probably want to use that if possible. If that doesn’t work out for you, there’s a bunch of options (products from Sonore and Allo come to mind).

Regarding NUC8, they aren’t officially supported yet. Whether that’ll happen eventually is unknown. If you want officially supported, including in the future, stick to the exact models in the knowledge base.

“The LS50 wireless have built-in Roon support. You’d probably want to use that if possible. If that doesn’t work out for you, there’s a bunch of options (products from Sonore and Allo come to mind).”

Yes I would use Kefs own built in Roon support. Does that mean that there is no point in running a usb from the Nuc to Kef? Would that make a difference either in sound or performance? Does it make a difference if I play Flacs from the Nuc? Sorry it these are stupid questions but I’m having a bit trouble understanding this.

You can operate the NUC both via USB cable and wireless. The LS50 Wireless will not appear in the Roon Audio dialog until you switch the speakers to wireless on the top buttons. For USB (Windows), the USB driver must be installed from the KEF website. With USB (Roon Rock), the USB port is detected by default.

In simple words. Hardly. I tested both. For me there is no hearable sound difference. USB resolves up to 192 kHz, wireless up to 96 kHz. But I hear no difference between 192 kHz and 96 kHz. However, the reaction via wireless is a bit delayed.

Okay. Thanks for this. Then I can go the cheaper route and don’t need to get a passive Nuc.

If you connect the NUC in another room via LAN cable with the router, this is a perfect solution. Even if the fan is quiet, it bothers you in the listening room.

Not suggesting this is the best option but I connect mt LS50w’s via Devolo 650 lan over mains plugs, they work perfectly every time.

Actually, @StereJo, you’re mistaken… Wireless, or Ethernet from Roon goes up to the full resolution, 192/24. Here’s a screenshot of what I’m playing now. My Kef’s are connected wirelessly.

That’s nice. What is the source on you are using in this. Tidal or some other service or files from computer?

Some might say there’s even an advantage to wireless Ethernet over USB, due to galvanic isolation from the core, which reduces possibility of noise appearing on the analogue side of the DAC.

Roon certainly recommend keeping the core separated from the DAC by using an endpoint.

If you use the Kefs via Ethernet, that’s exactly what you’re doing. The Kef’s become an endpoint, DAC, Amp and Speakers rather than just a DAC, Amp and Speakers.

Local file for 192.

I also have Tidal, but the maximum resolution via Tidal MQA is 96Khz (or 88.2Khz) 24bit, as Roon only does the first unfold.

I’m happy with that as my ears can’t hear the difference between 96Khz and 192KHz anyway! :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s nice to know you can get full resolution and support from local files though!

Thanks, good to know…

1 Like

I’m with you on this. I can’t hear the difference either :grinning:

1 Like

Any idea why my signal path from Qobuz looks like this even though I’m playing 88.2 kHz 24bit?

Because this is perhaps an album that only plays at 24/88 if you buy it.
There are many HiRes albums that only play in HiRes if you buy them and otherwise in 16/44 CD Qality.

Qobuz should mark them reliably.

1 Like

Thanks you are absolutely right. It seems that almost all Qobuz albums in my library that are marked hirez are actually not. Tried a Tidal one and that worked fine. This kinda seals the deal for me. I see no reason in paying the premium for Qobuz.

Too early to make judgement Qobuz are still sorting themselves out internally and their interface to roon.

Here in Europe there are many, many albums playable as HiRes streams. I have a Studio subscription and enjoy a lot of HiRes albums.

But indeed, there are quite some of them only playable in CD quality. You have to play a short sequence to be sure it is really HiRes - the icon changes to CD if not.