Do i need Nucleus

If i only use Tidal do I need Nucleus

You need a computer to roon roon server not necessarily a nucleus. A windows, Mac or Linux pc or the roon Instance ROCK.

Hello @Tom_Moynihan,

I have moved your post over to the Roon Software section but as @ged_hickman1 mentioned you would need somewhere to host your Core for Roon to work.

Please take a look at our Architecture Documentation (<- clickable) regarding this subject. Any other questions you may have feel free to ask.


Hi… My question is, as above, do I need a Roon Nucleus if I only stream Tidal?

I currently run the ROON core on an iMac and stream Tidal to KEF LSX and LS50W speakers.

I don’t own any CD’s, only stream Tidal. Everything runs very smoothly as the iMac is super-charged for graphics applications. I occasionally might get a skipped track or one that cuts out if the PCU is working extra hard but basically it’s all very smooth.

• Would there be any benefits, given the info above, in owning a Nucleus apart from not having to always have the computer switched on for the core?

• Do most people who own a Nucleus actually download their CDs onto the Nucleus HD?

• Does the Nucleus come with an installed HD or do you have to install one onto it?

I was thinking of perhaps buying one with the special offer of a free TB of storage but then started wondering if I actually needed one?

Appreciate anyone’s thoughts on this.


See @ged_hickman1 's reply

I don’t know about the others but I do, using an external HD on my Mac as an in-between station.

I installed an SSD myself and that is really easy to do (and the Nucleus comes with a helpful guide). If you only stream Tidal, there is no need for extra storage.

Looking at your intended use, @ged_hickman1 's suggestion could help you. I really like my Nucleus as Roon core etc.etc. but it is quite expensive and there are plenty cheaper alternatives to is. But the setup of the Nucleus was so easy (plug and play, that is, after I installed the SSD) that a starting guide is not necessary. It is a great piece of equipment.

The Nucleus is intended to be an “Appliance” i.e. just like any other hi fi component. It contains a small SSD for the OS and library . It is self updating , so once its plugged in an connected to the internet that’s it , it looks after itself.

If you want to add more storage a 1Tb drive is about 3000 albums (ie 300Mb each in FLAC CD quality) and you can go way higher , even 2,4 or even 8 Tb.

The drawback is its expensive relative to a NUC with ROCK which is “nearly equivalent:” and a lot cheaper if you don’t mind a bit of DIY.

As to whether you need one just to stream, the metadata storage and recovery part of Roon is the same per album regardless of the source so in effect local or streamed have the same basic requirements but that’s on the system SSD.

It boils down to price and convenience , if you want the pure plug and play experience then go Nucleus , if you don’t mind a bit of DIY go NUC. There is a lot of experienced NUC users on the forum that will guide you.

Personally I use a bog std “Tower Desktop” miles away from my listening room, it doubles for video and audio and my general PC . Come the day it dies I would probably go for a NUC .

Don’t forget the Nucleus is a “One Purpose” box , it runs Roon and only Roon. Inside its basically a NUC but I am not sure should you need to whether it can be repurposed

Good Luck , you’ll enjoy the ride …

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