Hook-up Question?

From what I have read, for best sound quality you should go ethernet out from the Nucleus to ethernet in on a streamer or a DAC.

In my case right now the Nucleus is the streamer (USB out to USB in on my DAC.

My DAC has no ethernet in (and is also non-MQA compatible) So should I be purchasing another box (streamer and/or steamer DAC) to hook things up this way?

Right now I have my Nucleus hooked up via USB cable directly to the DAC and it’s working just fine. I have a pretty good/expensive DAC right now)

Is it advisable then to have a streamer between the Nucleus and the DAC so as to hook things up as suggested in the Roon documents?

Basically, ethernet out to streamer/DAC in or in my case, as I already have a DAC, ethernet out to streamer in then streamer out to DAC in with some other connection, be it USB or whatever?


In short, no. If your music sounds good and you have two high quality pieces of equipment (Nucleus and a higher end DAC), the differences coming from more boxes will be very modest.
My evolving personal hypothesis on this is that things like this matter if:

  1. You have equipment that has intrinsic flaws, and the intermediate stuff can help clean up muck.
  2. You tend towards OCD.

It can be a combination of both which gets expensive.
I’ve got some of the latter case (the OCD) and have come to terms with it.

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From the horse’s mouth and now playing in another current thread -

I’ve used/use my Nucleus in both those ways, USB direct from the Nucleus to a USB DAC, and also Ethernet from/to the Nucleus, via the router to a network player.
Putting the different sound-signatures of the different bits of kit aside, both ways sound absolutely sublime, and both work perfectly.
If I were you I wouldn’t worry about it, stay with your current configuration if it works for you and just enjoy the music! :grinning:

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Hi Paul

What’s your current USB DAC? If you don’t mind me asking.

Wyred 4 Sound 2v2 SE with the Sabre 9038 Pro chip and upgraded Femto Clock upgrade.

Wyred 4 Sound 2v2 SE with the Sabre 9038 Pro chip and upgraded Fenton Clock upgrade.

Sent from my iPhone

Pardon my ignorance, what is OCD?

OCD is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Anyone who hangs around forums like this and has managed to gather enough knowledge and/or experience to answer questions has to have some level of OCD or they couldn’t have managed to get the knowledge and experience to answer questions :slight_smile:

I just answered a question. Read into that what you will :blush:


Otherwise known as ‘Audiophile-itis’.
And we’ve probably all got in on here! :nerd_face:

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Not me I’m totally mellow. Haven’t bought a piece of audio gear for almost 3 months! Take it day by day.

If you have an extra PC lying around, especially maybe a relatively quiet Mac, but not a laptop (too electrically noisy to be likely to improve sound), you might load up Roonbridge and hook the DAC to that and see if it makes a difference in sound. More of an experiment than a necessity.

I have PCs as dedicated endpoints, but I’m not sure I would have done that had I not already had them built as Foobar boxes anyway.

Thanks Martin, I knew what that type of OCD was, I just thought I was missing something in the audio terminology world (as you point out, I guess I have).

I guess you have the same opinion on lineal power supplies? More snake oil I presume?

Hi Paul,
There is a lot of talk on this forum about linear power supply’s for the Nucleus.
IMO, if you’re connecting a network player via Ethernet to your network as a Roon endpoint, then a linear power supply for the Nucleus is a waste of time, as the network effectively isolates the network player from the network/Nucleus.
Connecting a DAC directly to the Nucleus via USB? I’m not so sure? I use an AQ Jitterbug between my Nucleus => Chord Sarum Super ARAY USB => Chord Hugo TT just in case of EMI/RFI ‘pollution’ from the Nucleus, but I’m still not sure if it makes a difference?
I just love the sound of the system as it us.
So with respect to linear power supplies for the Nucleus, I’m not going to bother. For now… :roll_eyes:

OK, thanks for all your helpful advice Martin!


Martin’s answer deals with noise carried over the ethernet signal path. It doesn’t address noise carried over the power lines. If noise generated by something like a refrigerator motor can affect the sound of an audio system then noise generated in the power supply of a component may be capable of affecting other components in the system which is the reason why a lot of power conditioners make an effort to isolate components from each other. The ethernet signal path isn’t necessarily the only way electrical noise gets passed between components in a system.

Not all switching supplies are equally bad and not all linear power supplies are equally good. I haven’t noticed any problems with the stock power supply for my Nucleus+ but YMMV, The only way to tell whether an LPS will help in your system is really to try it and results may depend on what LPS you choose and whether or not you’re using a power conditioner of some kind and how well it isolates your components from each other. I’m not certain that everyone will notice the same result.

The bottom line is whether or not you’re happy with the sound you’re getting. If you’re happy and not noticing problems then I’d be looking at other things than an LPS, things such as room treatment, if I wanted to make an improvement… I’m happy with the sound I’m getting from the stock power supply for my Nucleus+ but I have both it and the rest of my system plugged into a PS Audio power plant. So far I haven’t considered getting an LPS for my Nucleus+. Like everything in my system that’s subject to change but then everything in our systems is always subject to change. We all change things over time for one reason or another.

My advice is never to change anything in a system unless you have a reason for changing it and wherever possible, don’t change anything without a trial because changes don’t always deliver the result you hope to get. Be very cautious about changes when you’re happy with the result you’re already getting. It’s always possible to make things worse.

That is very good advice. Which I’ve never been able to follow.

You and me both.

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