I have ordered and am about to receive a Roon Nucleus to add to my vacuum tube/vinyl sound system. I have also purchased a lifetime membership of Roon as I really like what I have seen over the last couple of years, but now I have to connect it so that it will work in my system.
My system is almost all Audio Note components with a Vertere turntable. I love playing my vinyl and want to add Roon to be able to explore new music and also to share music with friends over dinner without having to get up from the dinner table (via iPad).
I am going to route my system this way; (but need help figuring out how to get the final part complete).
I will have a CAT 7 ethernet cable come out of the access plate on my living room wall and into the router. After the router I am going to have a long ethernet connection of about 20 feet to feed a switch. After the switch I will feed another CAT 7 ethernet cable into the Nucleus.
On the back of the Nucleus, I will plug in a 4 TB G-Drive Mobile (filled with music) via USB.
I will use the other USB connection to send the output to a Schiit Eitr (USB to SPDIF Converter), which will feed the input of my Audio Note DAC 4.1/X Balanced Signature DAC with a digital cable (Audioquest Carbon possibly).
To listen to music, I will select the CD input on my Audio Note M6 Preamp and the music should start to play through my speakers.
However, my Audio Note DAC is not a Roon endpoint.
Will I be able to hear music after this is all setup, or will I have to purchase a Roon endpoint? (I tried a Bluesound Node 2i by itself - no Nucleus and it didn’t sound very good, so I would prefer to look at some other option if I have to).
I have no desire to change my DAC as it is a very good sounding DAC. I am trying to add more music to my life, but still get as good sound quality as possible with my system.
there are several ways. To find out which one serves you the best, will need a trial and error.
First option is to use the Nucleus itself as the endpoint. Either, by using a USB to SPDIF Converter (a very popular device is the Mutec MC3+ USB, that is a powerful format changer and also signal reclocker); or by HDMI to SPDIF Converter (there are many of them, also very inexpensive ones). The Nucleus will be close to this format changer that is close to the DAC to avoid long digital audio cable runs.
Second option as you already said would be an independent Roon Ready endpoint connected via WiFi or Ethernet. Roon itself gives you a dozen proposes (Auralic (e.g. Aries Mini), Meridian, Trinnov, or DIY solutions [like mine: BeagleBone]) They will stay close to your DAC, and the Nucleus can than be placed anywhere you want (with network connection).
This sounds like a sensible chain to use. I would try this and see how things perform, if you want to beta test this before the Nucleus arrives, you can install Roon on a PC and use it to temporarily host the Core.
One thing which I will mention, there have been reports that USB sometimes introduces noise via power, if you’d like to further improve on this aspect, you can add an Ethernet -> USB Bridge (Sonore micro/ultraRendu ; Allo USBridge to name a few) and this should further help as well.
Ok, so it’s now Wednesday evening and the Nucleus still hasn’t arrived. I’m going on a four day business trip. When I get back I’m going to try the various suggestions.
I have a couple of media converters that I’m going to install to remove noise from the Ethernet. Michael Lavorgna wrote a simple article on how to remove noise from your network. If I still get noise, I’m going to try the Ethernet to USB Bridge.
Can’t wait to get started. I will update this thread once I’m back and have tried these suggestions.
Somehow I missed your recommendation of the Mutec MC3+ USB, amongst all of the other reading that I was doing, in order to learn as much as I could in order to make my system work properly and to sound as good as possible.
I have been doing some reading on the Mutec. It appears to be a level above the Schiit in sound quality. I am happy with the Schiit Eitr for the money spent, but it does sometimes forget it’s job and I have to turn it off and back on again to get it to pass the correct signal to my DAC. I have to limit the stream to 16 bits for my NOS DAC and I have the output of the Nucleus selected to do that. The Schiit sometimes needs to be ‘reminded’ to do that : ).
As I have invested so much in my DAC and enjoy the sound out of it so much, I am thinking that I am going to try the Mutec. Have you tried it in your system?
Yes, I had it once. Together with a wonderful EC-Designs Mosaic T - R2R NOS DAC. These ones are already quite immune to jitter, so there was no abx improvement.
On the other hand, it does come handy in changing formats (USB to Toslink, AES…) and or Sample Rate Conversion.
I still like these EC-Designs DACs from a small firm in the Netherlands. (Now with battery supply) It took me 4 times more € to get two Soekris Dam1121 DACs to play equally. But DIY is fun and you can play with other stuff.
Mutec now has a big reference 10MHz Clock. I did not try that one with the MC3+ USB. Maybe that’s it