Intermittent audio pops over last several weeks from two-year-old Nucleus

Roon Core Machine

Nucleus.

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Connected Audio Devices

Number of Tracks in Library

Description of Issue

Like several others who have posted here recently, I recently started hearing intermittent audio pops during playback - roughly every 5-10 minutes or so. But in my case, Roon is running on a Nucleus. The device has otherwise behaved perfectly for the first two years of its life. To me, it sounds like a failing capacitor. But I am only an end user, not an electronics technician. Roon Support, what do you suggest?

Possible reasons I have ruled out:

  1. the source files (the popping happens on all sources, whether local or from Qobuz, and never recurs if I rewind and replay the same location)
  2. the amplifier or Chromecast or speakers (the popping occurs on two completely separate systems with different Chromecast, different amplifiers, and different speaker)
  3. my home wifi network (it is extremely stable at 100 Mbps)

Support, can you help solve this vexing issue? My Nucleus is only two years old and I don’t think this problem will resolve itself. Many thanks in advance!

Hi @Steven_Erwin,

Thank you for reporting your issue with playback and I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to enjoy music using the Nucleus recently.

Given the steps you’ve taken so far to remove variables, it’s likely that a single endpoint or audio source isn’t the issue here. Diagnostic logging from the last two weeks shows network dropouts associated with RAATServer on this Nucleus - both with and without audio playing - on the Chomecast endpoints, headphones, as well as the system output of Roon Remotes.

You mention a stable, high-speed home network; however, a small amount of packet loss is unfortunately all that’s necessary to interrupt audio streams, background authentications, or the delicate transcoding required to stream uninterrupted to various Zones.

This in mind, there are three possibilities the tech support team can suggest as a cause for the digital distortion in your audio feed:

  1. network interruptions are causing loss in the audio stream. The cyclical dropping out and rediscovering of endpoints in your logs supports this conclusion. We’d need to troubleshoot your network, in this case. Can you please describe the make and model of your modem and router, and how your Core is connected?

  2. Data corruption. There’s no direct evidence of this in logs, but it doesn’t look like a storage point is mounting properly when the unit starts up and shuts down. Do you have any external storage attached? In any case, try taking this step as a precaution:

  • Create a Backup of your current Roon Database
  • Stop RoonServer from running in Nucleus’s WebUI
  • Navigate to your Roon’s Database Location
  • Find the folder that says “Roon” and “RAATServer”
  • Rename the “Roon” folder to “Roon.old” and the “RAATServer” folder to “RAATServer_old”
  • Restart the RoonServer in the WebUI to generate a new RAATServer and Roon database.

Also, please pass along a screenshot of your Signal Path in Roon in your response. We’ll take it from there!

Hi Conor, thanks for responding. Here are the answers (and a few questions) to your questions.

  1. Are you referring to the Chromecast endpoints? How often is this happening, according to the logs? And does the fact that all the networked devices show dropouts point the finger at the router?

The modem is a Motorola SURFboard SB6121 Cable Modem. The router is a Google Nest WiFi Router. The WiFi signal is extended through the house with three Google WiFi System mesh points (model NLS-1304-25). The Nucleus is plugged into one of the mesh points.

  1. The only attached storage is an internal Samsung SSD 860 EVO. Are you saying it’s not mounting properly? I don’t notice that during the startup, but would I? There is also a SanDisk 128GB Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive plugged into the back of the Nucleus for making backups. No other storage is attached.

I’m a little confused by your recommended steps because there is no folder named simply “Roon”. The visible folders are named Codecs, MachineSettings, RAATServer, Reinstall, RoonGoer, RoonOS, RoonServer, and Storage. Did you mean one of those?

Screenshot of the signal path (I hope this works):

hi