Looking for what would be the next step up from the Oppo. No problems with it(connected vis USB into my Nucleus).Just wondering if I’m missing anything and what a step up would look like. Thanks.
What is it your Oppo 105 can’t do that you want? Does it do 24/192? Do you want MQA? Are you using analog out to your amp? My Oppo 203 does what I want except it doesn’t do MQA.
Yea analog into my Marantz SR7005. Yes does 192. Just thinkIng if I’m missing something slightly better. I know age of equipment doesn’t really matter much, but the Oppo is ~8yrs old.
If it works well then stick with it. If it stops working then decide. In these crazy C19 times you might find some less fortunate could be needing to sell off things (sad reality) and pick up something very affordably. I to have a 105 and I should probably use it more but its one more item to power up for the mrs to use the audio setup.
That said Im really really liking my Lumin D1 (replaced by D2 model now) maybe Ill get another one for other room if this C19 thing ever goes away
There are debates on this approach, but in my experience, connecting a DAC directly to Core is rarely optimal. I’d suggest keeping your 105 but connecting it to something like the Allo USBridge Signature and moving the Nucleus out of your listening room to an office, closet, etc.
Why? The Roon Nucleus is totally silent if you put an SSD drive in it. I have mine connected directly to my Oppo 203 using HDMI and also both my Nucleus and Oppo connected by ethernet to a switch that is connected to my router. This way, I have the Oppo set up as two Roon devices, one connected by HDMI and one connected by ethernet.
You can’t hear EMI/RFI, but that does not mean that it does not exist. You are free to do whatever you want, but Roon is clear about their recommendations.
If I can’t hear it, it doesn’t matter. I need HDMI for multichannel. I use ethernet for stereo. If I had an Oppo 205, I would need USB for MQA. If I had a noisy NUC, I would put it somewhere else. There is no reason a Nucleus needs to be somewhere else.
Like I said, you are free to do whatever you want, even if it’s against Roon’s recommendations for sound quality. I just offered this to the OP since they were asking what they could do to get better sound. Before spending money on a new DAC, it’s usually a good idea to try following the manufacturer’s instructions. Doesn’t sound like you are interested, but perhaps @Larry_Gelman will give this a try.
When they say, “Rule 5: Use Ethernet between Core and Output”, they are not deprecating HDMI in favour of ethernet, they are deprecating WiFi in favour of Ethernet:
Roon has comprehensive and robust support for WiFi, but the sound quality often isn’t the same.
For your highest quality rooms, plan on using wired gigabit ethernet connections between the Core and the Outputs.
They also talk about locating your Roon Core machine in another room:
Rule 4: Don’t under-spec the server
… and remember that there is no downside to a Core i7 with a fan if you’ve got it located two rooms away from the listening area.
But the Nucleus is clearly designed to be in the listening room, not tucked away where no one can see it.
You are free to think that an HDMI connection between a Nucleus and a Roon endpoint results in inferior SQ. But you can’t cite Roon’s recommendations as evidence for that.
Please don’t give away the 105…You know, that you can rip SACDs with it, don’t you?
At least you can offer this as a service.
I don’t think @Jim_F needs your help. However, your interpretation is quite unusual. Here’s what I see:
"Instead of trying to pack a lightweight media player, and heavyweight media server [including Nucleus] into a computer in your listening room, we provide the tools you need to put space between those pieces–because they really don’t belong together anyways.
"This is, we feel, the best of both worlds–
“* Our lightweight playback components (Roon Bridge, Roon Ready devices, and networked endpoints) are much lighter than any media player software [including Nucleus] out there because all they do is copy audio from a network interface to an audio device. They don’t even have to do work to decode your media files!” [clearly not talking about Nucleus since Core DOES decode your media files]
Nucleus is NOT a “lightweight playback component”. It’s fanless, solid state, and very pretty. But it is going to transfer and emit more RFI and phase noise than most if not all bespoke low-power output devices.
So, when Roon Labs says:
"## Rule 1: Core and Output on separate devices
“To get the best sound quality from Roon, plan for an ethernet cable between your Core and Output components.”
They are saying that it’s best to use something like the microRendu, sMS-200, USBridge, etc. to feed your DAC instead of Nucleus or anything else that runs Core. Of course, Wi-Fi won’t be best for Core or Outputs in many environments (works fine in many too), but the heart of the matter is about using physically distinct networked devices for Core, Outputs, and Controls IF you want the best sound quality that Roon can deliver.
People here and in other groups are keen to jump in and say, “yeah, but works for me.” That’s great. If hanging a DAC off of your iPad (Control) or streaming from Nucleus (Core) to your receiver over HDMI makes you happy, go for it! This is a testament to how well Roon is designed, that it can work acceptably well in so many ways.
All I’m saying is that when people are dissatisfied with the sound of their Roon setups, they should try actually following Roon’s sound quality recommendations before buying a new DAC or giving up on Roon all together.
Thanks all for the great response. I’m in the camp the the DAC will make the biggest difference in my sound quality. I believe using the Nucleus to store/stream is pretty efficient, and another steamer might not make much of a difference. At this point I’m just looking for the next step over my Oppo 105 DAC. BTW, not looking to loose the 105. Going to continue to use it for Blu Ray and SACD.
Of course, I am free to do whatever I want. Thanks for telling me that twice. I will leave my Nucleus on the shelf right next to my Oppo 203 plugged in with HDMI and ethernet.