If you can buy a NUC or Nucleus using Roon Rock what do the high end servers do better? I would like to know.
Please read Rule 1:
We also support Spotify Connect, and our products can still be used if the user decides to cease the annual subscription for whatever reason.
You’ve been pointed to document that explains why Roon is better when the output goes to a networked device rather than a directly connected USB device.
I think that many people, because of their own personal experience, would disagree with that.
The next question you could ask is if a Lumin/Innous device is audibly better than RoonBridge on an RPi.
Again, there will be differing opinions.
In both cases, it’s up to you to decide what is your truth.
Yes, many people would like to know.
But this in no way answers the OP’s question. Using a Nucleus to stream from your local files, Tidal, or Qobuz does not imply you have your end-point connected directly to the Nucleus. I have had the same question as the OP. I use a Roon Nucleus to stream Tidal and Qobuz and always wonder why anyone would need or want another streaming device.
Isn’t it so that in the Roon ecosystem the Roon Core device always is the streamer? It’s on the Roon Core where Roon/RAAT assembles a bitstream from our own files or from files accessed and cashed from Tidal/Qobuz. This bitstream can then be output to any existent audio device present on the Core device, be it a digital or an analogue audio device. Or it can be sent over a network interface, be it Ethernet or WiFi. If so, then on the other end of the network connection another network interface of the receiving device will read the signal and via Roon Bridge/RAAT direct it to any audio device present on that receiving device. So, if we use our Roon Core device to stream to a network-connected receiving device, this receiving device doesn’t really operate as a streamer. I would expect it to not alter the RAAT bitstream in any way. It’s only task, in a certainly over-simplified understanding, is to receive the bitstream on a network interface and output it on an audio interface. This last step may include directing the bitstream to the hardware of an internal DAC if present on the receiving device.
I really can’t see the value proposition for ‘high end’ streaming devices in the Roon ecosystem. Without Roon those devices may operate as streamers all by themselves, using their respective software platform. But, using Roon, a tiny RPi with Roon Bridge/RAAT running on it, can do the job. Or a NUC running Windows, if you need a special driver for a connected DAC. Or any computing device able to run Roon Bridge/RAAT.
So, I’ll ask the same question. What is it that the high end streamers can do better within the Roon ecosystem? What is their value proposition within the Roon ecosystem?
Nothing! Data is data, however you polish it.
I use both a streamer, and also a DAC connected to my Nucleus.
Both have their place, IMO. The top-echelon of streamers from companies such as Lumin and Linn have to be heard, to be believed
Both have their place in my setup too…2 x Lumin D1 and a Lumin D2, plus several other DACs via USB on Rock endpoints.
What I love most about the lumin is one box setup that supports other streaming sources seamlessly like Spotify that my wife uses and also full volume control (leedh) being a bonus.
Similar is some ways to RPi with RopieeeXL but much better.
Since I just use Roon, I feed a Mutec+ with TosLink from an RPi Digi+ Pro HAT. The RPi runs Ropieee XL. The Mutec inputs to my DAC via a S/PDIF connection. I like the sound of that connection better than USB and the Mutec clock controls the DAC.
My Core machine is in a rack in the cellar, directly underneath my listening post.
Lately, I’ve been contemplating a different approach.
I’m thinking of trying an R2R DAC and running the USB output of Core thru a Denafrips Gaia and the I2S output from that into a Denafrips DAC.
Thereby avoiding the whole streamer question entirely.
So many ways to skin the cat.
So interesting to see how our systems are put together. My question was about high end servers. We all have to get streams from somewhere but what does the high end do if you are using Roon? Before I bought a Nucleus I was considering the Innous Zenith Mk 3 (about $6000) because it fits my “catagory”. I just read Robert Harley piece on the Aurender W20SE ($22,000). I am not a 1’s are 1’s, 0’s are 0’s person but it seems there could be greatly diminishing returns from streamers IMHO. Mr Harley compares the Aurender predecessor the W20 ($17,600) to the W20SE feeding his Berkeley Reference 3 DAC (using the Berkeley USB separate box by the way). What he describes was (long story short) better sound. OK, I really respect his opinion. The unit can also upsample on AES/EBU only and he heard great improvement going from 44.1 to 176.4 khz. It also did DSD 512. I’m not an expert at DSP by any means, but I believe that HQPlayer can do all of these things. He did not mention Roon at all, which I know he uses, and applauded Aurenders Conductor app. All well and good but I am a Roon lifetime subscriber. So are there other reasons to spend this kind of money while using Roon? I am always looking for better ways to spend money on my system.
I’m using an SBooster into the Nucleus and then running into an Audioquest Jitterbug then to my USB DAC. I have on order a JPLAY USB isolator which reclocks and uses FPGA like the Aurender.
I like the simplicity of the Lumin T2 one box streamer/DAC - connected to the network by ethernet (as is Mac mini Roon core) and to my Hegel H190 by XLR. Works beautifully and the sound quality is exceptional - considerably better than the DAC in the Hegel.
I’ll look at the T2. Thanks
Please confirm you’re not using the Nucleus+, as your SBooster does not have sufficient power for the latter.
By the way, since the thread title is “out of business”, I’d like to mention that we’re doing pretty good despite the worldwide economy, and hired additional staff. When I first started here in early 2017 as we were making progress to become Roon Ready, there was almost no Lumin user here. Now the Lumin user base in this forum has grown considerably.
Great to hear it Peter!
If I’m not mistaken you’re using C49 pre-amp. If you get the T2, I recommend you use XLR output to your C49.
You could also try T2 XLR direct output to your power amp (skipping the preamp for increased transparency) - turn down the T2 Leedh Processing Volume to a low volume first.
My SBooster is 19v for the Nucleus. The article on Nucleus ethernet hook up recommended by Roon makes me wonder why they included USB and HDMI connections if we are not supposed to use them…
Again, my question was about “high end streamer only components while using Roon”. The T2 makes sense to me because it combines the streamer with a DAC. If the DAC sounds better than what I have then I would have a reason to buy it. I guess the high end streamer only could relate to the “separates” issue we used to have about a pre amp and amp in separate boxes for better sound quality. You don’t hear about that as much with the trend towards integrated components we have today. Now it’s about having fewer interconnects and lower cost.
Anyone offering an in house trial of the T2?
As a last note, I asked the question the way I did because I wanted a response from owners of these products to come to their defense so I could read why they know they are better. I am not a hater, I love all things about our hobby. Thank you.
I believe Peter was referring to the amperage, not the voltage. You need to produce enough total power (amps times volts) for the larger computer.
@wklie @Martin_Kelly Wanted to say thank you again to everyone that responded to my question. You really helped me make a decision. I decided to stick with the DA1 DAC in my preamplifier and put more into a streamer. I bought the Lumin U1 and upsampling everything to DSD128. I may upgrade the DAC when McIntosh releases the DA5! The sound quality is much (much) better than what I was hearing straight from the USB on the Nucleus. Also, I am using the switch mode power supply that came with the Nucleus now that it is strictly part of my LAN. Everyone be well.
Lumin streamers are awesome. Great choice!