Maximize my Nucleus / Roon to my Arcam

I have used my entry level Nucleus connected to my network via Cat5. Running the Roon software and Tidal for streaming. I have a NAS drive with MP3 MP4 files. I am reading posts that the ROON software is great at playing my digital saved files. Do I CAT5 from the drive to the Nucleus or to the MAC Book?

Second item - I use AIRPLAY mode to my Arcam power AMP to my BW speakers. Sounds good but seems like the Nucleus and Arcam are not compatible and I may be loosing valuable quality. I would love to discuss my setup but do not seem to have anyone that is an expert for human contact, only this connection.

Help appreciated Eric

Which model Arcam do you have. Someone will tell you what is needed to connect it properly so you can use Roon without airplay.

not sure why you attitude me I am simply trying to improve my process.

There are two Nucleus products I have the lower price model, I hope that is more to your liking.

As to the NAS, It is not the best product and runs sluggish on the network so I would say to is more of a hard drive storage product and would work best if connected direct.

If having people like me ask questions on a forum like this is intrusive to you, skip replying

in my conversation with the Arcam people they indicated there product is not certified to accept Nucleus direct HDMI to HDMI

No attitude here, just said the Nucleus is not an entry level, it’s one of two choices. And, also you asked for human contact and I said we are all humans here. Anyway, good luck with your issues.

Arcam SA20

The Arcam SA20 is an integrated amplifier. What you need an interface between Roon (the Nucleus) and the amp. Typically this takes the form of a network streamer such as a Bluesound Node, Lumin, an iFi or a device that operates as a Roon endpoint like a Ropieee (based on a Raspberry Pi). There are dozens of options that will give you far better sound quality than AirPlay which you correctly assess as limited. The streamer or Ropieee get connected to your amplifier by RCA cables to use the DAC in the amp.

Roon lists compatible streamers and devices here: Partners – Roon Labs

sorry I may’ve the sa30 I am not at my home; I was under the impression the Nucleus is a music streamer; when I go to the Arcam web it states it is Roon ready but seams like only connects with Air Play; not sue I understand your recommendation to add bluesound note in between in confusing

If it’s an SA30, it’s Roon Ready. You connect it to your network with ethernet cable and you’re done. Set it up in Roon - Settings - Audio. If it’s an SA20, it is not Roon Ready and needs a Roon bridge. A Raspberry Pi running RoPieee is a good way to do it. There are others.

I will have to check when I return; if it is sa20 you are saying I need a PI; how does that connect to the nucleus then to the Arcam - sounds like middle ware equipment

The PI goes inside the Nucleus correct?

No, a Raspberry Pi connects to your network using ethernet or WIFI (preferable ethernet). It has USB out to your DAC. If your DAC does not have USB input, you install what’s called a HAT on top of the Pi that gives you the output you need such as optical to the DAC. Optical is limited to 24/96 but better than Airplay.

Here’s one of mine…

If it is the SA30 and it’s Roon ready then you don’t need a streamer. This from the Arcam website: “The SA30 is designed with all the latest cutting-edge features - Class G is expertly implemented and, the highest resolution of audio support is presented. Simple streaming is available with a mobile device using the native app of choice via Apple AirPlay2 or Google Chromecast.”

If you have the SA20 you don’t have any choice but to use middle ware hardware or you stick with using AirPlay. Roon can be used to connect to devices with many different methods but the best is its own streaming method.

The SA20 does not contain the software to allow Roon to connect to it other than AirPlay. Some systems have Roons own code inside them that allows Roon to play to them using its own designed transport mechanism called RAAT which is improved over AirPlay for many reasons. This code can be found in some amplifiers, streamers and dacs. Unfortunately it’s not included in the SA20.

To potentially improve your system and not use AirPlay and still use Roon you need to introduce a separate streaming device that is classed as Roon Ready. You can build your own using a raspberry pi small computer and add a digital output card known as a HAT, to achieve this with a small outlay. But this is no good if you struggle with computers and currently these devices are in very short supply.

You can add a purpose built audio streamer that is Roon Ready prices vary from on theses as does quality of build and design. Argon Audio make one as do Ifi for a reasonable cost. Arcam make their own to if you wish to stick with a known brand.

I search using the term Raspberry Pi. I do not see anything that looks like your equipment which sees like wold be simple to use. Everything I find shows a circuit board.

Here is a guide.

Come one everyone let’s stop recommending pi’s for everyone please. They really are not the simplest thing for most people interested in music playback.Might seem simple to some of us but are a very alien concept to others. That and they are not very easy to come by so really a waste of everyone’s time. Keep it simple and to things most listeners might understand.

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Doesn’t get much simpler than this or more cost effective. I’ve built three and sold one.

Recommended Bluesound or this iFi. Also simple.

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BCBC. you seam to communicate well to me. I need to understand this interface between my Nucluas / Roon application and the ZEN to my Arcam - the statement wifi audio transport confuses me. I was thinking wired connection is the improvement over airplay wifi to the Arcam. I read a little and these seems to be yet another Music server which I thought I was getting with the Nucleus better then buying a BlueSound product, Thanks in advance e for you comments