NAS or Nucleus?

have you compared the sound quality of a Nas Synology with a Nucleus, a Nuc I5 Rock or Windows? (Core function only with an output)
why buy a Nuc or a Nucleus if a Nas can handle all the features with the same SQ ?

Nas tend to be underpowered for full Roon functionality unless you go for the top models with i3 and above processors. The lower end ones tend to suffer with large libraries and DSP.

A NuC can be bought for a lot less than any of those NaS devices. None of them from my experience have a sound and Roon claims nothing about any core device affecting SQ Nucleus included.

The Nucleus is a ready made off the shelf device designed to run Roon and nothing else for those not wanting all the DIY stuff and have a reliable server just for Roon. If your not bothered about that a NuC with Rock is reliable does the same and only runs Roon.

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I just listen to music (and I don’t need power-demanding functions like multi-room or convolution)
for example, a DS920+ NAS (€600) does the job and it’s an easy inexpensive one-box solution !
the only question that remains for me would be the sound quality (vs Nucleus+Nas or Nuc+Nas), can we find comparative tests on this forum or on the net?

Use you Nas then, the others are not about sound they are about convenience and running Roon on an operating system made for it nothing more .Why do you think they would sound any different? You will find plenty of anecdotes form individuals claiming one server sounds better than another on every audio related forum but no actual evidence to prove it. Buy one, try it out and see if it does for you, my experience says no they are no different. I have a Nas and a Rock core , rock beats the nas hands down for user experience, there was no difference in SQ.

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Basic Nucleus has only i3 and 4GB. For me only design is great but no wifi and high price… For me NUC is much better option especially that you can use eg Akasa case which looks quite professional. And I suspect good NAS will have the same SQ. It’s only warehouse with your music.
I have no NAS I use mac mini with 2 disks + iCloud as a backup. And the same mac mini is my streamer :slight_smile: I’m thinking about sth more fancy but I’m convinces if mac connected by optical cable to musical fidelity cheap V90 is much worse than some much more expensive devices.especially that my computer is 90% of time used only as Roon core

I used to run Roon on a similar low-specification NAS, and it worked, but the whole experience was sluggish. I then moved to a Xeon-based server and things improved, but were not perfect. However, an i3 NUC is by far the best Roon core I’ve used. I would recommend that for the experience, ease of use, and maintenance.

Every Roon core I used had no impact on “sound quality”. And why would they?

Unless you want a NAS for other reasons , I would go NUC, ROCK and a suitable sized SSD

indeed I am just about to replace my core with one as we “speak”

Use your NAS, if it doesn’t meet your needs then get a NUC.

What have you been using as a core machine?

my Synology Nas (Core) works perfectly but I’m also looking for optimum sound quality ! my question : would a Nuc I3 offer an improvement ?

After much reading, I have developed a sense that a NAS is perfect if you want to run Roon only on your local music library, regardless of size, but it might not be the best solution if you integrate Roon with Qobuz or Tiday. My own experience with Roon on my NAS (now with a local library of ~39,000 tracks / 2TB) has been wonderful.

Almost no local tracks, streaming Tidal. And although running a Synology 1517+ with an Atom CPU that does not meet Roon’s requirements the NAS is bored and works flawless. Well apart from Roon eating memory which makes it well advised to restart the package every couple of days.


For best sound quality you want your core on the network away from your listening environment. Once you adopt this then you only care about horsepower of the core as any sound quality improvements will be had by a better endpoint, DAC, etc.

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I’m surprised no one has mentioned the Sonic Transporter. I started my Roon experience with a Sonic Transporter and it worked flawlessly. My Roon “mentor’, my nephew, insisted I buy a Roon Nucleus instead, so to keep him willing to help me, and very reluctantly, I bought the Roon Nucleus. My perfectly good Sonic Transporter now gathers dust in my closet. I am not aware of any difference in usability or SQ. But I will close by recommending the Sonic Transporter as a perfectly reasonable alternative for running Roon.

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