Newcomer in need of tips

I’ve just been introduced to Roon by a friend and couldn’t believe the wonders of it. I have some 4,5K cds - digitalizing them all and getting rid of the bulk and of the logistics of reaching them is a dream - currently the cds are in 800 Pioneer 6cds-magazines. I live abroad and will be in the US next month (Apr 2022) when I plan to buy a Nucleus and subscribe to streaming thru Tidal or Qobus to “complement” my own library. Being a newcomer to Roon I will be immensely grateful for the info and support that some of you may generously produce - so that I can learn and take the necessary decisions asap. Following are my main questions, waiting for you to agree or destroy them and or complement…
#1 LIBRARY Think of ripping just those cds that typically won’t be available thru streaming, probably half of the total (some 2500 cds). Also because most of them are at least 20 y.o. and lossless streaming quality might be superior to old cds. Tips on Ripping software?
#2 NUCLEUS Plan on getting the “regular” Nucleus (and not the Nucleus+) since it will be used mostly in a same room and the library will be around 40k to 60k tracks (far under the 100k that require the Nucleus+). Would a 4TB SSD accomodate the 2,500 cds?
#3 EQUIPMENT I intend to keep my current speakers (pair of fridge-size JBLs C31 from 1948). They’re fed by a Denon PMA1520 from the 90s, 120W/ch 8ohms. Question: will Nucleus have a good dialog with the old Denon? Or should I get a new integrated amplifier with digital/optical connections and streaming capability? Do I have to have a DAC?
#4 BUDGET I think of investing up to US$3,5k: Nucleus $1,5 of that, plus eventual new amp and DAC. Would that suffice? Or a “good-basic” set calls for necessarily more? Anything else?
Many tks in advance for your contributions, look forward to hearing from you.


Welcome to the community Carlos.

#1. There’s a recent thread on ripping which you might find useful:-

#2. I have approximately 2500 CDs ripped to flac which consume around 700GB so 4TB will be more than sufficient.

#3. You will need a DAC to provide outputs to your system but it’s worth doing some reading up on Roon Ready & Roon tested devices then post specific questions here where you’ll get all the help you need.

Good luck with your project.

Hi Paul, many tks for your welcome & comments !

Hi again, Roon provide a useful setup guide which will take 30 minutes to read & will give you a good idea what you need to consider when planning your system:-

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Hi Carlos and welcome to Roon

For Ripping of your CDs many of us use dbPowerAmp, which is a great piece of software and I have ripped about 3k CDs using it.

Highly recommended like I said.

Good luck with the rest of your list


agree, I’ve ripped about 5K CDs with dbpoweramp (one at a time!). Highly recommended.


2.5k 4 Me 2 :+1:t3:


Wonderful, copied and am reading it !

Hello Carlos and welcome to the community.

I would recommend looking into building a NUC/ROCK music server before you pull the trigger on the Nucleus.

The NUC is basically a DIY version of the Nucleus. You get to pick the components, RAM, M.2 SSD for OS and Database, and the SATA SSD for your music files, and probably less than half the cost of the plus depending on the components.

If you don’t care to build your own then go for the Nucleus or plus.

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Or if you have a pc or mac lying around use that as a starter at, hopefully, zero cost. Then when you have the hang of things you can buy a dedicated bit of kit.

Hi Mike, thanks for your input. I will certainly check this further - concern is that my technical knowledge & skills are limited and I don’t think I’d be ‘equipped’ for a DIY road like (what I believe) NUC/ROCK is. From what I had understood the Nucleus would likely be the simplest road to digitizing the library, getting it into the SSD and then plugging it in for the Nucleus to make it all work. But maybe as Ged says here below it may be the case to start by getting a better undertsanding of the tool before making a nosedive into the ‘full dedicated kit’ …

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[ from my comment to Mike up here ] … as Ged says here below it may be the case to start by getting a better understanding of the tool before making a nose-dive into the ‘full dedicated kit’ … Thanks !


My understanding is that the nucleus has a quite limited ripping capacity so I don’t think it is the best solution to digitalise your library, rather the best way to access and play that library.

As mentioned above a PC or Mac running dBPoweramp is a great way to rip and these can also be your Roon “entry” devices. When you have the ripping done and are happy with things then I’d get the nucleus.

The PC/mac or nucleus will run the core, then ideally you will have a Roon ready device on your network that gets music to your amplifier and speakers.


Carlos, that’s a great old-school amp you’ve got there. And 75-year-old speakers that still work! Kudos!

You have inputs for digital S/PDIF, both optical and coax, on the back of the Denon amp. So you need a way to get the digital sound from your Nucleus into one of those inputs. You can do this with a streamer, like the $400 Zen Stream, that has S/PDIF outputs and can talk to Roon. There are other options, but the Zen Stream is pre-assembled and Roon Ready. I’d probably start with that, see how things sound. After that, you might consider an outboard DAC: the Nucleus connects to the Zen Stream over Ethernet, the ZS connects to the DAC via S/PDIF or USB, and the DAC feeds your amp via analog RCA inputs.

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Many PCs of the tower/desktop type, rather than a laptop, have digital outputs if yours does you can just plug it into the Denon to get started.

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You could consider a CD ripping service. Might save you a lot of effort.

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Before you rip, try Tidal or Qobuz, you could be surprised how many of your albums are there. Then rip the ones that aren’t ,

Ripping so many will take ages , preselecting may save you a lot of time.

The NUC/SSD route is highly recommended, the tech understanding is very limited, think Electonic Lego. The savings are immense.

There’s plenty of advice here. I did my NUC a couple of months ago , the step by step was easy …


Tks much, wonderful wealth of tips and considerations I’m getting here - keeping busy receiving, analysing, mining extra info, munching and digesting it all - fascinating … and tense for a DLB like me… (Digital-Low-Brow kkkkkkk)

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Will certainly look into NUC/SSD !

You can often buy ones with memory and disk already installed on ebay

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