Nucleus as a streamer

It does. And that’s the way I used it (USB direct to DAC) for a good while.

But IMO my DAC at least sounds better via an endpoint. Subtle, but there.

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I get all that. You seem to be saying that a piece of equipment cannot be both a streamer and a Roon core. That doesn’t make sense to me.

(I’m not trying to be argumentative here; I really think clarifying the nomenclature of computer audio is important, especially if we want more people to get into this stuff.)

No, you don’t get “all that”. If you did, you would understand.

The Roon Core cannot “stream” to itself. It is directly connected to the DAC via USB. There is no “streaming” happening. Streaming in the context of the original post is a Roon Core streaming over a network to. Roon Endpoint. The Roon Endpoint is the “streamer”.

I get all that. In this context the Roon core is streaming to the DAC.

No, it’s a direct connection. There is no network and no streamer…therefore no streaming.

Of course there’s a network–how else would you tell the Nucleus what to play?

There is no network between the DAC and the Nucleus…jeez.

A bit of a word feud here. Anyway, just to experiment, I hooked up an Argon One dac to my Nucleus via USB and then onto an amp and it works fine. Roon sees the Argon as a zone, just as it sees my Naim streamer as one. Since all my music is on a NAS, I do think it is legit to say that this is streaming. Just because there is USB cable in one step in the chain instead of an ethernet cable, doesn’t disqualify the setup as “non-streaming” IMHO.

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Where the music is stored is irrelevant. Whether it comes from Qobuz or a NAS or a local hard disk or an internal SSD. With the DAC directly connected to the Nucleus there is no Roon Endpoint with the music being streamed to it. So there is no “streamer” (Roon Endpoint) in the context of the original post. The key fact is that THERE IS NO ROON ENDPOINT!

Oh, so the word “streaming” is now exclusively patented by Roon? That’s like saying the concept of “water flow” only applies to a specific brand of tap “endpoint”.
I was actually pleasantly surprised that Roon also works with non-roon-ready gear. At least, Argon is not on their list of either ready or tested gear. Of course, the sound quality is higher when using a proper endpoint like the Naim, but for casual listening in my hobby roon, this USB to dac solution works for me! No matter how you call it…

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I feel like Speed Racer is willing to die on this hill, and it’s too bad he’s just plain wrong.

We call something a streamer either because it sends a signal over a network or it receives a signal over a network. For instance, ‘streaming DAC’ is a recognised industry term. Stereophile refers to the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge as such. The Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t send a signal, it simply receives it. But that doesn’t disqualify it from being referred to as a streaming DAC, because it is still streaming.


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It’s all about context and you need to look at the original post that started this thread. “Streaming” can mean many things in many different contexts. There is streaming music from music services like Qobuz or Spotify. There are streamers like Roon or Audirvana.

In the context of the original post, no streaming from a Roon Core to Roon Endpoint (the streamer directly connected to the DAC) was going on once the Roon Endpoint was removed. So, in the context of the original post there was no streamer any more since the Roon Core was communicating directly with DAC.

There could be several different types of streaming going on in the scenario laid out in the first post. But, the Nucleus was not a “streamer” in the context of the question. The “streamer” is a Roon Endpoint as in the Roon Core streaming to a “streamer”.

You are actually making my point for me.

The Brooklyn Bridge is called a “streaming DAC” because it has an Endpoint built into it. It can sit on an Ethernet network and be a Roon Endpoint with no other devices involved.

When you use a DAC directly connected to the Roon Core via USB, it is not acting as a streaming DAC. A non-streaming DAC would need something like an ultraRendu to act as the streamer so you can stream to the non-streaming DAC.