Nucleus launch imminent?

It is a shame (and lost opportunity for Roon to make some money) that this was not launched in time for holiday season

A shame indeed, but it’s amazing that it even shipped this year. Original ship date from our factory was August!

cruxaudion web site “states” there’s an external power supply, but do not tell us if it’s LPS or not. Specs are still a mystery.

there is no external PS from Roon Labs yet… that’s still in development

if you are looking for specs like a computer has, you wont find them or wont find them to be reliable. If you are looking for specs such as library size and zone counts, that will come with the marketing material when the product is actually shipping to customers.

we are doing this Apple-style… we are not competing on hardware specs point for point.

This is hands down the best device to run Roon. Trust us or get something else.


I’m a bit confused. If an external power supply is “in development”, are you saying the Nucleus will ship with a built-in power supply? And, will a “better” external power supply be offered as an add-on, or only with a newer version of the Nucleus? For such a premium price over a ROCK enabled NUC the differences would appear to be coming in the hardware, right? Or are you creating a special or especially tweaked ROCK implementation?

It ships with an external power supply, but it is not an LPS. You are free to replace it if you want to, including replacing with a future Roon Labs upgrade-power-supply that will also match the industrial design of the Nucleus’ case. That power supply is in development right now, but we are not ready to share details until it is ready to ship.


The hardware is fanless, unlike the NUC. If you want to understand the pricing, @JWC wrote a great post on this. There are posts in this thread as well from my self and @brian – but @JWC’s post is really spot-on:

Thanks for the clarification. I guess until Nucleus ships, there will be no way to assess whether using an i5 NUC will be quiet enough, and sufficient for supporting my library. And more importantly, whether it or any other alternative will be sonically better than my existing i7 based Apple MacMini top-end server. And I’m not averse to building my own server that if fanless and it Roon supported if that presents itself.

I have build a fanless nuc using the Newton case. Easy to assemble and totally Silent.

Model : NUC5i5RYK with Newton S5.

Here’s the set up:

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Thanks. Will keep this in mind once I’ve an opportunity to review the Nucleus in detail.

@stevev1, can you edit your post to clarify which NUC model you are using for that Newton case, and what your typical usage of zones/library/DSP is.

I want to make sure someone reading it in the future knows which NUC and what use cases are safe to use successfully. We’ve already run into some complaints regarding overheating on fanless Akasa cases.

@stevebythebay – if you build it right for your use case, the Akasa cases are a great DIY solution. I believe @stevev1 even uses Sbooster’s external LPS power supply to great success (if i’m not wrong @stevev1, please mention that in your edit also!).

I’ve had a sonicTransporter i7 (which I’ve since given to my dad to use at his place) which has very similar/same specs and is also fanless and maybe cheaper… and with a DC input also leaves the option for people to consider an external linear PSU.

I do like the idea of Nucleus being available in-store locally though. Local warranty support with the hardware etc. The ‘online only’ option is great for those that know about it and are comfortable with it, but local options are great too.

If you don’t care about the fanless option, there’s always ROCK also.

Options are always great for consumers.

So, what are you using today, having passed along the sonicTransporter? It’s dual Ethernet is a nice touch, assuming it allows for the creation of a bridged virtual network, to avoid the use of an additional switch and still access the device wirelessly while connecting it via Ethernet to the downstream devices.

What do you mean by the “online option”? Are you referring to MusicDirect and other internet-based sales channels?

No, I’m only referring to the sonicTransporter i7 (as an example only). You can’t walk into a shop and buy one - not here in Australia anyway. You will be able to buy a Nucleus in store soon enough, which will be great for those that don’t want to go the online option.

I highly recommend the sonicT i7 but it’s an online order only (right now anyway). Some people may just prefer a local purchase and the Nucleus will give those people that option. Options are always great.

I did list it for sale at some point but decided to give that to dad. He does lot’s of DSP to his endpoints -
including DSD256 to a Sonore ultraRendu > iFi iDAC2, which I’ll probably replace with a Project S2 Pre DAC soon, to do up-sampling to DSD512.

I have a Hugo2 and DirectStream DAC which up-sample to ~90MHz and ~50MHz internally (or thereabouts), respectively, so I thought best to turn off Roon’s up-sampling rather than mix up-sampling algorithms. My Core now is just my Synology DS918+, which has no dramas with just bit-perfect playback and even some minor DSP like auto volume levelling for background/party mode.

@danny Danny

Is it correct that Roon doesn’t allow / can’t do a bridged network (believe it’s an issue working with a Subnet)? Is this the reason why the Nucleus only comes with one Ethernet Port?

Were they running i7? Akasa cases were meant for i5 and below only.

By the way, Sbooster deliver up to 36W only, so NUC7i5BNH (15W TDP) should work but NUC7i7BNH (28W TDP) may be too much.

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I evaluated fanless Roon server options for users, and I found that there are actually very few choices. Adding a fanless case to NUC is not necessarily the ideal option for everyone due to DIY and support reasons, Nucleus is not available yet, leaving SonicTransporter as the only viable option. There are other more expensive choices than SonicTransporter, but they have much less presence here.

In addition to the fanless nature, SonicTransporter i7 also has an advantage over NUC7i7BNH - the former is quad core, the latter is dual core.

Agreed Peter.

At the time, I (now regrettably) wanted a fanless and headless option to have it close to my HiFi gear. So I picked up a fanless sonicT i5 (for dad) and a fanless sonicT i7 for myself.

Since then I sold the sonicT i5 and gave dad my sonicT i7 and had cable installers run Cat 6 cable throughout his house to the various listening rooms. His sonicT i7 now lives in the home office, next to the modem and main switch - far away from any listening rooms - where all that stuff should be (if practicably possible - sometimes it is not).

So if I could go back in time (hindsight is always 20/20) and ROCK was available at the time, a NUC7i7BNH living in his office is all he needs. The noise of the fan in the office would be a non factor - and there’d be a lot of change ($$$) left over lol.

If someone is in the market for a new fanless and headless Core that:

  1. Doesn’t want to go DIY and
  2. Doesn’t want to order from overseas and
  3. Wants local hardware support and
  4. Are happy to pay extra for these conveniences

then Nucleus ticks all these boxes and I would advise to wait for Nucleus…

If I didn’t set everything up for dad (even a NUC7i7BNH running ROCK if I went with that option) Nucleus would be his only option with getting a new Core. He’d still be using his 2010 iMac as his Core today. He wouldn’t order a AUD2000 computer online from overseas.

I imagine there are many thousands of current (and potential) Roon customers that would be in a similar position to him - Nucleus gives these people a good option.

The great news is there are plenty of options, depending on budgets and comfort levels with DIY.

Hi @danny I’ve updated my post.
I’m not using any special power supply…just the one that came with the NUC.
Any advantage using one when my endpoints are all on the network?

Unfortunately the ROCK status webpage does not include any indication on cpu temperature. I’m quite confident all is well as the case only gets slightly warm. I only have 3 endpoints and only upsample to DSD64 on the headphone zone.

Yah, there was a time when Akasa was saying i7 works too, but it was not right.

Agree that the choices are slim to slimmer. As for the SonicTransporter, I’m more inclined to go with the Nucleus for the simple reason I tend to go with Apple: the hardware and, more importantly, the software/OS are being tailored and managed by the source of the same - in this case Roon and R.O.C.K. Though I’ve had few complaints using the MacMini over time (a few hiccups have happened in some prior macOS releases) the server’s been quite noise free (I’ve got it about 15 feet away from my sitting position, and given it’s only use is as a Roon server, it’s not taxed), it is after all designed and supported by Apple as a general purpose, rather than application specific, computer.

However, in the end, the ideal server should deliver the ultimate in sonic performance, along with an unobtrusive, stable and worry free environment. Paying Roon a premium to get that is worth it, at least for me and my lifetime Roon license. So I eagerly await delivery of same at my local high end audio dealer. I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to take on the task of building their own R.O.C.K. based server. In my case, my feeling is that Danny and the folks at Roon will deliver the best solution – having worked for IBM over 30 years and involved in the early PC days and the MicroSoft relationship, I’ve come to appreciate creating a product that is as much as possible designed, developed and manufactured in-house. And one that does one thing, and does it well (rather than products that are high in function, but hard to maintain) are what I’m after. In the world of home audio that’s especially important – especially given the fact that few companies make all the parts, end to end, for any system.