Nucleus Plus (with or without DAC)

I am new to this. If using the Nucleus Plus only and an external HDD I should simply plug my HDD into one of the UBS ports on the back side of the Nucleus Plus and then Plug its Ethernet output to my Network Router or Switch. If I introduce a DAC then what is the connection sequence and does that mean that the DAC will feed the Roon Library into the System connected to the DAC and also send the Library to any end point that I might also be using in another location. Also, does that mean that the DAC only influences SQ for the single system to which it is attached while the end points use DACS of their own to influence SQ.

Each DAC needs its own endpoint. The nucleus runs the core and can be and endpoint too if you directly connect a DAC to it.

See this for more explainaion of the Roon eco system.

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You can connect the Nucleus directly to a USB DAC or you can use an Ethernet End Point/Bridge. There are some threads on this forum about the difference, but both can be accomplished if designed properly.

The usual recommendation is to let the Nucleus act as only a “server” and use dedicated End Points depending on what your DAC/system needs.

Thank you Phil for the clarification. That makes a lot of sense.


Excuse Me Brian I got mixed up on the responses

Thank you, I will certainly check it out.

Why is this?

Depending on the design and quality of the DAC/system connections, USB directly out of a Core ROCK/Nucleus to the DAC can be “noisy” for some listeners, especially if the power isn’t isolated and/or grounded properly. This is why people have different experiences and argue over the importance of linear power supplies.

This is being debated on this thread: Nucleus straight to DAC vs Nucleus to Streaming Transport (Endpoint) to DAC

As I stated in that thread, and will clarify here: Don’t let these details confuse and/or frustrate you. Both applications can sound great when executed properly. It’s best to start simple and tweak as your system, and your ego, desires.

Is the same thought to be true of HDMI out?

It isn’t bad. And in fact a lot of people cannot hear the difference or question whether the difference amounts to better or worse. The fact is that the Nucleus operating system has been patched to accept an increasingly large number of USB DAC’s without the need for DOP and it’s HDMI output has been sorted to work as you might expect it to. So direct connection via USB or HDMI are both scenarios the Roon team have made allowance for. After that it is power supplies and networked end points but that can be done when you can better appreciate any differences.