Nucleus standard vs. Plus

Is there a sound quality difference for Tidal streaming between the two versions of the Nucleus or is the difference just a matter of additional DSP features and more zones? Sound quality is my biggest priority and I only listen to streaming so is there any reason I need to spend more $$ for the Plus version?

Roon has never touted Nucleus as an improvement in SQ, no matter what edition.

I think the biggest difference is the number of zones you can play simultaneously without loss of sound quality. I went with the plus only because I have over 10 zones of music and often have multiple zones running simultaneously. I also included an internal drive in the nucleous plus (I can’t recall if you can do that on the regular nucleous).

The decision to have a plus vs standard depends upon the size of your library (see below), the amount and type of DSP done, and number of simultaneous endpoints being played to.

Keep in mind, even though you are streaming, every album you add to your library counts towards the total for figuring out if a + is needed. For example, the processor needs for a Roon user that has a 100k local tracks is the same as a Roon user that has added 100k streaming files to his library.

Thanks for the response here.

I would like to continue this thread and please forgive me if this is very basic:

Since I only have one zone (NYC apartment!), the stated difference I am interest in is this: with the Standard version “Certain combinations of DSP + DSD may not be possible”

My entire collection is ripped to AIFF. I don’t want to use the Nucleus for any DSP, just as a digital transport to my dCS DAC. I prefer to let dCS handle all up-sampling and DSP.

Given this,
(A) can Nucleus be set up in this manner?; and
(B) will I be fine with the Standard version?


Short answer, yes.

How many tracks are in your library? That matters as much if not more than whether you are doing DSP.

I am pretty modest, relative to the community. Approximately 1,000 albums…

Well, assuming 10 tracks per album, that would be 10,000 tracks or so, plus any tracks added from streaming services.

Do you / have you added many streaming albums to your library?

If all you listen to is Tidal streaming, why do you need Nucleus? Or Roon? Not being a smart alec, just curious about something I’m missing?

A large % (but not the majority) of Roon users only stream. Roon has many purposes beyond files support, or mixing files and streaming. Device playback, multiroom support, DSP, exploration/discovery of music, etc… and Nucleus is a turn-key solution to getting the most annoying part of Roon (the Core) just dealt with.


Plus beautiful, simple hardware design.