Nucleus+ with C4 EA-5 system and stand-alone DAC

I currently have a Control4 multi-zone (x12) audio set-up, which uses an EA-5 controller, a Control4 audio matrix and then a number of rack-mounted amps to connect to ceiling speakers in the different rooms in my house, which I control through C4 touchscreens and the C4 app - I’m still on OS 2 but will upgrade soon to OS 3. Most of my listening is done through Tidal and my home audio files (currently stored on a Synology DS918+ NAS).

I have two problems with this system, both of which I was hoping that Roon could solve for me, but one of which seems (based on this forum) like it may not work. I’d obviously like to know for sure before buying the assorted kit, not least as my installer isn’t very Roon experienced.

The first issue, which I think works, is that I’d like to have an offline music set-up in one room, controllable through C4 if needed but also of a higher quality than my built in system. I was planning on having a Nucleus+ as the Roon Core and then using a Mytek Manhattan II DAC (with Roon-ready network card) as the Roon endpoint, which would then feed into a stereo amp and floor-mounted speakers. I assume I’d then be able to control this (except the volume) through my Control4 touchscreen, using the Roon interface to control the Nucleus to serve up content to the Manhattan and on to the amp and speakers. I think this is right?

The second question, which seems more difficult, is how/if I can then use the Nucleus to provide content to my EA-5 controller/C4 audio matrix, and thereby use Roon to control the rest of my house set-up. Another thread on this forum suggests that the EA-5 isn’t a Roon endpoint, but it’s an old thread and indicates this may be being resolved. My question is whether this is now possible? If Roon nucleus+ integrates with C4 then I assume I can get the C4 touchscreen to ask the Nucleus for content? And then the EA-5 just uses that content to pass through the matrix and on to the zones? If I’m listening to Tidal or home network music files through the nucleus or through the EA-5 then isn’t it the same? Or would I need to bypass the EA-5 and have a series of endpoints feeding into the matrix?

My reason for not wanting just to have Roon running the Manhattan set-up, which I’m confident it can do, but rather wanting it for the rest of the system, too, is that the C4 music interface is so utterly terrible that I’m desperate for an alternative. I recognise that C4 OS3 may be better, but would prefer to use Roon if I’m putting that in for my offline system anyway.

Any thoughts gratefully appreciated.


Hello @simon_bones,

Welcome to the forum!

Yes, this is correct. You can play music through the Control4 interface to any zone which you can access natively through Roon. If you wish to see the Control4 - Roon interface, you can find screenshots on our module documentation:

You can control the HDMI output from the Nucleus and feed it into an AVR, but do note that at this time, it is not possible to set up the HDMI as a connection in Composer. We have an active ticket regarding this and are working on adding this feature. Please see this thread for more info:

What you cannot do is use the HDMI output from the EA-5 controller as a Roon endpoint. Some users have gotten Airplay to work with Control4 processors, but we have not tested using Airplay to EA-5 yet, so your results may vary.

Yes, this is correct.

If you are using the Roon - Control4 module, then all of the commands will be going to the Nucleus. The Nucleus would first perform any processing/DSP and then pass on the audio stream to the endpoints via RAAT, Roon Ready or other supported Roon protocols (Sonos/Airplay/Linn/ect.). As mentioned above, you cannot use the EA-5 as an audio endpoint except for Airplay.

Do keep in mind that while the Control4 interface might be useful for queuing up tracks and starting playback, it does not offer the full range of features as the native Roon app. Performing metadata edits, enabling DSP or configuring device settings (to name a few features) is only possible in the native Roon app.

Thanks for this. So I understand that I can’t use the EA-5 as an end-point. In that case, would the following work:

  • I connect the nucleus+ into my home network through ethernet
  • I also connect 4x raspberry pi (again, through ethernet), along with DACs outputting analogue (e.g. HifiBerry DAC0+ Pro) to the network. This gives me 4 extra endpoints and means the nucleus could send 4 simultaneous feeds out. I use four for the sake of argument (and to contain costs) but could scale up, I guess
  • I then connect the RCA outputs of the HiFiBerries to four inputs on my C4 matrix (which is analogue in/analogue out), the outputs of which run to my amps and speakers. So no music passes through the EA-5 at all.
  • Since my EA-5 currently does internet radio as well as Tidal and NAS, I’d lose that capability through C4, but I could use Tunein through the Nucleus for radio?
  • On my C4 touchscreen, I would then use the Roon interface (thanks for the link) and would need to ensure that C4 was also on top of the matrix inputs/outputs (so for Roon to send Tidal to the Kitchen, C4 would need to ensure that whatever endpoint this was going to was connected to the kitchen in the matrix) and volume (which would be dealt with through Roon).
  • I’m not sure whether this would only work through C4 or whether I could also control through the Roon app (on the basis that ROon would otherwise need to tell C4 how to configure the matrix and so on)

Obviously, the above requires some extra hardware but would that be a viable system? Or would Roon and C4 struggle to work together?



This seems logical so far, I don’t forsee issues here.

Yes, you can manually add TuneIn links to Roon, see the bottom of this guide.

How would you have Roon control the input/output of the audio matrix and know which zone playback should be started to? If you have dedicated zones for each room and the matrix has some sort of “autodetect” feature on Control4 then that might work, but I have not tested this aspect.

By this I mean - if you always have one of the Pi’s feeding to your Kitchen zone (for example) and as soon as playback is started the matrix switches to the proper input (Kitchen Pi) and starts playback to Kitchen zone then that could be a possible solution.

You may want to consult with your Contro4 dealer regarding this aspect though, as I have not tested any Control4 matrices and I can’t say if they have such capabilities.

Thanks again. Unfortunately, I don’t want a one-to-one mapping of end-points to zones, as I have a dozen zones. At the moment, C4 sets an output stream from the EA-5 and obviously in some way knows which stream that is and tells the matrix to map that input to the required zone output.

So I guess C4 would have to be able to do something similar to Roon - e.g. if I have nothing playing and want Roon Tidal in the kitchen then C4 would tell Roon to play to Endpoint 1 (as it’s the first stream) and then set the matrix to map ENdpoint 1 to the kitchen. It sounds like a C4 issue so I’ll check with them.

thanks, simon

1 Like