Output stereo as 2.1 or 2.2 via 2 x USB on Nucleus

I’ve been enjoying Roon for some time streaming to my AVR which handles bass management for stereo. However, to improve SQ I’d like to cut out the AVR and connect direct by USB to a separate DAC for the mains. Easy enough with a Nucleus I understand. But the more complicated problem is whether Roon can handle the bass management and output one (or two) sub outputs via the second USB on the Nucleus to a separate DAC (like the miniDSP 2x4HD I currently use) for the subs. Has anyone done that successfully? Is this configuration possible? Thanks

Not so far as know.

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Why couldn’t you just play to two separate zones in Roon with two Roon ready DACs and two amps, one feeding a bass heavy speaker set-up or whatever you want? I’m not sure why this would be necessary.

Thanks @mitr . Since posting this question, I realised the magic words I needed to search for were “bass management” - and then I discovered a number of related threads.

So I realised now that the simplest way to get 3 or 4 channels out for 2.1 or 2.2 via one USB may be with a relatively inexpensive (€400) miniDSP U-DIO8 capable of 192kHz at 24 bit as reviewed by Kal. Or there’s the seeming bargain €989 Okto Dac8 Pro (which I think you’ve yet to review Kal?)

Thanks for the feedback @Jim_F. Your suggestion of using two zones is explicitly the subject of another thread. However, I’ve discovered that this approach has been dismissed in yet another thread as not being appropriate by @danny, Roon Labs’ COO .

Life in stereo at home used to be so simple, until a few things happened. My son convinced us to install a projector and screen, so we had to rearrange the room. Moving where we sat revealed some seriously bad room nodes that until then had gone unnoticed. Using multiple subs (2 is good but 4 is exceptional) with a miniDSP2x4HD running filters created using Multi Sub Optimiser sorted out the bass frequencies up to 80Hz in a way that previously I thought impossible - very flat, deep, impactful, and extraordinarily even across the listening area. Dirac running on an AVR addressed everything else extremely well, but - and it’s a big but - Dirac brings down a veil that leaves subtle complexity congested. So running Dirac Live on an Arcam AVR850 or NAD M17 isn’t the answer either - I’ve tried both. Maybe it’s the 48kHz internal processing rate on the hardware that causes this, but it could be a host of other things.

I know my Wilson Benesch Square 5s and Audionet AMP I v2 are capable of delivering much more than they do currently, because of shortcomings in what they’re being fed. I just need to sort out how to achieve room correction and bass management in the digital domain to high quality. I’ve read about Audiolense and Acourate, both of which which can generate filters that Roon can convolve. Based on the comments of others, this approach seems to offer the prospect of achieving what I’m after. The challenge that this post seeks to address is finding the optimal means of getting the digital signals (stereo left and right, and sub/subs) into the right DACs.

It’s a complex area, and there seem to be lots of options. I’m open to suggestions and comments.

Currently my Roon Core runs on a Synology NAS in another room, so I’d been thinking of buying a fanless PC (either the Roon Nucleus or building my own) to locate with my audio equipment. That would allow me to connect the DACs by USB, at the same time as upgrading the processing power of the core, without needing to buy a multichannel Roon endpoint. Does that make sense? Which would then that lead to the question of how to connect multiple DACs.

Not yet. (This is a complete sentence.)

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I saw a thread on which you replied to @Jeffrey_Robbins that you’d got a review sample out of the box … Have you any early impressions you’d be prepared to share? Thanks

Until I publish the review, I cannot share anything that you might consider useful. All I can add is that, after removal from the box, I have been using it continuously without any issues.


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And, I am still waiting for mine to show up, having ordered as no. 111 back on February 20. I think Okto has just received its shipment of DAC covers from its supplier, so I’m hopeful it will ship out very soon now!

I will ask but one other question of @mitr on the Okto unit before the review gets published: am I going to be able to make it work for my 5.2 main system with a PC-based server and Roon? We all know about the wonders of the channel mapping issues… JCR

That’s perfect for now - thanks! Looking forward to the review in due course.

The channel-mapping issues are part of Roon.

I’m now in line at number 150. Still, that gives me time to learn how to use Audiolense by practicing on the simpler setup in my kitchen while I’m waiting. Hope you get yours soon!