Roon Nucleus+ Experience

I wanted to share my experience with the Roon Nucleus+. It’s in my possession now for a day, replacing my SonicTransporter i5. Both are very capable devices and you’ll probably be happy with either one of them.

Let’s talk about price. There’s only thing I can say about it. It’s expensive. Three times the price of the SonicTransporter i5. Whether it’s too expensive is mostly up to the buyer (but in my opinion yes). The dealer mark up is simply not justified, mainly because their added value is zero. The Nucleus is so easy to set up, even a 10 year old or your grandma can do this (that’s a good thing obviously).

For the extra money, you do get a premium, minimalistic case. A work of art really. A shame they didn’t include a coupon for an extended trial. I have a lifetime membership, but others may not.

Let’s not forget the i7 processor either, which really packs a punch. Even for my, by all standards, small library, it was noticeable faster than the SonicTransporter i5. Both in playback as library browsing.

Very much enjoying the ROCK interface too. A tad bit easier than SonicOrbiter OS, although the latter supports more than just Roon. So there is some added complexity there.

Overall I’m quite happy with my Nucleus+ so far. Don’t hesitate if there are any questions.

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If it could also rip you CD’s I think it would add more value to it and make it more a viable product. I think Roon has missed a trick here by not offering up a true one box solution for their IP.

I could see how that might be useful for someone. I know a guy or two that would be very happy with such a feature. However, I for one am happy it is not in there. I have no use for it, and it ruins the whole spartan thing it’s got going.

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It is by far one of the best looking Music Streaming solutions I have seen, and the pictures of it defy the real thing that is “sexy” as far as hardware goes…a piece of art almost - once you hold it, it’s pretty hard to want to leave the shop without it.

Yes it is a little pricey but with that comes simplicity of use and setup out of the box. Im happy it doesn’t have CD ripping too…there are plenty of other options if you need that.

I’ve built many systems (ROCK/MOCK/Win7&10 and MAC) for Roon and Nucleus is bay far the least hands on you will find. If you put a price on your time its probably worth the cost.

While many will perhaps not need or avail themselves of dealer assistance I’m sure that it’s offered - perhaps as an additional charge for onsite setups etc, but a Bricks and Mortar establishment has to be able to survive too.

Roon offers many options for Core support - this is at the top end, but there are plenty of options in the lower cost range.

Personally I will get a Nucleus one day - Nice thing is that it doesn’t draw attention to itself at all. And likely very WAF friendly.

Looks fabulous indeed. I should probably give it a more prominent space on the audio rack :slight_smile:

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I recall (may be mistaken) that one of the justifications for the mark up was the dealer support offered (which of course has to be paid for). This is fair enough, but given some of the ‘basic get you going’ issues that some Nucleus user are asking for help for here, this is either not being consistently supplied or is a well kept secret at point of sale.

I agree that dealer support warrants some mark up. They have to earn a living too, that’s okay. But so far, I don’t see myself requiring that support. The device is very easy to set up. You get it working in no time. And that’s also a good thing obviously.

A dealer might assist in making sure a customer’s audio system is set up and compatible. Giving some training or what not. He can liaison when the device needs to be repaired etc. So there’s still added value there.

Anyhow, I know how much a nucleus goes for. There’s not much point in lingering on dealer mark ups and what not. I bought it cause it’s worth the money.

agreed – but these are mostly due to direct buyers or online-dealer buyers.

in-shop dealers (the intended point of sale) are very hands on, and often do the setup too (including connection of audio gear and music files + TIDAL). Truely turn-key.

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@danny You should consider including a power cable that suits the country. Mine came equipped with a US chord. I pointed it out to my (in-store) dealer but all I got was “that’s the way they are shipped”. If you can’t plug it into the power socket, you can hardly call it turn-key :wink:


Just some input from Germany: bought my Nucleus+ through my local dealer. They received the foil wrapped box (niiiiiice!) plus the required German power cord in a separate envelope from their distributor.

PS yes, it’s a waste of resources as I now have an US power cord with no use for :slight_smile:
PPS and to make it eben worse didn’t use the power supply at all as I started from scratch with my Keces DC-116 LPS :smile:

Best, Lorenz

Thanks for your write-up

I am shocked at your decision to sell Nucleus via dealer network. Why? Why not sell it direct, and pass on the dealer markup (probably 50%) to users.

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Nucleus is meant to be turn-key – something we can not provide without growing our team considerably (which we are not interested in doing). Having 500+ dealers worldwide is a better strategy for our company goals.

But, we didn’t neglect the DIY community – that’s why we give away ROCK for NUC for FREE.


:-1: This way of thinking targets two tiny niches (the DIY nerds and at the other end, the boutique-clients), ignoring the bigger amounts of potential customers in between these two extremes. Though you have the hardware and would just need to do some direct sales as @thyname suggested above, you decide to ignore this sales potential.

There are other manufacturers that fill the gap between ‘cheap’ DIY and a ‘costly’ nucleus. Small Green Computer offers a Roon Server for around $800. Probably forgetting a few other vendors in the process.

Thanks for this feedback. Yes something with i5 around 800 up to 1000€ would be more realistic than with a mere i3 at 1600€ or i7 at the whopping 2600€ price tag (though this small green computer’s case has a rather bland design ; but one doesn’t pay an extra 800 i.e. 100% extra just for the better case design).
I am wondering about the European market. (Unless I am mistaken, Small Green Computer is only operating in the US. Ordering overseas across the pond is not working well nowadays.) Does someone know other manufacturers, but Europe-based ones (or with EU-based online distributors), having potentially interesting Roon servers, relatively comparable to the Nucleus (and with properly working passive cooling; many people report that most “Akasa” cases are not good enough at passive heat dissipation…) but less overpriced? …
It would still be better if Roon themselves would do direct sales for a lower price than these boutique sales… especially for lifetime members like me :wink: … Because the Nucleus really looks and sounds vey convincing, only its current price is a deal-breaker. I hope Roon soon increases production scale and then revises the Nucleus pricing.
Not only do many people not need those HiFi boutiques for their voodoo services, the self-proclaimed HiFi “specialists” running such boutiques are, to some of us at least, feeling so unbearably annoying that one tries to avoid having to meet them (i.e. a disservice, not a service). In other words, such boutiques are for example for me, a disincentive to go buy a Roon Nucleus there…

Back in the days, I ordered a SonicTransporter i5 from Small Green Computer. No problem whatsoever with delivery in Europe. You can always check Vortexbox. They are located in UK.

Thanks for sharing about the “Vortexbox” UK distributor

We ship all our products world wide and have many customers in Europe.

Thanks for your feedback. (I personally had some problems in the past with the German customs with electronics ordered directly from the US. I thus would personally probably avoid doing this. @Nepherte already kindly mentioned a UK reseller of your products on this thread.)
Your company’s “transporter i7” device seems powerful enough to use more of Roon’s DSP functions (e.g. room correction) and to use with a very large music library, while it’s still less pricey than the Nucleus+. (For my part, I will just continue using my old i7 WIN laptop for a bit longer.)