Roon Nucleus vs Mac mini tweaked with Uptone JS-2


I have used modded mac mini2014 for couples of years, now I am itchy to find new toy to replace mac mini, but don’t know how it comapre with Roon Nucleus or Nucleus +:

  1. My mac mini is tweaked by Uptone audio MMK kits and power by JS-2 LPS, both mother board and cooling fan (aka one JS-2 out put to power mother board, another for cooling fan dedicatedly)

  2. I have googled around and do find some similar topic but cannot address my question

  3. Tidal streaming (Play back by Hqplayer embeded Roon) is the only audio resource for me, no local audio files

  4. My Tidal based front end setup: Fibre modem (powered by LPS)–>PPAudio TCXO tweaked network switch(powered by LPS)–>Ubiquiti Edgerouter X wired router(Powered by LPS)–>Aqvox V1 switch(powered by LPS)–Mac mini (tweaked by uptone MMK kits and powered by JS-2 LPS)–>ORAVA USB interface (USB in, USB out)–>Hydra Z(USB in, IIS out, powered by Hydra ZPM)–> Titans audio Helen(IIS in, AES out, powered by JS-2 LPS)–>Weiss DAC202(AES in, XLR out, re-clocked by Helen), all cables, including ethernet cable, USB cable, IIS cable, as well as AES and BNC, are various, including Entreq / QED / Oyaide / Acrolink

Just wanna know how the Roon nucleus or nucleus sounds like, comparing with MODDED mac mini (not the one with original switch power supply)

Anyone can help me out?

Don’t know how anyone can possibly know what your modded Mac mini sounds like. But I can tell you I like the sound of my Nucleus quite a lot. Having said that, if you want to tweak the sound, it’s a lot easier to revise your audio setup; amp, preamp, DAC, speakers, etc. They’ll make the most difference.

Thanks for reply, actually my mac mini was modded by Uptone audio mmk kit and powered by Uptone audio JS-2 LPS also (which I already mentioned in my post) I also did a research in Roon community and found out a lot of ppl actually are using the same modded mac mini and quite satisfied, but there is no direct comparison with Roon nucleus yet. That’s why I post here and thanks again for your reply

Btw, The DAC, pre amp, power amp and speakers, I have updated more than one time. Now my set up of Dac and anology portion: Weiss DAC202(reclocked by better external clock), Mark Levinson No380s, Jeff Rolands mode10, B&W 804S

I guess I should have been more clear. No one can know what your setup sounds to you except you. We all hear differently. I’m not sure where you’re at, but some audio vendors provide loaners or trials to audition equipment. My suggestion is, get yourself a Nucleus to try and see if you like it. If you don’t, just return it.

Thanks for reply again, everyone has his own setup which is true, but all the reviews, comparisons articles avail on internet are based on certain specific setup, is it? I agreed with you that one equipment will sound diff when we put it in diff system, but does it mean all the reviews are meaningless to us? For example, one of my preamp is Mark Levinson No380s, I have read a lot of reviews of it and none of them has the same setup as mine, but the warm tone which is the “Signature” of ML still can be felt on many diff system, including mine. I don’t think my modded mac mini is unique to me, there are many the same modded one on Roon forum so I think their point of view can be a reference to me if they happened to have Roon Nucleus as well.

You also talked about to try demo set from local dealer, it is a very good idea but unfortunately it is not avail ard me at the moment, so I seek help here.

Btw, the kit and LPS for my modded mac mini can be found in below link:

I ran the Uptone modified Mac mini with JS2 incredible setup for Roon. I auditioned the Nucleus+ about 14 months ago - there was no going back. it’s not a night/day difference, but for me the Nucleus just isn’t there, in that it adds zero signature to the replay chain directly compared to the modified Mac mini. The Nucleus adding zero influence itself, you do actually hear much more nuance to the music - subtle indeed but very easily identified

I do still use the JS2 to power the Nucleus+

Thanks a lot for reply, I think that’s exactly what I need, appriciated.

Sigh, another big hole on my purse…

I can’t make out from what you said if you like the moded Mac mini with JS2 better or if you prefer the nucleus. By the way with the MM do you also use an external DAC? Wouldn’t that be the thing to plug into the JS2 instead of the MM?

Roon Nucleus has joined my playback chain for more than 1 month, like @Evo1668’s experience, there is no turning back and I use JS-2 to power Nucleus as well, hope it can help those who have the same question and searching around for the answer.