Searching perfect roon core


(Mathieu B) #1

Hello,
I would like to change my source and use roon.
I have a Dac / Preamp Auralic Vega G2.

I read that it was better to separate the functions Control / Core / Output

For the Control function, I have an Ipad that will do the trick

So, for optimum results, what to buy and how to connect?

Which Core? What Output?

Can the Vega G2 be considered as an output? Or do you have to buy an extra output for Roon?

I read everywhere that it was better not to plug the USB source on the Vega, but it was better to go through the router in rj45, is it correct?

As for the Core, I would like the best!
I would like to put an internal SSD, or external (NAS).

Having an excellent Core would allow me to use all of Roon’s resources and also for upsampling all the PCM audio signal in DSD512

I could also add small corrections by convolution FIR if (and if so) I noticed acoustic problems.

But then what device for that?
Do you know one ?

And how to connect to Vega G2? Wifi, by the router in RJ45?

Thank you !


(Robert ) #2

https://kb.roonlabs.com/Architecture#Core
https://kb.roonlabs.com/FAQ:_What_are_the_minimum_requirements%3F

Check into ROCK on the forum. People use NUCs as their core devices. I use an imac i5 2014, and anyhting above DSD 256 is a bit of a processing strain. Your G2 should work well. I think a few folks use them with Roon. there are some posts on that.


(Sean) #3

If you’re not a fan of DIY - I would recommend the fanless Roon Nucleus Plus as your Roon Core:

If you’re ok with DIY you can build a Roon Core that runs the same OS as the Nucleus Plus, Roon OS.

DIY instructions here (it’s not too difficult):

https://kb.roonlabs.com/Roon_Optimized_Core_Kit

For DIY Roon Core I would recommend the NUC7i7DNHE (not listed on that link but is officially supported) if you’re going to have it connected to your DAC via USB. Very low power consumption, runs cool, shouldn’t hear the fan at all from the listening position. You can also put this motherboard inside a fanless case later (not too hard to do).

Your Vega G2 DAC has probably the best designed USB input of any DAC on the planet (at any price…). It doesn’t just feature isolation (like many other great DACs) but the way the designer has implemented the USB isolation is unique among DACs and is done properly. So you can probably connect the Nucleus Plus direct to your DAC by USB and not worry.

However… your Vega G2 is already Roon Ready! Just hookup to your router/unmanaged switch via ethernet cables and don’t worry about another Roon source and USB. Your Roon Core will see your Vega G2 DAC over the network.

For best reliability (less potential for headaches) ethernet cable to router/unmanaged switch is best for hooking up Roon Core and your Vega G2. If you have this option for ethernet cable already available, do this and don’t spend any more time thinking about WiFi.

For Roon Remote Control via your iPad, WiFi is needed and no problems of course.


(Mathieu B) #4

thank you !

but then, will the nucleus plus be able to both upsample the pcm files into dsd AND integrate a small convolutional correction?
is the nucleus more powerful enough to do both?

and is upsampling + convolution timely before the Dac? it does not affect the SQ?


(Sean) #5

Depends what DSD sample rates and exactly what convolution?

@danny can help more about the Nucleus Plus capabilities though.

Better to do it before the DAC, instead of after the DAC. The right DSP can sometimes help with SQ performance. DSP can also harm if not done properly but only you can say after listening before and after DSP.


(Mathieu B) #6

Thanks again.
And for the connection, it takes three cables.

Two Ethernet:

  • 1 connecting the Vega G2 to the router
  • 1 connecting the Nucleus Plus to the router

And a USB cable connecting the Nucleus Plus to the Vega G2

Is it correct ?


(Sean) #7

No problem at all.

You have multiple options for DAC inputs (for Roon) - USB connection to Nucleus Plus OR just ethernet connection to router/unmanaged switch.

If you connect the G2 to router/unmanaged switch via ethernet cable, your Nucleus Plus (also connected to router/switch via ethernet cable) will see it on the network - so you don’t even need a USB cable to connect Nucleus Plus to your DAC. Your DAC already is ‘Roon Ready’ over ethernet.

USB cable is only required if you didn’t want to use the ethernet input of your DAC - but I would just use ethernet input if I were you.

Always better to have more options than fewer ! :slight_smile:


(Mathieu B) #8

Another question :

Is it easy to change Nucleus Plus elements?

For example, add RAM?

Or change the processor later, by another?

etc.


(Sean) #9

RAM is easy to change. But Nucleus Plus already comes with enough RAM for the future. @danny knows what is coming over the next few years for Roon, so I would trust that Roon include enough RAM with their flagship Roon Core. I wouldn’t worry about RAM if I were you.

CPU can’t be changed.


(Scott Winders) #10

Instead of the Nucleus Plus, I would look at the Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i7:

This server is more powerful than the Nucleus Plus and is more flexible too.


(Mathieu B) #11

I do not know if you agree with me but the performances of DIY Roon Core are better than those of Nucleus

While Nucleus are much more expensive.


(Sean) #12

Yes my NUC7i7DNHE (quad core) is very zippy. I have it in a fanless case. About half the price of Nucleus Plus. Some photos:

FS: Fanless NUC running ROCK - Intel NUC i7 - 8th Gen - NUC7i7DNHE

Like I said earlier though, it depends how comfortable you are with DIY. Not everyone is comfortable with that, so the Nucleus Plus is a great option for those people.

I also have a fanless sonicTransporter i7 that @winders linked above. I’ve since given it to my old man (dad) and it is very quick (running both Roon Server and HQPlayer Embedded for up-sampling to DSD512). It looks like the new model is the 6 core i7-8700.


(Mathieu B) #13

Yes, I had already seen the Sonic Tranporter

He works like a Nucleus? It’s a Roon Core ?
It is that to plug directly via usb to Vega G2

What are the differences with Nucleus?


(Sean) #14

No because your Vega G2 has a Roon Ready ethernet input, you don’t actually need to use USB at all for Roon. The sonicTransporter will be the Roon Core and will see your ethernet connected DAC over the network. See my explanation a few posts above - you have the option of either the USB input of your DAC or the Roon Ready ethernet input of your DAC. For Roon, no need to use both. Just use ethernet.

The sonicTransporter runs Roon Server as well as other apps, running sonicOrbiter OS. Running Roon Server, it will act as your Roon Core. You can search to compare i7-8700 performance against the various NUCs. It’s quick.

Nucleus runs Roon OS - developed by the Roon Team. You can run Roon OS via the Intel NUC DIY option too.


(Mathieu B) #15

What I do not understand is that on the site, it seems necessary to put a micro rendu between the SonicTransporter and the DAC (Vega for me)


(Sean) #16

It can play to a Roon Ready microRendu.

But it will also play to your Roon Ready Vega G2. No need for a Rendu. No need for USB cable.

The reason they mention the Rendu - not everyone has a Roon Ready ethernet input DAC like your Vega G2. Some people need a Roon Ready USB source, like the Rendu.


(Mathieu B) #17

In any case, your Fanless Nuc looks great!

No welding to do;)?

Only simple things?


(Sean) #18

Ha, no welding. Just a screwdriver.

The only things to buy are:

1 x fanless case (Akasa Plato X7D)
1 x NUC7i7DNHE
2 x 4GB/8GB RAM
1 x M.2 SSD (NVMe is quick)


(Sean) #20

Where did you see this? I can’t see any reason why an i9 running Windows or Linux can’t run Roon Server… Didn’t mention Mac because I don’t know of any Mac models that feature an i9 CPU yet.


(Mathieu B) #21

So if you want to put a monster like that in your case, you can?