I was ready to buy a Nucleus & subscribe to Roon until I began reading about so many problems of late with updates, system issues & customer frustrations. I was excited to try it out as my Hegel H190 just became Roon Ready. I don’t want to create problems, spend all my time shutting down & rebooting or reinstalling the OS. I intended to stream Tidal (non MQA) Advice?
I have a Nucleus because I have 12 zones in my house that the family uses at different times of the day.
If you’re only using it for listening to music for your self then I wouldn’t invest in one.
If your using it for multi zone then it’s a good investment
Welcome to the forums Clyde.
It is maybe a little difficult to answer your question honestly with the information provided but I’ll give it a try.
I don’t use a Nucleus myself, but, I do personally have a friend who does. They have had absolutely no problems with it from a hardware perspective. Any connectivity issues they experienced were always solved with a reboot, again this was few and far between. To be honest at the end of the day it is the nature of computing, networking etc in the average home environment, and likely will solve the problem.
The case is lovely.
There are many ways to use Roon, for me one of the main attractions. This though can be a little overwhelming. I have my Roon Core running on a home built Debian server and utilising Ropieee but I’m a bit of a tinkerer so part of the fun. Once up and running though it is pretty much turn on my amp and play my music.
I fully understand folks frustrations when their gear does not perform, and folks tend to post when stuff goes wrong and not when it functions.
The hardware problems with the Nucleus I see on here, appear to be inline with common problems with computer hardware in general and not a Nucleus specific issue.
Ultimately the Nucleus is marketed as close to plug in and use as can actually be accomplished so maybe give it a wee think? Explore building your own box, a NUC etc?
@David_Snyder David’s response below is a great way to start fresh and see.
What Roon gives you over streaming TIDAL to your H190 via the BubbleUPnP or mConnect apps is a beautiful UI with loads of music discovery features. It enables you to more easily find musical gems worth the time to listen in that vast 70+ million track library.
You do need a computer (Mac or PC) to use Roon, but it does not have to be a Nucleus. If you have Roon installed somewhere, I’d suggest that you uninstall it now. Sounds crazy, but hear me out. Here are the steps I suggest to all new Roon users:
- Install the free Roon Server app on a PC or Mac. Ideally, this is a desktop computer that you don’t mind leaving on and staying logged in most of the time. It should have a wired Ethernet connection and boot from an SSD drive for reliability and performance. Note: Roon Server has no user interface. It just runs in the background, but if you look closely, you’ll find a small icon in the system tray or top-right on macOS. Check the context menu to ensure that it’s configured to start automatically when you login.
- Install the free Roon Remote app on an iOS or Andriod tablet or smartphone. Make sure that your device is on the same network as the computer running Roon Server. For this to work, you need to be on your home Wi-Fi (not a mobile data network). Also, your Wi-Fi network must be bridged to your wired network. If the first three numbers in IP addresses assigned to wired devices are the same as wireless devices, you’re probably good.
- After you accept the license agreement, the Roon Remote app should (fingers crossed) find your Roon Server. Login using your Roon account or create a new one.
- Once you’re in, login to your TIDAL account via the Services tab under Settings.
- Make sure that your H190 is powered on and on your network. Then find it on the Audio tab under Settings. Enable it and make sure the settings look reasonable.
- Install the Roon Remote app on all of your other compatible tablets and smartphones. Install the Roon desktop app on all of your computers so that you’ll have many of different ways to access and control your Roon environment.
There are plenty of configuration options and tweaks you can explore, but this will give you a nice, clean start. You have clear separation of concerns with Roon Core (Server), Controls, and Outputs each set up on separate, networked devices.
From your experience going through this exercise, you’ll be better equipped to decide if a Roon subscription is right for you. Operation will be very similar to owning a Nucleus, but without the upfront expense. The main difference you’ll see when “upgrading” to Nucleus is that it your Control devices will generally be more responsive and you’ll have less downtime due to updates, reboots, etc.
Thank you very much.
Install Roon on a laptop and do a monthly subscription. There is zero risk. I’ve had a Nucleus for 2 1/2 years and Roon for 2 3/4 years with never a problem of any significance. I did once have to restore a 4 day old back up and once had to replace a switch. I stream from both Tidal and Qobuz with zero issues from both.
There have been numerous post on issues and that is a valid concern but I have to say the majority of users don’t have issues. I have a nuc/rock server setup that was recycled with the last upgrade for no other reason than I just felt like it. It had been up for 120 days without any issues.
I don’t think you can go far wrong with @David_Snyder or @Jim_F suggestions.
David obviously goes much more in depth but as Jim says, just use any half decent laptop to start with and go monthly until you are sure it’s for you.
I started with an old win7 Dell laptop, upgraded the os to win10 and used that until I got a NUC running Rock
There are other reasons to consider the Nucleus. Space and Power. I was using my Win10Pro Xeon 24 Core workstation that literally raises the temperature in my studio. It was only able to connect to my network via wireless. It worked fine with only occasional drops outs (very annoying). I had a small shelf in an armoire with a GigE drop available. I was worried about cooling. The Nucleus fits perfectly in this small space, and is barely warm to the touch after hours of operation. With no cooling fan, it is completely silent. It supports direct connection to my headphone DAC/Amp on the shelf directly above. It also feeds my main living room system via wireless (Pro-Ject S2 Ultra/SMSL SU-9/Parasound HALO). It has had zero issues thus far. It hosts all of my library on the now standard 1TB SSD. I always start with my requirements before making a trade study of options. I highly recommend this systems engineering approach.
I would not attach a DAC directly to the Nucleus. I would also not purchase any hardware before giving Roon a fair trial. Some people have lots of network issues. Also, you need ethernet to your Roon core for best results. WIFI is usually OK for end-points and control devices.
I would agree that it is good idea to start by installing the Roon Core on a network attached PC as I have done, to see how you get on. I started with a free trial and have now subscribed as I find Roon to be a great way to manage and play music. I have had very few issues with reliability, dropouts, etc but would recommend an Ethernet connection to your endpoint if possible.
If you find you are happy with your experience you can then look at buying a Nucleus or buy an Intel Nuc if you want to go down the DIY route.
Only pointing out that it’s worth considering one’s requirements prior to making any hard selections. I prefer my DAC connected directly to my Nucleus, it works perfectly. The internals of the DAC (USB chipset, FPGA, etc.) create orders of magnitude greater noise that would ever be present on a USB connection. The DAC is designed to eliminate all of the digital I/F noise from the analog section and output. The noise floor is far below audible. I only include components that add value to the total system, and my enjoyment.
My suggestion is for those with a little Linux knowledge.
I have always been attracted to the newer Gen 11 Intel rugged element solutions.
The Intel platform doesn’t get much forum time.
This will probably change once Roon Rock supports UEFI.
- Silent case
- Card based upgrades
- Quite cost effective
- Still available
- Element Gen 8-11 CPU/RAM cards available
- UEFI required
- Requires M.2 installation
- Requires Element install
- Requires OS install
Not as straight forward as a Basic 8-10th Gen NUC rock install, but the silent case is worth the trouble IMO.
So while Roon continue to work on an UEFI compatible Rock release, I would personally install Ubuntu server 21.10 and Roon server and enjoy.
Yeah as Jim_F has stated it seems pretty hit and miss with some users.
With such massive variation in network hardware, user knowledge and setups - its a wonder the software works as well as it does.
My setup has been pretty rock solid, but its prudent to expect some level of software glitch(es) introduced through the update cycle. This can be frustrating especially if the “glitching” functions are heavily utilised, like the pause/play delay (Which is now corrected, but was a real pain).
Additionally, IMO, some of the design/GUI choices made by the Roon team are also questionable, specifically image management and scaling etc. I believe these issues have started to be addressed.
I would also like to see a tile customisation feature allowing users to minimise/remove unwanted tiles or information from the home screen, etc.
In my setup I have run Roon across 2 Orbi nodes without any issues.
Any decent network should be perfectly capable of functioning adequately for Roon.
All been said but I’ll say it anyway.
My experience, I installed Roon on a Windows 10 Desktop, Ethernet to modem etc (i7, 16 Gb RAM, SSD) . Meanwhile that desktop got upgraded so system no.2 (similar spec) I have very recently moved to NUC /ROCK (nearly a Nucleus but not quite).
My end points have been a RPi3 then a RPi4 running Roipeee (see this forum) , maybe a bit DIY but a very cheap starting point before you lash out funds.
I have used Roon as my primary music source for coming up 6 years , very few (if any technical problems) and rock solid stability.
If you can avoid WiFi for primary network traffic , obviously the Remote app will be WiFi. The majority of networking issues come down to WiFi. Roon is a bit (a lot) network demanding so Ethernet pays off and avoids the “connection woes”
Reading this forum you must bear in mind that its “comment” but is also the primary starting point for support so you would expect to see all the niggles you see , that’s how Roon support works . Mostly its the community users who sort stuff out with sage advice before Support get involved.
I would take the “old computer route” as per @Jim_F and go monthly until you are convinced (at least 2 months ) then think how to spend money . The Nucleus is trouble free but expensive compared with the NUC/ROCK option if you don’t mind a SMALL bit of DIY .
Nothing I have found integrates Tidal with your library like Roon , does, beware once you start you won’t stop.
My Final setup is not much short of the above
20 Mb/s Fibre Internet connection (YES 20Mb , it runs Netflix fine as well) local ISP
Router TP-Link Archer D9
Switch TP-Link 8 Port
Control : iPad (2020) Pro 12.9 / iPad Mini (2006)
NUC 10i7 / 256 SSD/ 32 Gb RAM (4Tb SSD for local library)
End Point RPi4/ Allo Digione/ Roipeee *
DAC - Audiolab M-DAC
Headphones Sennheiser HD800
RCA out to Samsung 950 Soundbar
Tidal Master sub
- The Allo Digione is a quirk of the DAC spec , normally a straight USB connection is fine.
Just my 2p - it Easy Peasy
It’s always sad to see threads like this get so geeky so quickly. You don’t need to be a geek to enjoy Roon. Start out simple, if it’s for you, choose your route… but to get a feel for it, a pc/laptop with the Roon app is all you need.
I agree. Let’s not bog the original poster with too much information. He needs to try Roon first, hopefully with hardware he already has such as a desktop PC or laptop, to see if Roon is worth it for him.
I can say that Roon has completely transformed the way I listen to music. I tried Roon only for a few days until I bought the lifetime subscription - and that was several years ago, shortly after Roon became available.
Again, let him try Roon and see if it is a fit for the way he listens. Then, if so, the forum users can guide him to purchase the hardware he may want (if new hardware is needed at all).
I ran Roon on my iMac for a year or so because I wanted to understand what it actually did before I committed further.
I have a Linn system and although I have some files on a NAS drive, the vast majority of what I play is streamed from Tidal and Qobuz. I have not bought physical media in so long I have forgotten how long - and I own nothing on which to play it now.
I recently invested in a V2 Nucleus. Mainly because I wanted the music system to stand alone from my Mac system so that conflicts with Mac software updates etc did not arise.
I do not regret it - the Nucleus so far has been pretty much plug and play. The biggest surprise for me is that the music sounds better from the Nucleus than it did from the Mac. I have no idea why as the Nucleus is not involved in the D/A conversion or any other process AFAIK. However, it is - to my ears anyway - notably better.
I generally like Roon. The new playlists are a bit heavy on the politically motivated themes for my tastes but other than that it is a great system for managing a variety of sources and gaining new information.