Sound quality improvement from roon core to roon nucleus

My Roon core is an Asus vivo mini…
it’s hooked up to a Schiit Bifrost 2 and a Schiit Ragnarok 2, fitted with Polk Legend 100 and a Polk HT10.
I come from Audirvana. I managed to tweak the DSP in Roon to get the same (subjective) audio quality as in Audirvana.
I absolutely love Roon.
I have two questions:
1- is Nucleus improving sound quality or is it more about room management?
2- Can I set up a cloud backup of my locally ripped CDs within Nucleus or do I have to do it through the core?

Thank you!

I’ve moved to the #roon area for you.

1 its a subjective assessment but much will depend on how you connect to Roon Endpoint / DAC - you don’t say what OS you are running (assuming windows) - but a Nucleus is more of an appliance for Roon only - thats all it does. No ongoing windows/Mac etc like updates all the time - just Roon ones.

2 Music backups will need to be managed your self via copy or other means from where ever you put them. I suggest ripping to an external drive via a computer (not on the Nucleus) and use via a USB attached drive. Nucleus doesn’t come with an internal drive for music storage (unless specified) but one can be added internally - tho it must be formatted so USB is your best option.

the roon nucleus improves the sound quality considerably. I only came from the macbook pro to the roon nucleus for a couple of weeks, I don’t regret it, the sound is much better.


I was planning to keep my Roon core connected to Bifrost and use Nucleus via ntwrk in order to decrease core workload, thereby increasing sound quality? Does that makes sense? Yes i am running windows 10.
Re: backup, i could use an external SSD drive and every now and then hook it up to a pc to backup via Google. In that regard, on my current vivo mini core, i have google drive keeping a backup.
OR should i hook up straight a nucleus to the Dac but then really what’s the point? It’s still a pc SQ-wise i mean, right? For such a significant investment, i would hope for some wow factor, haha! Bit confused….

What an adventure though. ‘Was a bit weepy listening to tracy’s “Baby can i hold you” tonight…
Thanks for your help! :+1:

What specs does your Asus have CPU/RAM/speed etc wise? if its going to stay as the roon endpoint with your existing DAC them maybe no advantage unless its woefully under spec now

Roon has never advertised the Nucleus as an improvement to the SQ. It’s function is to offer a turnkey appliance that, theoretically, needs no further twiddling.


Not really, unless your current Roon Core is CPU limited/constrained, to the point that you’re noticing audio dropouts or buffering, then moving your Room core to another platform like Nucleus should have zero effect on sound quality. It’s is after all just another computer running the Roon software, your DAC is the device handling the conversion of a digital signal to analog audio.

There will always be (real) edge cases where a particular DAC doesn’t work well with a particular USB implementation. Or situations where a particular setting on the machine or operating system running the Roon Core conflicts with a particular DAC or the audio path in some way — but those are edge cases and your likely to already be aware is something is wrong there (you’ll hear dropouts or glitches). I guess the Nucleus, being a known platform to the Roon team, should be more stable (with correct settings out of the box) in that respect — least because there is less for the end user to screw up.

Danny (and I assume the Roon team by extension) tend to (possibly sensibly) stay out of these kinds of discussions as there will always be people who say there hear a difference and if they do then I guess that’s fine. I’m certainly not going to spend my time arguing against them and I am sure Danny feels much the same. But it’s noticeable that the Roon team, in who’s interest it is to sell Nucleus devices, won’t make any solid claims re. sound quality other than to say that ‘it’s subjective’ (read into that what you will) and that the Nucleus offers improvements in other areas (true).

That said the Nucleus is a nice looking device (so aesthetically you may prefer it) and being fan less it could have an effect on your overall listening experience, simply because the lack of fans will reduce background noise if it sits within your listening room.

But in terms of buying one simply to ‘improve sound quality’ (aside from a reduction in fan noise) I’d tread there with heavy caution.


It’s an old i5 but with 8 gb of ram and a 260 Gbish SSD. It’s probably 5-6 years old now. It’s not struggling at all with Roon Core, for sure.

I totally agree. This is such a subjective experience. I think for now I’ll stay like that with the core. But heck dont that nucleus look sexy.
I really appreciate your quick reply gentlemen, much, much appreciated. Take care all.

Yo are much better off getting a dedicated streamer (such as the Sonore opticalRendu I use) and a good power supply for it, and leaving your Core entirely separate from your DAC.


The Nucleus is for those who do not want to setup their own server and just have a quick plug and play appliance. No increase in SQ just based on OS. There may be a difference between plugging a DAC into the Core’s USB; should be no difference if in both instances you are sending the output over the network to an endpoint.

I always suggest the music be local to the Core, either, as an internal drive or an external USB. When using Roon, all music is sent to the core first, processed to PCM and then forwarded to the endpoint.

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Actually @Charles_Peterson, can i pick your brain on that one? I looked at the microRendu, it looks like the no fuss hardware i love. My understanding is that you can hook it up to the Roon core via an Ethernet cable and then connect the Rendu to the USB DAC, is that right? MicroRendu is very affordable until you factor in the power supply, haha.

Can’t speak for the microRendu having never owned one.

But if your aim is to move the machine running your Roon Core into another room and your looking for a small device to connect to your USB DAC to act as a RAAT enabled network bridge then you might want to take a look at Ropieee which other than a RPi4 kit and maybe a nicer case is free.

You’ll need to put aside some of your time to set it up, but even for a non-technical user that should be no more than an evenings work following some simple instructions. After that it will basically act as a self-updating appliance like any commercial device would.

Not for everyone, but lots of discussion here if it sounds like something that may interest you. There’s also an XL version that adds some additional services like AirPlay and BlueTooth.

Thanks. Checking out the thread now. :+1:

Yes a microRendu can hook up to your network (along with the Nucleus - not to the Nucleus) and you then have to setup the uRendu to be a Roon endpoint - not sure if the limitation that it can only actively be one function at a time so cant also be used at the same time for UPnP still exists but the version I had was this way. If you only use Roon then no issue


Well, both the Core and the Rendu will be connected via a switch in-between. If you want a direct connection, then, it is a lot more work if it can be done.


This is an old mis-perception. mR was never meant to be used that way.

Long ago, this was addressed here.

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May be worth adding that this is the normal way you’d connect a device to a network, rather than the exception.

WiFi will also work with Roon bridge devices that support it — like the RPi4/Ropieee combo above. I think the microRendu only supports a wired ethernet connection. Obviously a wired connection will likely be more stable if that’s an option.

You’re likely to already have a switch in your own or your ISP supplied router, basically the four or so ethernet ports on the back of it. Indeed it’s probably how you are already connecting your machine running the Roon Core to your network. So you’d just need to connect your network bridge device to one of those ports or use wifi if that’s an option.

Not sure I’d want to use my Roon Core machine as software based router even if that was an easy option. Switches (or routers with switches) are cheap (free if you have one in your router) and designed to route network traffic without issue. Any stream you’re listening to has already passed though dozens of them before it reaches you, so best leave them to do that job.

The rendu’s are great. I have the Roon only opticalRendu but still use my micro 1.4 to cast Roon to my non Roon ready Naim Unitiqute in the office via the SonicOrbiter Bridge app. I highly recommend the Sonore Power Supply if your budget can stretch to that (about $585 I believe).

Here are two alternatives. There are plenty others.