Want to get Roon is Nucleus my best bet

OK thanks for any input here. I want to get set up with Roon. I tried before and had some quirky issues trying to run on an iMac and go to a USB DAC, so I gave up. I am ready to give it a go again and I want to optimize it and get the best smoothest experience I can.

Would I be best to just get a Neclues and output to a DAC? I currently have a Grace 905 that I can input via USB from the Neclueus. Ultimately m y goal is to upgrade my DAC to something like the DCS Rossini or EMM DV2. The DV2 is just a regular DAC/pre with no real network or Roon features. Is this an optimal setup to just run the roon software on the Necleus and output via USB to the DAC or are there other options I should consider? I have about 3TB of my own music that I want to store on some type of drive and also the best way to implement that to the system as well.

the best: Nucleus+ for future proofing library size and DSP needs, with an internal 4tb SSD to hold all your content with space to grow. It’ll just work, and it’ll stay supported since we build both for each other.

The Rossini is a real winner, we have 2 people on our team who have them.

Does the Rossini accept ethernet input (instead of USB)? That could make things even easier. You could put the Nucleus+ in a remote location and connect through your network. It might be something to think about as you consider new DACs.

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Yep it’s a Roon Ready networked DAC. A very nice one too.

So Nucleus can be in a different room to the networked DAC.

I was kind of leaning to the Emm DV2 for my DAC with the Rossini as the alternate choice. I am curious about how a typical bare bones DAC like the DV2 would implement with Necleus as opposed to the Rossini which is more full featured and Roon endpoint etc…

I have no experience with the DV2 (it’s really new!)

One thing I personally prefer is the flexibility a networked endpoint provides for placement now and in the future. I also am a minimalist and do not like introducing more components, like network bridges.

If it is on the Roon Ready list of DACs it is drop dead simple to interface.
I have an MSB The Analog DAC and it plays very well with Roon. I’m switching over to the Network Renderer V2 (ethernet input), and I understand MSB needed to work things out with Roon to get it approved. To their credit Roon has their standards which vendors must meet to get approved. That makes it really easy for us endusers. To that point, a simple DAC that’s on the list should behave well too.

The Rossini and the DV2 are both considered state-of-the-art and come from companies with respected digital pedigree. That said, of the two, I only have direct experience with the Rossini.

My experience with the Rossini DAC and Clock has been nothing but positive. The Rossini sounds fantastic; the last firmware revision pushes its performance even further, and I appreciate the fact that the Roon Ready network bridge is appropriately integrated into the chassis (I like less boxes).

You can’t go wrong with this DAC.

Auralic Vega G2 DAC is one to consider, if you can demo one…

Lumin X1 DAC is another.

Merging NADAC another.

If you can stick with the Grace 905 for another 12 months or so, there may be some other really nice networked DAC/amp/speakers coming…

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Would I be getting the kind of sound from the Neclues that I am reading all the raves on if I am attaching it via USB to my DAC at least for now? I was thinking of just trying it from a place like Music Direct where there is no real risk if I don’t like it since they have a return policy.

At least for now my system would be Neclues via USB cable to my Grace 905 DAC. I tried roon a while back on an iMac via USB to the same DAC and it was a lot of trouble. It did all kinds of weird stuff and caused many headaches. I gave up on it. I want to get it going though obviously it’s the best thing going out there and I want it smooth and hassle free. I want to stop jumping from Tidal to Spotify and airplay or iTunes or even airfoil to get my music around the house. Do I really need the + version? It’s double the money! I’m not trying to be to cheap just am thinking of this as something that might be ready for the junk pile in 5-7 years like many computers.

Eventually I would hope to get an upgraded DAC and maybe one that is an end point and makes the whole experience even nicer.

You only need the plus if you have

  • Huge library

  • Plan to use heavy DSP and play highest rate DSD files.

If I am honest though you better finding a Roon Ready streamer or Roon certified DAC to go with the Nucleus and connect Roon to over ethernet rather than USB if you want frustration free. USB and Linux is paved with issues.

If money is a problem look at building a NuC based ROCK system it’s much cheaper and you’ll get more for the money. But it doesn’t look as nice as a Nucleus.

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I have about 2.5 TB of basically iTunes files. most were ripped via Apple Lossless a long time ago. I recently lost all my CDs in the california wildfires but I do have them all on a hard drive so this stuff is very important to me to get set up and optimized. I don’t think I’ll ever really care about hi rez. I’m pretty much a music first audiophile. I don’t buy new versions of the same thing because they came out with a new master or higher bit rate etc…

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I run a Nucleus, to a variety of Roon endpoints.
It hasn’t missed a beat since I installed it, and I think it’s the perfect way to run Roon. Plus it’s just pure ‘plug ‘n play’.
Highly recommended.

If you are looking at those two SOTA DACs, then a Nucleus Plus is definitely a great match for you given your library size

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Is there any advantage either way to going with say internal 4TB SS vs 4TB USB? Does this aspect of it affect the sound or usability?

There is no advantage in using an SSD over USB, where sound quality is concerned.
However, with an SSD access time is reduced, and it’s quicker to start playing music, especially if the USB drive goes to ‘sleep’/standby after a while.

Is there a certain SSD drive that is recommended? I see a Samsung 4TB that is 2.5" x 7.6mm for around 500 USD. Roon says drive height of either 7 or 9 mm, I would assume this would work? . I have a USB drive with my files on it now. My place burned in the California wildfires so that is basically my only backup of my collection, all my CDs and other drives are gone. I was thinking to copy the USB drive I have now to the SSD drive and keep the USB for backup and maybe another one too. I have just about 3TB so I think 4TB would fine for all my future needs since I don’t really buy much new music, it’s all streaming these days. My personal collection is very important to me and is my whole life spent collection music and LPs that I recorded and ripped myself.

My files were all ripped in ALAC format. I assume that is fine for ROON?

Yes (ten characters)

If you are doing an internal drive in the Nucleus you copy the files beforehand, Roon will format the drive, you have to copy over the network after installing the drive.

If you use an external USB drive, you can prepopulate it.

Reduced startup latency is not really an issue.
An SSD is quieter, if you intend to keep it near the listening position, but it’s not a big issue, won’t beaudible over the music.

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