Would the sound quality on a NUC with Rock be as good as on a Nucleus or an Innuos?

Innous is good antipodes audio much better, n50

It’s the other way around I found.

I compared Innuos ZEN MK3 to Nuc Intel I5 with ROCK. Both directly connected to dac with USB.
The Innuos didn’t have a chance really. It sounded worse in many ways.
A friend compared it to his old Mac mini with similar results.
Very surprising!

Innuos uses a punk Celeron chip for their CPU, so if one has multiple endpoints or does heavy DSP, then that might account for the difference between that and an i5 NUC.

Inexcusable at the price point of even the cheapest Zen server.


I can’t really understand why they don’t use a better chip for their CPU - its is a pricey product and the difference in price for the chips is minimal

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It is a philosophical choice and that chip is more than good enough for all of the functionality they offer except the running of Roon core. I guess that from their perspective things would be on their head if heat and energy penalties were applied to their many none Roon users. It does strike me that there is some scope for a ‘Roon Core Edition’ device but as their prices are already up there in Nucleus territory it might be tough to market alongside their regular boxes.

I don’t see it as philosophical - wrong word - hard headed market decision. then they shouldn’t market it for use with Roon.i won’t be buying one

No, it is a philosophical one in that there are manufacturers who have chosen low powered CPUs or to massively under-clock higher powered CPU’s because they believe they produce less electrical noise. The bonus is they are easier to cool and case design is less critical.

And most pre-date Roon. The power just wasn’t needed.

my point remains - they market and promote themselves as an excellent product to run Roon on. Secondly they have introduced model upgrades since Roon came about…

And they have a lot of happy customers who are mostly happy to accept the constraints the hardware places on them! So long as they are running Roon I am not too bothered. :nerd_face:

hmm. a lot of comments here and elsewhere about how they can’t run DSP in multiple rooms.

I believe NUC boards are available bare. You may have to look for them a bit.

I’m a wine lover as well as a music lover. About half the people can’t taste the difference between a $50 wine and a $5 wine. Either because they don’t know how to tell the difference, are too busy talking to tell the difference or they added ice cubes which would obscure the difference.
Same thing with computer audio. If you are listening from the other room, or are too busy talking to listen, or listening through $50 speakers you can’t tell the difference.
If you do listen critically, through good electronics and speakers, little things start to matter, like quieter power supplies (better signal to noise ratio), better reclocking of the digital clock ( unlike spreadsheets and websites, where timing of the ones and zeros doesn’t matter), and better buffering all make a hearable difference on a good system.
So your choice should depend on how you listen and through what electronics and speakers. If music is important to you, a server like music system built by an audio company will sound better than one built by a computer company, even though the CPU might be the same.
For me, I bought the Roon.

Seems counter-intuitive. Computer companies are the ones who know how to build computers properly, not audio companies. Sure, when you get to the analog parts of the system, you’ve got a point, but before that, I’ll take a computer company’s computer.

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I agree. especially since it is using Roon software especially designed for the Nuc by Roon and to a specification recommended by Roon.

Are you saying that the motherboard in the Nucleus is not a stock NUC (or other) mobo? That would be a huge waste of resources on Roon’s part to reinvent the wheel that way. Also they are a software company, so they’d need to hire some hardware folks to do that task too. Seems unlikely.


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I had this discussion multiple times on this forum.

Roon has never advertised the Nucleus as offering an SQ advantage. Roon has always advertised the Nucleus as being an appliance which needs little maintenance from the customer.

Anyone who believes different simply doesn’t understand the hardware.

For a laugh, there’s this -

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Except when using Roon to get best sq you have to use their experimental ram player. I guess the ram player is to try and counteract the noise the system creates which is why most Innuos users moan about using it as player and server unless they use the experimental player.

thank a lot wiz

I ended up buying a NUC10, installing it in an HDPLEX H1 V3 fanless case, and connecting to LS50 Wirleless via basic switch. Thanks to Geoff, Henry, Slim, and AndyR for the replies above that explained some networking basics that helped me on the way to successful ROCK implementation. Sounds and looks great.

Some of the ROCK installation instructions written around earlier generation NUCs need updating to avoid a couple frustrating snags for NUC 10 implementers during BIOS configuration and ROCK OS installation. It’s not hard to do, but I could see where some folks would save themselves a day or two of research and setup effort by going straight for a Nucleus. Those who have some mechanical aptitude (fanless case installation) and basic computer skills can build an equivalent Nucleus for roughly half the price and have some fun along the way.

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Agree, and it’s been asked for before. The issue is that the Roonies have their hands full dealing with higher priority items (e.g. bug-fixing and future developments), so that re-writing that KB article is way down on their list. I’d do it myself, but I haven’t got a NUC10 to double-check that the steps are clear and accurate.

If I find the time, then I’ll try and put together a strawman for you guys with NUC10s to critique, and then see if we can’t jointly improve that KB article…