Ndx2 as roon endpoint

I do not understand which unit that is the streamer in a roon setup. I see some people use a NUC or a Nucleus to run the core OS, and I think i understand that part (its only software?)

It is described as if the core «streams» the music to your endpoint, e.g NDX2. Does this mean that you are only using the dac of the NDX2?

I mean, if the streamer is a laptop or «cheap» computer, is it not a waste to use an NDX2 or even ND555 only as a dac?

In other words, does a roon setup make the quality of the streamer irrelevant?

The Core as you say, manages all your local music files and streaming content (Qobuz, Tidal).

The NDX2 is the endpoint, playing back the content streamed from the Core. It’s still fully utilised - streaming card and DAC - but dealing with the Roon transport protocol (RAAT) instead.

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NDX2 will be the streaming endpoint. It is the destination of the stream and therefore uses the network interface as well as the DAC. You would use a roon remote (e.g. on an iPhone) to control the streamer.

Roon core, e.g. a NUC or a Notebook would be the streaming „starting point“. This is oversimplyfied but may help. NDX2 is a good roon endpoint and makes good use of the NDX capabilities. You simply do not use the Naim app for controlling your music replay but a roon app.

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Some Roon Core devices have a USB output that could be connected directly to a USB DAC, and that would work perfectly well, although in line with Roon’s recommendation, a network connection is potentially better and more versatile. In this case the Roon Core is acting as a server, and the Roon ‘Endpoint’ is a streamer, not just a DAC.

The roon core is always the streamer regardless of how it reaches out to the endpoints.

You can think of it that way if you prefer, but the NDX2 will be using its streaming board to accept a TCP/IP stream in much the same way whether it comes from a UPnP server, a Tidal or Qobuz server, or a Roon Core. That implementation of the Roon Core, using RAAT instead of UPnP, makes it a server in my books.

I thought you meant the USB connection, but what I meant to say is that the roon core is the device that will pull the data from either the streaming service on the Internet or the local NAS, and then send it to the endpoint (s), always.

So the best way to utilize the ndx2 is to not connect the core with usb directly to ndx2, but to connect both ndx2 and core to a router using ethernet?

And presumably, this will provide the best SQ?

But even still, you do make use of the ndx2 network card, and thus, its streaming capability, not just the dac?

Yes, Roon recommend that you use a network connection to keep the electrically noisy Core hardware away from the hifi. Besides, a USB connection wouldn’t work into an NDX2; if your Roon Core has a USB output you would need to convert it to SPDIF.
Given that both devices need a network connection in any case I can’t see any reason to add an additional direct connection that you don’t really need.

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Yes, to connect to the roon core, but not using naim streaming software. Undoubtedly a very high quality roon endpoint.

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I use an old Mac mini as a core. Works great. Connect to it with virtual monitor from my MacBook Air so just need the Mini.

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Roon and a Naim streamer work very well together in my experience.
Using Ethernet cables, between Core and Endpoint, when you stream from say Qobuz the stream goes to the Core, where it is processed to PCM and PCM (or DSD) is sent to the endpoint I.e. Naim Streamer.
This puts less work on streamer than using Qobuz in Naim app.

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