Roon and 272 advice

I currently stream all my music from my QNAP 251+ NAS to Nac 272 (rest of my system is in my profile) and I am interested in exploring the benefits of Roon. I have read much of what is on this forum and the web generally on the matter and understand my 272 is not set up to be a Roon endpoint, however there are work arounds. I have recently tried the free Roon trial and used a spare apple airport express connected to my 272, with my MacBook as the core (think that’s the right phrase), but the sound from my 272 was poor.

If I was to use something like an Innuos Zen Mini mk3 I could put all my music on this and take up Tidal account. But would I be able to connect it all to my 272 and get results as good as my NAS files?

It may all prove a bit of a fuss and I could just stick with what I have, save on Roon and Tidal subscriptions and even buy a Naim Unity Core (steady!!).

Any forum thoughts/advice?

I use an Allo DigiOne as a Roon endpoint for my UniteQute 2. I think that it sounds fine. It’s pretty reasonably priced for a ready to use out of the box pi-based thing.

Firstly you can run Roon on your NAS, the specs are below what Roon recommends but you may find it works well. I am using a TS453pro with an external SSD for the database and it is working OK with a 2500 album library.

To make music play on your 272 you could purchase a Sonore UPNP bridge or use lms-to-upnp. Both do the same thing and bridge Roon to your 272. The Sonore device is an easier solution but costs money, the later is software and is free.

The bridge sends pcm to the streamer which means that it sounds as good as wav files streamed from your upnp server.

I have ended up running everything on my NAS. This is to my NDS. Everything works reliably and Roon is so much better than using the Naim app.

For information on lms-to-upnp see

I think the Zen Mini would be a good option to consider. Instead of having to use a UPnP bridge of some sort as a workaround, you can just connect it to an SPDIF input on the 272, and you’re done. That gives you Roon, Tidal, Qobuz, iRadio etc. as well as allowing you to download music, and rip CDs. I can’t think of any other solution that gives you all these options from a single box, and you would never have to fire up a computer.
Of course, you would want to get a demo to see how it sounds, but on paper, it ticks a lot of boxes.

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Thanks for the replies so far and very informative.

ChrisSu this is what I was hoping with the Zen Mini, just wasn’t sure. When connected this way, is it still the 272 that will be playing (ie its dac) and not the innuos. My 272 is also connected to a 555PS and I want to keep the naim sound.

I guess this offers better value than going down the Naim core route as this seems a bit of a cul-de-sac in the current streaming climate.

The Mk 3 does have a built in DAC, but if you use the SPDIF input, you are using the 272 DAC. You can also use it with a network connection.
You should bear in mind that some of the more resourse hungry features of Roon may not work on the Innuos servers, such as heavy use of DSP for room correction etc., and upsampling to DSD. For regular music playback to a streamer, this shouldn’t metter, though.

Thanks @ChrisSU I see you have a unitiserve. My other option is to stick with what I have and add Uniti Core. Would you recommend this route if just streaming local files? I did try one last year but had a few issues with it.Looks like I need to trial both at home as the core may have had some updates since then.

I was using a Logitech Squeezebox Touch as a Roon bridge for my ND5-XS. That setup worked very well and supported up to 24/192 audio. I have since acquired an NDX2 so the bridge is no longer necessary.

Personally, I would not buy a Core right now if I had to replace my Unitiserve. The US works fine for me, and has been very reliable for nearly 7 years, but the restricted functionality of the Core doesn’t really appeal. Maybe it will evolve into something more useful in time - perhaps even running the Roon Core!?
An alternative would be to run Roon on a Nucleus, and just stick your music library on a USB drive on that, for less that the cost of a Core. Cheaper again - do the same thing with an Intel Nuc or Mac Mini.

If you’re going to spend that kind of money you could get a dCS Network Bridge and have a huge SQ uplift. And keep the lovely Naim sonic signature. And forget Roon. Just use dCS Mosaic.
There is a thread on that…

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Thanks @ChrisSU also that’s interesting @JimDog so will do further investigation.

melco or innuos ? i have the unitserve too…and wondering sometimes by what i will replace it one day.

can the mosaic replace roon or be considered as an alternative ? do you appreciate it?

with the zen mini used as a ripper and nas, you would still have the naim sound. And cheaper solution vs the core.

If you are streaming from the nas and are happy with ripping CDs on a computer there is no point getting a Core. It adds nothing other than easy ripping and reduced metadata flexibility. It won’t sound any better.

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No, as far as I can tell so far by using it, Mosaic is similar functionally to the Naim app and the previous dCS app. It has Tidal, Qobuz, lots of radio stations,and various other services. It allows you to search Tidal (which is all I use) by artist, LP, track. and make playlists and play the Tidal playlists, which are a good way to explore. It has ‘artist radio’, which appears to be an algo generated list of stuff that gets played by people who play that artist. I don’t use artist radio, except to glance at the list to look for new leads to discover new music. It lists the bandwidth of the track, which is sort of useful, as long as one doesn’t start to obsess over it - in fact, my conclusion is that the sample rate and bit rate really aren’t that important in terms of SQ, so I barely notice it any longer. It would be nuts to say be disappointed by only getting 44/16!

I prefer the Naim app, which has a really good set of potted artist bios and music summaries - which seems to be lacking in Mosaic at present.
But the Naim or dCS app can be used to find brilliant stuff - so ether will be fine.

Roon’s a different beast altogether - I have never used it…

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Replacement no it doesnt have all the same features at all. Alternative yes if you don’t want or like the features Roon offers but still want access to Qobuz and Tidal streaming services but you can get that for much less using Audivana or Amara.

I just meant above that if the OP was considering buying a Roon Nucleus+ then another way to spend that money would be get a 2nd hand dCS Network Bridge.

I haven’t heard what a Nucleus + does for SQ, but I doubt that it is as good as a NB.

Its not a bridge and it doesn’t claim to do anything for sq it’s just a Roon core designed by Roon and Intel to run Roon the most efficiently and effectively. It has no audio out only network or USB so it cant be compared to the bridge at all different beasts.

This is comparing apples and oranges, Roon/Nucleus is a NAS functionality device that can be run from anywhere on the network like any Roon Core (I have Roon Core running on a Mac Mini in a separate room from my audio system). A closer analogy to the NB is a device that can be used as a Roon bridge when the streamer itself isn’t a native Roon endpoint, a Squeezebox Touch for example. In fact, the NB is a Roon bridge, so it can be used to adapt a non-Roon ready streamer to use Roon.

I love Roon. It’s a game changer for me and one of the reasons I upgraded from an older ND5-XS to a new NDX2.

What I like about Roon is that it’s mostly vendor neutral, and you don’t have to use a phone/tablet mobile app to use it. I mostly use the Roon app running on my laptop, or screen share to the Mac Mini running the Core.

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