Roon Nucleus and Naim NDX2 + UnitiCORE

I know there has been a fair amount already threaded thru aspects of this topic but I have a few specific questions. I am looking at Roon and the Nucleus plus

  1. Does the Roon interface offer that much more information and functionality than the Naim app?
  2. Does Roon integrate as easily as advertised with Naim NDX2 and Uniti CORE as well as other sources; i.e. Apple Itunes Library on iMac hard-drive; Tidal?
  3. Is there a discernible difference or improvement in sound quality over the Naim app interface and integrated NDX2?
  4. I am a bit confused on the need for the hard drive memory requirements for Roon. Is this for the information and data that is the interface or does the actually music from the Uniti CORE (and other sources) actually get copied into that Roon dedicated hard-drive?
  5. any other material experiences or advice would be appreciated

Thanks in advance for allowing me to tap into the vast experience of this user group and forum…

To answer your questions.

  1. Only you can decide! I use Roon and wouldn’t want to be without it now. There are so many benefits but for me the compelling reasons to use it are music discovery, the integration of streaming services with local music and the ability to use the same app to play to a variety of devices, Naim and non Naim.
    I would suggest that when you are ready to try it you register for a trial and run it on your iMac. You get 2 weeks but they will extend it if you ask them nicely. If you decide that you want Roon then you can look at various server options.

  2. Yes, Roon will interface with any library the server can access, it will use SMB (the Windows way) to access you files. Note that for your Uniti Core you should ensure that your files are in FLAC format with the metadata embedded.

  3. No, Roon in my view does not improve sound quality, the improvement is in the interface and the way you access and discover music.

  4. Roon has 2 hard drive requirements. The first is a small fast solid state drive (SSD) which is used to store a database 128GB is sufficient. The second is your music store. This can be on the Roon server or on another device like your Uniti Core or a NAS drive. It’s up to you.

One other thing. The Nucleus is a great plug and play device, a bit like the Uniti Core you already have but you can put together a very similar device called a Roon ROCK for much less. You have to source an Intel NUC, some memory and an SSD and fit the components into the NUC and install Roon ROCK. This basically builds you a device very similar to the Nucleus for a fraction of the price. The saving will more than pay for a lifetime subscription to Roon.


very helpful. thank-you!

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I agree with trickydickie on all parts but no 3. I think all server’s effects the sound to some extent, haven’t tried a lot but I believe they do to some extent… and for me I prefer Tidal through Roon, I believe due to the transcoding being done before entering my ND player. Roon also do a first unfolding of MQA files, some MQA files I prefer to the no MQA other not… On the other hand, the unity core has a grate reputation and are possibly the better server for files ripped on that. I haven’t compared my self but would not rule out that the roon server is a small step down with those files?


The advice from Trickydickie is all very sound.

In my own case I use a Naim NDX2 (with an XPS2 external power supply) as my end point and control it either using the Naim App or Roon and find both very good.

Roon Core runs on a Nucleus. My music is stored mostly on a Naim Uniti Core. I recently added a Melco Intelligent Digital Music Library (the N1A EX) and am re-ripping my classical music CDs onto it (please bear in mind Trickydickie’s advice to use Flaac on the Unti Core as it has the metadata embedded -I used WAV which isn’t as good if moving music to a different music store).

I’ll most likely be shouted down by some of the zealots on this forum, but I couldn’t honestly say that I have noticed any significant difference in sound quality between any of these. Music played from the Melco sounds good, but so too does (the same) music played from the Uniti Core. Also I don’t detect any great difference whether I’m using the Naim App or Roon to control the playback.

For me it really comes down to convenience.

Of the two music stores I use I find the Uniti Core more convenient to use than the Melco. There is just more faffing about with the latter. Although the EX versions use Songkong and MinimServer I don’t feel that they are sufficiently integrated to give an entirely satisfactory user experience. The Melco is too “computerish” for my liking (although you will note that there seem to be a lot of computer types on this forum for whom this is not an issue). The Uniti is much more straightforward in use.

I also find the Naim App a very satisfactory way to access the music on both the Uniti Core and the Melco. I find nothing wrong with it.

Where Roon undoubtedly has the edge is that it presents all of your digital music sources as a single, integrated library. In my case it allows me to see all of the music on my Uniti Core and my Melco and also my streamed music (I use Quobuz) as if it is all in the same place. In addition, it is a good way to discover new music. I also like the recently introduced new user interface (although it was greeted with howls of protest from the hard core Roon disciples who perhaps use the additional Roon functionality that I don’t require).

So, overall, I would say choose one music store (and of course back up everything) and try a free Roon trial before you commit. Bear in mind that Roon is a subscription service whereas there are no additional costs with the Naim App. If you do decide to go with Roon I think the basic Nucleus is really convenient - and it now comes (about time imho) with a free first year subscription.

I hope that is of some help.

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thank-you…I really appreciate the detail and the sharing of your experience with Naim Core and Roon and streaming. All very helpful in helping me make a decision.

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