Roon Nucleus with a Hugo TT 2

Your kind advice please…I’d like update my Bluesound Node 2, (Used as a Roon Endpoint) as it does not do my Naim system justice. (282/300DR) At this moment in time I would prefer a non Naim Network Player/Server.

I have looked at Melco, but at the moment it’s not supported as a Roon Endpoint. So I thought about a Roon Nucleus Server with a good DAC, say the Hugo TT 2…Then straight in to the 282.
My eight year old Qnap NAS is on it’s last legs (Qnap 112) so I thought I could hit two birds with one stone, as the Nucleus can hold a SSD 2.5 HD.

Does anyone have a Nucleus/DAC set up, or something similar? What would the SQ be like, or equal to?


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The Nucleus is mostly used as a nas , with a streaming Dac as Ndx2, Nd555…or linn DSM.
In usb with a chord Dac, it’s not the best combo I feel.
Innuos is Roon ready and can be used as a server connected to a Dac in usb.

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Roon recommend keeping the Core at a distance from the Endpoint/HiFi for best sound quality, putting a network connection between them. That means a streamer or networked DAC rather than just a USB DAC, although that would still work.

Thanks :+1:

Thanks, I’ll take a look.

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I appreciate this is the general Roon advice but I think the nucleus might buck the trend somewhat. There is the weigh up between computer added noise (which the nucleus is designed to diminish) and network added noise (which as we can see some spend thousands trying to “fix”). Having the music in or attached (via USB) takes a lot of network hash out of the mix. I wouldn’t discount it by any means.

I certainly think it’s worth listening to. A dealer I know who does both is Signals in Ipswich if you are anywhere close by.


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Thanks Sloop_John_B. I live in Lincs, but I know Signals are very helpful, so will give them a call.

Been looking at The Small Green Computer as well…interesting.

I have a similar setup to your enquiry, although I have non-Naim amplification: the ‘front-end’ is a roon Nucleus+ and Melco N1ZH/2 both going via a Mutec 3+ USB device into a Hugo TT2.
Melco will provision roon Endpoint capability by Q2/2020, meanwhile I use the roon Nucleus+ as an endpoint (not a universal recommendation). I have a MusoQb2 and a Logitech Squeezebox Radio as endpoints upstairs.
If the Melco roon update was not imminent I would be looking at Innuous, since I have adopted roon for the long-term.
The roon Nucleus is excellent at playing streamed music from Tidal and Internet radio stations, e.g. those providing FLAC streams, this is enhanced by the DSP upscaling in roon. I find the files processed from the internal SSD does not have the clarity and range (SQ) as the same files(tracks) played via roon Nucleus+ using the Melco library as source via the direct Ethernet player connection.
The best SQ in this setup comes by using the Melco to stream direct via the Mutec into the TT2, this foregoes the roon library management, multiroom and DSP, so I use this approach for listening to locally served files when seated in the lounge, I.e when not dependent on roon’s Multiroom capability .
This is not the only approach that can be taken - as FR has mentioned the Innuous range can act as both roon Core and Endpoint. A Mac mini or Intel NUC can be purposed as a roon Core, as can many laptop and desktop PCs. The Naim nDAC can also be considered in lieu of the Chord DAC, provided a USB/SPDIF interface device is in the chain.

Of course a Naim ND5XS2, NDX2 or ND555 can be the roon endpoint and combined streamer/DAC that integrates well into a Naim stack.

I don’t think any small green computer servers (Roon core) will give as good a sound as the nucleus direct, however their network endpoints (rendu range) are well worth looking at.

If you’re going that route an Auralic Aries G1 (or G2) are worth looking at also.


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Auralic Aries G1, Stack Audio Link, and the Sonore **rendu devices are all candidates for a separate roon endpoint from the roon Core server, as are the RPi extensions.

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Thank you for that detailed reply. Apparently if you install a Sonore UPnP Bridge, this makes the Melco Roon Ready. Where did you find out about the Melco Endpoint due in Q2/2020? Thanks :+1:

By talking to Melco Master dealers - the Q2 date is an estimate, not a formal announcement.

There are at least two active running threads in this forum about Melco and Naim integration, and a few more regarding roon / Naim integration. There is certainly not one solution to adopting these emerging technologies.

I have decided not to add any more components to my system - the last addition was the Mutec 3+ USB device and this was a major step forward that helped me realise greater benefits from my system for relatively little outlay.

I have heard some very good comments regarding Innuos, but it has a ripper, something I would never use. All my CDs have been ripped and are stored on my ageing Qnap NAS, which needs replacing. (Hence looking at the Nucleus) On the very, very rare occasion I buy or borrow a CD, I use dbpoweramp and my iMac.
I can’t remember who mentioned it, but is there an issue with using a USB DAC in a high end Music system?

I know a lot of Roon users who do and are very happy and some of those use chord DACs. It’s best to try and see. Some find using a LPSU to the Nucleus helps if direct connecting via USB. Innuos are a low powers CPU so if you wanted to use some of Roons more intensive processes and have multiple zones it may struggle to keep up.

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Melco has been promising Roon endpoint capability “soon” for at least 3 years, so perhaps 2020 will be the year that it arrives.

If you want what a Melco unit does but with Roon endpoint as well, then the default choice would probably be something like an Innuos Zenith III. That is what the UK Chord representative recommended to me as the Roon compatible server to go with a TT2 or DAVE.

As an alternative, Small Green Computer in the USA is in a commercial alliance with Audiostore in the UK. I think that SGC uses Audiostore’s Vortexbox server software and Audiostore uses SGC server hardware, so they are equivalent. Martin Smith at the Audiostore is a very friendly and hugely knowledgable source of help & advice if you should ever call him.

So, if you want to stream using Roon, which we do, an Innuos Zenith would be an excellent benchmark. It can run as both Roon Core and Roon endpoint. When comparing a number of streamers, we used an Innuos Statement as music store, with a Roon Nucleus+ as Roon Core. Unsurprisingly, this combination sounded rather nice too. Hence, you have several possible configurations if you go with Innuos.

We have also tried a Melco unit as music store (the £5k, 6TB hard drive one) with a Nucleus+ as Roon Core. This was very good too.

With the Nucleus+/Statement pairing, we compared a DCS Network Bridge with an Auralic Aries G2, both acting as Roon end points to feed a Chord M Scaler + DAVE dac combination into a NAC252/300 & Kudos Titan 606 system. The Aries G2 sounded consistently better when running Roon software than when running Auralic’s own (a surprising result to both the dealer and to us) but the DCS Network Bridge bettered the Aries G2 by some margin to those present at the time.

We ended up buying an Audiostore Prestige 3 server. At first we used it as both Roon Core and Roon end point, feeding the Chord combo and it works well in this mode into our Naim 52/135s. We subsequently added a Sonore Rendu and that improved matters further. The Prestige 3 server now acts as music store (it has a 2TB SSD inside, as well as an optional drive for ripping cds) and Roon Core, leaving the Rendu to be the Roon end point.

I hope this helps a bit, as there are many different routes and options for a streaming front end these days.

Best regards, BF


Have you considered Auralic? They get great appreciation in the media. The Altair G1 might be something you like

Yes there is. The issue is that it can sound very good indeed, especially if it is a Chord M Scaler feeding DAVE. Equally, there are a number of dacs with poor USB implementations. These sound much better if fed over SPDIF. It seems to come down to the quality of implementation rather than the principle.

Best regards, BF

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Interesting? I found it hard to get Chord Electronics to recommend things, it was usually some like this, some like that, you need to try to hear it. They did recommend a cable from Maplin that worked a treat when I needed TosLink.

I use a Mac mini with JRiver and did audition more expensive solutions including Melco and Innuos, but preferred what I had because of its versatility. I can understand not everybody would share my preference and I’m not a Roon user (I did try it, but it wasn’t for me).

@DJM I would try your Bluesound Node 2 with Hugo TT2 and suggest MScaler will give you a bigger improvement than a more expensive music server.


I was unimpressed with it feeding my Chord DAC combo (synergy?) so would recommend an audition and comparing with Bluesound Node 2 feeding MScaler Hugo TT. I’d also have a listen with no Pre between Hugo TT and power amp.

@DJM a dealer such as Jack at the Audiobarn could facilitate listening these options so you could judge for yourself which hit the right note.

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DJM, my following point of view is personal, but shared by some: the ripper on the Innuos will give you better rips than on pc, with better sound quality. If you listen to a lot cd rips, I think it’s a good point to have the ripper.
You have also the DCS network bridge, to be connected in usb with a Dac. It’s roon ready I am quite sure.

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