Roon Nuclues vs. Uniticore

Anyone compared the roon nucleus for ROON and UnitiServe/UpnP? Also - any comparisons of running ROON on a Nucleus/Nucleus+ device compared to a DIY job?

You can’t compare them they dont do the same job. Yes they are both music servers, but one has been built and designed to run Roon and Roon only as simply and plug n play as possible, it’s for those that don’t want to mess with computers and is custom designed and built. You can build your own DIY Roon using RoCk and a NuC or other pc but some computer knowledge is really needed, but operation afterwards is more a less the same, but silent operation comes at a higher cost and installing it is fiddly.

The unitcore is built to serve Naim devices via UPnP uses their own proprietary software but as it’s UPnP can obviously serve other UPnP devices. It also has a built in CD so can rip music. It can’t run Roon but can be a UPnP streamer although it can’t handle streaming services without using other software and servers such a bubble UPnP or other Linux based UPnP software.

SQ is something altogther and is subjective some say they prefer the sound of UPnP others can’t hear any difference. It’s really down to what you want to do, do you want to Roon or just UpNp if both then neither will be the right choice as they do one or the other.

From my own personal experience, the Naim Core lags slightly behind a well set up QNAP “silent” NAS, and the Roon Nucleus has better sound quality than them both. This has more to do with the removal of extraneous HW and SW in my opinion than anything else and not UPnP/DLNA vs RAAT.

It’s true that they don’t do exactly the same job, but I can see how someone may consider one or the other as a solution for storing and serving music. Sure, if you buy CDs, you can’t rip them on a Nucleus, but that is easily done on a computer. If I was starting from scratch, I would go for the Nucleus, or a DIY version, but then you need a Roon endpoint and a subscription too.


I had a Unitiserve, found it OK but expensive, unreliable and lacked flexibility.
I would recommend you have a look at some of the Innuos servers, better value, more flexibllity, can run Roon, rip CD’s, store music files.

To expand a little on what I texted you – once I decided to go with Roon (after a free trial), I decided that running it on a Nucleus made sense. My nas boxes are not redundant (as I still use them as a music store, and a backup, respectively), and they are old enough that they weren’t quite up to speed with processing power vs. the Nucleus. Keeping my existing nas allowed me to avoid having to buy a big hard drive for the Nucleus (it has a 250mb sdd for running its OS).

I wanted to run ROCK on a dedicated device instead of my Mac Mini, which I also use for other things (notably CD ripping and document scanning). I really didn’t want to spend $1500 for a Nucleus or $2500 for a Nucleus+. I’m already in trouble enough as it for buying a NDX2.

Instead I built a NUC (NUC8i7BEH) using the guidance and instructions at the Roon Knowledge Base. It was easy peasy lemon squeezy, and in the end with a $730 investment and no more than an 1 hour of my time (plus overnight for my library to copy), I had something equivalent or better than a Nucleus+ plus an internal 1 TB drive for a fraction of the cost (i.e. $730 vs $2650)

Maybe it’s not as sexy or cool as the Nucleus+ but spec-wise it’s everything the Nucleus is and then some. No regrets whatsoever. It runs and sounds great.

Welcome to the naughty boys club :notes::face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Oh, I’ve been a member for quite some time. Let me tell you!

Interesting thread …
I’m looking to move my music library to a dedicated device.
At the moment I have a QNAP 412 backed up to TS-231.
At the music end I have a NDS feeding active Ovator 600s (52 with 4x135s).

The QNAP has served its purpose (backup of my research as well as a music server). A few years ago I listened to dedicated options but was not convinced. But I have a nagging suspicion that a dedicated music server would be better than my multi-purpose QNAP.

My options, after listening, seem to be:

  1. Buy Naim core
  2. Consider AN other server
  3. Build my own, perhaps following Roon spec as @JosquinDesPrez has done
  4. Buy a 250 to maximise the potential of the speakers
  5. Subscribe to Tidal and forget about local NAS.

I am toying with tidal, Roon seems too tricky with a NDS, so am looking at these options (I wanted to use the poll function but got confused).

Thank in anticipation

I’ve had a Unitiserve for nearly 7 years, and it works well for me. If I had to replace it, I wouldn’t buy a Core in its current form, as it seems to have an even more limited range of functions.

Possibly? I think Innuos would be top of my list. A Zen Mini Mk 3 would even allow you to run Roon via SPDIF into your NDS

Probably the most versatile option, and cheaper than the above. You could run both Roon and a UPnP server on the same machine if you are undecided, which you couldn’t do on a Nucleus.

Surely you’d want two more 135s?!

You never know when/if a particular album will suddenly become unavailable on Tidal. It doesn’t happen that often, but enough that I would want my own copy of any music that I really liked. Also, I would want a computer or NAS on which to run either Roon or BubbleUPnP server as this sounds better than Tidal native on a Naim streamer.

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@ChrisSU thank you - Your response reminds me why this forum is so useful and interesting.

Sadly I don’t have enough space for 2x135s as I have two shoe boxes on their own shelves (NAT01 and Snaxo) that I could place next to each other.

I like the idea of running a SPIDF to the NDS. I had not heard of this option - intriguing.

I have tried to install bubble on my NAS but found it beyond me! Possible because they are not up to spec.

Lots to think about here …

Choice is good, but with this many choices, it does get a bit overwhelming when you try to weigh up the options.
Regarding SPDIF, it’s only the Zen Mini that has this, other Innuos boxes just have USB or network ports. (As an aside, I’m told the SPDIF out from the Core sounds very good, but I haven’t heard it.)
BubbleUPnP works for me, but of course, it’s an unsupported workaround, whereas Roon is the gold standard here. Thus my suggestion of the Innuos, as I’m pretty sure this would get Roon onto your NDS without additional hardware.

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I must explore further … thanks for the pointer

Hi Camphuw,

Over the years I have had good results improving my digital back end …until I bought a Linn Klimax.

I used to read responses here where respondents would advise using a standard NAS with their Naim streamers over fancier options, and shake my head.

With the Klimax I am using my Synology NAS + flac. My sorted back end in its isolated mains environment is currently turned off.

That said, there are plenty of users using Melco et al here, so it must be worth doing the home demo if you can; and I will read your reports with interest.

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Thanks for your encouragement - I tried to get a home demo of a Melco a few years back but no joy. But worth trying again (once the cricket is finished).


I demoed both Melco and Innuos hardware in recent weeks as well as having a fiddle with a Uniti Core out of curiousity.

I gravitated towards Roon during that evaluation cycle and overall found it to be the most feature rich and user friendly. This in turn led my down the Nucleus, NUC, PC route and eventually I’ve ended up upgrading a Mac Mini I had lying mostly unused with a 2TB SSD and it’s existing 256GB SSD for the Mac OS and Roon Core server app to live on.

I’ve been focused in using Roon as my primary interface and controller in to my own local library as well as Tidal and Qobuz which I also subscribe to.

Basic conclusion has been that what I have to my mind meets all my needs being easy to have setup and run and to access and use. I’ve also saved on not buying a dedicated music ripper/server/roon device, I just updated what I already had and spent under £300 getting a 2TB Roon Core that barely breaks a sweat dishing out audio all around the house.

I’m not convinced that any of the products I evaluated would have been significantly better than what I’m now using. The dedicated hardware is good if you want something that visually fits in with other audio kit and is simple for those not wanting to manage a computer for ripping/serving. This is where I can see the appeal of the Nucleus which from what I saw of it did a great job of delivering a simplified Roon experience, albeit at a modest price premium vs a ROCK NUC.

I actually wanted Roon to be disappointing as I’d partly convinced myself I shouldn’t need it, however having used it now for about 6 weeks on a daily basis you can see where the value of it sits and I paid to continue to use it without a second thought.

Comparing Roon to other embedded solutions I just found myself feeling unimpressed or having to fiddle around with badly made UPnP applications or clunky web interfaces. Roon in my environment works effortlessly with my library, streaming sources online like Tidal and Qobuz as well as all my equipment which includes Naim, Sonos and Chord Electronics. The Roon interface replaces all the standard apps without issue and adds features which are lacking on all of the native controllers.


Good post. It reflects my thoughts about Roon. The main difference for me is I started with a Mac Mini running Roon Core and switched to a NUC running ROCK. Both are great solutions, but I need the Mac for other things and wanted a dedicated music server.

Welcome to the party.