Roon ROCK DIY/Roon Nucleus

Continuation of thread below -

Uniticore vs Roon Nuc DIY vs Roon Nucleus - Naim Audio - Community

I’ve got a UnitiCore and a DIY - Roon server based on intel i5Nuc running Roon Rock.

Just wondering whether
a) A linear PSU on the Roon will make the Roon server any better?
b) Whether the Roon Nucleus sounds any better than the Roon/Rock?
c) And whether either a) and b) would be better than the Uniticore.


Really don’t believe adding an LPS to a network attached device makes any difference. If you where using via USB to DAC then possibly. I added one to my ROCK server anyway but honestly don’t think it change much at all.

If you have a nuc already there is no need for a Nucleus, unless you need support for Crestron or the other home automation stuff it supports. It’s for those who don’t want to tinker and have convenience and more or less plug and play.

Roon make no claims about any SQ for the server side of anything Roon related other than keep it separated from the audio chain via ethernet. The Nucleus runs RoonOS the same as ROCK it just has a few extra tweaks for fanless operation and the automation stuff for those type of installations.

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Is the NUC in the same room as the rest of your system?
Is it on the same ring as the rest of your system?

If you get a LPS for your NUC it may or may not improve sound quality. But at the very least you will know that a SMPS is not pushing pollution into the rest of your system.


Hence the question about locations and rings.

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I bought a relatively cheap ZeroZone 19v LPSU via eBay when I had a Nucleus+. It made a small improvement and got the SMPS off my mains.

Now I have a SGC SonicTransporter i7 as my roon Core and that has been a very worthwhile step up from the other devices I have used in this role (Nucleus+, NUC7i5, ZenMiniII), and I have kept the 19v ZeroZone LPSU to power it.

I have found that by moving the roonCore and LPSU into a separate rack just 1.5 metres from my main system components (network bridge, DAC, pre, power) has given a further uplift to the overall system.

Just to add some further points to help you evaluate a NUC or Nucleus. Have you seen the Stereophile review of the Innuos Statement (available free online)? In that review they reported that it was very difficult to hear any difference in sound quality between the Innuos Statement (expensive) and the Roon Nucleus unless using a very very resolving system (i.e. very expensive). This suggests that in listening and other tests the Nucleus is really rather good.

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Recall reading this, but cannot understand why the Innuos was used without any Rooning as in end point or core, which for me both are inferior.

The Innuos works best without using the servers integrations, but relying on the USB mode and it’s cached buffering.

Time and time again, I think 4 Roon experimental mode trials, for me confirmed USB mode is clearly best.

The article touched on Innuos problem which is no Roon style UI/Controller app, also the reviewer did not mention iPeng or Orange Squeeze app, but they are poor but functional.

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The review is followed up by another guy on StereophiIe with his own tests. I just read it and it uses all outputs and compares Roon on
both via USB and network and Roon to Innuos playback via both usb and network. Not much between them at all but the Statement he said is marginally better via USB. The Nucleus has absolutely nothing audiophile in it it’s a NuC in a nicely designed case yet it’s very close to a supposed Audio grade server with expensive components. Think I would want more than marginal for the big price difference.

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Oops do you have a link.

Found the article

Interesting read, I went from a Raspberry Pi setup to the Innuos Zen2, Zen3, then Zenith 2 with AP SPDIF.

I always discounted the Roon products as at the time did not want to commit to the lifetime or annual subs.

Personally I wouldn’t get a Nucleus ever even being fully committed to Roon, it’s overpriced if you ask me.It’s for a certain part of the market that doesn’t want to build their own server and wants simple plug and play to put in the rack. It was built it get the most out of the software though I’ll give it that as they worked with Intel very closely when designing the case and OS it runs. I was happy to choose a purpose built fanless pc from a UK based company for industry that also came with a nice custom milled case. I installed Roons own OS on and it serves me extremely well and for less than £550 including an LPS I added to it. It can handle DSP if I want it and can easily manage all my many Roon zones. I’m just not convinced the server side has enough of an impact on sound and money is better spent elsewhere. Mine sounds extremely sweet feeding my Atom, RME DAC and I have no desire to update.

Totally agree with that summary.

But do remember linear power supplies can have a wealth of hazards as well, such high harmonic noise bursts every 10mS … and this tends to be focussed on the powered equipment for low power applications, so careful regulation and filtering is required, just like with SMPS.
There is a view by some, which I firmly believe is mistaken, than linear power supplies are automatically better… that is simply not always the case… and I would be wary of cheap linear power supplies… just as I am with cheap switchers.

And high power linear power supplies, if not carefully designed and account taken of neighbouring devices can have really poor power factor efficiency, potentially adding harmonic current noise to the mains.

Switched mode power supplies are massively better behaved here… and have low current THD.


What motherboard and processor did you use?
Can you give a few hints of the manufacturer?

I expect you are probably right. But will all these horrors apply to a small but good quality LPS for a NUC or Nucleus (the point of the OPs question)?

Define good quality… without looking at the LPS schematic one can tell whether it mitigates the current harmonic distortion issue.
Hint you are at least looking looking for a large in series inductor between rectifier and reservoir capacitors. It may well look like another smaller, transformer. The issue is about preventing noise on the mains as well as downstream devices.
In my book computers are best powered by quality switchers. Quality linear powersupplies with the appropriate mitigations simply have too low efficiency for something that is on 24/7

Teddy pardo one for example

But how do you know… is there a white paper or published schematic… have you measured any noise from it, or is it all shrouded in secrecy?.. and left to ‘just trust your ears’