Room Nucleus+ vs what for dCS

I’m considering a Roon Nucleus+ for streaming to dCS DACs. DCS says networked streaming is superior to USB on their DACs. As such, the easiest way to get content from local is a Roon Core. Is there any sonic advantage to something more expensive? The Nucleus will not be co-located with the audio rack - but will run on Ethernet and there will be no Wifi in the path. It seems like for networked listening, as long as the device can serve up the file quickly, there shouldn’t be a sonic advantage to other devices, but would certainly welcome information to the contrary. 
Ag insider logo xs@2xmayoradamwest
@tuberist there are many options. What I’m trying to understand is if there really is any sonic difference between them if running over Ethernet and the core is not located near the rack. 
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I imagine there wouldn’t be any sonic difference.  I can’t distinguish any difference in my files running ethernet from my NAS to my Bryston BDP3 streamer vs playing the same files from a usb drive in the Bryston, and my NAS sits 100 feet away
I don’t have the mighty DCS DAC but I cant tell w redbook .wav files off my NAS 60’ of ethernet cable to NAIM. I would be interested in your opinion of the ROOn product if you go that way, I am considering it as well as small green computer.
I should add that I have ROON core running off a laptop right by the NAS.
I have the Nucleus+ driving a Meridian Ultra Dac--sort of in the same league as the DCS.  I am very happy with the Nucleus+ SQ.  There are DIY solutions if that floats your boat.  For me, I work on my computer 15 hours a day, so I chose the Nucleus+ so that I would have a separate system.  
I run a Nuceus+ and Roon thru a Meridian Ultra Dac.  Very happy with the result.  I have no vinyl and only ripped cd's.
I’m considering a Roon Nucleus+ for streaming to dCS DACs.
Are you considering multiple dCS DACs?

Is there any sonic advantage to something more expensive?
Your thoughts / thinking on the question you ask, since you've been following this area for some time now?

there will be no Wifi in the path
Why / Reasons for not introducing WiFi?
Bartok and Rossini. No reason to use WiFi. House is wired and WiFi will always be inconsistent due to interference and overlapping zones. (Running a Unifi setup)
I have the Rossini DAC and Nucleus +.  I have mine going from the Nucleus + to the router and then to the DAC.  The way I understand is the Nucleus has to be hooked to the router, it doesn't do wifi.  Maybe I'm wrong here but I think you have to hook it up to the router to even use it at all.  I started with the Nucleus and then got the Rossini a few months later and then I migrated into the ethernet connection.  I sprung for the Audioquest diamond ethernet cables from nucleus to router and router to DAC.  I swear I could hear a difference when I got them but I never really did an AB vs stock cables back and forth.  The ease of use with the DCS gear is amazing, rock solid never had a glitch or a hiccup.  I had a lot of issues with slowness when I first got the Nucleus but since the latest major update it's been awesome.  I can't imagine how someone wouldn't want to have the integrated TIDAL going with the Nucleus and Roon.  Roon was a bit of a steep learning curve but now I'm totally sold. I don't want anything to do with airplay or bluetooth now that I hear the superiority of the way Roon sounds.  Everything about it is just awesome, makes sense and is a pleasure to use.  
For what it's worth the guy I bought my Rossini and clock from had used the DCS gear he sold me with a Nucleus + and had upgraded to a Nucleus like device, same idea but way more money.  He said it was a major improvement, I read reviews and it seems that they do say spending 20K on a core can yield some pretty incredible results.  I have never tried but if you have the money and are looking for the very best I think there is more than the Nucleus + as far as the best of the best goes. 
Mahler we have tested running an Innous Statement in a different room via Ethernet 


Innous Zenith in another room connected to a Dac via USB and the remote connection. The Statement sounded far better.

This test proved that a superior data stream beats a direct connection via USB

We then ran the same test Ethernet direct from the Innous Zenith to the Krell K300i and compared via Roon that data stream vs the remote Ethenrent stream from the Statement, again the Statement sounded better.

The take away is that a better data stream with less noise sounds better  and creates a must more analog sound out of a digital 

Dave and Troy 
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers 
Another point we would not recommend a Roon Nuclues we passed on the product after it came out due to it basically being an off the shelf Intel Nuc put into a a better case with a more advanced power supply in the case of the Roon +.

Compare this product to the Innous Zen at the same price as the Plus

Custom designed low noise motherboard
Ethernet Noise filter incomming
Ethernet Noise filter output to a streaming Dac
Low noise Intel industrial processor
EMI/RFI sheilding
Very advanced multi rail power supply designed by Dr. Sean Jacobs a noted designer specializing in digital design
Incoming power supply filter 
CD burner built in
Designed as a Roon Core 
Constant firmware upgrades at Innous continues to develop their platform

Even the Aurender product line does not offer these features, we have had them and they are excellent products with the exception of no upsampling or cross conversion through Roon, 

We feel that many people will really get a huge upgrade in terms of being able to upconvert Tidal or Qbouz from even 24 bit 192k native data stream to DSD or higher rates of PCM such as 384k and higher depending on driver and dac.

When you combine all of these factors the Innous product makes a very strong case as being the market leader at the price point

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers

@audiotroy you kept saying direct for Ethernet. I would love to understand how a Innous Statement located in a different part of my house, running as a Roon core, would sound better than a Roon Nucleus. It should be a purely digital signal and noise shouldn’t be an issue given they aren’t co-located and the Ethernet goes through a filter before arriving at the dCS. I’m not saying you’re wrong - I just want to understand how this is possible. 
Mayor we have tested exaclty that and even located in a differenrent room other ethernet the signal sounded better than the Innous Zenith feeding the Krell K300i via the Zeniths isolated and filtered output.

I know it sound impossible but the facts are that a better signal even being feed through the network gives you better sound.

The Statement does a better job of cleaing and packeting the data and sending it on its way over the network.

Digital is very sensitive to noise. 

We would recommend that you try the Innous product and you can try a direct USB and Ethernet connection to the DCS you may find the DCS sounds better being driven by USB.

Don't see the advantage of not keeping the server next to the DCS in the rack. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers
I am curious too how the Innous interfaces with a DAC such as DCS with an ethernet input.  Do you feed DAC ethernet from Innous and Innous is fed internet from the router? In the case of the Nucleus there is only one ethernet connection so you have to connect your DAC to the router which seems like a pretty cheesy link when you are talking the level of DCS DACs.  
The dCS is fed to the main router (through a Transparent isolator). This is how the dCS Mosiac app can see the device. Mosiac can play Qobuz and Tidal directly (along with local USB and some other services). This is the functionality of the dCS network bridge. DCS says Ethernet sounds better than USB direct. 
Then we get to Roon. The dCS Network Bridge is a Roon endpoint so a Roon Cores can play to it, using Streaming services as well as local storage for the Roon core. 
The question here is, why would the Roon core, located in another part of the house, affect sound by having the improvements on Innous? I completely understand those improvement when connected directly via USB. 
Now, my trusted hifi shop says they would love to sell me something more expensive, but the Roon Nucleus sounds great over Ethernet. The threads I can see on Computer Audiophile seem to verify. I was skeptical so came here to ask. The trouble with @audiotroy is, while he seems very nice, and I do like his posts, he has an interest in it, as he wants to sell a $20,000 Innous Statement. So more data is required. 
Mayor you are making a ton of assumptions.

DCS’s network bridge is decent but in most cases the built in network card is not as good as feeding the unit externally from USB. We have seen this time and time again, the advantages of the internal card should outweigh any external box but we have seen it.

We have the $37k T+A SDV 3100 one of the worlds most technologically advanced dacs in fact in terms of raw technology this piece is far more advanced than any current DCS Dac including the Vivaldi.

The T+A SD 3100 is the world’s only dac that can accept DSD 1024 as a native input via USB, the input card is a 100% in house designed high speed USB input card, yes many dac’s can process DSD 1024 but they internally upncovert the incoming data which isn’t that difficult the problem, is haivng a fast enough data throughput which requires a 100% custom solution, hence none of the other manufacturers including EMM Labs has invested the time and resources to develop their own input receiver most companies use XMOS.

The SD 3100 has a built in Roon compattible network streamer and we are running it through the filtered ethernet connection as well as USB and USB trumps it everytime also allowing for DSD 128,256 and 512 to be implemented via HQ player or Roon where the network steam can not handle the higher sampling rates just like the Bartok so it can only be assumed that most networks aren’t fast enough to handle these higher sampling rates

The Bartok can only handle data rates upto 24bit 384k and DSD 128k quite frankly this is dissapointing on a 2020 cira piece of expensive digital you should be able to handle any high res data source, however, this does not negage that DCS does build a very good piece of hardware.

If you ever get a chance to hear upsampled DSD to 512 it will open your ears to what digital can sound like it isn’t subtitle to sounds like really good analog.

As per Ethenet being better we have a client with your exact setup DCS Bartok and he has the Statement and his DCS Bartok sounds better being feed via the Statements USB output then from Ethernet

With digital there is no right or wrong you need to play with these things for themselves.

As per the Roon Nuclues we would never sell them they are vastly inferior to the Innous Zen which is the same price as the Roon Nucl Plus.

The Zen uses a custom motherboard,
has a built in powerline filter,
incoming ethernet noise filter,
has a filtered ethernet output to power a  streamer/dac,
has constantly evolving firmware,
a custom dual rail power supply by Dr. Sean Jacobs an expert in digital power supply design, 
use a low noise industrial Intel processor,
it even has a built in CD burner.


Roon Nucleus an Intel Nuc computer in a nice case with a linear power supply of some kind.

Roon is a software company vs Innous which is a hardware engineering company.

You really need to borrow an Innous server and try these things for yourself. We can send you a demo Zenith and or Statment you will quickly see how much better your Bartok can sound.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers
@audiotroy i do not doubt anything you are saying (and I was incorrect on pricing - I was looking at CAD not USD). I’ve also read things to contrary, and in this industry, what I’ve learned is that everything is subjective and there will be people on both sides arguing they are right and their way sounds better. DCS directly claims Ethernet is better on *their* HW. They don’t claim this for all HW. Just theirs. My trusted shop said they tested and agree. On Roon forums, both Roon employees and members seem to strongly prefer the Nucleus over the underpowered Zenith. So if anyone is cheaping out on parts, it’s Innous. The biggest complaint is that the underpowered Zenith is not able to easily cope with large libraries and searching will be slow. I hear your opinion and understand it. What Id like to hear is from people in the field and experiences, especially those not working at a shop selling me something. Surely you can see the conflict in interest with both you and my local shop.
It seems like for networked listening, as long as the device can serve up the file quickly, there shouldn’t be a sonic advantage to other devices

...What I’m trying to understand is if there really is any sonic difference between them if running over Ethernet

There is, as in capital IS. Pursue different options to find out for yourself.

and the core is not located near the rack.

The Roon Core Component can most certainly be near, or in, or on the rack. Consider it an audio component and treat it as you would any other audio component in your primary system.

No reason to use WiFi. House is wired and WiFi will always be inconsistent due to interference and overlapping zones.

Not true. WiFi can be used to effectively isolate the 'dirtier' sections from the more important and hopefully 'cleaner' sections for audio applications. There are other reasons as well. Dig deeper as WiFi can be your friend.

@audiotroy 's posts above are valid and share important and helpful information.
I have been evaluating DACs and dCS is on my list. I’ve auditioned the Bartok, the Rossini, and a full Vivaldi stack. I’ve also heard the Rossini in a neighbor’s system and have heard dCS products elsewhere. My most recent auditions, both at the dealer and at my neighbor’s home, coincidently / by happenstance were both fronted by a Roon Nucleus.

Based on what I am hearing you express, the dealer’s choices, and what my neighbor ended up with (in all cases... the Roon Nucleus) I’m fairly sure that dCS as well as their dealers believe that dCS is impervious to the ethernet signal being sent it’s way.

Once a position gets dug, it tends to stick / stay and is amplified by those that follow the manufacturer / dealer guidance.

I happen to disagree.
I’m running a dCS Debussy DAC, Roon Core on a sonicTransport i5 and streaming files from a Synology NAS to a DCS Network Bridge.  The network bridge doesn’t support USB out so I use dual AES/EBU cables to the DAC.  Dual cables allows me to listen to DSD 128 files.
Mayor it is much harder to get to become an innous dealer so you will see far fewer Innous dealers vs Roon which are sold even on line. Also considering that you are in Canada we can’t sell you an Innous product even if we wanted to.

As per DCS or their dealers endorsing the Roon product could it be that perhaps they are afraid to recommend that the DCS’s products are not immune to the signal being feed to them and shattering their image of being the best in digital?  The other issue is that an inexpensive Roon Nucleus makes for an easier DCS purchase you don't need a really top server just use a cheap server and you are good to go.

We have talked with many customer who were not in love with the Nucleus and moved on.  As mentioned above we have elucidated all the reasons we would pick an Innous over the Roon product. 

The reality is that some people like DCS others do not, most of the DCS products are very detailed and tend to be an overly complicated product line with outboard upsamplers required as well as clocks. They do tend to throw a big soundstage with great clarity but also tend to be a bit lean in the midrange compared to the Lumin X1 or Aqua Hifi products or other R2R ladder based Dacs.

The Innous products are hardly under powered and can easily process large libraries.

Why don’t you find a local Innous dealer and test the Zen vs the Nucleus Plus and then try a Zenith and see for yourself. Run both with both a high end usb cable and ethernet and see which you prefer, we find with a really good server that USB on an Innous will beat Ethernet transmission, that is not always the case with all dac’s

The only ones saying that the Zen or Zenith are under powered don’t understand that Innous chose the most powerful processor with the least almont of noise generated by the chip running at the highest speed it can run at.

Sfseay you can easily run the highest sampling frequencies via USB, as well.

As per saying that ethernet is better we have a client with the Bartok and Statement and he prefers the USB by a mile even over the Statements very high quality ethernet output.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers

I just looked at the wrong number. I’m in the SF Bay Area. The only Innous dealer is Audio Vision SF, and last time I asked them, they told me I had to pay $250 to have the privilege of listening to an amp in their shop. Needless to say, I will never step foot in there. Also, I hear you @audiotroy but I want non-dealer opinions too. 
Mayor arent you in Canada? As per non dealer opinion there aren't that many here that have this kind of experience, we can reach out to our client who has the Statment runs it USB into his Bartok and see if he would like to reply.

If you are in the States we can ship you a demo Zenith to play with or if you are doing business or visiting NY we are a quick jump from the City and you can hear them at our shop.

As per Audio Visions boy that is totally shitty it is amazing they stay in business. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers

I can't stand Audio Visions.  I bought 10K speakers there years ago and was treated like mince meat.  How those douche's stay in business I'll never know.