Roon Nucleus vs Innuos


I am looking for some advice.  I am using a Roon Nucleus with my Linn streamer and find the sound is not quite as good as my turntable.  ( I am not trying to engender the analogue vs digital debate).  A friend suggested I consider transitioning to an Innuos server; either as a Roon endpoint or in conjunction with the Nucleus.  Has anyone compared the sound of these two devices?
Thanks
MP
mpomerantz
I haven't compared the units you are referring to.  My response is based on similar components. 

Separating Roon Core from Roon Endpoint/Renderer is important and delivers clear performance upsides.

They can be combined but to do so well (as in high performance well) is costly and not easy.

If you are going to try Innuos (I'm not sure which model level), I'd keep the Nucleus to see if using the Nucleus as Roon Core feeding the Innuos as Roon Endpoint is superior to Innuos on it's own. If the Innuos better suits you it will be easy to resell the Nucleus.

In any case, would love to hear your findings whichever path you choose.
David Ten there is really no empirical evidence that separating a Roon Core and Endpoint are actually better on the contrary, you are now sending the data from the Core to the Endpoint which adds the variable of the sending data over the network.
We looked at the Roon Nucleus when it came out and we were not impressed by what Roon was offering for the price vs the Innous.

The Nucleus is an inexpensive Intel Nuc based device, the Intel Nuc is a powerful computer chip based mini computer, which Roon loads an optimized version of their software, the two models differ in having an external power supply.
Compare that with an Innous and you will see a very large difference.
The Innous products all use a custom built motherboard, use a custom operating system, the Zen model uses a two rail power supply which was designed by Dr Sean Jacobs an expert in digital power supply design, the Zenith use a three rail design with Mundorf caps, ethernet noise filters are used to eliminate line noise coming into the the servers as well as leaving the server in the case of an ethernet connected streaming dac, both devices use well shielded cases, and have been built to minimize noise and vibration.
Innous takes a very focused approach to their designs they are working to eliminate noise which can muck up the digital output of the sever.
For all of these reasons people have been raving over the sound quality of the Innous servers.
We have many happy Innous clients who report that the servers made a very noticeable sonic improvement

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers
Thanks for the information. Can the innuoud server be used in conjunction with the Roon ?
The innous servers are designed as Roon Cores.

Out of the box to setup to music 5 mins.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers
Innuos can be used as Roon Core, Roon Endpoint (Player), or Roon Core + Roon Endpoint (Player).

there is really no empirical evidence that separating a Roon Core and Endpoint are actually better

There is a ton of user feedback on separation of the two functions yielding better overall performance. One can head over to Audiophile Style (formerly Computer Audiophile) to learn about this.

I have taken and tested this approach. Isolating and separating the functionality clearly has been superior in my applications. N of 1.

NOTE: I’m not saying this is or isn’t the case with Innuos. Nor did I say so in my above post.

For example, Antipodes (a Server/Player company) has found this to be true (for them) and has taken the approach of optimizing Server/Core and Renderer/Endpoint/Player capacities SEPARATELY as their BEST OPTION.

As always, there are many approaches to achieving performance, with different companies taking different paths.

adds the variable of the sending data over the network.

I agree. However there are solutions to allow for the elimination of a Network Switch (if this is what is being referred to). The data has to be delivered over the network, no matter what.
I compared the Nucleus to the Innuos Zen MK3. Heard the Nucleus first and thought it sounded really good. A few weeks later heard the Innuos. The Innuos sounded so good had to go back and listen to the Nucleus again. Both sound really good, but the Innuos was no question the quieter and more musical piece. I bought the Innuos and have been enjoying for a month with not one single hiccup. Very stable and well constructed. Extremely satisfied!

And this is from Innuos in regards to the Roon Core...

Roon Core on the ZEN should sound better as it takes more steps to reduce system noise, especially in regards to excessive network traffic noise on the Ethernet.Running with no DSP would also be our recommendation.Best Regards,


Good luck with your search.

Personally I would get a Salk Streamer, use that as your Roon Core, hard drive, and renderer. Then spend the extra money on a DAC you love and spend some money on a good USB cable. I’m typically a bit of a skeptic on cables beyond a certain point. That said, I clearly heard differences between a basic cable, and an audioquest Cinnamon and Carbon cable.

But the DAC is where it’s at. I tended to fall in the “All DAC’s are pretty good”. But there are clearly differences.  I played around between an Oppo Sonica (which uses a 9038 chip and a nice toroidal) and the internal DAC in a Levinson 585 (which is well reviewed and uses the 9018).  The Sonica easily won (which was nice to be able to a/b on the same unit with nothing else changed.)

I’m also becoming more and more convinced that the power supply matters as much as anything in electronics. Given my druthers I want an amp, pre-amp, and now DAC that has a nice toroidal in it.

Jim Salk is a good man, and the Streamer is an absolute bargain like just about everything he sells.
Dep most people find that the Dac will only sound as good as what you feed it.

The Salk Streamer is a fine piece but would it be in the class of an Innous don’t think so.

The Salk steamer looks to be a mini pc running tweaked Linux and Roon. There is no mention on power supply design.

For the same money you can get an Innous Zen which uses a custom designed linear power supply, a custom built mother board, custom software, a shock mounted hard drive, an ethernet noise filter, full on line support, and back up from a company with more than one principal.

Many people are finding that the improvement in the server is just as important as the improvement in the dac.

The fact that even a high end streaming dac which would require nothing else other than an direct ethernet connection sounds noticeably better being feed by a cleaner signal from the Innous would invalidate that argument.

If you read the Innous Statement review the reviewer was floored at how much more analog like and more musically involving the sound from the same dac was with the superior digital signal being feed to it he said it was a breakthrough in digital sound reproduction.

We have currently on the floor an Innous Statement, a Baetis Reference, a Innous Zenith Mk II and we have had the Zenith MK III on the floor.

The same data sounds very different over an ethernet connection being feed to the same streaming dac, from all three of these servers, the Innous Statement made the streaming dac much better sounding. than the other two.

We are not saying that people shouldn’t invest in a good dac but they should also invest in a real server to feed that dac properly.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous Dealers