Are the servers different from each other?

I use DCS Rossini and I have a question. Is there any difference in audio quality between Nucleus vs innous vs 432 Evo? Apparently the 432 Evo plays USB Audio very well, but will the Rossini sound better via USb than ethernet? Do you have any experiences and comparisons?

This has been discussed here many times. For example in these 2 threads:

I tested my Nucleus with USB (Tellurium cable) attached to Rossini and my Melco via USB as well.
Didn’t like the sound vs Ethernet streaming…
Nowaday I would rather go for a first class NAS+switch+Ethernet set-up vs. USB attachement.

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I know that Rossini will play better via ethernet, but … if, for example, 432 evo is much better, maybe it will just play better with theoretically worse playing usb? Theoretically, if the 432 evo or innous is much better than the Nucleus, it could play with better quality. And that’s what I’m asking? I give another example: will the cheapest computer play better via Enthernet than the very expensive innous lu 432 evo ??? This is my question and not that rossini prefers ethernet - I know that


I believe when we were in touch last night you were looking at using Roon for music playback from whichever server you decide on rather than using UPnP is that correct?

If that is the case then the Roon Core / Roon ROCK / Roon Nucleus code running on whichever server that you choose to run should give you the same quality when playing back the same source file.

The difference between the various servers in this case would be the functionality and support that they offer for things other than the basic Roon Core / ROCK / Nucleus function.

So for example if you were to take your own hardware and install Roon Rock or Roon Core on it yourself then you would have a basic Roon server which you would need to look after yourself and if you had any issues with it they would be down to you to resolve - you wouldn’t have any support other than Google and forum searches.

If you were to buy a Roon Nucleus then you would be buying a complete hardware and software package of the Roon server which you would have support for should you have any problems via your dealer.

If you were to go for a solution such as the Innuos then I would presume that Innuos would have their own tools to be able to manage your music and its tagging more effectively than having to use third party application on your computer and that if you had any issues or problems with using the functionality of the Innuos software then you would be able to obtain support and assistance on any problems that you might have with those tools from your dealer (and Innuos).

The underlying Roon Core / ROCK / Nucleus functionality and audio quality should be the same though.

Best Regards



Phil, thank you so much for your answer - that explains everything to me :slight_smile:

Kasza, I think my experience may be relevant here. I also have the DCS Rossini Apex DAC and a clock. For the last 2 years I was using a Nucleus+ to stream all my music. This was a great server, no doubt. About 2 months ago I upgraded to the Taiko Audio server. The difference for me was night and day, again, my system only…. The bass was much more solid, sound stage much wider/deeper, all the things everyone likes to talk about in these forums. That said, I believe a lot has to do with the significantly better power supply in that server. Also, I’m a using Jorma Statement PC into the server as well as their USB cable…all of which are at a different price point than Nucleus+. Is this server noticeably better in my system, you bet! But is it a fair comparison, not really…. If you can, I would encourage you to do a home trial if possible. That’s what I did. I also tried the Nordost QSource Linear Power supply into my Nucleus which for me was a big upgrade as well. In the end, it still wasn’t as good at the Taiko (even thru a USB connection)…but if I didn’t end up getting the Taiko, I would have definitely added the high quality LPS into my Nucleus!

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As noted, this topic has been discussed before. dCS buffers incoming data streams to reduce/eliminate influence on data packets from the server. Many on this forum use the Roon Nucleus in Rossini/Vivaldi systems. I personally am skeptical of “high end” servers but to each their own : )

Rossini Manual:

"Set to On, the digital data is delayed before being presented to the Ring DAC – this is
the usual setting. The delay is 0.72 seconds with 44.1kS/s data and 0.16 seconds with
192kS/s data. The delay gives the DAC time to detect changes in sample rate or clock
frequency and mute before the change causes audible clicks or other noises.


This is actually only the Ring DAC buffer too … if you’re pulling data via Ethernet there is a totally separate buffer that is built into the networking hardware that can hold several minutes of audio (depending on sample rate and bit-depth) that the audio is then played from.

Best regards



Thank you for that additional clarification @Phil. I always thought that was the case but couldn’t find it in the documentation! : )

If it’s not in the documentation, a search here on usually gets you the answer :wink:


Thanks @Anupc. That reminds me of an old entry of class notes from MIT: “Course was very complete. What was not covered during lectures was covered on exams.”

: )


Good one! I’ll have to use that quote sometime! :laughing:

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From the usage side (controls, management, search and other functions in the roon), is it identical on the Innous, 432 Evo and Nucleus? Another question: Is the program written for Nucleus the same as for other devices? (I am asking about the control, but most of all about the sound quality)

I will ask otherwise: if I use, for example, the 432 Evo via USB, what will I lose in the signal? I mean, what won’t my Rossini do with the signal? I want DCS to have a big influence on the signal and the source / server as little as possible, because that’s why I bought a very good quality streamer / DAC to use it as much as possible. What’s the difference between usb input vs ethernet? What will I lose when using usb?

You’ll lose the ability to control everything from Mosaic for one thing… :slight_smile:


Phil, but I only use the roon. Will I also lose something? The most important thing for me is the quality of the sound and the control by the roon as I do now by the Nucleus

In my dealers reference system we have tried many streamers, streaming with the Rossini works great, but when you get to the level of Aurender N20, W20SE or Grimm MU1, streaming with the Rossini cannot keep up.

I know this will be a difficult statement on this site.

In my own system I continue to stream both with my Rossini and Aurender N10, both are at the same level imo, tiny flavour differences.

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Yes, if you have the server connected via USB then Roon won’t control both the server and the Rossini as a single device and it will be a pain to control.

I would strongly advise using the Rossini over Ethernet but of course there is nothing to stop you trying USB and deciding for yourself.


Hi @Phil, thanks again for chiming in and enlightening us with details from inside dCS.

You wrote something previously that I’ve been thinking about more and thought I would inquire.

In your response to me about buffering, you stated: “if you’re pulling data via Ethernet there is a totally separate buffer that is built into the networking hardware…”

This was a very specific statement. Does this mean that dCS does not buffer incoming data if it comes over USB? Is that the reason why dCS recommends Ethernet over USB?

I was thinking: If both data streams are buffered, then why would there be (or how could there be) a difference…

Thank you!