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Howdy.

 I'm considering updating my Roon endpoint. Presently using Roon Rock connected to Diy computer solution using snake oil. I recently hooked up my Oppo205 direct to Ethernet which simplified things but still preferred usb from my renderer connected to usb of the Oppo.

Not sure if it's the better power supply or poor implementation of Ethernet input on Oppo ? A single box solution is appealing but I'm unsure if renderer/dac solution is worth pursuing. 

A few of the reviews if seen seem to indicate that separate dac and renderer sound better. I'm not convinced by my exposure to the Oppo experiment and was hoping others with experience of these setups could chime in.

 

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Well, the biggest part of this discussion is how much do you want to spend and do you want / need a single box solution? 

 

Assuming you want an all in one box, you could get a Roon endpoint with inbuilt DAC from many serious manufacturers (MSB, Merging, Lumin etc) that won't leave you spare change out of $10k (often costing far more than that).  

At the more modest end of things, a BlueSound Node or an Auralic Aries or a Lumin D2 will all deliver pretty amazing results in the $900 to $3k space.

Digging cheaper still, you could build a Raspberry Pi based solution with a DAC board on the riser from a kit maker like HiFiBerry for about $200 AUD landed.  https://www.hifiberry.com/shop/bundles/hifiberry-dac-bundle-4/

 

There's no shortage of kit to throw at this problem.  

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Thanks for the reply. Not really fussed if it's one or two boxes. One would be good but good sound trumps convenience for me.

I was just concerned that the single box solutions didn't perform as well as a two box. 

Unfortunately only have access to the Oppo which has ethernet capability.. It would be interesting to hear from others with those high end dacs and see if they notice a difference streaming direct or using a separate renderer into their dac?

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1 hour ago, eso said:

One would be good but good sound trumps convenience for me.

You have answered your own question. Roon themselves recommend a 2 box solution for sound quality. 

 

The Core does the heavy lifting while the End Point has a major role in determining the sound quality. Ideally, the End Point should have a good OS (SnakeOil is good), good linear power supply, good components eg. USB, Ethernet cards with their own linear power supply.  What are you using in your DIY solution?

 

If you put everything in 1 box, the Core's grunt makes it challenging to create a quiet environment for the End Point.

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2 box has sounded better for me, all things being equal. Some do espouse a very high power pc solution can equal/better a 2 box setup but will most likely cost as much or more. As mentioned there are plenty of solutions in every price bracket and  peripherals that can cost just as much as a decent server and renderer. Tread carefully.

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cheers Snoop, using roon core on separate nuc. It was more the dac/renderer question of being integrated or seperate dac and renderer(transport).

Diy is one of Tasso/chahn builds. Power from older hd plex 100. The usb (early Sotm) is an add on but is powered from motherboard power. Only the SSD with with operating system is powered separately. Music is attached on nuc.

 

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20 minutes ago, frednork said:

2 box has sounded better for me, all things being equal. Some do espouse a very high power pc solution can equal/better a 2 box setup but will most likely cost as much or more. As mentioned there are plenty of solutions in every price bracket and  peripherals that can cost just as much as a decent server and renderer. Tread carefully.

cheers, I'm with you there. I'm happy with roon running off the nuc in another room. I suppose my listening habits have changed and I'm listening to Tidal more often now. I am just trying to get the most enjoyable sound from the digital side. Must be getting lazy and not spinning vinyl as frequently. Could be I'm just drinking more....

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1 minute ago, eso said:

cheers, I'm with you there. I'm happy with roon running off the nuc in another room. I suppose my listening habits have changed and I'm listening to Tidal more often now. I am just trying to get the most enjoyable sound from the digital side. Must be getting lazy and not spinning vinyl as frequently. Could be I'm just drinking more....

Easy no cost gain for you is power the sotm from a separate feed from the hdplex or something better. I think an isoregen also can improve things. Next level you could update the sotm to a jcat. Even the femto outclasses the sotm card. The comp is probably still fit for purpose so no need to change that. Tasso/Chanh spend a lot of time and money on power supplies for good reason and you can go as exe as you like there. Snakeoil is good but there are others which are better out of the box. Then there is the ethernet issue....

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15 minutes ago, eso said:

It was more the dac/renderer question of being integrated or seperate dac and renderer (transport).

There is merit in combining the renderer and DAC. You get rid of 1 link eg. for USB, need to consider cable, seperate card, regen, power supply etc. 

30 minutes ago, eso said:

I suppose my listening habits have changed and I'm listening to Tidal more often now.

Am using SnakeOil with LMS 5 and Android Squeezer to listen to Tidal.

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2 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

There is merit in combining the renderer and DAC. You get rid of 1 link eg. for USB, need to consider cable, seperate card, regen, power supply etc. 

Am using SnakeOil with LMS 5 and Android Squeezer to listen to Tidal.

Thanks, That was my exact thoughts. I suppose I just need to find a Dac/renderer that I like the sound of. Always an excuse for another DAC.......

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I sold a Pioneer n70a, which is a fantastic sounding streamer ($2500 at the time) in favour of my RME ADI2 Fs and RPI4 running Ropieee xl.
 

This setup easily bested the Cambridge cxnv2 which I thought sounded horrible... 
 

My RPI4 connects via a Oyaide USB cable to my RME ADI and is powered by an ifi power x 5vdc supply.  My RME ADI connects directly to my Firstwatt F7 amplifier as my Pre amp. 
 

The RPI4 is a fantastic sounding streamer and Roon endpoint When combined with a quality dac that exhibits low USB jitter, and noise management you’ll have a winner. 

Ropieee xl also provides uPnP, airplay, and Spotify connect. Ropieee is also updated regularly as standards and options become available. 

Example DACs, which might be good partners. 

Topping d90, RME adi etc 


Maybe even consider a quality spdif/PCM hats from PI2aes, Allo, Ian Canada, if your DAC prefers PCM. But you will be limited to 24/192khz sampling, that could be an issue if you like DSD. 

 

Edited by Grizaudio
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I generally went the Raspberry pi4 path after moving on from logitech Squeezebox Touch, I also use a Bel Canto Stream as a Roon endpoint and Bluesound powernode 2i. As others have said, it will come down to how much you want to spend, features and build quality etc. look at a Bluesound node 2i or Lumin D2 too.

 

JDH

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On 05/01/2021 at 2:05 PM, eso said:

Howdy.

 I'm considering updating my Roon endpoint. Presently using Roon Rock connected to Diy computer solution using snake oil. I recently hooked up my Oppo205 direct to Ethernet which simplified things but still preferred usb from my renderer connected to usb of the Oppo.

Not sure if it's the better power supply or poor implementation of Ethernet input on Oppo ? A single box solution is appealing but I'm unsure if renderer/dac solution is worth pursuing. 

A few of the reviews if seen seem to indicate that separate dac and renderer sound better. I'm not convinced by my exposure to the Oppo experiment and was hoping others with experience of these setups could chime in.

 

 

While the 205 is well reviewed as a DAC/CD player, it is easily left wanting compared to offerings from Gieseler Audio for music.

 

I only use my 205 for DAC duties to surrounds etc and send stereo to a Gieseler Konverter via the 205s coax output if playing a CD and also for movies where I run a 4.0 setup. 

 

As a Roon endpoint, I have a Microrendo with a Gieseler Audio power supply with USB connection to the Konverter. 

 

The rest of the front end is the Konverter preamp to either an early Metaxas Soliloquy or Electrocompaniet AW180 monoblock power amps driving Lenehan ML2+Rs.

 

You should be able to pick up a Microrendo (2nd hand) and power supply for $800. Gieseler Audio DACs start from $650 new. 

Edited by DrSK
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IMO,

 

I would start with a RPI4 running into a quality DAC. Its a low cost, low risk option.

Additionally if you can, grab a decent supply which doesn't exhibit noise or leakage issues.

Plenty have been measured for review. 

 

IMO, it makes far more sense to spend dollars on a good USB dac (and a sufficiently speedy Roon server), v's spending money on a high end Roon end point for the following reasons:

 

- Modern DAC's reject jitter and noise much better than older DACs. This vastly minimises the impact of source on the conversion.

- The RPI4 measures extremely clean, and sounds great. Measurements have been detailed time and time again.

I have spoken to multiple users of expensive renders (SOTM, Microrendu, etc) who cannot hear a difference v's the RPI4.

Obviously not all users will have the same opinion but interesting feedback nonetheless.     

- RPI software is constantly developed and improved (by a huge software pool) at a zero/low cost to the user. 

- RPI developers can more readily adapt to changing standards, and hardware, pushing updates incredibly quickly. 

- More and more manufacturers are adopting RPI based technologies in their products, providing some validation to their quality and functionality. 

- By spending a higher portion of your (combined DAC/streamer budget) budget on a DAC, SQ should be increased.

- You get uPnP, Airplay, and Spotify connect.

- Ropieee is Roon certified

 

Personally, I also tend to 'err' on the side of research and measurements, and validate with my ears.

I am very happy with the RPI4 feeding my RME ADI2 fs dac. 

 

You can easily google measurements for the RPI, SOTM etc as a good starting point. 

 

Keen to know which direction you are heading in. 

 

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I’ve been using an Intel NUC running Roon Rock as an end point connected to my Chord Qutest for about two years. I changed the NUC power supply to a better quality earthed unit and it sounded cleaner. 
 

This thread has prompted me to look into buying an RPI4 and giving the Ropieee software a spin to see how it compares to the NUC - having Spotify connect will be great. 
 

Do other users have any issues with Ropiee switching between Spotify and Roon?  
 

The NUC has been fine but it did take a little tweaking with a power filter to isolate noise from its grounded power supply getting back into my preamp through my Thor power board (they were on the same filter bank). However perhaps the RPI4 will be a better overall solution :)
 

drew 

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1 hour ago, astormsau said:

Do other users have any issues with Ropiee switching between Spotify and Roon?  
 

drew 

 

No issues. If you have a Roon stream playing, Spotify will connect and Roon will stop playing, and vice versa.  

Same experience with UPnP. 

 

 

 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I have the opportunity to listen to an Auralic vega steaming DAC later this week. Just have to see if floats my boat. I'll do a few comparisons and post my thoughts.

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