Hi, having returned to using Roon fairly recently - and having tried Chromecast for a couple of endpoints, I am considering swapping out to mini computers running Roon Bridge connected to DACs for my end points.
What would be advantages of using DietPi or Ropiee vs just using a Windows 10 mini PC? I know that in the past Rasberry Pi’s have been much cheaper than Windows 10 devices, but you can now pick up a mini Windows 10 PC running Window 10 Home 64bit, 2gig RAM for £60-£70 pre-built.
Are there other advantages of of using the Pi3?
Set up would be
Windows 10 PC running Core (high spec) >>>>> Homeplugs to Pi3 OR Windows Roon Bridge devices at each endpoint >>>> DAC (varying quality depending on room) >>>> Active Speaker or amp depending on room.
Well RPi devices have none of the worst things windows has like many updates breaking things and virus and malware issues etc, theyr’e are dedicated platforms for the most part just running a barebones OS and Roon Bridge like in the case of Ropieee and to a certain extent DietPi unless you add other things like shairplay or spotify etc
if you are fussy about power supplies then probably much easier to find a better power supply at 5V @ 2.5A than to have to get for a windows machine - at least in my experience.
Unless your DACs need windows specific drivers then I prefer to stay away from M$oft
Raspberry/Linux audio hardware driver support appears to be much better. Windows 10 seems an incredibly bloated solution to just be a Roon bridge. I would stay far away from Windows given a choice, and DietPi or Ropieee are very easy to get going.
Makes sense - I see that there are RPi units that can have a decent DAC added too, so might make sense there also (single and small box as opposed to a Windows + external DAC solution… which would suit me except in the main listening room).
Yeah - maybe I am just a little biased towards windows as a main PC (used linux for last 2 years and went back)… but it doesn’t really matter for headless endpoints. I agree that a stripped down OS is desirable and with Windows, deleted software just comes back again in updates.
RPi3 with Ropieee are marvelous appliances: relatively inexpensive, reliable, auto-updating, and (knock on plastic) durable to date (about 1 year at 24/7).
RPi3s work great for two channel audio. But, if you plan to use Roon for multichannel audio, you best use a Windows PC, as DietPi, for example, cannot support multichannel audio. JCR
An alternative to having to use a Windows PC is a NUC running ROCK…
Wouldn’t a NUC running ROCK be overkill for a bridge/endpoint?
I am not sure I fully understand ROCK, but I thought it was more for the core/server side of things?
Only need stereo.
5/7.1 for movies is a different set up.
Never liked the sound of 5.1 music - don’t know why…just personal taste (all seems a bit too much). Maybe just the few demo’s I have heard.
… It IS a reason to stick to windows, though…
Overkill in terms of the expense of getting an Intel NUC, perhaps, but an older, supported, generation of NUC would still serve the purpose (of obtaining multichannel). Alternatively, run ROCK on a cheaper MOCK hardware system…
Is the multi-channel problem related to RPi or to DietPi? Or to both?
I had designs once of build a 5.1 library subset using my Oppo as endpoint. But Oppo and multi-channel RAAT didn’t agree.
But I thought an endpoint that spoke RAAT could carry a multi-channel signal.
Learn something every day. Thanks.
You could make that mini Windows 10 work.
Just like custom builds of Linux you can custom build the mini PC.
Strip it down and remove every app that you can. Disable the Windows updates and load just Roon on it.
My core is running a stripped down Windows 10 Pro now for a couple of years. It is still on build 1607. In the couple of years I have restarted it maybe 3 times mainly because of a Roon update. I do not update Roon very often.
That’s great if you like to tinker … and okay for Core … but an endpoint? Why reinvent the wheel? Use an RPi, Cubox etc. with a pre-built image. Simple.
I’ve been running RPis for a long time and they’re reliable and robust and don’t mind power cycling. I doubt that a Windows PC is that resilient.
If your dac is capable of DSD 512 playback only using asio driver then Windows is the only option.
I have a Lampizator L4G5 dac with the DSD512 module installed.
The only way (at the moment) for DSD 512 playback with this dac is to use the asio driver.
Prior to having the DSD 512 module fitted to my dac, I was using a MicroRendu/Uptone audio LPS as a Roon endpoint. The maximum playback through this combination (due to the Linux driver limitation of the amenero usb interface fitted to the Lampizato dac) was DSD 128.
I originally used a windows 10 mini pc (Tronsmart Ara 5) to successfully playback DSD 512 using asio driver.
With some effort it is possible to disable a lot of the unnecessary Win 10 processes that are not required to run the mini pc as a Roon endpoint. There’s plenty of information on how to do this available on the internet.
This mini pc is 5v and I tried a linear psu (Long Dog Audio) and a battery power source (Anker power brick). I settled on using the Anker.
I have since changed to a Gigabyte Brix J1900. This is a fanless Celeron based (12v) NUC type pc with WiFi and Bluetooth installed as a separate PCIe card. As this hardware is not required for the Roon endpoint I removed the card.
I am successfully using the Brix J1900 powered by the Anker set at 12v and I am very satisfied with the end result.
To my ears I much prefer DSD 512 playback through the Win10/Roon endpoint with asio driver compared to the MicroRendu/LPS endpoint at DSD 128.
Having a feature doesn’t mean it is needed or necessary. There are trade-offs with most things and DSD 512 is evidently a personal preference.
To summarise, the advantage of the Raspberry Pi with OS such as Ropieee are …
- designed for one purpose–a Roon endpoint
- end-user only computer skills needed to get them up and running
- low power
- small form factor
- resilient–power cycling doesn’t affect them
- auto-update software
- no tinkering needed
- a variety of high-quality add-on cards (hats) available, e.g. Allo DigiOne, IQaudiO DigiAmp+
- options to add low cost Roon display
Since I don’t have a Windows 10 endpoint I can’t compile a similar list
My DAC will likely be the Qutest in the main listening room, but still deciding. As I understand it the Qutest does have native DSD512, but as you say only via Windows.
I may end up going down a windows route for the main listening room (but I am concerned about all the bloat on Windows), but for the other zones I really don’t need DSD512 or anything like it… the DACs in those zones can’t play it anyway.
Good list… I would say in relation to a Windows solution
- designed for one purpose–a Roon endpoint - NO
- end-user only computer skills needed to get them up and running - YES
- cheap - YES
- low power - sort of.
- silent - Can be
- reliable - Pretty much
- small form factor - yes
- resilient–power cycling doesn’t affect them - no
- auto-update software - unfortunately yes… will keep loading bloat even after uninstalling them!
- no tinkering needed - no
- a variety of high-quality add-on cards (hats) available, e.g. Allo DigiOne, IQaudiO DigiAmp+ - yes(ish)
- options to add low cost Roon display - yes
For every zone other than the main listening room, Ropieee looks perfect and may well suffice for the main room too.
I use Ropieee almost exclusively for my endpoints and one of them an OPPO Sonica DAC supports native DSD 512 on the Ropieee endpoint - cheap enough to try for sure and Harry has great support too. Maybe even has some experience with Qutest dac @spockfish
I have a mini PC with RoonBridge on it and to be honest it is very good. The only machine that runs all of my DSD capable DACs native.
No messing about. Switch on and leave running. Kill updates if you need to and you are behind a good firewall.
The one I use has a 9 inch screen so I can see what’s playing (Roon core for display purposes).
Finally, it can be used for other things if that appeals.
I am a great fan of Ropiee and have an endpoint with screen on the TV system but pi, screen and case cost more than my little Windows machine did!