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!
Which mini Windows PC do you have Henry?
Over at ComputerAudiophile, some claim they are achieving “massive” results with an Intel NUC fed by an Uptone LPS1.2 power supply, and using AudioLinux (and Roonbridge) : https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-computer-audio-streaming/?do=findComment&comment=892714
There is a good chance one can waste a lot of time and money with all these different solutions, as no one really understands how and why any of this really impacts sonic quality.
Better invest money in a good DAC!
I have the Pipo X9S. Intel chipset, 4gb RAM, 64gb on board memory. The screen is below the threshold size for charging for Windows. When you move to the ten inch model the price jumps up but you get battery operation. If all you are doing is running Roon then it is OK to disable the little fan inside. CPU usage is normally single figures.
Is it possible to use multiple hats? For example the Allo DigiOne (signature) icm with the USBridge?
I have many Pis as endpoints (using Ropieee) in two locations. They’re great and virtually maintenance-free. I’ve tried PCs and notebooks as endpoints. They’re not so great, and definitely not maintenance-free. And, of course, the cost differential is enormous for anyone thing of buying new.