Allo Sparky - How to run Roon


How does one run Roon on your Sparky?

Presumably by installing Roon Bridge on the Pi and using it as a DAC/endpoint.

The Allo Sparky is an SCD distinct from a Pi. It has an ARM Cortex A9 which is an armv7hf platform. It also has a 40 pin connector which is compatible with Pi HATs.

It isn’t powerful enough to run Roon itself, but it can run Roon Bridge and become a Network Zone to a Roon Core.

Once you have your preferred flavour of Linux running on the Sparky, just download and install Roon Bridge.

That is precisely my problem, I haven’t found any linux image to load on the sparky. I replaced it with a RPi3 and used Diet Pi but would like to utilise the Sparky as a Roon endpoint.

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@ALLO_audio_boards I’m sure Andre will chime in here as the Sparky is their baby. I’ll be looking at this too especially if there is a good USB3 implementation or at least USB2 on the Sparky without the restrictions the RPi has on that shared bus with Ethernet etc.

Can the Kali reclocker be paired with other dac options for those that might already have say an IQAudio or hifiberry hat?

@Dan_Knight maybe there will be a DietPi option forthcoming for this platform?

Ill be going with a Vana setup soon so will be able to get whatever going soon I hope with Roon.

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hi to all.
we have to do some work on our side and also need some support from the ROON team…
who would be the best people for us to contact about this?

Paging @mike

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@Paul_Chatfield @ALLO_audio_boards
Yep. If Allo have a Debian image ready, or build notes to create one, we can convert it DietPi and support the Sparky very quickly.
I would need a dev sample board to implement it, if Allo are willing to send one?

Can the Kali reclocker be paired with other dac options for those that might already have say an IQAudio or hifiberry hat?

If no one can answer this, i’ll test a few HAT’s (JustBoom) with reclocker today and let you know.

Ill be going with a Vana2 setup soon so will be able to get whatever going soon I hope with Roon.

Its a epic setup, tested (-volt) with 192Khz with MPD (, works great with Roon.
I love the LED’s on the Kali, useful stats and it looks pretty at the same time :smiley:


the KALI will work with SLAVE mode DACs

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Hi to all,
just wanted to update that we have made some great progress in the past days by running ROON bridge with our Sparky.
Further tests are going on to insure all is working with all our audio devices.
Next step would be to release the image.
Stay tunes early 2017!

Happy Holidays to all!

Thanks Andre…looking forward to my Allo parts arriving in the new year.

Great news. I wait with bated breath!

What are the advantages of the sparky over a Raspberry Pi?

The two main issues with a Pi (from an audiophile point of view) are noise and the shared bandwidth of the Ethernet and USB ports. The latter isn’t important if your output goes to a HAT on top of the Pi. I haven’t listened to a Sparky, but understand it doesn’t share USB/Ethernet bandwidth.

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Thanks. I am using a Pi with a Kali reclocker (Going into an I2s dac), so shared USB is not relevant, in my case. What about noise? Is there any difference?

Recent SBC’s tend to be faster than a Pi3, which is great is you want to run a desktop or serious server tasks – but for running Roon Bridge even a Pi is way overpowered. As for noise – I doubt that the Pi is noisier than other boards. A HAT using I2S over GPIO is rather immune and can oftentimes be powered seperately if so desired.

That leaves the USB/Ethernet shared bus, which may or may not be relevant for you.

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Sparky linux images links are available on

We’re well into June 2017, and we still wait with bated breath. I’m considering getting the Allo USBridge: Sparky+USBridge bundle that is advertised on Allo’s website. My question is about software: will the download on the DietPi website work without much tinkering or does Allo have plans to release their own Linux image?

Hi there and thanks for your patience.
We are very close!
Our webmasters are now doing some changes so that customers, using a drop down menu on the USBridge product page, will be able to select between DIETPI and VOLUMIO …
The unit will be shipped with the chosen one.

Please check by early next week.


The Dietpi image works just fine. I haven’t tried Volumio but I am sure that is fine too.