Is there a simple Roon endpoint player that I can connect to my AVR (so it doesn’t need a DAC), and use a physical remote control to skip to next track and pause/resume? I’d use my iPhone to initially select a desired playlist.
I can see there are Pi-based solutions, but I don’t understand all the possible options and don’t want to put something together myself. Does someone make a bundle that includes everything needed, including a physical remote control?
Welcome to the forum, @Sendu!
How will you connect to the AVR, e.g. USB, S/PDIF etc.?
You can buy Allo Raspberry Pi endpoints fully assembled and ready to use. For remote, I’d opt for Ropieee plus OSMC remote and Flirc IR receiver.
Let me know how you want to connect to the AVR and I’ll provide some options for you.
Thanks. I’d connect with S/PDIF I suppose (or whatever will work with a typical AVR).
I don’t understand any of the things you mentioned
Is there an easy way to get everything needed in the UK?
The “Pi-based” solutions are pretty much snap-together, though. Simple and cheap. Takes about 3 minutes.
You’d want a Raspberry Pi 4 “starter kit” – no need for a keyboard or mouse. And an OSMC remote, which is a little USB RF receiver that plugs into one of the Pi’s USB ports, plus the remote control wand. You download RoPieee (free; google the Roon forum for instructions) and copy it to a SD card, snap the Pi together, plug the SD card into the Pi, plug the OSMC receiver into the Pi, and plug the Pi into the wall. And bingo, you have a Roon-capable remote-controllable streamer. Which can be hidden in a cabinet because the remote is RF, not IR.
And Pi 4 instead of Pi 3 because of the improved engineering of the Ethernet port. Though it will work with WiFi, as well.
I added a few links to the above post for more info.
Here are some links. But first, please confirm the model of your AVR.
The Allo DigiOne provides S/PDIF (coaxial) output, but there are other players available. For each there are options for case, software and power supply. These are shipped from EU. See https://www.allo.com/sparky-eu/digione-player.html.
Edit: Note that you don’t need both the Flic and OSMC. Use the Flirc if you have a remote and the OSMC if not as this also includes the receiver.
In my post, I was assuming a USB connection to the AVR. I think it’s the most capable.
Thanks. I currently have a Denon AVR-X3400H, but may replace this with some other model in the future. If going with the digione, what RPi 3 Version and OS would I chose?
I buy that and the OSMC remote, plug in the USB part of that, turn it on, and then? Is it already a Roon endpoint or do I have to ssh in to it somehow and install additional software?
Thanks. I’ve never used USB as an audio out connection. I don’t think AVRs support that? I can see that there are USB DACs out there; with your solution I’d just connect the USB DAC to the Pi with a USB cable and it would magically just work as an audio out?
Is there a cheap way to use USB out with a standard AVR like Denon ones?
It looks like the Denon AVR-X3400H has coaxial and optical digital audio inputs, so the Allo DigiOne should be okay.
The link I provided is for an assembled player and already includes the RPi. If you want to assemble yourself take a look at this link: https://www.allo.com/sparky-eu/digione.html. I’d go for the RPi 3B since the 4 almost certainly won’t be compatible with the cases provided.
I recommend you install Ropieee on the SD-card; this is the easiest way to turn this into a Roon endpoint. There’s minimal setup to get the remote working too (all done via a web page.)
Some do, some don’t. Looks like the AVR X3400H doesn’t. It has a USB jack on the front, but the manual explicitly says this cannot be used for audio from a “computer”. So you’d need an S/PDIF connection (Sony/Phillips Digital Interface), either coax or optical, to reach this AVR.
I prefer the USB connector because it supports asynchronous transmission of the data, whereas with S/PDIF, the receiver must conform to the sender’s clock rate. In addition, it removes a whole layer of signal transformation (from the network packets to the S/PDIF format) which typically also involve another layer of electronics which add additional failure modes and noise possibilities.
That’s right. I do this with my Onkyo receiver. Pi USB output to a Mytek DAC, which then sends an analog signal into my Onkyo receiver’s analog inputs. Not sure what DAC to recommend; I also have a Topping DX3Pro which works very well in the same arrangement, and is much cheaper than the Mytek DACs.
The first link you provided has options for RPi and OS in drop down menus; I was asking which options to choose? What is RPi anyway? Does it mean the version of Raspberry Pi motherboard?
And with that fully assembled option, can I change out the OS to Ropieee somehow, or do I not need to because one of the OS options in the dropdown menu has everything I’d need?
I’d go with the Raspberry Pi (RPi) 3 B if you’re going to use an Ethernet connection*, DietPI image and the 16GB SD card. The case is your choice … I have the aluminium case, but it’s purely aesthetic, and use a standard RPi power supply (PSU.)
Once you have the DigiOne, you can easily remove the SD card, download Ropieee and re-flash the card. Just ask here and someone will walk you through the steps. You could use DietPI, but Ropieee is ideal because it’s designed solely for Roon and is very easy to setup. The author of the software is active on this forum too.
*If you’re planning to use Wi-Fi go for the B+.
I have to admit I’m a bit conflicted about the S/PDIF inputs versus the USB with my (low-end) Onkyo TX-8050 receiver (and your Denon). These beasts are inherently digital, particularly the volume control. That is, an analog input comes in, and is then digitized by the Onkyo’s internal A/D converter, so that it can be fed to the digital volume control, then fed back to the Onkyo’s internal DAC, then output. Almost every lower-end (sub $10,000) integrated amp or receiver will work this way. So I take a fancy DAC, create an analog signal, and feed it into this, only to have it re-jiggered back and forth anyway. However, if I fed the digital signal into the Onkyo (via the S/PDIF ports, either coax or optical), I’d be using the internal DAC in the first place, and wouldn’t have the extra conversion step.
Ideally, the volume control should be happening in Roon, which does it in high-precision floating point (and has the hardware to do so). And there should be no volume-control on the DAC’s pre-amp circuit. Or on the power amp which should be feeding my speakers. Or the volume control should be done in the old-fashioned way, with a passive circuit which dumps unwanted power as heat.
Volume control on the amp is best for practical reasons. If Roon allows device volume you can use Roon to vary that but otherwise you use your normal amp remote control, and there shouldn’t be big jumps in volume when selecting sources.
Does the OSMC RF Remote Control let you simply skip to next or previous track in the current playlist? The reviews are confusing because they complain about no volume control, but there are volume up and down buttons but no next/previous track? Will clicking the left or right arrows on the circular part do what I want?
I don’t use the remote with my setup, but I understand that Ropieee supports Play/Pause/Next/Previous/Volume. See the change log – 2018/12/10 (233). @spockfish can confirm.
Or on the DAC, I suppose.
The aim for me would be to avoid big jumps in volume when switching between sources on the amp. I’d set the streamer to maximum output and control everything on the amp, volume, muting etc.