Choosing Second Endpoint - Another Pi?

My first endpoint (a Pi 3 B+ with touchscreen and Dragonfly Black) is up and streaming my content as well as Tidal content. I like the RoPieee display but probably could get by without it. Starting to think about a second endpoint. I suspect I would be happy duplicating what I have now since most of my listening will be to content from Tidal but I have some concerns regarding real or theoretical sound quality issues with a Pi based endpoint.

While most of my listening will be to Tidal content I have purchased a few albums from HDtracks including some DSD and 192/24 content.

My concerns based on what I have read (not to be confused with the facts) are with the Pi (power & USB) and Dragonfly (USB & Better DAC).

Pi Power - 5V 3A NorthPada with micro-usb splitter connected to Pi & touchscreen - upgrade to linear?
Pi USB - Noisy and Jitter problems - insert some type of USB filter?
Pi USB - Can it transmit content over 96/24? - I have read it cannot

Dragonfly USB - is a filter needed?
Dragonfly USB - limited to 96/24 - will this significantly affect my 192/24 and DSD content?
Dragonfly DAC - is it worth upgrading from Black to Red?
Dragonfly DAC - would something like a Pre Box S2 Digital be a better upgrade than a Red?

While I like the Pi setup I have I realize that upgrading the power supply (slightly), adding USB filtering and upgrading to a Dragonfly Red gets me into Bluesound Node 2 territory. Upgrading to a Pre Box S2 Digital ups the cost even more so issues with the Pi would have to be considered.

I need one and possibly two more endpoints although the third would not be for critical listening so it may be where my Pi ends up.

I would appreciate any comments and suggestions about options for my second endpoint.

Thanks … Tim

Hi @anon97951896,

Not gonna respond on the power supplies, but I can guaruantee you that the Pi can do 96/24 over USB. In fact, it can go up to 384 without any problem.

Regards Harry

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I push DSD512 native to my oppo Sonica dac via usb through a rpi3b no problems at all

Base your judgement on what you hear!

I won’t give you advice, but I’ll share my experiences. The AudioQuest DragonFly 1.2 was my first DAC and I was impressed with its performance. At the time I used Audirvana on my Mac.

However, after buying into Roon I decided to add an RPi endpoint with an IQAudiO Pi-DAC+ to my main Hi-Fi setup. In my experience, it is a better DAC than the DragonFly.

Choosing a suitable (and affordable) upgrade for the IQAudiO was a challenge. I auditioned many and none offered any significant improvement over the Pi-DAC+. Not surprising since many retail DACs use the same $5 DAC chips found in these RPi hats. So, to cut a long story short I now have a Chord 2Qute in my main setup (using FPGA rather than packaged DAC chip.)

I use an RPi plus Allo DigiOne for my transport with a linear supply direct from my amp’s accessory output. But, I am absolutely clear that this has no bearing whatsoever on “sound quality”. Read into this what you like … if you’re using a quality hat for your transport don’t worry about jitter and noise.

BTW, I do have a Bluesound Pulse Flex too and it sounds very similar to the IQAudio (same DAC chip.) Indeed I reckon the IQAudiO Pi-DigiAmp+ paired with a Monitor Audio in-ceiling speaker is in another league compared to the Bluesound.


Thanks for the info on the Pi’s USB capabilities.

Great job on RoPieee … it made getting started with Roon very easy!


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Mr Fix It,

Glad to hear your experience with USB and DSD has been good.


I own an Allo USBridge Roon endpoint (that’s Sparky rather than Pi-based) and a Pi+screen+Pi 2 Designs 502DAC hat (not a Roon endpoint, a stand-alone player at work). I use these with fairly serious DACs (Holo Spring KTE 3, Soekris dac1541). I’ve used a variety of other endpoints, players, and serious DACs over the years. The short of it is that USB audio directly from a Pi is audibly worse with some DACs than either USB audio from a solidly designed hat (like in the USBridge), or S/PDIF from a well-designed hat (like the 502DAC; I believe the Allo DIgiOne also fits the bill). Fancy LPSs can make things a bit better still, but the main thing is to use sources designed to reduce electrical noise (and jitter in the case of S/PDIF; jitter is not relevant for asynchronous USB sources, although it may be an issue within lesser USB receivers within DACs).

For clarity, the 502DAC Pro works fine as a Roon endpoint, should you choose to use it that way. I use it in my main system using AES out.


I love my 502DAC as a Roon Bridge endpoint - I run Moode OS on it, which also makes it a UPnP endpoint for when I flirt with Audirvana (occasionally).

Wow. DSD512 from a Pi3 working - that’s a rare sight! Lucky you :slight_smile:


Thanks for the comments. Have been giving this more thought and I’m now looking into the DigiOne.



Thanks for the comments. I wish I could hear more of these products but I suspect most people can’t especially in technological wastelands like Memphis TN where I live. Car stereo appears to be the hot ticket here.

Took a look at the 2Qute and it seems like a great product but a little out of my price range at the moment. I’m looking at the Digione thinking I might initially feed it directly into my audio receiver knowing I could always upgrade to an external DAC. While it does not appear to support MQA like the Dragonfly Black does I’m thinking that letting Roon unfold the MQA files and send the unfolded data to the DigiOne may be fine for me. Since not everything (and possibly most things) I listen to will not be MQA it’s possible the DigiOne may turn out to be my #2 system and the Dragonfly Black my #3 system.


To be clear, the DigiOne is a transport (S/PDIF) and will pass through MQA.

The main point to take from my post is that RPi hats offer exceptional value and hold their ground against Hi-Fi separates based on equivalent DAC chips. To better them I needed to upgrade to the 2Qute.

If you already have a DragonFly then an RPi plus DAC hat may be the way to go. You have very little to lose.


I think I knew that the DigiOne would pass through MQA and that whether or not it would be decoded / rendered would depend on the DAC which in my case probably won’t be an MQA capable DAC to start with. I could have said it better :slight_smile:

I exchanged a few emails with Allo support and decided to go with the HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro since I could get it from Amazon. Probably unreasonable but I just felt more comfortable buying from Amazon and having to deal with them if anything was wrong out of the box. Can always upgrade later if needed.

I should get the Digi+ Pro on Saturday and hope to be streaming to a second RoPieee endpoint Saturday night.

Thanks … Tim