DIY Roon Audio / Plex server

Dear Roon forum,

Before I go on I want you to please bear with me as I am an audio noob and I do not know all the hifi audio ins and outs, so please forgive my ignorance. I am considering in trying to test drive Roon, but before I can do this I want to fact check what I know about Roon. I am planning to embark on an audio diy project and purchase and build a “standard” classic audio kit from scratch on a budget. Standard as in stereo loudspeakers and a traditional amplifier attached to it.

Core Machine (Roon Rock, AMD B450 motherboard with AMD Ryzen 5 3400G)

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
  • Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WiFi
  • G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB - F4-3600C18D-32GTZN
  • Samsung 970 PRO 512GB M.2
  • Seasonic Focus SGX Gold 650
  • Noctua Low Profile Cooler
  • Silverstone SG13
    or similar.

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Cisco SMB 1 Gb Switch
Ubiquiti Unifi AC Pro
Kobol Helios 64 NAS
Android OnePlus 6 (Roon Controller)

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)


Description Of Issue

My questions are this:
My main concern is this, I read there is a possible setup for Roon with an Raspberry Pi Endpoint and an Allo Digione top hat which features a digital output for streaming sound from Roon. The thing I do not get is how can I get the audio signal to a traditional set of speakers (or in my case an hifi audio amplifier), or is this not possible? In case it is not possible with this DIY amplifier, would a standard of the shelf amplifier from a HiFi dealer do, or is there other equipment I need for this to work? What am I missing here?

Also I read on the website that for the Roon Core only Intel processors are supported. Is this true or can I also use an AMD system? In case AMD processors are supported, what kind of performance can I expect with a typical AMD system for the one which I described? Will this kind of setup do the job?

As a last thing I also would like to know if Rock setup for the Roon Core is required, and if a standard Linux Distro would work as well? My goal is to actually make a plex/ roon core system which supplies video through Plex and audio through Roon. Would that work or will you run into duplicate port conflict settings with Plex by going this route, and installing plex on the same machine as Roon?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my questions.

The Allo DigiOne is the wrong kind of hat for you. You’ll need a DAC hat with balanced outputs for the amp you intend to build. There are two I’m aware of from Orchard Audio and IQaudIO that’ll do the job. The PI-DAC Pro from IQaudIO is more of a DIY project.

You’ll be just fine with any 64bit processor with the equivalent performance of an Intel i3. Clearly, if you’re using the PC for other duties you’ll need to up the spec. You don’t need to use ROCK; this turns a NUC into a Roon appliance so no other software may be installed. Therefore, install the Linux binary (server-only) or Windows executable on your new PC.

The Allo Digione as @Martin_Webster says is wrong , it provides a CoAx output ,ie like one RCA Plug

If you chose an Amp with a built in DAC then that is a good choice or if you put a dedicated DAC between the End Point and the amp , but that’s extra cost.

My Hi Fi set up is primarily as a headphone amp setup, RPi / Allo Digione > Audiolab M-DAC > Sennheiser HD800 (or RCA Analogue to a soundbar)

I may be splitting hairs but he will need a DAC HAT with line level outputs to match what ever inputs his amplifier has.

You can build a system with just a raspberry Pi ton dip your toes in the water. They pi would host a DAC and amplifier and would get audio from your Roon server over ethernet. I have several of these around my house as low cost systems. All you then need is to connect speakers to the amp on the pi. This is easily setup with very little outlay.

As your first foray in to this world I would highly recommend you look at QAcoustics Speakers, they start reasonably priced and sound way above their paygrade and pair ok with the amps you can get for the pi. I chose HifiBerry Amp2 for my projects but there are others out there that night be better.

When your then ready you can upgrade to a seperate amp which you can buy or build , get a good quality seperate DAC with USB input and connect the pi to that and it to you amp, or more economically change the HAT on the pi to just a DAC board and connect that to amp.

If your using AMD processor then ROCK is out as it’s designed for intel chipsets but it might work. Roon core can run on any Linux distro.

Check the OP; the amp has no line level inputs.

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Yes, you did your due diligence by actually following the link! :wink:

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