I am looking for a roon endpoint which could output USB, SPDIF and I2S.
I2S might be optional, as it is only in case I upgrade to a PS Audio DAC, but if not I2S, then I would like something reasonably priced.
Does anything like this exist?
Note: this is achievable with a USB endpoint and a DDC (like the Matrix x-spidf) but I would prefer a one box solution.
I don’t think anyone with the foresight to include i2S as an option will do so for a ‘reasonable’ price. I assembled an i2S endpoint based on a M-ITX motherboard with a PCIe i2S board and the board was three quarters of the spend. But I considered it worth every penny.
PS Audio DACs (I have the SGCD) all have USB and SPDIF inputs, I2S only seems to be used for SACD (and the NPC, which is on its way out). Even if you were to get a PS Audio DAC, there’s no need to feed it through I2S, unless you think that’s better in some way – I personally doubt it makes a difference.
“Reasonable price” was for an endpoint with USB and SPDIF only, but I guess I should have been more specific about price. So in this case, for an endpoint with USB and SPDIF, I would say max 1k (so something like a rendu or an Sotm, if they had SPDIF)
But can you tell me more about your endpoint (or if you have a link to somewhere you talk about it).
Some people mention that I2S sounds better with PS Audio DAC, but the reason I am looking for it is DSD 256. Currently DSD 256 is not supported by PS Audio, but will be in their new DAC,… at least through I2S (it also planned for USB at a later stage;… but who knows what can happen with this plan)
Metrum Ambre. A bit over 1k. It comes with S/PDIF, AES, and either USB or I2S. But note that I2S uses Metrum’s RJ-45 wiring, not HDMI. Converting between the two I2S wiring setups is non-trivial.
Pink Faun i2S card, motherboard with PCIe x1 slot, 8gb RAM, linear PSU, AudioLinux on a 2.5 inch SSD. This will give you i2S and USB. I went with a low powered motherboard but some are using i7’s.
I guess this might be a route to explore once I have settled on a new DAC and preferred output.
At the moment I wanted all outputs for future proofing, but decided to go the simpler route: Allo Digital Signature to use SPDIF on my current DAC, get something else later if beneficial for a new DAC.
Commentary on I2S, both value and lack of standardization:
More dogma from Amir. Why do you even bother. All he does is post some graphs and uses them to conclude that I2S does not sound better. How about doing some listening?