Feed to AVR via Digital and Stereo Receiver via RCA

Hi folks. I’ve been running Ropieee on a Pi 3B with a HiFiBerry Digi+ HAT without issue for over a year now. I’m very appreciative of the work done to support this inexpensive solution. This feeds my Pioneer Elite AVR’s DAC over coaxial.

However, I’m transitioning most of my music listening to older, pre-digital receivers now. {The AVR will still be used for movies and surround music titles.) Typically I am feeding these older receivers with an LG phone (with Quad DAC) over a 3.5" to RCA connection. However, this has caused me to stop using Roon as often to evade the signal resampling. Instead I am using UAPP pulling DLNA over WiFi as an alternative. Not only is this somewhat kludgy, but sometimes I get WiFi dropouts that I don’t receive when using my RPi over GigE hard-wired.

Until today, I assumed that I could not use the same RPi to feed both receivers. I did not realize that Ropieee supported both USB out on the Pi and digital out over the HAT.

Question 1: do I understand correctly that I could get a Topping or other USB-based DAC and feed RCA signals to the older receivers without needing to make any configuration changes?

Question 2: if I go down this path, would I be better off waiting to purchase an RPi 4 to replace the RPi 3 for any reason? I am trying to avoid clutter in the AV rack by having multiple Pi’s there.

Question 3: do I understand that I’d be better staying with stable (versus beta XL) right now due to the need to choose the interface within the webui?

Thanks, austingonzo

Yes you can use the RPi with Ropieee to feed a USB DAC. This is a common configuration.

You won’t benefit directly from the new RPi 4 since the workload is light. Edit: However, the new USB implementation may be worthwhile.

Finally, I’d stick with the standard Ropieee release unless you’re happy to run a beta and need the proposed functionality in XL.

1 Like

Thanks @Martin_Webster, I was curious if I could leave Coax connected to my AVR and run USB from the Pi to a DAC for my 2-channel set up. I see there’s a checkbox in the UI for USB, so I will try enabling that.

Also, (cheap bastard that I am) will the Focusrite Scarlett work as a USB DAC in that role? I’m upgrading the interface my son uses for music production, so I’m thinking I could snag his current Focusrite and use it for this purpose?

Do I need to reflash my SD card and let it rerun initial configuration, or am I okay just hooking this up and feeding it some Roon output?


Yes, I have an Allo DigiOne and can also use USB to feed another DAC. No need to reinstall Ropieee, just enable USB and reboot.

I’m not familiar with the Focusrite Scarlett but there’s no reason it can’t work. I doubt that Roon will recognise it so you’ll probably need to set this up manually.

Thanks. I’ll report back later.

1 Like

I finally got around to testing the Scarlett over USB over the weekend. While initially it seemed to work, I experienced dropouts and occasional disconnections of the device. It acted as if there were a short somewhere in the chain. After changing out the USB cable itself with no improvement, I pulled the device. My operating theory is that the power draw over USB is adversely affecting the RPi’s performance. I don’t have a beefier power brick on hand to test this, so I’ll likely seek alternative solutions.

Update: dropouts appear to be related to my attempt to use USB and wired networking simultaneously on my 3B (non-plus). I enabled 2.4Ghz WiFi, pulled the Ethernet cable and rebooted. The output from the Scarlett appears to be working without issue right now.

I guess it’s time to consider replacing the 3B in this role with a 3B+ or a model 4, as I would always prefer a hard-wired connection to a wireless connection in this application.

Thanks, austingonzo