From RPi4 -> Aries Femto / Aries Mini / Bluesound Node? Worth the money/effort?

Honest and constructive feedback wanted.
Sitting on a RPi4 with Ropieee XL feeding into my Auralic Vega DAC.
Would it make sense to upgrade to a 2nd hand Aries Femto, Aries Mini or by a new Bluesound Node as source to the Vega DAC?
What’s your experience?

My recommendation and your mileage will be subject to your DAC’s implementation across SPDIF & USB inputs. Some DAC manufacturers optimise for USB, others for SPDIF, etc.

I previously used a Pi2aes HAT, and was very happy with its sound.
Probably one of the best $ for $ SPDIF outputs going around.
I would suggest powering using a decent low noise supply, I prefer LPS.

The Pi2aes provided an edge over my RPI4 USB, and Node2i into my RME ADI 2 dac FS. it also beat my Pioneer n70a, Cambridge CXNv2 and Laptop/NUC PC.

My advice would be to stick with the Rpi4 and Ropieee. Combined with the Pi2aes you have i2s, SPDIF (AES unbalanced), USB from RPI, AES.
Noting: The Pi2aes BNC output performs slightly better than AES.

Do this mod (This is my Streamer, bypassing the onboard 24v/5v voltage regulator):

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I agree that the better choice would be to get a hat, such as the Pi2AES or Allo Digione (Signature). I have both, and find both to provide a very clean digital out to your DAC. The RPi4 with Ropieee gives you great performance and flexibility. The Pi2AES hat can be used with the 7" RP touchscreen (you can buy with a nice acrylic case, specifically designed for it), which works great with Ropieee.


Are you experiencing any issues with your current setup?

No issues, as such, with setup today.
But good can always be better. :slight_smile:
Intention is to remain with USB connection to DAC, as the DAC seems to perform well with that.