How can I get my Naim ND5XS network player running with Roon?

I have running Roon on a WIN10 Notebook or on an Android device and want to stream my music, which is stored on a QNAP-NAS, to my Naim ND5XS network player. I will appreciated if someone can tell me which additional hard- and software I need,

thank you!
Johannes

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Well, if I owned that equipment and I wanted to use Roon, I would get a DigiOne Player which does ethernet to either coax or BNC SPDIF, and is a Roon endpoint. I have one myself and they are dead simple to setup; and I like their SPDIF implementation.

Then it is just a matter of plugging a network cable into the DigiOne and using SPDIF from the DigiOne to the Naim. First setup the DigiOne as a Roon endpoint, and then starting up Roon, it should see the DigiOne, choose it and start playing music.

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@Johannes_Job There are two ways to approach this. The first is to pick up a Roon ready endpoint and feed it’s output to one of the inputs on your ND5 XS. As @Rugby suggests, the DigiOne Player would do that. But any Roon Ready endpoint that delivers an output that you can feed into the ND5 XS should work.

The other approach would be to use Sonore’s UPnP Bridge. That’s what I do. Sonore has recently made available stand-alone UPnP Bridge devices that sit on your network without being directly attached to a UPnP endpoint and that can be used to direct a Roon stream to your UPnP device – in this case the ND5 XS.

I am very happy with the UPnP Bridge as a means to use Roon with my ND5 XS.

But the Sonore solution is twice the price? What is the advantage of it over the Pi/digiOne combo?

I had an ND5XS - then i started using roon exclusively. I realised I was effectively just using it as a DAC, so I sold it. Replaced it with a raspberry pi and hat (£100) whilst I looked around and then bought a SoTM 200 and a chord 2qute.

You are right. The thing is that I am using the ND5XS as network device that feeds my Naim DAC. I found out that sound quality on the ND5XS is (much) better compared to other network players, for example hooking a Project Streambox DS to the Naim DAC. So my issue is that I want to use Roon as a “user interface” for ND5XS.

The DigiOne player is $169 and then you’d likely want to add a better power supply, so let’s say you tack on an iFi for about $50, bringing your spend to $220. The Sonore UPnP Bridge is now available for $279. Not twice the price. And nobody has suggested that I need to use anything other than the stock power supply with the Bridge either.

On balance, I thought that using the Bridge would be cleaner than taking the network feed, running it through the DIgiOne to get SPDIF in order to then feed the ND5 XS. I didn’t want to deal with SPDIF limitations either.

There is a discussion in here SonoreUPnP Bridge (beta) of the UPnP sound going into Naim devices.
The ALLO bridge is another physical link in the chain which, to me, means you are potentially losing the sound of the ND.

Exactly, that’s why the UPnP Bridge is the way to go.
The Bridge just converts the ‘pushed’ stream from the Roon Core, and converts it to UPnP frames/packets, as if it is being served by a UPnP Server - the Render, Control App & Server effectively ‘pull’ the files from the source.
So you maintain all the attributes of your Naim Network player, in terms of ethernet based playback.

You can also set the UPnP Bridge for WAV output, and without the FLAC compression flag set in Roon, it will serve uncompress WAV from FLAC/ALAC/AAC & MP3 files for all formats up to 24/192. Set the ‘DSD over PCM 1.0 (DoP)’ setting for DSD playback strategy and DSF files will play as DSD64.

For me, on my NDS/555DR, this is then as good as that played through the UPnP server, where I have transcoding to WAV for all Compressed lossless and lossy formats and pass through for DSF as DSD64.

This is better than a USB out and an S/PDIF conversion, which has the potential to introduce jitter into the process, although I read that the DigiOne board is one of the best and DietPi is easy to setup and maintain.

If you go down the Sonore UPnP Bridge route, just make sure that the Sonore product is running the latest 2.5 OS and has the latest version of the Bridge 1.0.14 - earlier versions seemed to have some problems, with the playback configuration described above.

Thanks, Simon.

There is no USB with using the DigiOne, so I am not sure what you are referencing. It is ethernet in, SPDIF out. Which can serve all the formats, using the much better, imho, RAAT protocol.

The DigiOne player as a unit, may not offer output on a USB port, but internally there will a conversion between an asynchronous signal and the S/PDIF where a clock signal is reintroduced into the data stream.
The RAAT Protocol used by Roon is based on TCP, earlier releases used UDP, but both are IP packet based, which are received and reconstructed into a data stream.
The DigiOne S/PDIF output card (https://www.allo.com/sparky/digione.html) is a HAT that sits on the GPIO pins of a RPi and performs this conversion.
The DigiOne player is a package bundle of RPi & OS, DigiOne S/PDIF card, case & PSU.
My point was based on my desire to perserve the signal as a packet based stream as input into the Naim Network Player, where it can be processsed into an analogue output.

The Naim Network Player has been optimized to do this for UPnP input, and does it very well IMO. I have gone through a number of iterations of streaming technologies from Squeezebox V3 & Squeezebox Touch with a Pink Triangle DAC and LMS running on the NAS, Naim ND5XS with XP5XS PSU served by an RPi running Asset as the UPnP Server and now an Naim NDS initially with the XP5XS but now with a 555DR PSU. This is now served either by Asset on the RPi or as part of a Roon environment with the Sonore UPnP Bridge. I have issues with Naim’s development of the Control App.
As stated earlier “The Bridge just converts the ‘pushed’ stream from the Roon Core, and converts it to UPnP frames/packets”, the stream from the Roon Core to the Bridge uses the RAAT protocol, it just presents them to the Naim players as UPnP on the Ethernet input - there is no format conversion, no clocking, no critical rising transitions within the data stream to affect the signal or the subsequent Digital to Analogue conversion.

So I favour the bridge approach, for enabling a Naim Network Player as a Roon Endpoint over converting the stream to S/PDIF externally to the Naim device.

I still use the S/PDIF input on the Naim for a CD transport, but very rarely use this playback route and obviously, it is limited to 16/44.1 or 1411kb/s.

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Thank you for this very clear and detailed description. I completly agree with you and have already ordered the UPnP bridge. When talking about Naim products sound quality is the real issue we are talking about. I enjoy my Naim devices pretty much!

The Bridge connects to Roon Server via Squeezebox functionality, which is using a different protocol than RAAT. When you go from RoonServer to the Bridge, RAAT is not involved.

The DigiOne’s clock is very good and its SPDIF interface easily handles 24/192 and DSD 64 via DOP without any issues.

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But it is still packet based and not a clock based data stream.
I actually have both, with the USB out of a Sonore device into a USB->S/PDIF Convertor using XMOS USB Audio 2.0 chipset and high specification crystals.

Yes, I believe that the DigiOne board is a good implementation, but you are still undertaking a fundamental conversion, in relatively noisy environment, i.e. a HAT on a RaspberryPI.

Interesting to compare the DigiOne player against the dCS Bridge, which is doing the same job.

Simon

I received the UPnP bridge yesterday, hooked it onto my network, configured it, configured Roon and everything worked as it should. Thank you for your valueable assistance!

BTW: I found out that Roon Core will run directly on my (QNAP) NAS. Do you suggest to run Roon Core directly on the NAS or to keep my current setup where Roon Core runs on my notebook PC (WIN 10 64bit).

Thank you and kind regards,

Johannes

Good to hear you are up & running with a Roon Endpoint bridging to your ND5XS.

If your NAS can run the Roon Core, then try it, and off-board it from the Laptop. You can then use the Laptop as a Remote Roon.

I would still recommend maintaining the Roon Core in a separate layer on a dedicated device.
However, using the UPnP Bridge the data flow from Roon Core is just for raw files, so the demands on the hardware running the Roon Core is minimal. The Bridge, as the Endpoint, transcodes the FLAC/ALAC/AAC/MP3 to WAV, and pass through of DSF under DoP for DSD contents.

Where were you running a UPnP Server? I would recommend running the UPnP Server on a separate server.

Thanks, Simon.

Thank you for your advice. I will then move the Roon Core to the NAS. Currently I’m using the JRiver software to drive my ND5XS. I’m running the JRiver server on my notebook at the moment. So far I’m not using any servers which might be running on the NAS itself.

Johannes

If you end up being dissatisfied with running Roon Core on the NAS I’d suggest you consider a NUC running ROCK for the Roon Core. NUC/ROCK + UPnP Bridge + NAS + ND5 XS = Happiness.

Thank you for your hint. I think I will not run into a performance problem with my NAS. I use a QNAP 451 device and have disabled almost all services. I do not run any file or photo or video or music server.

Is it not
NAS + NUC/ROCK + UPnP Bridge + ND5XS = Happiness

A QNAP 451 is an Intel® Celeron® 2.41GHz dual-core processor (burst up to 2.58GHz) so it depends do you have the standard 1GB RAM or the


and there are experiences reported here QNAP 251 - does Roon Server work on it?

You may need more RAM and an SSD to host the Roon database.

I agree with @Richard_Robbins that it may be better to get a NUC i3 with 4GB and a SSD to run ROCK, then nothing is being stressed.

Simon.