How to control McIntosh volume from Roon

Roon Core Machine

Windows PC is my Roon core, all devices connected via cat5

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Gigabit fiber, Araknis network,

Connected Audio Devices

Naim ND5 XS2 → analog output (RCA) →
McIntosh C2600 preamp

Number of Tracks in Library

Description of Issue

Hi! I would like help enabling Roon to control the volume on my preamp.

I understand my preamp - McIntosh C2600 - is Roon Tested.

It does not show up in Roon, presumably because it is not an ip-connected device.

The McIntosh is connected to a savant remote control via RS-232 and it is able to control the volume.

What should I do?


Roon can’t control the preamp as it connected via an analogue (rca) connection via the naim. I presume you could enable digital volume control in roon of the naim.

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I’m hoping for a response from Roon.

In the meantime, I discovered two potentially relevant DIY projects:

Not sure how to set up the Roon extension, but that route seems most promising. It looks like it can run on a Raspberry Pi instead of my Roon server, which is not close enough to run a USB->RS232 connection to my preamp.

We have no mechanism within Roon’s functionality to provide control of arbitrary external devices. This would be possible using a Roon extension and as you’ve noted one has been developed which appears to solve this exact problem.

The extension developer should be providing all of the necessary documentation to get the extension setup and interfacing with your core. There’s also a fair amount of discussion of extension and Roon API topics over in the #tinkering:roonapi category.

Thanks Andrew. I simply thought that Roon Tested might have included a way for Roon to recognize and control the device.

Roon tested means the device is used via usb and using it’s own DAC. You have bypassed all of that and are using it as a purely analogue device, so bypassing all of the roon testing.

Reading @ged_hickman1’s comment above, just made me wonder…

If you’re thinking of using a RPi to solve this issue, why not just connect a RPi running Ropieee directly to your McIntosh via USB. That way Roon can both directly control it’s volume, while passing a digital PCM signal to your McIntosh for it’s DAC to decode.

You’ll might turn your nose up at this :wink: as it effectively eliminates your Naim and I expect you have a preference for using the analogue output of your Naim if you currently have it connected that way. But if it solves your volume control issue it may be worth trying (as I expect the lack of volume control is really annoying) and I can’t imagine the DAC in the McIntosh is too shabby, you may even prefer it to the Naim.

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