How to get Roon working on Naim system


The UnitiServe on my Naim system has just stopped working for the second time and I’m desperately seeking an alternative solution.

I have tried running Asset upnp server, but my library of 1000’s of albums is mostly in wav format, ripped by the UnitiServe without ID Tags (Naim put’s it’s metadata into a separate file), and Asset creates 1 “unknown” album with many thousands of tracks.

Someone mentioned Roon to me as a possible solution. Questions :

  1. Roon doesn’t appear to do upnp, so how would I get music from my library to my Naim NDS streamer (with no downgrade in quality) ?

  2. Would I still have the problem with the wav files, or is there some magic in Roon that would sort this out ?



  1. You are correct Roon does not support upnp so you would need to use some sort of network device that suppprts Roon and outputs to the digital inputs of your NDS. The sonicorbiter is one solution. Cheaper ones can be build based on a raspberry pi.

2 Roon should recognize most of your wav files and find the metadata for them from its sources. I have all wav files and Roon works fine with them all, though these do contain basic metadata information.

Thanks Phil,

So, does the sonicorbiter plug into my NDS, and how would it look in the Naim app, or would I be using the Roon app ?

Sorry, probably dumb questions, but I’m a total newbie.

You would have to use the Roon app.

You can use the sonicorbiter as a upnp device as well but I’m not sure if that would show up in your Naim app or not.

Presumably you could still plug your Naim into your network as you do currently and just switch inputs on the NDS between network and optical.

Maybe @Sloop_John_B can chime in he has loads of Naim gear.

Bear in mind though that if Roon can find the required metadata, Roon will create it’s own database with the metadata for your files in it. Your actual files will not have any metadata tags added to them. So, in a way, that’s just like Naim do it from that perspective. Your music files will still be WAV with no tags.

I guess that all the Roon will have to work with is the folder and file names.

Assuming I can convert my wav library to flac so the content isn’t a problem, it this what I would do …

  1. Run Roon server on my PC.

  2. Run Roon Bridge to create an endpoint, on a Raspberry Pi (initially, because I can get one easily) connected to my NDS via optical.

  3. Switch the source on my NDS to digital 1.

  4. Use the Roon app instead of the Naim app.

Somewhere in there, you will need to point Roon at the network share that contains your Naim ripped files. You can also add any other shares that contain music. Roon then amalgamates them all.

To add, it doesn’t look like the NDS will ever be Roon Ready (one of the main reasons I got rid of mine, together with their app), but you could always add one of their new Uniti products, which I believe are now Roon certified. Same principle though, a digital cable connection would be needed to the NDS. Pi is much cheaper :sweat_smile:

It’s late here in Seattle so don’t have the time for a detailed response but I am a Uniti Serve owner who has moved to Roon and has it running across 4 Naim Systems (NDX with NDAC , NAC 252 and NAP 250 , a second system with Nait NX2 and DAC V1) as well as two Muso’s and five rooms with Sonos . Key thing is you can access the Uniti Serve DB and get better metadata than you got with the US . Definetly no need to convert anything to FLAC . Will post more detail tomorrow

Thanks Terry, very interested to hear more !!

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Hi Allen,

I purchased my NDS and a 555PS after listening to a lot of players. I’m getting the feeling that these days it’s possible to do a lot better for a lot less, but surely a Pi can’t come close ?

Hi Mark
I wouldn’t say necessarily better, but definitely the equivalent for less. I don’t use Naim anymore so i can’t give any further insight on how well these things perform through an NDS, but certainly, for the minimal cost of a Pi it could be a starting point to at least enjoy Roon through your NDS. Then take it from there.

As a Roon user from their early days, and compared to the Naim app, I promise you won’t look back

Regards, Allen

Use a Pi with a digital output board into the NDS.

Mark, while you’re waiting for Terry to get back, here’s some useful info on the Naim forum describing how to use Roon with the NDS.

FYI, I replaced my NDX with an Allo USBridge, which is like a Raspberry Pi with Hifiberry but connected via USB cable to a Metrum Pavane DAC, and from there via coax to Naim amplifier. This was about a quarter of the cost of an NDS/555PS. I am very happy with the results. My music is stored on a sonicTransporter.

Regards, William

You will also find an excellent summary here:

Hi All,

Before I order a DigiOne …

I realise that Roon will give me a lot of extra functionality, but how will running Roon into the NDS via a bridge effect the SQ compared to UServe / upnp ?

Also, does Roon Core run happily on a PC alongside other apps, or should it be on a dedicated server ?

As you can see they are a responsive and supportive lot on here :blush:
Most, if not all, of what I cover below is touched on in the other posts but let me, as briefly as I can , tell you about the journey I have been on in the past 6 months with Roon, Sonore & Sonore UpNp bridge
My systems:
I have Naim in 4 rooms with Sonos in another 4 , The Naim systems are :
• Basement:
NDX, NDAC, 252, 250, Supercap & XPS
• Living Room
Nait XS2, DAC V-1 , Stage Line,
• Office
• Kitchen
Muso QB
Until 6 months ago this was all served by a Uniti Serve with my music stored on a Windows Home Server
I am a massive fan and I subscribe to the marketing message that it changes the way you experience your music. Real highlights for me are
• It looks beautiful!
• The discover feature – so many “OMG I had forgotten about THAT album/artist” moments
• Brilliant metadata with hot links and integration everywhere. It also more accurate than the US – e,g Naim struggles with getting the track order right on downloads from HD Tracks Roon gets it right every time. For goodness sake it even identifies some of my (unofficial) bootlegs.
• To build the Roon Database I simply pointed it at the existing folder structure that served the US , I didn’t have to change a thing
• Integration with Naim & Sonos
• Artist Profiles, Album Reviews and Lyrics – all integrated
• DSP capabilities
• Ability to play DSD which the US cant do
I run Roon Server on a dedicated i7 laptop with a 4TB external drive. I am about to upgrade that to a NUC and a NAS so that I can use the advanced DSP capabilities of Roon e.g upscale everything to DSP
I could go on!
I have used their hardware and software to connect Roon to my Naim set-up in the following way:
I have an Ultrarendu with an Up Tone LPs-1 Power Supply connected to the DAC V-1. The UltraRendu is the Roon End Point
I run the (free) UpNp Bridge software on the Ultra Rendu which delivers Roon through UpNp to the NDS .
I also have a (sadly discontinued) Sonic Orbiter SE connected via Optical to my Muso. I also run the UpNp Bridge software on the Sonic Orbiter SE and that drives the Muso QB. In that way I get Hi Def on both Muso’s. They are Roon capable but only through Airplay which limits you to CD quality if you use that route
Future plans
Sonore have announced a USB to S/PDIF convertor. There is no specific launch date, but I think its imminent. They also have a new top end USB streaming device called a Signature Rendu SE. I am considering using the two devices to deliver Roon directly to the NDS and go way from the UpNp Bridge software solution
Why would I do that?
In a word SQ. I have recently got my US back and working and it may just be that I have got used to “the Naim sound” over the past 7 years of streaming with their kit, but if I had to state a preference today I would still go with the US. That said, I have not done in depth A/B testing and I would also stress that it is VERY marginal and for me all the other benefits of Roon more than make up for that slight difference. But being an audiophile bore I do want to close that gap at some point!
One of the other posters on the site talked about having buffering issues with the UpNp software the only time I have had any issues is when I have tried to load very large playlists. Other than that, its been perfect.
So, what should you do?
• Find an entry point to dip your toe in the Roon water quickly
• Try and make your first step as cheap as possible and have a mindset that this is R&D money and you may just have to write off this first phase investment. Having said that the re-sale market in the Roon device market seems healthy.
• If you were to go down the Sonore route I would:
o See if I can find a used Sonic Orbiter SE , they are scarce but if you can find one it would be about $150
o Find a used MicroRendu version 1.3 (1.4 is a $250 hardware upgrade) You should find one for about $450
o Order a new Sonore device and make use of their 30-day money back guarantee for your trial
In all cases I would start by just putting the device on your network and running UpNp Bridge. If you like that, then look at a quality USB to S/PDIF convertor to connect directly to your NDS.
• As you will have seen from the other posts Sonore is one of an ever-increasing myriad of options, so you have plenty of choice. One of the joys for me of the past six months has been learning about this whole new ecosystem and world I didn’t know existed
I hope the above helps. Im sure I have missed a lot so if you have any questions please just ask.
Best of luck :blush:

Hi Terry,

Wow, this may be the best reply I’ve ever had to a question. You pretty much covered every angle.

I totally agree with the “R&D” thing. I am going to get a Raspberry Pi with a digital output HAT and run Roon Bridge on it. If that works I’ll move up the chain.

Besides my main system I also have a MUSO in my office. If Airplay can be an endpoint, I could start today !!

Can I ask a few more questions …

Does the Roon license allow you to move the Core software between servers ?

When Roon scans your library does it change anything in the library itself ?

Why do you need a NUC to get advanced DSP capabilities ? Is it running a different OS ?

Why do you need a USB to SPDIF ? I’m imagining that the bridge would talk to the Roon server via Ethernet and the SPDIF side would plug into the NDS. What is the USB bit for ?

Is the NDS still worth running ? I have the feeling that there are cheap boxes out there that could do the whole thing (Roon endpoint + DAC) and sound even better. Would be great it if this wasn’t the case.

Thanks again Terry !!



Hi Mark, you can run Roon a PC alongside other apps but you should check out the minimum performance requirements in this community. An SSD drive is recommended.

When I first connected up my Allo DigiOne and opened the Audio settings in Roon, my Muso was also there for selection and I was up and streaming to the kitchen in seconds via Airplay.

You can move the core but you can only run it on one computer at a time. You can point the core to all the music on your network. Then, any number of other computers and tablets etc. on the network can run the Roon control app to connect to your music.

I don’t think Roon changes your library when scanning.

Don’t know about DSP.

USB to S/PDIF is not needed for Allo DigiOne which connects directly via S/PDIF or BNC. Rendu etc. have a USB output.

To answer your question about whether you still need a NDS you could try getting hold of a demo or pre-loved Naim DAC, connect it to your 555 and plug in the DigiOne. I started my own R&D by purchasing a used Chord Mojo DAC for €350. Alternatively Chord Hugo 1 for approx. €1000 is supposed to produce good results. You might even find you can dispense with the NDS and the PS. This can free up funds for investing in superior DAC, amplification and speakers.

Hope this helps, look forward to hearing how you get on.

Cheers, William

No, it does not.

My pleasure - I have tried to answer your questions below

_Does the Roon license allow you to move the Core software between servers ? Yes but you can only have one instance at any one time

When Roon scans your library does it change anything in the library itself ? No

Why do you need a NUC to get advanced DSP capabilities ? Is it running a different OS ? Its simply a matter of processing power . My current set up runs 8 zones and comfortably up samples everything to 192K but if I go the next step to DSD then it occasionally struggles. The other factor is that I have got a lot more hands on technically in the last 6 months and I fancy the challenge of building the NUC :slight_smile:

Why do you need a USB to SPDIF ? I’m imagining that the bridge would talk to the Roon server via Ethernet and the SPDIF side would plug into the NDS. What is the USB bit for ? I DONT need this if I just stay with the UpNp Bridge software . I just think that going down this route will give me even better SQ , I may be wrong and as I said in the original post in your position at this stage I wouldn’t worry about this

Is the NDS still worth running ? I have the feeling that there are cheap boxes out there that could do the whole thing (Roon endpoint + DAC) and sound even better. Would be great it if this wasn’t the case. Do NOT give up on your NDS/555 , or if you do please feel free to send it to me ! Its a magnificent piece of kit , getting Roon working with it will just allow you to enjoy it even more

Hope this helps

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