How to set up a Raspberry PI stand alone for music

I read about the raspberry pi, but have not yet understood how I can use it.

I have:

  • a DAC
  • analog amp
  • A drive with music files
  • Roon

Not yet a raspberry pi. There is a lot of info, but not I can not find a simple mrhod how to set it up.
Can anybody help ,e?

Thanks! Marc

Hi Marc, welcome to our Roon community!

In the Roon ecosystem, the RPi is most often used as a bridge device. This is, you already have a Roon core device connected to your network, best by Ethernet cable. Then you can put a bridge device anywhere you like, as long as you are able to connect it to the same network your core device is connected to. Again, Ethernet is preferred. The output from the bridge device gets connected to a digital input of your DAC, and from there analog output to your preamp/amp.

The RPi per se can be directly connected to your DAC using one of its USB ports, but if you prefer to connect it via S/PDIF (coax or optical), extension cards (“hats”) are available for the RPi from various specialized hardware manufacturers.

The RPi is generally being set up with a specialized Linux version as operating system, and this operating system is burned onto a memory card which can be installed directly into the Raspberry Pi.

To operate as a Roon bridge device, the Roon Bridge software package must be installed into the operating environment of the Raspberry Pi computer. The most simple and elegant form to do this is using the excellent RoPieee distribution, which is just a specially tailored Linux distribution with the Roon Bridge software preinstalled. You only have to download the RoPieee package, ‘burn’ it onto the memory card, install it into the RPi and power up. If your Pi is on the same network as your Roon Core device, the core will detect the bridge and you will be able to configure in Roon to output on your RPi/Bridge.

To burn the RoPieee package onto your memory card, you can use free downloadable application like Etcher.

So, for the simplest setup you’d need this:

  1. Raspberry Pi computer; recommended: RPi 4B, 2 GB RAM

  2. A case to put your RPi into; the RPi 4 can get warm or hot, and a passively cooling case is recommended. I like very much the Flirc case which works well keeping your Pi cool. Please note that if you prefer to connect your Raspberry Pi by other means than USB, than you need an extension (‘hat’) card, and this Flirc case won’t accommodate this extension card,

  3. A power supply for the RPi. This can be the original power supply or an equivalent like the one offered by Canakit.

  4. A micro-SD memory card; 16 GB are sufficient.

With these items you can assemble yourself in 15 minutes a working Roon Bridge device to be connected via USB to your DAC.

I hope this is somewhat helpful to you; if you have more specific questions, just ask. You’ll get help from someone here on this forum.

Good luck!

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Not sure how knowledgeable aboutRoon you are

So… Roon has 3 bits

1.Core , server , file storage etc
Feeds Network

  1. End Point,
    picks off network passes to DAC

  2. Control point
    iPad, phone etc sends instructions to core to send music across the network

If you DAC isn’t a streamer, and Roon Ready that’s where the RPi comes in

The RPi acts as the End Point, load Roipeee it is then visible to Roon , output from USB in the RPi to your DAC and voila music par excellence

However cheap it may seem it’s actually very good

Hi Andreas,

Thanks for the anwer.

So I can install Roon on RPi in order to use it as a stand alone HiFi unit connected to my Analog amp via my DAC. This means I will connect all my music to the RPi using an external HD connected to the RPi. Install Roon care on the RPi. And thus having a stand alone dedicated music player using Roon Core software. Is this possible? The RPi will not be a bridge!

No, the Raspberry Pi is only capable as Roon Bridge. You’ll need to install Roon Core on another computer or laptop. See @Mike_O_Neill‘s reply to understand how Roon works.

No, you can’t install Roon Core on a Raspberry Pi, as for that the little RPi is seriously underpowered. A RPi is used only as Roon Bridge. You need another device to install the Roon Core on, and your music would be on an internal disk on that device or on an external hard disk connected to that device, or even on a NAS device connected to the same network.

If you already have a device for Roon Core (PC, Mac, Linux server, Roon Nucleus, a NUC with Roon Rock, etc.), than you can use a network-connected Raspberry Pi and a DAC as music player anywhere on your network.

Roon Core is on a PC in the study. My music room is the study… I just do not want the loud PC on during music listening. RPi is no…or far less background noise.

So thats a no go then…pitty.

Thanks for helping. Greatings Marc

Well, the alternative is to use your PC for computer work, and get a silent device to run Roon Core on, which wouldn’t disturb you while listening. Many folks set up a little NUC device just for that, using ROCK = Roon Optimized Core Kit as operating system. This is a cost-effective way to get it done.

I myself have assembled a fanless and totally quiet PC just for Roon, and I am running it with a mainstream Linux operating system. I feel comfortable doing this, and my media PC behaves very well.

But I am sorry that running Roon Core doesn’t come as cheap as putting it on a Raspberry Pi. For that, you can have a look at other software players like Volumio or MoOde Audio.

My Rpi is in the listening room connected by ethernet, totally silent , in a drawer even unseen

I use an Allo Digione HAT to provide CoAx output as my DAC has a USB limit at 24|96 not 192, but USB is fine esp with the RPi4

In your case some silent PC would seem to be the answer or noise cancelling headphones if you use headphones

Hi Marc,

If i’am guessing correct, you’r Dutch? Me too, living in Gouda.
May be I can help you over the telephone?
If you want my help, give me a personal message at audiophraenque@gmail.com

Hoi Frank,

Als je een oplossing hebt die ligt in de lijn van een andere PC of een ander audio apparaat neerzetten, dan is dat niet nodig. Als je een oplossing hebt die goedkoop is en die past bij mijn vraag, dan graag.

Dus een stand alone (RPi achtige) oplossing gebruik makend van de aanwezige apparatuur.

  • DAC
  • Externe HD
  • Analoge AMP (oude Quad)

Dank voor je hulp. Gr. Marc

Hi Marc,

Ik weet niet of het toegestaan is om op dit forum in het Nederlands te communiceren? Ben eerder ook al teruggefloten. Maar even proberen zo.

  • Roon core moet altijd op een Windows, Linux of MacOS machine draaien.
  • Aan de core machine kan via usb een DAC aangesloten worden, maar dan staat deze machine dicht in de buurt van de installatie en dat wil je niet, las ik.
  • Een RPi kan alleen als end point fungeren bij Roon, niet als core.

Een andere oplossing zou de Volumio software kunnen zijn op de RPi. Harddisk aan de RPi en een usb kabel tussen de RPi en de DAC dan DAC aan de Amp.

Op mijn website staan hoe ik Roon gebruik met verschillende RPi’s

Hello @Andreas_Philipp1 I’m in the (almost) same situation as @Marc_ten_Oever but I already have a NUC/ROCK and a Bluesound streamer, however it seems to me that the raspberry pi4 can handle better the sound to my dac (Naim Dac v1) then the more expensive bluesound and can handle dsd too (my dac can do native DSD).

Is that correct or am I missing something?
I’m not really into adding hi-fi hats (allo) but I’m open to suggestions here.

Thnx a lot

@Marc_ten_Oever have a look here…very clear and informative

Hi,

I am not sure if RoPieee supports native DSD on your DAC; it’s not on the list of supported devices. I think DoP would work fine, but that’s probably not what you’re looking for.

I don’t do DSD nor high-res, so I can’t be of more help with this. As for streaming PCM, the Roon Bridge on RoPieee has been very stable for me.

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Thnx.

My understanding is that if I got full DSD from the NUC to the DAC with USB, then I should get the same output from the Pi but with enahnced qualtiy…is that’s not the case I’ll change my streamer in the future.

You are sending DoP (DSD encapsulated in a PCM stream) from your ROCK to the Naim DAC. No doubt that the same can be achieved by a RPi bridge. I was wondering if it was native DSD you were after.

On the Naim display says DSD so I think it’s DSD from start to finish but I’m not that techie here :sob: