Is there an Roon endpoint that supports multichannel?

So Roon Bridge via dietPi works with multi-channel audio?

Through HDMI, yes

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Got it. No USB MC then, just HDMI. Thanks.

USB is tricky. There are some Pro Audio equipement that handle correctly USB multichannel over Linux, but it’s risky. Most multichannel DAC require a specific driver, usually Windows of MacOS, no Linux.

Sonore *Rendu for sure and potentially also their server products can for instance. SotM can’t, neither Vortexbox servers.

I thought i’d give this a try and there are at least two problems.

First the setup:

  • Atom-based mini pc running windows 10 pro connected via HDMI
  • Yamaha CX-A5200 pre-pro, supports multichannel DSD over hdmi input
  1. Roon insists on downconverting to 16 bit before outputting to my HDMI
  2. Native DSD support is not available; this is probably because only SACD and Blu-ray players can output native DSD mode; the CX-A5200 doesn’t seem accept DSD over PCM from Roon

So I am not able to playback multichannel DSD natively and even when it converts to PCM, it also insists on converting down to 16 bit, which is unacceptable.

ANd I have even less luck when i tried outputting via HDMI from my Macbook Pro; Not even “Convert to PCM” works for DSD, stereo or multichannel.

So for now, if i want to play DSD multichannel natively, i have to play them from either a USB key or a Serviio DLNA server from my Pioneer LX-500 or Sony UBP-X800.

Why is this so hard… is there any way to get windows 10 to output 24 bit over HDMI? When you look at the sound properties on the windows 10 machine, it shows that the Intel SST output is connected to the CX-A5200 and supports 24bit channel depth.

Computer audio over HDMI, in my experience, is funky.

Bryston is the only company I know of to get DSD over HDMI out of a computer (the BDP-3 is a specialized computer), but they only support stereo, not multichannel the last time I checked.

My Microsoft Surface Pro (a couple years old, maybe 5th generation ?) running Windows 10 has had similar issues. IIRC, I downloaded & installed the latest Intel audio driver, and that got me 24 bit audio over HDMI. Which mini-DisplayPort -> HDMI adapter I use, and which mDP port I plug it into (on the Surface itself, or the dock) also seems to matter.

I finally gave up and bought an exaSound multichannel USB DAC, which has worked great, but does not have Linux drivers available if that matters to you.

Good luck!

thanks.

i did find out one interesting thing in the RAATServer_log on the windows pc running Roon Bridge.

For some odd reason 176400/24/6 and 192000/24/6 were not supported formats for the Intel ST Audio Device.

When i changed the advanced setup channel layout in Roon from 5.1 to 7.1, i now get 24 bit output.

(176499/24/8 and 192000/24/8) are supported formats for the Intel driver.

So, not perfect, but better than 16bit output. I guess i’ll live with the DSD to PCM conversion for now for the extreme convenience of Roon integration of the multichannel DSD material.

I had similar challenges with supported formats via HDMI due to the Intel audio driver in a NUC7. It would just give me “initialization” errors when it tried to convert DSD to PCM (my receiver doesn’t have native support for DSD.)

A workaround I found was to install ASIO4ALL and use it instead of WASAPI (details here.) It sounds like you may already have a solution, though, so hopefully you don’t need this and can just enjoy your music :grinning:

Unfortunately this is a poor DAC.

Instead it may be worth considering the Essence (Streophile product of the year 2019)

Kalman Robinson’s review here…

https://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-98-trinnov-altitude-32-essence-evolve-ii-4k-page-2

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Well, I have all three of the u-DAC8, the Evolve and the UDIO-8 at home. The UDIO-8 is the best because you can use its interface to link any set of 2-channel DACs as you please. I have 4 Musical Fidelity v90 DACs stacked for an 8-channel array in my main system. It sounds very nice. The other two I use on secondary systems and the pleasure of multichannel through Roon with them at the price is greater than their faults, regardless of reviews. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I will have my Okto Research dac8pro this coming week (after a five-month wait!) and look forward to comparing its sound to my udio-8 stack. JCR

Am I right in thinking there is currently no Roon certified endpoint that is Ethernet or Wi-Fi in… 5.1 or 7.1 Line-level RCA analogue out?

I don’t know of such a device.

I know of many Ethernet to HDMI solutions, but all of these also require a multi-channel DAC.

Is there a device that does everything, and provides analogue multi-channel output?

Just wondering if there’s a company that’s built one yet… maybe I can corner the market…? :slightly_smiling_face:

There are a number of them. The exaSound s88 is a streamer and 8CH DAC that can handle up to DSD256 MCH and is Roon Ready. An Oppo 20x is another example. Google Kal Robinson, he’s reviewed a number of them for Stereophile.

Good old ASR always reviews Class A devices and says they measure horribly. Hmmm funny I have owned both devices you say measure well (sound cold clinical) and ones with Class A outputs I’ll stick with what sounds good.

I can’t stream wirelessly multi channel files to my Oppo 203 and that is really a drag. I have to be in the mood for just stereo in order to take advantage of Roon. I did sign up for another year but I don’t use it as much as I would like because of the short coming with multi channel files. I can stream multi channel files using J River media center but unfortunately then I can’t use Qobuz with that. If only they would merge platforms. Or if I could use Qobuz with Jriver that would be my choice.

I use a nuc7-i3 with rock as my multichannel endpoint. Hdmi into my AVR

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I posted this over in Support, but then thought cross-posting to this thread might make sense since it’s very much related to this conversation.

I’m trying to get an old “no longer used” Windows 10 machine to be an endpoint, using Roon Bridge connected to a receiver via HDMI. It’s a cheap, under-powered machine - we’re talking 2GB RAM, Intel Atom Processor, 32GB of storage space. But it’s just an endpoint, so I was thinking it should work fine.

In fact, it mostly does - I can get it to play, but am running into a weird issue where it will do either 5.1 or 2.0, but not both.

If I right click on the Windows volume icon (taskbar, bottom right), I can change “Speaker Setup” to 2.0. If I do that, it works as expected: I can play stereo files but not multichannel. However, if I change “Speaker Setup” to 5.1, I can play multichannel files but (oddly) not stereo files. The error I get in Roon is the “failed to initialize” one.

Setting Roon to have exclusive control or not doesn’t impact this.

If anyone has any ideas or experience with this, I’d appreciate it! Thanks.

Thought I’d post the solve here in case anyone in the future sees this thread and it helps them:

  1. The device was using Intel SST audio drivers, and the latest ones at that. The driver was the latest version downloaded from the company’s web page, and a check with the Intel Driver & Support Assistant confirmed nothing was newer. That said, they’re pretty old drivers - v604.10135.1010.531 dated 5/25/2015 - but it turns out that doesn’t matter.

  2. The solve was in Roon’s Device Setup page. Right below the channel layout setting (where you can tell Roon it’s a 5.1 device) is an option titled “Send stereo/mono content as 5.1”. Switched that to “yes”, and everything works!

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Chiming in with an option that works for me (just got it working)
A Mac Mini (if you are an apple user) can send 5.1 out via DisplayPort->HDMI to a prepro (I’m using a Yamaha CX-A5200).
Currently sending hi res as well as multichannel via the Mac mini, nothing being downmixed, sounding great.

–Peter