New Install, Tablet, WHS 2011, Marantz, Raspberry Pi 3

Well I am a Roon Newbie but very much an oldie to audio streaming. I thought I would write my experiences of installing and using Roon for the first time.

My usual setup is music stored in flac format mainly CD quality but some HiRes and a few MP3. These are stored on a server running Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 which has great monitoring and backup features. We run jRiver Media Center on the server purely as a music server primarily due to the excellent JRemote interface for iPad, Gizmo for Android and Theatre view for Windows Tablets.

Initially I had downloaded the full Roon but quickly realised due to the license structure that I should install Roon Server on our server and then Roon Remotes elsewhere. Roon server installed easily on WHS but this is a pretty locked down server environment so I knew I was going to have to do some firewall adjustments to get the Remotes to talk to it. Linking remote to server was pretty easy by opening up the TCP and UDP ports:
UDP port 9003TCP ports 9100-9200
The remote and the server were then linked. I then used one remote to select the music store network location and left it to build its database. It became clear that this was being done on the server as opening up another Remote link from a laptop immediately showed the same progress.
Next was to select some players. As I have now read elsewhere UPNP players are not supported so I had no network players available but our Marantz processor and a Marantx one box system both support Airplay so for the moment I set those up as our rooms. I can understand Roon looking to keep their system ‘pure’ but I do think they are missing a trick by not offering basic UPNP support while at the same time educating customers to the benefit of RAAT.I think that Roon will remain a niche product unless it does so. We have some high end customers for whom the cost of Roon is a drop in the ocean but would need UPNP for their kit.
Anyway I digress, So I was limited to Airplay playback. This took a little longer to get going. Initially Roon seemed to fire the music at the player but no action. Back to the server and its ports for Airplay, In the short term I have simply opened up ALL the TCP/UDP ports for the private network type and Airplay is running perfectly. Just opening the standard list of Airplay ports did not seem to work but will investigate that at a later date.
I had done some reading about tablet use and specs but thought I would initially at least just try what we have. Well the two Apple iPads were complete failures - one is an iPad 2 and the other a 4 but Roon would not install on either as they were not withing spec - a little odd why Roon specify only very recent iPads as both of ours seem to run everything else well including some pretty graphically intense games. So I then tried Roon on our Linx 10 tablet which I had upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. This was a £50 purchase from a tablet recondtioning specialist. Well surprisingly given the lack of operation on the iPads Roon works perfectly and fast of the £50 tablet.
Some as you all know, the interface is lovely and it is so neat how you can choose rooms so elegantly. I love the library system linking into genuinely interesting artists bios and album production stories. On the whole excellent although I did note that a lot of tracks don’t have the musician info. It would be good if Roon can push to fill their databases more completely although I can see that this will be a never ending task but one I feel essential to get the best out of the product.
So I did a side by side comparison of the same track sent by Roon over Airplay to our Marantz processor (AV8801) through Linn 5125 Dynamik power amp and onto our Focal Diablo Utopia speakers and then using jRemote to stream the same flac file to the Marantz under UPNP. The latter had a clear sound superiority and the difference for me was not subtle.(It was a CD quality flac from Madonna’s Music album. A bit disappointing as I was hoping that Airplay would match UPNP but it didn’t.
So I have now investigated feeding the Marantz with a device that Roon supports, Some reading pointed to a Raspberry Pi solution. So I have just order a Pi 3 and will install piCorePlayer when it arrives. I am thinking of a straight digital feed out of the Pi into the Marantz. Probably some hurdles to cross on that yet but, on the face of it, that seems a cheap and easy solution until UPNP support or a serious hardware change at my end.

So early days but the system certainly looks worthy of further use and a little investment. If the Pi/Marantz solution matches the sound quality of the JRiver/Marantz current system then the system is likely to be our main interface for music going forward. Time will tell.


You’ve obviously had better luck than me in getting Roonserver to run on WHS 2011…

I gave up in the end, and switched the server to running Windows 10. A pity, because WHS 2011 has the best client PC backup system that Microsoft ever produced. Needless to say, Microsoft snatched defeat from the jaws of victory once again, and killed WHS 2011.

I did read the thread on WHS before starting this endeavour but thought I would simply give it a go. My experience with streaming with primarily Linn DS series music players using wired, homeplug and wireless streaming have lead me to think most drop out issues are usually down to network infrastructure rather than the devices or software. We run Krescendo HiFi and have a lot of experience on getting customers up and running on network streaming. It is early days for using Roon for us but Linn DS streaming, Marantz UPNP and Airplay are all rock solid previously. I will report back if with have problems with streaming using Roon.As I mentioned above we do have the server pretty open locally at the moment for Airplay to work.


I have digital out from my Raspberry Pi 2 over Toslink through a HifiBerry Digi+.
The Pi 2 runs Moode Audio and i stream Roon to it via Airplay.
I’ve found it a better quality than a direct digital connection over my Mac Mini. There are bugs in the USB driver for the Pi and my DAC (Ayre Codex) so I can’t make the connection between Pi and DAC via USB.
The Pi 3 also has bugs with the Digi+ so I’m still on the 2, but I have one waiting to replace it.

CJ, nice to see you here on the Roon forum.

I have been won over by Roon’s interface, but like you have found AirPlay (in my case, into an Akurate DSM) to sound significantly worse than streaming directly to the Linn via UPNP/OpenHome. I’ve experimented with an old Squeezebox Touch I had around, taking its SPDIF (coaxial) output into a digital input on the DSM, but find that this too sounds less good than the DSM’s native OpenHome streaiming (served in my case by Minim Server). If you find a good solution for streaming Roon to a DSM, I would love to hear about it (recognizing that your personal use case is different, since you’re streaming to your Marantz processor).

Frankly, I would consider moving away from the Linn DSM in order to be able to use Roon at full quality, but that would entail giving up other things I want to keep (like Exakt). I am hoping that Linn eventually supports RAAT and that Roon perhaps will support SongCast, but in the meantime any thoughts on a Raspberry Pi or other device that could act as a RAAT end point while providing a good quality digital output to feed into the DSM would be happily received.

Well Raspberry PI 3 arrived this morning. Initially I put piCorePlayer on the SD card but quickly found that it wasn’t yet working on the PI 3. So quick dig around for alternate squeezebox functionality came up with Max2Play which had a Beta PI3 image ready to download and install. Installed this onto SD using diskmanager and tried PI 3 again. This time it booted. Fed into my Marantz AV8001 vie HDMI. Slight configuration using Max2Play to tell the Audioplayer to use HDMI direct hardware device without any conversions. Fired up Roon, enabled Squeezebox support, Enable Max2Play device in AudioDevice, renamed it Raspberry, selected input on Marantz and hit play on Roon - MUSIC!!! Ace.

Just tested it versus Marantz under UPNP and controlled by JRiver. Could not hear the difference - ACE!!!

So now have Roon compatible device operating perfectly for very little money.

So now for the serious testing of the Roon interface.


Thanks very much for the feedback. Very interesting that the Raspberry Pi going into the Marantz via HDMI sounds as good as direct DLNA streaming to the Marantz. I will have to experiment with devices other than the Squeezebox Touch into my DSM (including a Raspberry Pi via HDMI). Wil report back once I’ve had the chance to experiment further.


Found that selecting HDMI direct in SqueezeLite caused it to downsample above 48kHz. I then changed the setting to Sysdefault and hires audio was no longer downsampled.

Have now also subscribed to Tidal for the moment and that integrates REALLY well so very happy with that too.


For what it’s worth, I’ve come up with a fairly Rube Goldberg set up that is yielding good sound now. Essentially, I am streaming to a SoTM SMS-100 (using its Squeezelite capability), which outputs to a USB-to-SPDIF adapter, and from there into the DSM via SPDIF (RCA, not Toslink). There are too many variable to know what really made the difference, but this seems to sound better than the direct SPDIF output from a Squeezebox touch into the DSM.

I just received a Raspberry Pi 3, so the next experiment will be to try HDMI input from the Raspberry Pi to the DSM, at first again via Squeezelite, and then via RAAT when a suitable image is available for the Pi.

Still loving Roon (and Tidal via Roon), and looking forward to direct RAAT support by Linn someday (well, hope springs eternal).