New user questions-newbie-neophyte

Hi all…I am new to the room/streaming world. I have set up a roon core on a Mac Air with a large external drive containing a grunch of collected music. I have Qobuz, Tidal, iTunes and want to control everything via roon and a remote. All of this is working fine but I am connecting to my 2 channel system via a Sonos bridge and need to upgrade that piece. Budget is under $2k for now and I am happy to buy used. I can connect to my Levinson pre either RCA or Ballanced cables. What suggestions do y’all have for a good but inexpensive used piece to put between my Mac Air/roon core and my pre-amp? I see Auralic Altairs going for $950-$1300 or so but without some schooling I’d rather not jump right in. Lastly, is there a way to connect via a non-streaming DAC like a Marantz HD-DAC1? Thanks in advance, Rod.

Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ or Brooklyn Bridge

Does your Levinson have digital inputs and USB in for digital? If so, there are a number of network based streamers that are Roon Ready and take Ethernet in and put out a stream over USB. SOtM, Sonore, and Auralic all have at least one or two devices in your price range. These same streamers can work with any outboard DAC as well, such as the Marantz you mentioned.

You could buy a non-streaming DAC and use your MacBook as a streamer. You can control Roon remotely using an iPhone e.g. You could then add another stage to the upgrade by switching the MacBook for a streamer.

There are a million DACs out there but if you go this route my personal recommendation for your budget would be a second hand or ex-display Luxman D-200.

Welcome to streaming HiFi! Have fun.

Thanks Karl. No digital or USB on the ML. They are circa 2001…Preamp is the No. 360.

Thanks Chris-I have a Marantz HD-DAC1 connected to my MacBook Air which works via iTunes but I don’t see it in Roon. I may be doing something wrong-most assuredly-but I will play around with it again today.

Ah, so you have the Marantz DAC already? Ok. There will be more knowledgable people than me who should be able to help you get Roon to recognise it - I haven’t had that problem personally. What connection are you using between the MacBook and the Marantz?

The HD-DAC1 is not Roon Ready, so it won’t show up in Roon audio devices. You will need to get a Roon Ready streamer, such as one of those I suggested. You can plug the streamer into your network, connect the streamer to your HD-DAC1 via USB in, and be all set. Or just get a Roon Ready streaming DAC and go straight into your Levinson.

USB…I also see Karl’s response is next in line and he mentions that Roon doesn’t recognize it-which was my worry. Thanks to you both for the help.

Thanks again…for now I like the idea of a roon ready DAC…I will search one out. Being new to the community I’m not sure if this type of quick response and helpfulness is de-rigueur but so far it’s great!

I don’t think Karl is correct in this instance. As I understand it, ‘Roon ready’ refers to streamers or streaming DACs that connect to Roon over the network, not non-streaming DACs like your Marantz that connect via USB. I have a non-streaming DAC as well (the Luxman D-250) and so that’s not ‘Roon ready’ either, yet Roon has no problem recognising it when it’s connected to my Mac via USB.

Chris is correct, you can use Roon to play to any DAC that is connected via USB to the same computer as the Core. Since you have Mac, you don’t need a driver. Have you enabled the HD-DAC1 in Roon Audio Settings? Only a network connection requires a Roon Ready receiver on the other end.

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Well, as these things go, once y’all told me that it “would” work I employed the old, reboot/reconnect/retry and the HD-DAC popped up. After a couple more clicks and whistles I have it working. Sounds much better than the Sonos…thanks Chris and Karl for sticking with the newbie! Cheers.

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As I said, if you have a mobile WiFi device like a smartphone or iPad or iPod Touch just download the free Roon Remote App and you can play from the comfort of your couch! Have fun.

Hi Karl, I also use a HD-DAC over USB (to Macbook). Do you know if a Nucleus is an option for the future ? Meaning Nucleus -> USB -> HD-DAC1 ? Or do I need something like the SotM SMS200 ?