Newbie searching for advice

Your denon has airplay so no other thing needed. It’s not clear from a quick search whether it can do 24/192 or 24/96 or 16/44 as the highest rate from the specs, just says airplay compatible. Your manual might have more info. You could for example build a roon endpoint from a raspberry pi 3 and a hifiberry Digi card which will happily output 24/192 via coax into your denon, but if the denon can’t internally handle that through its own DAC there doesn’t seem much point. You don’t really want your software to force you to upgrade the hardware.

You can use the Oppo as a Roon endpoint. You’ll get better sonics than with Airplay (which really sucks).

See here, et. al. -

Again, depends what the denon can handle on its digital inputs. Certainly you’ll get minimum cd quality which is actually fine, you don’t need hires and roon isn’t just about delivering hires music. If the oppo is better than the limitations of airplay then that would seem to be the sensible option with what you already have. The oppo would need to be hardwired to the home network if not already.

I don’t have an Oppo, but as I understand it one would connect to a receiver’s analog inputs, i.e. RCA jacks. In fact, that’s probably what one would want to do to avoid any further attempts at D/A converison.

Huh!? The Oppo has an ethernet jack. Is that what you mean by ‘hardwired’?

Yes Ethernet is best. The basics is networked pc running roon, which can see 1 or more roon endpoints on the same network via ethernet rather than WiFi, and delivering whatever those endpoints can to a dac or direct to an amp if they themselves have a dac.

Just checked the Oppo specs, WiFi is available also and perfectly acceptable for use as a Roon endpoint.

Another forum post about Oppo being Roon ready -

Thank you for the interesting suggestions. The Oppo Roon capability is very interesting and I did not know about it. I might be able to use that capability in my setup. That being said however I would really like to make use of my QNAP TS253A NAS Drive’s capability to send music and video via its HDMI channel to my Denon. Could be wrong, but I believe that HDMI has greater bandwidth than Optical or Airplay. If I could output from the QNAP to the Denon via HDMI, I could then use the QNAP to store and play video as well as audio. BTW, i currently output Oppo digital to my receive via HDMI and it works fine. The Denon is not 4K, but the TV is, and so I send the Oppo video signal directly to the TV and the audio signal goes to the receiver. This is the configuration suggested by Oppo for the processing level of my equipment. Another thought, perhaps the QNAP NAS is also Roon compatible. I need to check on that.

Here is naive question: if I use Oppo/Roon as an endpoint, do I need to hardwire it via Optical, or HDMI, or even Ethernet to the Denon? Can RAAT help with this if I use an Airport Express? This stuff is too complicated for my old brain.

In closing, oh, yes, I would like to someday upgrade the receiver to some type of ARCAM; the only barrier is $$$.

Absolutely true, Airplay is the worse. I have Airplay to my Onkyo. I hate it and I never use it. I connect my RPi to the Onkyo’s CD inputs.

See here’s the thing, the Oppo’s DAC is going to do the D/A conversion. So, if you input to your recevier via HDMI, the Denon is going to try to do another D/A conversion. That’s why you want to input to the analog jacks, i.e. RCA. At least, that’s the way I understand it.

You don’t need to connect the QNAP directly to the Denon. The QNAP is on your network and so is the Oppo. You can output to both Denon and Oppo, no?

Best to ask someone that has an Oppo.

@rrwwss52, have I gone astray?

I was thinking of configuring the Roon core on my MacBook Air and keeping the data on the QNAP NAS. Agreed that if I go Oppo to Denon via HDMI there would be two DAC conversions. But is the Oppo UDP203 DAC that much better than the Denon? I’m not too keen on going analog. The Denon can process Airplay (which I want to avoid), optical or HDMI. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on this.

Have you started the Roon trail ?
Do you have an iPad ?
Do you have a iPhone ?

Which DAC would you prefer to use ?

Yes, no problem.

Yes, IMHO.

You’re always going to end up as analog. That’s what DAC means. Digital to Analog Conversion. The Oppo will do that for you, better than anything else you have in the stream. I think the Oppo will even do DSD. That’s why you don’t want to use the digital inputs on the Denon.

Also, I think you will find a problem with HDMI and Roon, but I’ll let others speak to that.

Think of the Oppo as a pre-amp, it’s quite a device. If I had one (and I wish I did), I would do exactly as I am counseling.

No, not yet because I don’t know if I have the hardware to solve the downsampling that Airplay produces. I have iPad, iPhone, and a 2013 MacBook Pro in addition to the MacBook Air that I am thinking of using for the Room Core/database. I’m still trying to figure out if I can stream the music to my Denon via the QNAP TS253A. That’s the critical link. Or, as suggested I might be able to do it using the Oppo (seems to be the preferred DAC) via analog outputs to the Denon. I need to figure that out. I don’t want to use up a 14 day trial period figuring this stuff out! Thanks.

I think that you are correct on this. I’ll look into that as an option. I also need to figure out if I can have two types of audio connections from the Oppo to the Denon–viz, HDMI as I now have AND analog–at the same time. Very complicated. As I think about this, perhaps I drop the HDMI Oppo/Denon link and live with analog only. The 4K signal goes through a different HDMI to the TV.

You have plenty of enough HW.

Just install Roon

Verify that your iPad can install the Roon app.
(Not important)

Get the Apple Camera Connection Kit and use your iPhone as and endpoint to the Denon as a start. Assuming that Denon has usb.

Yes you can via an endpoint of cause.
You can even install Roon on the Qnap.

You can even install Roon on your pro and use the other Mac as an endpoint installing Roon Brigde.

And you can install as many Roon you like, and switch between them

I’ll check the Denon specs re. USB input. I know that I could install Roon database on the QNAP, but I prefer the laptop because of speed. Still don’t know how to route the stream from the QNAP to the Denon though. Thanks for the suggestions.

As said try with any of your iDevices.
In worst case even the Apple TV, so you at least get familiar with Roon.

Your NAD support 24/96 via USB. Your iPhone can do 24/192 Even with MQA.

I see I’m mixing things here as you seems to have both a NAD and a Denon.

As for the Denon usb I can understand you may have a challenge.

So you may need a USB/SPDIF converter, or explore the Oppo interface.
If the oppo can work as a DCC, problem solved.

Another thing is that I don’t think that Oppo is a Roon endpoint. But even today it can access your Qnap . And you should be able to output from your Oppo even today.
And it will also work together with Roon, as confirmed in that thread linked to in another post.

I don’t know much about the internal workings of HDMI, but the analog RCA outputs from the OPPO 203 are good, and the digital optical or SPDIF out to the DAC are good too. The UDP 205 is more refined than the UDP 203, especially in the analog section.

Pg 56-7 has some good info on audio output settings.

Go to page 37:

The UDP-203 can remotely play back music, photo, and video files stored on computers or NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices that are connected to the same home network. The computer or NAS need to run server software that supports media sharing protocols such as DLNA, SMB/CIFS or NFS. To play media files shared on your home network, press the HOME button on the remote to bring the Home Menu, select the Network icon and press the ENTER button to show the list of available servers.
The UDP-203 player can play media files on the home network in one of the following three ways:

 As a digital media player (DMP): the player can actively search, access and pull content from local media servers which supports DLNA.

 As a digital media renderer (DMR): the player plays content received (“pushed”) from a digital media controller (DMC). A DMC-capable media server is required. Refer to the server’s respective user instructions for correct configuration and operation.

 As a SMB/CIFS/NFS client: the player can directly access files shared through SMB/CIFS/NFS servers over the network, as if accessing an external USB hard drive. Most computers, especially those installed with Windows, already support SMB clients. Please refer to respective OS instructions to set up the SMB/CIFS/NFS shared file/folder.

Update your Qnap with latest firmware. And install anything that make it a DNLA server. (Not needed for Roon)

I’m curious if you think it really sucks wireless, or wired, or both? I run Roon to all my devices via Ethernet/AirPlay which is the only way Roon sees my endpoints. Just curious. I have done a lot of A/B testing with music I listen to and just can’t hear enough difference to worry about AirPlay vs optical or coax or USB.

I guess it’s a matter of opinion, but I can’t stand Airplay. It just doesn’t sound musical. I don’t like optical either, which usually tops out at 96K.

I don’t have a golden ear by any means, but I can definitely tell the difference with those two methods and USB up sampled to DSD256.

I suppose it’s not the transport method so much as the resolution that can be had. On the other hand, my Onkyo receiver can decode to 192/24, so I’m assuming that goes for Airplay also.

Dunno, just a preference.

What’s Airplay over Ethernet or am I misunderstanding what you wrote?