Not an Airplay Supporter, what can I do with my Yamaha CX5100?

I have all my music on a NAS. I just bought a Yamaha CX5100 Pre-Amp. I want to use Roon but I will never support Apple Lossless. I am glad I did not buy Roon just to find out the Yamaha is Airplay only.

Really disappointed I did not know about Roon before I bought the 5100.

Hi George,

As you probably know Roon will play FLAC and other supported file types over AirPlay but is limited to 16 bit 44.1 kHz. I think with an AppleTV involved that can be 48 kHz.

The best solution would be for Yamaha to implement Roon Ready RAAT streaming. That would enable you to connect by Wi-Fi or Ethernet and send the CX-A5100 all formats from Roon.

In the absence of the Yamaha itself having RAAT capability we are looking at a small device that can connect by Ethernet or Wi-Fi and output to one of the digital inputs of the Yamaha.

I can’t tell from reading the specs if the USB inputs are storage only, or will take an audio stream. This is the kind of uninformative marketing speak that cloaks that information:

In addition, compatibility with FLAC/
WAV/AIFF 192kHz/24bit, Apple Lossless and
DSD 2.8MHz/5.6MHz formats means that you
can easily play high resolution audio from a
networked NAS, PC or USB.

I suspect that means storage only, but I will do a bit more checking online before recommending anything. Things will be much simpler if we can get a USB audio stream in through the front panel USB connection.

I’m afraid that you’ve already supported Apple (in a small way) by purchasing the CX5100. Unless you are going to altruistically donate money to Apple whilst using it (you don’t need to do this) the damage has already been done.

Alternatively you could add a Raspberry Pi + DAC to the unit, or I see the CX5100 has USB support, I wonder whether this could be used with a small computer to play music?

This sounded a bit more promising as to USB. Still looking.

USB Digital Connection for iOS on the Front Panel

A USB port on the front panel allows convenient connection of an iPod® and iPhone®, which also charges the iOS device when connected. Because the digital signal from the iPod and iPhone is transmitted directly to the AV receiver, there is no signal–loss or interference. You get to enjoy the best possible sound quality. In addition, you can use the receiver’s remote control unit to operate the iPod and iPhone for basic playback control.

Yeah, on the strength of this thread I think it is unlikely that you can input digital audio output from a computer into the USB on the front panel. I think it is far more likely that the receiver uses that USB port to find and play compatible stored files.

So, that leaves us with the coaxial and optical inputs. They will work, but don’t support DSD if that is important to you.

Devices available now that can connect by Ethernet or Wi-Fi and output to coax/optical input include:

Raspberry Pi and HiFiBerry Digi+
This has optical and coax out, supports up to 192 kHz 24 bit and can be Wi-Fi with an adaptor on the Pi or the inbuilt Wi-Fi of the Pi3.

This has optical out (the output plug is small and can be problematic for some cables). You can buy one and configure a Linux OS (eg. Armbian) yourself or there is the SonicOrbitor SE. You can configure a Wi-Fi dongle in Armbian but the SOSE is Ethernet only.

Auralic Aries
Expensive but probably the best sounding Wi-Fi solution. It is RoonReady but the coaxial and optical outputs are limited to PCM. Note that the Aries Mini is not RoonReady and Auralic have said it never will be.

I appreciate the information. I was unaware of Roon when deciding on the CX A5100. I can use something other than Roon like Plex.

I am going to contact Yamaha techs as well. They have been very helpful thus far.

Roon Ready RAAT streaming in Yamaha receivers would be a really great deal.

After speaking with Yamaha tech he stated that I could get a Roon Ready DAC and use any audio input. He was not familiar with which DAC to look at for Roon usage. He read the thread and was very interested in what I find.
That said, what are some DAC Roon Ready options?
THank You

Any DAC will do if you are using the analog inputs of the pre pro

The cheapest option as @andybob mentioned would be the Raspberry Pi + Iqaudio/HiFIberry dac, though that would take additional setup on your end.

For plug and play solutions the SonicOrbiter SE connected via the optical output would allow you to use the receiver as a roon output.

Of course since it is a receiver providing amplification there are a ton of other options with the HDMI inputs not found on most two channel systems. A small micro PC or NUC type could be used to plug into the HDMI and you could run roon through that + at the same time have control via a bluetooth keyboard, or programmed remote. I was able to get a logitech harmony pretty function for basic roon playback using a few programs.

Honestly in your situation i think the best question is what do you want to be able to do with your receiver and Roon? Do you just want to point music at it and control Roon through a tablet/phone or do you want a visual element? Do you currently have an HTPC hooked up to the receiver?

Edit: I remembered this thread which has a device that may do what you are looking for: NetPlay Audio products special offer

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My needs are 2 channel highest resolution available via Roon using a Synology NAS. The CX a5100 has plenty of audio ins for a DAC . Roon is the face of the audio future and using AirPlay leaves me out of the progression.

I’m making these devices for this exact situation. They’re ready to go out of the box.

Dean I will contact you, thank you, George

@Dean_Clough – cool! I assume you are running RoonBridge on this RPi situation… How are you getting RoonBridge on the device?

We do not like when others distribute our software as a snapshot. We suggest that you make an installer script that downloads and install on first enablement/run.

Another solution would be for you to run our Roon Ready SDK instead of Roon Bridge. There are some advantages to that if you are making dedicated Roon devices.

Other than that, you should contact and we can get you added to our partners page! It is super cool that you are doing this as a low cost turn-key solution!