Okto Research DAC8 Stereo with Ropieee XL

Hello there,

the DAC has a built-in Raspberry Pi running the latest Ropieee XL. I can see the correct Roon Bridge in Roon but I don’t see an audio output to select in the audio settings. The DAC/Pi is connected via LAN to a router, which in turn is connected via LAN to the Core.

Any advise on how to make the DAC appear in Roon?

EDIT: It works, I needed to activate “Audio USB” in Ropieee -I think.

Next question: how can I sync Roon’s volume with the DAC?

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Happy with the DAC performance? What did you replace?

Hello Mike,

yes, I am happy with the performance. I haven’t done any A/B tests with my exaSound e20 mk3 (with 0.82fs clock) since I lack the necessary equipment. So do not put too much value into my comments, but I “think” that the dac8 sounds more “volumetric”. It seems to me like the speakers are harder to locate.

Since based on the measurements of the dac8 I was not expecting the DAC to sound worse than the e20, the main buying trigger have been LAN and USB inputs, Roon & Airplay support and that I no longer need to turn on my HTPC in order to listen to music (the e20 has been connected via USB to the HTPC, which in turn is connected via LAN to my server).

Currently I have my pair of active speakers hooked up directly to the dac8 (they benefit from the 4.1V output). The USB input is fed via a HTPC, which I use for watching movies (might replace it with an AppleTV shortly).

Unfortunately the answer to my above question (volume sync with Roon) seems to be that this -at least now- is not possible. I’d be mainly interested in the synchronization via LAN, so it seems like that would somehow also need to involve Ropieee. As far as I understand Roonlabs and Ropieee would need to come to terms before that would happen…

exaSound has a River Volume sync plugin for their DACs, so with some nifty settings, I was able to sync volume between my e20, Roon and Windows/JRemote/JRiver. Unfortunately I have now lost this functionality, the main bummer being no possibility to sync between Roon and the dac8.
However, I decided for now that the benefits I gain outweigh the lack of volume synchronization.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have further questions.

Thank you for the thorough reply.

Currently using a Marantz HD-DAC1 which is being fed by a Chromecast audio puck and Pi4 running RopieeeXL. I also have a mini DSP SHD which I will sell as I don’t use it. Interested to hear what the Okto converter brings to the party.

I just picked up an OKTO DAC8 Stereo too and am running Ropieee too

yeah there is no volume option direct or via the RPi to control the Okto.

I did get one with the RPi already installed…it was 2nd hand but only 4 days old so essentially BNIB and I knew the owner - he’s also using Roon.

The 2 XLR outputs are in parallel so one will load the other if you use all 4. looks like it uses the same DAC8 board as the Pro 8 channel option as on the circuit board there are 4 un populated XLR positions. Probably just different firmware in the ESS9028PRO controller.

Seems like a very capable DAC / streamer (when installed) and I think the 2 Displays are beautiful…if only they had an option to run as VU meters :heart_eyes:

The other thing that would be nice is track/artist on one of the screens.

Noticed there are no images or links here so anyone curious to see this well measuring dac…bested the MolaMola Tambaqui on ASR!!!



Hi @wizardofoz - given the exceptional measurements, I’m very curious about your subjective impression of the sound compared to your Lumins?

At a similar price point to the d1 was I think (new) I’m thinking it’s on a par without any critical listening and in a speaker setup with XLR to RCA adapters as my Pre has no balanced in. I just s used a grouped zone in roon with d1 using leedh and okto level matched but direct to active speakers via rca relay switched selection. Both units are not at full volume and both are running volume level adjusted.

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Interesting - thanks!

I will say the lumin has better streaming support within the app and on the network, and that being very conversant with ropieee is a big advantage I have with the okto setup.

Pros for the okto include

Nice big volume display and bit rate
A volume knob is nice too.
Trigger out (5v)
Headphone 1/4” out
Full 17” form factor
Linear powersupply for the dac side
Multiple inputs
Auto on and off of dac/display, pi is always on
Affordable Apple remote or learn option.

Cons for the okto

XLR out only…no rca
No track or artist display
No app unless you run Volumio on the pi.
No digital output other than the usb on the rpi
Not roon ready out of the box without installing roon bridge
Extremely difficult to get one…production is boutique

There could be other things I’ll add later

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I was thinking of using this as a straight DAC and get a separate MQA streamer (ie bliesound). I am mostly Tidal and ripped CDs on a Bluesound vault. I am thinking this has a better DAC than the Bluesound. Would this set up (Tidal MQA) work?

Roon can essentially do the first unfold for any non MQA DAC. You need an MQA capable DAC to do the 2nd AFAIK and the Okto is not MQA (which doesn’t bother me in the slightest) and I’m a happy camper anyway as I use Qobuz more than Tidal too.

The interesting part to me is that, subjectively from your experience, they sound pretty similar. I think streaming support for Roon from Lumin is about as good as it is possible to achieve - everything just works as it should, out of the box and all the time, regardless of updates. However, given the published measurements and design differences I was curious about audible differences. Sounds like whatever they are they’re not sufficient for you to be particularly excited by them? That said, assuming one is conversant with RoPieee, it does seem like you get a great bit of kit for your money.

I’m going to get it into my other rack and hook up a THX AAA 789 and some planar headphones with some quiet time and see how it compares with my other D1 and also some other DAC’s I have at my disposal like OPPO Sonica and HA1 and Soekris DAM1021 and even older Emotiva DC1.

I’m also considering the Topping Pre90 + Ext90 preamp and extender combo to use with this as it also measures very well and I can trim the 4 XLR inputs to volume level 4 DAC’s on trial which should be interesting as all have different DAC chips. The Topping I am just waiting for stock to come in but should be this week.

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Cool, that has the makings of a really interesting comparison! Will be intrigued to hear your findings.

The new Topping D90SE bested the Okto on ASR’s site and while I am using the Pre90/EXT90 combo as a preamp but more as an XLR/RCA switch I am on the fence with the Okto maybe - but those displays are just begging for more tho I do love the readability. As both options are now ESS maybe I have to think about selling some other things.

I just had a thought that I can use the RPi spare USB ports to connect a couple (or 3 if I ditch the wifi) to hook up some other dacs and reduce the Pi count in the rack.

Another gotcha is the 2 USB on the Okto cant be both active so Roon will only see the RPi connection or the other port, not both. Seems the Okto is only able to support one live USB at a time, so a grouped option with alternate USB is not possible to use for A/B testing without perhaps some roon trickery by adding a 3rd zone.