Pioneer Elite + HiFiBerry Digi+ tweaking

In the spirit of this current thread, it occurred to me that I kind of threw together my Roon endpoint solution a couple of years ago without giving it much deep thought or considering whether I should reexamine my assumptions and settings.

TL; DR: What’s the best possible configuration of connections and settings for Pioneer Elite VSX-LX301 and HiFiBerry Digi+?

So, let’s start from the end and work our way back, shall we? I have a relatively inexpensive mid-fi setup. My A/V receiver is a Pioneer Elite VSX-LX301 ( To it, I have connected a HiFiBerry Digi+ Standard setup with hard-wired Ethernet and Toslink cable running from the Hat to the receiver (Optical Assignable “BD/DVD” option). I’m pretty sure I put Ropiee on the SD card and have just left it running without further modification or reflashing of other Roon Bridge software. I assume it auto updates so newer features and capabilities are presented to Roon over time.

My source material runs from my Dell Precision Workstation in another room. I have mostly FLAC and some dodgy DSD and DTS material in the library. I have Tidal Premium and MQA 192/24 offerings are being shown within the Roon interface.

Question 1: I don’t remember why I opted for Toslink connection in the first place. Would I have more/better options if I use the assignable Coax digital input in my setup?

Question 2: My recollection is that I went with the Digi+ Hat solution in part because the AVR’s DAC could be accessed by network or USB input. The USB input is on the front of the unit (not the rear) and, aesthetically, I hated seeing a cable running to the front of my unit. Also, I recall that I did not enjoy the sound of files played from the USB input when I tested a couple of years ago. Compared to the DAC on my Sony BDP-S7200 (poor man’s Oppo), there was a fatiguing glare to the audio that I just couldn’t tolerate. I recently located and manually pushed firmware updates to the AVR. The changelog does mention that noise on USB/Network was addressed in some earlier updates. I will probably load up a USB drive and see if I can detect any differences.

Question 3: What are the optimal Device Setup settings for the HiFi Digi+ itself? Defaults show no MQA, but it doesn’t fuss or crash if I change the setting to Decoder and Renderer.

Since I’m on vacation, I have time to go mess with my gear and reflash SD cards and move around cables.

What recommendations can you share with me to get the most out of my gear? Thanks in advance.


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I should probably add that Roon Audio configuration information for the device currently reads:
HiFiBerry Digi+
Version 1.3
RAAT SDK Version

OK - so on the RPi is just Roon client. I’m going to reimage the SD card and see what I get:

OK - so Roon Client is now at version 1.8, but no option differences are noticed in configuration.

HIFIBerry Digi+
Version 1.8
RAAT SDK Version

OK - I burned another SD card with Ropieee and booted to it. I now see the options mentioned on Piero’s thread. I will be looking for explanations and documentation for them tomorrow.

OK - deep dive into the Pioneer manual leaves me with these conclusions: 1) the AVR DAC is only engaged with network input or USB storage. DLNA “music server” feature will give me DSD and resolutions greater than 92kHz. Same with USB storage. That USB connection makes no reference to any other input capabilities, though I can pick up a Male-to-Male cable and test it. 2) the digital inputs (toslink and coax) are limited to 92kHz.

So, it appears that, no matter what I do from the standpoint of RPi plus HIFIBerry configuration within Roon, the signal will always be 92kHz going into the AVR. For any higher resolution, I might as well sneaker net the files via USB or go to JRiver or DLNA. I can’t find documentation for max resolution via Plex at the moment.

My other option may be to use my smartphone (LG G7) for listening to resolutions higher than 92kHz, instead of the AVR.

By the way, it appears that Roon’s Chromecast Audio support is also capped at 92kHz, so adding a Chromecast to the chain is not a solution either.

Fun times!