Question on Roon / DAC endpoint USB interface

I have a Mac Mini as a core feeding Roon music to my Gustard DAC via USB and the Gustard in turn feeds a Buckeye amp via balanced XLR.

In addition to Roon, I’d like to add the option of playing music from other players like Apple Music, SiriusXM, and the Tidal, QOBUZ apps on my Mac.

When I use the other players, I let Roon running in the background but the other apps don’t “find” the DAC like Roon does and I have to go to Mac settings and change the audio out from internal Mac speakers to the USB output to the DAC.

This works fine for Sirius XM, Apple Music, etc, but Roon doesn’t work after I do that and I have to reboot to get Roon working again.

Is there a way to get all the players playing nice with each other and the same USB port?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Dennis, is your Gustard set to Exclusive Mode in its configuration options? If so, turning this off this option may allow what you want. However, another recommendation is to leave it in Exclusive Mode and shut down your Roon Core when you want to listen to other streaming services or sources.

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Yes it is exclusive.

I tried something else – I left Roon as is and installed a USB to Coax/Toslink adapter for the other players (Sirius XM via browser and Apple Music). I changed audio output for the Mac to the adapter and my DAC has several available inputs…so I left Roon on USB and put the Coax digital inout from the Mac for the other players.

It worked for the other players but I had the same problems with Roon and had to reboot. Then Roon was back to normal.

I’ll try turning off the DAC exclusive mode next.

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Turning exclusive off worked but I now drop a notch in quality with “OS Mix” enabled.

Yes, Apple Mac OSX always includes the OS Mixer in the audio chain. I am not sure of there is an alternative given how you want to run your Core in the background while the other streaming applications are also running.

Did you also consider just shutting down Roon while the other streaming services are running as the other alternative, while leaving your Gustard in Exclusive move within Roon?

What about a Raspberry Pi 4 with Ropieee for Roon endpoint and still have the Roon core on the mini?

I have a Raspi doing nothing and can use the Mac for both core duties and the occasional Sirius XM playing to the same Gustard DAC

  1. Roon player (iMac desktop or iPad) → Roon core (Mac Mini) → Raspi — > Gustard DAC (USB IN)

  2. Other player(on Mac Mini) → USB to Coax converter → Gustard DAC (Coax input)

I can set this up soon to test but I need a bigger ethernet switcher - I ran out of ports for Ropieee’s ethernet requirement. Otherwise, quitting Roon while using the other players is an easy workaround (if I remember to do it).

I’ll see what I can do and report back later.

Having a raspberry pi adds another advantage. Mac OS can’t play DSD files. And you can’t upsample to DSD in Roon. And you get rid of possible usb noise as well.

I’m running my roon core on a M1 MacBook Air with a raspberry pi.

Yep, I knew the Pi has native DSD. But I sometimes use the Pi for Mathematica and so I ordered another Raspi4 about 9 months ago. Still waiting.

Well I hooked up a Raspberry Pi 4 to my DAC’s USB input and I put the Mac Mini USB out to a USB to Coax converter and everthing works fine. I can flip back and forth on the DAC inputs and Roon and other players aren’t affected.

Unfortuately, I’ve had a couple of dropouts with the new setup which is annoying and new.