Raspberry or Cubox-i or Odroid-C2?

I am trying to decide which way to go. Reading the beginners guide written by RBM (Thank you!!) I think that ke leans toward the Cubox-1. If Raspberry it looks like RPI3. If Cubox, any particular model?
I would like to have the option of connecting via S/pdif (Toslink) AND USB to a DAC.

The little bit I do know is the optical out of the Cubox is very poor quality.

Better off to go for RPi with a HAT to give optical out. Hifiberry Digi+ being a good choice.

Also dietpi makes using the RPi child’s play with Roon or HQP.


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+1 This. Hifiberry Digi+ gets my vote.

Another vote for HiFiberry Digi+. Works great, sounds great.

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It’s no so much that the Cubox SPDIF is of poor quality – it just was not built for excellence. Recent kernels are fine and have made up to 192kHz available. I use a Roon Bridged Cubox-i1 in the bedroom – optical out to a Meridian F80. Sounds fine – I’ve never felt tempted to exchange it for a Pi/Digi+ (I’ve got a spare in a drawer somewhere :-)). This is at bedroom volume though.

The Hifiberry Digi+ Pro is excellent – I use one in my main system (coax). Seperate oscillators for 44.1 and 48kHz. Easy and stable DietPi install – there’s very little not to like here. Raspberry Pi’s used to run into trouble at higher frequencies because of the shared bus for USB and networking. Current kernels / interrupt optimisation appear to have made this concern moot: one of my test-Pi’s is happy playing up to DSD256 over DoP.

The Odroid is the most powerful of the bunch and offers SPDIF though the Hifi Shield. That said: Roon Bridge is very lightweight – all three systems offer processing power in abundance for this purpose.

Yes I thought I might be corrected here as I was extrapolating my experience, which was with a NAIM NDAC which could not lock on to the Cubox signal.

I thought it didn’t sound great either but that could simply have been the effect of the little green light to show a lock being dimmed. Expectation bias can be hard to overcome!


If you still have the Cubox and it’s raining in Ireland, it may be worth trying how it behaves with your Naim with a current Armbian release. My hunch is that most (if not all) previous SPDIF behaviour was software related.

But anyway – the Pi/Digi+ combo is better suited for the task at hand. Get a nice case, don’t skimp on the PSU and go for it. :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone!!

I Rene, I currently use a Ri/Digi+Pro connected via rj45 as end point for ROON. I’ve installed Roon “image” (I’m a rookie) on the Ri. It works well with my dac SMSL 8 until i play 192Khz for instance. There is a lot of interuprions in the sound. My dac indicates that he looses the signal. Is there anything I should do or know ? Do I have to switch to an odroid XU4 for instance and connect my dac via USB ?

How is the Pi currently connected to the DAC? Optical? Coax? (Make sure you DAC is capable of receiving 192kHz over optical – not all DACs are).

Do you use the Hifiberry image? You may want to try DietPi and install Roon Bridge from the software menu. That way you can use you DAC via coax/optical – or (if you change your soundcard settings) via USB.

Hi Rene, yes the Pi is connected via Coax. Yes I use the Hifiberry Image/roon.

Thank you Guys!
Going Raspberry way.

You could try DietPI and see how the SPDIF behaves (although I think it is more likely that it is the DAC’s receiver misbehaving rather than the Digi+). If you still run into troubles at highres, try connecting the DAC through USB (set your soundcard to USB in DietPi).

I’m not sure the Hifiberry image supports USB (I’d guess not: it is a RoonReady install geared to Hifiberry’s various HATs).

Dear René, tkz for your answer. In fact the dac is fine. When I connect the SMSL M8 via USB to my iMac it’s running fine with 24Bit/192K. it’s only when I connect the Rasp/Digi + pro to my LAN then SPdif Coax to the DAC that there is some loss in signal. The problem for me is that I don’t understand how to install DietPi yet. I don’t see directly information to “flash” the card from a mac. I’m not familiar at all with command lines … :wink: They only speak about PC or linux. Until now I have used ApplePi-Baker and ROON image. That was easy :wink:

The DietPi download is an image, so use the same ApplePi-Baker method to create (flash) the bootable SD card.

Yes I could do that tkz, great ! But to install ROON/linux I need to connect to Dietpi with a screen and keyboard+mouse no ? and then I have to install ROON. no ? I was wondering could I stream directly from the usb connection to the DAC instead of the Hifiberry sound card? Does Odroid C2 with Dietpi + Roon allows that ? Many Regards,

You burn the dietpi image to sd card on your mac, then install the card in the rpi and power it up. Give it a few minutes and then connect to it using terminal from your mac. Next just use the menu system on dietpi to enable your Hat and install roon bridge.

If you don’t want to use the hat and use USB then enable USB sound using the dietpi menus rather than the Digi+ Hat.

Hi Tony, tkz for your time. “Then connect to it using terminal from your mac” ok but do I connect to it ? Via IP address of the rpi which needs to be connected to the LAN ?
Tkz, Xavier

Yes. In terminal, type:

ssh root@ip.address.of.yourpi

Login with password ‘dietpi’ and follow instructions. You can install your soundcard and Roon Bridge via the menu system. When connected via USB, your DAC will be picked up automatically.

ok tkz Rene. I’ll try that asap. best regards, Xavier