ROCK Custom Rig Question

I’m very new to Roon, but I’m an IT professional so I decided to take a swing at ROCK. I have a few questions, hopefully someone can answer.

I took a Dell Desktop with a 500GB SSD and loaded ROCK on it. Easy Peasy and installed in no time.

Since my AV Processor is not “Roon Ready”, I assume I needed to load the Codecs on the ROCK server. Is my thinking correct here, or do I not eed the codecs because the processor does this? My processor is a Marantz AV7004. Again, since the processor isn’t “Roon Ready”, I assume I need to physically connect it to my processor. I decided to use the the HDMI on the desktop and connected it to an input on the processor. And then subsequently labelled the input “ROON”. I am able to get it to work and it is passing audio across the HDMI just fine. I have a TIDAL Hi-Fi Plus subscription and in the app’s signal path, it says I am getting MQA audio.

Since the HDMI cable also passes video, if I turn on my TV, I get the ROCK Linux screen displayed.
My question is, with my setup, it there a cleaner/prettier way to set this up and maybe get OSD of Artist/Title/etc or is this my best option given my equipment.

I value sound quality over OSD. I know I can just use AirPlay, but that drops me back 44.1/16.

I heard some mention of MOCK, but I don’t know what the difference between MOCK and ROCK are.

Thanks in advance,

The only codec you need is to add is ffmpeg for MP3. But, this is detailed in the installation FAQ.

You can also use a bridge device, which will take in an Ethernet IN and output COAX for example. This will separate the Server from the processor and allow you to place the server in the server closet where, in my IT opinion, it should reside :slight_smile:

If you have a chromecast device, you can send a view only playing screen to it, with album artist pic and maybe lyrics.

Rock is made for specific hardware that is listed. It only includes the drivers for that hardware and the image is not tested against any other PC hardware. If you are not using the specified hardware, and you are not, then you are running a MOCK system, which is not directly supported. Doesn’t mean it won’t work.

Thank you so much for the info, Rugby. That clears up a lot of questions. My TV is Android based and I beileve has Chromecast baked in, so I will play with that tonight.

One more question, is it possible to lay the bridge software on top of the MOCK system?

Thanks again.

HI Brian,

2 comments, first, ROCK is locked so you cannot load anything else onto it. second, ROCK already has the bridge software in it, but, that is only useful if you have another server. Most people get a pi based device to act as a bridge. For example, I have an Allo DigiOne, ethernet to COAX, works like a champ.

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So, I believe in the separation of concerns argument and I prefer to have my streamers separate from my core, and leave my core in my network cabinet. Also just helps with phsyical setup in my case, but many have said they thought that sound quality benefited too. I don’t own an HDMI DAC, and I like my DACs a lot, so there’s that.

Simplest bridge for you is an RPi loaded with Ropieee. There’s lots of threads here, the project owner is all over these boards (there’s even a special topic just for Ropieee. There’s other RoonBridge installs (DietPi, Roomio, etc) but I prefer Ropieee, ymmd. There are lots of install help guides on the forum, the granddaddy of them all (which isn’t entirely up to date) is here.

Without a HAT on the RPi, you can go USB-out into a DAC that supports that. That’s the simplest, and what I do for most of my machines. If you prefer, you can get an Allo product either with a DAC or which outputs RCA/TOSLINK, or even a Pi2AES which outputs basically everything (AES, TOSLINK, BNC, etc). That’s what I have in my main stereo. All my endpoints are either Sonos (simplicity) or Ropieee (also simplicity, but my family doesn’t like Roon).

Simplest thing in the world is to pick up a decent off-board DAC (examples: Schiit Bifrost, iFi HipDAC, SMSL M500 if you love MQA), a flirc and RPi, and feed the DAC with the USB from a Flirc-encased RPi running Ropieee. Then you have a semi-portable headphone setup, or could feed the Marantz. Lots of audio tomfoolery to experiment with here, but keeping separate devices allows you to play around with more as you learn what you like.

Good luck!

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Thank you Rugby and Johnny_Oooooops for the comments and info. Much appreciated.

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