Roon endpoint - ethernet input and I2S (HDMI connector) output

Still no RAAT in the current MSB network renderer. But supposed to be coming. Progress can be followed here:

I appreciate the compliments. MSB and PS Audio still make i2s sources though. In fact, PS audio just launched a new Transporter with i2s output, but no clue if it’s based on USB internally. While MSB has added a network input (you can blame me for that one because I showed them our design:) the PS Audio PWD and DS have always been network capable DACs. My SSR and the MSB network input were/are DLNA only so they would not satisfy the Roon compatibility requirement requested here.

While I see companies going to direct network input I’m afraid I also see them using $15 input modules. This tells me that we will probably see good, better, and best implementations of these network inputs for some time to come as manufactures learn how best to use this new technology.


SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

Sorry I couldn’t help it:)


SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

If Roon would support DLNA I would consider re-introducing the Signature Rendu with SPDIF/i2s output.


SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

Yes this is true. Just like everything else in audio. Just because a DAC may have an Ethernet input, it doesn’t automatically mean they did a good job on it. Some of the internal endpoint boards out there today are designed merely to just function, not provide the ultimate sound quality. A Microrendu and USB input may still provide superior sound. However if done right like with the Merging Zman, that’s another story.

Another one with I2S (HDMI connector) output:

https://www.magnahifi.com/en/webshop/product/mh-he-pi2s

Pair of Crystek clocks.

Our Signature Rendu had a pair of Crystal clocks and that was back in 2014:)

Anyway, what is important now a days is that the unit has support for different LVDS i2s configurations. Also, it’s important to isolate the processor (dirty side) from the digital (clean side) output.


SONORE computer audio - ultraRendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

Noted but this is a Roon networked endpoint, as per the thread title.

If was a point of reference and not a suggestion. The unit is discontinued. The rest of the comments still apply.

There are some measurements on the i2s output of a pi here:

The moral of the story is that i2s on small ARM boards are not up to the task because they do not have proper clocking onboard for audio. The product you mentioned appears to have worked around the issue with external clocking and that is a much better solution. Now the thing to check for is isolation which by definition means that the reclocking board needs it’s own independent power supply.

In regards to the LVDS i2s output configuration there many specifications used by companies. PCM alone would be easy enough to swap cables on, but now a days PCM and DSD are multiplexed over the same wires and that complicates things. This means the pin assignment has to be correct our strange things will happen like no sound, swapped channels, channels out of phase, etc. I’m not aware of a small arm board that allows the user to configure the pin assignment. I maintain this i2s database and it can make your head spin.

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Thanks for the explanation and I appreciate the complexities involved.

So let’s cut to the chase - when is the 2017 Roon Ready version of the Signature Rendu (with I2S output) coming out? :wink:

I already know about the USB output version (the ultraRendu with a linear PSU in the one case).

There is no chase…I just like the subject matter of this thread. The original Rendu with i2s and SPDIF output was discontinued because of poor sales. I’m using one right now because my USB gear left for RMAF yesterday and I really like this setup.

@Jesus_Rodriguez You may want to add the Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2. :slight_smile:

Page 6 of the manual has the pinout. I’m resigned to making a custom cable for use with my HOLO Spring.

Cool. I’ll add it later today. To bad on a quick look it appears to be missing the DSD pin assignment:)

Yeah, I’m wondering if I’ve screwed up and an custom cable might not be able to solve everything. I’m too new to this stuff…

I am building a Roon endpoint with I2S out right now. I am cheating though because there is USB in the mix as the interface between the network/Roon card and the output PCB so it isn’t a ‘pure’ solution. Input is an Atom powered NUC board running ROCK as an endpoint. Output is the AudioByte Hydra Z board. I am waiting for a few bits to arrive and still trying to determine its final configuration but if it works well I may end up with something worth keeping.

What DAC and what source are you trying to use?

The Hydra Z is a pretty good i2s source…good audio clocks, isolation, clean power to the digital board, and selectable output configuration.

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@Jesus_Rodriguez 4 posts up :slight_smile: (Matrix X-SPDIF 2 and HOLO Spring)

Edit: FYI, the info I have is that the Spring’s DSD channels are reversed with respect to the PS Audio “standard”. If so, it looks like I’m going to have to correct in software.

Sorry I got replies mixed up.