Roon endpoint/output: MacMini vs. Auralic Aries (or simular)

Today I am using for streaming purposes a Mac Mini server (located in my workroom) and a Raspberry Pi connected over LAN and connected with my DAC over SPDIF (coaxial).

I am wondering whether following changes will improve sound quality. Up to now I had no chance to test it in reality, but perhaps one of you can give me some valuable tips.

My first idea is to replace the Raspberry with an Auralic Aries (or another Roon endpoint, if there is one more recommendable) and using USB-connection to DAC. My second idea is to move the server (headless) in my listening room and connect the MacMini directly to the DAC via USB.

What do you think about these alternatives?

Another option. Connect a Singxer SU-1 to the USB of your Pi. Output from that in your preferred format to you DAC. Any reason why you haven’t gone USB from Pi to DAC?

For the moment the reason is, my MusicPlayer (an older T+A) is not supporting a USB-input. I have ordered a new DAC with an USB-input.

But btw. I am using a Pi 2 with Digi+ PRO (with galvanic isolation) and as far as I know there is no USB-output on the Digi+?

No there isn’t. There is on the Pi so there is the option to go direct into the new DAC.

Thank´s Henry. What do you recommend? Should I use the USB-output rather than the SPDIF of the Digi+? Sorry for these questions but I am quite a newbie in digital streaming with a Raspberry Pi.

What is about the differences if using an Aries or the Mini directly? Do you have any experience with these combinations?

Independent I will test it for my own, if the new DAC arrives.


i dont know if this topic is still up for you,
but here is my answer to your last post:

1: Use the USB output directly. USB has no limitations regarding audio files (PCM as well as DSD…)
2: The Auralic Aries is just a fancy streaming bridge that can handle various formats for a 1k+ price tag, so it won’t do anything else than transporting the signal to your DAC. Stay with the Raspi and use as a Roon Bridge (I assume this is what you have done so far)
3: Mac mini will be a computer only for transporting the music ( assuming that it is NOT the Core ), I think this is too bit an overkill (correct me folks if I missed something).

I do have a htpc which runs Roon and is the endpoint for a couple of DACs. This allows me to have Roon on the 55inch TV and control it with a remote mouse/keyboard from the recliner.

A Mac mini is so sweet because it does not require drivers like Windows does and I run mine straight into my Oppo HA-1 for HP listening. If you install a SSD in the MAC, it’s smoking’ fast! I am new to Roon, but love how it works over Pure Music and Audirvana…even though Audirvana announced MQA today.

Thank´s folks.

The topic is still up for me. Probably I will use a SOtM sMS-200 streaming player powered by an UpTone Audio LPS-1.

But a new question arised: If I will use HQ-Player, is it preferable to install HQP on the Mac Mini Server which already host the Core of Roon or is there a recommendation for using a separate Mac Mini with a HQP-installation (perhaps located in the listening room instead of using my working tool like the server)?