Roon endpoint upgrade itch

I recently got myself an RPi 4 4GB, running Roopiee XL to the D90 MQA DAC but I’m having a serious upgrade itch on the RPi but can’t say how justified it is…I mean, everything works, upsampling everything to DSD512 but that RPi just feels out of place in a setup like this (ASR Emitter II and Apogee planars).

I’ve een reading about SoTM (had these twice, not in this setup however so no direct comparison in SQ) but these are getting old, 2-3 years already? Same for the dCS Network Bridge.
Also seen the Sonore streamers but I’m feeling dizzy reading about the plethora of tweakers people do - like reclocker to another reclocker, USB refresher, quantum power supply and what not.

In before the exotica fanclub: it’s a matter of religion. Sweetspot to quiet audiophilia nervosa is, PSU included, in the Allo price range AFAIC, not multiples that, but suit yourself.


Sure it’s an itch. But in my experience you can get more out or your system by upgrading your streamer. I was in the camp of doubters coming from a computer background, but the pst five years experiences has erased most of that doubt.

Since this also is highly subjective I would advice you change strategy to looking at what equipment you can try before you buy and start there. (Or at least return “no questions asked”). I’ve been surprised both by substantial differences and frankly none at all — depending on gear.

I could go with the USBridge Signature but retruns would be tricky to return it internationally.
Sure I could go with another sMS-200 Neo (I still have the sPS500 PSU and silver cable) but I kinda get the feeling deep inside that the 200’s and the dCS will get replaced soon by something else.

Definitely understand, and maybe smartest to stay put in the boat and just enjoy things waiting for the next? I’m happy with almost two years with Auralic Aries G2. And from my personal experience I would not go for USBridge Signature it’s, according to me, not interesting even for that price.

Right, the USB-S still runs on old Pi3B module as well.

I bought Sonore microRendu the day it was released and have never been sorry.

The new microRendu 1.5 is supposed to include several of the upgrades used in the ultraRendu (which I just upgraded to about a month ago and is out of this world!), AND it’s reduced in price.

Even if it were not an upgrade over the original microRendu, it would be a steal at this price.

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Calamine lotion. :joy:


That’s a very nice amp! I recently swapped out an ultraRendu for a Lumin T2 which was a very significant upgrade. I can highly recommend the Lumin, not cheap but beautifully built and sounds wonderful.

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To save $ you could probably get a used Sonore (micro or ultraRendu) and a used UpTone lps 1.2 to power it. I’d expect a meaningful upgrade.

Maybe even just try the lps 1.2 (or a nice linear power supply) on your raspberry pi as a first step. In my experience this makes a dramatic difference.

I don’t know anything about your DAC, but in my experience DACs vary widely in their ability to block electrical noise from USB inputs, which is the main concern here. I’m super-skeptical about some claims regarding USB audio clocking for the very simple reason that USB audio is an asynchronous protocol. On the other hand, I’ve no doubt that some USB sources can mess up some DACs because the source is very noisy electrically and the DAC is not able to keep that noise away from its sensitive analog side. I’ve heard this myself, and had it confirmed in blind experiments.

Having said all that, I’ve converged on Pi-based streamers with the Pi2AES shield that puts out S/PDIF, AES, and I2S (for some DACs that take I2S). It’s as good or better than anything else I’ve used, including some well over $1K streamers.

Not sure which claims you are referring to, but in asynchronous mode with the Audio protocol, clock skew between the host and device can be adjusted. The device provides feedback to the source about the sample rate, which allows the host to adapt its transmission rate to the device’s clock. This, to me, seems preferable to the simpler S/PDIF protocol in which the host gets to choose the rate and the device has nothing to say about it.

Some manufacturer claims their USB sources are better because of their amazingly accurate clocks. As you say, async USB allows the USB receiver to control rate, so super-accurate source clocking is not critical. I also agree that S/PDIF is a different story, in that case the source clock matters a lot more. But clocking is not the only thing that matters. Some older USB sources and receivers were pretty poor at isolating the DAC from source electrical noise; using a good S/PDIF source instead could in those cases improve SQ. That’s what I experienced, anyway.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised. As we make progress, we learn what to fix, and move forward.

The itch had won, bought a used 200 Ultra Neo, some kind of silver-label special edition, haven’t seen these before.