Roon endpoint with Balanced analogue output

So with my new system coming together, i have amp and speakers sorted out. I was going to do what I’ve historically always done and get a DAC, but given location of roon core, direct DAC connection is a pain, and I’m keen to minimise box count. So instead, I’m looking at streamers.

Initially I was probably content just to get a Cambridge CXN V2 and move on with my life, but as it has a ton of functions i’ll never use (e.g. airplay, chromecast etc etc) I wonder if a simpler device would make sense.

There is the Lumin D2, but its quite pricey and I’m not convinced I believe DAC’s sound different enough to merit the cost.

So, what are peoples experiences… simple, roon endpoint with XLR output that has a measurably good DAC stage.

If you want a device that doesn’t have elements you’ll never use on them you’ll have to build it yourself or get something commissioned. The product that comes closest would be Orchard Audio’s Pecan Pi streamer which is essentially Pi based so you can choose your preferred OS. Put Ropieee on it and you have well regarded hardware with Roon specific software. Leo is easy to contact re the hardware as is Harry regarding the OS. They both have accounts here.


Sonnet Morpheus, if you’re “in to” NOS DAC’s.

1 Like

At the modestly priced DIY end of the scale you could build a ropiee with this Hi Fi Berry board

i did consider this, but the measurements aren’t particularly favourable. Doesn’t really achieve anywhere near 24 bit dynamic range. Whether that’s wholly revelant is another matter.

I did look at getting it with the tin case to fit it into all in for probably less than £150!

That’s not a streamer.

Are you looking for an all-in-one streamer and DAC, streamer only, or separate streamer and DAC? Streamer only or streamer and DAC then a raspi as streamer works great. Tons of DAC choices that are terrific and inexpensive. I’m using an SMSL 300 MKII that I picked up on Amazon. I picked that over a Topping D10B because the SMSL also has volume control and remote. Both have balanced output. If you want an all-in-one then good luck. I haven’t seem many that measure well and are inexpensive. My headphone system uses a raspi with display and Khadas Tone 1 into Drop THX789. The SMSL and tone 1 sound equally good to me so balanced out isn’t needed in my setup. Both also sound as good as my Chord Qutest for what it’s worth.

As per my opening post, a streamer with dac built in. Not looking for multi box solutions.

Also I work with IT every single day, I don’t want to have to do it when I go home, so not interested in DIY solutions, as they’re simply never as elegant as I’d like them to be.

Likely answer is the Cambridge audio is probably the best bang for buck and is probably the route I’ll take, but thought I’d see if there were any other good ideas.

Lumin D2 is perfect in terms of features, but I frankly think it’s too expensive for what it is. If the Lumin was a £1000 box and not an £1800 box, I’d already have bought one.

Something that doesn’t look like it was made in someone’s shed ideally :wink:

Duh. You’re totally right. Maybe I was over-excited with Cees telling me about an all-in-one he is thinking of :wink:


Whats wrong with this suggestion from further back in the thread?

1 Like

You can actually pick these up lightly used occasionally for a screaming deal.
It’s definitely worth considering IMHO.

Yep, and if you don’t want the screen its even cheaper.

Also ASR seems to suggest some of these pi based boards measure quite poorly.

I found different DACs to indeed produce a diverse soundstage - worthwhile enough to experiment and explore the perfect match for your system.
I guess the most important point is how the DAC chip is implemented, what components are used in the device plus the interconnects used.
I just „switched“ from an ESS Sabre 9028Pro in my McIntosh C53 DA2 to an ESS Sabre 9028Pro in the Lumin T2 (to the C53 via Shunyata XLR) - and could not be more astonished with the sonic difference.
Besides my T2, I still use my first love - the RME ADI DAC FS2 due to the tight sound signature and amazing functionality, now fed via USB from the T2.

With Lumin you can‘t go wrong, or alternatively and more $ friendly did you look into the offerings from Pro-ject such as the DAC BOX RS2 ?

1 Like

I’m glad you like what you heard.

Just google the electronic board photos of the $1000 DAC board you mentioned against the unit you’re now using. You’ll visually see how much difference there is, and why one costs more than the other.

Matrix Audio… have one of these and its just great… small handy good remote no fluff… only pro model now I think. dont be confused by the AMP reference its for headphones but has XLR/RCA out plus fixed/variable volume control too.

Has LAN and Wifi and supports Line in too if you have a TT with Line level preout.

I got mine from but have them too. you want the pro for wifi connection IIRC

1 Like

There’s even a new one for sale right here in our FS section at a decent discount on dealer price…

If I remember right it’s in the US though. I’m in the UK

Now you are making me curious! I am looking into the Morpheus as well, but would probably be even more attracted to an All-in-one iso. adding a separate Roon bridge

Ive been looking into this, and not having any desire for MQA means i could get away with the non pro version (not sure how much difference if any, the femto clock makes in the pro).

Non pro version competes almost pound for pound with the cambridge CXN V2, but has a few more features!