Roon + Yamaha AV receiver + Airplay: how to tackle problem

Hi there! I was introduced to Roon by a friend who loves it! Well, I´m also trying to fall in love but I found that Roon ´conversation´ with Yamaha AV (RX-V579) is via AirPlay (shame on Yamaha), so I loose all the quality of the FLAC files I´m about to consume from my NAS with Roon. I´m planning to use a MacBook Pro to run Roon core, question: if I install a USB Sound Card in my Mac with an optical output directly connected with my Yamaha AV receiver, I would be transferring those files digitally and without compression, tackling the AirPlay impact on quality, am I right or I am missing some technical aspect?
Thanks for your help!

Yes, you could do that. Or, you could use a Roon bridge that connects via ethenet to your network and optical out to your receiver if you don’t want to put your computer close to where your receiver is located. For instance, you can assemble a Raspberry Pi 4 with an attached HAT that has optical out.

Also, take a look at Topping D10 dac. USB in from mac, toslink optical out to avr, less than $100.

But, optical out is digital and his receiver DAC will do the digital to analog conversion. Why use two DACs? I say that, but I guess I’m doing the same thing with Oppo 203 to Bose via HDMI.

For toslink out it doesn’t do any dac, just usb to toslink digital conversion.

Yes, same here. When I go HDMI out from the Oppo to Bose, that bypasses the Oppo DAC and uses the Bose DAC. That is certainly a waste of the Oppo DAC and I would not prefer that. That’s the reason I want to purchase a stereo amp and speakers for RCA out from the Oppo. If I was the OP here, I would look for an inexpensive Roon bridge to his receiver.

I was under the impression that Airplay limited res to 44.1Khz. Hopfully I am wrong. It could come in handy.

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That’s why he’s looking for a different solution.

That´s a good idea and not a great investment of money.

Thanks for all the answers! Since my Yamaha is able to work with the FLAC files I don´t want any extra coding/decoding in my computer, nor quality be degraded to 44.1Khz. One last question, if I use a computer with HDMI out I would be able to get the same outcome, right?

Yes, that’s correct.

Jim, the RPi4 option sounds interesting under the cost perspective, I will need to study a little (I am a Windows dinosaur) about how to build it and installing Roon Core there. One last question: I won´t be able to run anything else there, right? I´m specifically thinking about a TIDAL client.

The RPi4 does not run Roon core.

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If you are able to connect to your amp via hdmi you are good to go. Roon will decode flac and send it to your amp, all bit perfect.

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I run a Yamaha RX-A3030 with my Roon Core on a 2015 headless Mac mini connected via HDMI, works like a charm.

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This is sooo great! I have good literature for the week-end! Thanks!

One thing you might want to consider is, if you want to play multichannel (5.1) recordings, then your Roon Core needs to be connected via HDMI directly to your Yamaha AVR. AFAIK, you still can’t use a RPi running Roon Bridge to deliver Roon’s multichannel audio via the RPi’s HDMI connector.