RoPieee with USB DAC not HAT?

Apologies for the basic question: I already have a USB DAC (a very simple USB Sabre to Minijack) so I don’t need to buy a HAT to get an analog out…is this correct thinking?

Is there any disadvantage to not using a HAT?


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Yes, it is. You can connect your DAC with USB to the Raspberry Pi.

Not at all. If you’re happy with your DAC, just use it. I have two USB DACs connected to my Pi, and all works great.


Thanks Andreas, that’s good news.

Will a Pi 3 do or would you recommennd a Pi 4?

Same here.

If you already have the Pi3, just use it. It is well-supported by RoPieee. If you have to buy a new Pi, I’d go for a Pi4. But… at the moment it’s easier to win the lottery than to lay hands on a new Pi…


I know right- I just looked at prices for 4’s…crazy.

So I’ll go for a 3 I think.


Get a 4 is you plan to use USB out.

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Ah OK, yes I’m planning on USB out…how can I know if my DAC will work by the way?

Is a 2Gb ram version OK?.. I’m in the UK and it’s easier to get the 2Gb version

If you’re using RoPieee then a 2GB will be fine. It’s a low demand set up.


In the current climate go for whatever you can get hold of (RPi3 or 4, earlier models are not supported for Ropieee).

This website is useful when it comes to locating stock. Nothing in the UK at the moment, but check on a daily basis.

Thanks for that. I can get ‘opened never used’ on Ebay around £70 for a 4 which is not too bad


That’s a good deal.

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Well… :slight_smile: I’ll give you the “audiophile answer” since others have already given you the “correct” answer.

The Pi is noisy beast and never designed for audio. By using a HAT, especially one with its own power regulation, you’re going to be able to feed a much cleaner signal into your DAC. Something of a design like the Allo USBridge Signature / DigiOne Signature, or the Pi 2 Design Pi2AES (no longer available?) will sound better (also dependent on DAC, some DACs are better / less good on their USB input than others) than just plugging the DAC directly into a Pi USB port.

But, as others have said, plugging the DAC directly into the Pi will also work.

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I am no audiophile but good to get this viewpoint as well of course. Thanks.

It’s good you’re not an audiophile, because you don’t have to believe in things that don’t exist, like “dirty digital” or " digital noise".


Is there a way of running a parametric EQ on the Pi before it goes out to my speakers? Can I “load” audio apps on to the Pi?
Sorry again for the newb questions…

Any reason why doing it in Roon is not an option? The Pi is not very powerful.

I’m running Roon on my NAS - this works fine and I can do some EQ but not much, so I was wondering if the Pi could take some of the number crunching.

Ooh just found this!

Looks like I can run a parametric EQ on the Pi …nice!

If you want to do DSP, you should do it in a centralized way, to avoid split brain situations and unintuitive setup. If the NAS is not up to the task, probably the Pi won’t be either. I would go for a dedicated computer for Roon core.


You can’t run anything else on RPi with RoPieee or RoPieeeXL as far as I know. Why would you? Use Roon. Also the signal is digital until your DAC, then it becomes analog.

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