RPi4 with Separate DAC


I’m currently using a RPi4 (RopieeeXL) and Hifberry Amp2 HAT directly out to passive speakers via speaker wire. I’m considering purchasing a Topping D50s for DAC purposes and would connect that via USB to the RPi4. My question is whether I can still use the Amp2 only for amplification (not signal conversion) if I went this route.

If your question is if you can use both outputs (USB and HAT) at the same time: yes.

True, but he wants to route the output of the USB to a DAC, and then run that DAC output through the HAT (which is also an amp). I suspect this is not possible, but I don’t know for sure.

Ah. now I get it (it was a long day).

No that’s not possible.

Ah well. That might be too direct: afaik there are HAT’s that also have a analog input. Maybe you can use something like that, but at least it’s a construction I never heard of.

And in any case, I’d be shocked and amazed if the audio from the Topping and Hifiberry DACs sounded at all different.

I’d agree with that. @Tyler_Kemp what speakers do you have?

Thanks, guys! I have ELAC B6 2.0. My issue isn’t the sound quality - I want a DAC that can playback DSD without me needing to convert it to PCM in Roon. I’m fully open to any other suggestions on setup!

I would not be worrying about DSD quality if using the Amp2. Sorry it’s hardly high end and I doubt you will even hear the difference. I have one it is not the best in class.

Okay, the Debuts are decent speakers. However, I’m pretty sure you can play DSD through that hat since it uses the PCM5122 integrated DAC chip. You’ll need to use DOP (DSD over PCM) but the DAC will recieve the DSD stream. Make sure you have the DSD Playback Strategy set to DSP over PCM v1.0 (DoP) in Device setup otherwise Roon will likely convert DSD to PCM.

@Martin_Webster I thought that, too, and set it up accordingly but I only get white noise. Any thoughts there? I have another open thread regarding that issue specifically and there seems to be conflicting information. I just installed ropieeeXL from regular ropieee so I don’t know if there’s some config in those settings that I’m missing?

If you’re doing Roon only then XL offers nothing special.

Similar question from a Ropieee newbee. Can I connect two DACs simultaneously to the Pi4 and stream to them individually? I have a Roon ready Cambridge 851 and an older Denon DA 300 which I would like to compare. Tried it by connecting them, but it defaults to the Roon ready DAc and kicks the other one out after a few seconds.

What is the source file? I think you’ll be limited to DSD64 (DoP) with this DAC.

Yes you can. Connect them one at a time and enable in Roon. Then when both connected you have two Zones.

@spockfish My girlfriend uses the AirPlay functionality offered in XL.

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@Martin_Webster It is indeed a DSD64 file.

@Tyler_Kemp can you show us your signal path when playing DSD content?

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Sure thing @spockfish. I’ll post tonight when I get home (around 7:30 PM EST).

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Tried that now a couple of times. All settings identical for both DACs, but once I have both online it takes between 10-30 s until one of them disappears, usually the Cambridge and it will only come back as an endpoint after a cold start. Something really ticks it off…No big problem, was just curious about the capabilities.

But when it is online, can you play content to it?