I am looking to move my MacMini into another room in my apartment and want to be able to connect my Bel Canto DAC 3 and main listening setup via Ethernet in another room so it can access my Core. I’ve read on here that Chromecast can do this. I also understand there are tons of other options (MicroRendu to name one) that I’m sure can get into the $thousands. I’m looking for something that is fairly plug & play and will sound “good”. Suggestions?
Since you have S/PDIF input on your DAC, why not go for an Allo DigiOne? Subtle but appreciable improvement over the Raspberry Pi USB out when paired with the Chord 2Qute (using Ropiee image.) Or simply put Raspberry Pi 3 in a Flirc case, job done. Some here prefer the Cubox-i4 over RPi, so that’s worth checking out too.
Martin, thanks for your suggestion. I had already started looking into the Allo DigiOne as it would seem to be a replacement for my Halide Bridge which is a USB to S/PDIF cable that I’m currently using. As far as the higher end options like the Auralic Aries, are these devices really for those who also want to stream Tidal and other sources? I may look to get a Tidal subscription, so if that’s the case, maybe I should be considering one of those options in addition to the DigiOne?
Have you looked at the Allo USBridge? I’m about to try one for a similar application.
I haven’t yet. How is it different from the DigiOne?
Can the Allo products work if my Core is Mac OSX? I was under the impression that you have to be running DietPI? Am I wrong about that?
You can stream Tidal just fine using the DigiOne Player as a Roon endpoint and using Roon’s Tidal integration, so no need for an Aries just for that.
Roon Core may be Windows, MacOS or Linux, it doesn’t matter. An RPi with an Allo DigiOne “hat” installed uses Roon Bridge software to create an endpoint. That is, It is the transport that delivers a digital signal to your DAC. I’d recommend Ropieee as it’s straightforward to setup and all configuration is done via a web browser. The hardest thing with the DigiOne is removing the protective paper from the perspective case.
Although I’m not easily convinced by hi-fi journalists’ claims and recommendations, you may find the following article helpful as it draws parallels with the Aries. https://darko.audio/2017/08/allos-digione-pulls-five-star-sound-quality-from-the-raspberry-pi/
I don’t have experience of the Chromecast, but I’d be surprised if it is a credible alternative.
It’s USB digital out instead of SPDIF out. I think choosing between the two Allo products just depends on which inputs your DAC has and how the quality of those inputs compares. There’s a nice thread discussing the device: Allo USBridge board
My Roon core is on Mac OS and my endpoints include two Rasberry PIs with Hifiberry HATs (as well as a second Mac OS endpoint). Both the RPis are running DietPi and it works very well. I’ll be running DietPi on the Allo USBridge as well. I had no experience with Linux when I started playing with the Pi’s and DietPi. It wasn’t too hard to get everything up and running and the Roon Community was a great help.
Ropieee turns the RPi + hat of choice into a Roon “appliance”; no experience of Linux is needed. I’d recommend this for the OP.
@Martin_Webster Because I’m totally new to this, just confirming that what I need to get is a RPi + DigiOne and then install DietPI on the RPi?
Hi Lance - I understand that the Allo products are plug and play now. You may be able to use them with no hardware DIY and no software install. When I return home from my travels in a few days I’ll share my experience with hooking up the Allo USBridge and let you know if it was in fact plug and play for me.
You’ll need the DigiOne bundle (https://www.allo.com/sparky-eu/digione-player.html) plus the 75 ohm coax (https://www.allo.com/sparky-eu/bnc-to-bnc-cable.html.) You’ll also need the Ropieee image from http://www.ropieee.org and software to install this on the SD card that comes with the DigiOne. I use Etcher: https://etcher.io. There’s a video to put everything together; it’ll take around 30 minutes from start to finish. You’ll need a small cross-head screwdriver and pliers for assembly. Tip: remove the nut from the DigiOne BNC connector and insert the SD card before assembly.
However, before you commit to any purchases, let’s be sure you’ve got everything else needed for the complete Roon experience. I assume from your earlier post that you have your Roon Core up and running on a Mac Mini and this is connected to a wired network. You’ll also use ethernet to connect to the RPi/ DigiOne. Is this correct? If so, you should be ready to go.
Roon Core --> ethernet --> DigiOne (Rpi/ Ropieee) --> SPDIF coax --> Canto DAC 3
Hi Lance - I just set up my All USBridge and moved my MacBook out of our main listening room. The USBridge came preloaded with DietPi and it was totally plug and play. Here’s exactly what I did: I connected my Ethernet cable and USB dac to the USBridge, then connected the DC power supply and plugged it in. After a couple minutes my USB dac showed up in Roon audio settings menu (I was looking at Roon on the MacBook). I was able to engage the dac and start playing music. The sound wasn’t quite right until I set the volume control mode to fixed volume in the device settings in Roon. Then it sounded excellent!
I understand that the SPDIF input on your dac is the better input. I only offer my experience so you can gauge the potential for “plug and play” for Allo devices that are advertised as such. Good luck with whatever you choose.
To reinforce what @topper said, USBridge with the latest DietPi is really easy to set up. I have one driving a SU-1 USB>I2S converter for my Holo Spring DAC, sounds as good as some much more expensive solutions. If I was still using a Bel Canto DAC, I’d go instead for Allo’s DigiOne Player with the same software, as the Bel Canto DACs favor S/PDIF over USB. Very happy with my Allo purchases so far, they are very responsive to questions on this forum.
This is great information! I’m going to get the AlloDigiOne pre-loaded with DietPi to replace my Halide Bridge S/PDIF. Then I too can finally get my MacMini out ofy listening room. I only wish I could figure out how to continue to use my TV as a monitor for the Mini in this new scenario.
Just run an HDMI cable from the mini to your TV and set the input on the TV appropriately. You might have to adjust the overscan/underscan on the mini to suit.
I’ve been doing this for years, and it works fine. However, over time, I’ve found that I use the TV less and less for this purpose. I moved from Roon to Roon Server on the mini, and if/when I need to interact directly with the mini, I use MacOS Screen Sharing from an iMac or, in a pinch, Splashtop on my iPad.
I’m new around (few months) and I was searching the forum trying to figure out what do I need in order to connect a non-network DAC to my ROON server, when I saw that you have the same configuration I’m trying to setup (Holo Spring DAC).
My setup is a window 2016 machine (i7, 32GB) running ROON server (and another media server for videos and pictures). The same machine also keeps my media files. I’m using a BlueSound Node 2 connected via network and everything works just fine, but I’m not really happy with the sound (the Node 2 sound is too digital for my ears) and I want to upgrade to a Holo Spring Level3 so I’m trying to do my homework before buying the DAC.
If it’s not too much trouble, can you please detail a little bit your configuration?
I do not understand for example why you use (or need) the SU-1 USB>I2S converter, my (uneducated) guess is that you prefer I2S connection instead of USB. If that’s the case is there any advantage (sound quality wise)? Looks like the Holo Spring 3 has the same specifications for both USB and I2S inputs.