Those who are interested in MQA would be more likely to have a separate outboard DAC anyway. But you’re right, there is definitely a market niche available. But I suspect that MQA licensing fees may be what’s keeping this niche empty.
If you can buy a DAC for less than $200 that can do MQA, licensing doesn’t sound like it’d be that prohibitive to be able to create a sub $500 product, no?
I also have a Squeezebox Touch. I’ve replaced it with the DIY Raspi Touch per the link earlier in this thread. I added the HiFiBerry DAC 2 HD HAT so I have a one-box (one display) system like the Squeezebox Touch and also a remote for basic volume and track changes. I’m very happy with the sound quality. I do miss the fully integrated controls for accessing Tidal and Pandora but I can Airplay those through the Pi.
If you want to have a user experience almost identical to the Squeezebox Touch then you can use PiCorePlayer as the OS instead of Ropieee. Roon will treat it as a Squeezebox endpoint and you can customize the menu to mimic the Touch. That configuration isn’t the best for me because you can’t have multiple Squeezebox servers running alongside Roon’s Squeezebox Server emulation.
I may be misunderstanding your point. But the piCorePlayer can be set to be a squeezebox PLAYER only and not have LMS (server) installed. In fact, that’s the default setup of piCorePlayer. So you could setup the rPi as a player with piCorePlayer and not run afoul of the problem of having LMS running at the same time as Roon, while using squeezebox players on Roon.
So you’re not looking for and endpoint, but a streaming DAC ?
Why not keep the touch and add a Schiit DAC or similar to it. Also if you power the Touch with an Uptone LPS 1.2, you will get significantly better sound.
Touch can do MQA digital out.
If you still like to replace and want a screen, I suggest an iOS device + CCK + DAC.
Have you tried iPeng ?
Are you a Roon user ?
If so, the Roon remote AppleTV app is quite good.
My Touch is currently functional. I’m only concerned that it might die someday and would like to upgrade it.
I am a Roon user and I’m only looking for an endpoint. I like that the Touch has a display so I can just look at it and see what’s playing without having to fiddle with my phone or laptop etc. I also like that I can change it to display a VU meter or the equalizer display because I like the pretty lights.
Well, totally get it. I loved my Squeezeboxen. It’s a bit DIY, but
- Rpi4 kit
- Flirc case
- MicroSD card (pick your own 8-16GB, or use any that you have lying around)
- USB A <> USB B cable (assume you have one lying about, else cheap)
- SMSL M500
Would run you $500 with no display. Or pick up a dragonfly cobalt, or get a used M500 on eBay. If you instead go for the integrated case one that @Fernando_Pereira outlined above instead of the flirc case, it’ll run you a couple hundred more, which will give you a built-in Roon display, albeit no fancy SPL meters.
Those are the DIY options. I got nothing for you on the Squeezebox, except buy a couple more if you love 'em on eBay (I do that for some pieces of tech I love). But I honestly think if you’re using that internal DAC, you can do a lot better - things have come a long long way. Or buy a Lumin. That’ll set you back. But I think thems are your choices.
Is there a solution besides the Pi? My Touch is failing and I want to replace it before it fails completely but would rather not DIY. No interest in MQA but as the gear is in a closet, the one feature it needs to have is the ability for Roon to control the volume. Built in DAC or not. No particular budget but as it drives the ceiling speakers in the house sound quality isn’t all that important.
The only other option I can find is the Cambridge Audio CXN V2 but at ~$1000, it’s considerably more than I’d like to spend.
There are quit a few these days offered second-hand.
Grab 1 (or 2) whilst you can.
I am using 1 in our living room, where is mainly used for internet radio and (grant)childrens songs.
Quality is fine, and in line with speakers (and their positioning).
I have a 2nd one, that I am probably going to use in my bedroom, as Roon now offers sleeping/wake-up functionality.
Another big advantage of the Squeezebox Touch for me, is that it is not using RAAT, so it copes well with low wifi signal strength.
Currently investigating Netgear Orbi Wifi 6 solution to solve that.
Anyway, my SQBT’s are not leaving for the foreseeable future.
Thanks for the suggestion but I’d rather use something that’s current and supported by the manufacturer. And all of my devices are hard wired so wifi strength isn’t an issue. Although you said you were looking into the Orbi system. I have one with two satellites and it pretty much blankets the whole house with strong wifi.
Some of the Pi-based solutions we discussed have pre-assembled versions like these but you will still need to fiddle with the software. I can’t think of anything fully supported with a screen in your price range, and I follow this space pretty closely.
You would be very happy with one of the Sonore endpoints. (Rendu’s).
It won’t die
If you have an appleTV, you should really try the Roon Remote TV app. It’s very nice. (Any screen with HMDI will do).
For endpoint there’s so many options. Also well below $500.
Thanks for the suggestion but as stated in my previous post, I need Roon to be able to control the volume which it can’t do with the ‘Rendus.
Rather than using an inbuilt screen, you could go with one of the many RPi combinations as a ‘headless’ endpoint.
- RPi + external USB DAC running Ropieee (only RPi option for MQA)
- RPi + DAC Hat if you want it all in one box, running Ropieee or Ropieee XL (+ optionally a RPi screen if you want an in-built display)
- RPi with a HiFiBerry Hat running HiFiBerryOS (only works with their hats, but has more features than Ropiee)
Then hide the RPi ‘endpoint’ out of sight and use a cheap/used Amazon Fire tablet on a ‘Show Mode stand’ running the Roon Android app as the screen/controller. Which will also be more full featured and flexible in terms of placement than the inbuilt RPi screen options.
None of the DIY RPi options require much more expertise than the ability to follow some instructions / use a screwdriver and once built they should simply function like a commercial device or appliance ie. when you turn on/off the power they come straight back up as an endpoint waiting receive music.
Not wanting to get into a MQA discussion (plenty of those already) but do question if you really need/want MQA as that will substantially increase costs.
If you want an external remote / volume dial take a look at this project (RooDial) within the tinkering section here.
In short, it may make sense to split out the endpoint from the screen and volume controller and place the later two where they are most accessible to you.
Check out the PecanPi line. All in one solution with LPS. Plug and play, no DIY. Just $50 over your budget without a screen. A tad more with screen. I had a squeezebox ecosystem for 10+ years. Love my PecanPi, no affiliation just a happy customer.
All of that said Raspberry pi is like Legos. Pretty easy to be up and running for less than $150 while you find your ultimate solution.
Wow $849 is pretty steep for a DIY box.
Yeah but this means I’ll have to turn on my TV to listen to music. Not ideal.
Not at all. Only visually if you like. (As you requested).
The latest update also allow you to browse library etc.
You can control both (your choice) from TV or an the app on your phone or iPad.
Actually I’m able to use my appleTV remote control to stop and start playing without having TV on. As I placed the app up in top left corner in the menu.