The G4’s out of the picture, I’m afraid. To have music in both your rooms (without moving the iMac) you’d need a Roon endpoint in the living room. This is where the network comes in. Ideally, you’d have Ethernet cable running between the two rooms, along with an unmanaged switch or switches in the mix. However, with the right WiFi network, it should be do-able via WiFi. What specific model is your AirPort Base station, and what’s your WiFi signal like in the living room?
What are referred to as “outputs” in the article are essentially what I’m calling “endpoints.” Given your current hardware, I think you want a RoonReady device that has Ethernet and/or WiFi in and USB out (in your case to the Bel Canto DAC). Note that Ethernet in could be by means of a WiFi router (maybe an AirPort Express in your case), a WiFi access point with an RJ45 jack, or a mesh router.
There are a lot of these kinds of endpoints available, ranging from quite inexpensive (e.g., Raspberry Pi, Cubox-i) to mid-priced (e.g., the Sonore Sonicorbiter SE) to relatively expensive (e.g., the Sonore microRendu and ultraRendu). (The cheapest endpoints tend to involve more DIY effort to set up.)
David, I will read the article and hope to understand this better. Meanwhile…
“What specific model is your AirPort Base station…” I don’t know. It’s one of those big cubes. (My grasp of the technical terminology is not too impressive is it?) It is not marked with a model number of any kind.
“and what’s your WiFi signal like in the living room?” Good enough that when I stream Tidal through my iPad in that room I rarely if ever get any dropouts and the sound quality (through the Bel Canto) is quite good.
If I understand you right (big if) the Room Core would be on my iMac. So if I had the Source, I would have the right equipment for a Room Endpoint in the other room. But the true arrival date of the Source is known only to LH Labs.
I guess I could buy an Airport Express to use until the Source arrives. Assuming I could figure out how to hook everything up to make it work. Running an ethernet wire from the room with the iMac to the room with the stereo won’t work.
Someone at MQA offered his individual opinion that I could try something called EoP to solve the wireless issue? But I know nothing about EoP…
It seems like the network situation is okay, at least for purposes of getting started. I wanted to clarify that the Airport Express or other WiFi access point would be in addition to your network endpoint. Oversimplifying, what the access point is doing is giving you a place to plug an Ethernet cable into your WiFi network in the living room. This provides a means of connecting a network endpoint that either doesn’t have built-in WiFi or else has WiFi that might not be ideal for high-quality music streaming.
There are endpoints that have good-quality WiFi (e.g., my exaSound PlayPoint), but they tend to be on the pricey side, and I have the impression that you’re not currently prepared to spend a lot of money on this kind of hardware.
Also, I’m a little loathe to push the AirPort Express very hard, since Apple has exited the network hardware business and all the AirPort gear is discontinued (though you can still pick up refurbished stuff). OTOH, you could pick up a used AE for next to nothing, and that would be easy to hook up in conjunction with your existing AirPort Base station.
So while you’re waiting for your Source, the best recommendations for a reasonably priced endpoint I can come up with are the Sonore Sonicorbiter SE and, if your Bel Canto DAC has a decent coax S/PDIF input, this Allo DigiOne bundle. There are less expensive endpoints, but there’s “some assembly required.”
EoP is Ethernet over your power lines. The adapters are inexpensive, and some people have good luck with it, but I have seen a number of folks posting on this forum who’ve had Roon playback issues related to EoP. It seems as though the Roon guys generally try to steer people away from EoP.
David and Tony thanks for the advice. I’m afraid I am running into the limits of my own understanding of the technical issues involved.
“I wanted to clarify that the Airport Express or other WiFi access point would be in addition to your network endpoint. Oversimplifying, what the access point is doing is giving you a place to plug an Ethernet cable into your WiFi network in the living room.”
Apologies if this is an utterly ignorant question but, I don’t see any way I can use an ethernet cable in my living room. It is not practical to run cable from the room with the iMac (where the ethernet connection is) to the living room. Are you talking about doing something else that I am just not understanding? In the living room the ethernet cable would connect from what to what?
But Tony’s point about the iPad also gives me pause. My iPad is a version 10.3.2. I assume that is the software. The machine was bought about three years ago. That would seem to meet the criteria on the list Tony offered. But I’m not certain and it does make me wonder if I should just wait to do this until my Source either comes through (or falls through entirely, in which case I will purchase something else).
You’d just plug in the WiFi access point to a convenient electrical outlet in your living room.Then you run a short ethernet cable to the ethernet input on your network endpoint. There’s no ethernet cable from the room with the iMac to the living room. Technically — stay with me now — the access point acts as a “bridge,” so there’s a WiFi-to-WiFi link between your AirPort base station and the access point.
Identifying the iPad — If you look at the back of the iPad, there should be a model number. Mine is in microscopic type, but I managed to read it. Once you have the model no., you can Google “ipad model XXXX” and you’ll quickly learn the “common” name for your iPad, which should relate to what’s in the Roon hardware requirements. 10.3.2 is the current version of iOS, so that’s a positive sign.
In for a dime, in for a dollar. I might as well admit I’m still not completely certain I understand. (And the problem is the student not the teacher!)
So I need a WiFi “endpoint” and you have suggested:
“…the Sonore Sonicorbiter SE and, if your Bel Canto DAC has a decent coax S/PDIF input, this Allo DigiOne bundle.”
Then I also need a WiFi “access point,” which you are suggesting could be an Airport Express? Or something else? Then a short ethernet cable would run between those two?
Under that setup, I could choose Hi-Rez files on my iMac to play wirelessly on the living room system? And I could play Tidal through the desktop application on my iMac (thus allowing TIdal’s Master MQA files) wirelessly in the living room system also?
Yes. Those are just a couple of examples I thought would be easy for you to set up and would be fairly inexpensive.
Yes, you could get a used or refurbed Airport Express. There are a bunch of other, more current alternatives (from Netgear, Linksys, etc.), but the AE would have the advantage of being cheap and easy to configure to talk to your AirPort base station.
Yes. I looked at the specs for your DAC, and it looks like its S/PDIF input might be better than its USB input, so if that’s true, that actually makes the less expensive DigiOne Player a better choice (IMO).
There has to be some bad news, right? Under this setup, you won’t be able to send decoded MQA to the Bel Canto unless and until Roon does MQA decoding. (I think that’s coming before too long, but there’s been no official word.)
you’re welcome. I think your iPad might be OK as Roon seems to support the iPad Air onwards, which is the model after mine. Easy way to find out is to download the Roon Remote from the app store and try to install it. Mine gave an error message I recall which is how I found out. Yours should just install but of course will have no Roon Core to find if you fire it up.
Mine also is on the latest IOS version but not compatible hardware wise (no 64 bit or no Open GL3 graphics). Rather annoying as it is otherwise not showing its age (battery life still great and runs all the apps but one that I need).
If you’re feeling adventurous (probably not for you, Geoff), you could try installing @Mike_Plugge’s cool extension:
I was able to get it running this weekend on my old 3rd-gen iPad (now in occasional use by my better half). Not only does it work, but having surmounted the installation challenges, I’m feeling more technically astute than I usually do.
Thanks again to everyone for all the help! I’ll have to think about whether I want to use the Room trial period now, when it would require that I buy some extra equipment, or wait until I have the Geek Source that should completely change my living room setup.
Thanks for all the time David and others took to help me understand these issues better.
Anders I understand your response. But it is not as if I cannot listen to music now, while I am still waiting for the Source. My system sounds pretty good as it is. It would be better and more enjoyable with a better music server.
The thing is I’ve paid for it. So my choice is to spend additional money to buy another music server. At this point I’m not ready to do that.
many thanks. I had considered this option but got lost somewhere along the way trying to find out about Extensions. Generally, anything that mentions GitHub gets very complicated very quickly IMHO! Is there an beginners/idiots guide anywhere to Extensions?
Speaking as an idiot, it would be great if there were, but I haven’t seen one. Mike’s instructions are good (because I was able to follow them):
(Just scroll down to where it says “Install:”)
I think I found I had to install Xcode, homebrew, and git before moving along to installing the extension. (This is all under MacOS.) Xcode is a regular install from the Mac App Store; everything else requires a trip to terminal land, but you can pretty easily find instructions for the prerequisite installs via Google.
With all my new-found expertise , it’s occurred to me that it might be smarter to install @Jan_Koudijs’s Roon Extension manager as one’s first extension. I intend to give that a go this weekend, time permitting.