Which device for bridge roon?


(Fernando Pereira) #21

Personally I favor resistor ladder DACs for greater naturalness, I listen to lots of live acoustic music and I prefer as close an experience to that as possible. That’s why my 3 DACs are Yggdrasil, Onyx, and Soekris dac1541. For delta-sigma DACs, the RME ADI 2 has got a lot of positive feedback for a broad range of reviewers and measurers, but I haven’t listened to it myself.

Ambre is also a Pi-based system, except that it includes a good linear power supply and a separate board (like a HAT) but optically coupled (thus no electrical noise bleed-through) driving digital audio outputs. See this review for a lot more detail. https://www.criticalsound.co.nz/assets/Uploads/Alpha-Audio-Ambre-review2.pdf


(Fernando Pereira) #22
  1. They are made by small specialty companies with small ad budgets.
  2. They measure “worse” in with respect to some of the standard audio measurements; if you want standard measurements that look best, go for delta-sigma DACs.

(justjames) #23

thanks, makes sense. I’m happy with my Onyx and Ambre


(Nick Vas) #24

Nice .thanx again.i am fan of acoustic music too!!!

Well while you have ygg and onyx…and you like natural sound…could you plz tell me the main Differences?and which machine is imaging the best?

You think is there something better than ambre for that value?


(Fernando Pereira) #25

For my speaker system – Auralic Aries Femto>AES>Yggdrasil A2>XLR>Hegel H360>KEF Reference 1s+REL T7is – I prefer the Yggdrasil: precise instrument placement, separation, crisp transients and decays, lots of detail, live-music realism. For my headphone system – Ambre>I2S>Onyx>Apex Peak + Volcano (tube-solid state hybrid)>MrSpeakers Ether C Flow 1.1 I like the somewhat more liquid, resonant Onyx. I used to have a Holo Spring where I have the Onyx now, but the Spring is even more resonant, almost colored. A very good DAC, but the Onyx displaced it.

I don’t know of any streamer better than the Ambre at that price. I’ve never used it as a USB audio output. As S/PDIF or AES, it is as good as anything else I’ve used, including the Auralic Aries Femto (no longer made). As I2S to the Onyx, superb.


(Nick Vas) #26

What you think about sparky with usb vs rpi with singature vs rpi with external reclocker iusb?


(Fernando Pereira) #27

I’ve used the 1) USBridge (Sparky + separately clocked USB board) and a 2) Pi 3 with a Pi 2 Designs 502DAC HAT (S/PDIF coax and AES output, both with linear power supplies (Sbooster or Audiophonics). I’ve used 5 DACs with different sources, including those sources. Impression summary, in order of ascending DAC cost (I still own the boldfaced DACs):

  • Bifrost Multibit gen 5 USB: no discernible difference between 1) and 2)
  • Soekris dac1541: no discernible difference between 1) and 2)
  • Metrum Onyx: 2) better than 1), but I2S from Metrum Ambre better than either
  • Schiit Yggdrasil gen 5 USB, Analog 2: 2) better than 1)
  • Holo Spring KTE 3: 2) better than 1), but best was 1) > Singxer SU-1>I2S

Schiit are alpha-testing a new USB board that could make USB the preferred input for some of their DACs, at least from the impressions that some of the alpha testers have reported. But it’s not clear when that board will be ready.

If I wanted to get a new, low cost digital source today and did not mind doing some hardware and software work, I would again assemble a Pi 3 with a Pi 2 Designs 502DAC and a decent linear power supply, and install piCorePlayer or Ropiee on it.


(Nick Vas) #28

I had pi3—>iusb nano---->dac.Do you think that a sparky usb bridge will be better of simple pi3?for example sparky usb bridge—>iusb nano---->dac


(Fernando Pereira) #29

USBridge is better than simple Pi 3 in my experience. I don’t know if iUSB Nano would change that.


(Nick Vas) #30

Super! does the sparky have problems with usb bridge software?i read some issues that’s why


(Fernando Pereira) #31

Sparky runs an old Linux kernel and it may never be updated, which could be a problem in the long run. There have been some software update issues with the USBridge and Roon Bridge that required manual updates via ssh to the USBridge’s root shell. If you are comfortable with Linux shell commands, these are fairly easy to do. If you want a plug-and-play solution, I’d recommend against the USBridge because of those issues.


(Nick Vas) #32

Thanx mate.you are very kid


(Nick Vas) #33

Well i have another question before i waste my money in modems and erthernet cable.

As i reading, some hifi friends say that the sound changes if you upgrade the dc power of the modem and the ethernet cable. I am wondering if with dac attached Straight to mac it will be better than playing mac-rpi ropieee-usb-dac.also another wa yplaying music with volumio

Maybe i don’t need roon.but some guys says that sounds better.any thoughts?


(bevan court) #34

I’m using an Rpi on WiFi. I’m close to the router, and tried WiFi as the Rpi uses the same bus for the USB and Ethernet. I found it works really well and makes sense difference, more detail than with Ethernet. Not having a noisy fan from the Mac in your listening area will be beneficial. And is only $35 to try out, not a major investment like some other options.


(Fernando Pereira) #35

I can’t advise on that. Some people say the Ethernet hardware matters, but I don’t have any evidence for that claim,.and my knowledge of electrical engineering makes me skeptical of that claim.


(Nick Vas) #36

Why do we use streaming?..i can’t really understand.of course ethernet cable and modem affects to sound. There are so many companies that have already cables for that.

I think the best way to play music is with a standalone device such as rpi and after use an iusb micro for usb to dac and connect also your hard drive.


(Fernando Pereira) #37

Depends on your use case. I have 2 systems at home, both working from the same music collection, so a Roon server and two separate Ethernet streamers works very well for me.