Would be SOtM sMS 200 Neo an upgrade over RPi4/Ropieee.?

It might sound as a silly question but please answer if have both or had a chance to compare?
I’m suspecting the regular SOtM sMS 200 Neo and not Ultra version is still better than RPi4 running Ropieee. Let’s say both with iFi power supply. :slightly_smiling_face:

Old post I know…

Well I think this would depend on how good your DAC USB implementation is.
I suspect with many modern dacs the “difference” would be very small.

But I have wondered this myself.

I had a chance to compare the original sMS-200 and a Raspberry Pi 3B. At the time, I was using an iFi Audio micro iDAC2 ($379) with an iFi micro iUSB3.0 ($399) power/signal regeneratior. The difference was small, but I generally had a slight preference for the sound of the SOtM. Just not enough to buy one at the time.

But, it is a beautifully packed component that seems to have been thoughtfully designed. I’d still recommend it to folks looking for a step up from DIY options.

I’m using pi3/pi4s and the SOtM as roon endpoints on USB DACs and my meaning is:

If you’re using a solid power supply (the original power supply from SOtM is very bad --> producing dissortions; I’m using a Keces P8)then I can’t here any differences between a pi4 with Ropieee and the sms-200 Neo. Pi3 sounds not so good using USB.

1 Like

That’s a helpful comparison. I’ve not had a chance to compare RPi4 and the sMS-200 or microRendu. Thanks for sharing your observations

What gear do you have it connected to?
Amps and speakers?

Why you’ve not asked about the used DAC, my age, the accustic, Roon settings, …?

For testing I’m using primarly headphones (Stax 009, Sennheiser HD800, Hifiman HE 1000 V2, Audeze LC-XC, Audeze LC-2, Campfire Audio Solaris 2020,…) on a Luminare from AudioValve with the internal DAC or Primare PRE35 Prisma, Audio Agile Step DAC, Topping D70 or using the Pathos Aurium or the RME Adi2…
On the other side, there are amps from Pathos, NAD, Audiolab on speakers from Chario.

Since a week I’m owning also a Lumin U1 Mini and I can’t say, that it sounds better, than the other streamers…

1 Like

Thankyou… well I meant your hardware, which you have well covered. Much appreciated :wink:
I wanted to understand what level of gear you are listening on, its somewhat relevant to observations. As to is hearing, room etc as you pointed out.

I find your observations very interesting, and reassuring. Your comments on the Lumin mini are super interesting, I assume the RPI4 is in the list of compared streamers? .

I currently use a RPI4, connected to a RME ADI 2 DAC FS, Firstwatt F7 amp, and 3 way vintage speakers. The RPI4 via USB sounds great to me. There are many users that say the RPI4 doesn’t sound great via USB but I don’t find that at all.

I tested against a Pioneer n70a (SPDIF to RME), and Cambridge CXN v2 (SPDIF to RME), and found the RPI4 sounded better via USB.

I did buy an ifi power x, which helped things a little.
I am considering some super capacitor filtration to see what that does also.

1 Like

I own both and I cannot say to hear differences … I think it’s big credit to ropieee, rpi4 with other sw like moOde, Volumio … was definitely a bit worst than SoTM.

The problem is, that a lot of people mean, that a more expansive tools, must be better…

I’ll say, that a roon endpoint streamer will primarly gain from the used dac and a bit from the power supply and the firmware/software.
Lumin is producing really nice streamer (also their firmware is rock solid), but IMHO too pricy.

RME is good DAC, but I like the DAC implementation in the Pioneer N70AE a bit more. Problem is only, that here you must have drivers for DSD, because the Pioneer only understands native DSD (no DoP).

I really liked the Pioneer N70a, but I didn’t really use it as a dac.
I utilise the PEQ in the RME DAC so I primarily used the Pioneer n70a as a streamer and Digital IO connection. I was really happy with the Pioneer for many years. Its a great sounding DAC, and streamer. Very analog, digital free sounding. But the control app sucks, big time. It either needs Roon integration or a complete control overhaul, IMO.

In the end I found the Pioneer n70a lacked the leading edge definition and attack I was looking for.
So I made the switch to PC and now to RPI4, via USB to the RME DAC 2 FS.

For me PC based USB sources seem to have better definition, and leading edges for for electronica and Jazz.

But I agree, I believe the RPI4 is a great source, for a DAC with an excellent USB implementation (I.e. good jitter and noise rejection).