Help a Newb build a "Roon Ready/RAAT" streamer and DAC

sunvalleylaw

Member
2018-11-28 5:11 pm
Help a Newb build a "Roon Ready/RAAT" Network Player/streamer and DAC

Hi, I am a newb to building really anything electronic. I have rewired a guitar and put new pickups and a switch in. But, that is about it. So I hope this question is not dumb. I am moving away from SONOS and want to build a network player/streamer out of a Raspberry Pi of some variant, with a HAT to separate the sound output, that has USB out for at least one unit. I may need some other units that have digital out, but I seem to find more information readily available about those. Separate power supplies could be cool. Don't think I will go as far as batteries like Allo does. I want to run Ropiee and have it be RAAT compliant and "Roon Ready" so I can combine all my devices throughout the house via Roon. Ultimately, I will be running around 5 or 6 of these. I am using a Mac Mini with a swapped in SSD as my Roon Core. (currently just on the free trial).

I do want hi-rez and to be able to finish "unfolding" MQA in a DAC. I have a Meridian Explorer 2 to start (thus the USB) but will probably build some others. I guess that would be a separate thread or something I would find in the DAC section.

Is there a thread or a how to somewhere that will tell a guy who normally is a Mac user and though can figure out networks and setting stuff up doesn't normally pull apart his PC and swap stuff out and build stuff how to do this?? :). Thanks!!
 
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sunvalleylaw

Member
2018-11-28 5:11 pm
A simpler recipe without a hat or separate power supply I found included: Raspberry Pi 4, CanaKit USB-C Power Supply, FLIRC case, and SanDisc Ultra 16GB Micro SDHC. In order to add a HAT, I presume I need to order a different hat type board and a different case. and another power supply. Preferably a clean one. Maybe I am going too far with that.

So basically, it is like I am wanting to build an Allo DigiOne Signature with clean supply, but with USB out instead of SPDIF.

Or am I thinking about this all wrong? As I said, my goal is a high-rez streamer with USB out that can be "Roon Ready" and feed a DAC that can unfold MQA fully.
 

ianp

Member
2008-01-08 3:55 am
As a first step, why not try just a Pi 4 with the official power supply ? Install ropiee and have it output the audio via USB to your DAC. I feed a Khadas Tone Board DAC this way and all sounds good to me.

You can then always look at adding a HAT for SPDIF. Elsewhere in the house I use a Digi+ Pro to feed a DAC via coax SPDIF. I power the HAT from the Pi, but adding a separate power supply is something that can be done as a next step.
 

sunvalleylaw

Member
2018-11-28 5:11 pm
As a first step, why not try just a Pi 4 with the official power supply ? Install ropiee and have it output the audio via USB to your DAC. I feed a Khadas Tone Board DAC this way and all sounds good to me.

You can then always look at adding a HAT for SPDIF. Elsewhere in the house I use a Digi+ Pro to feed a DAC via coax SPDIF. I power the HAT from the Pi, but adding a separate power supply is something that can be done as a next step.


Ok. I did not know there was an official power supply. Why not a 3+ rather than a 4? I have been looking at the Allo USBridge or USBridge sig as an example.
 

ianp

Member
2008-01-08 3:55 am
The Pi 3 has a shared USB/ethernet bus, which could be a potential bottleneck if you are using wired networking and a USB interface to the DAC. I am not sure if anyone has shown that this causes an issue in real life, but the redesigned Pi 4 circuit does not have this.

There is an issue with the first/current generation Pi 4 USB-C power connector not recognising all USB-C power supplies, which is why I mention the official PSU which is known to work and is cheap enough.

You could go the Allo route, but it may be cheaper and simpler to try with just a Pi 4 alone as a first step. It may be all that you need. Having said that, if you want to go the whole hog with the Allo setup, then why not.