Taking a slice of the Pi

My turn to take a stab at this RPi thing. Intent is to see if I can improve the streamer end of my main system where I have been using a Bluesound Node for a few years now. I recently stepped up the DAC side of the formula by inserting a Denafrips Ares 2. The Pi should allow me to stream and feed the Ares vis USB for higher rates than what the Node will allow.

Mikey has recommended the Nirvana Power supply over and over so I went with that! Made sense to me to upgrade the power supply of this link in the chain. I've enjoyed reading all the other threads you guys have provided on your similar efforts and should be able to take advantage of your findings.

In general I've been able to use Bluesound in the main system, but straight up Tidal, Spotify and now Amazon Music in my office where my main computer is. In other systems throughout the house I use Google Chromecast via the Chromecsat Audio dongle. My ripped CD Flac files are on a hard drive connected to the network at my router and bluesound finds them easily.

The main lounge only has WiFi connectivity which seems to be working fine. I did just purchase an Apple Airport Express, so if that should be used in the lounge for some reason instead of WiFi.

The last question will be what software I should use. I am leaning towards Roon since I will still have the Node and can use it also as a Roon endpoint where ever I move it to.

Should be fun! Redirect me as you all see fit. I'll need it I'm sure.
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MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
The last question will be what software I should use. I am leaning towards Roon since I will still have the Node and can use it also as a Roon endpoint where ever I move it to.

You can give that a go with the trial version of Roon, and if so, flash the SD card for the RPi with either RoPieee for an actual Roon Bridge, or you can enable Squeeze support in the Roon Core Server allowing you to use Squeezelite on the RPi.

Anything from Moode, to Volumio, or piCorePlayer has a Squeezelite Renderer mode.
 
What should I do first, get up and going with Roon on my core and system, or build the Pi with RoPieeeXL?

Does anyone know if I can set up a small monitor connected to the RPi via the HDMI to illustrate what is playing through Roon at this endpoint?
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
You can give that a go with the trial version of Roon, and if so, flash the SD card for the RPi with either RoPieee for an actual Roon Bridge, or you can enable Squeeze support in the Roon Core Server allowing you to use Squeezelite on the RPi.

Anything from Moode, to Volumio, or piCorePlayer has a Squeezelite Renderer mode.
I'm gonna throw my support behind Moode as well. Has made managing my little Pi fleet (flock? herd? gaggle?) much easier. I've not tried Roon Core Server - I'm still using Logitech Media Server on a Windows Server 2016 Essentials machine for my library (and everything else).
 
The last question will be what software I should use. I am leaning towards Roon since I will still have the Node and can use it also as a Roon endpoint where ever I move it to.
Roon will also cast to your Chromecast Audio devices--I have five in my system at the moment, two Nest Hubs and three Nest Mini speakers, and can cast music to any of them...or any combinations of them as groups. (I use my Kitchen Group daily to cast to a handful as I prepare dinner.) My Riva Arena wireless speakers are also Chromecast capable. My DAC has a Bridge built in that is Roon-capable, but I also use an Intel NUC running RAAT (Roon's audio transport) so I can feed the DAC with USB if I want to.
 
Roon will also cast to your Chromecast Audio devices--I have five in my system at the moment, two Nest Hubs and three Nest Mini speakers, and can cast music to any of them...or any combinations of them as groups. (I use my Kitchen Group daily to cast to a handful as I prepare dinner.) My Riva Arena wireless speakers are also Chromecast capable. My DAC has a Bridge built in that is Roon-capable, but I also use an Intel NUC running RAAT (Roon's audio transport) so I can feed the DAC with USB if I want to.

Yes, I'm realizing pretty much all my existing streamer DACs are Roon capable so it makes sense to go that route. Anything I add from this point on could then be also easily enough. I am big on the separation of DAC from streamer and if this Pi solution works out well....money then goes to the DAC side of things. I even have another USB DAC sitting here unused (Musical Fidelity VDAC) that another Pi could be built for.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
What should I do first, get up and going with Roon on my core and system, or build the Pi with RoPieeeXL?
Yes get the Roon Core server side setup first, then turn your attention to the RPi streamer.

RoPieeeXL is great software, but you might just find the Squeezelite Renderer in Moode actually sounds better.

Does anyone know if I can set up a small monitor connected to the RPi via the HDMI to illustrate what is playing through Roon at this endpoint?
I think you can do that with RoPieeeXL, and you definitely cannot with Moode which is designed to run entirely headless, the only display is on the Control Point app.
 
My current music streaming services are Tidal, Spotify and Amazon Music HD. Room won't help me there and those are 99% of my listening. Will Moode allow me to use all of those?
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
My current music streaming services are Tidal, Spotify and Amazon Music HD. Room won't help me there and those are 99% of my listening. Will Moode allow me to use all of those?
I'm not a Roon user so someone else that is should chime in here, however I don't really understand your question either. Roon definitely has full Tidal integration, so it certainly does help you there as you can leverage Roon's multiroom capability that way and stream Tidal to an endpoint, which you can't do with just Tidal alone.

Almost nothing has Amazon Music HD integration, as discussed in the Amazon Music HD thread, with the exception of BluOS. Amazon wants you speaking to Alexa to access your music. No free software will ever offer Amazon HD, not Moode or RoPieee or any other, because Amazon charges a hefty licensing fee. Bluesound has chosen to pay it and then bake that into the cost of their products.

Moode does have a Spotify Renderer, but it only works with Spotify Premium, not the free version, and I'm not a Spotify user so can't comment on exactly how that all works. I believe it's just controlled through the iOS/Android app and Spotify Connect.

I've never understood why so many people like Spotify given it is compressed MP3 sound. That's especially true ever since Qobuz launched in the U.S. as it's the same price as Spotify Premium but it is not compressed at all, quite the opposite, they now offer hi-rez and CD quality only. Why pay for MP3 when you can have far better quality for the same price?

So to sum it up, if you require Tidal, Spotify, and Amazon Music HD, I think you have one choice only, it's Bluesound and the requisite price tag for that integration. In that setup, you lose USB output, and DSD, for example. For some people that's OK, for others it's a deal killer.

If I were you looking to stream via Raspberry Pi and USB, I'd drop the Spotify requirement entirely and replace it with Qobuz. Roon is fully integrated with both Tidal and Qobuz. I don't know what to tell you about Amazon HD except I dropped it because they don't offer any kind of native multiroom hi-rez streaming, except through their partnership with Bluesound, which could end tomorrow if the term of the license were ending and they were unable to reach a new agreement. In other words, no one at Bluesound ever promised that Amazon HD would be offered in perpetuity.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
It does things no Pi can and no power supply or any combinations of power supplies on any Pi can. No brained for the money.
I don't know what this means, the Compute Module 3+ is a Raspberry Pi.

What things does it do that other RPi versions can't, and what power supplies are you using that can't also be used with other versions of Raspberry Pi? The USBridge and Katana DAC both run on 5 volts, right?
 
I use Spotify because that is were I started, have an extensive set of saved songs, albums etc. Plus now the family is on board so I cant just get rid of it. It is Premium.

At the end of the day I guess it's okay I only get Tidal in my main lounge, as long as I am getting the SQ I want. The Tidal interface on Blueos is only okay at best.

I Think MoOde makes sense for now.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I use Spotify because that is were I started, have an extensive set of saved songs, albums etc. Plus now the family is on board so I cant just get rid of it. It is Premium.

At the end of the day I guess it's okay I only get Tidal in my main lounge, as long as I am getting the SQ I want. The Tidal interface on Blueos is only okay at best.

I Think MoOde makes sense for now.
And it's easy enough to compare Moode to RoPieee if you want to, just get another microSD card and have an instance of both available to swap in and out of the RPi at your leisure.

Beyond Moode in general seeming to have the edge in sound quality over other distros according to many, there are also some Roon users that swear Roon sounds better in Squeeze mode than it does in Roon Bridge mode, and many of them are not even Moode users, they use various other Squeezelite implementations.
 
Put everything together and installed Roon. It found the Pi with RoPieeeXL on it just fine. The Pi is connect via USB to my Denafrips Ares II DAC. I have not connected tat to a system yet because I did all of this near my router to get a hard wire connection.

So a couple things.
Roon does not show Denafrips in their list of known devices when I click on "identify this device". IS that a problem?
The Ares II specs are of course 24Bit/1536KHz, native DSD1024 .

In device setup, things are set as Native for DSD Playback Strategy and Renderer only for MQA Capabilities.
 
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Roon does not show Denafrips in their list of known devices when I click on "identify this device". IS that a problem?
Roon detects the renderer, not the DAC. Unless the renderer is built into the DAC, like mine (which has a Bridge that acts as a Roon endpoint AKA renderer). Roon should be able to detect the Pi with whatever Roon-capable OS is loaded on it (RAAT is the Roon endpoint, and it should be able to detect what the Pi and connected DAC are capable of). For instance, my Win10 desktop and Intel NEC both run RAAT, and they are able to tell via USB what the DAC is capable of. (So the desktop only can handle 24/96, but the DAC is up to 2X DSD.)

When setting up a device in Roon, then, I can choose which "device" on the computer to send the audio out to. On my desktop, I run both a USB and an optical S/PDIF connection to it, and have two separate Roon paths to send the audio to.
 

Don Ivey

Junior Member
Question: I'm running MoOde with a Hifiberry sound card, outputting via Optical connection to a PS Audio DAC. I'd like to use the USB out as another option, and don't know whether or not I have to remove the Hifiberry sound card first, or whether I can just remove optical cable, plug in USB, and adjust Config/Audio to suit the USB connection. Possible?
 

airdronian

Radar Member
Question: I'm running MoOde with a Hifiberry sound card, outputting via Optical connection to a PS Audio DAC. I'd like to use the USB out as another option, and don't know whether or not I have to remove the Hifiberry sound card first, or whether I can just remove optical cable, plug in USB, and adjust Config/Audio to suit the USB connection. Possible?
Yup, you can leave the Hifiberry in, and set the output to USB. I believe that's in MPD settings. I have a Pi with a Digi+ Pro doing just that.
 
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