Audio and Video Talk > Digital

Roon Endpoint Pro's and Cons

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Hey guys. So ive been using roon for a few years and don't see myself leaving it any time soon.

For the longest time i have run and Intel NUC with a USB to coax adaptor to a benchmark DAC and it was fantastic. The benchmark has been the longest standing piece of kit in my system.

This weekend I hooked up an Exogal DAC and that device is going nowhere, it has native support for USB so i can go direct without the converter.

My question is as follows.

If i use a raspberry pi with a linear PSU connecting to the DAC via USB vs The NUC with its standard Switch mode supply will there be an audible difference?

I am a tech geek and will prob test it for myself but I'm looking for a shortcut. My brain tells me there should be no audible difference to the sound using USB from the pi to the NUC the only possible audbile difference would be noise from a switchmode supply vs the linear supply.

Any thoughts on this gents?

Mods please move this to the PC section if this isn't the right place for it.

I think you need pi4 as earlier models had issues with sound quality via USB out.

Pi 4 is supposed to have superior USB implementatiin for audio.

Roon themselves recommend not using core as input into dac.

I use a pi 4 with an ifi defender and must say the defender made a big difference (well audible) to noise floor although I don't have a linear PSU so if you had one maybe you don't need defender

Some NUC have a header for panel mounted USB, as with some motherboards USB outputs can suffer from noise between front/rear that is not just power quality.

This may not be only possible contributor, the cable, the USB chipset and whether digital isolators are not used are other factors.

From an isolation point of view the Pi 2 USB is actually better than a Pi 4 USB implementation, but still I won't classify either as "audiophile" quality.

I2S output and adding reclocker and isolation should be focus if DAC supports i2s.

In a pinch feature wise a Pi 4 running RopieeeXL should give all that is needed. Although power supply quality could make a difference I won't worry too much about it.

Isolation is what you are after as it breaks the poor 5V quality chain. This could be means of digital isolators or by transformer coupling or breaking electrical chain with optical connection.

After checking again, it seems like the USB problems are specifically with the Pi 3.


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