Digital Source

Hi dvshannow,

My advice:

If you can, go to your Naim dealer and do some demos wrt (1) and (2), including at home.

WRT (3), decide whether you have time and a liking for detail, or whether you would rather just spend that time on listening to music. I think I now have a really good front end, but it has taken seven months, experimentation and apprx.

Streamer
 600    Sonore microRendu
 200    sBooster PSU
 150    Singxer F1 DDC
 100     IFI iPurifier2
  50    JitterBuster

File Hosting
 500    StarTech USB Extender
  50    Cables (inc 2nd Hand)
 500    USB sticks
 400    Chinese R-Core LPSU
  20    SBooster VBus2
  50     Raspberry Pi 3
200     Network Isolators
£2,820

This does not include pieces of equipment that I bought and sold, generally at a small loss. It has been a fascinating journey but by no means bargain basement!

M

William posted:

Sloop, help me here please I am new to the DAC party. I am trying to piece together the parts of the puzzle from the different forums and learn that 1) I should be using Roon and 2) I don't necessarily need an NDX? Should I trade in my NDX and Mojo for a Hugo 2 fed from a Raspberry Pi running Roon bridge connected to my iMac via Ethernet? Motivation would be that any further funds could then be channeled into better Naim amplification. Or is there a reason to keep NDX? Can I then control volume remotely? How do I connect Apple TV and is there a substitute for the system automation in conjunction with Harmony remote?Sorry for the long question, would appreciate your help as this is a minefield if you don't know what you're getting into...

I'm not quite sure what exactly you are asking.

There is no "should" be using Roon.

Roon gives an outstanding interface (link) to your music collection that is so far ahead of the Naim (and most other offerings) it's not funny. Once you have Roon running on your imac you can have roon bridge running on a Raspberry Pi on the same network connected via USB (or Optical/coaxial if you get an add on) to for example the new Hugo 2.

I use my amplifier to control the volume, you can set up Roon to have a volume slider but I prefer not to do too much manipulation wuth the signal. Similarly the Hugo has a volume control but I tend to go with the consensus here and leave it at the turquoise level.

I presume you can attach the apple TV to another input on the Hugo.

For me it makes more sense to spend money on Naim amplification which is truly their forté and use something like a Raspberry Pi  into the best DAC you can afford. (There are other more bespoke options like the microrendu and SOTM 200 which have their fans as well). And as you can see from Mr Underhill there are a lot of further modifications you can try.

My advice would be to get a raspberry Pi with a HAT (google hifiberry-digi-bundle) which you'll get for under €100. Try this into your mojo using Roon using optical. Compare it to your NDX into the mojo. Make your own mind up if there is any diminution in sound quality. Make you own mind up if the Roon ecosystem is as good as we all say it is. Roon give a 14 day trial and their forum is full of useful information as well as many helpful posters.

Roon will also play to any Sonos, Squeezebox or bluesound products you have in the house. You can get another Pi with a headphone out for the bedroom. You can have music in every room in your house with Roon at not great expense.

I hope this helps.

 

.sjb

DVShannow, thank you for this very interesting thread. FWIW you would be very happy with an NDX and ecstatic if you later added a Hugo 2. I was also amazed by the difference a Hicap DR makes to the amplification. As we are finding out, though, there are more than a few ways to skin this cat and much will depend on how much research and money you want to put into your project before you can sit back and just enjoy the music. Good luck and look forward to hearing how you get on...

There is no "should" be using Roon.

Roon gives an outstanding interface (link) to your music collection that is so far ahead of the Naim (and most other offerings) it's not funny. 
...
For me it makes more sense to spend money on Naim amplification which is truly their forté and use something like a Raspberry Pi  into the best DAC you can afford. (There are other more bespoke options like the microrendu and SOTM 200 which have their fans as well). And as you can see from Mr Underhill there are a lot of further modifications you can try.

For me it was very similar. I first tried the Roon interface on my mac mini. The interface is so much better than any other alternative (audirvana, jriver, iTunes etc etc) that once I tried it I did not look back. 

Luckily I was hinted towards the microrendu and that again was a nice improvement. I did not try the standard PSU, but went straight for the Uptone LPS-1. 

I'm probably done on the streaming front. Next up is a DR treatment of my 300 ;-)

 

Sloop, I've been doing my homework and need some more grinds ;-) In the German branch of a ubiquitous international e-shop beginning with A, I have added the following 4 items to my cart (I'll translate in case your German isn't up to scratch): Raspberry Pi 896-8860 All-in-One Desktop PC 3 Model B Processor. Rydges EU 5V 3A 3000mAh Micro USB Power supply/DC Adapter. Hifiberry digi+ pro. Acrylic case for HiFiBerry DAC+ or Digi+ and Raspberry Pi 3, 2 Model B / B+ - transparent. Am I on the right track here?

Tom-in-Amsterdam posted:
 

I first tried the Roon interface on my mac mini. The interface is so much better than any other alternative (audirvana, jriver, iTunes etc etc) that once I tried it I did not look back. 

Luckily I was hinted towards the microrendu and that again was a nice improvement. I did not try the standard PSU, but went straight for the Uptone LPS-1. 

 

same here, albeit with a few stops along the way. i use Roon/microRendu/LPS-1 into a Chord 2Qute. cables are Chord Shawline USB B-to-A and Shawline RCA-to-DIN (though fancy cables are not really necessary, IMO) along with Blue Jeans Cable ethernet cables (inexpensive, but tested and certified to meet Cat 6 standards). and just for shits and giggles, i got the Cisco 2960 switch ($40, secondhand) about which folks here have been waxing poetic.

sounds pretty damn fine! ...and don't tell anyone, but my digital music consumption is mostly Internet radio. Tidal can be breathtakingly good, depending on the quality of the recording.

William posted:

Sloop, I've been doing my homework and need some more grinds ;-) In the German branch of a ubiquitous international e-shop beginning with A, I have added the following 4 items to my cart (I'll translate in case your German isn't up to scratch): Raspberry Pi 896-8860 All-in-One Desktop PC 3 Model B Processor. Rydges EU 5V 3A 3000mAh Micro USB Power supply/DC Adapter. Hifiberry digi+ pro. Acrylic case for HiFiBerry DAC+ or Digi+ and Raspberry Pi 3, 2 Model B / B+ - transparent. Am I on the right track here?

Head over to the Roon forum

seaech "beginners" to get the beginners guide to Roon on RPi. Have a good read. There is a good synopsis button which should suffice. 

Next search dietpi to get s guide to a lean mean RPi distro. 

When you have assimilated all this you will understand you also need a micro SD card but otherwise your A.de cart looks good to go. 

The metal case is so much nicer and not much more expensive though. 

IMG_4908

The Roon forum is great and very welcoming, you might even come across a few familiar faces there. Nearly everything I know about RPi I got from the 2 threads above. 

 

.sjb

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Thank you Gavin for pointing that out, yes I am already aware of this; however I am a long time frustrated user of iTunes, Naim, Lumin and Kazoo, etc.. I got to use Roon briefly at the Chord Electronics stand in Munich and I suspect that, while they are being a bit naughty with the price, they are offering software which does what you always wanted iTunes & Co. to do. At any rate there's a trial period in which I can make up my mind.

Klout10 posted:

Strange that I don't hear anybody on the forum about the new Uniti's being Roon Compatibel (whatever that means). It has been mentioned during a review on a Dutch website however ... 

Naim have said that it's on their 'to do list' to add it, but won't be enabled until a later date. 

ChrisSU posted:
Klout10 posted:

Strange that I don't hear anybody on the forum about the new Uniti's being Roon Compatibel (whatever that means). It has been mentioned during a review on a Dutch website however ... 

Naim have said that it's on their 'to do list' to add it, but won't be enabled until a later date. 

Moreover, I can imagine that many Naim users would be perfectly happy feeding their Naim DACs and streamers with a simple, high quality Roon endpoint. They may not actually want such an endpoint to come with a built-in DAC, with an amplifier and perhaps with a ripping station. For users who already have a Naim system, these components would potentially be redundant. They would warm up the shelves and potentially have a negative impact on the sound quality of the endpoint itself. In contrast, a sleek device able to run just a Roon server, a Roon endpoint, a UPnP server, a UPnP renderer (or a combination of these) and with outstanding SPDIF, USB and Ethernet outputs would be an interesting proposition for owners of Naim DACs and streamers.    

Have now tried the Raspberry Pi3 with Hifiberry Digi+ via optical into Mojo into Naim integrated amp and it is at least as good as the bare NDX. If anything it's better. And yes Roon is amazing. Has anybody tried this kind of setup into high-end Naim amplification, say 252/300 DR and compared it with NDX+XPS DR?

nbpf posted:

Moreover, I can imagine that many Naim users would be perfectly happy feeding their Naim DACs and streamers with a simple, high quality Roon endpoint. They may not actually want such an endpoint to come with a built-in DAC, with an amplifier and perhaps with a ripping station. For users who already have a Naim system, these components would potentially be redundant. They would warm up the shelves and potentially have a negative impact on the sound quality of the endpoint itself. In contrast, a sleek device able to run just a Roon server, a Roon endpoint, a UPnP server, a UPnP renderer (or a combination of these) and with outstanding SPDIF, USB and Ethernet outputs would be an interesting proposition for owners of Naim DACs and streamers.    

The "problem" for me when I see non-integrated systems like a Roon endpoint and Naim DAC is that you loose the system integration.

When I pick up the Naim controller ... I select the required music (UPnP or Tidal or via Spotify), press play and know it will have the right input selected and the volume can be changed as needed, all from one App.

If I have Roon and a separate endpoint I don't think I can do that.

(And yes I'm lazy ... but its also user friendly for anyone else in the house who uses it)

Eloise posted:
nbpf posted:

Moreover, I can imagine that many Naim users would be perfectly happy feeding their Naim DACs and streamers with a simple, high quality Roon endpoint. They may not actually want such an endpoint to come with a built-in DAC, with an amplifier and perhaps with a ripping station. For users who already have a Naim system, these components would potentially be redundant. They would warm up the shelves and potentially have a negative impact on the sound quality of the endpoint itself. In contrast, a sleek device able to run just a Roon server, a Roon endpoint, a UPnP server, a UPnP renderer (or a combination of these) and with outstanding SPDIF, USB and Ethernet outputs would be an interesting proposition for owners of Naim DACs and streamers.    

The "problem" for me when I see non-integrated systems like a Roon endpoint and Naim DAC is that you loose the system integration.

When I pick up the Naim controller ... I select the required music (UPnP or Tidal or via Spotify), press play and know it will have the right input selected and the volume can be changed as needed, all from one App.

If I have Roon and a separate endpoint I don't think I can do that.

(And yes I'm lazy ... but its also user friendly for anyone else in the house who uses it)

I usually select what to play -- UPnP, Tidal, Qobuz or internet radio -- in the control point and the volume of the SN2 with the Narcom 4. I actually like this solution but I see the advantages of volume control on the control app, of course.

Eloise, it's easy...

Use a Roon Endpoint that responds to IR remote control commands. Get a simple composite video camera, point this at the display of the Roon Endpoint, and take the output to your television.

Then use a Logitech Harmony remote control.  Programme the 'Music' button to
1  Turn on the Television
2  Select the Composite Video input
3  Select the required input on the DAC
4  Select the required input on the Preamp
5  Control navigation by the Roon Endpoint
6  Control volume via the preamp

Now you can control it with the remote and see the selections on the television  Of course of the display of the Roon endpoint is via a computer that'll have to remain on all the time and never be used for anything else!

Simples  


Or you could just use a 272 or Naim streamer and preamp!

William posted:

Have now tried the Raspberry Pi3 with Hifiberry Digi+ via optical into Mojo into Naim integrated amp and it is at least as good as the bare NDX. If anything it's better. And yes Roon is amazing. Has anybody tried this kind of setup into high-end Naim amplification, say 252/300 DR and compared it with NDX+XPS DR?

Very nice, thanks for the report! I plan to try the Hifiberry Digi+ Pro with BNC SPDIF connector into the Naim DAC. With a clean PSU, the Pi3 with the Hifiberry Digi+ Pro on the top might well replace my current four boxes. I am not aware of any systematic comparisons but the Hifiberry Digi+ is used in Bryston's BDP-Pi, if I am not mistaken. Thus, I would expect its sound quality to be more than decent. It would be interesting to compare the electrical SPDIF outputs of  NDX+XPS DR, Core and Hifiberry Digi+ Pro BNC. Time will tell ...

William posted:

Have now tried the Raspberry Pi3 with Hifiberry Digi+ via optical into Mojo into Naim integrated amp and it is at least as good as the bare NDX. If anything it's better. And yes Roon is amazing. Has anybody tried this kind of setup into high-end Naim amplification, say 252/300 DR and compared it with NDX+XPS DR?

It seems I could have answered my own question had I viewed a few members' profiles (something that is apparently impossible on an iPhone). However, to be on the safe side, I have ordered a young pre-loved 252/300 DR and a Fraim. Hoping for Hugo 2 to hit Europe before the kit arrives...

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