Roon Endpoint (transport only) – Cost No Object – options?

To mirror another thread, what would be the best, cost no object, Roon Endpoint?

I’m referring to a plain Roon End Points, transport only.

Not a storage server, not a file server, not a DAC, only a Roon End Point.

The Roon Endpoint is intended to be used with a DAC (digital inputs : USB, AES and S/PDIF).

I don’t know much about gear, so the only options that come to mind are :

  • dCS Network Bridge.
    But it has a limited digital output, up to 24/192, AES output (no quality USB output)

  • Sonore Signature Rendu Optical SE

  • Lumin U1

Is there anything else available?

This is going to get very silly very quickly. I’ll just continue munching my popcorn.

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Why is that?
The thread is intend to list options. Good options.
We’re not talking ethernet cables, aren’t we ? :smile:

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You can use an nd555 as a transport only into your dac of choice, if that’s what you want. Supports roon etc etc.
What’s your use case?

Simply because of the use of ‘cost no object’ statements.

The only goal of using ‘cost no object’ in the thread subject is to avoid discussions about cheaper options like Raspberry Pi based transports (which can be very good btw)

  • I’d be more interest in options, without included DAC or storage. The idea is to pay for the transport, and only for that. A NDX2 or ND555 price, includes the DAC.

  • The use case would be : an external DAC.

Look at “cost no object roon ready network bridge” on the roon labs community forum.
Summary points to the lumin u1.

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Taiko SGM Extreme (however with storage possibility)
Kalista Audio Dreamplay Stream
Metronome DSS

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The Lumin U1 is a bit more than just a Roon EndPoint. It’s a full streamer with resampling options, Qobuz integration, etc. a bit like the dCS Network Bridge with more options.

Went through the Roon’s community thread. Interesting how people don’t read titles : Raspberry Pi based transports always end showing up :laughing:

The MSB module is dedicated to MSB dacs.

The options would be :

  • dCS Network Bridge
  • Sonore Signature Rendu Optical SE
  • Lumin U1

I think this is not from misreading the title, but (esp on the Roon forum) because many feel that the Pi is among the best end point for DACs that are engineered to have high immunity to USB (or other digits) input noise. Like you say yourself, they can be very good… and lots of the user experience tales (including Naim previous vs current generation) point to the benefit of sorting the DAC rather than the network signal. There does seem to be quite a parallel with the network cables here. I believe @Simon-in-Suffolk refers to this as a “noise shaping” effect, which is naturally less evident on equipment with higher input noise immunity…

Regards alan

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The metronome dss appears to have the best connectivity options. The kalista (owned by metronome) dreamplay has a dac in it which Thomas doesnt want … looks very smart though.

It’s interesting for example the Bryston streamer had a raspberry pi inside, they had obviously worked on solving power supply issues.

It depends on what output you want from the Roon Endpoint?

Are you wanting Line level audio output?
Are you wanting USB output for input into a USB DAC or streamer?
Are you wanting S/PDIF or I2S output into a digital input on a DAC or streamer?
If a separate DAC what is its input capabilities, do you need the platform or servers before it to upsample and perform other DSP on the playback stream?

The dCS Bridge also has digital outputs for dCS DACs, can these be used? You are then locked into dCS processing.

Indeed, the Pi is a nice board. But is no meant for audio.
Even the, already very good, DigiOne signature has his limits.
I certainly wouldn’t choose a Pi as a transport for a 50K top end DAC.

The Roon Endpoint is intended to be used with a DAC.

So, a USB digital output into the USB digital input of a DAC (a very good DAC…).

I wonder how it would fare in a listening test? Obviously way out of my league to discuss 50k DACs, of course… but there are not that many user reports. Some do like non-Pi streamers better, of course, and the better engineering on the streamer (including those built around Pi, like the Bryson just mentioned by @robert_h ) makes sense.

But I’m not so on board with the blanket statement about something, the Pi in this case, being not designed for audio when we are talking about a USB feed… the USB interface itself is not designed for audio, and there are always two halves involved; so it feels at least reasonable to be evaluating things in pairs rather than putting all your eggs in the “send” basket. I would rate a $50k DAC lower if it showed a high sensitivity to the choice of incoming feed, but that’s maybe just me…

In the same sense, I’d rate a cheaper DAC more highly if it had lower sensitivity to input signal. The RME ADI FS2 comes to mind: there are better DACs of course, and some report that they prefer better input streamers when using it, but it doesn’t seem to show strong variations or dependence on source the way some other devices do. The engineering for audio performance is handled inside the audio device in their case; other companies do the same, of course. Edit: I was thinking of the Benchmark here, which doesn’t seem to care what is giving it the USB feed, possibly because it was designed for use with desktop computers where little or no attention is paid to providing signals cleaner than necessary for standards compliance.

Regards alan

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You are correct. There is a seperate Kalista Dreamplay DAC, hence my confusion.

Hans

So can you feed the Endpoint was a optical network connection?

The Sonore Signature Rendu Optical SE, as with the Optical Rendu, has an optical network input, so needs the Optical module to take an electrical network input, plus this will have a power supply requirement. The Signature Rendu combines the Ultra/Optical Rendu with the Sonore Signature Power supply, in a single box.

Yes, that’s why I mentioned it as an interesting option.

The Sonore Signature Rendu Optical SE seams to be an interesting product.
But, quite expensive.

The Sonore Optical Rendu and Sonore Signature Rendu Optical SE share the same board.

Meaning the case and their power supply cost 3k…

Of course, everything has a cost. But the casework looks… cheap comparing to Lumin’s or dCS’. As for the power supply can’t say.

The Lumin U1 is not that far in terms of cost.

How about the Grimm Audio MU1? Looks great and at £10k comfortably sits in the cost no object bracket.

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