Primo with RME ADI-2-FS Dac

I recently got primo and was planning to get the RME DAC, and use Primo as a streamer. RME dac has options for s/pdif and usb2 digital inputs.

I can take the s/pdif out of primo and in systems --> playback options, there is a choice for rca or s/pdif output.

The primo manual says there are 4 usb outputs, would connecting the primo to rme via the usb port automagically make the digital out connection primo? Which one would be better - s/pdif or usb [provided I can figure out how to make usb work].

I searched around quite a bit and could not find an answer to the usb output question.

Any help is much appreciated

thank you

The RME DAC is a top tier DAC. It will probably have better clocks than the Primo (although the Primo is pretty good).
My preference would be to keep the clock and the possibility of any jitter local and use the USB input to the RME if possible. This is configuration under which the RME should certainly meet its specification.
I’m not sure whether the Primo has different presentation of the options compared to a regular Raspberry Pi installation. On my Raspberry Pi setup I find the option for USB output under the Settings tab on the left hand side. Then select playback options. This will show a range of possibilities for the DAC. If the RME is not explicitly listed, any generic USB should work but the options of hardware volume control via the app (as opposed to any options on an RME remote) may not exist

Hi Edw - appreciate the quick response. On primo setting for audio output, there are only two options - RCA and SPDIF. Trying to paste the picture, hope it goes thru.

I am sure there must be a way to enable to one out of the 4 usb ports on primo to be output, hopefuuly, someone from volumio can help

thank you

Hi, the primo is well supported by the volumio team. you should write them an email to ‘info
I’m sure they will help fast and accurate.

For me it looks exaggerated to use the USB port from a primo.

will send an email as you suggested

would be educational if you can elaborate on what exaggerated means?


sorry i will explain it to you. The music players are generally constructed in such a way that they consist of a single board computer (SBC) and a DAC board. The USB port is part of the SBC.
If you only use the USB port, an Asus tinkerboard S would have been enough, because primio consists of the tinkerboard and the Dac board.
When your RME Dac is connected to the USB port it should be shown at the output device list, when this DAC is supported. The merits of the Primo are the RCA and SPIF connection.
If you want to take the advantage of the primo, you should consider these connections.
At the same time, I can say that the tinkerboard USB port is better than from a Raspberry.

Is it possible that the Primo doesn’t support a USB DAC by default? If the RME wasn’t on the supported list I would have thought that it might be recognised as a generic USB DAC without the full functionality of the hardware volume control.
The Raspberry Pi 3 did have issues with the USB port when the Ethernet was also being used but this is dependent on the software running on the RPI 3. The RPI 4 has no such problems. In fact, one of the highest performing DACs available on the market, the Okto Research DAC 8 stereo comes with an inbuilt RPI 4 as on option and this combination is arguably THE highest performing streaming DAC available.

Don‘t worry. The RME Dac works plug and play with primo on USB. Just connect and the primo find him. I am very happy with this setup now for month. If you don‘t miss the volume control in volumio, it is a good Solution.

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Plug and play with the Primo. That’s what I would have expected. Sridhar’s screenshot suggests this mechanism isn’t working for him. Possibility of a faulty USB cable?

As a postscript I assume the DAC was powered and connected before the Primo was switched on. That might make a difference especially for a first time installation with the RME.

He wrote, he is planning to get the RME. Maybe Volumio shows only a connected USB–DAC in Output Device…

I think you may be right. With no DAC connected the USB DAC option may be blocked by the software.

I ordered the rme dac, should have it by the 28th. Will connect via USB, and check out if it shows up, which I think it should based on the discussions here.

Thank you so much


Very good choice.
Here my Playback Options:

RME is a very good DAC. I hope you’ve got (or are about to get) an equally superb amplifier and speakers to go with it.
Happy listening!


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I think I have decent setup :-).

  • Zu Audio Definition Speakers
  • New Technics direct drive TT with Lyra Delos cartridge
  • ifi Phono3 as well as my own built triode connected 7788 - 7788 phono stage. I am finding the phono3 to be amazing sounding
  • Home built 801A linestage based Ale Moglia’s design from Bartola valve
  • Home built 40W 805 class A2 amps, with using 211 power triode as the driver with a mosfet source follower supply to provide the A2 grid current for 805 with Monolith Magnetics output transformers. The 805 amp operates at 900V, and is made up for 2 chassis per monoblock, one for power supply and one for the amplifier itself

Here is a picture

My holiday project is to built another DHT linestage using a tube called 01A, which were made in 1920’s!

Can’t wait to plug in the RME dac with the primo streamer :grinning:

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got the rme dac, it was as simple as plug and play, I connected via usb, and the rme dac should up in the playback options, and streaming music via qobuz right now :slight_smile:

Next project is to set up a 2010 mac mini as a music server. I need to do some research around mac mini as a nas server streaming to primo

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Some more updates on the nas server setup. Before that, a brief update on streaming quality – it feels like primo and rme dac are match made in heaven :-). I was streaming hi res qobuz files - steely dan gaucho, miles kind of blue and some more, and I have vinyl for these, and I cannot distinguish between hires and vinyl. Old age must be affecting hearing :slight_smile:

Back to mac mini, set it up, started ripping CD’s in wav format to an external drive, took some effort to mount the drive on primo, due to my lack of knowledge on the name to use to access the mac. Anyways after few tries it showed up, and I could play the ripped files, create play lists etc. Then after 3 days of ripping, the mac drive gave out, so while waiting for an external cd drive, I unplugged the external usb drive from mac and plugged it into the primo and viola! it showed up, and now its local. This got me thinking, why do I even need an external nas server. I will have about 300GB of ripped music once I am done, I can just rip and plug the drive to primo and it becomes my nas, and if there is a power issue, I can buy an external USB power supply and plug in the drive into that and free up the primo.

Going to try out the CD ripping function of primo tomorrow when I get the CD Drive and report back.

Once this is done, I will write an end to end streaming set up and using primo as a nas server, and hope it helps someone. Just have to make sure I back up the usb drive to 2 other copies :slight_smile: to cover for drive failures.

Picture of primo with the external drive on the left of primo

Hi all, read all your helpfull comments in answer to Sridhar’s question from quite some time ago. It helped me to buy a Gustard X16 MQA, as a designated DAC for Tidal MQA-files, next to my Volumio Primo as a streamer. As in the sreenshot Potsdamer sent in Dec’20 I found in the ‘Audioausgabe’ USB: GUSTARD USB Audio 2.0 and thought this was okay as well (butalso not on the Comptability USB list). Alas, after 2 days trying no sound whatsoever came out of my speakers, so no plug&play for me! When clicking ‘Analog RCA Output’ using only the Primo all sounds fine.
I thought, before contacting Volumio, I’d try your knowledge that helped Sridhar, as you might know the answer of what is missing here.
Thanks a lot in advance, happy listening, Eric!


Looks like the DAC shows up in the drop down list, when you play the music choosing the USB dac as the playback option, does your dac indicate that it is receiving the bytes - for example, in RME, I know it is receiving because it shows the sampling frequency of the incoming stream… Does your your DAC give an visual indication like that…

Also, obvious question, I think the Gustard DAC has multiple inputs, did you make sure to choose the USB input :slight_smile:

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Hi Sridhar, I’m afraid the display of the X16 is kind of static. I can’t see any indication that the X16 is receiving any bytes. And yes, I’m sure I used the USB input of the X16. That is also the most recommended input I read in a lot of fora.
One question about the RCA output: do you use the Primo or RME output to feed your receiver/speakers? I tried both but…no luck.

Thanks Shridhar for your swift reply, maybe I can involve someone of Volumio. Any idea how to manage that? Kind regards, Eric