Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
In Reply to: RE: Further thoughts on RPi player posted by E-Stat on March 09, 2017 at 15:52:50
Just using the Pi as digital transport leaves certain great opportunities untouched.
The todays HAT modules are that well done, that there's IMO no real need for external DACs anymore. (And the evolution is still on its way!)
These devices even support up 2 384kHz -- for those hunting after large figures.
Since you go straight I2S you just skip all these messy audio interfaces (SPDIF, USB, asf.) and related very costly tweaks.
You might consider the Allo Kali I2S HAT reclocker. It gets the jitter down to audiophile levels.
Using the iFi iPower gets the power noise down to quite low levels.
There are numerous DACs IMO sounding quite good. Many of them sounding better with the Kali.
However. E.g. Allo has just launched the "Boss" DAC.
That DAC doesn't even require the Kali reclocker anymore. It IMO sounds really nice.
At 150$ - PI+Boss+iPower + free distro of choice - you'll end up with a great audio piece.
You don't need great technical skills to put it together.
It's probably easier then building you favorite Lego gadget.
There are still people around who spent/d thousands of $ on similar (sounding) solutions. IMO that's just waste of money.
Stuff like MicroRendu - just a stupid USB interface - are IMO
overrated, overexpensive and extremely inflexible.
Meanwhile you'll find quite some so called High-End gear with Raspberry
Pi inside. It can't be that bad - even though some audiophiles
One main aspect is the PI software support. It's mainly free and quickly evolving.
Small and medium size audio companies just can not afford to develop fancy custom software and provide long term support - unless they make you pay for it.
And that's IMO a killer argument against these devices.
Yep. And there are still people out there using even PCs.
PS: I agree that Logitech was years ahead of the competition. Almost a decade later not that many companies can offer a similar HW/SW solution.
The SB Touch had quite some tweak potential during those years I've been running it (I put together and made available a Touch Toolbox during those days).
As a matter of fact your mentioned low end weakness benefited from it.
At 300$ it was twice as much as above PI solution. Which was more then fair
during those days. Nothing in the world would make me stepping back though.
The todays HAT modules are that well done, that there's IMO no real need for external DACs anymore.
I'm still cautious as to whether or not single ended op amp designs can match the sound quality of the best balanced discrete designs, be they tube or JFET based.
I put together and made available a Touch Toolbox during those days
I benefited from a number of your suggestions and the EDO app.
edit: I revisited your comments about the Faerie Sorcerer's tweaks and noted both the "hdmi_ blanking" and "-b 20000:600000" configuration changes. Anything else you might have discovered since then?
Thanks for your suggestions!
Checkout Moode Audio.
Slowly but surely I'm feeding more and more of my audio related tweaks towards Moode.
I've been running numerous output stages over the years.
First of all. They all add complexity. They all add more power supplies.
(One exception: A transformer outputstage.) They all add their own "footprint" or "flavour".
Who needs a 4-6V differential stage, if even 2V is too much. Many amps
don't even support 2V on the input. Add 25db gain to it and u can look for hearing aids.
All what most people need is < <1V. (Obviously I don't run preamps and try to limit digital volume control!)
Most differential stages cause problems on their own.
Back to the HAT DACs.
There are numerous cases where e.g. DACs based on a Sabre 9023 were considered better than a 9018. What matters is the implementation!
However. If a HAT is build after datasheet, you can't expect quality performance. These output opamps need quality power.
I played around with different capacitors - quite nice fellows hinted me into that direction. The right choice of caps made 10 times more of a difference then e.g. a reclocker.
Also switching from async to sync master clock on the Sabre made quite a difference.
Then I'm using a single highest quality 3.6V supply to feed the DAC.
Last but not least I modified the output filter. Non of these
modifications you can replace with a $500 power supply.
Over at DIY-Audio you can follow my HAT projects.
Below project ended with a DAC that I'm still running and enjoying:
This is my newest Boss project:
It's still work in progress.
There's no black or white. It's all grey. Everything ends up in a compromise at one point.
You, with 45 years of DIY Audio experience,should be well aware of it.
I've been running numerous output stages over the years. First of all. They all add complexity.
Which is one reason I tend to prefer simple, zero feedback class A discrete designs using far fewer devices than high feedback op amps. I note the pcm5122 is like AKMs having the audio output onboard the DAC chip.
There's no black or white. It's all grey. Everything ends up in a compromise at one point. You, with 45 years of DIY Audio experience,should be well aware of it.
Most certainly agree. Thanks for your comments. The projects over at DIY Audio looks intriguing.
Today, I'll be comparing the RPi to the uRendu on the main system. Should prove to be interesting. :)
I've tried several HAT-Dacs and the answer is 'no' the best or even a very good stand alone dac still sounds better to my ears at least.
I also have a iFi power and ended up selling it because I could not hear a difference between the Jameco and the iFi...although the iFi has superior specs.
FWIW, Archimago's CRAAP settings makes a nice improvement
Either way, its fun to play around and try different things....its a hobby after all...
I recall some inmates flaming you a long time ago because you posted photos of the insides of an iFi product that had come apart. I think the glue or whatever they used didn't hold.
My first iFi product, the $50 iFi iPower had to be immediately sent back to the retailer because of poor manufacturing and/or QC. There was something rattling around inside of it. Perhaps it was a plastic piece that came lose or it could have been a metal screw. In any case I didn't want to chance having it cause damage to itself or to my gear. What a disappointment. It was promptly exchanged by the retailer for a new one but that experience (along with the iFi experience you shared) left a very bad impression with me of their products.
I still own the replacement iFi iPower (one of the many power sources recommended for the microRendu) but I hear no difference between it and a $10 wall wart I bought off Amazon.
Even though your Jameco LPS doesn't have stellar specs, most digital gear with their own onboard regulators don't need a thousand dollar LPS or UltraCap power supply. It's not like you're powering the high gain analog stages in a phono preamp. But audiophiles will be audiophiles and 'designer power sources' are easy add-ons, easy to tinker with, and easy to throw money at. ;-)
Yeah I remember that...imo that was 100% pure deception. Gluing a metal bar inside to add weight.
Anyhow, that rattling you heard was probably the same thing.
Yes Audiophiles do like to spend money to satisfy their mental issues. I was one myself. And to be honest its still slightly unnerving to look at the RPi connected to a $2k Dac.
who buy products without filtering the claims.
Manufacturers lurk over at head-fi and exploit the audiophile addiction.
Suffice to say head-fi put Audiogd, Schiit Audio and many others on the map....imo.
Granted, on the other end is that headfi'ers are so eager to buy that manufacturers are very receptive to their wishes. The whole audiophile community benefits.
Outboard DC Power Supply, no rattling, maybe that metal bar was bracing,
Micro USB 3.0 Power Supply,
Gemini USB Cable,
all with AQ Coffee USB Cable from Mac/HQ Player, playing everything in DSD 128.
It bumped up my Lampizator and McIntosh D150 sound quality very nicely.
When combined w/AQ Jitterbug, I've had the best listening experiences I've ever had on my Den System,
with the Mac D150, both Balanced and RCA into Mac 6900 Int Amp.
Really tangible, colorful, natural 3D Sound, I've been loving it, and I've had A LOT of other gear here to compare, including eXasound E22, at $3500, the most expensive Digital Product I've tried.
( I need to sell the Lampi...)
Is it as good as Rendu?
Maybe not, but I couldn't be happier with what I've got now, the Mac was a very big step up, even without the iFi stuff.
With it all, in combination, it's terrific.
I don't think it's Junk at all!
No doubt many people find iFi products to be great.
Looking at the specs they are top notch, outward appearance is pretty good too.
I don't think anyone here said iFi products are junk.
Just for kicks, would you mind opening up your product and posting a pic?
Oh, well, yes, actually.
The large metal bar in his iFi had no purpose other than to add weight and it was glued onto an inside surface of the enclosure. I saw the pics Dynobot posted. The glue let lose.
I have no idea what the rattling noise was inside my new iFi iPower but I sent it back immediately for a replacement.
No doubt the iFi products work. My doubt has to do with their construction and quality control.
Post a Followup:
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: