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In Reply to: RE: Initial impressions RPi vs uRendu posted by E-Stat on March 13, 2017 at 03:12:59
"...I'm comparing how folks actually use them..."
It is just you. Sorry. You're comparing two systems, your unique systems. Not just two devices.
The thread title is misleading, thus your thread and
conclusion is pretty useless to us folks.
If you intend to run a rather useful comparison "Pi vs. MicroRendu" hook your Audiophilio up to the Pi and microRendu. That at least would make a little sense to us folks.
You'd still don't know what software tweaks are implemented on the MicroRendu. One thing for sure. Svensson was closely following my
SB Touch adventures and trying these himself. I'm pretty sure he put quite a focus into that area too.
Then the USB ports of the PI are not known for audiophile qualities.
Bottom line. If I'd run a to me useful shootout on USB transports, I'd put at least something like a $100 iPurifier to the test environment. That still would make a nice combo and a bargain solution in comparison to the MR.
Better still - how would I connect a USB to S/PDIF converter to a unit with only S/PDIF outputs?
Many folks have asked to provide my impressions for comparing the two. :)
"Many folks have asked to provide my impressions for comparing the two"
Yep. "the two". Not the six to ten.
Dynobot, in his response, tried to make clear what I'm talking about.
Sometimes people don't go into rooms because they are afraid of what they might see.
I suspect finding out the RPi is just as good or better than a uRu is not what many audiophiles really want to know, especially after spending all that money.
I bet it's the same for other gear too. People tend to keep their high end expensive gear away from the cheap stuff... And never the two shall meet.
I used to be the same way, until 'just for kicks' I compared a cheap Valab DAC to a Lavry DAC and was shocked that the Valab was more musical. It took a lot of going back and forth comparisons before I was forced to face the truth. I sold the Lavry and turned in my audiophile badge. Same thing with the Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum, I tried to live it, after all it was a higher priced respected unit, loved by audiophiles
No surprise. The Lavry resamples to 110 kHz or thereabouts and the clocking is suspect.
Back then I had a Anthem tube preamp. I spent $500 on a pair of Acoustic Zen IC's and a nice power cord thinking/hoping I could make that Lavry sound good....or at least listenable for more than a hour.
I tried my best to like it, but it was impossible.
A Pi alone won't make a great transport.
It requires a little effort to make it sing. But it's IMO possible.
Most people are just lazy and rather put a grand or more on the table
for the next potentially greatest thing ever - because somebody said so.
The RPi still has USB ports, you can connect the USB converter and use it as outputs rather than the spdif. Just reboot and choose USB output instead of Digi+ Pro.
I'm guessing that if both were RPi's [one spdif out and the other to your USB converter] they would sound different. The Digi+ is pretty good at $50 but I don't know if its on the same level as the Audiophilleo 2 a $500+ converter.
Then add on top of that the uRu is powered from a $400 Linear PS vs. a $11 wallwart....
I'd say power the uRu from a wallwart and use both as USB out to the Audiophilleo would be a fair fight.
But if you think about it, it took nearly $1k worth of peripherals to give the uRu a slight advantage over the RPi.
How many folks purchase a RPi, use the USB out and purchase a USB to S/PDIF converter? There is only one reason I use one - I have to. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the USB 2.0 input on the ARC DAC required a Windows based driver. Just recently, I got notification there is an upgraded board that supports Mac, but when I asked about the uRendu, the response was it doesn't support LInux. Gee, I thought Mac OS was essentially a Linux core. Go figure.
I've already observed the disparity in cost and specifically mentioned that perhaps what I'm really hearing is power supply differences.
Gee guys, I'm just comparing systems that folks might put together, not dissecting each and every piece. Maybe someone should compare a naked board to an acrylic one while they are comparing everything else under a microscope.
I am open to any further suggestions as to kernel settings that might prove to be beneficial which don't sacrifice usability or stability. I mentioned the buffer and hdmi_blanking to Sounchekk and since he did not respond, silly me I thought that meant there wasn't anything else. Now he's talking about disabling the LEDs?
Perhaps he or others might put together a complete list in a single place!
Actually I use my RPi with USB out.
My Dac has a self powered Amenero board inside. Meaning its essentially the same as having an outboard USB converter with I2S output....which is what the Amenero feeds the Dac as output.
The pic you posted of your RPi in DAC box on the 8th(sorry I'm traveling and embedding link is trickier with pad)
What I see is an RCA cable coming out of what looks like my HiFiBerry Digi+!
Edit: especially with spell corrupt :)
I have 4 RPis..... Two with Digi+ pro and to without
What are your observations between the two approaches? Do you use both because neither offers an sonic advantage?
Sorry for all the questions, but presumably this is the kind of information decided noobies to the Pi thing like me seek.
Initially I purchased the RPi to use with my Master 7 Dac. Again because it has its own self powered USB to I2S card my intentions were to only use USB out.
I purchased a Digi+ to see what all the hype was about. It was okay [just okay]. Ended up using it for my Pie-in-the-Box project with the RPi inside of the Dac….spdif out.
Then they came out with the Digi+ Pro with the two clocks. Again I just wanted to see, so I purchased one…it was much better, plus I could use it to power the RPi directly.
So I purchased a couple more RPi's, one for my tube Dacs and one for my Master 7. I like the sound of the Digi+ Pro vs. USB in my Havana tubed Dac so I ended up with
2x Digi+ Pro and a RPi for USB out to one Dac.
Sound wise I like feeding my Master 7 Asynch via USB, and letting the Amanero convert it to I2S.
I like feeding my Havana spdif over USB and I was forced to use spdif for my project.
Just when someone puts together a complete list, they'll discover a new planet along with different gravitational forces acting upon your Pi. It's a losing battle. Your system vs system comparison approach was just fine by me and probably not as susceptible to micro perturbations like individual components, LED's included. ;-)
Sure, system vs. system is fine. Just as long as its understood that you are not comparing one individual part of the system.
Usually when a comparison is done people try to eliminate the variables so that only the 'two' things being compared.
Dependent Variable = Sound
Independent Variable = Streamer
Estat Independent Variable[s] = Streamer + Power Supplies [Wallwart, HDPlex] + USB Converter + OS/Software + SPDIF Cable + Digi+ HAT + Music Material ?[DSD etc]
Hopefully any experiment will only have 'one' independent variable and the setup will be identical.
I hope he'll get it now.
Nope. The MicroRendu comes with a well done USB port.
Most of us know what the known USB gadgets do to the sound.
That's why I said he should add one of these USB gadgets
to the bill.
Otherwise I wouldn't see a fair chance for the naked RPI to beat the MicroRendu.
If the Audiophillio (or any other USB DAC/interface) is that good that upstream originated mess wouldn't have much of an impact, what would this tell us then !?!? Something about RPI vs. MicroRendu!!?? Hmmh. Maybe!?!?
It could also tell us something about the Audiophillio !?!?
His comparison can easily be questioned - about fairness - from several angles.
However. If somebody is looking for a nice SPDIF solution I guess he might have a valid story about a system - his system - and not a device.
Obviously for now we havn't taken his DAC into the scope. That one will play its own role again.
Yup, microRendu comes with a "well done USB port", and Ethernet. Pi combines multiple USB ports and 10/100 Ethernet on a single hub. Even a PC or Mac will have separate USB hubs for multiple USB ports, and a separate Gigabit Ethernet controller.
Does it matter sonically?
"Does it matter soncially?"
If you'd ask Archimago: No way. All measurements look the same. It's all in our heads.
From my perspective: Everything matters! How much it matters is a different question and a very personal matter.
Some of these guys either have suspect hearing, or more probably suspect music and equipment setup.
At least it should matter.
But then it might not.
is why most folks here don't use USB for audio out.
I don't think the USB 'situation' makes any real difference.
I have 4 RPi's two with the Digi+ Pro and two without. I normally use one of those small adapters to just plug the RPi right into my Dac via USB...Audiogd Master 7.
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