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New Rasberry Pi Announced. Is this news?


sandston
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I have not followed the Raspberry Pi and its development but I know there are some here on CA that use this platform. I would like to hear peoples opinion on the new model for use in CA.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/raspberry-pi-3-10-times-more-powerful-original-131925241.html

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I don't think there is anything that will particularly affect its use for audio. The main difference is building in WiFi and Bluetooth.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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One of the issues that has prevented use of RPi devises from wider usage as high quality music devices has been the shared (wired) ethernet and USB IO. If you are getting your data (song files) via ethernet from and NAS, and hoping to output via USB to your DAC, contention can be a problem (this is from reports, I haven't tried this). I use an RPi2 with a HiFiBerry Digi+ SPDIF output, bypassing the need to use USB. The RPi3 still has the same ethernet/USB configuration as the older RPi's, but the WiFi is on a separate controller, so that might open up a jump in USB output quality as you could handle all ethernet traffic with WiFi. I'm eager to hear reports about this newer configuration.

 

Skip

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One of the issues that has prevented use of RPi devises from wider usage as high quality music devices has been the shared (wired) ethernet and USB IO. If you are getting your data (song files) via ethernet from and NAS, and hoping to output via USB to your DAC, contention can be a problem (this is from reports, I haven't tried this). I use an RPi2 with a HiFiBerry Digi+ SPDIF output, bypassing the need to use USB. The RPi3 still has the same ethernet/USB configuration as the older RPi's, but the WiFi is on a separate controller, so that might open up a jump in USB output quality as you could handle all ethernet traffic with WiFi. I'm eager to hear reports about this newer configuration.

 

Skip

 

I agree. This is one of RPi issues. Another issue is impossibility to use external clock.

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I agree. This is one of RPi issues. Another issue is impossibility to use external clock.

 

Not true, you can change the on board oscillators with newtron stars. yet, it may not make sense as the clock price is 10 times the price of the Pi

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Hi,

 

What's the problem with this chip?

 

See Skip Pack's post above - ethernet and audio USB need to share the same USB bus.

 

I'm not sure how much of a problem it is in practice, given the Pi's very low price point. I use Raspberry Pi2s as music servers, running Archphile Linux at present, and they sound excellent to me. I don't think Raspberry Pis are very good to use as a NAS though because this problem limits the bandwidth where the NAS is reading from a USB disk at the same time as using ethernet to ship out the data to the clients using the NAS. I think that is more of a problem with a NAS than it is with a music server.

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System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/Allo USB Signature/MoOde > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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Hi,

 

What's the problem with this chip?

 

Thanks.

Without optimization the Pi can't play high resolution without serious dropouts because music coming in on Ethernet is also going out on the same chip to the USB port. Some of the audio specific distributions have optimized for this issue, but most distributions haven't.

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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See Skip Pack's post above - ethernet and audio USB need to share the same USB bus.

Ah ok, this problem.

I think we were talking about using the Pi3 with wifi.

 

I would like to test Archphile too. What do you think about the Odroid C1+ / Pi3?

Are you using MPD with the upmpdcli plugin?

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Ah ok, this problem.

I think we were talking about using the Pi3 with wifi.

 

I would like to test Archphile too. What do you think about the Odroid C1+ / Pi3?

Are you using MPD with the upmpdcli plugin?

 

I've just switched to Archphile (Version 0.99.4b beta) from Volumio on my Pi2s. Both OSs work fine with 24/192 AIFF files stored on a BeagleBone Black based NAS. I haven't got any DSD files and maybe they are more demanding of bandwidth than high res PCM. I prefer Archphile over Volumio as it seems more minimal being based on Arch instead of Debian, uses systemd, and the retrieval of cover art is more minimal (mongoose on Archphile vs nginx on Volumio).

 

I'm not so keen on the Odroid compared with the Raspberry Pi as it uses an old Linux kernel (3.14 on the new C2 I believe) with lots of binary blobs and non-upstreamed code, whereas the Pi uses a well maintained bang up to date Linux kernel.

 

I don't use the upmpdcli plugin - I just have my music NFS mounted on the NAS.

System (i): (Stack Audio Link/MoOde > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/Allo USB Signature/MoOde > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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A little further elaboration to clarify my earlier post. I am getting my music data off my NAS via the RPi2 ethernet port. I am not using any of the USB ports. My output device is the HifiBerry Digi + which gets the Moode player output via the I2S pins. I believe the Digi + reclocks the data without changing the sampling rate or bit depth. I have Moode configured to resample all input files up to 192/24 using SoX medium quality. Moode pads the 24 bit result to 32 bits (the added 8 bits carry no data) and the Digi + sends this out via its SPDIF port to my DAC. I have never had the slightest hiccup getting files already at 192/24 from my NAS to the RPi2, so using only the ethernet port but not the USB ports seems good. This all works very well for me.

 

Some people have reported that RPi2 I2S output directly to the Soekris DAC works very well. I believe it has very sophisticated reclocking. Another avenue may be to use the HifiBerry Dac + Pro. I read mixed reviews of its DAC output, but they say that one can connect I2S outputs from that card to carry data reclocked by the quality clocks on the DAC + Pro, leaving the DAC section unused. This may be a route for high quality 384k PCM or 128/256 DSD.

 

It looks like the key to good results from any RPi is using the ethernet/USB capability for one input and depending on I2S for output.

 

Skip

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I will test some of this shortly...

 

I am putting together a RPi2 with the HifiBerry Digi+ (well, a clone of that) as a first step into the Pi realm. The idea is to run Moode on it, and build a few with different configurations, including amps from IQaudio.

 

The first one will be a straight Pi without the add-on board, which I will import through ethernet and send out to an Audiophilleo2 and then to a DAC. Once the Digi+ arrives, I can add it on and see how it performs compared to the Audiophilleo2, but I suspect that as long an Moode can handle the data flow on the USB, having the AP2 in the stream will be the superior route.

 

Regardless, I'll run it through some tests with and without the Digi+ and see what kind of results I can achieve and then report back.

 

I'll have the Pi2 here this weekend, and should get the Digi+ next week. Once I have a little success, I'll order the amps from IQaudio to build a few more for other rooms, and look into a touch screen device for the interface (as opposed to an iPad, which would be fine as well).

 

 

---Michael

Server ---> Rpi ---> Audiophilleo2 ---> Metrum Octave ---> Audio Horizons Pre ---> Pass Labs XA30.5 ---> Sonus Faber Liuto Towers

Computer ---> Audio Hardware ---> Air ---> Ears ---> Brain

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Without optimization the Pi can't play high resolution without serious dropouts because music coming in on Ethernet is also going out on the same chip to the USB port. Some of the audio specific distributions have optimized for this issue, but most distributions haven't.

 

 

 

Later this year, there is the intention to launch a Model A3.

 

This could be a good player client, using the wifi chip to receive and the usb as an outlet to a suitable dac, as the wifi and blue-tooth are independent of the usb.

 

I will certainly try one of these.

 

atb

 

Ronnie

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Without optimization the Pi can't play high resolution without serious dropouts because music coming in on Ethernet is also going out on the same chip to the USB port. Some of the audio specific distributions have optimized for this issue, but most distributions haven't.

 

Chris,

 

Do you have specific information on which distributions have been optimized for this?

 

Thanks,

 

---Michael

Server ---> Rpi ---> Audiophilleo2 ---> Metrum Octave ---> Audio Horizons Pre ---> Pass Labs XA30.5 ---> Sonus Faber Liuto Towers

Computer ---> Audio Hardware ---> Air ---> Ears ---> Brain

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Without optimization the Pi can't play high resolution without serious dropouts because music coming in on Ethernet is also going out on the same chip to the USB port. Some of the audio specific distributions have optimized for this issue, but most distributions haven't.

Chris... I've not got one yet... But if using WiFi the RPi 3 avoids this issue I think?

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Chris... I've not got one yet... But if using WiFi the RPi 3 avoids this issue I think?

Yes, but could raise another issue of WiFi not good enough for high resolution because it only got a single antenna built into the board.

 

We'll see though.

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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I use a Pi Model 2 connected via ethernet from my (somewhat old) pc through a switch or two, feeding my dac (Marantz SA8005) via either USB or coax/toslink via Hifiberry Digi+.

 

My dac can only do DSD via USB.

 

I have absolutely no problem streaming double rate DSD or 24/192 to it (ethernet) and then from it (USB) to my DAC. No dropouts ever. From what I read the old "...it has trouble sharing the ethernet and USB bus..." relates to the older model Pi.

 

I can also do 24/192 via toslink no probs.

 

Has anyone ever seen any jitter measurements from the Pi via USB, of from the Digi+?

 

Sounds good to my ears. Much better than my SBox Touch.

 

I use piCorePlayer and find the customizeable upsampling options (rate,slope,phase etc.) to offer great flexibility to tailor the sound.

 

-Mike

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Thanks Chris...

 

MFSOA, that sounds like good performance, so there is probably no concern for a normal HD stream. I'll be trying it out as soon as my Pi's show up, which, unfortunately, was not today, so it'll have to wait until next weekend probably.

 

 

 

 

---Michael

Server ---> Rpi ---> Audiophilleo2 ---> Metrum Octave ---> Audio Horizons Pre ---> Pass Labs XA30.5 ---> Sonus Faber Liuto Towers

Computer ---> Audio Hardware ---> Air ---> Ears ---> Brain

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I was interested until I saw the Pi 3 still uses SMSC LAN9514 USB / Ethernet chip.

 

There are other pi-like devices that don't suffer from this issue. Hardkernel's Odroid C1+ & C2 cost a similar price to the Pi, are faster and don't have the shared architecture. They also use Gb internet. Volumio has an image for the C1 and C1+. I guess the C2 will come with the new Volumio 2.0.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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There are other pi-like devices that don't suffer from this issue. Hardkernel's Odroid C1+ & C2 cost a similar price to the Pi, are faster and don't have the shared architecture. They also use Gb internet. Volumio has an image for the C1 and C1+. I guess the C2 will come with the new Volumio 2.0.

 

I don't think that this chip is the cause of the problems that Chris was reporting with crackles and drop outs with High Res tracks. I think that it was more likely to be a buggy USB driver.

 

I tried an original Raspberry Pi with async audio DAC/devices such as an HRT MusicStreamer II+ and Musical Fidelity VLink S/PDIF converter, and it didn't work. I could only get it to work with my B&W MM-1 speakers which has adaptive USB, rather than async USB. I switched to using BeagleBone Blacks which have always worked well with async USB devices, and the USB and ethernet don't share the same bus. Most of the time the BeagleBones worked well with high res tracks, but I did get occasional crackling.

 

However, when the Raspberry Pi 2 came out I found that they were 100% reliable with async USB devices and actually work better than the BeagleBone Blacks, and I've now switched to the Pis for audio, with one of the BeagleBones being used as a NAS.

 

In my opinion, you wouldn't want the SMSC LAN9514 USB / Ethernet chip in a state of the art music server because in general it is best to only have one audio device on the bus along with the USB transport device. I think that with a properly working USB driver that chip is just fine for less than state of the art, but still pretty good music server. I would expect a Raspberry Pi 2/3 to sound as good as a one of the Odroids you list above, and have a better maintained more recent Linux kernel with a larger community to support it and the music software to run on it.

System (i): (Stack Audio Link/MoOde > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/Allo USB Signature/MoOde > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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I would expect a Raspberry Pi 2/3 to sound as good as a one of the Odroids you list above, and have a better maintained more recent Linux kernel with a larger community to support it and the music software to run on it.

 

For CD audio, probably. For DSD and other hi-res audio formats, I am not so sure because of the higher bandwith. Also, because you have incoming (network) and outgoing (USB) signals over one chipset in the Pi, there is a theoretical chance of higher jitter levels under the same circumstances. But that is theoretical, all other circumstances being the same (which cannot be the case as we have two different devices: Odroid and Pi).

 

Hardkernel supports its devices well and kernels are available. But to some extend kernel support is somewhat mute as for audio and video applications, the kernels need to be highly customised to reach optimal results. If you look at software like OpenElec, Volumio, Daphile, AudioLinux etc. they all use custom kernels. Also, isn't the idea of these developer boards to do some DIY? :-)

 

The community forum is busy and growing. It's nowhere near where the Pi is but it is probably the number two at the moment. With an Odroid you're safer than with a BananaPi or even Intel's attempts. Standard software like Volumio is available for the Odroid and according to the download counter, the Odroid scores second highest on downloads. There is definetely a large installed base and Hardkernel have proven to churn out regular updates with a consistent and open strategy, without running into some of the disputes that other developer board platforms have faced.

 

The reason I prefer Odroid's over Pi's is that I have seen too many people complain about the USB Bus issue for audio and video (although it tends to get resolved). And with an Odroid you get the support to a large extend but you don't need to worry about the performance (HDMI 2.0 and 4k compliant anyone?).

 

But in the end, each to their own and both devices work for audio. It matters more to have a clear idea of how you want to use the device as there are subtle differences that will force your hand. Using I2S is easier on the Pi because of the better support in general and by DAC board manufacturers specifically. But running 4k video and requiring audio over HDMI forces you to the Odroid camp for example.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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I would expect a Raspberry Pi 2/3 to sound as good as a one of the Odroids you list above, and have a better maintained more recent Linux kernel with a larger community to support it and the music software to run on it.

 

I'm running both, with the Max2Play OS and both sound fine to my old ears.

 

I just got a pi3 and so far have had Max2Play OS and Raspbian Jessie-lite running LMS and Squeezelite.

 

They are great things to play with, and it must be remembered that the PI is an educational project, first and foremost.

 

It will always be a bit of "a sow's ear" to some folk, but me; I'm very grateful to the developers out there that can do this 'coding' stuff.

 

atb

 

Ronnie

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