Jump to content
IGNORED

Article: Geek Speak: NanoPi Neo, The $7.99 High Resolution Audio Endpoint


Recommended Posts

Many a times you prefer casual listening and would like to have just one server for all your music

Mini pi would serve as a great alternative for that casual listening session where ultimate sound quality is not the need of the hour

Ofcouse raspberry pi itself is not so costly but cost wise nano pi breaks new barriers

Let's hope this has a positive effect and soon we have a more powerful raspberry pi 4 with separate bus for Ethernet and USB and a gigabit LAN port

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used the Raspberry Pi as a front end for my hifi for a long time. It's only out of laziness that I have gone back to my Mac Mini. I had 4 Pi's at one point, set up with different OS's and configs. I even wired up an LCD display and wrote some Python code to show which track was playing!

 

I could leave a Pi running for months ... it never crashed, and I was able to control the music player (mpd) from my iPhone.

 

I think the Pi cost 100x less than my speakers!

 

Maybe I'll go back again and play some more.

Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

Speakers: Kudos Titan T88

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I've been told by some manufacturers that I shouldn't write about this stuff, it's too DIY and DIY'ers don't spend money, and that it isn't HiFi enough and that they don't like the direction of CA."

Those manufacturers aren't thinking clearly, or are behaving with denial in pure self interest. Other than a very small number of people in any country, money matters, and if music is your drug of choice, you want to have your high in as many places as possible, and as potent as possible in each location. To be provocative, I suspect that most of the 1% really don't give a crap about HD sound quality, not enough to spend up. I know many in that category, and have been absurdly fortunate to be in the very bottom sludge of that category, and I find myself astonishingly alone when talking about resolutions above low quality Apple audio streams, or about high quality DACS. I want the best quality sound that makes sense in every living space... but I'm not wasteful enough to want to have the same quality (at the same economic impact) system in a space I spend a few hours a week in, as I have in a space I spend half a day, every day, in.

 

I've built the best system possible in my primary listening space. I want to get as close to that as possible in spaces where I spend less time or pay less attention, but I don't want crap. This is the kind of article I'm hugely enthusiastic about. Lower cost approaches to better sound... for a huge part of my world, this is exactly on target.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm another that hopes you keep discussing this approach. Let's call it "white box" rather than DIY - understanding what we are putting together, rather than being compliant consumers.

 

Any market of any size has many different ways in; we don't all need to live in an Apple hegemony...

 

bliss - fully automated music organizer. Read the music library management blog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your hard work. Currently listening to a microRendu > U12 > Bel Canto 3.5vb. Great music, and in large part due to your championing small business.

 

The mR is currently making a bit of a splash on the Naim Forum. If the bigger companies had filled this hole in the market at a reasonable cost and with the same quality then Jesus et al would not have been able to step in. More power to the the small guy; and, to you.

 

Thank you.

 

M

Happy Music Listener!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For this of us who don't really speak geek speak

 

If one had a decent PC with jriver on their network, with music on a nas and a USB DAC

 

plug cat 5 cable on same network into this device

Plug a USB DAC into this device

Plug the DAC into appropriate stereo gear

Get power supply for this device

Configure this device

Configure Jriver

 

Play music and control with Jremote and this device would be silent as has no moving parts

 

Yes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris, I bought a RPI 3 and will get a hifi berry Dac to go along with it. Any comments on whether I should get the Dac PRO. My requirement is to use the wifi feature of PI3 as well as blue tooth for the family to stream on the fly and also run Roon Bridge.

 

Ahmed

Lenovo TS140(XEON E3-1225 v3 3.2GH) Win 2012 R2 4GB RAM RoonLab Audio Optimizer PPANG USB Card Larry's HDPlex-> CA DacMagic Plus -> AudioResearch DS225 Audioquest XLR -> Sonus Faber Olympica 2 Kimber Speaker Wire->(Main)RPi2 -> RoonBridge -> Onkyo TX-NR609 -> 7.1 In Wall Polk Audio SVS Sub (Home Theatre)

Allo Digione Signature -> HK Signature 2.0 -> Carver THX Amp -> NHT Zero + SVS SB-1000 (LivingRoom)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good article Chris, and I would encourage you to publish more articles of this type! I think it's unfortunate that others in the Audiophile press have virtually no mention of the exciting developments happening with low cost single board computers and custom Linux distros for music streaming other than John Darko.

 

I'm running a beta release of Volumio 2 on a Raspberry Pi 3 with an IQAudio Pi-DAC+, and even when playing back 96/24 FLAC tracks the CPU tops out at 6%. When streaming Spotify the load is even lower. Unless you are doing realtime resampling or some kind of DSP processing, you just don't need very powerful or expensive computer hardware to stream any kind of audio today, including hi res PCM and DSD.

 

I also like the fact that these are open systems - you can run Volumio, Rune, Moode, PiCorePlayer, Roon and many other software platforms, and with microSD cards going for $8, it's easy to experiment with newer versions of all of them or better yet have multiple devices running different platforms on them.

 

One small technical comment regarding the flashing of images - there's a new multi-platform app from https://www.etcher.io that makes it easy to flash images and worth mentioning, especially for Mac users who haven't had good GUI options for quite a while now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding your concern about noise being injected into the unit and therefore somehow contaminating the audio output of the DAC connected via USB, one simple experiment would be to run the NanoPi on battery power. You could use any portable battery charger designed for smartphones such as the units from Anker and have the NanoPi run off it via a microUSB cable. I've done this with my Raspberry Pi, and cannot detect any difference in audio quality from the $10 5V/2.5A power supply I use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @skikirkwood - Happy to read your comments. I was actually thinking about you shortly after this post and wondered if you might see it. Great to see you found it.

 

Thanks so much for the link to Etcher! Writing images through macOS terminal is so painfully slow. This tool looks awesome!

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @skikirkwood - Happy to read your comments. I was actually thinking about you shortly after this post and wondered if you might see it. Great to see you found it.

 

Thanks so much for the link to Etcher! Writing images through macOS terminal is so painfully slow. This tool looks awesome!

Hi Chris, I have CA in my Feedly news reader, so I never miss a new posting!

 

Full disclosure here - a few weeks ago I decided to help out the Volumio development team get a stable 2.0 release, so I'm now spending my spare time late at night developing the Volumio 2 Spotify plugin. I've never been happy with third party Spotify user interfaces, but the new Spotify Web API should make it possible to have a user experience close to a native Spotify app. And what's really nice about Volumio 2 is you can have playlists and queues of tracks from multiple sources - your own music, music streaming services, Webradio, etc. Not quite a Roon experience, but good enough for most people - and of course Roon only integrates with Tidal, not Spotify.

 

Speaking of interesting developments in the SBC audio world, it would be interesting to get your take on the now fully funded Audiophonics Kickstarter project:

 

 

In particular, the 389 Euro version with a Sabre ES9018K2M DAC and linear regulated power management board should be of interest to many of your readers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting article, it sparked my attention and would be a nice summer project.

 

It speaks volumes that the industry isn't happy about these articles.

 

I do have some questions which I couldn't find an answer to, I hope somebody can enlighten me[emoji1]

 

To my understanding it's important that the Ethernet and USB are on a different bus, is this the case?

 

Can I connect my Mytek 192 dsd? And will it be recognised? Haven't used USB on the mytek, but I know it's driver dependent so I foresee trouble.

 

Right now Audirvana is my player of choice, with tidal upsampled to dsd 128. Is it possible to send the signal over Ethernet to the NanoPi Neo?

 

I can power the NanoPi Neo with a USB battery, yes?? Is it possible to power the NanoPi Neo and charge the battery simultaneously? Or is that battery dependent?

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The NanoPi Neo seems to be a nice audio endpoint. How about a 'start point' - a board that can be connected to a record player analog or CD player digital output and feeds a DLNA or Airplay stream through a network to an endpoint? does any such devices exist? (except a full blown computer..)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a potentially ridiculous question: When setting this up is there a way to use the mac as the monitor and keyboard or do you have to have a separate USB keyboard? I'm running into problems setting it up beyond dropping the OS onto the sd card. Thx in advance.

Not a ridiculous question at all. The way to connect to the unit is through SSH. Are you familiar with using SSH via your Mac?

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...