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Raspberry Pi as a music server?

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3 minutes ago, Giuanniello said:

@left channel I was referring to the fan's noise not to mention the SQ out of iTunes isn't that great, not worth to keep that much space occupied to get this much frustrated, I do sure want to play with a Pi and you'll sure see me back asking a ton more questions about it.

 

 

 

Enjoy!  Maybe later you can put the Mac Mini in another room to serve your new RasPi client(s) over a network, using LMS, A+, or Roon for better SQ. Then instead of cleaning up USB output, you'd just want to clean up power input: https://uptoneaudio.com/products/mac-mini-dc-conversion-linear-fan-controller-kit-mmk Or not. Just Volumio or something similar on a Pi sounds like a lot of fun! We're looking forward to hearing future reports of your trip down this or that rabbit hole!


Everyone wants to date my avatar.

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6 hours ago, left channel said:

 

The Mac USB output can be cleaned up with a Jitterbug, Wyrd, iPurifier, iUSB, iGalvanic, USB REGEN, ISO REGEN, etc. ...but I'm sure your inner ham wants to dig into a Pi! ?  So good luck playing with HATs. 

As demonstrated above those items are unfortunately a waste of time and do nothing with a well designed dac. Galvanic isolation can be useful and is effective in specific circumstances, again shown above. 


MARCH~audio
excellence in audio
https://www.marchaudio.net.au
 

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march, does your DAC 1 use opto-isolators?  I don't see them listed in the feature set on your web page.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 hour ago, March Audio said:

As demonstrated above those items are unfortunately a waste of time and do nothing with a well designed dac. Galvanic isolation can be useful and is effective in specific circumstances, again shown above. 

 

That does look good.


Everyone wants to date my avatar.

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19 hours ago, March Audio said:

I believe it should be possible but probably easier to use a USB thumb drive. 

 

Well, I thought so, I will try with a thumb drive and then move onto the NAS hopefully if I manage to make it work.

 

Grazie

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Hello,

 

I wouldn't want to start a new thread so I try to continue on this one, I am evaluating to order a Pi 3B+ (or whatever is called the newest one) along with a case and a couple microSD to try different players, the DAC is already home so no DAC HAT needed, the only other thing I'd need is a power adapter and I am running short of AC outlets ? I will of course get another multiple AC adapters (I don't know how are they called in English but you know what I mean) but I was thinking, does it make sense to get a power bank to power the Pi or just go ahead with a wall PSU (does a linear one make so much of a difference? I guess not but I rather hear from who has first hand experience). I know a power bank will be an extra expense and also need a wall charger so one extra brick which I'd rather avoid so what would be the best (and cheapest) way to power it?

 

Grazie and happy new year everybody

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@Giuanniello

Hi,

  I would start with a normal ac adapter.

One of the things I like about raspberry is its low energy consumption. I leave it always on, ready to be used.

Lately I have added a relatively low cost linear PSU (about 100€) bought from Audiphonics France (I’m in Italy). The improvement is clear IMO, but do not think the change is “night snd day”!

I did not want to spend to much money on powering a source which costed me about 160$ in total.

I’m not sure how many device you have to power (maybe the Dac too?) but I read in various forums about very good results using HDplex 200 linear PSU, which does have 4 DC outputs at different voltages, but its cost is around 500$.

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@franz159Hello Franz, good morning,

 

I understand the Pi not needing that much power at all that's why the thought of a power bank but rather than to add another brick I'd prefer to save space and cables, already too many around and with the arrival of the DAC (the Caiman SEG) and its dedicated power supply it is getting too complicated with too many cables but, unfortunately, whilst the DAC needs 12-15v the Pi only needs 5 and as such two adapters are needed.

 

I don't expect a cable to "increase" sound quality so go figure a power supply, I mean, they can sure detract if not properly made but to increase quality I see it hard of a duty for a cable or a power supply, at least in my case where the remaining part of the chain is not what you would probably call "revelatory".

 

This said I don't even want to fork out 100 bucks to power a 35 euro tool given that will be its only use so forget about branded stuff still made with Chinese circuitry (and probably also built in China and rebranded) so the choice will sure fall onto a linear PSU but nothing "audiophile" and maybe will be my first attempt at buying through Ali ?

 

Back to the Pi I was reading the 3B+ needing 5.1V, I understand a .1 won't make a difference but just to make sure I eventually get the right tool, 5Vcc and 3A should do pretty well uh?! 

 

I got a radio HAM license when I was in my 20s and used to play with radios for quite a while, I still have a power supply from that age, what a monster, 12v variable and 30Ah output, it took 20 years old age strength to move it around, when recently I got again the idea to play with radios I didn't want such a heavy (and expensive) thing and got a switching one, it sure is small but noisy, very very noisy and if I am gonna get a Pi rather than my old Mac mini (which would be perfect for the intent) is because I don't want to even hear the cpu cooling fan spinning...

 

Grazie Franz, wishing you to jump straight into a better new year than the one we are saying good bye to, not sure Italy will be doing better than the past year but let's keep fingers crossed and enjoy music (till it's free ? )

 

Giovanni

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There is a switching converter in Rasp Pi, so even feeding Pi with a 1k $ lps doesn't make sense. But removing that converter and feeding Pi with 3 linear currents of 5v, 3.3 and 1.8v (in the case of Pi3 and Pi3), things will be a lot different.

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@Giuanniello

A 5V / 3A PSU will definitely work well.

If you want to play with feeding directly the various voltages where needed, chauphuong is hinting, you might want to have a look at the LifePO4 battery supply project  IanCanada is working on.


My best wishes for a happy 2019 to you and your beloved ones!

 

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@chauphuong that's an interesting point so either the wall power supply or the multimillion-dollar one won't give much difference for the stock Pi, is the removal of the converter an easy DIY thing?

 

@franz159 @chauphuong The IanCanada projects are very interesting but since I already got a DAC (and didn't read the whole thread on the DIY forum) would it make sense to get the Pi with a normal power supply and then, eventually, upgrade by removing (if DIY feasible by a noob) the converter and upgrading to the IanCanada board?

 

To me the idea of the Pi gotta be simple, if connection with the NAS or memory device to store music is simple and reliable along with a way to control the player through an iOS device (ideally the iPhone) and the sound is equal or better than the MacBookAir connected via USB to my DAC then I'd sure evaluate dropping the computer and investing in an upgraded Pi but simplicity and audio quality gotta be on par of the MBAir at least and upgrades not costing like a high end piece of equipment.

 

Your hints very interesting and fun to find an Italian member on here (as well as on the Italian boards where we met ? )

 

Please go ahead with your suggestions, the Pi project is gonna take place somewhere after second week of the coming new year so if you give me hints at where to start from it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Best

 

Giovanni

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@Giuanniello Ciao Giovanni, thanks.

 

I'll try to answer based on my personal experience.

 

How I get to know Ian Canada

After reading a lot about the improvements you can get with a better, less noisy power of the source, I stumbled into Ian  Canada projects. My DIY abilities are limited, so I started simple: I bought from Ian the IsolatorPi and on eBay a cheap 50$ linear 5v PSU:
IsolatorPi is a Single Board Computer (SBC) HAT for RaspberryPi’s or ODROID’s that provides galvanic isolation for I2S, I2C, ID and power between the SBC and the digital audio card. It prevents transmission of SBC EMI noise via the ground and signal connection. 

Without having "bat ears", it was easy to empirically verify the benefit of using the IsolatorPi.

This latest project of "clever" battery PSU with different voltages goes beyond my personal DIY skills, but it seems very promising IMHO. But if you are interested, have a look at the group buy thread, which has been already in progress for a month or so.

 

The idea of the Pi gotta be simple

I completely marry this point of view and this is why I have been using Moode  software distro on raspberry for a few years now.

All the points you mention are met in my opinion:

  1. connection with the NAS or memory device to store music is simple and reliable
    • yes, my "NAS" is another raspberry with a 2Tb disk attached, shared on the LAN, but of course, you can use your QNAP, SInology or whatever real NAS you do have
  2.  a way to control the player through an iOS device (ideally the iPhone)
    • you can control Moode on raspberry "headless" with whatever browser you have on iPhone, iPad, Android device, PC, MAC....  the most difficult part is probably to find out the IP assigned by the DHCP service to the raspberry! :)
  3. the sound is equal or better than the MacBookAir connected via USB to my DAC 
    • I used to have with Audirvana on my MacBook Air, but the sound I get with Raspberry now is virtually indistinguishable
  4. dropping the computer
    • that was my main reason to start experimenting with the raspberry, I use my MacBook for many other things (mainly for work!) 
  5. upgrades not costing like a high end piece of equipment
    • when talking of raspberry related pieces the single upgrade is generally not costly... but please be advised that the game can become addictive because it is "so inexpensive" you start experimenting with a lot of different things :) :) 
      Mentioning a few examples from my experience
      • how does Volumio sound, is it better or worse than Moode?
      • let me try the HiFiBerry i2s/SPDIF transport into my new Chord MoJo Dac
        • Nice comparable with Audivana!
      • As a simple HAT (Hardware on Top) Dac, Allo Boss 1.2 is really good, probably one of the best dac for raspberry currently available
      • But Allo Boss allows for separate powering of Raspberry and Dac....maybe a relatively inexpensive Linear PSU from Audiophinics will work magic
      • When using USB, they say USB on raspberry is noisy, maybe Uptone USB Regen will help to improve
        • I tried this and sold it, not that much of a difference in my case.
        • I do not know if other devices of this type (Uptone ISO Regen, Intona USB isolator, IFI iGalvanic or iPurifier...) might be better, but I felt as if they make the audio chain too complicated. I like simplicity (Occam razor reminiscence?)
      • HiFiBerry Digi was really good but maybe AlloDigi One is less noisy the HiFiberry....
        • Allo DigiOne Signature is expensive but surely even better....
      • According to that guy in that forum if you use HdPlex 200 to power the dirty and clean side of DigiOne Signature the result is jaw dropping.... 
         

The last two items with DigiOne have not happened yet for me but......

 

Where to start?


If you already have an external DAC either you start with a plain raspberry through USB, or by adding a transport like Allo DigiOne (Signature version if budget allows) through COAX.

And then you start playing with power options....

 

Good luck!

 

Franz

PS: where are you based? Giuanniello also sounds Italian....

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, franz159 said:

@Giuanniello Ciao Giovanni, thanks.

 

@franz159 Ciao Franz, buongiorno.

 

 

 

19 hours ago, franz159 said:

 

I'll try to answer based on my personal experience.

 

How I get to know Ian Canada

After reading a lot about the improvements you can get with a better, less noisy power of the source, I stumbled into Ian  Canada projects. My DIY abilities are limited, so I started simple: I bought from Ian the IsolatorPi and on eBay a cheap 50$ linear 5v PSU:
IsolatorPi is a Single Board Computer (SBC) HAT for RaspberryPi’s or ODROID’s that provides galvanic isolation for I2S, I2C, ID and power between the SBC and the digital audio card. It prevents transmission of SBC EMI noise via the ground and signal connection. 

Without having "bat ears", it was easy to empirically verify the benefit of using the IsolatorPi.

This latest project of "clever" battery PSU with different voltages goes beyond my personal DIY skills, but it seems very promising IMHO. But if you are interested, have a look at the group buy thread, which has been already in progress for a month or so.

 

This Canadian project sounds like able to add a lot of improvements, I'll try and read more about it, the interesting bit to start with would be the IsolatorPi to check if separate power supply can really add improvements, I think that no matter how good it can be it always depends on the rest of the chain if differences might be audible, at least dunno how would it be in my case since my chain is pretty old with JBL4311b at the bottom of the chain and Audio Research SP9 at the top with a Beresford Caiman SEG as a DAC and almost only main input source since my beautiful and improved Sony CD X505ES sees little to no use at all and the fabulous Michell Gyrodec doesn't have room to constantly sit next to the preamp and as such does it as a beautiful (and bulky) dust collector.

 

I found the Twitter page about the Canadian boards, do they also have a website to read specs?

 

 

19 hours ago, franz159 said:

 

The idea of the Pi gotta be simple

I completely marry this point of view and this is why I have been using Moode  software distro on raspberry for a few years now.

All the points you mention are met in my opinion:

  1. connection with the NAS or memory device to store music is simple and reliable
    • yes, my "NAS" is another raspberry with a 2Tb disk attached, shared on the LAN, but of course, you can use your QNAP, SInology or whatever real NAS you do have

 

I actually use a QNap to serve as a file storage so I can stream movies to the AppleTVs, I would then move the FLAC music onto it to stream to the Pi and then to the DAC.

 

19 hours ago, franz159 said:
  1.  a way to control the player through an iOS device (ideally the iPhone)
    • you can control Moode on raspberry "headless" with whatever browser you have on iPhone, iPad, Android device, PC, MAC....  the most difficult part is probably to find out the IP assigned by the DHCP service to the raspberry! :)

 

 

Isn't it any of these players having ain iOS app and not having to use a browser instead?

 

19 hours ago, franz159 said:
  1. the sound is equal or better than the MacBookAir connected via USB to my DAC 
    • I used to have with Audirvana on my MacBook Air, but the sound I get with Raspberry now is virtually indistinguishable

 

The thing which does a difference is the possibility to use a sound equaliser, especially when playing electronic music (...) I often have to pull down the lower end of the audio spectrum, I think they believe that the boom boom makes music (...) more attractive 😎

 

19 hours ago, franz159 said:
  1. dropping the computer
    • that was my main reason to start experimenting with the raspberry, I use my MacBook for many other things (mainly for work!) 
  2. upgrades not costing like a high end piece of equipment
    • when talking of raspberry related pieces the single upgrade is generally not costly... but please be advised that the game can become addictive because it is "so inexpensive" you start experimenting with a lot of different things :) :) 
      Mentioning a few examples from my experience
      • how does Volumio sound, is it better or worse than Moode?
      • let me try the HiFiBerry i2s/SPDIF transport into my new Chord MoJo Dac
        • Nice comparable with Audivana!
      • As a simple HAT (Hardware on Top) Dac, Allo Boss 1.2 is really good, probably one of the best dac for raspberry currently available
      • But Allo Boss allows for separate powering of Raspberry and Dac....maybe a relatively inexpensive Linear PSU from Audiophinics will work magic
      • When using USB, they say USB on raspberry is noisy, maybe Uptone USB Regen will help to improve
        • I tried this and sold it, not that much of a difference in my case.
        • I do not know if other devices of this type (Uptone ISO Regen, Intona USB isolator, IFI iGalvanic or iPurifier...) might be better, but I felt as if they make the audio chain too complicated. I like simplicity (Occam razor reminiscence?)
      • HiFiBerry Digi was really good but maybe AlloDigi One is less noisy the HiFiberry....
        • Allo DigiOne Signature is expensive but surely even better....
      • According to that guy in that forum if you use HdPlex 200 to power the dirty and clean side of DigiOne Signature the result is jaw dropping.... 
         

The last two items with DigiOne have not happened yet for me but......

 

Where to start?


If you already have an external DAC either you start with a plain raspberry through USB, or by adding a transport like Allo DigiOne (Signature version if budget allows) through COAX.

And then you start playing with power options....

 

Good luck!

 

Franz

PS: where are you based? Giuanniello also sounds Italian....

 

It sounds Italian but it rather is Neapolitan 😉

 

19 hours ago, franz159 said:

 

 

 

 

 

Well as usual there is a lot of room for improvements but I'd go back to the limitations of my sound system and ask those who, like you, have first hand experience which are the ones which would add evident improvements; I tend to avoid overcomplicating (with no results apparently...) things so I'd like to hear from you guys once I get the Pi (gonna order it within couple days because a tube off of my power amp is gone and have to get a couple new ones so I'd place just one order for it all to have toys to play with onto delivery...) and the power supply (please confirm it gotta be 5v, would an extra volt make damage?) what would be a tangible improvement to add to it to give me SQ my ears would notice?

 

Also, since I am also buying mSD card to host the OS how many different ones would you advise to test, I understand from your experience Moode would make it but I also read a lot about Volumio, is there any other I should give a try and which size mSD would make it, 8GB or what it the minimum to host the OS?

 

Well, weather forecast was pretty spot on, nice bright and sunny day but freezing cold wind blowing from North which also smashed one of my plants vases on the floor so as soon as it cools a bit I will power on some music and take care of the plant.

 

You all have a great day!!!

 

 

Giovanni from the gulf of Naples (that's not the view out of my house, I wish...)

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Going to somehow partially reply to my own above post re input voltage for the Pi, it gotta be 5V, period! So no other voltages  are allowed but I just found out I have an Apple A1357 power supply which is rated 5.1Vcc 2A max, given to begin with I would only use the Pi as a music server with no HATs would it suffice? Seems so from the Raspberry website but I rather hear from you if I can delay adding a dedicated PSU.

 

Grazie

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@Giuanniello if the Apple A1357 is the normal Apple iPhone charger ....

 

IMG_4470.thumb.jpg.6f90ff293e1de1e71dd9ff2e3c34a691.jpg

 

 

.....the answer is YES...

 

I just did a quick test with it and I was able to power up 

  • raspberry Pi3 model B
  • wi-fi controller on raspberry
  • HAT IQaudIO Dac+
  • HD Seagate Backup Plus 1Tb attached on one of raspberry USB ports

 

And in answer to your previous post....

 

1) What to try besides Moode and Volumio?

 

I would say PiCorePlayer and AudioLinux (this last one not free though....).

 

2) Which are the tweaks which would add evident improvements?

 

I just started a few days ago playing with battery power, so I have not come to a firm conclusion yet, but first impressions are very good.

If you have a 5V power bank charger around, you might want to give it a try....

 

Franz

 

 

 

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I don't have any experience with Moode but of the freebies, I like runeaudio over volumio.  Others may but I could not tell an audio difference - but it is tough to do a valid AB test without duplicating all the eqipment.  Rune could index all my files very quickly while volumio took hours.  If you frequently switch harddrives around that delay can be frustrating.  Also rune UI is very similar in appearence across various devices.  Volumio changed on device and landscape/portrait.  Sometimes the album art spread across the screen so that the volume button was in the artist's nostril (I exagerate slightly).

 

Both products will run off a 8G SD card but it's hard to find smaller than 16G.  For power I use a 5V/2A charger that came with a Rpi kit.  I routinely power another Rpi with an attached HDD with a spare phone charger (not a music server).

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It is a modified Khadas toneboard. I worked with khadas in an OEM capacity. I chose them after much research because the boards performance simply beats the competition extracting pretty much all there is to get out of the dac chipset. They became known as an excellent DIY option primarily because I made another site reviewer aware of them.

I would encourage anyone who wants to save money to DIY this board, it is truly beating much of the competition. Cheapest way to do so is skewer some holes in a tupperware box and stuff the board in.

If you want a finished product which is in a very high quality milled aluminium case, tested and warranted for 3 years with accessible English speaking support to take a look at the DAC1.

My amplifiers use Hypex OEM products which are superb and used by many manufacturers including NAD, Bel Canto etc. I will also be releasing a headphone Amplifier soon which is my own design and has class leading Ultra Low noise and distortion.

Followed by a streamer product based on an OEM SBC and followed by a bookshelf dsp active speaker.

Hope that helps.


MARCH~audio
excellence in audio
https://www.marchaudio.net.au
 

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I'm trying to assemble a high resolution audio network using a Raspberry Pi3 B+, ethernet cable connected to my PC/server, and USB output to a Topping D50 DAC.

 

Software should be free, either on PC or RPi.

 

Suggestions I already received involved using HQPlayer (not free) and Squeezebox + piCorePlayer. The system has to be able to handle DSD files.

 

Is anyone using any of this?

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5 hours ago, carlmart said:

I'm trying to assemble a high resolution audio network using a Raspberry Pi3 B+, ethernet cable connected to my PC/server, and USB output to a Topping D50 DAC.

 

Software should be free, either on PC or RPi.

 

Suggestions I already received involved using HQPlayer (not free) and Squeezebox + piCorePlayer. The system has to be able to handle DSD files.

 

Is anyone using any of this?

 

I'm using Raspberry in a couple of different configurations:

 

  1. In one I use MoodeAudio , connected to an external USB dac.
    • software is Free, DSD up to DSD 128
  2. In another I use AudioLinux wiht i2s Allo Boss Hat (HArdware on Top) Dac
    • software is 29$, DSD up to 128 as well

Sonical results are probably marginally better for (2) but in terms of flexibility and features (1) is certainly almost unbeatable!

Of course, you could use your Topping D50 with both solutions.

 

 

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