Jump to content
IGNORED

How is the Pi 4?


Recommended Posts

After bricking a MoBo im considering selling the remaining PC parts and getting a Pi 4 instead.
Compared to previous Pi it seems to be a big step up in quality while still keeping the simplicity.

Anyone have any feedback on it for audio, specifically for standalone use?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A few different reasons. while I think a powerful PC has particular benefits for SQ it also clearly/inevitably has flaws.
I don't like how wasteful is to have all that computing power and only use a fraction of it 90% of the time (I dont use oversampling/conversion of any kind), PC components lose value so rapidly it's better to sell sooner rather than later.
It will be interesting to try something different with the Pi... but that depends if people have anything positive to say about, Will probably just pick up another MoBo if not.

One thing that spurred this on though was a recent discovery that basic SD card+USB adapter made an excellent sounding playback drive, even compared to an Optane SSD... After exploring the high power side of computer audio it's time to explore the low power side.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

@seeteeyou so you need all 4 of these files?

 

Will try this today and report back.

 

This is the HAT I used with the Pi4. It sounds very good 🙂

 http://www.pi2design.com/store/p19/PI2AES_-_PRO_AUDIO_SHIELD.html

 

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Exocer said:

@seeteeyou so you need all 4 of these files?

 

Yeah, everyone on GitHub must play by the rules by splitting that relatively large piCorePlayer image into 4 parts

 

https://docs.github.com/en/[email protected]/github/managing-large-files/conditions-for-large-files

Quote

If you attempt to add or update a file that is larger than 50 MB, you will receive a warning from Git.

 

It's such a nice HAT from Pi 2 Design with fantastic voltage regulators, many of their fans could be found here

 

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/raspberry-pi-i2s-to-spdif-hat.1990/

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/dummies-guide-to-pi2aes-throw-away-your-pc-or-laptop.8878/

 

BTW, recently Ian Canada designed this StationPi and it should be coming in the (near?) future

 

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/192465-asynchronous-i2s-fifo-project-ultimate-weapon-fight-jitter-548.html#post6335309

nDgVuPt.jpg

 

31zrjES.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, bluesman said:

I’ve moved my boot and file system from an SD card to an inexpensive USB SSD, which really speeds performance.  The sole problem with a true standalone Pi for music is file storage, and you’re potentially compromising performance/ SQ if you use USB for both file storage and output to your DAC.  The solutions (beyond network storage, which is the best way to go IMO)require using a separate bus for file access and include a DAC in a HAT, a WiFi DAC, a WiFi HD etc.  The 4 has separate buses for network connections and USB, unlike the older Pis - so WiFi activity does not share a pipe with USB traffic.

 

Linux typically loads the OS from SD into memory and then doesn't access the SD card much when its running perhaps except to write to log files. Best not to use the USB bus for double duty (file access and DAC output).

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't realise the 2GB version is so inexpensive, it was only priced more than the 4GB on amazon (probably have excess 4GBs to shift) .  It is a no brainer for sure (ordered one on Ali Express)

The dedicated USB3 chip is one of the big improvements on previous Pi s, very nice to see it has its own 25MHz crystal rather than being clocked by PLL from main clock in  the SoC. Should be better for SQ by default but also opens up the possibility of feeding an external clock (can be hit or miss if this works well/at all since most chips arent designed to accept an external clock via the crystal input).
I can not find the main crystal frequency... hopefully it is not some odd value that you wont find in an external clock


The Wifi+BT chip is not really something you would want unless explicitly needed, though apparently the power to this chip can be disconnected by removing a single diode (I'm doubtful how effective disabling the chip in software alone is), if that's true it's a welcomed addition.
Still needs to be confirmed if A. the diode actually feeds the chip and only it (for one, it also powers the power indicator LED) and B. the Pi still boots without power to this chip.

The upgrade from DDR2 to DDR4 is pretty substantial also, RAM is definitely alongside USB for its influence on SQ and this brings it up to spec with current PCs (in fact at 3200Mhz its 50% faster than my desktop RAM!), I'm too young to have ever owned a PC that used DDR2 RAM...
It was suggested before that more RAM in PCs benefits SQ, even if only a small amount of capacity is used, hopefully someone tests this theory at some point with 4GB vs 2GB

Of course the Pis can be powered entirely by HQ power supplies, and could taken further by supplying some or all of the rails externally ( extreme but super low risk for something this inexpensive and simple, as computers go) but the switching DC/DC converters on board are not  much of a concern to me (assuming the converters used are modern/good and well implemented),  It's mostly they would not be as good at regulating/isolating the input as a linear regulator, so not so good when fed by another AC-DC switching supply.
The practical benefits are massive  (An external supply's performance will even benefit from these converters lightening the load compared to feeding more linear regs),.



 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi just bumped into this one. 

As anyone tested this one with a USBridge Sig? 

I will test it tonight. I am already running PiCorePlayer stock 6.1.0 so this one should work as well I guess. In fact in my test I ended up liking the most the sound I was getting with the USBrudge Sig being a Roon endpoint but using the Squeezebox server feature in Roon and running the end point as a Suqeezelite renderer. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You could have a very interesting experience if you

get a nas for you music archive 

install Minimserver and Bubbleupnpserver 

get a raspberry pi 4 (4gb)

install GentooPlayer with MPD/upmpdcli enabled

use Lumïn app as control point

connect any dac you like to the rpi4

all connected on your lan (WiFi just for control point)

not very expensive but really effective 

On my experience raspberry is a bit in trouble with large usb attached libraries and a nas with upnp server is the best solution.

 

Stefano

 

My audio system

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, numlog said:

I didn't realise the 2GB version is so inexpensive, it was only priced more than the 4GB on amazon (probably have excess 4GBs to shift) .  It is a no brainer for sure (ordered one on Ali Express)

And 2 gigs do the job well, especially if you run zram and use a good, fast 32+ card.  If you run JRiver or other graphic-heavy programs on it, 4 gigs of RAM will speed up the GUI over a 1 gig Pi. I don’t own a 2 gig Pi 4, so I haven’t compared that variant to a 1GB or a 4GB.  
 

The 4 with the current Buster OS allocates GPU space dynamically, so setting it in the conf file is no longer necessary or possible, AFAIK.

 

I think Stefano’s got it right - NAS is the way to go. But the OP does say “standalone”, which implies storage as well.  I put Minimserver on my Asustor NAS when researching for my articles, and it works great (although I use Roon and JRiver for my own listening).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will definitely try NAS, with both ethernet and Wifi, just never could see how it could be better than standalone. An active LAN /WiFi interface seems like it would be more or less as harmful as active storage device , and then you end up with more stuff to worry about on sending end of the network. It would be very foolish to dismiss without trying it though, especially when so many seem to like it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, al2813 said:

Hi just bumped into this one. 

As anyone tested this one with a USBridge Sig? 

I will test it tonight. I am already running PiCorePlayer stock 6.1.0 so this one should work as well I guess. In fact in my test I ended up liking the most the sound I was getting with the USBrudge Sig being a Roon endpoint but using the Squeezebox server feature in Roon and running the end point as a Suqeezelite renderer. 

 

Quickly tried and this is not working for the USBridge. I would guess missing drivers. Is the tweak done specifically for RPI4? 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, al2813 said:

Quickly tried and this is not working for the USBridge. I would guess missing drivers. Is the tweak done specifically for RPI4? 

 

Correct, that's only meant for RPi4 and here's another alternative

 

http://albumplayer.ru/readme_en.pdf

http://albumplayer.ru/linux/english.html

http://albumplayer.ru/linux/guide_en.txt

 

Image of bootable SD card Yoctoap (Raspberry Pi  CM3)

http://albumplayer.ru/linux/yoctoap-cm3.zip

 

Not sure if this Ethernet driver provided by Allo were working for that particular Linux distro, though

 

https://github.com/MichaIng/DietPi/issues/3725#issuecomment-687798614

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, seeteeyou said:

 

Correct, that's only meant for RPi4 and here's another alternative

 

http://albumplayer.ru/readme_en.pdf

http://albumplayer.ru/linux/english.html

http://albumplayer.ru/linux/guide_en.txt

 

Image of bootable SD card Yoctoap (Raspberry Pi  CM3)

http://albumplayer.ru/linux/yoctoap-cm3.zip

 

Not sure if this Ethernet driver provided by Allo were working for that particular Linux distro, though

 

https://github.com/MichaIng/DietPi/issues/3725#issuecomment-687798614

 

Not sure if this fits my goal as this is a packaged player. Reading your posts, this was a tweaked PiCorePlayer with a tweaked Squeezelite. I use exactly this today as my Roon endpoint (paradoxically as this is a functionality delivered by Roon as a side - for me it sounds better than using Roon Bridge and I tried several distributions). Always look for ways to improve SQ....

 

I do have an extra RPI4 so will try your version with that and see how it plays against my USBridge sig using "stock" PiCorePlayer

Link to post
Share on other sites

NAS could be an interesting topic to talk about, recently a fellow audiophile here in Hong Kong replaced his Synology with another fanless mini PC that's running an audiophile OS called Snakeoil OS

 

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=136704

 

Basically his Synology couldn't even hold a candle when compared to that affordable mini PC with i5-8250U, he switched back to Synology just for fun and then even his spouse could notice the staggering differences.

 


 

BTW, this audiophile in Japan purchased two additional units of Pi 4 after he fell in love with the first one

 

https://www.my-hiend.com/vbb/showthread.php?5404-走向超值而極緻的-HI-FI電腦訊源(連載)&p=242530#post242530

 

1st one for his file server, 2nd one for running LMS, and then 3rd one for Squeezelite since that's the optimal setup for audiophiles.

 


 

FYI - someone else created this guide (in Chinese) for running LMS and Squeezelite separately on two units of Pi 4

 

https://www.my-hiend.com/vbb/showthread.php?13157-piCorePlayer6-1-0-Xenomai-44-1-48KHz雙機入門簡易安裝教學

 

Images wouldn't be displayed without an account over there, simply use Google Translate for the following pages instead

 

https://output.jsbin.com/xacixuquga

https://output.jsbin.com/ruvixipeko

https://output.jsbin.com/renixufoga

 

Many thanks for the contributions by sam0402 and tetsuka who spent so much time on fine-tuning piCorePlayer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI - other distros for Pi 4 seemed to be quite interesting, first one is called Kona Linux Pi from Japan and the language could be changed to English etc.

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1j9c6utgwrStLYD6xy5Yati63RcMlMp8S

https://lovely910.com/2020/08/28/2020-08-高音質ラズパイのkona-linux-pi-64bit-mate-1-0を、raspberry-pi-4で日本語起動/

https://lovely910.com/2020/08/30/2020-08-日本製高音質ラズパイのkona-linux-pi-64bit-xfce-1-0を、raspberry-pi-4で起動/

http://kanzou5.seesaa.net/article/477264973.html

 

Album Player

 

http://albumplayer.ru/linux/english.html

Quote
  • Image of bootable SD card piCoreAP 6.1 (Raspberry Pi  ZeroW/2/3/3b+/4)
  • Image of bootable SD card Yoctoap (Raspberry Pi  4)

 

Snakeoil OS as mentioned in my previous reply

 

https://www.patreon.com/posts/snakeoil-os-33602597

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r-wCQ4wHzO6wT7To4SmaAzdVy8eg3z4L/view

 

Another one from Japan called lightMPD

 

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/lightmpd/JsN0Tw-p2v0

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v0pM5Q7ieP57tvmvaxoFQJM7c53SXiAT/view

 

Finally symphonic mpd is optimized for I2S HATs and only wired network connections are supported, no USB audio and no Wi-Fi at all

 

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/317583-journeys-with-a-pi-from-a-standing-start-to-symphonic-mpd/?tab=comments#comment-4581125

https://www.facebook.com/565378050602738/posts/965376323936240

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEkcPvplElY

Quote

I also compared the sound quality and Symphonic-Mpd sounds more darker background and huge soundstage.

 

Comparison between Album Player and symphonic mpd

 

http://mimizukobo.sakura.ne.jp/cgi-bin/read.cgi?mode=all&list=topic&no=7648#7673

Quote

Yoctoap ap > smpd >> piCore ap

 


 

Some of us might wanna get the best of both worlds, here's Rock Pi X that could run Windows 10 as well as x86 / x64 versions of Linux

 

https://wiki.radxa.com/RockpiX

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=629267338959

https://www.seeedstudio.com/Rock-Pi-X-c-1585.html

https://shop.allnetchina.cn/collections/frontpage/products/rock-pi-x

https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/10/02/buy-rock-pi-x-windows-10-sbc/

 

MinorityClean from Japan

 

http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/3611-server-core-2019-hugo-tt-drivers/#entry52738

Quote

Tested with minorityclean v57 on both pcs, simply stunning.

 

http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/3063-pink-hq-minorityclean/page-34#entry52770

Quote

With MC62, my dream of MinorityClean with clarity, purity, extended-ness of 60, and excitement of 57 kind-of come true.

 

Hell, MC62 is even more clear, pure and extended than MC60, yet it is more exciting than 57.

 

This is just unbelievable. I have never heard signal so pure coming out of digital transport. I can't stop listening. I'm mind-blown!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm digging using my rpi4 running ropieee as a roon endpoint.  just usb out into some kef ls50w and works like a dream.

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (win10, roon core, hqplayer) (server) | intel nuc8i5 (audiolinux, naa) (renderer)
headphone rig:  schiit yggdrasil (a2, unison) > bryston bha-1 > senn hd600
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc2bp > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/12/2020 at 11:29 AM, numlog said:

I will definitely try NAS, with both ethernet and Wifi, just never could see how it could be better than standalone. An active LAN /WiFi interface seems like it would be more or less as harmful as active storage device , and then you end up with more stuff to worry about on sending end of the network. It would be very foolish to dismiss without trying it though, especially when so many seem to like it.

One of the biggest improvements in the Pi 4 over all prior versions is separation of the networking bus from USB.  Even the 3B+ shared one among WiFi, Ethernet, and USB.  And at last, the 4 has gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.  WiFi is no longer as big a limiter as it was on prior Pis because it’s not sharing bandwidth with USB.  
 

USB for simultaneous file access and output to a DAC still shares a bus, which potentially affects SQ when sourcing, processing, and playing large files with some system configurations.  And USB can’t adequately power both a DAC and a drive for file storage - at least one has to be externally powered, in most cases.  An I2S DAC in a HAT solves this problem and (if the DAC is a good one) can result in better SQ.  This also leaves USB free for file storage on an external drive.

 

I use 5 GHz WiFi for network access on my Pi 4s and hear no SQ difference against Ethernet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

(Make sure that we're connecting Pi 4 to a reliable power source before the update is applied, and then it must be done with the official Raspberry Pi OS available @ https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspios_lite_armhf/images/raspios_lite_armhf-2020-08-24/2020-08-20-raspios-buster-armhf-lite.zip . There's no need to keep that micro SD card afterwards.)

 


 

How to Boot Raspberry Pi 4 From a USB SSD or Flash Drive

https://www.tomshardware.com/how-to/boot-raspberry-pi-4-usb

https://www.reddit.com/r/raspberry_pi/comments/hwzzs7/question_regarding_disabling_power_for_the_rpi4bs/

Quote

uhubctl does work to completely disable USB power on RPi4B. Make sure you update VL805 firmware to latest version (00137ad), and use latest uhubctl (version 2.2.0).

 

FYI - piCorePlayer mentioned above already included uhubctl version 2.2.0

 

https://www.my-hiend.com/vbb/showthread.php?13157-piCorePlayer6-1-0-Xenomai-44-1-48KHz雙機入門簡易安裝教學

https://archive.is/dQAY2

https://archive.is/eYcRa

https://archive.is/7B2P7

 

cLEE8aB.jpg

3JYAZZt.jpg

 

Let's say USB drive is plugged into P1 and USB DAC / DDC is connected to P4 respectively, therefore P2 could be powered off right away

 

sudo /home/tc/uhubctl -l2 -p2 -a0

 

Same deal with P3

 

sudo /home/tc/uhubctl -l2 -p3 -a0

 

Finally we'll wait for a few minutes before powering off P1 while leaving P4 alone

 

sleep 300;sudo /home/tc/uhubctl -l2 -p1 -a0

 

Everything could be combined together as shown below

 

sudo /home/tc/uhubctl -l2 -p2 -a0;sudo /home/tc/uhubctl -l2 -p3 -a0;sleep 300;sudo /home/tc/uhubctl -l2 -p1 -a0

 

Squeezelite itself doesn't need to write anything back to the USB drive, therefore nothing will share the same bus with the USB DAC when 3 outta 4 USB ports are powered off.

 

LMS itself doesn't run completely off RAM since the database is located at the USB drive, that's why I linked to a guide for running two units of Pi 4 separately with two different piCorePlayer images. (Support for TIDAL was removed from that specific image for LMS.)

 

BTW, here's the link to get uhubctl for other distros

 

https://github.com/mvp/uhubctl

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

Immediate impression of Pi 4, as expected, was the softness to the sound, similar to an underclocked desktop (or the same since the pi 4 has fairly low CPU speed). Like underclocking It's not really good or bad in terms of quality, just a sound character.
After sometime to pick on the deeper nuances of the sound what became apparent were the flaws of the desktop SQ rather than the Pi strengths, Pi just sounds so much more transparent and cleaner. Maybe there is slight extra detail from the desktop in some ways but it's swamped but how less enjoyable it is to listen to, and Im fairly sure this is down to the upgraded clocking in the desktop and would be surprised if the Pi doesnt completely surpass it when it get's the same treatment.
Pi is powered by 5V linear supply (through onboard DC converters). Desktop had CPU, SSD and USB card with direct linear supplies, everything else powered with a good standard ATX supply. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/11/2020 at 9:08 PM, seeteeyou said:

The "secret sauce" turned out to be this fine-tuned version of piCorePlayer available for free here, I was given just a little bit of credit since I simply provided some hints for improving quality of the Linux kernel with Xenomai

 

http://www.stsd99.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=19160#p19160

 

Thanksgiving Edition with further SQ improvements

 

http://www.stsd99.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=19288#p19288

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sam0402/pcp-44.1KHz/master/piCorePlayer6.1.0-xenomai_TG.zip

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sam0402/pcp-44.1KHz/master/piCorePlayer6.1.0-xenomai_TG.z01

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sam0402/pcp-44.1KHz/master/piCorePlayer6.1.0-xenomai_TG.z02

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sam0402/pcp-44.1KHz/master/piCorePlayer6.1.0-xenomai_TG.z03

Link to post
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


×
×
  • Create New...