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I've been running a Raspberry Pi 4B in my living room as a Plex server for a while now and have been wanting to see just what I can squeeze out of it for audio purposes. My AV receiver is lacking features like Bluetooth or even wifi for audio purposes, but it is recent enough to sport HDMI inputs and a DAC better than you'll find on the Raspberry Pi (what's on-board is pretty bad). I stumbled upon a (recently updated) install script that gives me most of what I was looking for.

 

rpi-audio-receiver

A simple, light weight audio receiver with Bluetooth (A2DP), AirPlay, Spotify Connect and UPnP.

https://github.com/nicokaiser/rpi-audio-receiver

 

The installation is just about foolproof. It all just works. Although, there is an audio-sleep for the HDMI audio output which can cause issues. Typically you'll miss the first second of any song that plays, annoying. My very crude (but equally functional) workaround is to leave VLC running with a looped track of silence. Since I'm lazy, I grabbed one from here: https://github.com/anars/blank-audio

 

Initially I looped the 750ms sample, but the looping of such a short track caused excessive CPU use and audio hiccups. Switched to a half hour track and I've not had any issues since. Yeah, there's gotta be a more elegant solution for this but it works for now.

 

From here, I'd like to add a local library playable via MPD and something along the lines of Airsonic to make that same library accessible when I'm out. As nice as Spotify is, there's plenty of content that doesn't make it there.

 

While I understand the appeal in the ready-made solutions like roon, I do like having a little more control over things (and the ability to keep Plex and my other junk going)

 

Enough blathering though, has anyone here taken a similar approach and used their Raspberry Pi for multiple purposes?

 

Edited by spaceritual
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I use a number of pi based solutions for streaming. In order to get the best digital output from it the signal has to be isolated and reclocked from the pi board. There are two options I am aware of if you want  to use the dac built into the AVR:

https://www.allo.com/sparky/digione.html

and more expensive but theoretically better.

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-and-interfaces-for-raspberry-pi/ian-canada-fifopi-q2-ultimate-reclocker-module-fifo-pcm-32bit-768khz-dsd1024-dop-p-13823.html    

with

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-and-interfaces-for-raspberry-pi/ian-canada-transportpi-digital-interface-spdif-low-jitter-for-raspberry-pi-p-14232.html

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On 15/08/2020 at 4:26 PM, Ozcall said:

I use a number of pi based solutions for streaming. In order to get the best digital output from it the signal has to be isolated and reclocked from the pi board. There are two options I am aware of if you want  to use the dac built into the AVR:

https://www.allo.com/sparky/digione.html

and more expensive but theoretically better.

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-and-interfaces-for-raspberry-pi/ian-canada-fifopi-q2-ultimate-reclocker-module-fifo-pcm-32bit-768khz-dsd1024-dop-p-13823.html    

with

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-and-interfaces-for-raspberry-pi/ian-canada-transportpi-digital-interface-spdif-low-jitter-for-raspberry-pi-p-14232.html

I am very curious about the Ian Canada solution. 
The fifopi q3 has just been released. I could be wrong but there doesn’t appear to be many users on stereonet with Ian Canada, or allo solutions. 
https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-and-interfaces-for-raspberry-pi/ian-canada-fifopi-q3-ultimate-fifo-reclocker-module-pcm-32bit-768khz-dsd1024-dop-p-14758.html

 

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Hi MB , there are a couple of very long threads on the DIY Audio forum detailing Ian's work :

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

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pc-based/335881-iancanadas-rpi-gb-goodies-impressions-tweaks-mods-hints.html

The second thread is the more pertinet one for Raspberry Pi info.

Igot all my stuff from Audiophonics and was very pleased with their service , although shipping is rather slow at the moment.

I have a fifopi Q3 on the way at the moment ,along with his 3.3v powersupply and supercap. Will post about the sound once they arrive.

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2 hours ago, Ozcall said:

Hi MB , there are a couple of very long threads on the DIY Audio forum detailing Ian's work :

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

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pc-based/335881-iancanadas-rpi-gb-goodies-impressions-tweaks-mods-hints.html

The second thread is the more pertinet one for Raspberry Pi info.

Igot all my stuff from Audiophonics and was very pleased with their service , although shipping is rather slow at the moment.

I have a fifopi Q3 on the way at the moment ,along with his 3.3v powersupply and supercap. Will post about the sound once they arrive.

I would very much appreciate feedback, and any comparisons. 

I am tossing up between a small silent Celeron Nuc, Vs Ian Canada solution. 

I use an RME ADI 2 so the USB implementation is excellent and with excellent jitter control/rejection.

https://cplonline.com.au/intel-bknuc8cchkr4-nuc-8-rugged-fanless-cel-n3350-4gb-64gb-emmc-wl-ac-usb3-0-no-os-3yr-wty.html

 

I am using roon. 

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This is the Ian Canada solution I was looking to purchase.

 

1xFifopi q3

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-and-interfaces-for-raspberry-pi/ian-canada-fifopi-q3-ultimate-fifo-reclocker-module-pcm-32bit-768khz-dsd1024-dop-p-14758.html

 

1xLinear power dual supply:

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/non-regulated-linear-power-supply/ian-canada-linearpi-dual-ultra-low-noise-linear-power-supply-module-2x-5v-33v-25a-p-14760.html

 

1x Transport output 

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-and-interfaces-for-raspberry-pi/ian-canada-transportpi-digital-interface-spdif-low-jitter-for-raspberry-pi-p-14232.html

 

I am just wondering whether USB (PC) or PCM (via Ian Canada) is the way to go. 

One drawback is the IC products are limited to 192khz via PCM.

Which would rule out DSD 256 via roon. 

 

You also need to invest in better clocks. 

Which are pricy. 

 

My DAC measurements suggest USB is the best path.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/measurements-of-rme-adi-2-dac-and-headphone-amp.7546/

 

Difficult without listening for ones self. The Ian Canada gear is not cheap either just to try at a whim. 

 

Other options worth considering, include:

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

https://www.allo.com/sparky/digione-signature.html

 

The Ian Canada pricing comes to circa $630 aud plus importing and delivery. 

image.thumb.png.ff3f82a3c215fa0af4e28ba84889b8ce.png

 

Edited by musicbee
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6 hours ago, Ozcall said:

Hi MB , there are a couple of very long threads on the DIY Audio forum detailing Ian's work :

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

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pc-based/335881-iancanadas-rpi-gb-goodies-impressions-tweaks-mods-hints.html

The second thread is the more pertinet one for Raspberry Pi info.

Igot all my stuff from Audiophonics and was very pleased with their service , although shipping is rather slow at the moment.

I have a fifopi Q3 on the way at the moment ,along with his 3.3v powersupply and supercap. Will post about the sound once they arrive.

Would it be possible for you to put together a list of links to the hardware which makes up your RPI/IAN CANADA solution.

That would be helpful. 

 

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8 minutes ago, musicbee said:

My DAC measurements suggest USB is the best path.

 

At first I thought USB was the poor cousin, but I keep running into reasons why it betters other serial interfaces.   I am very happy with just using USB to an external DAC from my Pi, but I am NOT the most critical of users, as digital is very much a second cousin to my main source of music from vinyl.

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Based solely on my own testing I have moved away from using usb , initially in favour of using HDMI and now to plain old coax. If you want to use usb then buy an ALLO USBridge signature and preferably one of their Shanti power supplies.

https://www.allo.com/sparky/usbridge-signature-pcb.html as this will be all you need. I am currently using Gentoo player as the OS as it is the best sounding ,so far and has many options to tune the sound to you liking.

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11 hours ago, Ozcall said:

Based solely on my own testing I have moved away from using usb , initially in favour of using HDMI and now to plain old coax. If you want to use usb then buy an ALLO USBridge signature and preferably one of their Shanti power supplies.

https://www.allo.com/sparky/usbridge-signature-pcb.html as this will be all you need. I am currently using Gentoo player as the OS as it is the best sounding ,so far and has many options to tune the sound to you liking.

I think it just comes back to system synergy, and the quality of your DACs implementation of USB, spdif, toslink, etc. IMO the allo SIG USB doesn’t look like anything special. 

Edited by musicbee
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18 hours ago, musicbee said:

I think it just comes back to system synergy, and the quality of your DACs implementation of USB, spdif, toslink, etc. IMO the allo SIG USB doesn’t look like anything special. 

Certainly a factor but have tried quite the number of dacs with many usb implimentations , Opearating systems. , powe supplies etc. I agree that the Allo sig doesn't look like much but it's perfromance is up therewith the best I haver heard so far and it can be used with the Ian Canada components if you want to try other output methods. Don't be fooled by the USBsigs low price it is a capable design and a great platform to build on.

Edited by Ozcall
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3 minutes ago, Ozcall said:

Certainly a factor but have tried quite the number of dacs with many usb implementations , Operating systems. , power supplies etc. I agree that the Allo sig doesn't look like much but it's performance is the best I haver heard so far and it can be used with the Ian Canada components if you want to try other output methods. Don't be fooled by the USBsigs low price it is a capable design and a great platform to build on.

Ok, thanks for that feedback. 

Seems as though RoPieee would be compatible.

https://ropieee.org/audio_hardware/

 

 

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