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Raspberry Pi or small PC

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Henry J, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. Fahzz

    Fahzz Forum Resident

    Outside Providence
  2. Henry J

    Henry J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Asbury Park, NJ
    both open to the same link.
    Thanks, I will investigate!
  3. I have 4 Pi 4s running either modified Vitos or DietPi as roon bridges. I'd recommend not using a DAC hat, and using a USB DAC via cable. The Pi4s are better than 3s, and faster. The 3's utilize wired networking over USB, and also don't have 5Ghz WiFi support (3 B+ may?) like the 4's if needed.

    You can google to see the addl. noise a DAC hat has over separate powered DAC on other sites, I believe audiosciencereview may have a review of the Allo product that shows some noise.
  4. Halloween_Jack

    Halloween_Jack Forum Resident

    Hampshire, UK
    Where's the proof of this? People that actually have taken the time to measure the Pi3 have said it's fine, and the Pi4 is even better. This was likely started by those selling either Pi add-ons, or wanting people to have to buy one of their expensive servers. It's not in their interests to have a cheap Pi by all that anybody really needs...
    Mindhead1 and Rob6899 like this.
  5. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    welcome to the club :D

    the Pi4 with a good external usb card sounds awesome
    ampguy likes this.
  6. Claude

    Claude Senior Member

    I just bought a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB RAM), my first Raspi, which I planned to use as a smart home server for my future house (with the OpenHAB software).

    But as there are so many ready-made dedicated OSes around - for all types of uses - and the OS can be changed quickly by swapping the SD card in the Raspi, I also tried the LibreELEC distribution, which contains the Kodi media client.

    LibreELEC – Just enough OS for KODI

    This is so much better than any file playback software in a Blu-ray player or SmartTVs and streaming sticks such as Chromecast, with full CEC-HDMI support (use the TV remote to control all the features of the player), hardware support for h265 files, lots of available add-ons for online streaming content (but some are outdated and no longer work), and many other features. It's also much more flexible, because there are settings for everything. And it is fast, files load quickly and menus never hang. I'm currently using 1080p material maximum.

    I used to play movie files with my Oppo 103 and my PC also connected to the TV (using VLC for h265 files, which the Oppo does not support), but the Raspi with Kodi will now replace both.

    I'm now planning to equip all the TVs in the future house with Raspis as a media player. At 80€, it's a bargain, especially since the device can do many other things as well.
  7. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    I have a nearly identical setup. Raspberry Pi 4 using LibreElec / Kodi and it's now my digital media center.

    I have two USB external hard drives to which I have ripped all of my CD's, lots of my HiRes needle drops and downloads, many of my DVD's and even some Blu-Ray's. I have the HDMI output of the Pi going into my Yamaha receiver, sending the audio bitstream. The Yamaha decodes Hi-Res, 5.1, stereo, whatever it gets.

    I even loaded thousands of photos and have a "picture slideshow" screensaver running that displays all my photos. And the Kodi library lets you catalog as much as want to your most OCD tendencies. :)

    It's fun to sit and "surf the Pi" using my TV's remote control, or my phone app, or from my desktop browser. Highly recommended.
    William Barty and Claude like this.
  8. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Well the headphone jack/output is noisy. And I don't mean "I see noise when measuring via a machine", it's just audibly noisy with even regular headphones. Of course the solution is easy enough to rectify, just use a USB DAC. There are even some tiny ones <$10 that include a headphone output that work just fine for casual use.
  9. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    I'm thinking in include my turntable to the Pi 4 ... someone tried some audio interface like motu m2 or scarlett 2i2 with the Pi?

    I mean, it works driverless? at 96/24?
  10. domesticmachine

    domesticmachine Resident forum

    Portland, OR
    Anyone running non-powered USB drives to their Pi? I have a powered 1TB to mine and also an 80gb thumb drive that I use to supplement the main library. Easier to pop in and out if I want to add a new album without it having to recognize all 1TB of files.

    I’ve read that you should only use powered USB drives but haven’t had an issue with the thumb drive. Thinking of ditching the powered one as it’s pretty noisy. I don’t like that it’s on all the time either. Have never been able to code my Rune Audio software to auto power it off when not in use. Also since it takes an hour to load all the files shutting it down could be problematic.

    Anyone use internal flash drives to house files? Those would be. A good option too for storage given that they make 500gb ones now.
  11. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    I have 2 USB drives - a 4TB and a 2 TB running simultaneously, both powered by the USB slots only. The Pi itself has a USB-C 5V 3A power supply.

    This is the exact kit I have:

  12. vinnn

    vinnn Forum Resident

    There's really no need to disconnect the drive to transfer files to it, just transfer them to the Pi over the network via smb or scp.

    Also yes, spinning hard disks are not something you want in a listening space as they make noise so its best to have your storage available on your home network which can be accessed by the computers at hime including the Pi.
    Many modern routers have a USB port for sharing out a disk on your network, aka a cheap file server. If your router has this use it and access it over the network. If it doesn't get yourself one.
    domesticmachine and dasacco like this.
  13. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    Exactly. I have my Pi and my Windows desktop both hardwired into my router, and I can copy files to the USB drives on the Pi in seconds. It does work over wifi as well, it was simply convenient for me to wire into the router.
  14. brendonbourque

    brendonbourque Forum Resident

    For the past month I've used the following:

    Roon (using Qobuz) -> RoPieee -> Raspberry Pi 4 -> Schiit Mocius DAC -> Marantz 2215B receiver.

    I love it. Like to a point where I'm not sure when I'll have the need to purchase vinyl for a while. Love having the digital component on my Marantz--game changer. The Roon and RoPieee combo is really nice too as they play really nicely together. I really like the fact that RoPieee was created by a dude named Harry (I think?) and seems to be super hands on with everything and the interface is super clean as well--really easy to set up and update if need be.
  15. Claude

    Claude Senior Member

    I have a Raspberry Pi 4 with the official power supply (5.1V).

    A Western Digital 2.5" 2TB drive connected to one of the USB3 plugs works fine.

    When I connected a second Western Digital 2.5" 500GB drive to the other USB3 plug, the 2TB drive would shut off and on constantly.

    So there is not enough power for two hard drives. I read that before but I wanted to try it myself

    Can the Pi 4 power 2 external USB 3 HDDs?
  16. Mindhead1

    Mindhead1 Well-Known Member

    I have a 512GB SanDiak Ultra thumb drive plugged into my RPi 4. I run MoOde and have a Hifiberry Digi+ Pro HAT. I use the Coax into my CXA81 amp.

    The USB drive works great. It serves my FLAC and I find the entire setup to be the best $200 I have ever spent on audio.

    While the USB FLAC is great I find I don’t use it much these days since I started streaming Qobuz via the RPi via UpNP.

    I know everyone is not comfortable with DIY and computers, but RPi 4 with a USB DAC is an untouchable streaming bargain. For $150 you can have a setup that will take over $1000 to beat and even then it’ll not be by much.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
    Rob6899 and domesticmachine like this.
  17. domesticmachine

    domesticmachine Resident forum

    Portland, OR
    Thanks for all your replies. I’m not gonna quote them all but each has been valuable. Glad to find a fellow group of music loving folks who also built one of these for hifi listening (instead of scanning coding related boards I’m glad to have a share interest in audio quality). I agree completely with the above post as a pi owner with a HifiBerry DAC.

    As I built my streamer 4 or 5 years ago I prob need to upgrade to a pi 4, grab a way bigger thumb drive, see if my router has a server input and and maybe just reinstall rune. Kinda crazy how long this thing I built has been kicking out super high quality digital jams with very little maintenance cost or effort beyond the initial time and small $ investment. About time I threw another $75 at the system.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  18. I think it depends on your OS, linux doesn't need drivers to use the Scarlett Solo and 2i2 Gen2's (all I have are Gen2's, USB bus powered). I also use a Scarlett for up to 24/192 with my headphone setup which uses Roon to a DietPi Pi4 which connects and powers the Scarlett Solo, analog outs of the Solo go to headphone amp.

    Mike70 likes this.
  19. Rob6899

    Rob6899 Forum Resident

    Millom, UK
    I have used a beringer UCA 222 but I was experimenting with using audacity on an old rpi3 with Raspian OS. It worked well, would be even better with an RPI 4. I got real time working but it had a massive buffer so I fell back to my Powerful Desktop PC.

    However it's not 24/96, it's 24/48 I think.
    Mike70 likes this.
  20. Ric-Tic

    Ric-Tic Forum Resident

    There is a lot of useful information in this thread. Thanks for that.

    I don't thing Gentooplayer has been mentioned yet. I have tried many of the larger mainstream audiodistros for the Pi3, and I found them to be lacking in UX-experince/buggy or keep crashing on me until I tried Gentooplayer.

    The distro requires some editing in config-files through the command line. Which can be odd for the novice user because text editors like nano et. al are not point and click. Once you get hang of the keyboard commands and learn how to ssh in to the Gentooplayer it is well worth the effort.

    The distro runs like clockwork and is highly customisable. It has plug-ins for Spotify, LMS, MPD etc. I haven't tinkered with the distro that much because it runs so well right out of the box, But you can turn off noisy features for instance bluetooth and wi-fi in the Pi by (if I understood this correctly) by changing kernels.

    My set-up is Gentoplayer+Spotify plugin in to a Raspberri3 >>Hifiberry S/PDF-hat >> Topping E30 Dac. I control the spotify client through my phone or computer. I use it mainly for discover new music or background listening.

    gentooplayer audio linux optimized
  21. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    York, Maine
    These conversations are very interesting to me but one thing seems to elude me whenever I try to research this... does anyone have a basic hook-up diagram that shows how one of these Raspberry Pi systems is set-up? I am currently using the line out of an older HP laptop running Ubunutu and Gmusicbrowser from an external SSD drive. I am thinking about switching to a Raspberry Pi set-up, controlling it either by phone (currently Galaxy S7, possibly becoming an Apple 12) or a cheapo tablet that I would buy specifically for this.

    That HiFiBerry website seems to hint at what I need but there isn't any type of "basic setup" anywhere that I can find.
  22. domesticmachine

    domesticmachine Resident forum

    Portland, OR
    if you search the web for ‘raspberry pi music streamer” you’ll find a bunch of links to tutorials. A lot of videos too with step by step instructions.

    Here’s a few links (These have all been posted since I built mine). Although one of the tutorials uses a small pi I think most of us are running pi 3 or 4.

    Most of the links have images but the basic components are a raspberry pi, a flash card for the software, a DAC (the headphone out on standard pi is garbage), a power supply, and a USB drive (to store the files). I got a nice case for mine that fits the pi and the DAC for $15.

    Turn your Raspberry Pi into the ultimate music streamer
    Raspberry Pi Audio Streamer? Why not!
    Making your own Raspberry Pi music streamer ⚒

    a lot of images of custom audio streamer builds on the HiFiBerry site too.
    Ric-Tic and superstar19 like this.
  23. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    York, Maine
    Maybe I wasn't clear... Right now, I have a laptop that I have to boot up, turn on my flatscreen, change the TV input and go grab the wireless keyboard/mouse to play music off of my external HD via my Marantz integrated. I'd rather just turn on a Raspberry Pi box, pull out my phone and start playing tunes right away via my Marantz.

    If I buy a this bundle from HiFiBerry: HiFiBerry DAC bundle Pi 4 | HiFiBerry
    How do I configure it? The options for the DAC are extensive: DAC2 HD, DAC2 Pro, DAC + DSP, DAC + ADC Pro, DAC+ Pro XLR, DAC + standard - RCA version, DAC+ ADC & lastly DAC+ Light. A few of these are pretty obvious, like, no, I don't need XLR, but others are not so obvious - like what is the difference between DAC2 & DAC? HD or Pro? For these DAC cards, HiFi Berry should have a "Compare" button so that one can compare the features of each option. I think I can figure it out, but I don't want to guess.

    I assume I need a heatsink on the Raspberry Pi processor but if I do, why is it an option?

    Do I want/need a remote? What would it do for me?

    If I'm planning to control this with my phone or a tablet, do I need an HDMI cable? Speaking of using my phone, does HiFiBerry's Raspberry Pi board have that function? Does it have built-in WiFi?

    What is the best way to connect to my Marantz integrated amp? Should I go with a DAC with analog outs to a line in on my Marantz or get a DAC with a digital out and run that into the digital in on the Marantz? If I go with a digital connection, then why is the card called a DAC? :)

    The operating system stuff looks pretty straight forward. I am used to Linux so that doesn't scare me too much.
  24. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    My rec:
    Get the digipro option card, the heat sink, the power supply(easy off/on switch) and use SPDIF digital coax cable input to to your PM7005.
    Mindhead1 likes this.
  25. domesticmachine

    domesticmachine Resident forum

    Portland, OR
    Yeah i think the answers to a lot of your questions will be present in running through any of those tutorials. Once you have the prices and a cord to connect to your recover it’s all coding in Linux based on the software you select and set up on your flash card. Honestly the programming was the hardest part for me (but fairly easy to figure out) as I have no Linux experience. If you know Linux and can code it that’s probably 75% of the work. Configuring my Hi Fi Berry DAC + was modifying some of the lines in the code as they describe on their site.

    There are a ton of options out there for DAC and I’m sure people who have a more discerning ear than I can weigh in but I’d advise just grabbing a pi, a card, a DAC that looks good to you and has outputs that match your receiver and giving it an afternoon to put together. I don’t remember the heat sink being required but I fit a short one on under my DAC. It couldn’t hurt to put one on.

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