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Raspberry Pi or small PC

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

  1. Mindhead1

    Mindhead1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Does your Marantz have DAC built in? If so, does it have a USB input? If so, I’d start simple and get an RPi 4B, RPi power supply, and a basic RPi case, a 16GB SD card and load MoOde onto the SD card.

    You can access the MoOde UI via a web browser. Try streaming with this setup before investing in a HAT for the RPi.

    if your Marantz doesn’t have have a USB DAC, but optical and/or coax I’d get a Hifiberry Digi+ Pro HAT for the RPi and a Hifiberry case.

    If your Marantz doesn’t have a DAC, I’d look into getting a unit like the Allo Boss2 Player. You could go with one of the Hifiberry DACs, but I’m not sure of the compatibility of new Hifiberry DAC with MoOde. Also, asked on reviews Allo is the better DAC. Honestly, this maybe the best option regardless of your Marantz’s DAC status.
     
  2. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, Maine
    That Allo Boss2 is quite the enigma. They seem to have gone out of their way to make it pretty much plug & play... except for power... and then they complicate it even more by having this odd external grounding scheme. Why didn't they just supply the power supply with the ground already in place?

    And I have to say, the WAF is very low. I doubt she'd let me put this out in plain sight. :)
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ric-Tic

    Ric-Tic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I would worry that much about the power supply in the beginning. You can always add a fancy one later on. I run my hifiberry Pi on a cheap phone charger. My speakers hums a little bit when it is on, and when I listen to records I turn the Pi off. Obviously this is more important if a Raspberri Pi is going to be your main solution for listening to music.

    The fun stuff is finding your distro of choice and setting upp your Rasberry Pi. Maybe you will get a glimpse of the wonderful world of Open Source Software and Linux. :)
     
    Mindhead1 likes this.
  4. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    Using the recommended power source in mi Pi 4 without any noise ... black background.

    Spotify works perfectly via WiFi ( totally gapless) and the usb sound card to my integrated amplifier. Even with a cheap Behringer sound card sounds pretty good.

    I don't already tested with a lossless streaming and a better sound card, primarily because I don't use streaming for "serious listening" for sure ... but ... what I hear in that way it's very good. I'm not thinking in "uh oh change that please", i only tap the foot while I work or search something in the internet.

    Very, very recommended. I don't think any budget "audiophile fancy streamer" will be better. Period.
     
    Mindhead1 likes this.
  5. Ric-Tic

    Ric-Tic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Oops, I should not post before my morning coffee has kicked in and now the edit window is closed. I meant to say: I would not worry that much about the power supply.
     
  6. Mindhead1

    Mindhead1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    The RPi power supply is quiet. I use it on my setup and have no problems.

    Hide the unit in the back of your rack. It doesn’t need to be seen to do it’s job.
     
    vconsumer likes this.
  7. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, Maine
    Boy... this topic can really chew up time. I start looking into things and the next thing I know, 4 hours have gone by. :)

    First off, this video basically says that heatsinks don't do much at all in reducing temperature: . I am on the fence about which way to go there.

    Secondly, from telemike's linked video earlier in this thread ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CfnXOlYiz8 ) it looks like I can just get a straight RPI 4 in a case with no HAT at all and run it straight into my Marantz DAC input via USB and get good results. It also sounds like Volumio is the first thing to try as a music controller.

    A few things... would simply pulling data off my external and piping it to my Marantz minimize the RPI's processor load (and reduce the temp)? Would an external hard drive with it's own power supply reduce the load on the RPI board (and lower the temp) or am I OK with a SSD hard drive that's powered up via the RPI? I can use Ethernet (but it's not as convenient) - is this less of a thermal load on the RPI board than using WiFi? Has anyone done any benchmarking on the various audio apps to see which one has the least processor loading? All of these questions are to assess needing a fan. I don't want a fan.
     
    superstar19 likes this.
  8. vinnn

    vinnn Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Whether the filesystem containing your media is on a network share or on a local attached disk will not make any difference to the CPU load and thus the temperature of the CPU/SoC.

    You are right though, the little stick-on heatsinks you can get for Raspberry Pi have been largely useless since the Pi 2.
    There's no problem with not using a heatsink or any cooling at all, it will just throttle down to a slower CPU clock rate under load to maintain the temps. For audio it'll make little difference as playing/rendering audio is not an intensive load.
    If you want to achieve the maximum performance of a Raspberry Pi then a thermal case solution like the Flirc case is what you want. A case which is also a heatsink and you'll get no thermal throttling with a Flirc case other than in the most extreme use cases.
     
    superstar19 and Mindhead1 like this.
  9. Mindhead1

    Mindhead1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I wouldn’t worry about over heating the RPi. I run mine for hours on end via WiFi with no issues.

    As for storage, I use a 512GB USB thumb drive for FLAC storage and it works flawlessly.

    Volumio is a good distro, but I didn’t want to pay the subscription fee to get advanced features. I use MoOde and made a donation to the MoOde developers.
     
    woody and vinnn like this.
  10. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, Maine
    Why are there 2, 4 & 8 GB RPI boards? Is there any benefit to getting an RPI with more than 2GB of RAM(?) if I'm just going to play or stream music files? Is the memory important if I might want to run a video signal to a display? (Seems likely)
     
  11. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    I got the Pi 4 4GB with MoOde and a metalic case ... forget about heat ... hours with Spotify connect via WiFi and it's only warm.
    I agree with @Mindhead1, Volumio is changing the business model and i don't like their Spotify UI implementation ...i prefer Spotify connect with MoOde and the real Spotify UI in my computer / cell phone.

    Don't be afraid with the Pi ... it's an awesome device ... people are really wasting much money in fancy players with usb sound purifiers / cleaners and many other "atomic features" for streaming.
     
    Mindhead1 likes this.
  12. Mindhead1

    Mindhead1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    People use RPi for many things this the different memory configurations. For audio only 2GB is sufficient the OS resides on the SS card and is very light weight. If you want the extra over head just to be safe get a 4GB model. 8GB is overkill for an audio only setup.
     
  13. brendonbourque

    brendonbourque Forum Resident

    Agree. I think the Pi can be a little intimidating when people see the dos style command lines thinking there is a lot of programing that takes strong computer knowledge. In my two Pi projects, Retro Gaming with RetroPi, and the Network streamer with RoPieee, I have found that all of the hard work is done for you and all you really need to do is find a good guide on how to set things up. RoPieee made it super simple with their tutorial--same with Volumio, I just prefer RoPieee.
     
    Mindhead1 likes this.
  14. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    yes, you don't need to be a programmer to use it, far from that ... and remember ... all the operative systems have the "DOS style command lines" :agree:
    They only offer higuer level services on the UI for the final user, but every operative system it's based on low level commands.
    Even many people doesn't know that their pretty Mac computers are linux based (since Mac OS X ... more or less in the early 2000) ... Android is linux based ... etc etc.
     
  15. Mindhead1

    Mindhead1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Putting the OS on the SD card is probably the toughest thing to do when setting up an RPi. I use MoOde, and the OS has really gotten streamlined and if you follow a few guides you can figure it out.

    Volumio is the easiest.
     
  16. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, Maine
    I have been using Ubuntu and Mint Linux machines for many years so I have been sudo apt-getting for a while now. :)
     
    Andrea_Bellucci likes this.
  17. Andrea_Bellucci

    Andrea_Bellucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Hi Guys!

    Yeah, sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade are my favorites in the terminal... :)

    I do also use Linux for over 10 years now. On the Raspberry Pi 400, I use the new Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 for Pi.

    It looks great, is quite fast, and has replaced my netbook for Office use. The Pi 400 also has no fan.

    For those who are on the fence of getting one, try it. For 100€/$ you can now get a full desktop replacement, where you can get different OS for free.

    Bye Andrea :wave:
     
  18. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    the other terminal command i prefer to the GUI is the "find" command ... very easy, fast and powerful ... with the GUI i always keep wondering if a hidden filter wasn't applied or stuff like that.
     
  19. Claude

    Claude Senior Member

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    I use a 4GB version, and while playing videos (h.264 and h.265) using LibreElec with Kodi, the RAM usage never goes above 1GB.

    The 2GB version seems to be no longer available. It's still listed on the manufacturer website, but it's sold out in all the linked stores. Given the significant price difference of the 2/4/8GB versions ($35/55/75), that's disappointing.
     
  20. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Audiophile wannabe

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I posted this question on the Pi thread for noobs but didn't get an answer: if I get a Pi 4 to run Volumio, do I need to install an additional operating system at the start or is Volumio all I need?
     
  21. Henry J

    Henry J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Asbury Park, NJ
    While no expert in the pi "yet", I have been building pc's for many a year.
    I have my pi4 on my desk just waiting for my pi2aes to ship this week.
    It's my understanding that volumio or moode will be all thats needed.
     
    Dr. J. likes this.
  22. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    Yes, Volumio and MoOde already includes the OS.
     
  23. Ric-Tic

    Ric-Tic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    No, Volumio is the operating system.
     
    Dr. J. likes this.
  24. theotherme

    theotherme Forum Resident

    Hi, very interesting thread, lots of reading. Please help me out with my shopping list. I want to build a RPi 4 set up to feed a Schiit DAC via Toslink / SPDIF. Files will be read from an external HDD plugged into the RPi via USB, not interested in streaming, NAS or any kind of file sharing. Never built one so I need to make sure I don´t miss anything.

    - RPi 4 4GB + Power supply
    - Toslink output HAT such as HIFIBERRY DIGI2 PRO or ALLO DIGIONE Spdif Output
    - Power supply for the HAT
    - 32GB micro sd card
    - Software (I know there are many open source options just putting it here to have the full picture), currently leaning towards MoOde
    - Toslink cable

    - Case: nice to have but not mandatory
    - Coolers or heatsinks: not necessary (from what I’ve read on this thread)
    - Card readers: have lots of SD to micro SD adapters to use with computers, I understand RPi4 comes with a micro SD slot so no additional reader is necessary


    Thanks!
     
  25. AP1

    AP1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    TX
    External HDD equal noise. I also strongly recommend using USB interface for DAC. That way you eliminate any possibility of jitter.

    Correct setup will be:

    1. Computer with NAS or DAS storage to keep and control music library. Located in separate room or closet. It will be noisy.
    2. RPi as renderer device receiving audio stream via wired or WiFi network from abovementioned computer
    3. Phone or tablet as remote controller to select music and control playback.

    There are several software platforms allowing to build that setup.
     

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