Dummies Guide to Pi2AES! Throw away your PC or laptop.

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    That’s what I’m afraid of. But at least on this you should be able to ssh into it and perhaps try some alternative methods of mounting a network file system. The volumio on my device is locked out and has no ssh access. Does moode support Qobuz natively or are Qobuz being dicks and not giving an api key to moode?
     
  2. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    For Tidal/Qobuz, you need to enable the uPnP client in moOde and then use something like BubbleUpnp as the control.
     
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  3. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Ok cool thanks. Messed with upnp years ago and it was finicky at best. I will keep it in mind if i go for this setup.
     
  4. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    BubbleUPnP for some may not support gapless, but I haven't try this yet

    I don't have AES or I2S, I can still use standard Coax and Toslink if needed. This stuff is Greek to me atm.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm by no means stuck on Volumio. The monthly fee for the advanced features rubs me the wrong way. It would be interesting for someone to make a matrix on software vs. functionality / issues (crashes, native support for Tidal, Qubuz, gapless, RAMdisk, pi2AES settings, etc.)

    One thing I wished Volumio could do was to take .cue files and be able to identify tracks which are combined into one large FLAC file.
     
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  6. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I know this is just for dummies and not uber-dummies, but a brief intro on WTH this thing is/does and why you might want one would be great.

    Asking for a friend.
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'd make a wild assumption that i2s if your DAC supports it, > all. That's been my experience with the A-GD and PS Audio stuff. i2s has a huge step up. Maybe minor differences between HDMI and RJ45 versions. Definitely looking forward to more ChiFi DACs because this might give them more of a boost than from the AES via CDPs that I have used in reviews. The ChiFi stuff doesn't seem to respond as much to AES compared to USB.

    In general AES > SPDIF > Toslink. This seems to always be the case without exception with AES and SPDIF being closer, and Toslink being farther back to the point where decent USB is better. Already felt AES was clearer and more focused sounding than SPDIF on the pi2AES.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Added one paragraph at the top.
     
  9. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Ok dad I'm slightly confused. So the Pi2AES is not just a simple uPnP render? I thought it was (send music from my laptop in my bedroom wireless to the Pi2AES without any conversation to whatever digital output you want).
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    You can do that. The laptop would be the server and the pi2AES/RPi the renderer. In time, I'll probably set up a NAS for the server. In the meantime, I am currently using a USB hard drive with my music collection because it's convenient and easy.

    What the pi2AES portion does is piggyback on top of the RPi to offer various digital outputs, namely LVDS i2s, SE i2s, AES, BNC, coax, and Toslink to feed an external DAC. The 502DAC (another pi2design product) is actually a DAC that sits on top of the RPi.
     
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  11. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Is there any purely SQ-related reason to use this instead of a laptop as a source with Schiit DACs w/Unison?
     
  12. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Let's not get hung up on @purr1n starting with Volumio. It's probably the most well known distro, has solid documentation, and is easy to implement and use.

    All these distros are going to have unique quirks, usability problems, bugs, and out of the box features. And they all take some level of tweaking and experimentation to get you everything you might want.

    Taking that into account, the guide can still be followed, or lightly modified, to account for another distro. It's not meant to be all-encompassing or a formal endorsement of one distro over another.
     
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  13. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Thanks Dad. I'm Smart.
     
  14. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Yeah that’s how i hear it as well. My setup is a minidsp studio as input switch/preamp/streamer connected to Yggdrasil with aes. It is easily transparent enough to hear the interface differences, it’s internal streamer board uses an i2s interface and it sounds better than aes from the pc. So i would prefer to get that working but alas it’s internal volumio is being trash.

    This setup could be an option but might reduce sound quality slightly but have working network playback. Also less cables... then again maybe just buy an external drive and forget this network bullshit like you have done.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That would be one of the reasons. IMO, better or different sound than Unison. Unison was great, perhaps even revolutionary from a USB point of view, but ultimately just different, very different in terms of sound. I remained fairly steadfast in my use of CD transports purely for SQ reasons. (LOL, I guess no one ever asked me directly).

    I can certainly create forks in the instructions to other distros. My goal was this: can I do this in one evening after dinner if I did some preparation. The answer was yes. I felt that if I failed, then I could not recommend the product. I ran into no hiccups. The hardest things were to figure out how to peel off the protective adhesive from the acrylic and troubleshooting flaky USB (I did not fully insert the USB cable). And once I lost lock on the DAC because the SPDIF cable fell off.
     
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  16. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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  17. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    I don’t know specifically about Volumio but it likely supports zeroconf so you could probably use like volumio.local instead of the ip address if you’re not accessing from Android.

    I help out with moode as time permits (which it hasn’t much lately) so could answer questions if you want to try it and run into trouble.
     
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  18. shabta

    shabta Almost "Made"

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    If you also want to use your laptop while listening to music, that is a good reason to switch to a pi based solution. Using your laptop, especially for compute intensive stuff or memory intensive stuff, can affect the sound.
     
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  19. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    https://volumio.github.io/docs/User_Manual/Quick_Start_Guide.html

    Yep - see under Network Connection and Volumio Hotspot. No need to use an IP finder for initial setup.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yes. I only wrote the instructions for the dumb but tried and true way using Fing or other. I actually just used my Google WiFi admin interface to find the Volumio device. But I also tested Fing. Again, I didn't want anyone to have a WTF experience and give up. Too much potential at each step for a WTF experience.

    I believe MoOde will default to a 172 IP if nothing is plugged in at the start. Will do research and document accordingly if and when I decide to play with MoOde.
     

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