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

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

  1. Unkgd

    Unkgd Rando

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    dBel84,
    My apologies for not reading your post thoroughly. Upon re-reading your post, you did describe how Volumio "craps" out.

    The wifi solution I suggested was off topic.
     
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  2. raif

    raif Man made lobster/plankton

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    Man, I have been looking for an excuse to try one of these things. I’m not the biggest experiencer of usb nervousa, but I was always curious how much better a properly implemented AES solution could improve the sound a dac over usb only input.

    The only issue is my dac1421 does not have an AES input.

    However, the Dac1541 does.

    Just wondering out loud here, but I am curious what improvements in SQ I could expect jumping into the deep end on this...

    Regardless, I might just pick up one of these guys just in honor of the work Marv put in on producing the guide for dummies(like me) I was actually researching this last night after reading his status and got buried somewhere in the volumio vs moode battles online, this really simplifies what this setup is actually all about.
     
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  3. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    The Pi alone doesn't actually need too much power, and the HATs need even less. I've been using a single 5V 1A supply to power a Pi 3B & HiFiBerry Digi+ setup since 2017. I did have pretty regular dropouts when using a USB wifi dongle on it, but after changing to a wifi extender and then more recently to a better wireless router, no issues. I've suspected the only problem with current that low might be on initial setup: failures to write the OS and get going have been more common with 1A than with 3.2A, but that might be coincidence.

    Try the BNC. :)
     
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  4. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Sounds like Wired Ethernet is still the way to go here. That's important for me, being in Apartment living you are dealing with tons of "FBI Snooping Station" networks in the same Apartment as yours.

    But still, all of this just for a standard headphone setup. As a guy who is in IEM/DAP land this may not be the product for me. Kind of a shame really.
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    As far as power supply and Volumio crapping out, I think only time will tell.

    Keep in mind that I am using a RPi 4 and the external pi2AES switcher 40W 24V switcher. The pi2AES board also feeds the 5V to the RPi 4 board, so no additional power supply for it is necessary. I went as modern and simple as possible.

    I will try MoOde. Not exactly in love with the Volumio interface.
     
  6. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    If there's under-voltage/current the pi red led blinks. You can get by, but expect it to occasionally disappear from the network (while it reboots) or manually restart it because it's hung. Sounds like the pi2media supply is more than enough.

    The pi4 official usbC power supply is 3A.

    Nice that the Pi2AES has a jumper to decouple the variable current pull from the pi, that's worse with attached hard drives– if needed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  7. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I've been trying to get MoOde to work as a Roon end point and it seems like my only option is to make it a Squeezlite device which I don't love and doesn't make sense. The good news is that I have it enabled as a Spotify Connect device which is pretty sweet.

    Still I'm thinking of going back to RoPieee... Seemed simple and just worked without any fussing with settings.
     
  8. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    I also had issues with Volumio resetting it's library every few days and it was a big pain for it to rescan the entire 1000 GB of music on my NAS to rebuild the library.

    moOde has been flawless for me since I switched.
     
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  9. loadexfa

    loadexfa Rando

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    I recently went through the same process with some minor alterations.
    • I used a 256GB SD so I could load all my ripped music onto the SD rather than needing an external USB drive. Copying files is easy over the network with Volumio
    • I set my DAC as the HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro instead of the Allo. Not sure if this matters
    So far Volumio has been reliable and easy, I've had it for a little over a month. I'd like to try MoOde but use Tidal or Qobuz (evaluating) and every time I search Bubble UPNP I don't find the results ... straightforward. Hopefully someone will be inspired to write a dummy's guide for that specific step. Paying for Volumio made that super easy, it was $33 for a year.

    At some point I will get a second Pi2AES for work and will need to get it setup with Wifi access only. Once I get around to that, I'll write up an addendum for Wifi only if someone hasn't already. Will require Linux CLI but there's not many steps.
     
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  10. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    I hear you, playing with current volumio/moode on pi4's --> these always fall apart on me after time. Moode the nicer code base, docs, and listens to the piCore guys. The one thing volumio does really well is detect a new usb key, index it, and refresh the album art... and brute force album art if not found, like a google image of the band. moode needs a manual click in settings, and needs an exact album hit. Weird missing stuff tho in volumio. ... pay wall?!

    Each has a diff set of warts, like read only shares in volumio, ugh.

    Neither of these handle large libraries well, but piCore does not handle small dynamic libraries well. I need to get on diyaudio/squeeze forums (again, been slacking)!
     

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  11. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    One big issue for me with moOde is that there's no way to sort albums by year in the tag view. The latest update claims to add this, but it does not work for me. I manually edited the playerlib.php file via SSH to add this functionality. I can write up a quick tutorial on how to do it if anyone wants it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. FlySweep

    FlySweep Friend

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    My Pi2AES kit & RaspyPi kit arrived earlier this week but I was waiting for Marv's tutorial to put it together.

    Immense thanks to @purr1n for this.

    I've never owned or tinkered with a RPi or Linux. Always been a uUSB guy and this was my first time touching anything as far as a transport for my audio rig. I followed the guide step for step and everything is just worked w/o a glitch. Putting the Pi2AES together truly did take the longest in those whole deal. I setup Volumio on my wifi network using the built-in hotspot feature (it worked flawlessly). I ran into one hiccup that was solved pretty quickly.. I'm using a BNC-to-coax adapter and for whatever reason, the RaspyPi Pi wasn't playing music through the Pi2AES. I bounced the I2S setting in Volumio, switched to coax.. confirmed audio was playing.. then hotswapped to the BNC adapter.. BNC working w/o issue now.

    Again.. I really appreciate the work you put into this for us noobs.
     
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  13. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    I'd prefer to manage my library on JRiver as I am now and avoid the headache of synchronizing, so it would seem that I'd be in the uPnP game. Can anyone comment on the SQ using this as a renderer vs having the library local?
     
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  14. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    No difference, or lower with an rpi-local library if the drive is not usb-powered.

    Bits are bits, the only thing that can make a difference is dirty power from the drive somehow working its way back.
     
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  15. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Please note the PI2AES outputs two versions of AES, one uses a BNC coax, while the second is balanced XLR. Both use the same encoded audio data format (as does SPDI/F, but using RCA and lower drive voltage). So AES to SPDIF coax would be BNC to RCA, likely using an RCA to BNC adapter on the BNC side. Results would be the same if you did RCA to RCA.

    Michael
     
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  16. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Last weekend I dug out my old RPi 3 with the RPi digital out board (Digi+?) on it. A couple years ago I had Volumio running on it but only used it for a short while since I didn't like the GUI and having to load a queue. Now I want to try MoOde to stream Qobuz and ditch my Mac Mini. I'm kinda in the same situation that Marv was in.

    I deleted the old version of Volumio off of the card, but noticed there were a bunch of files on it for the OS. When I extracted the new image for MoOde, theres just a single .iso file, (which doesn't seem right) and it doesn't seem to do anything when I plug everything in. Maybe I need Fing or something to check the address, but I thought MoOde would detect that when you go to their specified page in the support directions. The page doesn't show anything.

    RPi is plugged directly into the router. I'm probably missing something obvious. I forget the subtleties of how I made this work when I tried Volumio some time ago. Once I get this running I'll probably buy the Pi 2 design board and maybe a RPi4.
     
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  17. StageOne

    StageOne Friend

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    You need to use a tool like Etcher (https://www.balena.io/etcher/) to write the ISO file to the SD card

    General Guide to writing images for Pis
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/
     
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  18. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    One thing to be aware of is that for some reason Volumio (and Moode) may require several reboots after you select a new output card. All outputs on the PI2AES are active simultaneously. The software is completely unaware of what output you use.

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
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  19. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I have two Roon endpoints running Pi+DigiPlus Pro with HifBerry OS using BNC. Very tempting to upgrade to Pi2AES But not sure how much better it will be comparing to my current setup.

    Has anyone had a chance to compare Digi+ Pro performance to Pi2AES?.
    I like Hifiberry HATs very much, Digi+ Pro with basic PSU is better than my Windows desktop, and their XLR DAC HAT I use for LSR305s is outstanding for its price (now the bundle is like $80).
     
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  20. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Michael when using MoOde, what I2S device should we be selecting? I tried a few from Allo and Hifiberry and neither came through Roon readily. What is MoOde assigning to the Pi when one selects various "devices" for the I2S slot in the config settings?
     
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