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

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

  1. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Look at the PI2AES hw reference manual on our web site. It has the pin out of our i2s output. Compare that to your DAC.
     
  2. Yethal

    Yethal Facebook Friend

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    @Michael Kelly have you thought about doing a limited run of nicer, all-metal cases for the Pi2AES? The acryllic one does perform its function but it's not that durable (one piece on my case has already cracked in half and is being kept in place with other pieces).
     
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  3. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Yes, but not seriously. Because of the way the raspberry pi is with openings required on three sides it makes it very difficult to come up with them scheme that isn't just like the acrylic where we stack the pieces in the slots and tabs. Most of the raspberry pi metallic cases you see are folded sheet metal and they don't have a hat on them. Or they have a hat that is smaller with fewer connectors than ours.

    And some of my resistance was simply this is a DIY product and I was not going to spend any time to "pretty it up" (and because I am just too lazy).
     
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  4. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    This might be interesting to some people looking to use the Pi2AES as a fully digital system.

    My setup is: Pi2AES=>AES/EBU=>Hypex FA253=>AES/EBU daisychain=>Hypex FA253

    Before I used my ADI-2 Pro AE to drive the analog ins of the Hypex plate and used RME's brilliant volume control. This forces me to get up from the couch to change volume, which I'd rather not do. Enter the fully digital system where volume control is done via the OS on the Pi.

    So far Moode does a great job with MPD's internal software volume control. My system sits at 8-15% volume for background listening and there isn't any loss of fidelity. The problem is Spotify which takes over and bypasses the native MPD mixer and uses its own volume control. At low volumes there's a marked loss of dynamics and detail, which suggests that their signal processing is sub-par.

    As most of my listening is done via Spotify, I might be forced to bring the DAC back.
     
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  5. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    Have you looked at the Spotify configuration in moode? I don’t use Spotify so don’t know how it works but there are a few different volume settings that might be relevant.
     
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  6. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    I have looked at it and the main problem is that it completely takes over from MPD, so I can't use its audio mixer. Pretty sure Spotify doesn't use floating point math, so it's losing bits like mad and doesn't know how to dither properly.
     
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  7. Yethal

    Yethal Facebook Friend

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    Totally understandable. Still, if you ever decide to do I'm sure you'll find a lot of buyers for nicer all-metal cases. And if you need inspiration on how to do the cases then I know of one other DIY rpi-based project that does have metal cases available. It's called PiKVM and just like you it uses a HAT with multiple connectors on all sides of the board.
     
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  8. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Out of curiosity I looked for this project, but could not find any metal cases. The few I saw were 3D printed. I would be interested in seeing how someone solved the mechanical issues for future reference.
     
  9. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    Tidal Connect released on Volumio and working great for me. Now if only Qobuz would also release a Connect function.

    Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 10.16.40 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 10.22.47 AM.png

    Doesn't support MQA unfold BTW.
     
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  10. Yethal

    Yethal Facebook Friend

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    Yeah, I just went through the website and there aren't any picture of it either. I know they have a metal case in the works because I follow their Discord. Unfortunately the only thing I found is a render which I guess is not that useful.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Pancakes

    Pancakes Almost "Made"

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    A little bit of info that may be useful to someone.

    I run Audirvana and have had major problems with MoOde and Ropieee. No issue with Volumio. After a lot of digging it appears that this is an Audirvana problem where (I'm not intimately familiar with the following so if I say something assinine, please forgive me) it doesn't play nice with the separation of UPnP into "UPnP A/V" service and "OpenHome" service. It apparently only works with whatever the previous service was that had these bundled together. MoOde and Ropieee use this latest split version while Volumio uses the older bundled version.

    If you want to use MoOde and can find a version older than 7.01, you should have no problem. Or like me, wait for an Audirvana update that addresses this issue.

    For reference, you can read all this in this MoOde forum thread:
    http://moodeaudio.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=3436
     
  12. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    For me Audirvana is skipping partway through tracks with both Volumio and MoOde, seems related. So sick of this quirky BS. Now I'm evaluating Roon, so far so good but it is damn expensive. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly Roon indexed a network share and my Qobuz favorites.
     
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  13. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Several years ago I lost my patience with UPnP/DLNA, Volumio (much earlier version) and BubbleUPnP, and went for a lifetime Roon membership (cheaper back then). When Qobuz became available in the US, I added a subscription to my Roon. The switch was worth it, between having better management of my ~2000 album local library, fewer annoyances around gapless play, DLNA server quirks, and Volumio bugs, and good control from Macs, iPad, and Android. But not perfect. Android had issues for quite a while related obscure local networking issues. Old classical recordings, boxsets, and recent independent music have poor or missing metadata. My Linn systems work well with Roon 95% of the time, but glitches do happen. OTOH, Roon, Ropieee and Pi2AES work very well together. Roon has been very much worth it relative to the cost off everything else I use to listen to music, but like any technical gear, it has its moments.
     
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  14. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Rando

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    I currently run my PC into an Asgard 3 w/ AK Dac via USB. My computer is pretty noisy, sometimes I can hear the graphics card humming through my headphones, like when I'm playing video games, crypto mining or just scrolling through a website. Right now it doesn't really bother me since I don't have much skin in the game as far as my hifi setup, just an Aeolus and Asgard. However, I'm thinking of upgrading my chain so want to do this right and get rid of that noise.

    Also, my hifi gear, monitor and computer all plug into the same power board. I only have 1 wall outlet available for this whole setup.

    Would putting a Pi2AES between my PC and hifi gear most likely solve this issue for me? I like convenience of not having it, but if will make sure I'm getting the most out of the equipment I'm about to purchase, I'll find room for it on my desk! Or I'm getting a Bifrost 2, so maybe the Unison USB would solve this..
     
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  15. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    Yes, a Pi2AES should isolate your audio from all the noise generated by your computer. The overall consensus appears to favor the Pi2AES over Unison but your taste may differ. I doubt Unison would filter out all that noise but I could be wrong. That's the beauty of the Pi, it doesn't need to filter computer noise, instead it is isolated by being a separate non-noisy computer.

    It is possible for noise to also be in the power line. This isn't an issue I've needed to fix but there are solutions for that too including purifiers made by iFi. I cannot comment on their effectiveness and I think that depends on your specific issue.
     
  16. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Rando

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    Great, thank you! I think my first step is Bifrost 2 purchase, see if that doesn't remove the noise. If it does, great, if not I'll pickup the Pi2AES. If that doesn't remove the noise, I'll have to think about doing some power purifying and even adding a second wall socket ot the wall.
     
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  17. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Don't.
     
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  18. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    Just to be clear, the Pi2AES basically replaces your pc, at least as far as rendering audio is concerned. You can either set it up stand-alone where you no longer run playback software on your computer or as a upnp (or roon or whatever) endpoint and you set your pc to send the audio data to the Pi via your network.
     
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  19. RedLipstick

    RedLipstick Rando

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    I have been using Volumio and the user experience has been horrible. It just so buggy I don't find it usable... using spotify is a mess. What other option would you guys recommend?
     
  20. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    You can use something like mconnect, bubbleupnp, linn kazoo (which got an update and is pretty nice now), etc. as a front end interface to the actual distro.

    I personally use moode but any webui interface is going to come with some performance trade offs. One of the cool things about moode is that you can get involved in the project and help make it work more how you’d like it to.

    When I first started using moode it looked like this (portrait tablet makes it even worse but that’s what the interwebs offered up).

    [​IMG]

    and I used a third party front end called Soundirok because while moode sounded the best (IMO) it was painful to use via the webui. Soundirok wasn’t without annoyances though so I started wondering how hard it’d be to make the moode webui into something I’d actually want to use. How it looks and works now compared to that 3.7 or whatever version pictured above is because of it being open source and Tim being exceptionally generous with his development time for the project and a cool guy for his various collaborators to work with. I’m not as involved as I used to be but that’s more of a free time thing than anything else and I do have some stuff I did last winter that’ll probably go into moode sooner or later.
     

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