Pi2 Design Idiot-Proof Ready-To-Go RPi/AES Streamer

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Michael Kelly, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    peachtree audio announced they are doing a digital input speaker amp that converts spdif pcm direct to PWM like the old wadia powerdacs. it requires a streamer with digital volume control and spdif coax output.. so it eliminates the dac stage and can be a complete system with speakers attached.. I plan to try it with the mercury streamer

    https://articlecentral.com/peachtree-teases-gan-1-digital-power-amplifier/
     
  2. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Note that our Volumio image does not enable software volume control. You need to go into settings to change. See the Volumio docs for more detail.

    Our Ropieee image allows volume control from ROON.
     
  3. CongoFather

    CongoFather Acquaintance

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    @Michael Kelly is there another thread to get information about the DAC/amplifier that you are working on? As far as I see, it only supports I2S input. Are you planning to add AES, SPDIF connection support for the DAC? It would be good if it supports different type of connections so that it can be used with different sources.
     
  4. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    It is still under development. The first pass had some errors and we are doing another proto run. As for for other inputs, this was a conscious decision. I honestly don't know if we can make a DAC that can stand out in the super crowded marketplace for general use. We are counting on the quality of the I2S to make it a credible alternative to Schiit. JDS Labs, Topping, etc.

    For now, it is not a critical part of our overall plan, but a very, very nice option to have.
     
  5. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    @CongoFather - RE: Gentooplayer, Looks like it is setup to unzip/untar on a Linux system. As an engineer all my SW runs on a PC. What is the best way to get to the image? Note that it is a .tar inside of a .xz
     
  6. CongoFather

    CongoFather Acquaintance

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    There is a link for Raspberry PI4. Just download it(I shared it below). I used Etcher (https://www.balena.io/etcher/) to create the image on the sdcard. When I try to do it on Windows, I receive an error during validation after waiting for a long period of time.

    I also have a Mac Mini. I installed the same application on Mac Mini and created the image using Etcher on MACOS without any error.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dvlalI6b9GTFRqctGtUctNQwpJPq5oK4/view

    Raspberry 4B:

    05/04/2022 v. 6.70

    -64bit version

    user: root | Psw: gentooplayer

    --------------------------------------------
     
  7. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    That is the image I grabbed and I used Balena Etcher, and got the error you mentioned. And unfortunately the card wouldn’t boot. I will dig into this more tomorrow
     
  8. Zachik

    Zachik Acquaintance

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    I agree with Michael - the market place is already crowded. The biggest benefit of the DAC/Amp is for stacking it with the Mercury streamer (and optionally, the LPS).
    I plan on doing exactly that, as soon as Michael has working units in hand! :)
     
  9. lordearl

    lordearl Rando

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    hi all - first time poster here, been following the journey from a distance and keen to get involved!

    @Michael Kelly when we talk about the quality of the I2S, which DAC might be a good starting point to pair with the Mercury?

    I also have read numerous times that I2S cables should be short - is there a particular cable or type of cable that would be best suited for the Mercury?
     
  10. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Pretty much any DAC with I2S input will be a good choice. You don’t find I2S on entry level devices.

    As for the cable, any one will work, though I suppose if you work at it you could find one that doesn’t!
     
  11. CongoFather

    CongoFather Acquaintance

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    Please try to do it on MacOS. You'll probably not receive any error with Etcher on MacOs.
    Moshou HDMI cables may be a good starting point for you. I have been looking for I2S hdmi cables recently and decided to buy a non-expensive short hdmi cable from known chineese cable-makers.

    https://www.amazon.com/SIKAI-Support-48Gbps-Ethernet-HDCP2-2-Resolution/dp/B07M5KDSZN
    https://www.amazon.com/SIKAI-MOSHOU-HDCP2-2-Compatible-Samsung/dp/B07SDD33NH/
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022
  12. Wobbletits

    Wobbletits Acquaintance

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    Those are actually cheaper on aliexpress, and you can get the flat ones in .25m lenghts if that's what you want ;/ Either way it's not shipping amazon prime so probably same shipping.
     
  13. CongoFather

    CongoFather Acquaintance

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    Today, I setup different digital paths/configurations with Euphony and Mercury. I installed Euphony on a fast USB 3.1 drive(my old Kingston Hyperx Savage USB Drive). I used late-2014 MAC Mini (with 8GB RAM) and changed the boot option on startup to USB drive to load Euphony. I tested with different configurations; the details are given below.

    I like the 1st and the 3rd option(with a better Roon UI) most. The presentation is more detailed with a better instrument imaging than the second option where there is a direct connection to Roon Bridge on Devialet Streamer.

    It(1st and 3rd choices) may be an alternative to my favorite configuration which is SqueezeLite-R2,LMS on Gentooplayer with Mercury Streamer. As Roon interface is used, its UI/presentation is better as expected.

    In summary, I am most satisfied with what I hear when I use Mercury as an endpoint between these 3 configurations. Mercury Streamer should exist in the digital chain and it's the most important digital part when it is fed by a good LPS.

    If you still want to use Roon no matter what :), it is better to run it on a customized operating system optimized for Audio and run it on a silent machine(Intel NUCS with fanless cases like Akasa ec.) preferably fed by a good LPS. In this case, I recommend using Mercury as a Roonbridge endpoint. But I think, Roon is not really necessary unless UI is extremely important for you.

    1) Euphony RAMBoot=Enabled, AudioPlayer= Euphony Stylus Player , Audio Output= GentooPlayer UPNP(UPMpdCli enabled) on Mercury
    Path: Euphony(Mac Mini-USB), Stylus Buffered Songs,BitPerfect >> SOTM SNH-10G Switch >> Mercury(UPNP on Gentooplayer), ARK LPS >> Mogami Gold AES XLR >> DEVIALET 220 PRO DAC/Amplifer>> B&W 804D3

    2) Euphony RAMBoot=Enabled, RoonServer 1.8.933 + Windows Roon App, Audio Output= Devialet ROON Ready(direct connection to Devialet Streamer)
    Path: Euphony(Mac Mini-USB), RoonServer 1.8.933 >> SOTM SNH-10G Switch >> Supra CAT8 Ethernet>> DEVIALET 220 PRO (Roon Bridge on Devialet Streamer)>> DEVIALET 220 PRO DAC/Amplifer>> B&W 804D3

    3)Euphony RAMBoot=Enabled, RoonServer 1.8.933 + Windows Roon App, Audio Output=Roon Bridge/Gentooplayer on Mercury Streamer
    Path: Euphony(Mac Mini-USB), RoonServer 1.8.933 >> SOTM SNH-10G Switch >> Mercury(Roon Bridge on Gentooplayer), ARK LPS >> Mogami Gold AES XLR >> DEVIALET 220 PRO DAC/Amplifer>> B&W 804D3
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022
  14. CongoFather

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    They may be cheaper on Aliexpress when shipping cost is excluded. Anyway, their "flagship" 8K HDMI 2.1 cable seems good. HDMI2.1 is not necessary for us but it doesn't cost much and can be bought.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33028126909.html
     
  15. Wobbletits

    Wobbletits Acquaintance

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    Well maybe it's different to istanbul both show "free" shipping to me, regardless you can really use almost any hdmi cable for this purpose.
     
  16. lordearl

    lordearl Rando

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    Agree the cable isn't the hard part, I think finding a decent DAC with I2S input for a reasonable price is the trickiest piece of the puzzle!
     
  17. xtiva2000

    xtiva2000 Rando

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    I2S technology, there is no standard so just getting DAC with I2S might not be enough, each manufacturer seems to be using their own pinouts...

    I would go with DACs that allow you to change pinouts..

    Below are DAC that you could change the pinouts.. (There should be more but these are what I know of);

    Topping DX7, D70s, D90 (also SE)
    SMSL DO200, EX5 (there could be more models but M400 didn't allow pinout to be changed)
    Singxer (dip switch)
    Holo Spring 3 (only Spring 3 allows IS2 Pinouts to be modified), May
    Denafrips all models

    I am currently using D70s and it seems to allow me to configure pinouts to match Mercury's
     
  18. Smody

    Smody Rando

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    Apart from shortest possible length, any particular HDMI version is recommended 1.4, 2, 2.1 or any version is ok
     
  19. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Any version will work.
     
  20. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    the new version of ropieeexl removes SSH, so you can't install the tidal connect support :(
    guess I'm going back to spotify since I don't want to pay for volumio premium
     

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