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. Superdad

    Superdad MOT: UpTone Audio LLC

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    Sorry, I'm running my Mercury from a pre-production unit of our forthcoming JS-4. A triple-regulated, dual isolated output, 2A/4A linear supply--in the same lovely Japanese chassis as our venerable high-current JS-2.
     
  2. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Just posted the first cut of the mercury V3 hardware reference manual on the website.

    we also set up the purchasing to allow the customer to choose between the different OS that we support.
     
  3. keihin

    keihin New

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    Does the Mercury v3 support piCorePlayer? If not, is this in the plans? Otherwise, is there a good way to use Mercury or other Pi 2 Design hardware as streamers within the Squeezebox/LMS (Logitech Media Server) ecosystem?
     
  4. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    we can make picore player image. Send me an email with what you want. [email protected]
     
  5. keihin

    keihin New

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    Thanks, Micheal. Email sent.
     
  6. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Just a quick post to let everybody know that mercury V3 is shipping. We've got a few issues still to work out on the documentation, as well as getting the various OS images the way we want. One item that cropped up was we originally were going to use a Micro SD card extender to bring the SD card from the raspberry pi socket to the back panel. Unfortunately, they proved to be less than reliable and we had to abandon that. The units shipping now you'll have to take the front panel off to replace the SD card if needed. We're going to make a simple Pcb that will extend it directly to the front panel and that will be very reliable. But that'll probably be another 3 to 4 weeks.
     
  7. Superdad

    Superdad MOT: UpTone Audio LLC

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    Congrats on getting Mercury V3 out the door Michael!

    I want to let everyone know that there is now a beta Linux version of Aurdirvana and GentooPlayer (my favorite OS for Mercury) has added support:
    https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55235-gentooplayer/?do=findComment&comment=1277112

    I have not yet tried it but plan to. The only downside is that headless, one needs to use one of Audirvana's iOS or Android Remote apps for control. There is not an Audirvana control client for computers.

    I am also rather green when it comes to pointing GentooPlayer at SMB shared network drives. My music resides on one at my desktop and Roon makes it really easy to point (my separate low-power Roon Core Server AudioLinux/NUC) to those.
     
  8. bobfa

    bobfa Acquaintance

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    Audirvana for Linux is very very interesting. I have it running on a pi4 and on a pi5. I am using a 4TB usb SSD for boot and music on the pi5.

    Oh and the iPad version of the remote app runs on the Mx series of Apple Macs.

    Now to chase power supplies for this fun.
     
  9. Superdad

    Superdad MOT: UpTone Audio LLC

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    Oh! Well that's GREAT to know! My desktop machine--at my desk in my studio/office--is an M1 PowerBook and that's the machine I like to use for playback track selection/control and library management.

    Now I just need to decide on which quiet, linear powered box I want to run Linux Aurdirvana on. I could either:

    a) Audirvana (under probably GentooPlayer) on my ultra-low-power (less that 1A) diskless/fanless 2GHz Celeron NUC (which presently runs Roon Core Server) > 'A' side of EtherREGEN > Mercury V1 connected to EtherREGEN 'B' side, under GentooPlayer in RAM with MPD loaded as endpoint > I2S to my Holo Spring L3.

    or
    b) Install the Audirvana player engine directly on the GentooPlayer Mercury and completely set aside the NUC.

    In either case I need to finally learn how to properly point GentooPlayer to SMB-shared music storage drives that reside at my desktop machine. Roon makes that so easy, avoiding the need for mucking with Linux.

    Ideally I will try out both "a)" and "b)" above to see which sounds better.
    I can say that running the MacOS version of Audirvana on my M1 laptop with the (GentooPlayer in RAM) Mercury receiving via MPD did not sound anywhere near as good as my above usual special NUC RoonCore > Mercury RoonBridge setup (and the comparison was done NOS with PCM and DSD64 to remove sample rate filter variance as a factor).

    I guess that computing power might play a factor in it as well. But since the Mercury tops out at 192KHz and DSD64 there is only ever a modest load for upsampling--from Redbook 44.1KHz to 176.4KHz.

    Would love to hear from anyone here who takes the plunge and starts to run Audirvana on their Mercury.
     
  10. Eddy Lam

    Eddy Lam New

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    I've lived with the SBAF Mercury V1 (4GB) for almost two years. Before this, I was using the Allo Digione. The switch to the Mercury surpassed my expectations. I never realised how crucial a transport can be in an audio chain. The sound quality improved so much that I can enjoy listening to music at lower volumes.

    Folks, I want to give another shout-out. Michael's service-support levels have exceeded my expectations as well. I got a new DAC recently, and the I2s connection started acting up for some reason. After much troubleshooting and no success, I emailed Michael on a Sunday (27-Apr). He replied within hours and helped with my back-and-forth emails. We eventually concluded that the Mercury didn't cause the issue. Fast forward to today, I learned it wasn't the DAC's fault either. It was the fricking cable! Everything's working fine now, and I'm back to enjoying music :)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2024
  11. lehmanhill

    lehmanhill Almost "Made"

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    I admit I'm rather late to this party. As an early Pi2AES adopter and someone willing to tinker under the hood, I assumed that the Mercury wasn't for me. I have recently been messing about trying to get my local music files away from the RPi USB path and closer to Pi itself. I was thinking about NAS because ethernet is better than USB, but then remembered that the Mercury has NVME SSD capability.

    Looking into it, I find that Mercury V3 has lost the NVME slot. I'm guessing that the board real estate was needed for the new input power filter, a completely understandable choice. I also want a way to continue to use Metrum i2s so it looks like V2 is what I need but they appear to be sold out.

    Two questions for the group.

    1. Any advice or issues with using an NVME SSD in the V2? I see that there is a set up for Volumio written up by edwyun. Anybody one this with Picoreplayer or Moode?

    2. Anyone thinking about upgrading to V3 and want to sell their V2 on? I think I'm in the market.

    Best Regards,

    Jac
     
  12. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    First, V3 has two external USB3 ports that can interface to and power an external drive. Not as nicely integrated hardware-wise, but seamless software support.

    Second, the I2S on V3 will still support the Metrum. And it's in stock!
     
  13. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    HI Michael
    Ive been on the side lines for a few years after a failed attempt to set up and run the first device you sold. So is the V3 ready for a non computer person to use? Do we still have to use Volumino? Have no experience with Gentoo or Audirvana are they easier and better to use? I am not a roon user and want something easy to set up and use without yearly fees
    best,
    Josh
     
  14. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    sorry, but this solution is still a bit DIY because you have to dig under the hood of the raspberry pi and the various software players. If you are not computer literate, the process will not make sense. There is a learning curve that is perfectly manageable, but it isn't automatic.
     
  15. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    the power supply for the v3 is 12v how many amps can it run? is is true more amps produce a better sound?
    best,
    Josh
     
  16. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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  17. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    The power supply we provide with Mercury is a 40W supply, but that has no bearing on sound. More amps matter to a power/speaker amplifier, but not to a digital device like Mercury.
     
  18. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Just a quick heads up. PI2AES-LITE is now back in stock. Delivery is 1-2 weeks from now, but 1-2 days after that.
     
  19. e.schell

    e.schell Friend

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    I haven't been on the forums much the last couple of years, normally i would just read through and look for the answer but i have what is hopefully a quick simple question for one of you, so i appologize for being a slacker.
    What are the differences between the PI2AES-LITE Pro and PI2AES 2.O Pro? The $100 difference doesn't bother me, but at a glance I'm not quite sure where they differ.
    Also as opposed to building, the Mercury V3 Streamer also seems like very nice option.
    Looking to finally get away from being tied to my pc with lynx e22 just to have a good digital transport for my GMB.
    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2024
  20. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Since you have a Gungnir Multibit, I think the Lite is the one you want. There might be more to it, but the 2.0 has i2s and balanced aes outputs, neither of which you can use out of the box.
     
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