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Best raspberry pi dac

renaudrenaud

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Apr 20, 2019
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#4
Many thanks! Appreciated your help.
You are welcome.

I experiment with Raspberry since years. I've build plenty of things with Raspberry cards and also Orange Pi an other cards.
I still use an Orange Pi PC as my Logitech Media Server. When I tested few years ago the Orange Pi PC was really faster than the RP 3 for indexing my records. Because of the low consumption it is ok for me to let the card on all the time. At 0.5W the cost is less than 1€ / year and it is environment friendly.

For the player, I have used a lot of configuration, with for example HAT from a German brand, or the X400 hat (a DAC 5102 and a TPA3116 amplifier) that sound correct but no more (ok for a bedroom).

On the right this is a Rasp with the official screen running PicorePlayer. I printed the frame with 3D printer. The DAC is something at 10€ from Aliexpress and this is ok for people who are not hard audiophile.



rasp.png


The DAC is this one
DC10€.png





I've also build this kind of thing... Not proud in term of sound quality but it was funny :

And now I have build a version to get radio in the bathroom, with a printed box and some LED inside.

Another funny project is the Marantz Cassette updated as a clock and screen to show music information:


Back to music...

Finally in 2019 arrived few DACs really well measured in this website, like the SMSL SU8 or the SABAJ D5. I need XLR for my app so I went to these equipment. I tried Topping but on 2 orders the 2 units were broken (remote) so I decided to search for other brands.

These two DACs (SU8 and D5) are working fine with Raspberry but also with my Logitech Touch for example.

But for the player, I do not use the Raspberry. I tried Daphile, a Linux distro working on Intel CPU. I tested on a portable computer and found it ok for my tastes, and the bought a 35$ "card" with Intel CPU on it, the Atomic Pi. Consumption is around 8W, so more than a Rasp but not too much.

With the Atomic PI I have enough power to upscale everything to 768kHz and 32bits, the max the SU8 and D5 (and other modern DACs) are able to manage. I do not know if there is an interest in term of sound quality, but for me, it is ok.

Another point : the Raspberry tend to... I do not know how to explain that, but after few hours, I was obliged to switch off / on again because of de-synchronisation with the DAC. No problem with the Atomic.
 
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OP
R
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Jan 2, 2020
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Thread Starter #5
Fantastic! Thank you so much for your time.

I have a Pioneer A30 amp connected to KEF Q500 however the amp has no DAC build in. I just wanted a dedicated (no pc attached to it) integrated amp with DSD native support. Play files from DLNA.

I’m planing to mod the amp by following
- There is a plenty of room inside with dedicated 5v line which I thought I could build pi inside the amp Or put 5v 2.5a linear power supply inside.
- Program pioneer remote to pi with IR remote
- I thought I could use German HiBerry DAC pro + which has dedicated clocks and TI PCM 32bit DAC chip (I would prefer AMK DAC but could not find one for pi)
- there are plenty of AKM I2C DAC module on aliexpres.
- but since you have suggested don’t use HAT I will buy USB DAC module

Do you notice significant difference when playing I2C vs USB DAC?

Thanks much.
 

somebodyelse

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Dec 5, 2018
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#6
There are a couple of hat DACs (Katana, ApplePi) that measure in the top quarter of DACs tested here, but there's more choice and better value in the USB DACs. The obvious one for your application is the Tone Board - note that despite having a similar connector, it is NOT a hat for the Pi! The only performance advantage of the I2S DACs is avoiding possible usb audio glitches on the Pi <4, although in my experience that's only a problem when using BruteFIR. Random I2S boards from Ali haven't measured well so far.
 
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#8
I have a raspberrypi 3 with an i2c hat with a digital out (optical or coax) and use the DAC in the amplifier.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
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#9
I'm looking best raspberry pi dac please, advice?
I'm using the Allo USBridge Signature Raspberry Pi with a Topping D50s DAC, this is about 500$ together. Not a super cheap solution but I believe that it comes close or even outperforms much more expensive all in one Steamers.
 
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tw99

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Mar 13, 2019
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#11
I'm using the Allo USBridge Signature Raspberry Pi with a Topping D50s DAC, this is about 500$ together. Not a super cheap solution but I believe that it comes close or even outperforms much more expensive all in one Steamers.
What makes you think that the "Allo USBridge signature Raspberry PI" will give you better results than a normal Pi connected via USB into the same DAC ? The Topping D50 is well engineered, and should be able to cope with the Pi's USB output with no sound quality issues. http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/01/measurements-raspberry-pi-3-as-usb.html

If you get a Pi4, then any concerns about USB being shared with ethernet go away.

The information I can find from Allo about the "USBridge signature Raspberry PI" mostly looks like audiophile nonsense. I'm sure it works fine, but you can get the same result for 15% of the price.
 
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#12
What makes you think that the "Allo USBridge signature Raspberry PI" will give you better results than a normal Pi connected via USB into the same DAC ? The Topping D50 is well engineered, and should be able to cope with the Pi's USB output with no sound quality issues. If you get a Pi4, then the original concerns about USB being shared with ethernet go away.

The information I can find from Allo about the "USBridge signature Raspberry PI" mostly looks like audiophile nonsense. I'm sure it works fine, but you can get the same result for 15% of the price.
Well you are right about that. Before I was using a normal Pi 3B+ with a Topping D10 and it was fine for a fraction of the price, so that's also an option. I think the Allo looks very nice in it's black metal casing and it also plays very stable with no audio glitches or reboots needed. For me this package also sounds better than the normal Pi with D10 but I agree that this is most likely the step up in DAC and not the Pi.
 

mkt

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Jan 6, 2020
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#13
I recently put together a Pi 4 running picoreplayer into a Topping D30 (USB interface). It's OK except there is pop/click when switching sample rates (i.e., 16/44.1 track followed by 24/96 track). Do the other Toppings have that problem? I'm thinking it's something about the USB/DAC but I didn't find clear info anywhere.

[Pi 4 -> Benchmark DAC3 via USB was fine, and a miniDSP with squeezelite -> Topping 30 via coax was fine, too]
 

GeorgeWalk

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Sep 6, 2019
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#17
I have used the Raspberry Pi with the IQAudio DAC (Pi 3), JustBoom Digi hat(Pi ZeroW), and Pi 3 with AlloBoss. I have gotten very good results with all of them. I use Volumio as the media player. I switch between internet radio stations and Spotify. I can't hear any real difference. The rest of my system is Parasound New Classic 200 Preamp, Parasound 275 V2 amp, and a vintage Nikko Alpha 3 amplifier. I have a front and rear channel both Klipsch bookshelf speakers.
 
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#19
This is all good. But .. How to listen to streaming music (through a browser)? Without loss of quality. bit perfect. ?
Download time for a USB flash drive or hdd has passed. Why download if everything is in the cloud?
Is there such an option on raspberry? raspberry - external DAC (via usb)
 
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Sep 7, 2019
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#20
I only stream from my own network share and sometimes soundcloud or mixcloud via airplay. I guess you need Roon if you want to stream Qobuz or Tidal for lossless.
 
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