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D10s, piCorePlayer, Qobuz and Genelec interactions

somebodyelse

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@somebodyelse Thanks a lot! I will then continue to use RPI3. I am planning to use picore player and use Qobuz via UPnP rendering from my IPAD. Do you think can I control the entire streaming from my IPAD including volume control?

Since D10s will feed into my Genelec via AES cables, there are also XLR analog cables going into the Genelec. Digital signal is given always priority. Since the RPI 3 will be continuously under power 24x7, how is the best way to ensure no digital signals are send to the Genelecs. One way is to completely switch off Qobuz UPnP rendering from IPAD. Any other ideas?

Also from your experience do you think that something like Allo USB Bridge Signature has better SQ into Topping compared to PI3?

Is there any remote control to power off PI3?
I think it can be made to work, but it may be more complicated than it initially seems. I think the D10s has volume control exposed over the USB interface, but I believe this only affects the analog outputs and not the digital. I also don't know if piCorePlayer will default to using the hardware volume or not, as my USB DACs don't have it. It does let you configure almost everything in the advanced config options though, so at worst you'll need to manually change it to use software volume instead of hardware.

The next potential complication is your LogitechMediaServer settings. The default is to have volume control enabled, but it is possible to disable it. I guess you'd know if you'd done that though. I believe the 8.x version of LMS includes your Qobuz favorites in your collection as if they were locally stored, but haven't tried it. I've not tried Qobuz though - I keep meaning to give it a try.

I've not tried any of the iOS squeezebox remotes, but Squeezer on android allows remote control of volume so I suspect the iOS remotes will behave similarly. I don't remember if you can control the volume of the squeezebox endpoint from a UPnP control point, but it seemed seamless when I tried it a few years back so I suspect you can.

I've never looked at whether piCorePlayer sends digital silence, or just stops sending when it's not playing, or even if it's configurable. If it sends digital silence and can't be reconfigured (which seems unlikely) there may be an option of using custom commands to turn off power to that specific USB port. Cross that bridge if we come to it.

From the documentation of the USBridge I see no reason why it would help the D10s. They use the Modi 2 as an example in their measurements because it's one of the few DACs that's badly enough designed for it to make a difference, but given the price you'd be better off just buying a properly designed DAC. Compare the reviews of the D10s and the Modi 2 and you'll see the former has none of the symptoms that are massively obvious on the latter.

None of the Pi models have remote power off, but you can get 3rd party addons that do, and add custom controls to your piCorePlayer config to use them. Audiophonics have them both as a separate unit and integrated into some of their hats. The Argon ONE case seems to have something similar
 

Sprint

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I think it can be made to work, but it may be more complicated than it initially seems. I think the D10s has volume control exposed over the USB interface, but I believe this only affects the analog outputs and not the digital. I also don't know if piCorePlayer will default to using the hardware volume or not, as my USB DACs don't have it. It does let you configure almost everything in the advanced config options though, so at worst you'll need to manually change it to use software volume instead of hardware.

Thanks again. I tried today my iPad Pro 12. I used USB directly via camera adapter to Topping D10. Since I do not use any external DAC (only the internal DAC from Genelec) I was able to control volume via IPAD volume buttons.

[
I've not tried any of the iOS squeezebox remotes, but Squeezer on android allows remote control of volume so I suspect the iOS remotes will behave similarly. I don't remember if you can control the volume of the squeezebox endpoint from a UPnP control point, but it seemed seamless when I tried it a few years back so I suspect you can.

Does it work with Qobuz? If yes, the iOS squeezebox sounds promising.


I've never looked at whether piCorePlayer sends digital silence, or just stops sending when it's not playing, or even if it's configurable. If it sends digital silence and can't be reconfigured (which seems unlikely) there may be an option of using custom commands to turn off power to that specific USB port. Cross that bridge if we come to it.

Excellent

From the documentation of the USBridge I see no reason why it would help the D10s. They use the Modi 2 as an example in their measurements because it's one of the few DACs that's badly enough designed for it to make a difference, but given the price you'd be better off just buying a properly designed DAC. Compare the reviews of the D10s and the Modi 2 and you'll see the former has none of the symptoms that are massively obvious on the latter.

I was initially thinking of going the Project S2 Ultra (many in ASR preferred RPI4) and then I came across Volumio Primo route (which is highly rated in German media) and then I saw Allo USBridge Signature which costs much less. The only aim was to have a noise and jitter reduction before the digital signal reaches Topping D10.

Thanks again for all your help and input! Highly appreciated :)!
 
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somebodyelse

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Thanks! Relieved to learn that RPI 3 will be an end game for me.

I was worried only about the noise and jitter from RPI 3 usb degrading the sound quality. The digital signal goes directly from D10 to Genelec whose DAC I guess should be one of the best, if not the best, due to Genelec quality. How's the iPad Pro USB-C output compared to RPI USB from your perspective. The USB C from my MAC book Pro was better than USB C from iPad Pro 2020 version. I do not know if it is a mind play.

By the way, I found one more interface. https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/inte...aes-i2s-2x-tcxo-otg-24bit-192khz-p-10547.html. This one has a AES output which I can feed directly into Genelec and it has linear power supply (costs 50 euros more than Topping + cable). Currently I use SPIDF AES cable from Thomann. Do not know if this has any impact.
OT for the other thread again so responding here.

It makes no sense to talk about jitter on a USB interface - the data doesn't travel as a continuous stream, but as a series of packets that are buffered at the DAC's usb interface before being sent to the DAC chip or spdif output using a local clock. If there's any jitter to worry about it's in this local clock, not at the streamer end of the USB cable. It's slightly confusing trying to distinguish between the big box like the D10s that we call a DAC, and the chip inside that box that does the actual D to A conversion, so I hope I've managed to separate them. Regarding the D10s spdif output, see:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s-usb-dac-and-bridge-review.14859/post-463906
Not that that will matter if Genelec have done a good job with their input, which as you say they probably have.

I'm not aware of any problems with Apple's USB outputs, or reason you'd be able to tell them apart in a properly controlled test. I expect it's your brain playing the usual tricks, which is why controlled tests are important.

You could also look at the Pi2AES digital output, or even the HifiBerry Digi+ Pro - if the Genelec's AES input is well engineered they'll all sound the same.
 
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somebodyelse

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As I understand it you already have a Pi 3. If so you should install piCorePlayer and try it - it may be that everything 'Just Works' for you. Will you be installing LMS on piCorePlayer, or do you already have it elsewhere?
 

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As I understand it you already have a Pi 3. If so you should install piCorePlayer and try it - it may be that everything 'Just Works' for you. Will you be installing LMS on piCorePlayer, or do you already have it elsewhere?

Sure, makes sense! Time to try it out directly. Tomorrow, I will first install picoreplayer and then install both Squeezelite and LMS. I will provide an update.
 

Daverz

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If you use piCorePlayer/squeezelite, you can set the hardware volume control in PCP web interface under ALSA Volume Control in the Squeezelite Settings. It should be something like "D10". You can then use something like Material Skin to change volume.
 

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If you use piCorePlayer/squeezelite, you can set the hardware volume control in PCP web interface under ALSA Volume Control in the Squeezelite Settings. It should be something like "D10". You can then use something like Material Skin to change volume.

Great! I will try tomorrow. By the way, what is the best IOS Qobuz UPnP renderer. I saw IPENG. Anything else?
 

Daverz

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Great! I will try tomorrow. By the way, what is the best IOS Qobuz UPnP renderer. I saw IPENG. Anything else?

I don't know about UPnP, but I did buy and use iPeng as an LMS controller for a long time. I now use Material Skin, which is a web interface, now, You install it as a plugin on LMS and then navigate to http://<your LMS IP>/material in a browser on your iPad. I'd try that first before paying for iPeng.
 
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somebodyelse

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If you use piCorePlayer/squeezelite, you can set the hardware volume control in PCP web interface under ALSA Volume Control in the Squeezelite Settings. It should be something like "D10". You can then use something like Material Skin to change volume.
I didn't think the hardware volume control would operate on the D10s digital output, hence the suggestion for using software volume. I guess we'll find out soon.
 

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As I understand it you already have a Pi 3. If so you should install piCorePlayer and try it - it may be that everything 'Just Works' for you. Will you be installing LMS on piCorePlayer, or do you already have it elsewhere?

Thanks a lot for your help! I just installed LMS in Pi3 and opened an account with Squeezebox. Then I added the Qobuz plug in with credentials and then added the material skin plugin. Set up was quite easy. I just used the internal DAC via headphone jack and all works very well.

Tomorrow I will connect my Genelecs and see how they sound. Pretty impressed what this little pi box can do as a streamer.
 

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I don't know about UPnP, but I did buy and use iPeng as an LMS controller for a long time. I now use Material Skin, which is a web interface, now, You install it as a plugin on LMS and then navigate to http://<your LMS IP>/material in a browser on your iPad. I'd try that first before paying for iPeng.

Thanks a lot! I tried LMS with material and it worked and is quite cool. Hows Ipeng in comparison to material. What are the main differences from what you saw? Is the user experience same in both?
 

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OT for the other thread again so responding here.

It makes no sense to talk about jitter on a USB interface - the data doesn't travel as a continuous stream, but as a series of packets that are buffered at the DAC's usb interface before being sent to the DAC chip or spdif output using a local clock. If there's any jitter to worry about it's in this local clock, not at the streamer end of the USB cable. It's slightly confusing trying to distinguish between the big box like the D10s that we call a DAC, and the chip inside that box that does the actual D to A conversion, so I hope I've managed to separate them. Regarding the D10s spdif output, see:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s-usb-dac-and-bridge-review.14859/post-463906
Not that that will matter if Genelec have done a good job with their input, which as you say they probably have.

I'm not aware of any problems with Apple's USB outputs, or reason you'd be able to tell them apart in a properly controlled test. I expect it's your brain playing the usual tricks, which is why controlled tests are important.

You could also look at the Pi2AES digital output, or even the HifiBerry Digi+ Pro - if the Genelec's AES input is well engineered they'll all sound the same.

Will the Pi2AES or Digi+ Pro AES output to Genelec AE sound better than D10 Spidf AES output?
 
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Daverz

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I didn't think the hardware volume control would operate on the D10s digital output, hence the suggestion for using software volume. I guess we'll find out soon.
Thanks a lot! I tried LMS with material and it worked and is quite cool. Hows Ipeng in comparison to material. What are the main differences from what you saw? Is the user experience same in both?

I can't find my iPad cable, so I can't refresh my memory, but iPeng may be a bit more intuitive as an app. However, I really like having the uniform interface that Material gives you across PC, mac and phone.
 

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By the way, can I keep the RPI 3 powered on 24x7? Can I also hide it in closed cabinets? I guess the heat should not be a problem. I have a minidsp DDRC24 which generates more heat than RPI 3 but the experts from minidsp say that I can keep it inside a closed cabinet.
 

Daverz

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By the way, can I keep the RPI 3 powered on 24x7? Can I also hide it in closed cabinets? I guess the heat should not be a problem. I have a minidsp DDRC24 which generates more heat than RPI 3 but the experts from minidsp say that I can keep it inside a closed cabinet.

Yes, it will be fine.
 
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somebodyelse

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Will the Pi2AES or Digi+ Pro AES output to Genelec AE sound better than D10 Spidf AES output?
Assuming the Genelec AES input is well engineered (which doesn't seem unreasonable given the rest of their engineering) there won't be a difference.
 

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I've never looked at whether piCorePlayer sends digital silence, or just stops sending when it's not playing, or even if it's configurable. If it sends digital silence and can't be reconfigured (which seems unlikely) there may be an option of using custom commands to turn off power to that specific USB port. Cross that bridge if we come to it.

@somebodyelse
Today I tried the Pi 3 with my Genelec monitors via SPIDF - AES cable from Topping D10s. I was blown away by the sound quality. Played some Jazz (On vacation) from Qobuz (via IPENG). I had switched off the subwoofers. It was excellent. I did not know my Genelec 8340 was able to reproduce excellent low bas notes.

Few more questions:
- I did hear some mild cracking noise like sprinkles/mild drops of start of a rain at the beginning of one song. On careful listening Some produce a cracking sound and someothers done. Especially when I am selecting a new song and playing it.

- I did hear some mild noise in some sections of songs especially when there is vocal. In silent passages or less instrument passages it is not there.

- Even though I am not playing any music through the USB, it is still sending a 0 db noise into Topping. Hence Genelec's digital input is activated. In your earlier posts, you mentioned that we can do some custom controls do completely deactivate usb audio when music is not playing. Could you please help how to achieve that?

- Can I keep connecting the RPI3 to D10s all the time 24x7. I had asked a similar question for RPI3 but now it is for D10

- I am currently using RPI power that came with the box. Should I need to use an other power or should I use another network switch and power adapter dedicated for RPI3?

Thanks for the help!
 
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somebodyelse

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@somebodyelse
Today I tried the Pi 3 with my Genelec monitors via SPIDF - AES cable from Topping D10s. I was blown away by the sound quality. Played some Jazz (On vacation) from Qobuz (via IPENG). I had switched off the subwoofers. It was excellent. I did not know my Genelec 8340 was able to reproduce excellent low bas notes.
I'm glad it's showing good potential. Lets see if we can sort the remaining details.
Few more questions:
- I did hear some mild cracking noise like sprinkles/mild drops of start of a rain at the beginning of one song. On careful listening Some produce a cracking sound and someothers done. Especially when I am selecting a new song and playing it.

- I did hear some mild noise in some sections of songs especially when there is vocal. In silent passages or less instrument passages it is not there.
I'm not sure from the description what this is caused by. In my experience the pops/clicks from the usb bug occur at random, but more often on higher sample rate tracks. I've never had it with piCorePlayer, but can't rule out the possibility. If the noise you hear is repeatable (same place on the track every time) then it's probably not this. It may even be something in the recording that you've not previously heard. I'm guessing though.
- Even though I am not playing any music through the USB, it is still sending a 0 db noise into Topping. Hence Genelec's digital input is activated. In your earlier posts, you mentioned that we can do some custom controls do completely deactivate usb audio when music is not playing. Could you please help how to achieve that?
First thing to try - in the piCorePlayer web interface go to the Squeezelite settings and scroll down until you find "Close output setting - Set idle time before Squeezelite closes output (-C)" which is empty by default. If you put a number in here then squeezelite will close its connection to the audio output that number of seconds after playback stops. With luck this will be enough to stop the output of digital silence, but I think this behaviour isn't defined in the standards so it's not certain to work.
- Can I keep connecting the RPI3 to D10s all the time 24x7. I had asked a similar question for RPI3 but now it is for D10

- I am currently using RPI power that came with the box. Should I need to use an other power or should I use another network switch and power adapter dedicated for RPI3?

Thanks for the help!
I don't see why you couldn't keep things connected, or why you'd need a different power supply if it's working now.
 

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First thing to try - in the piCorePlayer web interface go to the Squeezelite settings and scroll down until you find "Close output setting - Set idle time before Squeezelite closes output (-C)" which is empty by default. If you put a number in here then squeezelite will close its connection to the audio output that number of seconds after playback stops. With luck this will be enough to stop the output of digital silence, but I think this behaviour isn't defined in the standards so it's not certain to work.

unfortunately it did not work. I gave 10 as a value expecting that after 10 seconds the audio output will be completely muted with no signal. But it could not. Do you know any other workaround?
 
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somebodyelse

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It's possible to shut down power to USB ports on the Pi using something like uhubctl. The problem will be how to integrate this nicely with piCorePlayer so that it all just works nicely. It's probably worth asking over at the squeezebox forum in case anyone's tried it already. It may be easier to use one of the remote power options like the RemotePi to shut the whole thing down - that one is at least well documented.
 
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