Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

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slinger
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

Well, my experiments are going as well as usual. I decided that along with the new DAC I'd get a HiFiBerry Digi 2 Pro so I could give the DAC a proper workout, and compare USB, Optical, and 75Ω coax source connections for Volumio.

My first attempt was to see if the "hat" worked with my Asus Tinker Board (ATB) as some HiFiBerry stuff does. Nope, that would have been far too easy. Didn't work.

My next (and preplanned if the ATB didn't work) step, was to order a Pi 4B.

The first problem with that is that when they made the Pi 4 they decided to f*ck about with the position of the USB ports and the RJ45 port. In fact, they "mirrored" them completely from where they were on the Pi 3 and the ATB, so I'm out twenty quid on the cost of the case to house the original combo and had to order a brand new case along with the Pi 4.

Today the Pi 4 turned up, but the case has gone out of stock, so my choices were, to pay £15+ over the odds at Amazon, get one for what appeared to be a reasonable price from Germany until they added the single choice for shipping, which was "DHL Paket," for approx. £25.00. or, my final choice, is to wait until the cases come back into stock at the Pi Hut. I'm on the email list, and I'm waiting. :roll:
Amps - NVA P50, AP30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by antonio66 »

So adding a second switch improved things, ok, I just thought using one switch and an ethernet cable to your streamer from the switch would be better. Less is more, but not in the case of ethernet switches :lol:
Thanks CN

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

I don't know but I think it ls likely the close proximity of the second switch to the streamer had a lot to do with the uplift in SQ. The logic is the shorter the length of ethernet cable from a filter (switch) the better. All the better if the streamer is connected by an optical cable and not ethernet. The OpticalRendu has brought about a very significant improvement in SQ and I am hearing subtilties on familiar recordings which were not there before, coupled with wider dynamic range.
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA (latest spec), A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, Audioquest Jitterbug, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Farnells cat 8 ethernet cable

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NVA P20, A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP
Sonore MicroRendu, Topping E30 MCRU PSs, Audioquest Carbon USB cable

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by antonio66 »

Sorry Slinger I appear to have ignored your new purchase of a Vincent Dac 1, to which I will put right now. I've looked on the net but can find little, although I do know Vincent make good amps so will assume this dac is more than decent, and they do make a Dac 7 with valves. Good luck in sorting out out a case for the Pi, I didn't realise they had mirrored the out/inputs on the 4
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

The good news is, that despite not having a case the Pi 4 has happily accepted a freshly flashed Micro SD card with Volumio on and is currently indexing my albums.
Next, I'll test it with the current USB setup of Volumio >> Oehlbach >> Shiit Wyrd >> Amp
As long as that's all hunky-dory I'll go on to see how the optical and coax outputs perform.
Amps - NVA P50, AP30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

The good news is, Volumio sees my Digi2 Pro and is happily playing via its optical output. That's enough for tonight, I'll give it a decent seeing to tomorrow. The reason it's taken this long is that I was doing a bit of "housekeeping" on my' Non-Classical' drive.
Amps - NVA P50, AP30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by savvypaul »

I picked up a secondhand Sbooster LPSU to try with my RME DAC.

I listened to a selection of albums throughout most of yesterday, a few hours at a time with each power supply, and some more listening this morning. I have a tiny preference for the Sbooster; the music has a fraction greater ease and flow, to my ears. Not life changing, not essential: if you like the RME with the Sbooster, I think you would like the RME with the stock supply.. and if you dislike the RME with the stock supply, I think you would dislike the RME with the Sbooster.

Buying secondhand pushes the Sbooster into viable territory, for me. Also, I'm on my third RME power supply (previous two replaced under warranty) so I hope the Sbooster will be more durable (and I will have the RME as a spare).

When I had a Chord 2qute, an LPSU made an obvious difference. With the RME, it's a much, much closer call
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slinger (Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:46 pm) • CN211276 (Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:36 pm) • antonio66 (Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:16 pm)
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

I believe Chord skimp on the power supplies to their lower cost DACs. I think this could be a ploy to accentuate the difference between those further up the range costing a lot more. The improvement the Sbooster brought to my Qutest was anything but subtle and this was over the MCRU it replaced, not the one supplied. Bass extension increased and the sound opened up by a very noticable extent. The Sbooster which replaced the Chord PS on the Mscaler improved SQ but to a much lesser degree.

The quality of PSs to digital sources cannot be over stated. The displaced MCRU has transformed the Topping E30 in the second system. Previously I was using a power bank which was superior to the one supplied by Topping. I have found that PSs to streamers are just as important, if not more so, than to DACs.
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Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, Audioquest Jitterbug, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Farnells cat 8 ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20, A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP
Sonore MicroRendu, Topping E30 MCRU PSs, Audioquest Carbon USB cable

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

The first thing I learnt today was that you cant have both optical and 75Ω co-ax cables connected to the HiFiBerry Digi2 Pro at the same time and use the DAC to select which input it uses. That took a few reboots of Volumio to cure.

I've now got the co-ax (AudioQuest Forest) cable in place and I started with what is, admittedly, an old recording - Bees Make Honey's 1972 album "Music Every Night," - but it sounds good. Very "dry" in a good way, and very tight. Joe Bonamassa's "Royal Tea," is currently playing, and all is good. I still need to let the Vincent bed in, so no judgements yet, but the signs are promising.
Amps - NVA P50, AP30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

Well, this is getting interesting. It seems that Volumio is quite happy to see the HiFiBerry Digi2 Pro as a HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro (the previous incarnation of the card) as an i2S DAC board.

It does say, in the blurb, "HiFiBerry Digi2 Pro is a high-quality S/PDIF output for the Raspberry Pi. It uses the I2S sound port that connects directly to the CPU without the need for an additional USB conversion," but although I (obviously) tried it I never expected it to work.

24 hours later and !2S seems to be the way to go.

After a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I've decided optical via the I2S is the way to go, which surprised me a bit, and to that end, I've just done a very un-slinger-like thing and lashed out (almost) eighty-quid on a 0.6m optical cable.

My shoddy logic tells me that buying what is hopefully going to be my end-game optical cable will save me £50.00 in the long run by buying it now, rather than spending £50.00 or so on an intermediate cable, and then deciding to step up again later on.
Obviously, I can only go by the dreaded reviews, but they do seem uniformly good. Once again (as with my WireWorlds) I've bought my digital cable from Analogue Seduction. :lol:

Oh, sorry, it's one of these... https://www.qed.co.uk/qed-reference-optical-quartz-digital-audio-cable.html#tab1
Amps - NVA P50, AP30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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