Dummies Guide to Pi2AES! Throw away your PC or laptop.

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    At the risk of completely monopolizing this thread with uber-dummy questions, can/should you control the Pi2AES + external hardrive with your laptop using your preferred music player (foobar in my case). Most of my listening is at my laptop so the features outside +SQ are not of much use to me.
     
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  2. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    You can open the web UI in any web browser. When I'm on my laptop in the living room I open a separate window and load the moOde web UI to control the music instead of using my phone.
     
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  3. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Curious about MoOde instead of Ropiee because it appears to be able to be a Roon Endpoint + stream Spotify
     
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  4. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I use a Pi and a SPDIF Pi Hat for my headphone listening. I use an attached USB hard drive for my library. That library doubles as my backup because my main desktop computer has all the files and then I can see my network Pi drive and update it remotely thanks to Samba.

    I use it because I wanted a solution that did not involve a computer. It is always on, simple and easy to use, and I can sit down, pull out my smartphone. and start playing anything I want. It can even do streaming radio stations and it can play Airplay streams, and the new MoOde and can even html cast what is playing. And yes, it can do UPnP as well.

    But really, it is the most easy player ever. It is not without with some fuss, but SO worth it.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    One evening of fuss. No fuss or USB neurosis ever again.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    I feel like a dummy because I didn't know how many of you guys were already using this or similar solutions. Anyway, glad I trusted you guys in the Golden Schlong awards (I just don't have time to get to everything these days.)
     
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  7. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    It appears the PI2AES would only cost $250 and sound equal to Unison or perhaps better using AES. So: less expensive than sending my Yggdrasil back to Schiit for the Unison board. I don't feel comfortable doing a self install (all thumbs.) Yup I have looked at the guides and no way am I tearing a 25 pound Yggdrasil down and putting it back together.

    I think I could put the PI2AES together:) But need some more detailed info on exactly how to get the thing working with Qobuz controlled from my laptop. Phone is a possibility but would prefer just using the laptop. So if @purr1n or someone else could explain for dummies exactly how to get that thing streaming Qobuz reliably it would be great.

    There is also the concern on how reliable Qobuz is on the PI2AES. On my Win 10 Pro laptop Qobuz still stutters occasionally and I had to resort to using Audirvana. I never really investigated streamers before because I just assumed I would be sending the Yggdrasil back in to Schiit for the Unison board upgrade but this has me interested. Also Unison will be required to interface with the coming Schiit CD transport I believe?
     
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  8. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    For MacOS I used LanScan:

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/lanscan/id472226235?mt=12

    Also, Unison board is incoming for Yggdrasil. Will definitely A/B between Pi3+AlloDigiOne Sig BNC w/iPower 5v supply vs. Unison USB and post up if there's any worthwhile difference.
     
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  9. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Friend

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    zero problems with Volumio + qobuz and Spotify.

    it is surprisingly fast IU with phone or laptop.

    There seem to be little down sides with a pi based streamer.
     
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  10. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Can any of the good looking people in this thread comment on SQ differences between playing music files from a USB-connected drive vs. streaming music stored on an iPhone via Airplay?
     
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  11. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    USB audio is a shitshow, and depends on so much ancillary hijinks. iPhone/airplay is so jitter-ridden that it's nearly as much a shitshow. RPi plus decent Hat=much better than both.
     
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  12. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    To clarify: the guide here shows how to use the Pi2AES with a USB-connected drive to store the music files. I was interested in the difference between this set up and and the same Pi2AES setup but using Volumio’s included Airplay capability to stream files from a phone. Sorry for the lack of clarity.
     
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  13. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Only distros that support native Roon are DietPI and HiFiBerryOS, AFAIK.

    You can stream to everything else because they all support airport, but then you're limited to airport aka 44/16 only.

    That may or may not matter to you, I have a bunch of 48/16 and 48/24 music.
     
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  14. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    I use Moode on my desktop player at work, and prefer it to Volumio. Roon users may want to consider RoPieee as well.
    I use both, but for a system based on Roon I personally prefer RoPieeeXL, as it's simpler and keeps itself up to date more easily. Using the XL variant allows for DLNA, AirPlay, Spotify, and Squeezelite connections in addition to Roon. I find MoOde better for my needs than Volumio for local playback, but prefer Roon overall.
     
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  15. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Airplay is still compressed I believe. Bluetooth has so many different versions and protocols, so no guarantee on lossless, unless you know what exact BT protocols are running.

    I would say USB hard drive is the best SQ for a Pi. I have even tried playing the same files off my network shared drive from my desktop, and things sounded just a tad softer or rounded off. Probably more jitter.

    I did have Unison hooked up to my Pi and sounded exactly like Windoze. My HiFi Digi+ I2S to SPDIF with the transformer isolated output still sounded slightly deeper and fuller. Super close though. Almost a toss up to be honest. I have not tried this Pi2AES, but it seems it is built to further isolate from the noise ridden Pi. Thus why some have battery type solutions, but things like the USB or the WiFi can cause tons of noise. (NOTE: The noise I am talking about is HF cuircuit noise that affects things like jitter and system performance. Not actual noise.)

    It also helps to run it clean power to the Pi. I use the iFi power supply. I have lots of noise saving techniques actually. Maybe I should post some of that on another thread.

    And yes, my Pi solution has been around for about 2, maybe 3 years now. I started off with a USB to SDPIF and until I got the Digi+.
     
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  16. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    When you say AES > SPDIF coax, are you just using a single cable with XLR on one end and RCA/BNC on the other, or is there a transformer involved as well?
     
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  17. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    If someone figures out a fix for the instances of Volumio that crap out, I would like to hear about it. I have tried intermittently to get it working but the library keeps resetting and that makes it no go. MoOde has been rock solid for a few years and am running 2 different versions on different systems ( too lazy to reflash the first one i set up - well tucked into a box ) .

    This guide is all anyone starting out needs. It has evolved to be almost plug n play and so adaptable to virtually any set up.
     
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  18. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    It may support compressed formats such as AAC, but the typical AirPlay audio stream is 44.1 kHz 16 bit Apple Lossless encoded audio. Obviously this will involve sample rate and bit depth conversion if other formats are used.
     
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  19. Unkgd

    Unkgd Rando

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    How does the Volumio crap out? Does the player just suddenly lock up after playing for a while?

    If that is the issue (which I had with both PiCore and MOode distros) , I found the issue on 2 of my RPI streamers to be caused by the low speed internet providedd by the USB pwifi adapter or the onboard wifi on the RPI3B+.

    I switched both over to a LAN connection provided by a Wifi Entender or a travel router in bridge mode. The issue went away, SQ improved noticeably and no more lock ups
     
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  20. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    The Pi is very power starved. It has to drive all that voltage around. And on a switcher power supply does not help either.

    Using a router in bridge mode or a repeater is the only way to fly. Make sure to turn off the WiFi in your settings.
     
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