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post #1 of 41 Old 02-10-2020, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Raspberry Pi music player setup?

I'm having deciding what to buy and set up. I'll need a Raspberry Pi and sound card of some, maybe a HiFiBerry.

The question is which type of card? Do I need a DAC card for Raspberry Pi if I intend to run the audio through my Yamaha AVR, or can I just use a digitizer, the Digi+?
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post #2 of 41 Old 02-10-2020, 08:00 PM
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RPi HDMI to your AV receiver's HDMI input and let the AV receiver be the DAC.

I'd think you'd only need a sound card/DAC in the RPi if you are sending the output to a device without a DAC.
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post #3 of 41 Old 02-10-2020, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
RPi HDMI to your AV receiver's HDMI input and let the AV receiver be the DAC.

I'd think you'd only need a sound card/DAC in the RPi if you are sending the output to a device without a DAC.
That was my thought, too, but I thought I'd better check. I'm running short of HDMI ports - if it would work with no external DAC with HDMI, would it also work with RCA or TOSLink?
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post #4 of 41 Old 02-11-2020, 12:37 PM
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Not sure of the quality of the analog output/DAC of the RPi. It used to not be all that good but I am not sure what version of RPi you are running. With the RPi 4, it is reported as being better.

The HIFiBerry has a DAC and gives you RCA outputs, but so does the RPi and you can get a 3.5mm to RCA converter to hook to an amp.

I'm not sure how much people are using the RPi's like they were in the past since a lot of Amps/AVR's now take USB sticks and/or you can stream from your computer/network device/phone.
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post #5 of 41 Old 02-11-2020, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
I'm not sure how much people are using the RPi's like they were in the past since a lot of Amps/AVR's now take USB sticks and/or you can stream from your computer/network device/phone.
Yeah, I wouldn't be doing it either if the USB port on my Yamaha A780 worked - it doesn't recognize anything I plug in. I don't want to stream, so that leaves me with the Raspberry Pi option. Thanks.
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post #6 of 41 Old 02-11-2020, 04:03 PM
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Yeah, I wouldn't be doing it either if the USB port on my Yamaha A780 worked - it doesn't recognize anything I plug in. I don't want to stream, so that leaves me with the Raspberry Pi option. Thanks.
USB drives probably have to be formatted a certain way for your amp (FAT16 or FAT32). Maybe check that?

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post #7 of 41 Old 02-11-2020, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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USB drives probably have to be formatted a certain way for your amp (FAT16 or FAT32). Maybe check that?
Oh, yeah. I even let Crutchfield walk me through it, step by step. It wouldn't even recognize my iPhone. They sent me a brand-new A780, but that one didn't work either. I didn't want to start learning a new AVR, so I kept it anyway. Thus, the Raspberry Pi.
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post #8 of 41 Old 02-11-2020, 06:47 PM
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What source are you planning on streaming from? When I had a Yamaha AVR, I streamed directly to it. I am now using a 2-channel analog preamp now so I am using Raspberry Pi 3 B running RoPieeeXL. RoPieeeXL is a Roon plus offers DLNA, Spotify, Airplay, and Squeezelite functionality. https://ropieee.org/

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post #9 of 41 Old 02-12-2020, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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What source are you planning on streaming from? When I had a Yamaha AVR, I streamed directly to it. I am now using a 2-channel analog preamp now so I am using Raspberry Pi 3 B running RoPieeeXL. RoPieeeXL is a Roon plus offers DLNA, Spotify, Airplay, and Squeezelite functionality. https://ropieee.org/
Initially, I'll try leaving a music-loaded USB thumb drive plugged into a USB port. If that works I don't think I'll bother with a separate HDD, as I don't have enough music to fill up one of those. Conceivably, I will use an SD card as the music source.

I won't need to worry about USB drive degradation or backups, because my main storage on my laptop is already backed up. If the USB drive goes inop I'll just replace it. I won't be doing any streaming, at least initially, though anything's possible.
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post #10 of 41 Old 02-12-2020, 10:27 AM
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Initially, I'll try leaving a music-loaded USB thumb drive plugged into a USB port.
As mentioned before your Yamaha A-780 only supports FAT16 or FAT32 file formatted drives (which is a bit dated). So you need to make sure no other 'file system' is used.

Out of interest... What capacity is your 'USB pen-drive'? And what type of computer are you using to transfer your audio files to your 'USB pen-drive'?
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post #11 of 41 Old 02-12-2020, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Out of interest... What capacity is your 'USB pen-drive'? And what type of computer are you using to transfer your audio files to your 'USB pen-drive'?
There are several lying around unused right now, but probably the Kingston Traveler 16gig, as it's the most compact; if it doesn't work I'll try some others. If my MacBook Pro doesn't recognize the USB drive formatted that way I'll use Linux.
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post #12 of 41 Old 02-12-2020, 04:10 PM
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The chances are slim that you got two bad Yamahas. My guess is still that the USB stick was formatted incorrectly.
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post #13 of 41 Old 02-13-2020, 12:58 AM
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My guess is still that the USB stick was formatted incorrectly.
Indeed. Older USB pen-drives (16GB and over) might also have hidden partitions. Which I know from personal experience can cause detection issues with some media playback devices.

Also, as a disk drive capacity increases your computers operating system might not offer you the option to format in FAT16 or FAT32

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post #14 of 41 Old 02-13-2020, 10:00 AM
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For my Windows machine, I always use a 3rd party utility to format my USB drives that I use in my car, AVR's, etc. Such as this one:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/dow...e-format-tool/

(I did not test that link, but google "HP USB Formatter" and you'll get many inks to download)
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post #15 of 41 Old 02-13-2020, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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The chances are slim that you got two bad Yamahas. My guess is still that the USB stick was formatted incorrectly.
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Originally Posted by SeeMoreDigital View Post
Indeed. Older USB pen-drives (16GB and over) might also have hidden partitions. Which I know from personal experience can cause detection issues with some media playback devices.

Also, as a disk drive capacity increases your computers operating system might not offer you the option to format in FAT16 or FAT32
I appreciate and respect your audio knowledge, but your fallacy is assuming that because I'm an audio newbie I must also know nothing about computers, which is very wrong. In this case I walked through it again with Crutchfield customer support, who suggested replacing AVR, and did so without my having to return the first one until later, so as not to leave me with an AVR while it was shipping. We also formatted multiple USB drive makes, as some are known to have problems with playback.

Also, the fact that I had two bad USB ports in a row didn't surprise the tier 2 customer service rep at Yamaha, either; he suggested returning it and trying again. He didn't say it, but I suspect the chances of two bad USB ports actually rises if you buy from the lot that was bad in the first place.

I'd like to leave this irritating topic of formatting USBs sticks, please, as I won't be using that approach, anyway.
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post #16 of 41 Old 02-13-2020, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalker1 View Post
I'm having deciding what to buy and set up. I'll need a Raspberry Pi and sound card of some, maybe a HiFiBerry.

The question is which type of card? Do I need a DAC card for Raspberry Pi if I intend to run the audio through my Yamaha AVR, or can I just use a digitizer, the Digi+?


I use a Pi running PiCoreplayer outputting to an inexpensive Muse USB DAC. It sounds much better than the onboard audio and I am pretty pleased especially for the money. PiCoreplayer https://www.picoreplayer.org/ Muse DAC (not my auction) https://www.ebay.com/itm/MUSE-HIFI-U...sAAOSwbyVdIujg


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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post #17 of 41 Old 02-14-2020, 08:56 AM
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I'm curious as to why you actually stuck with the Yamaha if you did indeed have two bad ones. Why not go with a different AVR that actually does what it is supposed to do instead of an ad hoc RPi patchwork setup that'll kinda be a pain to run and maintain.

As was said, the RPi was fine a few years back...but anymore AVR's do all of that and do it a lot easier.
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post #18 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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usc1995 - thanks, I'll take a look at it.
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post #19 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm curious as to why you actually stuck with the Yamaha if you did indeed have two bad ones. Why not go with a different AVR that actually does what it is supposed to do instead of an ad hoc RPi patchwork setup that'll kinda be a pain to run and maintain.

As was said, the RPi was fine a few years back...but anymore AVR's do all of that and do it a lot easier.
I like the sound, and then there was the sunk cost of learning a 200-page user manual. Also, reports indicate Yamaha runs a bit cooler than some others, and I have a sight issue with overhead space in my otherwise open cabinet. Finally, the USB drives do work in my new Panasonic BluRay player to play music, which I'll use for the interim until I get the Raspberry Pi music player online using the Yamaha DAC that I like.

I may still return the Yamaha and try something else, but I doubt it.

I have a question, also: you indicate that "AVRs do all of that and do it a lot easier." Can you tell me what you mean by that, please? So far, I've been unable to make it be a "local digital music player," which is what I want, without resorting to streaming, which the AVR is good for.

As for the difficulties inherent in an RPi, I don't know - I've never done one before and it looks interesting.

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post #20 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 11:26 AM
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My Marantz AVR can "stream" from lossless files on my PC, the USB stick in my router, etc. It also works fine locally via a USB stick plugged in. It sees my entire network. IIRC the Yamaha can do much the same via the app.

There is no benefit to having a RPi act as a media server unless I'm missing what it is that you want to do. Basically, aside from software, you're duplicating what your AVR can already do via the app.

Also, all class A/B amps with similar WPC will run about the same temperature, but a lot of that depends upon how much of a load you are putting on it (speakers, volume, etc). If you truly want a cooler AVR, then you need to get one that's Class D.

A non-working USB port would be unacceptable to me.
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post #21 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalker1 View Post

As for the difficulties inherent in an RPi, I don't know - I've never done one before and it looks interesting.

RPi solutions are quite simple, as there are Plug n Play solutions like Volumio, complete with decent control apps. RPi makes best sense if you are using the HDMI to input to the AVR, as cost of adding other little things adds up. If you already have a FireTV or Roku, consider using those with PLEX instead.


Local USB playback doesn't make much sense these days when you can have all your stuff accessible on the home network.

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post #22 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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My Marantz AVR can "stream" from lossless files on my PC, the USB stick in my router, etc. It also works fine locally via a USB stick plugged in. It sees my entire network. IIRC the Yamaha can do much the same via the app.

There is no benefit to having a RPi act as a media server unless I'm missing what it is that you want to do. Basically, aside from software, you're duplicating what your AVR can already do via the app.

Also, all class A/B amps with similar WPC will run about the same temperature, but a lot of that depends upon how much of a load you are putting on it (speakers, volume, etc). If you truly want a cooler AVR, then you need to get one that's Class D.


A non-working USB port would be unacceptable to me.
You're willing to stream; I'm not, at least, not from my main LAN.

I have my router set to three separate LANs: "Main," "Guest_VLAN (Virtual LAN)," and IoT_VLAN (Internet of Things). I don't know where my guests or the IoT have been, so I don't let them on the Main LAN. None of the LANs can communicate with another LAN or with one another on the same LAN/VLAN, and only the Main LAN can can communicate with the router's admin page. For some reason I cannot run AirPlay or Yamaha MusicCast on anything but the Main LAN, which is unacceptable to me, as it obviates my security setup. This latter, as well as the USB problem, is the reason I spoke to the tier 2 Yamaha customer support representative. He was unable to suggest any way to allow the VLANs to stream, saying, "You have to be on the main LAN, the first one that shows up in WiFi."

Even if I did get streaming to run on one of the VLANs that would still mean I'd have to put my computer or iPhone on that same, untrusted VLAN, or buy a old Android phone somewhere for just streaming, and then I understand I'd effectively be using the Android's DAC instead of the Yamaha's, unless I'm mistaken.

OTOH, if I'd known all AVRs are about as hot as the others, I would have bought the Marantz.
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post #23 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 12:35 PM
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I get network segregation with some of the IOT/guest devices, but are you going to trust your RPi on your main LAN? If so, why that vs. an AVR? Hopefully you've got your local firewalls running on your computers and can keep an AVR from causing any nefarious activity.

You can also hardwire your AVR (or if you have a good router, WiFi as well) and only allow it to communicate with one specific device on your main network to "stream" with. You could even setup another VLAN that only your RPi/Android and AVR lives on.

These are all pieces of the puzzle that are coming out. You've kinda created a lot of the roadblocks and having an AVR with a bad USB port just makes things worse.

If you use an Android device as a streamer/media server, your AVR gets the digital files from that (or the internet) and the internal AVR DAC does the rest. You could also leverage a RPi for the same thing. It could act as the music server just as easily as the Android device. Now, if you use an Android 3.5mm jack to the RCA's on your AVR, then yeah...that's using the internal Android DAC. Any streaming though is going to 100% use the AVR's DAC.
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post #24 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I get network segregation with some of the IOT/guest devices, but are you going to trust your RPi on your main LAN? If so, why that vs. an AVR? Hopefully you've got your local firewalls running on your computers and can keep an AVR from causing any nefarious activity.
No, the RPi will go on the IoT VLAN. I'll control it with Volumio, which serves a web page for control and my iPhone or MacBook Pro can control it from there without having to go to the IoT VLAN.

Quote:
You can also hardwire your AVR (or if you have a good router, WiFi as well) and only allow it to communicate with one specific device on your main network to "stream" with. You could even setup another VLAN that only your RPi/Android and AVR lives on.
I'll have to check - I think I'm tapped out with three LAN/VLANs.

Quote:
These are all pieces of the puzzle that are coming out. You've kinda created a lot of the roadblocks and having an AVR with a bad USB port just makes things worse.
Yes. A USB drive would have made it simple, but a USB in my Panasonic works well enough.

Quote:
If you use an Android device as a streamer/media server, your AVR gets the digital files from that (or the internet) and the internal AVR DAC does the rest. You could also leverage a RPi for the same thing. It could act as the music server just as easily as the Android device. Now, if you use an Android 3.5mm jack to the RCA's on your AVR, then yeah...that's using the internal Android DAC. Any streaming though is going to 100% use the AVR's DAC.
Good to know - thanks.
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post #25 of 41 Old 02-15-2020, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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RPi solutions are quite simple, as there are Plug n Play solutions like Volumio, complete with decent control apps. RPi makes best sense if you are using the HDMI to input to the AVR, as cost of adding other little things adds up. If you already have a FireTV or Roku, consider using those with PLEX instead.

Local USB playback doesn't make much sense these days when you can have all your stuff accessible on the home network.
I read a quote yesterday about RPi (approximately): "Getting a Pi running is usually quite easy; getting it to do what you want varies from the trivial to the impossible." I'll start with HDMI, but I'll want to see if it will work with digital coax or TosLink, as I'm quickly finding out that I can run out of HDMI slots.
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post #26 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:42 AM
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I have been using Raspberry Pi's with HiFI Berry top hats as music players to replace my Squeezebox Touch players as they fail. I use Max2Play as the OS, it includes all the software and drivers needed in one package. He charges 10.00 Euro's for a license to use it, I find it worth vs. building the image from the ground up. I even built one into a portable player with a Dayton amplifier and speakers I built which I use in my work van. I listen to these daily and the sound quality matches the Squeezebox players. I suggest you google Max2Play and have a look, all the parts are readily available on Amazon or AdaFruit. I disagree with folks that have read about the difficulty of using a RPi as music player, they are simple to setup and the sound quality is as good as the sound card or DAC you choose. The comment about security is interesting, I would say the RPi security is equal to any other Ubuntu based computer.
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post #27 of 41 Old 02-22-2020, 07:45 AM
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I'm running my RPi2 as the house music streamer for Tidal. I've got a nanosound dac with RCA outputs hooked up to my receiver, which I just use in stereo direct mode. Volumio+Tidal is awesome and it was easy to setup!

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post #28 of 41 Old 03-30-2020, 08:51 AM
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I am a proponent us the RPi media stream solution, I have a RPi4 with 1 gig ram running Latest Moode Audio operating system , a Allo Signature one ( two board ) top hat, which goes out to a SMSL SU8 DAC via BNC which goes XLR out to a Crown XLI 1500 amp then to speakers.

The Allo Signature one does a great job on my Flac music file which are on a NAS drive - this could also be any USB based hard drive to store music files and plugged directly into the RPI

I originally used a HighFI Berry DAC Pro via RCA to my Marantz 7011 - this utilized the Marantz Dac then out to speakers. When I moved to the Allo two board solution which then connected to the SMSL SU8 DAC there was a very noticeable difference Marantz was set to direct mode by passing the Marantz DAC. I believe now by passing the Marantz completely and going from the SMSL SU8 DAC via XLR to the Crown Amp is the Best and final solution


This is my experience, bottom line I believe any RPI Streamer solution out to a stand alone DAC even the cheap ones is better than going thru an AVR. The AVR solution works and allows a simpler all in one solution with good sound and base management, all depends on what is most important to you and your equipment

Good Luck in meeting your needs

Jim Meader

Audirvana on Win 10 PC, USB out to SMSL SU8 DAC, XLR out to Crown XLI 1500 amp, full range signal sent via RCA to 12 inch Klipsch sub, Audirvana accesses FLAC Music files on USB Drive
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post #29 of 41 Old 04-01-2020, 03:59 AM
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I recently replaced my old Samsung Netbook "transport" with a Raspberry Pi 4 running Volumio. FLAC files come from a USB drive and digital output is done via USB to a USB DAC.

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post #30 of 41 Old 04-01-2020, 08:08 AM
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Currently I have two Pis running PiCorePlayer with different dacs - Use LMS w/ Material Skin plugin for control.

Setup 1 - Main System
Board - Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard
Case - Flirc Raspberry Pi 2 and B+ Case
DAC - Hifime S2 USB and SPDIF DAC (Sabre ES9038q2m)
Power - iPower Low Noise DC Power Supply with International Travel Adapters by iFi Audio (5V)
OS - PiCorePlayer

Setup 2 - Outside Setup
Board - Raspberry Pi Model B+ (B PLUS) 512MB Computer Board
Case - HiFiBerry Steel case for HiFiBerry DAC+, black cover
DAC - HiFiBerry DAC+ - Pro
Power - Kootek 5V 2A Universal Micro USB Charger Adapter Power Supply for Raspberry Pi, Google Nexus 7, Nexus 10, External Battery Power Bank, Android Tablet
OS - PiCorePlayer



Also use this usb dac for my headphones - HiFime UAE23HD USB DAC (ES9018K2M+SA9023)

For me I seem to prefer the ESS Dacs in my setup.

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Last edited by cburbs; 04-01-2020 at 08:19 AM.
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