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Thread: Raspberry pi and the delights of invisible media!

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 7,442
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Raspberry pi and the delights of invisible media!

    So, today I finally managed, with lots of instruction by Mikeyb, (thanks for the loan!) to connect a Raspberry pi to my system, install some music files on a usb flash drive and listen to the result.*

    I have to say, I am totally dumbstruck.*

    I've resisted the lure of these Pi's mainly due to my lack of understanding and in part because I was highly dubious about how well it could actually perform.*

    I am regretting not trying one earlier.*

    Ok, I probably would have made it through the install and possibly made it work but it was a lot easier with a guide. I am pretty sure that any reasonable person can do this with the help of a couple of YouTube vids. So if it's holding you back from trying it, bite the bullet.*

    On to the spec.*

    This is a Pi 2 I believe, with Allo Boss DAC hat. I haven't heard anything else from any Pi related companies so I'll just judge it on its own merits.*

    The sound is really very very good. Better than any CD player I've had for sure. Soundstage is massive. And I mean "rivaling the vinyl" massive. It's abundantly detailed and yet sufferers no glare or harshness whatsoever. It's has Excellent fluidity and the music flows as it should. Vocals sound excellent too. Human like rather than organic, but I did forget on numerous occasions that I was listening to the pi and not the vinyl.*

    Bass is tight and intrinsically displayed. Finger slides, feet buzz and the snappy hits of the strings, ring through and the texture really is impressive.*

    The highs float across my room like waves of light catching the dust in the air and the filigree catches your attention.*

    It's the mids that hold the magic though. Lots of tone and timbre. It really is very good.*

    Performer placement is not as precise as the Vinyl or the Sony CDP for that matter, however, this is a minor issue and certainly not something id write it off for. It not smeared either just not as easy to pick people out. I'd put this down to not imaging as well as the analogue rig.*

    The only other minor niggle is that cybals on occasion seem to escape the control and lose a bit of tone. Sometimes they sound a little splashy. Not always, just now and again. Not majorly splashy, just not as wholesome as vinyl. I may be a little harsh on that point but I thought it so I wrote it. It's also entirely plausible that it's the recording and not the Pi*

    Would I buy a Raspberry pi and have it installed in my system?

    Definitely.*

    I never ever thought I'd invest in digital but this has really opened my eyes. It's not Vinyl, it's different. Not worse either, just a different approach to music replay that actually still sounded like a believable performance. Not mechanical, not artificial just music.*

    Total price of the package I have here is about £80. That is just ridiculous for what I am hearing.*

    A linear PSU will set you back and extra £50ish and I suspect it may be worth going that extra step.*

    I am now reading about isolator boards which galvanically isolates the DAC from the pi. This could be a major play in SQ and at £150 for the board (from Allo), it's starting to get into dedicated DAC territory.*

    Will I venture into that with the Pi?

    Its a possibility.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+ With Allo Boss.
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Bigbottle Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  2. #2
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,306
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    You’ll never leave the sofa again. Someone may find you in the distant future with 16,341 tracks playing on loop.
    The year will be 2021...
    "lack of passion is fatal"


    Vinyl: Garrard 401 with upgraded NWA bearing spindle, Russ Collinson 'shindo style' plinth / Tenuto gun metal mat / SME-3012 j7 rewired / audio-technica ATP-12T - phonomac modified / STEREO: Ortofon Vintage SPU GTE /Shure M3D / Ortofon Royal N / Cartridge Man Music Master with isolator / Shure - SC35C (US) / SAEC C3 MC MONO: Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Denon DL102/ Ortofon Vintage SPU CG25 / Vintage GE VRII mono / Amps: Radford STA25 mk3 / David Coe AD Audio 'Satchmo' pre & phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / Carver MCt SUT (Jensen winding) Digital: SW1X Audio Design DAC 1 signature / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC custom crossovers / Cables: Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture sapele rack / Audiodesk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner

    'when years of work on perfecting tone and technique suddenly drop away and a direct channel opens up between the musician’s brain and his or her fingers'

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Down South

    Posts: 2,272
    I'm Neal.

    Default

    Stop describing it in terms of HiFi ‘speak”, what does it improve upon musically from your CDP? (BTW they are good aren’t they!)
    Listening in a Foo free Zone...

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: Sheffield

    Posts: 2,903
    I'm Simon.

    Default

    Yes please use old flat earth sales pitch speak only, its so much more applicable in this post flat response magazine era...


    Eh...?
    Kuzma Stabi/S 12", (LP12-bastard) DC motor and optical tacho psu, Benz LP, Paradise (phonostage). MB-Pro, Brooklyn dac and psu, Bruno Putzeys balanced pre, mod86p dual mono amps, Yamaha NS1000m

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 7,442
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NRG View Post
    Stop describing it in terms of HiFi ‘speak”, what does it improve upon musically from your CDP? (BTW they are good aren’t they!)
    Ok........

    Pi v CDP

    Pi improvements over the CDP:

    Soundscape. The width and hight of the sound produced extended beyond the limits of the speakers. Seems to create a feeling of listening to much bigger speakers.

    Dynamics: the pi sounds more lively, more dramatic. Maybe even a little over the top. Like it need a snickers but it's great.

    Stack and decay: piano notes last longer as the decay is easily heard, fading slowly rather than kind of, disappearing. Leading edges on the piano also sound very sharp and precise. Indicate no treble roll off or rounded sound. Not sure how you'd like me to describe that bit? Just quicker and cleaner.

    Ease of use: never leave your arm chair again ! The sheer number of tracks available at your fingertips is superb.

    CDP improvement over the Pi

    Imaging: whilst the soundstage is smaller, it's easier to pick out the individual performers. They seem a little more realistic or 3 dimensional.


    I'll add to this as I listen further.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+ With Allo Boss.
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Bigbottle Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 7,442
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WESTLOWER View Post
    You’ll never leave the sofa again. Someone may find you in the distant future with 16,341 tracks playing on loop.
    The year will be 2021...
    Lol, it is addictive too. Finding myself listening to stuff I haven't heard for yonks. I have limited myself a little with the vinyl setup due to not wanting to hear what digital has done here before. This is a different experience. I thoroughly enjoyed bit. A tough task but it's achieved something 6 DACs and 8 cd players couldn't. Enjoyment.

    I will add that the only reason I even attempted this was due to the Sony CD player I have. Macca left it with me and I have been using it, bought a few CDs and enjoyed them.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+ With Allo Boss.
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Bigbottle Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 7,442
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sq225917 View Post
    Yes please use old flat earth sales pitch speak only, its so much more applicable in this post flat response magazine era...


    Eh...?
    I've tried.......hope it's clearer
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+ With Allo Boss.
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Bigbottle Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 736
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    I've tried.......hope it's clearer
    Oliver, I think you summed it up very well, much the same as my personal experience having bitted the Pi/DAC/Caiman SEG DAC bullet. I presume you have borrowed and not purchased at this stage.

    If you decide to go ahead then you had 2 choices really, the route I took and then if your CDP has S/PDIP out you can feed the Caiman SEG DAC or similar external DAC, this is very likely to improve the CD replay(but I am not sure that you have one). Alternatively by a RPi with a higher end DAC card, like ALLO – KATANA DAC or TERRATECHNOS – TERRA-BERRYDAC 2+. If you want to spend a bit less but still get really good SQ I understand that this is a good option RPi with ALLO – KALI I2S RECLOCKER and compatible DAC (have a read https://volumio.org/product/allo-kali-i2s-reclocker/)).

    Enjoy sofa sound surfing.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound


    Michel GyroDec, SME IV arm, Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Meridian 508 CD, Tisbury passive pre-amp, pair Renaisance RA-01 300b amps, Impulse H2's and Wilson Benesch ARC speakers depending on how I feel, Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Grimsby

    Posts: 96
    I'm David.

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    Great to read you've enjoyed digital, it's not the same as vinyl, but the more you listen the more you begin to accept. Are you saying the loaned Sony cdp was the best digital you had heard up until the Pi.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 7,442
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Oliver, I think you summed it up very well, much the same as my personal experience having bitted the Pi/DAC/Caiman SEG DAC bullet. I presume you have borrowed and not purchased at this stage.

    If you decide to go ahead then you had 2 choices really, the route I took and then if your CDP has S/PDIP out you can feed the Caiman SEG DAC or similar external DAC, this is very likely to improve the CD replay(but I am not sure that you have one). Alternatively by a RPi with a higher end DAC card, like ALLO – KATANA DAC or TERRATECHNOS – TERRA-BERRYDAC 2+. If you want to spend a bit less but still get really good SQ I understand that this is a good option RPi with ALLO – KALI I2S RECLOCKER and compatible DAC (have a read https://volumio.org/product/allo-kali-i2s-reclocker/)).

    Enjoy sofa sound surfing.
    Hi Adrian,

    I tried a Caiman. Didn't like it. Tried it with the new power thing and still didn't like it. Heard it after a clock mod and again, wasn't for me.

    CDP has no spdif so I'll go the way of the pi!

    I have now bought a Pi 3+. I have done a deal with mikeyb for his Boss DAC hat and case and I'll stick with that for a while. I am very green about this sort of stuff so before info ploughing head first into something I don't understand, I'll use this rig to learn. Once I am more comfortable, I'll have a look at upgrades etc.

    I'll make a bit if the bits you recommend though, thanks for that.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+ With Allo Boss.
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Bigbottle Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

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