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DIY streamer

Tony_J

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Use either Moode or Volumio (only because I’ve used both).
Very much a matter of taste as to which distro to use - I tried Volumio and didn't get on with it, all of my Pi's are PiCorePlayer now, and at Andrew's suggestion I've moved over to Material Skin as the interface on PC/tablet/phone which works well for me (YMMV).
 

Cool Dude Ted

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Very much a matter of taste as to which distro to use - I tried Volumio and didn't get on with it, all of my Pi's are PiCorePlayer now, and at Andrew's suggestion I've moved over to Material Skin as the interface on PC/tablet/phone which works well for me (YMMV).
Couldn’t agree more.
I only mention Moode and Volumio because I’ve used both - for no other reason.
One of these days I’d like to try something different, incl PiCorePlayer which I’ve heard a lot about.
 
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bencat

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I would agree with @Strider about Moode not only is it easy to use but in my view it has the best audio as well probably because the owner updates Squeezeplay to the latest version frequently while some of the others use the same older versions .
 

griffo58

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I’ll start by saying that there are many wammers who are more experienced than I am with the Pi and have far greater technical knowledge. So please have a good look at what others are saying too.
Starting with the basics;
What are you intending to stream? Something like Spotify?, internet radio or locally stored music? I guess it‘s sensible to make sure the Pi can do what you’d like it to do.
You’ll need a Raspberry Pi with an operating system. I use Moode, but have used Volumio. There are many others.
Op sys is loaded onto a microSD card (flashed). You’d normally use a PC or laptop to do this.
Decision as to how to get the digital signal out of the Pi. Main options are either USB out or add another circuit board to the Pi (called a HAT) which can take several forms - the main one being to provide either a co-ax or optical connection. There is a DAC option too, which we can come back to.
As you have an Elex-R (I own a Rega Brio), there is no DAC (Digital to Analogue converter) in your amp and so you have to have a DAC to be able to send a signal to your Elex (which is received via twin RCA cable).
As for a DAC - there are so many options here ranging from £100-ish new to many £-thousands. Obviously better vfm buying used. I am in no position to comment on higher priced DACS because I’ve never owned one, but I’m in the £100-300 bracket and have fair knowledge here.

I’ve built 4 Pis - So would I do if I started all over?
Get hold of a 2Gb Rpi4 (not a RPi3). Buy a cheap case, power supply and micro SD card. Use either Moode or Volumio (only because I’ve used both). Decide to take the digital signal out via USB. Buy a DAC which has USB in. Something like a Topping E30 (I think that’s the model number) or a Schiit Modi 3 or one of many others. Connect USB out on the Pi to USB in on the DAC. You’ll have to tell the Pi’s operating system that you’re using USB out. Buy a twin RCA cable (you probably have one) and connect RCA out on the DAC (assuming it has twin RCA) into appropriate inputs on the Elex.
Make sure volume on the Elex is turned right down to start with - just to make sure that you’ve told the Pi/software what type of volume control you want to use.
There is a degree of ‘faffing around’ setting up the PI, but once that’s done, things should run smoothly. For me, the only time they don’t seem to is when I remove the micro SD and do a software upgrade but that‘s a story for another time.
There are so many variables and options but also the Pi can be set up as a simple streamer if that’s all you want.
Good luck if you decide to go ahead. Feel free to come back to me - either on thread or by PM - and I’ll do what I can to help. But also I’ll be honest and tell you what I can’t help with and/or don’t know.
These are just my opinions. I’m very much in the camp of starting as reasonably priced as I can, accepting that I may need to trade up (I’ve had 7 DACs), rather than going all in and spending hundreds or more on a device that I don’t know how much I’ll use until I’ve started using it.
My son has a spare p3 would that be ok
 

Cool Dude Ted

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My son has a spare p3 would that be ok
I’m sure many on here are using a RPi3 and very happy. I’ve never used one, so can’t say from experience.
Will it do the job? Yes.
My caution and this is based solely on what I’ve read not what I’ve experienced first hand, is that the RPi 3 isn’t the best with USB out. This is something to do with ethernet and USB sharing the same ‘bus’. A bit technical for me but it persuaded me to go with a Rpi4.
That said, if I had a spare Rpi3, then I’d definitely give it a go but would almost certainly buy a ‘cheap’ HAT and pass either a co-ax or optical signal to my DAC.
Of course, if you simply want to try a RPi to see if it‘s for you without worrying too much about audio quality (at least to start with) then the Pi does have an audio out socket (3.5mm I believe). I think I tried it once, using a 3.5mm to twin RCA into the amp. Need to be careful with volume control, though. This method uses the built in DAC in the Rpi itself.
If you haven’t done so already, then John Darko (Darko on youtube) has two or three videos about using the Pi as a steamer. These were what got me into using the Pi in the first place.
 
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griffo58

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I’m sure many on here are using a RPi3 and very happy. I’ve never used one, so can’t say from experience.
Will it do the job? Yes.
My caution and this is based solely on what I’ve read not what I’ve experienced first hand, is that the RPi 3 isn’t the best with USB out. This is something to do with ethernet and USB sharing the same ‘bus’. A bit technical for me but it persuaded me to go with a Rpi4.
That said, if I had a spare Rpi3, then I’d definitely give it a go but would almost certainly buy a ‘cheap’ HAT and pass either a co-ax or optical signal to my DAC.
Of course, if you simply want to try a RPi to see if it‘s for you without worrying too much about audio quality (at least to start with) then the Pi does have an audio out socket (3.5mm I believe). I think I tried it once, using a 3.5mm to twin RCA into the amp. Need to be careful with volume control, though. This method uses the built in DAC in the Rpi itself.
If you haven’t done so already, then John Darko (Darko on youtube) has two or three videos about using the Pi as a steamer. These were what got me into using the Pi in the first place.
thanks thinking of adding a hiberry DAC to start with and volumio and if impressed will look at adding a external DAC in the future
 

Tony_J

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thanks thinking of adding a hiberry DAC to start with and volumio and if impressed will look at adding a external DAC in the future
The Pi3 should work fine with a HAT. I'm running streamers based on the Pi Zero and haven't heard a difference between that and a Pi4...
 
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Man in a van

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I’m sure many on here are using a RPi3 and very happy. I’ve never used one, so can’t say from experience.
Will it do the job? Yes.
My caution and this is based solely on what I’ve read not what I’ve experienced first hand, is that the RPi 3 isn’t the best with USB out. This is something to do with ethernet and USB sharing the same ‘bus’. A bit technical for me but it persuaded me to go with a Rpi4.
That said, if I had a spare Rpi3, then I’d definitely give it a go but would almost certainly buy a ‘cheap’ HAT and pass either a co-ax or optical signal to my DAC.


Well this is my "what I read" and it fits in with my extensive experience of using a compter usb outlet.

https://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/01/measurements-raspberry-pi-3-as-usb.html

Not to gainsay others, whose experience may differ (or have the ears of a bat :rolleyes:)

ronnie
 

Man in a van

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my son says it is a 3 b possibly stream volumio or moode whatever is easier as I'm a complete novice thanks
Here is a link for MoOde

https://moodeaudio.org/

Read through the instructions provided, a tip from me is to read them aloud. Your son should be able to help with installation and configuration.

Generic instructions are here

https://www.raspberrypi.com/documentation/

Lots of uTube videos, I prefer text based stuff myself (internet stuff is often behind the curve, outdated or just plain wrong, so take care)

ronnie
 

Puggie

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I have a few pi3B+ here, one using a Allo Boss HAT and another two running Orchard Audio apple and pecan pie HATs. The latter are a significant step up sonically IMHO. I also have one with the Allo DigiOne board which is an excellent spdif digital out for the pi3s. Some have screens, some are cased other are just a Pi and hat sat on my amp. Great intro to streaming and flexible. I currently use volumio, but may switch back to picoreplayer.
 
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Strider

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I can't say I've heard any difference between Pi 3B/3B+ or 4B, the only dividing factor is the DAC. Two Pi's are using USB DAC's and the other a SPDIF hat/coaxial to DAC, all sound different
Using a linear PSU did make a difference but it wasn't night or day bit most definitely a modest improvement.
I started off with a Hifiberry hat then moved on to an ESS Sabre ii TXCO* Then I built the really nice Raspdac kit from Audiophonics, really nice aluminium case and display, that uses an ESS Sabre iii TXCO*, there was a jump in.sound quality from the ii to iii. You can pick them up from Audiophonics for around £40 odd.

I know I've got a hat DAC kicking around and you're welcome to have it, pm me with your address and I'll pop it in the post.

* for the life of me I can't remember the nomenclature but it's somethings to do with the interface pins on the top of the board.
 

Joss

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I would recommend buying a good power supply. I used the official pi power adapter and had nothing but trouble running volumio. It took me a while to realise that the supply was the problem and it was causing lots of SD card corruptions. I now use my Chromebook charger to run the pi and volumio has worked perfectly for months now.

I have all my music stored on a nas in a cupboard and think it sounds great. The choice of radio stations is enormous too.
 

Tony_J

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I would recommend buying a good power supply. I used the official pi power adapter and had nothing but trouble running volumio. It took me a while to realise that the supply was the problem and it was causing lots of SD card corruptions. I now use my Chromebook charger to run the pi and volumio has worked perfectly for months now.

I have all my music stored on a nas in a cupboard and think it sounds great. The choice of radio stations is enormous too.
I run all of mine on stock Pi PSUs - never missed a beat.
 
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Joss

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I run all of mine on stock Pi PSUs - never missed a beat.

Maybe I had a defective PSU as sometimes volumio would only last a few days before corrupting. The same went with moode. The supply was the only thing I changed and it's never been a problem even once since.
 
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t1no

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I know I've mentioned this before, but if you want a cheap LMS based streamer / streaming amp, you could do worse than find a defunct Simple Audio Roomplayer and install Squeezelite on it. My last one (without amp) was about £16. The amp version has 50W ICE module. No need for a separate case or power supply as it's all included. No WiFi... just ethernet or built in ethernet over mains.
 

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