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How much to improve on a Squeezebox Touch used as a digital transport into an external 96khz Dac


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1 hour ago, Man in a van said:

EDO on a Touch will output 192kHz on all digital formats.

SBT.jpg

It depends on the receiving chip if that is accepted.

Gary, you say " and digital playback has changed a lot in that time" . In what respect ?

In my opinion, the mane bane of  "digital playback" in it's early years was jitter.

This has considerably improved to very low levels.

Whether one could, or can, hear this "jitter" is, to me, a mute point,

I know people say that the improvement is presented in various ways in the playback, but my  instinct has always been that  the analogue outputs of the various dacs have / are responsible for most of the differences attributed to "improvement".

And what does ones DAC do with the improved digital input, use it directly without any further processing or (typically) upsample immediately ?

Gary, I'm only about 6 miles from you, I can drop round (and heave through your window :)) a raspberry pi 4b with an Allo Digione co-ax output. Presently it is "resting" in an elegant Sainsbury's eggbox o.O

Drop me a pm if interested

ronnie

Hi Ronnie! Another very kind offer! I am truly overwhelmed, thank you.

I guess my statement about big changes refers to higher bitrate streaming, a bigger selection of streaming devices and an assumption that improvements will have been made over the years and will be available at lower costs.

I noticed that you also own an SBT, so I wondered why you are resting your Pi4/Digione. Are you not finding the Pi solution to be better than the SBT? Are you using an upgraded power supply on your SBT?

Would your kind offer of a short loan include a power supply? The reason I ask is that I don't believe that my SBT power supply is powerful enough to use with it and I don't particularly want to buy another supply that may not ultimately be a keeper.

I'll have a good think about whether the Pi is going to be a possible solution for me or whether it's worth spending more money. About 80% of my listening is done via a streaming service and I'm fully aware that the quality of the source is key. I'm not averse, therefore to spending up to £600 (preferably used price) or so now on a new unit if there is a reasonable improvement and a better power supply later if it is warranted.

Kind Regards,

Gary

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@GizzaI am sure Ronnie has a PSU that you can use but in the slight possibility he does not I have an Ifi 5V that will do the job for a trial just let me know if you need it .

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12 minutes ago, bencat said:

@GizzaI am sure Ronnie has a PSU that you can use but in the slight possibility he does not I have an Ifi 5V that will do the job for a trial just let me know if you need it .

You're a star, Andrew. Thanks again!

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2 hours ago, Gizza said:

I noticed that you also own an SBT, so I wondered why you are resting your Pi4/Digione. Are you not finding the Pi solution to be better than the SBT? Are you using an upgraded power supply on your SBT?

Gary, I do use the SBT but not very much (in this instance to illustrate a point)

Mostly I use an rpi 4b or sometimes (with the Allo Digione in a case) a rpi3b+.

I use default power supplies. I try and plug all the pi power supplies into one power strip and that has a filter on the wall plug which is supposed to stop the crud.

I do have stuff to seperate power and data supplies on usb though.

I like to tinker :)

The rpi 4b at the moment has instances of Squeezelite, Spotify-Connect and Tidal-Connect installed as players.

Tidal is a discounted trial period which is due to end. I may try a Deezer three month trial but the truth is I don't listen to Tidal or Spotify much these days (I often halt my Spotify subscription and use the free service).

Mostly I listen to the wireless (that's how I regard it ) BBC or Radio fip, sometimes Radio Paradise with bits of Jazz from here and  there. I like not knowing what is playing next

2 hours ago, Gizza said:

Would your kind offer of a short loan include a power supply?

Yes

2 hours ago, Gizza said:

About 80% of my listening is done via a streaming service and I'm fully aware that the quality of the source is key.

Just remember where this source is located and how it reaches you.  Implementation of source conversion to audio playback varies in each device, depending on the designer ability, influence of the marketing suits and the software programming. But it's not really a "black art" for a ninja 9_9:ph34r:

How about rpi3b+ with HiFiberry Digi Pro, another with the Allo Digione and a rpi4b with a Khadas Toneboard.

All have power supplies and I can preload piCoreplayer on each

I also have connection cable you can use

That should keep you busy for a week or two

ronnie

Edited by Man in a van
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51 minutes ago, Man in a van said:

Gary, I do use the SBT but not very much (in this instance to illustrate a point)

Mostly I use an rpi 4b or sometimes (with the Allo Digione in a case) a rpi3b+.

I use default power supplies. I try and plug all the pi power supplies into one power strip and that has a filter on the wall plug which is supposed to stop the crud.

I do have stuff to seperate power and data supplies on usb though.

I like to tinker :)

The rpi 4b at the moment has instances of Squeezelite, Spotify-Connect and Tidal-Connect installed as players.

Tidal is a discounted trial period which is due to end. I may try a Deezer three month trial but the truth is I don't listen to Tidal or Spotify much these days (I often halt my Spotify subscription and use the free service).

Mostly I listen to the wireless (that's how I regard it ) BBC or Radio fip, sometimes Radio Paradise with bits of Jazz from here and  there. I like not knowing what is playing next

Yes

Just remember where this source is located and how it reaches you.  Implementation of source conversion to audio playback varies in each device, depending on the designer ability, influence of the marketing suits and the software programming. But it's not really a "black art" for a ninja 9_9:ph34r:

How about rpi3b+ with HiFiberry Digi Pro, another with the Allo Digione and a rpi4b with a Khadas Toneboard.

All have power supplies and I can preload piCoreplayer on each

I also have connection cable you can use

That should keep you busy for a week or two

ronnie

My word, you DO like to tinker! Lol. I have to admit, I don't really enjoy doing a lot of tinkering, especially if differences that are heard are small as I often find it frustrating trying to decide which is best. I'm currently still trying to decide whether the SBT sounds better with or without the EDO plugin. Being able to select buffer size on EDO just complicates matters even more 😅. I hear differences between all settings but which is the best? I'm currently favouring EDO with large buffer size but tomorrow. who knows?

Also, my system is in the same room as our larger tv and my wife is usually sat in here (especially during lickdiwn with me so I usually do any tinkering with the system if I'm up and about before her in the morning, or after she's gone to bed if I decide to stay up. This means that I don't always get a lot of time to compare components.

I'm just getting ready to take the dog to the park so I'll come back to you later, buddy.

Bye for now,

Gary

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Someone pointed out on I think the PFM forum that on the Pi4 the USB now has its own controller and as a consequence is clean. 

I tried it out this morning and it is spot on.

Plain Pi 4 no hat with Picore player configured for USB out, audio on Pi turned off. Works beautifully. On my DAC (Project Pro 2) a ripped SACD track plays at 352K. USB always has wider bandwidth capability than Optical or Coax. On mine up to 192K for the optical.

So in terms of replacement for a SBT I recommend a Pi4 with simple case, cheaper than a used SBT.

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3 hours ago, hermano said:

Excellent thread with great outcome. I too use Pi4 direct usb into dac, but house the Pi in one of these. I believe the Pi4 can get quite hot, and this helps keep heat down, without a fan.

Pi 4 case

This was very true when the 4 first came out but a couple of firmware upgrades which will be included in new units have solved the issue . Currently my Pi4 used as music server and on 24/7 runs at 38 reg and even working hard only hits 42 . However a decent metal case is a good thing anyway and looks much better and offers good protection.

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6 hours ago, slavedata said:

Someone pointed out on I think the PFM forum that on the Pi4 the USB now has its own controller and as a consequence is clean. 

I tried it out this morning and it is spot on.

Plain Pi 4 no hat with Picore player configured for USB out, audio on Pi turned off. Works beautifully. On my DAC (Project Pro 2) a ripped SACD track plays at 352K. USB always has wider bandwidth capability than Optical or Coax. On mine up to 192K for the optical.

So in terms of replacement for a SBT I recommend a Pi4 with simple case, cheaper than a used SBT.

That's genuinely great to hear. Unfortunately, my Audio Synthesis Dac doesn't have USB input, only AES, phono and Toslink (and AT&T glass optical for AS-modded disc transports.  A HAT is therefore unavoidable. 

Thanks to the extreme kindness of Ronnie, I'm currently trying a Pi 3b+ with Allo Digione HAT. Initial impressions are very, very good. It definitely sounds more detailed, better dynamics, tighter bass. I need to try it for a little while and then switch back to the SBT as extra detail can sometimes be due to erroneous highlighting of mid and upper frequencies. I don't think that's going to be the case but time and listening to familiar albums will tell.

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