Pi4 vs Pi Zero - Toslink vs SPDIF - Ethernet vs WiFi - Stork or Butter?

Tony_J

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My system for Stoke is based around a fully digital front end - streamer into the digital inputs of the miniDSP. I had planned just to use my Rasperry Pi4 with Toslink fibre optic output, connected over Ethernet to the file server (my PC), but while packing my gear for the show I discovered a Pi Zero-based streamer with a digital HAT that could do Toslink or SPDIF over coax. The travel router I am using is able to act as a WiFi hotspot so it seemed like a no-brainer to connect it up so I could see what, if any, difference there is in SQ between these two solutions. I spent a while yesterday switching between the two - the miniDSP is able to switch seamlessly between sources, which helped. So far I, and various others that have been in the room, have been unable to reliably tell the difference between the two streamers. So if you are at the show and want a challenge...
 

peter the butcher

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I was told that if using a PC (I do, as its my ONLY source), then the only real connection is via USB, with or without a D to D converter, as to use the i2S connections
 

bencat

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Due to the Wi-Fi issues I could not use to the My Pi server or Pi player . In the end I used an ifi Bluetooth unit and cast QoBuz from a tablet and later music from the sd card on my phone (this sounded better ) . Never use this before but frankly the quality was immense and Lurch said the unit was pretty cheap . Next show I might just take any stress out of the source and use my Astell and Kern player to Bluetooth the music .
 

Tony_J

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I was told that if using a PC (I do, as its my ONLY source), then the only real connection is via USB, with or without a D to D converter, as to use the i2S connections
Not sure what the relevance of this is to my OP as it was about Pi-based streamers rather than PC ..
 

Tony_J

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Mar 4, 2013
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Tony
HiFi Trade?
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Due to the Wi-Fi issues I could not use to the My Pi server or Pi player . In the end I used an ifi Bluetooth unit and cast QoBuz from a tablet and later music from the sd card on my phone (this sounded better ) . Never use this before but frankly the quality was immense and Lurch said the unit was pretty cheap . Next show I might just take any stress out of the source and use my Astell and Kern player to Bluetooth the music .
The miniDSP Flex-8 I was using has Bluetooth and USB input as well as Toslink and SPDIF, so I will do a 4-way comparison when I get it all back together. I was able to compare direct USB to Analogue and Toslink inputs on the old DDRC-24 setup and couldn't spot the difference.
 

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