Raspberry Pi 4 with IQ Audio amp HAT

Cool Dude Ted

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Oct 13, 2020
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Morning all
I case of any interest to anyone, I’ve just purchased a second RPi with the intention of using it as a secondary/kitchen system and/or background music. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, but with the Pi so hard to come by at the moment………….
Having kicked off using the headphone socket into a powered speaker (I know consensus is that, putting it mildly, the sq is not good) - I found it to be perfectly acceptable for background music while I worked on the PC.
Anyway, the real point of this is to say that I’ve just got hold of an amp HAT (I went for the IQ Audio Digi amp+) which is claimed to be good for 35w pc. Believe it or not, the amp HAT choice was determined principally by the availability of a suitable case!
As so many others have said (not here), rather than throw another £30 at a PSU, I found an old PSU from an unused router and even though this at the absolute bottom of the recommended range (12-24v), so far it seems fine.
I’ve got it powering my Castle Severn 2 speakers and although not blown away, the overall SQ is a relaxed easy listen. I understand that a higher power psu will give the amp a bit more grunt and so far, I’ve done absolutely nothing about speaker positioning - they’re stuck in corners of the room - encouraging bass boom.
I guess a much better test will be when I connect the Pi/amp HAT to my main speakers - Celstion 44s - and see just how close it gets to my Pi/Allo Digione/Schiit Modius/Rega Brio set up.
Cost;
RPi 2GB £46
AMP HAT £30
Case. £12
SD card. £7
So for just under £100 (plus postage and the cost of a switched power supply if you need one), I think I’ve got a bit of kit that many people would be perfectly happy with as their main music source (Wammers excluded!!!!!).
Just add a cheap pair of passives.
 

bencat

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I have some 1957 Rogers wall hanging speakers in my kitchen and have used them for about seven years with originally a Pi3 plus Amphat (Just Boom) . But a few years ago before all the shortages kicked in I replaced the Pi with a 4 2Gb and HiFiBerry Amphat 2+ . Listent to this most if not every day and the sound is excellent and all you ever see is the speakers high up on the wall . I am sure that if you used this in a full system with reasonable speakers (like your castle severn's ) and set up correctly for listening the sound quality is more than acceptable and given the cost very good indeed .
 

Cool Dude Ted

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I have some 1957 Rogers wall hanging speakers in my kitchen and have used them for about seven years with originally a Pi3 plus Amphat (Just Boom) . But a few years ago before all the shortages kicked in I replaced the Pi with a 4 2Gb and HiFiBerry Amphat 2+ . Listent to this most if not every day and the sound is excellent and all you ever see is the speakers high up on the wall . I am sure that if you used this in a full system with reasonable speakers (like your castle severn's ) and set up correctly for listening the sound quality is more than acceptable and given the cost very good indeed .
Thanks for this, Andrew. Interesting.
At the moment the Pi/HAT/Castle Severns are firing sound towards the kitchen door so that I have something to entertain me when cooking. The lounge hifi is just too far away from the kitchen to be a sensible choice unless the volume is turned up so high that the house shakes.
Ideally, I’d like some passives for the kitchen but I know it’s going to be a real problem getting hold of something which is 1) thin enough and more importantly, 2) acceptable to the other resident of the house!
 

Tony_J

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Ideally, I’d like some passives for the kitchen but I know it’s going to be a real problem getting hold of something which is 1) thin enough and more importantly, 2) acceptable to the other resident of the house!
If you have enough spare wall space (and hollow walls) it could be worth trying an in-wall speaker solution, or even in-ceiling. Lots of options around from Kef, Tannoy etc. and you can pick them up on eBay from time to time.
 
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Cool Dude Ted

Wammer
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If you have enough spare wall space (and hollow walls) it could be worth trying an in-wall speaker solution, or even in-ceiling. Lots of options around from Kef, Tannoy etc. and you can pick them up on eBay from time to time.
Thanks Tony.
Funnily enough, I was thinking anout ceiling speakers even though I know nothing about them. The kitchen ceiling is a bit of a mess (cracks, etc) and it’s crossed my mind whether to have it reboarded and skimmed. If I do, then that would be an ideal time to look at speakers. I guess to hide wires etc I could think about hiding the Pi in a kitchen cupboard.
Wall space is at a premium and they’re solid walls.
 
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t1no

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What software do you use on your Pi?
FWIW my version of hifi on the cheap is to re-purpose a Simple Audio Roomplayer with 50W amp bought for less than £50. These were £700 new. Simple software bodge to turn it into a high quality Squeezebox player.
 

Cool Dude Ted

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In case it’s of any interest to anyone in these days of obscenely high, (and in my opinion totally unjustified), energy costs, a little light relief may be had by knowing that my RPi4 with the IQAudio amp HAT, running at 3/4 volume (albeit with a 12v, not 24v switched supply) and running a pair of Castle Severn floorstanders, is pulling an absolute maximum of 5 (FIVE) Watts power from the mains (tested with my meter).
 

PaulH

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RPi with HifiBerry DAC+Pro for me into my Linn amp.
I use Volumio on the Pi for the media player.
 

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