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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    100

    Best option for USB-only SBT replacement

    Hi all,

    After hitting problems with my SBT and DSD audio into my DAC, I am considering building a simple, USB-only replacement frontend.

    The unit should:

    • Provide the highest possible bitrate at the highest possible quality over USB
      Preferably up to 384/24 and DSD128
    • Look as good as possible
    • Include a touch-like touchscreen
    • Cost as little as possible



    I have been looking at a combo of the Pi3 B with a 7" screen and simple, plastic back but have some questions after googling:

    The USB implementation of the Pi has met with some criticism, at least up to version 2. This has been said to affect sound quality Is this known to have been fixed on the 3 B (possibly also the 2 B as I don't need wifi)?

    The standard case and screen surround does look a bit cheap. Does anyone know of a more high-grade looking case, that doesn't cost too much more?

    I have a 5V, 2.5A linear power supply that I currently use to power my touch. It would be good if the new setup didn't draw more power than the old.

    Any thoughts/recommendations/alternatives to the Pi?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2005
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    UK/London
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    For a case and more - how about this http://rasptouch.audiophonics.fr/
    Due in October (they say that they had power supply issues that they resolved by changing it - and delayed the release from September).

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Webster View Post
    For a case and more - how about this http://rasptouch.audiophonics.fr/
    Due in October (they say that they had power supply issues that they resolved by changing it - and delayed the release from September).
    Yes, The Rasptouch is very nice. I have looked at it, but to be honest it's overkill for my system as I have a DAC that works well (apart from with the touch), so wouldn't need the back. It's also a pricey alternative for my limited requirements.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Staffordshire. UK
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    If you have concerns about pi and usb they are not resolved with rpi3.

    Try raspbian jessie lite on a pi, install squeezelite and connect your dac, see what happens.

    I believe Max2play offer an Odroid based alternative if you want to check that out.

    But I wouldn't start from here, a low cost mobo and cheap monitor would be my alternative, even a second hand laptop. Run windows or something like Mint.

    Ronnie

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man in a van View Post
    If you have concerns about pi and usb they are not resolved with rpi3.

    Try raspbian jessie lite on a pi, install squeezelite and connect your dac, see what happens.

    I believe Max2play offer an Odroid based alternative if you want to check that out.

    But I wouldn't start from here, a low cost mobo and cheap monitor would be my alternative, even a second hand laptop. Run windows or something like Mint.

    Ronnie
    Thanks for the info on USB. That's a shame!

    The form factor needs to be similar to the touch, so a laptop is pretty much out.

    I was just reading the Rune Audio site and stubled across the beaglebone black. Maybe that would be an alternative, although cases look more difficult (unless it will drop in to the pi case).

  6. #6
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    Before you do any serious work - I would check that the USB DAC works as expected with a supported linux system (e.g. Ubuntu) to ensure the drivers are OK and understand what kernel version may be needed. Due to SOC design I think a lot of ARM system have USB problems/quirks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    Before you do any serious work - I would check that the USB DAC works as expected with a supported linux system (e.g. Ubuntu) to ensure the drivers are OK and understand what kernel version may be needed. Due to SOC design I think a lot of ARM system have USB problems/quirks.
    Yes. I think that may well be the case with the touch. The kernel there is also limited to 2.6.26, which has very limited snd_usb capabilities compared with 4.x

    By comparison, my ARM andoid phone outputs both DSD native and DSD DoP perfectly to the same DAC.

    The Odroid boards also look interesting if I can manage to pack one (with screen) into a nice looking case.

  8. #8

    Best option for USB-only SBTreplacement

    bpa <bpa.7nfazc (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

    > Before you do any serious work - I would check that the USB DAC works as
    > expected with a supported linux system (e.g. Ubuntu) to ensure the
    > drivers are OK and understand what kernel version may be needed. Due to
    > SOC design I think a lot of ARM system have USB problems/quirks.


    I might have missed it - but what are the problems / quirks with the USB
    on a pi (except that the ethernet is on the same bus)? I am using an
    external DAC connected via a usb and I have no issues with it?

    Rainer

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrug View Post
    bpa <bpa.7nfazc (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

    I might have missed it - but what are the problems / quirks with the USB
    on a pi (except that the ethernet is on the same bus)? I am using an
    external DAC connected via a usb and I have no issues with it?
    There were problems in the early days but there was a major rewrite of the USB handling low level code and, I think, it behaves well now - although sometimes it requires setting the interface and to run at a lower rate ... which is no issue for the data rates when handling audio.

  10. #10

    Best option for USB-only SBTreplacement

    Paul Webster <Paul.Webster.7nfcjz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

    > rkrug wrote:
    >> bpa <bpa.7nfazc (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:
    >>
    >> I might have missed it - but what are the problems / quirks with the USB
    >> on a pi (except that the ethernet is on the same bus)? I am using an
    >> external DAC connected via a usb and I have no issues with it?
    >>

    >
    > There were problems in the early days but there was a major rewrite of
    > the USB handling low level code and, I think, it behaves well now -
    > although sometimes it requires setting the interface and to run at a
    > lower rate ... which is no issue for the data rates when handling audio.


    So - is there problem or was there a problem - I am confused.

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