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View Full Version : Is Raspberry with Squeezelite and Hifiberry the best Squeezebox?



Squeezemenicely
2014-10-19, 03:25
I do wonder now, if the community has actually produced a better product than there was ever available before.

On one hand we have the Touch - ignoring the Display - i ask myself if the following is not actually the better player:

Raspberry + Hifiberry Digi (the S/PDIF Version) or the DAC + Picoreplayer

Especially if you is feed the signal into your favourite DAC, I guess the homemade version has more audio options and should in fact be the "better" Touch/Receiver.
Even sync should be ok.

Pretty amazing what our little community has put together.

What are your thoughts on this? Does the Hifiberry DAC version also sound better than the Touch?
I am still waiting for my Hifiberry Digi version and really wondering if I should substitute my Touch with it.

wortgefecht
2014-10-19, 05:03
There is also the IQaudIO Pi-DAC+ for the B+ (Link (http://iqaudio.com/?page_id=454)) that also works with Squeezelite, but I haven't tested either of them. Does anyone have any experience with IQaudIO (there is also the Pi-DAC for the B, but that one requires soldering)?

I myself have two Bs running, one sits behind my TV set and runs Raspbmc (plays my video library via UPnP from my LMS plus some video addons), the other one runs RetroPie and serves my retrogaming needs :p At the moment, I have no need for another player, but I am musing about replacing my ASRock Ion 300 with an Odroid board for my server needs.

Grumpy Bob
2014-10-19, 07:47
I do wonder now, if the community has actually produced a better product than there was ever available before.

On one hand we have the Touch - ignoring the Display - i ask myself if the following is not actually the better player:

Raspberry + Hifiberry Digi (the S/PDIF Version) or the DAC + Picoreplayer

Especially if you is feed the signal into your favourite DAC, I guess the homemade version has more audio options and should in fact be the "better" Touch/Receiver.
Even sync should be ok.

Pretty amazing what our little community has put together.

What are your thoughts on this? Does the Hifiberry DAC version also sound better than the Touch?
I am still waiting for my Hifiberry Digi version and really wondering if I should substitute my Touch with it.

I find that I rarely use the screen on my Touch, either to control music play or to see what's playing. I usually use Squeezepad or iPeng on an iPad or the web interface on a laptop. I have a couple of Raspberry Pi model B, one with a HiFiBerry DAC. At the moment however, I'm running them through external DACs connected via USB (one is a DACMagic 100 - and on to my HiFi, the other is a Cambridge Audio Headphone DAC/amp). They sound great to me - I originally set them up as insurance against my SBT and SB3 breaking.

It's not obvious to me what's to be gained from the HiFiBerry Digi card over a USB output from the Pi itself, if you're feeding en external DAC.

Robert

Squeezemenicely
2014-10-19, 08:01
It's not obvious to me what's to be gained from the HiFiBerry Digi card over a USB output from the Pi itself, if you're feeding en external DAC.


My Bifrost DAC has no USB input - therefore the Hifiberry Digi card.

mudlark
2014-10-22, 01:46
I like my Cyrus DACX or my Rega dac which both work better through the spdif input. They both work very well with the digi card.

Apesbrain
2014-10-22, 06:21
I am still waiting for my Hifiberry Digi version and really wondering if I should substitute my Touch with it.
So long as you don't need the Touch display/control panel it won't make any difference. All you are using it for is to feed bits to your DAC. Sound quality will be unchanged.

It's not really a question of "best"; it's a matter of "only". Community solutions like this are all we now have and it's amazing to me that with $75 in parts and a half-hour of effort Squeezebox remains as viable a solution as anything the competition has to offer. My sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to these projects particularly piCorePlayer.

P.S. If you need S/PDIF output, a HummingBoard running Squeeze On Arch is a cost-effective solution.

dafiend
2014-10-22, 06:48
If you need S/PDIF output, a HummingBoard running Squeeze On Arch is a cost-effective solution.
Agreed.



Sound quality will be unchanged.

I agree with this as well.



Community solutions like this are all we now have and it's amazing to me that with $75 in parts and a half-hour of effort Squeezebox remains as viable a solution as anything the competition has to offer.

How is it feasible to get a Hifiberry for $75 in parts? A Hifiberry DAC+ or Digi+ currently sets you back around $50 (assuming you select the cheapest available shipping option to the US and assuming you don't get hit by import taxes or tariffs). Add in the cost of RPi, PSU and microSD and you're at around $100. Now you still need a case -- nice ones which fit the Hifiberry HAT can be expensive. Another $5-$35. Lastly, some will require a Wifi dongle which adds $5-$8.

So we're at anywhere between $100 and $140. That's a lot of money for a completely outdated SoC which has a fraction of the performance of a $100 smartphone and lower performance/watt as well.

I don't think the Hifiberry is all that good a value because the total package gets you into a price region where a lot of competition exists (other SBCs, smartphones, etc.) IMO, the RPi running picoreplayer is cost-effective when utilizing the Pi's built-in HDMI out or when utilizing a really cheap USB audio interface.

Apesbrain
2014-10-22, 07:11
How is it feasible to get a Hifiberry for $75 in parts?
It's not but either a RPi B+/piCorePlayer (HDMI digital) or HummingBoard/SoA (HDMI or S/PDIF digital) can be had for about that price (board, case, power supply, wifi dongle and SD card).

SlimChances
2014-10-22, 09:17
As pointed out by Dafiend in another thread a 7" Touch Pi display is about to become availablehttp://www.pcworld.com/article/2837433/new-raspberry-pi-goodies-inbound-official-display-accessory-revamped-a-model.html

Squeezemenicely
2014-10-22, 11:58
The raspberry with hifiberry has 192 k playback out of the box and even Airplay.
So in a way it is more advanced than the Touch in that respect.

Big trouble with hifiberry is that it ships from switzerland, which makes it slow and expensive to ship just about anywhere, plus customs charges.

pinkdot
2014-10-22, 13:36
I have the Rpi B+ and Hifiberry dac for a couple of days now. It is a good substitude for a Duet (which I own, running with a linear supply) at least. I will also add a linear supply to the Rpi B+, than it will be as good as a Touch or even better! But differnces are very small and a different sound is not always better in the ears of every one.

Verstuurd vanaf mijn Transformer met Tapatalk

AndyBeevers
2014-10-23, 03:29
I believe that the Squeezebox server coupled to a Raspberry Pi as a player provides the best value in high end audio and the community should be recommended for this colabrative approach that companies cannot seem to provide.

I have a Excito/Bubba NAS which runs the server. It is very cheap to run compared with a traditional PC and also serves as a POP server and general server. I have a subscription to Deezer and also some 8000 tracks of stored music. I also use the system to listen to internet radio - my favorite being Radio Paradise and BBC iPlayer to listen to the 6:30 comedy half hour on radio 4 when I get home in an evening.

I like the way it catalogues the music and also using the excellent multi-library plug-in allows my wife to choose only from her music. She does need cover art though which is causing me a slight problem at the moment.

The players are a Raspberry B+ with HiFi Berry DAC (picoreplayer) playing into a valve amplifier with mission floor standing speakers. The quality of the DAC is outstanding especially with FLAC music which for its price is comparable to DACs priced in the hundreds to thousands of . I have squeezelite running on a small factor Ubuntu pc which is in the kitchen.

I use squeezepad on the Ipad to control it all - very user friendly. So it all connects very well together. The only real expense being the amp ( around 2000 and the speakers around 1000). I love listening to music and this satisfies it very well. The sync option for multi-rooms is brilliant for a large gathering.

I have provided a raspberry pi + hiberry DAC to each of the kids. They don't store music but stream from Spotify ( the modern way). They have mid range amps and speakers. About 500 for each bought secondhand - one a solid state and the other Fatman hybrid. I have installed SqueezePlug on the raspberrys which provides the server and player on the raspberry - they both use Spotify. The ability to use Spotify playlists is a boom for them and they control it all from their iphones. One of the kids girlfriend is Russian and loves the ability to listen to Russian radio stations.

Julf
2014-10-23, 04:27
I will also add a linear supply to the Rpi B+, than it will be as good as a Touch or even better!

Do you know that in advance

Sent from my computer using a keyboard

pinkdot
2014-10-23, 08:56
Yes.

Squeezemenicely
2014-10-26, 05:34
Well my Hifiberry Digi Board arrived and I installed it. Since it is connected to the same DAC as I used on the Touch - the Bifrost - it sounds the same, which is damn good. ;-)

Really great little Player.

All in all it is a 100 Euro including case. Which makes it a very affordable High-end Audio device.

I am really wondering if I should swap the Touch with the new player, having an invisible audio source. I guess I will give it a try for a week and then decide.

snoogly
2014-10-26, 20:44
Pardon me for being a bit dim, but if I use the Rpi B+ with an USB DAC, does one still need to get the Hifiberry dac, or can I connect me USB DAC directly to the Rpi B+

dafiend
2014-10-27, 00:28
Pardon me for being a bit dim, but if I use the Rpi B+ with an USB DAC, does one still need to get the Hifiberry dac, or can I connect me USB DAC directly to the Rpi B+
You would just hook up the USB DAC directly. No Hifiberry needed.

cliveb
2014-10-27, 02:17
You would just hook up the USB DAC directly. No Hifiberry needed.
Unless something has changed with the release of the B+, this may not work. The Pi's USB implementation was (and for all I know still is) substandard - it works with some USB DACs, and doesn't with others. So be careful.

Man in a van
2014-10-27, 04:01
Pardon me for being a bit dim, but if I use the Rpi B+ with an USB DAC, does one still need to get the Hifiberry dac, or can I connect me USB DAC directly to the Rpi B+


Depends on a couple of things.

Which distro you intend to use and whether the usb Dac drivers are supported in that distro.

I found that SqueezePlug and piCorePlayer supported different usb dacs when I tried (several months ago, now)

Also the standard pi B usb is allegedly sub-optimal as it shares the same technical bit with the Ethernet thingy (don't know if this is the same with the B+)

Try it and see

atb

Ronnie.

slate
2014-10-27, 11:04
Depends on a couple of things.

Which distro you intend to use and whether the usb Dac drivers are supported in that distro.

I found that SqueezePlug and piCorePlayer supported different usb dacs when I tried (several months ago, now)

Also the standard pi B usb is allegedly sub-optimal as it shares the same technical bit with the Ethernet thingy (don't know if this is the same with the B+)

Try it and see

atb

Ronnie.

On the homepage there is some feedback from various users

https://sites.google.com/site/picoreplayer/home/List-of-USB-DACs

snoogly
2014-10-31, 14:34
Thanks for the info.

I now have a B+ working via USB with my CI Audio Transient DAC. :D

CommanderROR
2014-10-31, 14:44
Simple Answer to original Question:

YES!

A Pi with Hifiberry DAC/Digi and PiCorePlayer is pretty much perfect. If you've got passive speakers, maybe the Hifiberry Amp is your choice, but I have not tested that myself.

BorGreiner
2014-11-01, 07:22
I have installed SqueezePlug on the raspberrys which provides the server and player on the raspberry - they both use Spotify. The ability to use Spotify playlists is a boom for them and they control it all from their iphones. One of the kids girlfriend is Russian and loves the ability to listen to Russian radio stations.

Do you by any chance have an idea how to utilize Deezer playlists in multiroom environment? Deezer plugin 1.0 is a no go.

radekker
2014-11-13, 12:40
I was very happy with the sound of my Squeezebox Touch connected with coax to the Arcam Irdac.
Comparing it to the Pi B+ Picoreplayer with Hifiberry Digi+, also connected with coax to the same DAC, made me change my mind somehow.
The Picoreplayer sounds a bit clearer, especially when listening to my favourite HD radio stream with 320K AAC.
It seems to convert 320k AAC to FLAC, where the Touch doesn't, but I'm not sure if that is the reason why I like it's sound.
It can also play 192k/24 bit flacs, something which the Touch cannot do straight from the box.
The only thing I'm missing is a power off switch, but the sound is magic!