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  1. #2591
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    RPi4 4GB, sound quality, no dedicated audio card

    Hello,

    I am using UPnPBridge (thank you!) with the following Pi setup, and have a question about sound quality:

    • RPi 4 4GB running Max2Play
    • No dedicated audio card, just the RPi4 in a case
    • Squeezelite is paired with the Pi's onboard audio BCM2835, i.e.
    • sysdefault - bcm2835 ALSA, bcm2835 ALSA, Default Audio Device, CARD=ALSA
    • ALSA Parameters: 80:::
    • Command Line Options: -C 5


    UPnPBridge is in turn paired with Squeezelite, and the network player is a Linn Majik DSM (which is itself a very good DAC)

    My old setup had an RPi3 and an IQaudIO Pi-DAC+, Squeezelite was paired with it, and UPnPBridge with the Linn Majik DSM.

    My questions:

    1. Am I losing sound quality by not having the IQaudIO Pi-DAC+ in the chain? I have only FLAC and MP3, LMS is set up to not transcode either format. This is why I assumed that the Pi is mereley "transporting" the unprocessed audio signals to the Linn DSM, and that a dedicated audio card makes no difference in audio quality when using UPnPBridge and an external DAC. But I am unsure.

    2. Is there anything in the Squeezelite settings (Selected Device, ALSA parameters, Command Line Options) that could be changed to ensure the best possible sound quality (i.e. untouched) output to the Linn DSM?


    Many thanks,
    JCU
    Last edited by jasc; 2019-10-04 at 00:45.

  2. #2592
    Senior Member
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    Using the 3.5mm audio jack socket on the RPi will have a lower sound quality ... but if you still have your RPi3 and IQaudIO card available then hook it up as well and listen to both and see if you can hear the difference.

    If you can't hear the difference then it does not really matter.
    Paul Webster
    http://dabdig.blogspot.com
    Author Radio France (FIP etc) plugin

  3. #2593
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Webster View Post
    Using the 3.5mm audio jack socket on the RPi will have a lower sound quality ... but if you still have your RPi3 and IQaudIO card available then hook it up as well and listen to both and see if you can hear the difference.

    If you can't hear the difference then it does not really matter.
    Hi Paul, thank you for your reply - there are actually no audio cables involved at all. I should have mentioned that the music is transported digitally over the network to the player.

    Thank you,
    JCU

  4. #2594
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    You said "Squeezelite is paired with the Pi's onboard audio" ... so what does that plug into?

    Edit:
    Could be HDMI ... in which case that does result in good quality audio
    Last edited by Paul Webster; 2019-10-04 at 02:15.
    Paul Webster
    http://dabdig.blogspot.com
    Author Radio France (FIP etc) plugin

  5. #2595
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2015
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    13
    Also, "UPnPBridge is in turn paired with Squeezelite" is probably a typo and/or a misunderstanding of how the UPnPBridge works, which has nothing to do with a Squeezelite player that the UPnPBridge itself hasn't provided nor has the UPnPBridge anything to do with local audio device that that Squeezelite player is "paired with".
    Last edited by Cebolla; 2019-10-04 at 03:22.

  6. #2596
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    Ah - OK.

    In that case ... as an experiment ... start playing from LMS via UPnP on your Linn Majik DSM and then stop Squeezelite ...
    That should help explain the route that the music is taking.
    Paul Webster
    http://dabdig.blogspot.com
    Author Radio France (FIP etc) plugin

  7. #2597
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Webster View Post
    Ah - OK.

    In that case ... as an experiment ... start playing from LMS via UPnP on your Linn Majik DSM and then stop Squeezelite ...
    That should help explain the route that the music is taking.
    Hi Paul, Cebolla, thanks very much both - I guess it was indeed my misunderstanding that UPnPBridge needed an active Squeezelite to piggyback on to couple with the network player.

    I just tested stopping the Squeezelite process while music was playing, and the music kept playing.

    @Paul, what I initially meant with Squeezelite "pairing" with the BCM2835, please see the screenshot below.

    So I guess my own initial question is answered - UPnPBridge reaches out directly to the network player, and not via Squeezelite, hence the non-existent dedicated audio card or any ospecial Squeezelite paramaters make no difference.

    Thank you!
    JCU

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  8. #2598
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    Correct.

    If you plug a 3.5mm jack into the hole on the side of the RPi and plug the other end into a Line In on an amplifier (or powered speakers or tiny headphones) you should hear sound coming from it (once you select that Squeezelite instance from your LMS).
    Paul Webster
    http://dabdig.blogspot.com
    Author Radio France (FIP etc) plugin

  9. #2599
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2015
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    13
    As far as the Linn Majik is concerned, the UPnPBridge is a bog standard UPnP/DLNA controller getting it to stream audio file tracks from LMS (proxied by the UPnPBridge). If you haven't set any of transcode options of the UPnPBridge, the FLAC and MP3 tracks will be streamed by the Linn Majik untouched.

    Your only issue may be that the Linn Majik won't be playing the tracks gaplessly. Last time I looked into this, Linn DSM devices only support gapless playback when used as an OpenHome streamer, ie, not when used as a standard UPnP/DLNA streamer. Unfortunately, the UPnPBridge does not support OpenHome, only standard UPnP.
    Last edited by Cebolla; 2019-10-04 at 03:59.

  10. #2600
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post
    As far as the Linn Majik is concerned, the UPnPBridge is a bog standard UPnP/DLNA controller getting it to stream audio file tracks from LMS (proxied by the UPnPBridge). If you haven't set any of transcode settings of the UPnPBridge, the FLAC and MP3 tracks will be streamed by the Linn Majik untouched.

    Your only issue may be that the Linn Majik won't be playing the tracks gaplessly. Last time I looked into this, Linn DSM devices only support gapless playback when used as an OpenHome streamer, ie, not when used as a standard UPnP/DLNA streamer. Unfortunately, the UPnPBridge does not support OpenHome, only standard UPnP.
    Thank you again for confirming this, and no, UPnPBridge is configured to not transcode anything (as is LMS). <sarcasm> I figured I may as well leave that to the Linn, seeing as it was somewhat more expensive than the Pi. </sarcasm>

    Indeed, gapless is an issue, but not of a particular concern. The only issue I've really had with this setup is that tracks get stuck at the end of a song and it does not advance to the next track. I believe embedded cover art in the files may play a role, particularly if the embedded PNGs/JPGs are larger than, say, 2MB...

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