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Home Digital Audio Player

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by Salomon, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Salomon

    Salomon New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I've been searching for a DAP for home use and have not fond anything that fits what I'm looking for.

    I want something to replace my PC that will play high res files. My Onkyo DP-X1 does have a line out but isn't designed to drive a preamp or amp. The manual warns that running it into a high impaedance (above 600 ohms I think) may damage it. I've tried it anyway and it sounds pretty crappy into a Schitt Moljinar/Sennheiser HD800 combination compared to my laptop.



    Other than it isn't going to last I can't really complain about the PC but What I want is something that will still be working in 20 years.

    What do you like?
     

     

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  2. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    If you do not mind a bit of DIY, the Raspberry Pi with an appropriate HAT (like the HifiBerry Dac+) can give you a line out. They even have an option with XLR out for balanced outputs which the Mjolnir can handle. Or you could get a HAT that provides good digital audio out and then invest in a decent stand alone DAC to go between the Pi and the Mjolnir. The Pi can be easily controlled using an app on your phone, depending on which software you wind up using.

    Then again, if you have a Mjolnir and HD800s, you probably want something a bit more upscale than the Raspberry Pi, at which point, I am sure someone else has ideas.
     
  3. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    492
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Just a thought - the Oppo 103 and newer Bluray players will do DSD64 (and up, with newer models), as well as a Bunch of Tther Stuff. Definitely not a DAP, but is still smaller than a PC, and has 'extra' features. While the (HDMI) UI is clunky, their smartphone/tablet apps are pretty good.
    Used now, too, since Oppo is OOB in that market.
    LOTS of other options, of course, but that's what I'm using (also have a Topping D50 USB DAC I'm using with my PC, but would also work with a laptop, but, also NOT a DAP.)
    Happy hunting!
     
    judsonw likes this.
  4. Salomon

    Salomon New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I looked at the Pi and I like it. Forgot to mention I do have a DAC (Modi) which I like quite a lot and think it sounds better than any other DAC I've heard. Cheap can definitely be as good (or better) than spendy.

    Forgive my ignorance... What is a HAT?
     
  5. dlucy

    dlucy dlucy67 (Doug) Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,982
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I met @LexDM3 at a Frankenfest as he was scheduled to give a workshop on exactly this topic and show us how to make it all work. Logistics and the room setup was not conducive to giving a highly-connected talk, though.

    He just a day ago gave me some pointers and recommendations. I have pulled the trigger yet, but the Volumio app and HiFiberry line of DACs that piggyback on a RASPBERRY PI look great.
     
  6. ben_

    ben_ Active Member

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Not easy to look for a DAP that should run for 20 years. I would avoid any raspberry pi solution, as they use SD card for operating system and they tend to die rather quickly.

    If you already own a DAC you like, cheapest is to use Google Chromecast audio which has an optical mini jack output, it is limited to 96kHz playback and has some quirks but works and sound great as the DAC can.

    If you want to ditch the PC in the system the usual options are using Upnp / airplay or in last resort Bluetooth and stream from your phone. There are offer at any budgets, but I like Yamaha WXC-50 I own for this purpose, and can feed a power amp directly. Blue sound note 2 and latest 2i are also well regarded given their price.

    Cheers
    Ben
     

     

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  7. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    HAT stands for "Hardware Attached on Top". Pretty much it is a board that sits on top of the Raspberry Pi (for example: https://www.hifiberry.com/products/digiplus/, there are a decent number of options around there from other companies too. Allo is another brand that is more expensive and viewed to be better than HifiBerry.

    As for the raspberry pi longevity, I have only had mine for a year so I have not yet reached a failure state. Looking it up, it does appear that the SD Card can develop issues if there is unexpected power loss, but the SD Card only houses the operating system which is easy to rewrite to the card (if possible) or write to a new card (if needed). You could even make a back up copy when you start, but then you have to keep track of where you stored that spare SD Card. If I made one when I got my raspberry pi over a year ago, I am pretty sure I would have lost it by now.

    However, there are lots of options out there, as others have said. How many of them will hold up with changing standards and formats over the next 20 years? That is hard to say, but it is good to think ahead.
     
    redk9258 likes this.
  8. ldatlof

    ldatlof We are all steak Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,854
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I use a Raspberry Pi connected to a HiFime 9018 Optical DAC via an S.M.S.L. X-usb Digital Audio Interface. My RPi is set up with Raspian (the OS) and Squeezelite (a Squeezebox emulator). The RPi is connected to the network via WiFi. An old PC acts as the server (Ubuntu OS and Logitech Media Server) and it is connected to the WiFi router via an ethernet cable. I stream flac files from my ripped CD library, Spotify and internet radio. It is rock solid and has bit perfect output. It sounds great.

    The RPi is very flexible and can run many different types of player software like PiCoreplayer, Volumio and JRiver just to name a few. It can be used as the server too. It also has a very active user base so it is very easy to find answers to any questions you may have.

    As for the Pi's longevity, my 6 year old RPi Model B is still going strong. It has been searching for extra-terrestrials for years. ;) It's CPU runs at 100% at all times and it hasn't missed a beat yet. Of the two Pi's that I own I have only had the SD become corrupted once.

    Due to its large user base the Pi has a better chance of being able to play new formats that may come out in the future. For example, Squeezelite will play DSD files if you have a DAC capable of playing those files attached to the Pi. I am sure that other player software can do that as well. Another positive is that, except for JRiver, all the software is free.
     
    ben_, redk9258 and dlucy like this.
  9. Bk1

    Bk1 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Yamaha wxc-50
     
    ben_ likes this.
  10. redk9258

    redk9258 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,571
    Location:
    Illinois, close to St. Louis.
    I'm using (2) Raspberry Pi Zeros with WiFi and Pimoroni pHAT DACs running Volumio. I leave them on all of the time. From what I understand the OS is read from the SD card into memory and only settings are written to the card. It is supposedly safe to just pull the plug to power off. I do not do that though. I have managed to corrupt the card once. I just formatted it and rewrote the Volumio image to it. We have had power failures and they have restarted fine. For an under $20 investment each, I think they work great. Every time I go to Microcenter and they have the Raspberry Pi Zero W for $5, I find it hard to pass up. I bought one extra along with an extra DAC.. just in case one fails.
     
    ben_ likes this.
  11. ben_

    ben_ Active Member

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    I don't know for VolumIO but most Linux distributions will use filesystem on SD card, not ram and these frequent writes (say logs, temp files, lock files, etc) are killing SD Card. If VolumIO loads card and use a ram filesystem for everything it's a good way to avoid trouble imo.

    Sorry I was not maybe clear enough, Raspberry pi itself is reliable as any modern hardware, the SD card is the weakness.
     

     

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  12. redk9258

    redk9258 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,571
    Location:
    Illinois, close to St. Louis.
    You can also force Raspberry Pi to boot from HDD or SSD if you have one connected..
     

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