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hoffsta 19th June 2013 09:32 PM

Inexpensive DAC for Raspberry Pi streamer (Airport Express knockoff)
 
I have a Raspberry Pi sitting around and I'd like to turn it into a pseudo Airport Express for streaming music to my patio stereo. Obviously in an outdoor environment, ultimate high-fidelity is less of a priority than other locations so I'm looking for a low cost DAC board that will at least get the SQ on par with the Airport Express.

This DAC will sit between the Pi and a Sure TK2050 amp to Definitive Technology AW6500 outdoor speakers and will mostly be playing 320 mp3s and internet radio.

Options start as low as $5 for a simple USB dongle sound card and go all the way into hundreds of dollars.

I've seen mentioned the PCM2704 chip as a good low cost contender.
Does this model seem worthy of my ambitions?

PCM2704 USB DAC USB to s PDIF Sound Card Decoder Board 3 5mm Analog Output | eBay

Are there better options in this price point?
Thanks for your input!

bnorrish 20th June 2013 09:51 AM

That is what I use in my shop (PCM2704) wiht the PI and it works great. Your link does not work but I got mine on eBay for $12.50 with shipping. I feel it is my cheap speakers that are the sound quality bottleneck and not the PI/DAC. I also got a Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB for $14 - recommended - it just works - plug and play. audiohobby.com has a good tutorial on using MPD on the PI. I mounted a CIFS share from Windows PC where all my music is stored and use my Droid tablet and phone with mPod app to control.

I think you will be very happy and should go for it. I do not believe there are better options at this price. I also have a Sonos with my main system which is great but $350.

hoffsta 20th June 2013 04:23 PM

Thanks for the reply! I'm looking forward to building this box and in the process learning a bunch about Linux and-what-not. Cheers!

bnorrish 20th June 2013 06:55 PM

A good introduction to Linux. Enjoy. I use it headless, even when I first configured. Download Putty. Find out what your DHCP scope is on your home network - usually 192.168.1.1-192.168.1.9. and try to connect, guessing the IP. Start with .1 and then .2, .3, etc unit you get a command prompt. The first thing I did was configured it with a static IP that never changes. Help is easy as typing "static IP Rasberry PI" in Google. A ton of help out there.

Julf 20th June 2013 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnorrish (Post 3533124)
The first thing I did was configured it with a static IP that never changes.

Even better is configuring your DHCP server to always give the same address. That way other parameters (default route, name server etc.) still get updated automatically.

Switters 20th June 2013 07:13 PM

This is a site dedicated to Raspberry PI as a music player:
RaspyFi - Pi never sounded so good!
The right USB DAC for your Raspberry Pi - RaspyFi

bnorrish 20th June 2013 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Julf (Post 3533141)
Even better is configuring your DHCP server to always give the same address. That way other parameters (default route, name server etc.) still get updated automatically.

That works. Just need the MAC address for the DHCP reservation.

bnorrish 20th June 2013 08:21 PM

Switters. Great links. I like the PSU article.

Cornelis Spronk 20th June 2013 10:29 PM

I would recommend the HifiMeDiy Sabre USB DAC. Digital to Audio Converter 96khz/24bit.

For around $50, there is no better DAC and it operates great on Linux. Much better the the PCM2704.

There is discussion elsewhere on this forum.

bnorrish 21st June 2013 02:33 AM

It is a very good choice. It is also 4x the price. With the PI, the low cost is the attraction. Need to make up for what I spend on my main system. :-) The sky is the limit on what you can spend.


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