Inexpensive DAC for Raspberry Pi streamer (Airport Express knockoff) - diyAudio
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Old 19th June 2013, 09:32 PM   #1
hoffsta is offline hoffsta  United States
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Default 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!
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Old 20th June 2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 20th June 2013, 04:23 PM   #3
hoffsta is offline hoffsta  United States
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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!
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Old 20th June 2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 20th June 2013, 07:10 PM   #5
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorrish View Post
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.
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Old 20th June 2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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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
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Old 20th June 2013, 08:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julf View Post
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.
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Old 20th June 2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Switters. Great links. I like the PSU article.
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Old 20th June 2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 21st June 2013, 02:33 AM   #10
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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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