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very HQ stereo analog audio input for Raspberry Pi - any options?
very HQ stereo analog audio input for Raspberry Pi - any options?
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Old 28th October 2016, 06:07 PM   #1
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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Default very HQ stereo analog audio input for Raspberry Pi - any options?

I am searching for a high quality stereo audio ADC for the Pi. There seems to be lots of DAC boards out there (HATs and USB based) but only know of one good quality USB dongle with stereo input (Behringer UCA202) and two HATs with stereo input (Wolfson Audio Card, and the Audio Injector HAT by Flatmax studios). In terms of THD or THD+N these are not bad (THD+N is around -80dB to -85dB). I would like another 10dB or more.

The idea is to build a preamp (analog and digital inputs) around a Pi 3. This would stream audio over a wired or wireless LAN connection to clients, with a Pi 2/3 in each loudspeaker and subwoofer. The number of clients can be increased by adding more client PIs. I already have the streaming audio part working.

I currently use a BayTrail Soc computer for input under running Ubuntu Linux. A PI could do this just as well, and is better suited to embedded applications than a desktop computer and OS in many ways.

Does anyone know of a higher quality stereo ADC for the Pi that might work in this application? This seems to be a niche that has not yet been filled. Also, I would prefer something that doesn't require a custom kernel...

Another approach would be to use a standalone analog to spdif digital converter and an spdif only input on the Pi. Sample rate out of the analog-to-spdif would need to be at least 96k, however. Any suggestions on that are welcome as well. Thanks.


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Old 28th October 2016, 11:31 PM   #2
DRONE7 is offline DRONE7  New Zealand
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There's this......(not boards but cased)
Hifime ADC i2S Analog to Digital converter

but interfacing may be a challenge....or perhaps using their companion hdmi in device ?
HiFime UH1 384kHz USB DAC, headphone amplifier and I2S/DSD interface


Quote:
I currently use a BayTrail Soc computer for input under running Ubuntu Linux. A PI could do this just as well, and is better suited to embedded applications than a desktop computer and OS in many ways.
If you just want to simplify your current system as above check out....
http://www.snakeoil-os.net/

Found this ... mp3 based but may have some ideas that could be useful...?
https://iotsblog.wordpress.com/2016/...to-squeezebox/

Last edited by DRONE7; 28th October 2016 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 29th October 2016, 12:11 AM   #3
DRONE7 is offline DRONE7  New Zealand
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wrong link given for hdmi interface and edit option is timed out...
Here's the correct one..
HiFime UH1-Digital 384kHz USB to I2S/DSD/COAX interface (no DAC)
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Old 29th October 2016, 12:14 AM   #4
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE7 View Post
There's this......(not boards but cased)
Hifime ADC i2S Analog to Digital converter

but interfacing may be a challenge....or perhaps using their companion hdmi in device ?
HiFime UH1 384kHz USB DAC, headphone amplifier and I2S/DSD interface



If you just want to simplify your current system as above check out....
Snakeoil OS - Linux OS For The Audiophile

Found this ... mp3 based but may have some ideas that could be useful...?
https://iotsblog.wordpress.com/2016/...to-squeezebox/
Thanks for your reply. That HiFiMe (previously HiFiME DIY) stuff is interesting. I have a couple of their USB DAC models that I like a lot. Their A-to-i2s plus i2s to USB solution is a bit more than I was hoping to spend, and a little more than I need really. But I wasn't aware of it, so thanks for pointing it out to me.

The wireless streaming stuff - I already have all of that up and working between an Ubuntu desktop (source, the "audio server" I mentioned) and multiple R-Pi clients (and other ARM boards). I stream PCM over RTP, so much better than mp3! No compression. I can stream at 96k to multiple clients, no problem. I have a couple of those Behringer UCA202s at the moment and they are not bad and have stereo line level input and are USB Audio 1.1 compatible I think but are limited to 16/48. So, it's OK, but I am always thinking to myself that there must be something better out there.

The other link for the custom kernel is what I want to avoid. I'm worried about what happens when that is no longer maintained... so I want to stick to mainline-kernel compatible stuff only.
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Last edited by CharlieLaub; 29th October 2016 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 29th October 2016, 01:42 AM   #5
DRONE7 is offline DRONE7  New Zealand
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Quote:
Their A-to-i2s plus i2s to USB solution is a bit more than I was hoping to spend
Well, they were HiFimediy before they became HiFime so why not drop them an email and explain your use scenario and see if they would sell boards only with out case.... Both items look like drop-in cases so no problems there and dc powering so no problems with that...

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, the worst outcome is they say no and that puts you at no disadvantage to where you are now..
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Old 29th October 2016, 02:38 AM   #6
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE7 View Post
Well, they were HiFimediy before they became HiFime so why not drop them an email and explain your use scenario and see if they would sell boards only with out case.... Both items look like drop-in cases so no problems there and dc powering so no problems with that...

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, the worst outcome is they say no and that puts you at no disadvantage to where you are now..
You read my mind! I have already contacted them about it. Judging by the other great products that they have come out with I would be very excited if they would develop a quality USB ADC that could be used under Linux on a variety of hardware. Maybe via the new SA9226? Not sure what they would go to for the ADC... any ideas?
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Last edited by CharlieLaub; 29th October 2016 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 29th October 2016, 04:54 AM   #7
Odal3 is offline Odal3  United States
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The Asus xonar u7 has an analog input, but I have never tried the input myself. The output as well as the spdif out works fine with the RPI (after some minor config tweaks). Quality wise it's comparable to my hifimediy dac (9023) if not better. I probably wouldn't pay full price for it but sometimes you can find it for cheaper openbox or used on amazon warehouse, Craigslist, eBay, etc. I think I paid about $60 on a special sale.

There are also proaudio/dj mixer interfaces with decent DACs. They normally use XLR - 1/4 inputs and have built in mic and other features that you may not need. They may also be more than what you want to pay.

I have the steinberg ur22mkii. I use it for mic input (so not in my main audio system) but the audio out DAC it's actually not bad at all. It even allows to use an external power supply so it only takes the data signal from the computer.

UR22mkII:|http://www.steinberg.net/
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Old 29th October 2016, 05:02 AM   #8
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odal3 View Post
The Asus xonar u7 has an analog input, but I have never tried the input myself. The output as well as the spdif out works fine with the RPI (after some minor config tweaks). Quality wise it's comparable to my hifimediy dac (9023) if not better. I probably wouldn't pay full price for it but sometimes you can find it for cheaper openbox or used on amazon warehouse, Craigslist, eBay, etc. I think I paid about $60 on a special sale.

There are also proaudio/dj mixer interfaces with decent DACs. They normally use XLR - 1/4 inputs and have built in mic and other features that you may not need. They may also be more than what you want to pay.

I have the steinberg ur22mkii. I use it for mic input (so not in my main audio system) but the audio out DAC it's actually not bad at all. It even allows to use an external power supply so it only takes the data signal from the computer.

UR22mkII:|http://www.steinberg.net/
That Asus xonar u7 has good specs, including the input - I thought there were some incompatibilities under Linux. What did you do to get it working under Linux (Raspian?)?

EDIT: I found this page (from a Kodi forum):
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=253179
Seems to cover some minor stuff. Anything else?

This would definitely be worth $60 for me to try out (if I can find it for that price).
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Last edited by CharlieLaub; 29th October 2016 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 29th October 2016, 05:47 AM   #9
DRONE7 is offline DRONE7  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieLaub View Post
You read my mind! I have already contacted them about it. Judging by the other great products that they have come out with I would be very excited if they would develop a quality USB ADC that could be used under Linux on a variety of hardware. Maybe via the new SA9226? Not sure what they would go to for the ADC... any ideas?
If they reconfigured their current ADC to output to USB not HDMI I would grab one in an instant !
I'm currently using an old M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 (Firewire !) card on a laptop Win XP and Adobe Audition 3 to rip my LPs to Flac.
Or an XP box with M-Audio 24/96 sound card headless with a Xubuntu laptop and remmina as the interface. Depending on where in the wee housie I am.
An ADC of that calibre working under Linux would solve all my problems....
Let me know the outcome of your query to HiFiMe as I would bite if you are successful....
Cheers,
Bob.
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Old 29th October 2016, 08:55 AM   #10
DRONE7 is offline DRONE7  New Zealand
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE7 View Post
If they reconfigured their current ADC to output to USB not HDMI I would grab one in an instant !
I'm currently using an old M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 (Firewire !) card on a laptop Win XP and Adobe Audition 3 to rip my LPs to Flac.
Or an XP box with M-Audio 24/96 sound card headless with a Xubuntu laptop and remmina as the interface. Depending on where in the wee housie I am.
An ADC of that calibre working under Linux would solve all my problems....
Let me know the outcome of your query to HiFiMe as I would bite if you are successful....
Cheers,
Bob.
Group buy...? I would be in if it was a goer....
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