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How to add coaxial output to a Pi?
How to add coaxial output to a Pi?
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Old 13th January 2019, 03:24 PM   #1
Giovanni1968 is offline Giovanni1968
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Default How to add coaxial output to a Pi?

Hello everybody,

just got my first ever Pi and up and running in less than 30 min, I am now playing some of my FLAC files along with online radios which is a very nice plus to just own music.

The Pi works as a transport only, it is USB connected to a Beresford Caiman SEG DAC and runs Moode, as I seem to understand the USB/ETC is a shared connection on the Pi and sound quality over either of these seems to be not the greatest and as such, looking forward to make of the Pi a decent music server I am thinking, if it all proofs being better than hooking a computer, to add own storage in the form of either a hard drive or an ssd connected through one of those boards I have seen like the X820 if I recall correct but before jumping onto that I would like to get a coaxial output so that I can leave the DAC USB and SPDIFs available for other sources.

What are your suggestions to add a HAT for coaxial output and, eventually, which upgrades, which are not multi digit on the wallet, to improve sound output? I read about HATs to remove power off the Pi board as to improve, don't even know their name, the Pi is a whole new world to me but it is fascinating how much can be accomplished with it.

Grazie a tutti and have a great Sunday


Giovanni
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Old 15th January 2019, 04:56 PM   #2
Yatsushiro is offline Yatsushiro  France
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Hi Giovanni

I haven't used this particular HAT DAC, but I've used other IQAudio products to great effect. The components are extremely well made, sold at a good price and Gordon offers excellent support if and when needed.

IQAudio DACS are compatible with the major RPi Audio OS's: PcP, Moode, Rune, Volumio etc...

Pi-Digi+ I2S audiophile optical / electrical digital for Raspberry Pi
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Old 15th January 2019, 08:49 PM   #3
Giovanni1968 is offline Giovanni1968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yatsushiro View Post
Hi Giovanni

I haven't used this particular HAT DAC, but I've used other IQAudio products to great effect. The components are extremely well made, sold at a good price and Gordon offers excellent support if and when needed.

IQAudio DACS are compatible with the major RPi Audio OS's: PcP, Moode, Rune, Volumio etc...

Pi-Digi+ I2S audiophile optical / electrical digital for Raspberry Pi
Thank you so much for your hint Yatushiro, I will keep an eye onto it, still figuring out which upgrades to get a better sound output, for sure I will want the coaxial output which I understand being so much better than the standard shared onboard USB, maybe also separate power feeding and then, but at the bottom , a board to host a disk drive if I like the whole thing, so far not too bad, still not as comfy to use a Pi as a computer but I am sure musica players will evolve and make it easier to create playlists.

Grazie
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Old 15th January 2019, 09:36 PM   #4
wcwc is offline wcwc  United States
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DigiOne SPDIF Output


Here is a Hat that provides coax out. Works pretty well.
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Old 17th January 2019, 11:13 PM   #5
Giovanni1968 is offline Giovanni1968
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If I got it right the best combo would be something which I guess is called I2S whose purpose is to "clean" the power supply which gets to the Pi and then to the HAT and, on top of it, the HAT itself, in this instance the board hosting the coax output along with a more stable quartz oscillator and this also means two power supplies being needed (no, no batteries for me, thanks!), am I right at this all?

Grazie
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Old 18th January 2019, 02:39 AM   #6
dtaylo3 is offline dtaylo3  United States
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There are now a huge number of HATs out there to choose from. Also, if you run an ASUS TinkerBoard instead of a Pi, it has a much, much better USB out and you can solder on coax out. This vendor in France has all kinds of Pi units. There in house units are quite good. All DAC and digital interfaces for Rasperry Pi - Audiophonics
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Old 18th January 2019, 10:34 AM   #7
Yatsushiro is offline Yatsushiro  France
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giovanni1968 View Post
Thank you so much for your hint Yatushiro, I will keep an eye onto it, still figuring out which upgrades to get a better sound output, for sure I will want the coaxial output which I understand being so much better than the standard shared onboard USB, maybe also separate power feeding and then, but at the bottom , a board to host a disk drive if I like the whole thing, so far not too bad, still not as comfy to use a Pi as a computer but I am sure musica players will evolve and make it easier to create playlists.

Grazie
Given how relatively cheap these options are, it would be worth a bit of experimentation.

Assuming that you already have an RPi, I would suggest the following

IQAudio PiDigi+ HAT Pi-Digi+ I2S audiophile optical / electrical digital for Raspberry Pi

Disk Storage and power to RPi, Suptronics X820 404 Not Found or X830 404 Not Found

As far as software is concerned, most are now reliable, easy to use and manage, including music storage, Internet radio, spotify, tidal etc, and creating and maintaining playlists. My preference would be PiCorePlayer piCorePlayer, but also look at Rune or Moode.
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Old 18th January 2019, 11:01 AM   #8
Giovanni1968 is offline Giovanni1968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yatsushiro View Post
Given how relatively cheap these options are, it would be worth a bit of experimentation.

Assuming that you already have an RPi, I would suggest the following

IQAudio PiDigi+ HAT Pi-Digi+ I2S audiophile optical / electrical digital for Raspberry Pi

Disk Storage and power to RPi, Suptronics X820 404 Not Found or X830 404 Not Found

As far as software is concerned, most are now reliable, easy to use and manage, including music storage, Internet radio, spotify, tidal etc, and creating and maintaining playlists. My preference would be PiCorePlayer piCorePlayer, but also look at Rune or Moode.
Ciao Yatsushiro,

again thank you for your prompt and detailed reply.

At this moment in time I am using the 3B+ on USB output going into my DAC, a Beresford Caiman SEG, enjoying listening to radios mostly because I still have to find out how, on Moode, I can create playlists since my music is held into folders each belonging to a CD so I don't want to move files here and there to create playlists, it would be long and tedious, also I don't like the fact I have to hit each and every tune and then add it to the queue, I am sure there is a way to add an entire folder but I didn't bother reading the Moode manual so, if there is a way to create playlists and to add a whole one to the queue, I am not aware of...

Back to the coaxial output, I was reading about the utility of an isolator as to clean the Pi board and signal off of electrical noise and then spread power to both the underlying Pi and above sitting HAT, in my instance the coaxial board with an upgraded clock to allow clean (...) 44.1 and 48 Khz.

I see this combo from Allo which includes both the coaxial and improved clock and the intermediate power cleaning interface, it's so very expensive and as such it's not really into the actual target but just wondering if the power cleaning bit adds an audible bit to sound quality before I jump onto some buy list.


With regards to storage the X820 seems it might do it, have to first find out which player does it best for music quality and flexibility to allow creating playlists.

Thank you so much again and have a pleasant evening (I guess you are a few hours ahead of us time zone wise).

Giovanni
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Old 18th January 2019, 11:06 AM   #9
Giovanni1968 is offline Giovanni1968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtaylo3 View Post
There are now a huge number of HATs out there to choose from. Also, if you run an ASUS TinkerBoard instead of a Pi, it has a much, much better USB out and you can solder on coax out. This vendor in France has all kinds of Pi units. There in house units are quite good. All DAC and digital interfaces for Rasperry Pi - Audiophonics
Hello Dtaylo,

never read of the Tinker Board before, seems another interesting piece of hardware to play with but I already have a Pi running so, at this moment in time, I'd focus onto this platform.

I know of Audiophonics but, in case you missed it, I am Italian Just kidding, there always been rivalry between Italy and France but we all know Italians do it better I gave a look at their website and they carry a lot of stuff to pick from but I first have to try and understand what I am going for, I was thinking of a board to "clean" the power off the Pi and it seems they have restrictions into which one works with which HAT so I better get well informed before proceeding.

You can see in my reply to Yatsushiro that I linked the Allo Digisomething but at over 250 euros is not into my actual budget.


Grazie

Giovanni
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Old 19th January 2019, 10:56 AM   #10
RAndyB is offline RAndyB  United Kingdom
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Giovanni,
there is also this one:
HTML Code:
https://www.hifiberry.com/shop/boards/hifiberry-digi-transformer-version/
I have used one of their older products and found it good.

Andy
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