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Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - Printable Version

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RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - quattr0 - 04-27-2021

(04-12-2021, 10:42 AM)mxpwladimir Wrote: ......

I have no previous experience with RP machines/OS, but I'm a oldschool PC nerd, so I have no problem setting up things, I'm just quite short on time to make all the research, since I see that's quite a lot. I understand that power supply makes a huge role like everywhere else, so I might be going for the Shanti.

I just need to play music that is locally stored on my PC, so no streaming or any other complicated networking stuff, just to bridge my PC -> Ethernet cable -> RPi4 -> USB -> RME ADI-2 DAC. I'm not familiar with any software / OS tweaking / HW tips to get things started properly, so any help is greatly appreciated  Heart

We have same setup here...Great DAC btw  Big Grin

The Pi4 with USB and our DAC work beautifully!!! I wouldn't worry about adding Shanti. I added iFi iPower and couldn't notice any diff. I also tried fiber optical network setup, can't hear any diff.

That tells me our DAC does a decent job so just focus on getting new music! I have Roon/UPNP/DLNA/Samba running on i5 NUC which also hosts all my collections. Moode also uses wifi.


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - rebbi - 04-28-2021

I recently received my USBridge and Shanti from Allo. I am using it with Moode via USB to my Vinnie Rossi DAC (L2, in a Vinnie Rossi LIO integrated amp). Once I've had the chance to compare the sound to my RP4 (via USB) to the same DAC, I'll post my impressions here.  Cool


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - mxpwladimir - 04-28-2021

Yeah the DAC is nice, just needs a solid power filtering and/or quality aftermarket power supply. I've learnt that underestimating power line is a big mistake, in fact it's a most important base. Ability to hear any differences is then influenced by the rest of the gear, starting headphones/speakers, amp and (unfortunately) ending with each and every cable in the chain. Lots of tuning on the way possible Big Grin


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - the_bertrum - 04-28-2021

(04-28-2021, 10:00 AM)mxpwladimir Wrote: I've learnt that underestimating power line is a big mistake, in fact it's a most important base. Ability to hear any differences is then influenced by the rest of the gear

Do you mean by this that one might not be able to hear the improvement rendered by a better power line due to deficiencies in the speakers?


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - quattr0 - 04-28-2021

(04-28-2021, 12:50 AM)rebbi Wrote: I recently received my USBridge and Shanti from Allo. I am using it with Moode via USB to my Vinnie Rossi DAC (L2, in a Vinnie Rossi LIO integrated amp). Once I've had the chance to compare the sound to my RP4 (via USB) to the same DAC, I'll post my impressions here.  Cool

Curious what was your previous DAC?

Looking forward to the result.


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - mxpwladimir - 04-29-2021

(04-28-2021, 12:20 PM)the_bertrum Wrote:
(04-28-2021, 10:00 AM)mxpwladimir Wrote: I've learnt that underestimating power line is a big mistake, in fact it's a most important base. Ability to hear any differences is then influenced by the rest of the gear

Do you mean by this that one might not be able to hear the improvement rendered by a better power line due to deficiencies in the speakers?

Well that's always system dependent. There's only one way to find out Smile


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - baradoc - 04-30-2021

(04-28-2021, 12:50 AM)rebbi Wrote: I recently received my USBridge and Shanti from Allo. I am using it with Moode via USB to my Vinnie Rossi DAC (L2, in a Vinnie Rossi LIO integrated amp). Once I've had the chance to compare the sound to my RP4 (via USB) to the same DAC, I'll post my impressions here.  Cool

Really interested to hear your opinion of USBridge in comparison to rpi4  Undecided


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - lolli8 - 04-30-2021

(03-24-2021, 03:11 PM)rebbi Wrote: Does anyone have experience comparing the on-board RP4 USB ports as a transport to a DAC vs. the sound quality of an add-on board like the Allo DigiOne or DigiOne Signature, or something similar? 
Wondering if it pays to try coaxial (SPDIF) with one of those HATs.

I tried to find objective comparisons on the net, because I also plan to build a Moodeplayer and was looking at the cheap Pi4 vs other expensive options, but I failed.

And after some more searching I am 100% sure why there is no objective comparison. It would show no difference in the sound quality if you exchange the network streamer while leaving the rest (DAC, AMP,...) the same.

My conclusions: an objective difference is when you use SPDIF and not USB. Different encoding/decoding mechanisms are used here (afaik also the bitrate is different), resulting in a different sound. If you use USB, it doesn`t matter at all, because the digital data stream which is generated and sent over the cable is identical.

Power supply is not relevant on the streamer but has an influence on the DAC, because here you have an analog output signal and not a digital one, and a digital one doesn't care about jitter or noise. Just buy a halfway good cable and you are done.

Think I am wrong and the digital signal can be influenced by the quality of the cable other noise? Check the video here, take the 13 mins and watch it. Might save you some hundred dollars. 
I also planned to buy the bridge plus a shanti, but after some research it's a pi4/2gb, an oehlbach usb cable and plus the standard power supply. I will spend the saved money on a LPS for the DAC.






RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - lolli8 - 04-30-2021

(04-28-2021, 12:50 AM)rebbi Wrote: I recently received my USBridge and Shanti from Allo. I am using it with Moode via USB to my Vinnie Rossi DAC (L2, in a Vinnie Rossi LIO integrated amp). Once I've had the chance to compare the sound to my RP4 (via USB) to the same DAC, I'll post my impressions here.  Cool

Please don't send just impressions. Do a blind test where someone else randomly picks one of your two network streamer and you have to tell if there is a difference and which one sounds better and which one he attached to the system.

This eliminates at least a portion of the psychological bias you have. More expensive equipment must sound better, and with this in mind you will "hear" an improvement. Check the video I posted one comment, jump to around 10:30 first, listen, look at the name of the displayed cable, check when the name changes and chances are high you hear a difference.

Then go back to around 5 min where he plays the same songs but without telling when the switch happens. I didn't hear any difference in that case while I was sure there was one.

Then look at the presentation of the two cables and think again: should I spend a three digit sum of money on an USB cable in this case, and what does this presentation mean when it comes to other "effects" on the quality of the transmitted digital signal (e.g. power supply of the pi4)?


RE: Can you get "audiophile" sound using a native RP4 USB port into a DAC? - lolli8 - 04-30-2021

(03-26-2021, 05:07 AM)Jandu Wrote:
(03-25-2021, 04:22 PM)hifinet Wrote: Even with a linear power supply for the RPi4, there are still switching regulators on the RPi4 generating noise. The USBridge Sig would seem to be a more complete solution. No personal experience.

A lot of components would affect the sound. Things as simple as using a SD card vs an USB boot would sound different. 

Different sound means different data. You can't change music without changing the underlying data which build the soinc waves and which in the end build the music.

So if your comment is true (which I doubt) it means the data stored on a SD card is different from data over an USB port are different. Computers are not new, and there are tons of websites dedictaed to computer hardware. Can you point me to a single site where someone found a difference when storing a file on a SD card vs. storing the same file on an USB stick or SSD drive attached to an USB port?