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Hat DAC for PiZero-W
#1
Are there any decent DACs specifically for the Zero that are decent besides the Allo Mini Boss?  I have an IQAudio Dac+ on a Pi 3b+ I like, but am needing something in a Zero size for a project that sounds at least as good as the IQAudio and I don’t really wanna spend $50 on the Allo if I don’t need to. 

Any suggestions based on experience?
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#2
Just do https://www.google.com/search?client=fir...ro+dac+hat
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#3
(02-03-2021, 06:06 AM)CallMeMike Wrote: Just do https://www.google.com/search?client=fir...ro+dac+hat

Thanks, I know what ones are out there. I’m looking for sound perceptions from user experience. I realize that’s a very subjective topic, but I’m trying to make a somewhat informed decision.
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#4
I purchased the Justboom Zero Dac to go onto the Pi Zero W then use the DAC line out into a small hybrid tube headphone amp all in the same enclosure. The amount of noise from the Pi is atrocious with the headphone out and I'm picking it up on the line out once into the amplifier. The headphone amp is silent when connected to a CDP. Soon as the Pi turns off the clicking, popping stops. Sounds like CPU noise. I'm trying to run headless using my phone to stream from. I tried with a 3B+ and the Justboom DAC as well with no change. Tried separating the Justboom Zero Dac from the Pi Zero with two extension headers (about 1.5") just to see if space would make a difference. Nope. I was really hoping to get all of this into a single small case for my work desk. The Zero was just the right size. I'm going to try using an IQaudio Dac + on the 3B tonight and see if it's the DAC or the amp picking up noise. I did find several threads on a Google search where others had the same problem with the Justboom.

I have a small LM317 linear regulator for the amp, a buck converter to a ATXRaspi power controller PCB into the Raspi. All powered by a single 30V/2.2A switching power adapter.
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#5
It’s the buck converter or the switching power supply or a combo of both. I put in 30V for my amp and drop it to 27V through the linear reg. I added the buck converter to the 27V output and it cut the noise by half. I only hear noise when the player is stopped. I wonder if I could have the player mute when not playing? That would fix it well enough for me as I’m not looking for audiophile here, just decent sound.
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#6
@Blooze

Do you have access to a 5Vcc / >1A linear power supply or switch-mode power supply (the official RPi SMPS would be good enough) so you could test JUST the RPi ZERO with the JustBoom HAT...? The 5Vcc would be fed to RPi which in turn feeds 5Vcc to the HAT via the multipin connector; you can test the sound via the 3.5mm heaphone port (low output power so suitable headphone required) or, better, connect a 3.5mm-to-RCA stereo cable from the Line Level 3.5mm port to a proper amplifier.
Do not use any other HATs, devices, addons or the power supplies you've mentioned before... just to prove where the 'noise' problem is coming from... Do not use for this test the 30V PSU you are using for the tube headphone amplifier.
The final power setup should have TWO independent power supplies (transformers et al), no buck converter involved...
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#7
I tried the official pi power supply on just the pi/dac. About the same amount of noise as coming from the 30V supply thru the linear and buck. Definitely a power supply issue. I really want to stay with one power supply to keep it simple. I already am using most the outlets on two battery backups at work.

I only hear it when the player is stopped or paused. Not during a song or between songs. That’s why I wondered if there’s some code to mute the DAC when it’s not playing.
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