13 aprile 2013
Not sure where to post this so here will have to do.
Spotted this case in development in Australia for the rpi, that's just about to go into production.
OK, it's not a lot to get excited about and it won't affect the sound, but it will mean that the rpi won't look too out of place on a hi-fi rack. In particular, the case means that all the cables will come out of one face (the back) and the SD card won't stick out.
10 aprile 2013
Very nice. Elegant looking.
My favorite Pi case – and you can spend a surprising amount of time looking at cases, can't you – is this: http://www.raspberry-pi-case.com/ You can get it without the snakehead engraving and without the three holes in the top. Never mind that it costs twice as much as the Pi!!
But, in the real world, two 1/8" rectangles of tinted Perspex, six stainless steel machine screws with cap nuts and finishing washers along with 1/8" clear plastic tubing for spacing – total cost around US$3 – looks surprisingly elegant as well. Plus you build it yourself. Satisfying. And it opens whole vistas of a Perspex board system of small boards, Pi, USB receiver, DAC, tube preamp, Class-T amp……
13 aprile 2013
"These are Mountable to a wall or desk by using #8 wood screws through the bottom 3 holes in the Raspberry Pi Case."
Certainly looks smart and nicely made, but it still suffers from the "cables coming out of every side problem"
13 aprile 2013
I wish the rest of my hifi looked more like the pibow
Is that a Rega DAC I see there Gyp? I have a Rega Apollo CD player which this setup will be replacing… well, working side-by-side with perhaps! Any idea how they compare? Are you getting good results with it? It looks like you're using a separate USB receiver, is that required or simply an improvement?
I have one of these on order to get me started:
I'd like to use it for comparison if and when I start shopping for a "serious" DAC, and will probably audition the Rega, Linn etc. (jkenny if I can find a stockist perhaps). Will see what works best with my ageing Arcam Alpha 10 amp and may-be-replaced-soon old MS floorstanders. Will be very interested to hear how the Rega DAC sounds as I love the Apollo.
13 aprile 2013
Short answers are…
yes, it's a Rega DAC.
The Raspyfi + Rega sounds almost identical to my much loved Marantz CD10.
Whilst it's not required, I'm using the M2Tech HiFace Two with Chord Procac interconnect as a few reviews have rated the S/PDIF input on the DAC over the USB.
So far, I've noticed no difference.
The slightly longer version is that, with the mechanism of my CD10 proving problematic, I decided that it was worth auditioning a replacement.
It took an awful lot of audioning before I settled on the Marantz. For me it compared favourably with some far more expensive 2-box solutions from the likes of Meridian and Cyrus, but even then (with prices corrected for inflation) it cost the wrong side of £2000. The reason the Marantz won out was that whilst it was exceptionally detailed and revealing, it was always enjoyable to listen to. When it was playing I could stop thinking about the HiFi and just listen to the music.
A quick google and the Dutch Audio Classics (http://www.dutchaudioclassics……_cdplayer/) seems to agree – "The bottom line on the Marantz CD-10 is that it's that rarest of CD players, a machine that can resolve the finest of nuances without driving you to distraction.".
Hoping that CD technology had moved on and that manufacturing costs had been driven down I did a little research and decided that the Audiolab 8200CD was definitely worth a listen, so booked an afternoon in AudioT's dem room. The reviews were excellent, and the ability to access the DAC externally suggested it would be reasonably future-resistant if not future proof.
After an hour or so spinning my CDs it was clear that whilst the sound was definitely beautifully detailed, I wasn't relaxing but was sat hunched forward on the chair. I was listening to hifi, not listening to music.
Frustrated that what I'd assumed would be a simple process of coming in, listening, smiling, paying and walking out had all gone horribly wrong, I span up the Rega RP6 that happened to be sat alongside and dropped the needle on the vinyl.
Immediately the differences were clear. The turntable was quite simply "musical". I'd not given much credence to that term before but now it made sense. I was satting back on the sofa listening to the music. As an exercise in purchasing a replacement CD player, this was not going well!
I had a good chat with the sales assistant and the bottom line of his advice was that if I liked the vinyl sound then I should try the Rega DAC. OK, he made a good pitch that I should buy an RP6, a phono stage and start buying vinyl too, but that wasn't going to happen. The sales guy told me that he'd transferred all of his audio to hard disk and was streaming it wirelessly from his iPad to a Rega DAC and that despite having a lot of hifi in his home that was getting all of the use. As I decided that I need to listen at home rather than in their dem room, I arranged to pick up a Rega DAC to try at home.
That led me to a bit of a dilemma. The DAC of the CD10 was fine, the transport was the problem. Simply buying a DAC wouldn't solve the problem I set out to solve. The CD10 was healthy enough though for me to try the Rega at home, and the results were thankfully reassuring. The sound of the Rega with CD10 as transport was pretty much identical to the sound on the CD10 on its own. That's what I was hoping for, that's what I got. I now knew that the sound that I wanted was achieveable. The Rega was slightly thinner in some respects, but close enough that I felt could call of the search. All I needed now was a transport
Sat unused and unloved at the bottom of my rack was a Pioneer PD9700 stable platter player from the same era (I bought it prior to the CD10) and that did a splendid job feeding the bits to the Rega. Job done. CD player problem solved for less money than I'd expected to spend.
I could have stopped at that point, but was intrigued by the sales guy's comment about streaming and, with most of my collection in 320mbps mp3 format on a NAS for iTunes and moble use I had a look about and that's when I stumbled across Raspyfi and the rest, as they say, is history. Within a few hours, the Pioneer was out of favour and the Rpi was happily streaming across my network doing just as good a job and with me able to control what was playing from the sofa.
I phoned AudioT and placed the order to buy a Rega.
One niggling doubt remained however and that was that listening to some of the CDs (the stuff I'll listen to late at night, candles on, glass of red in my hand) revealed that the sound needed to be just a little better to get me to give up the CD10 for good. The fact that I replaced all the belts and serviced the transport on the CD player a couple of weeks ago convinced me I'm not ready to give it up just yet.
I'd read a number of Rega reviews that mentioned the limitations of the USB input, with it "only" being synchronous (though as Rega re-clock within the DAC I really can't see this being a problem) with the indication that the S/PDIF inputs did sound better. Wondering it this might nudge the Pi/Rega combo ahead, I jumped at the opportunity of a HiFace Two at half price and a Chord interconnect for £5.
So far I can't tell the difference, but I've not had much chance to sit down and listen in great detail. I'm also running the "old" Raspyfi software and I believe there are a number of changes in the beta that may improve the audio out.
If I'd spent my time configuring my new 8Mb card rather than typing all this then it would be working by now
But instead, i must go and do family things this weekend so the upgrade to the beta will have to wait until next week.
Bottom line though is that I'm delighted with the Raspyfi + Rega combination. I've got a sound that I love and it's hundreds of pounds cheaper than the CD player that I was expecting to buy!
…and now to Cornwall…
Nice info, thanks!
The first CD player I bought was a Marantz, back when I was a student many moons ago. Not the CD10 though sadly. Then I married into owning an Arcam Alpha 8 (which was a good match to my amp), and when that died I assumed I'd be getting something similar – until I heard the Rega Apollo. Although it was under the budget I'd set for a replacement, it sounded ten times better than anything else I tried. Perhaps like the DAC – not so "in your face" as some higher end kit that forced you to listen to it (Linn has always been very guilty of this I think), but… well, just right. Or just right for me anyway. Which means I'll definitely be trying out the Rega DAC at some point.
However, my hifimediy Sabre USB DAC arrived this morning… and, tbh, it's great! And extremely cheap too. And tiny.
For now I think it'll be sufficient, especially since I don't have a great space for listening at the moment. But you know what us hifi addicts are like – ask me next week and I'll be in the market for something else that costs way too much. Ah well.
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