cappers
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:40 pm

Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:38 pm

Hi All,
I am looking for some advice on how to build a Spotify streaming device with a RPi. I would like to connect the RPi to my speakers (via cables) and have a headless set up where I can play my music from Spotify and potentially internet radio stations, if possible. I would like to use my mobile phone to control the music.
So, firstly, I am having problems deciding on the HAT to go for as there seems to be a multitude of different options. I'd like reasonable quality audio, but not high end/expensive. I have seen the HifiBerry DACs available, but as I understand it I would need an Amp in conjunction with the DAC in order to connect up to my loudspeakers. I've also seen the Hifiberry Amp+, which doesn't seem to have a DAC. My question would be, do I need a DAC as well as the Amp, or can I do without the DAC? I assume that the DAC + Amp option gives higher quality audio and the Amp on its own just takes the standard audio output and amplifies that, so the audio quality isn't as good. Is that correct?

Secondly, software - again there's multiple options out there, do you have any advice on what to go for and how to decide which software option. Streaming Spotify is a must have and internet radio stations would be a good option as well.

Thanks in advance

Cappers

Man in a van
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:41 pm
Location: Staffordshire, UK.

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:17 am

Hi Cappers

Most pi based Spotify-Connect clients require that one has the Premium subscription.

There are several to choose from. The advatage of using a pi is that one can "contrast and compare" with a couple of sd cards.

Which OS is on your 'phone and how do you normally connect to the speakers?

And which version of rpi do you intend to use?

atb

ronnie

And are you prepared to do some command line work or want a gui?

cappers
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:40 pm

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:38 am

Hi Ronnie,
Thanks for the reply - i have a premium Spotify account, so all sorted in that respect.
My phone OS is Android, although i also have a Kindle fire, which would be good to use as well, if possible.
Not sure i fully understand what you mean by connection to the speakers - but it will be a physical cable. My limited understanding of the connection is that as the speakers are passive, i would need an amplifier, hence my questions around the DAC or DAC + Amp option - i'm not sure what is the best option there.
I also have a RPi 3B+ i'd like to use for this.

cheers

Cappers

Man in a van
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:41 pm
Location: Staffordshire, UK.

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:10 pm

Which speakers do you have? and general location might help as well

ronnie

cappers
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:40 pm

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:46 pm

They are Denon speakers - 6 ohm impedance. Quite old, but still perfectly serviceable.
Location - attached to the wall in my living room, RPi will be in the same room

thanks

Man in a van
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:41 pm
Location: Staffordshire, UK.

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:54 pm

OK, so depending where in the world you are located, and budget available, I would suggest that it should be relatively easy to pick up a used amp.

If you have access to any of the hifi forums that are online, you might be able to source a good quality amp. And sometimes a dac hat for the pi.

There is, of course that 'bay and other sites, but they might be a bit tricky if you are just starting out.

I have always used seperates and have no knowledge of the amplifiers that are available for the pi, or the required software.
My computer speakers are 35 (or thereabouts) years old and I run a pi into them via a chip amp and a switch-box.

The better versions of pi amplifier also implement a dac, iqaudio is also a well respected name. Volume control is either from software or the addition of a rotary encoder.

http://iqaudio.co.uk/hats/9-pi-digiamp.html

If you have a pair of headphone you can start with just the pi.

Volumio and Moode offer Spotify-Connect, playback of local files and radio station playback.

Logitech media server is another, and my favourite (piCorePlayer OS).

I have dabbled with an "all-in-one" from here

https://github.com/nicokaiser/rpi-audio-receiver

There is an installation blog here

https://makingstuffwork.net/technology/ ... pberry-pi/


I use logitech media server and have built a Spotify-connect installation from instructions on the web

This is a good one

https://github.com/dtcooper/raspotify

There is a bit of a learning curve with all these software installations, so a little patience and a lot of google is often the answer.

In fact, just google what you wish to do and see how many hits you get.

Hope this helps

ronnie

cappers
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:40 pm

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:27 pm

hi Ronnie,
great, lots of good advice, thanks for that. I misunderstood your question about location - opps, i'm in the UK.
However, I'm not so sure about buying an amplifier, I want to keep this quite small, so need to identify the right DAC/Amp combo that fits onto the Pi. Not sure if asnyone else has any suggestions on that front?????
Maybe, as a first step i'll install some software and just use headphones, to test things out. Thanks for all the links, I need to check them out.
Volume control was something that crossed my mind as well, so thanks for the options there.

Cheers

Cappers

Man in a van
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:41 pm
Location: Staffordshire, UK.

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:51 am

Hey Cappers

Look (and maybe ask) on the pink fish media forum and the wigwam forum.

These also have DIY sections which might provide info.

Also slimdevices forum for LMS (including threads on home built stuff).

iQaudio is UK based and Gordon is very helpful (an email might elicit advice).

ronnie

LTolledo
Posts: 1942
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:29 am
Location: Anime Heartland

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:30 pm

My DAC-Amp setups
DAC-Amps are from Suptronics
RPi1B-X400v2 GPIO not covered.jpg
RPi1B-X400v2 GPIO not covered.jpg (226.83 KiB) Viewed 333 times
used as Volumio player
powered by single 12v 2.0A PSU
directly connected to speakers
headless
RPiDesktopSetups.jpg
RPiDesktopSetups.jpg (195.4 KiB) Viewed 333 times
my RPi Desktop setups
foreground is RPi4B-4G with Suptronics X400 v3.0
at the back is RPi3B+ also with Suptronics X400 v3.0
directly connected to speakers
also outputting signal to my VU meters (via RCA connection)
powered by 12v 2.0A PSU

Also have iQaudio DiGi-Amp+, but have not deployed it yet.

another good contender might be the JustBoom Amp pHAT for Zero, but have not acquired it yet

do stay far far away from WM8960 based DAC-Amps as those are actually not fully supported.
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

ears of tin
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:08 pm

Re: Spotify streaming and DAC, Amp advice

Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:15 pm

The Hifiberry Amp2 does contain a DAC. From their website:

""If the software you’re using doesn’t provide the Amp2 as an output option, you should use the HiFiBerry DAC+ driver as the Amp2 is basically a DAC+ with an integrated power stage."

I use an Amp2 in one of my servers and a DAC+ in another setup that connects to a traditional av receiver.

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