BornToLag
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:33 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:51 pm

I plan to get a USB Audio Class 2 driver running on the Pi and connect it to a high quality sound card with stereo in/out and S/PDIF out at 192 kHz:

http://www.xmos.com/products/d...../usbaudio2

The sound card has it's own low jitter audio master clock and Cirrus Logic codec that should sound much better than the on board Pi audio.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who is working on network music streaming or mass storage projects that require great sound quality!

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grumpyoldgit
Posts: 1452
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Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:14 am

So, you're going to attach a $149 sound card to a $25 computer!

BornToLag
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:33 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:21 am

Grumpyoldgit said:


So, you're going to attach a $149 sound card to a $25 computer!


Yes! A ~$175 solution for this sort of functionality, sound quality and size is very good value compared to similar devices out there.

Plus, it's more fun

Cylon
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:02 am
Location: Peterborough

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:26 am

I would suggest looking and broaden your choice.

http://alsa-project.org/main/i.....atrix:Main

This site has a good start for usb compatabitility, ok its maybe not ideal, but i have been using usb and other audio devices for music production for a long time. Even a second hand ESI or MAUDIO would be great in my opinion.

This also relies on the particular device having the distro of choice drivers sorted.

berry_germany
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:18 pm

Hi,

I also want to have a tiny high quality audio HTPC (about 230x170x40 [mm]). The idea is to have dvd, maybe a blu ray drive, hdd and a dac in one small case. All components are connected via USB -> i'll need an active USB hub.

@BornToLag
There are easier ways to get an audiophile Raspberrypi in my opinion. A few months ago i wanted to combine a dac with a small VIA Pico board, but they are expensive and XBMC is not available. I was searching a lot of time to get the "perfect" DAC for those small motherboards.

In the end i stopped at HRT Streamer II and the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, both are great DACs for PC useres, because of their asynchron usb mode (clock on the dac -> no jitter). I don't need an coaxial or toshlink input so I'm going to buy a HRT Streamer II in the near future

berry_germany
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:18 pm

If you want 5.1 Sound, DTS, S/PDIF etc. there is one "cheap" option – Musiland Monitor 03. But I don"t know anything about drivers and qualitiy of that little chinese box

cloudsloth
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:59 pm

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/e.....pter-48213

Dealextreme seems to have a bunch of USB sound cards for $17 that have 16bit, 48khz, SPDIF, Mic, and 5.1 surround. One of them has a review saying the 5.1 only works on the analog connectors, but this one sounds like it might work on the optical.

Anyone think this represents a significant improvement for the price over what the pi comes with?

berry_germany
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:21 am

@cloudsloth

Hmm difficult to say – but i would say there are no big improvements

1.This box has no asynchron usb

2.Sampling rate is for HD audio to low (48 KHz). For stereo HD audio you"ll need at least  96 KHz (like most of the SACDs)

3.There are no details about the DAC

But this is all theoretical -  to notice any difference between the onboard sound and a good/maybe expensive USB soundcard you need some good speakers. I'm only searching for a good stereo solution – what are you looking for 5.1 or 2.0?

PaulTech
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:21 am

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:00 am

berry_germany said:


@cloudsloth

Hmm difficult to say – but i would say there are no big improvements

1.This box has no asynchron usb

2.Sampling rate is for HD audio to low (48 KHz). For stereo HD audio you"ll need at least  96 KHz (like most of the SACDs)

3.There are no details about the DAC

But this is all theoretical -  to notice any difference between the onboard sound and a good/maybe expensive USB soundcard you need some good speakers. I"m only searching for a good stereo solution – what are you looking for 5.1 or 2.0?

Thanks for the post, I'll investigate using a R-Pi as an SDR, the 192KHz a real bonus.

TechColab
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:27 am

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:08 pm

BornToLag said:


Grumpyoldgit said:


So, you're going to attach a $149 sound card to a $25 computer!


Yes! A ~$175 solution for this sort of functionality, sound quality and size is very good value compared to similar devices out there.

Plus, it's more fun



But a USB sound card like that has a CPU like a RPi already inside it.  The beauty of the RPi is that it can be a pre-built wrapper around whatever chip does what you actually need.  Like this http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/.....c/7165817/ for about $12  or this http://www.wolfsonmicro.com/products/dacs/WM8721/ which was in the original iPod.

R1ck
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:46 am

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:59 am

TechColab I think you are lucky...you still not infected by audiophilist virus

I think I would be a lot nicer to get the I2S connection back ( much better than usb for audio) and connect the raspi to something like this:

http://www.twistedpearaudio.co.....ffalo.aspx

TechColab
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:27 am

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:40 pm

R1ck said:


TechColab I think you are lucky...you still not infected by audiophilist virus

I think I would be a lot nicer to get the I2S connection back ( much better than usb for audio) and connect the raspi to something like this:

http://www.twistedpearaudio.co.....ffalo.aspx



That uses a DAC from the same Wolfson range.  After a bit more looking, I'd go for the wm8741geds & wm8786geds combination for under £15 from Farnell.  Don't be put off by the price of the raw chips - these are used in many high-end systems.

Chii
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Contact: Website

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:01 pm

TechColab / R1ck has it right. wm8741geds is the way to go, and for those with less cash wm8740 is pin compatible and slightly down on performace (still aroung the 120db range).

My gut says that if we can get the i2s working a pair of wm8741geds in dif mode will give us better quality than the usb because we can bypass the USB all together and if sensible use a PFM Flea for the clock to bring the jitter down. I have the parts on order already including a Pi, Flea and the dacs so if any one is interested in this aproch let me know. I am also looking at an audiofile PSU for the Dacs,Pi and Flea.

To my knowlage there are very fiew 24/96 usb recever chips with Tenor's TE7022 being one of the fiew.

berry_germany
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:36 pm

I2S will not sound better than a asynchronous USB DAC. Asynchronous USB sets the PC into a slave device (PC isn't the word clock like in adaptive mode)-> via buffering the USB DAC has the control over the timing of the audio. So there are no jitter problems if you have an asynchronous USB DAC. The HRT Streamer and Wavelength DACs are all asynchronous USB DACs!

Read more @ http://www.computeraudiophile......dio-Primer

I don't think it's the best way to use the onboard I2S connection if you want a high quality device. Better use a USB DSP to transform the signal into I2S or S/PDIF like the

miniSTREAMER miniDSP connect the DSP to twisted pear audio's Buffalo DAC or to a Digelaty DAC 2010 (both use Sabre ES9018). The problem is you need at least one separate power supply.

I think the easiest way is to use a asynchronous USB DAC - to enhance the USB power supply you can implement with little soldering one of those Panasonic fm boards like this http://www.thel-audioworld.de/.....ng/STA.htm

R1ck
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:46 am

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:11 pm

You need galvanic insolation for usb also.

There are some pro dac awfully expensive that use I2S  http://www.msbtech.com/product.....atinumHome

it isn't necessarily the format that makes it better (although it seems to enjoy an inherent advantage), but it is the implementation of the format that makes all the difference.

Not all the asynchronous dac sounds better that the synchronous dac...

But this is a secondary stage. What is important is to get both connection to play with it!

berry_germany
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:47 pm

@R1ck

Thanks for adding the point (galvanic isolation) - thats right!

It's true that a DAC with asynchronous mode has not to be better than a dac in synchronous modus - but I think expensive DACs already have a good layout so the points to have better sounds are how are they connected, is there a good power supply and so on...

I think we are not talking about low cost DACs

There are many ways to get a good sound and it's easy to run most of the DACs and converters on Windows but we will have Linux on the raspberry. My solution should work with Openelec or another XBMC version.

What do you think is the best way in the 300€ range to connect the raspberry to a DAC?

LinuxGuru
Posts: 29
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Contact: Website

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:55 pm

Hi, folks! After all, anyone have connected RPi to any high-end DAC (Wolfson or Sabre) via I2S or USB?

DarioS
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:35 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:02 pm

berry_germany said:


In the end i stopped at HRT Streamer II and the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, both are great DACs for PC useres, because of their asynchron usb mode (clock on the dac -> no jitter). I don't need an coaxial or toshlink input so I'm going to buy a HRT Streamer II in the near future 


This is a path I will follow (with HRT Streamer). I think this is one of the best paths to go for someone interested in bit perfect audio. But I'm not sure if Raspi already have universal USB audio drivers available?

I would like to have setup similar to a project based on Alix AMD Geode motherboard running Voyage or Arch Linux and MPD daemon:

http://www.audiocircle.com/ind.....ic=62364.0

TechColab
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:27 am

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:26 am

berry_germany said:


I don't think it's the best way to use the onboard I2S connection if you want a high quality device. Better use a USB DSP to transform the signal into I2S or S/PDIF like the

All of the async USB devices take their data (at their own pace) from the USB host then pass through an I2S stage before conversion to either S/P-DIF or a DAC.  I.e. They are *ADDING* all of the USB overhead then the RPi has I2S right there (once the break-out pins are sorted).
Audio quality is still down to the choice of DAC chip and associated analogue circuitry so there souldn't be that much difference between comparable designs.
However, latency *WILL* be worse when going through a USB stage compared with going direct.  While this may not matter for some, it really matters for others.  And it would be far better to collaborate on 1 project that suits many users than several similar projects with sightly different goals.


borges
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Mon May 14, 2012 6:42 pm

Hi guys,

I'd like to welcome you all to the Audio Widget open source USB Audio project! Have a closer look at http://code.google.com/p/sdr-widget/

We're running an open source USB Device firmware on the Atmel AVR32 MCU. It handles USB Audio Class 1 & 2 under Linux, Mac and Windows. Firmware and schematics are open source. Even the Windows ASIO driver is open source.

My role is as a hardware guy. My web page has links to all aspects of the project and a little webshop. http://www.qnktc.com

Cheers,
Børge

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hannesie
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:40 am
Location: Netherlands Dordrecht

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:41 am

I have a RPI from the latest version, there are no resistors on the board where the first one had them.
I have tried to make a connection with the MiniDsp streamer with the Tenor TE7022 chip, but the screen is rolling and it stopped to react, no keyboard reaction.
I have tried it with the Squeezplug and squeezeslave and with the Wheezy distro, same reaction.

Are there better results with a other USB dac?

I like to connect it with a dac with the ESS Sabre 9016 and using the I2S connection.

unruh
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:03 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:13 pm

While it is undoubtedly better than the sound output from the Pi itself (although I have not tested it, and it could be far better than I fear), I also suspect that you are going way way overboard. It is virtually certain that you cannot hear the difference between 16bit 44100 output and 24bit 192000 output, but it is your money not mine. If you do buy it, try running a blind test between yours and say a $100 Maudio transit (unfortunately no longer being made) or a Behringer uca 202 ($30) .
Note that the noise level of electronics, and the distortion of loudspeakers completely swamps any even theoretical gains from the card.
I will try running a test on the sound output from the Pi when I get it set up.

philodox
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:47 pm

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:18 pm

Why not just get an M-Audio Transit for cheap, use it as an optical out from the Pi, and then buy or build yourself a nice DAC?

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hannesie
Posts: 8
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Location: Netherlands Dordrecht

Re: High quality USB 2.0 sound card (24 bit/192 kHz)

Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:21 am

If you go for the best?

It is possible to make it as a little network streamer with MPD, and build it in to the Dac, (Build my own.)

I have tried it with Raspify, very simple, and that was easy, the Amanero USB to I2S was found easy and played, only the USB port was not stable and now a will trie it with the Cubie board.
I like to play with MPD and than i can also play DSD files and with 24/192 it is no problem than.

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