Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby skypickle » Fri Dec 30 2016 21:27

phalanger wrote:...
The following graph is telling, comparing the signal phase noise (result of jitter) of various setups. As can be seen, standard i2s solutions on the RPi, even with a low jitter Sabre DAC, perform significantly worse than a basic cd player, while the USB interface shows more potential.

Image
...

thank you for posting that image but I do not completely understand what the hardware underlies each graph
RPi I2S + ES9023 DAC
BBB I2S + ESS9023
USB-I2S-2+ ESS9023
USB-I2S-1+ESS9023

and what is the difference between USB-I2S-2+ ESS9023 and USB-I2S-1+ESS9023?
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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby allo » Fri Dec 30 2016 22:29

None..they share the same databus
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Re: Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby santanacorreia » Sun Jan 01 2017 16:31

mictester wrote:We're talking £25 devices here guys - they will never match a £10k Linn streamer, but for the small investment it'll sound much much better than a USB DAC and make you smile knowing that you can spend the remainder of the £10k on content, nice wine and holidays.

You're partially right - with a reasonable DAC (not necessarily a laboratory-quality one) and I²S connection, it's indistinguishable fron a £10k Linn with most source material! Anyone who tells you anything else is just deluded (and desperately trying to justify his squandered £9,950!). The limiting issues are the housing of the DAC - it should be screened to prevent the analogue end of it picking up noise - and the power supply - don't dream of using any kind of SMPSU for your DAC!

Just for fun, I recently A - B blind tested a Raspberry Pi / 9023 DAC (homebrew) against a £4k streamer (I won't embarrass the manufacturer) and no audiophile, record producer, engineer or musician who tried the test could tell one from the other. This conclusively proves two things:

1. The manufacturers of high-end, high-priced hi-fi are full of BS and they're just selling a "brand name" rather than anything particularly clever or well-made

2. The Raspberry Pi is a wonderful little device (if a little under-powered in these days of 4GHz processors)!

Hi mictester,

What do you mean exactly by homebrew?
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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby DilanRoster » Wed Jan 11 2017 11:03

I think these limitations can make sound worse, nevertheless, thanks for sharing!
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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby alpuy » Wed Jan 18 2017 14:41

I saw that there were problems with the jitter and the 24 bits that can be solved with an external USB DAC.

Will i have any problem if i use a rpi shield with an optical output and connect it to the optical input of an integrated amplifier (Marantz 6005)? Does the jitter/24 bits problem still occur or as it is all digital, there is no problem?

Thanks
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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby sangchodecuba » Sun Feb 12 2017 21:54

Well for me any Raspberry Pi I2S DAC sound the same! so I just want to go for a cheap option for the Zero as I want to build a bunch of internet Radio on the cheap.
I've seen this one on on amazon UK 9£ (with tax and shipment) with shipment is it any good? or any cheaper options?

http://www.raspiaudio.com
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audio-shield-for-Raspberry-PI/dp/B00MDW602K?SubscriptionId=0ENGV10E9K9QDNSJ5C82&tag=&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00MDW602K


thanks
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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby michelangelo » Sun Feb 12 2017 22:00

1- The PI indeed can output 24-bit sound via I2S
2- Yes, I2S is a jitter-prone interface. That's why Reclockers such as the Kali are so effective in improving sound quality on Rasperry PI.
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Re: Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby santanacorreia » Mon Feb 13 2017 13:08

michelangelo wrote:1- The PI indeed can output 24-bit sound via I2S
2- Yes, I2S is a jitter-prone interface. That's why Reclockers such as the Kali are so effective in improving sound quality on Rasperry PI.

Aren t there DACs for the Pi that include a reclocker?
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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby michelangelo » Mon Feb 13 2017 14:36

No, I2S DACs normally include a clock (which can be of different quality).
Allo is about to release a new DAC that will include a really good clock (a little less precise than Kali, but they are nuances).
Reclockers are meant to be separate devices
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Sound quality limitations of Raspberry Pi + I2S DACs

Postby sangchodecuba » Thu Feb 16 2017 05:34

An update, I received yeserday the yellow RaspiAudio dac http://www.raspiaudio.com for my Raspberry Pi Zero, it arrived via Amazon in a small minimalist zip bag.
it is working well, sound is loud and clear (I tested with a flac file), easy install and cheap (I paid 9£ with tax and shipment).
I guess there are more complex Dac out there but if you need cheap and small I can recommand it.
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