RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

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RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby Ahtunowhiho » 18 Oct 2014, 13:13

Hello everyone,

we (some friends from and near Wien, Österreich) have our little project up and running, and finally everything is like it should be, thanks to RuneAudio 0.3 alpha. :-)

There was only one problem with playing Flac-files, instead of using the Hifiberry-I2S-module we had to use the module snd-soc-pcm1794a, as with the DDDAC1794-NOS the output is mono when playing FLAC-audio-files with our special setup.
It consists of a RaspberryPi-Model-B connected through I²S with a DIYINHK-isolator (for isolation of the I²S-signal between Raspberry and DAC) , which is wired to the DDDAC1794-NOS, designed by Doede Douma (http://www.dddac.com/dddac1794.html), using RuneAudio to play our files (Flacs up to 24bit/192kHZ, Mp3s...).


Here are som pics, for wireless-control there is an Edimax-EW-7811Un-wireless-adapter in one USB-port, the other is used for the external-hdd containing the music-files.
The aluminium-case is from ebay, it was used in East Germany in the 'Abteilung für Rationalisierungsmittelbau' long time ago, but perfect for our needs. :-)

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The sound really is unbelievable most of the times, of course depending on the input-file, you can't enhance a bad sound-production/mastering.
But when the input is good the output is awesome, mostly equal or beating the vinyl (of course there also remains the question of origin/production), but this leads to constant discussions between us, one favoring vinyl, the other digital. Let's take the best of both worlds. :-)

So many thanks to the creators of RuneAudio, in our opinion it's the best software for Rpi-Audio right now!
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby ACX » 18 Oct 2014, 15:25

I'm happy you like our work :)
And thumbs up for the DDR enclosure and the Mundorf jewelry!

I read good opinions about the DDDAC around, could you compare it with something else you previously used?
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby Chanh » 18 Oct 2014, 23:39

I post this at Diy-forum when I first leant of RuneAudio with great appreciation. Currently using the Pi without Isolator via Hiberry and it sounds fantastic! I think due to the excellent outcome, many could not help it but getting little impatient for the beta version to come out! :D :D
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby ACX » 19 Oct 2014, 00:46

Chanh wrote:I post this at Diy-forum when I first leant of RuneAudio with great appreciation.

How to forget that :D

I'm moving this thread in the DIY section, as it's more appropriate.
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby Chanh » 20 Oct 2014, 04:11

Hi Rune-team,

Currently enjoying RuneAudio 0.3-alpha via Raspberry Pi, and could not go back to my optimised dual PC setup with JPlay. In anticipation for the Beta version to be released, I am currently pulling together a front-end setup using BBB with Acko SuperCape (similar to the Botic Cape but also has UPS and I2S/DSD switching capabilities) I2S output to Acko S03 I2S isolated and re-reclocking to NDK 45/49.xxMhz to my DDDAC. BBB RuneAudio beta will collaborate my setup into an endgame analog-alike setup!

In appreciation from RuneAudio, I would love to assist where's can, however, given my incompetency with Linux..., could be a bit of wasting your/team time. Hence a donation is made! ;)

Many thanks again for the team effort(s)! May the birth of this long awaited beta soon be released into the Rune-fanatics' life!

Warm Regards,
Chanh
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby ACX » 20 Oct 2014, 04:27

Chanh wrote:Currently enjoying RuneAudio 0.3-alpha via Raspberry Pi, and could not go back to my optimised dual PC setup with JPlay

Ohhh these are the comments I like to read :)

Chanh wrote:I am currently pulling together a front-end setup using BBB with Acko SuperCape (similar to the Botic Cape but also has UPS and I2S/DSD switching capabilities) I2S output to Acko S03 I2S isolated and re-reclocking to NDK 45/49.xxMhz to my DDDAC

A link to this board please?

Chanh wrote:In appreciation from RuneAudio, I would love to assist where's can, however, given my incompetency with Linux..., could be a bit of wasting your/team time. Hence a donation is made! ;)

Just received, thank you very much for your support!
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby Chanh » 20 Oct 2014, 13:21

ACX wrote:
Chanh wrote:I am currently pulling together a front-end setup using BBB with Acko SuperCape (similar to the Botic Cape but also has UPS and I2S/DSD switching capabilities) I2S output to Acko S03 I2S isolated and re-reclocking to NDK 45/49.xxMhz to my DDDAC

A link to this board please?
Hi Andrea,
Still await for my S03 board from Acko. The SuperCap is also a working progress at Acko house, anticipate early December 2014 according to Acko himself!
Link to Acko S03 thread at diyhttp://www.diyaudio.com/forums/group-buys/227502-amanero-isolator-reclocker-gb-109.html#post3977819

Will post photos when I get S03 in 2 weeks, hopefully there be some progress made with RuneAudio beta version? :D 8-) 8-)

Best,
Chanh
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby nautibuoy » 25 Oct 2014, 11:25

I also have an Acko DAC SO3 isolator/reclocker board on order except that I plan to use it with a Beaglebone Black; this will represent a step up from the RPi, (limited as it is by its single 'nothing special' clock), as the SO3 has two high quality clocks (one for 44.1 KHz data family and another for 48KHz data family) that can be fed into the BBB thus keeping data at its native sampling rate. The BBB will need to run the miero driver;

http://bbb.ieero.com/

to function and I'm excited to see that Rune plans to include this in the forthcoming V0.3 release for the BBB.

BTW, my BBB/SO3 combination will be feeding a Twisted Pear Buffalo 3SE DAC, which utilises the top drawer ES9018 dac chip in a high quality implementation. I'm expecting good things.

Ray
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby Ahtunowhiho » 25 Oct 2014, 14:50

ACX wrote:I'm happy you like our work :)
And thumbs up for the DDR enclosure and the Mundorf jewelry!

I read good opinions about the DDDAC around, could you compare it with something else you previously used?



We did some listening tests of course, but the intensive 'testing' is yet to come, one of us (not me) is seriously upgrading his audio equipment. :-)


Until now we compared the DDDAC1794-NOS with three other DACs:

RPI with Hifiberry and Wolfson (both I²S), RPI + Pro-Ject DAC Box USB, the latter obviously connected with USB.

Apart from that we compared it to a Sony X333ES CD-player and a Dual-704 record player (Shure V15/III cartridge).

Amplifier: Yamaha CX-630 + MX-630, Speakers: Infinity Reference 61 MkII



DDDAC vs Hifiberry: both have similar warmth but then you will notice more detail and compactness with the DDDAC, you can locate the various instruments better.
Both have good spatial sound stage, the DDDAC sounding clearer and more dynamic overall. There is one characteristic of the DDDAC that I would describe like an 'analog fluidity' in comparison, you have to hear it, it is not a spectacular attribute and it depends on the music style of course. You don't need this for Techno or Metal (which I heard a lot). :-)
But I think it's the most important attribute though, and you don't have that with the Hifiberry, nevertheless we were surprised how good the Hifiberry held up.

DDDAC vs Wolfson vs Project: the difference is much more obvious there, both sounding thinner and less compact, we were missing the warmth of the DDDAC and Hifiberry too, also the old 'curtain-pulled-away'-buzzword can be applied here more than with the Hifiberry.

Nevertheless: Wolfson and Project still are good DACs, the criticism is on a high level, I lived with the Project for years without complaint.

When you listen to 192kHz and other higher sampling rates there is only one winner (nevertheless it depends on a good production, if you get a bad one 192kHz won't help as we experienced with the vinyl/digital comparison, as you can read below).


DDDAC vs. Sony X333ES CD: the Sony has a very good and dynamic sound (it's from 1993) but it is lacking definition and detail, it sounds blurry in comparison to the DDDAC.
But again, normally you wouldn't complain.


DDDAC vs. Vinyl: this was the most interesting challenge for sure with the additional difficulty in finding similar or identical productions (on the issue: http://dr.loudness-war.info/ ).

So here are some examples we compared, ranging from 16bit/44,1kHz to 24bit/192kHz.


1) Fleetwood Mac – Rumours vs 24bit/88,2kHz: digital is ahead, much clearer, more dynamic, vinyl sounds dull in comparison. (I must say the vinyl seems to be worn out and played too often, I got it from a friend).

2) Michael Jackson – Thriller: we had different CDs (16bit/44,1kHz) ripped and played with DDDAC, at first vinyl was ahead, then we found a mastering which beat the vinyl clearly in every department.

3) The Police – Every Breath You Take (Best-of-Compilation): this was rather astonishing....after fixing a problem with the rotation speed of the Dual 704 we listened to the record to see if it's alright. Then we were blown away by the unbelievable sound of this record, very good production obviously (I heard the vinyl for the first time this day).
Later we compared it to 24bit/88,2kHz – vinyl won. About a week later I put it on again and compared it to a different 16bit/44,1kHz mastering....and the DDDAC was ahead, I couldn't believe it, but there it was.

4) DiMeola/McLaughlin/DeLucia-Friday Night in San Francisco, live: we compared it to 176kHz, 88,2kHz, 44,1kHz....vinyl won every time. It feels more alive and vibrant, the digital is sounding a bit dry in comparison, but nevertheless perfect. Hard to explain with words.

5) Boston – Third Stage: This was close....both sounding very good. The DDDAC though has more power, more bass (as always). But also the highs are very clear and sounding similar to vinyl. But interestingly the digital sounds more open and spatial overall.

6) Chris Isaak – Wicked Game (Best-of-Compilation): for a long time this was my favorite record to impress people with, show them the quality of vinyl and Dual 704, I never thought digital could come close. But it does, 16bit/44,1kHz and it sounds better overall, more dynamic, more open, the highs are pretty much identical. Still the record sounds very very good of course.

7) ZZ Top-Eliminator: we compared it to 192kHz....vinyl record also sounding very good, DDDAC sounds better in every department, more powerful, more dynamic, better sound stage.

–-

So in the end the DDDAC beats them all (with one exception- the vinyl-live-concert), but the winner with the best price/value ratio is the RPI+Hifiberry for sure, you can do nothing wrong with this combination (sounding like a salesman :-) ), the costs for our DIY-DDDAC (with DDR-enclosure for 30.- Euros and RPI included) are 450.- Euros approximately, worth every cent of course. If you do less or almost no soldering you can double the costs.

One thing is for sure, if you have no DAC and use your old record player this is no bad solution at all, but of course that's not what you are here for. :-) :-)

We were also surprised of the overall sound quality bearing in mind that the rest of the audio equipment is pretty good but surely no high end.
In the next days we will compare that to a much better equipment as stated above and of course we look forward to that, someone has to do the hard work. :-)


And as you like the DDR-enclosure so much....here are more pics with it's new shiny red painting.
In the beginning everything was grey like the one side (now the front) we left because of the inscription reminding of an old era never to come again. :-)

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Ahtunowhiho
 
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Re: RuneAudio with RaspberryPI and DDDAC1794-NOS

Postby Chanh » 26 Oct 2014, 11:38

Great Post! Very informative there.
Simply justified my DDDAC direction where I spent a small fortune to further enhance the design to a more analog/vinyl alike experience. If my ears and mind weren't playing tricks, I think I have found it! :D

For those haven't heard one, you must have a practical listening experience in order to believe, this kind of thing is very difficult to convey without practical listenning experience.

For those are looking into acquire one, highly recommending you to wait for DSD from Doede. I think he is about to come out a more update technology, DSD DAC is on the horizon.

Best,
Chanh
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