Hi! I've stumbled upon many discussions where it has been argued that there is a difference what USB output is used. I've heard Raspberry Pi has a bad implementation (the first one), etc. I'm planning to use RuneAudio with a High End integrated amplifier (Hegel H360), and was wondering if there is a difference of which of the certified devices I buy. Should I stay clear of some, or are some "better"? It will be connected to the integrated amp using USB (only). Thanks for any guidance!
It depends... some people defend USB tooth and nail, but yes, USB on the Rpi is supposed to be limited... and all Rpis are the same in that regard.
Hegels have some patents related to a very high quality Coax input (such as in their H80 for exemple) you could just use an addon board to the Raspberry Pi such as the Hiffiberry Digi to get a nice Coax output from the Pi. (or Optical if you prefer). Those boards use the I²S output from the Pi to create a regulated SPDIF output and should sound very well with your Coax SPDIF input on your Hegel.
Question, though: H360 is supposed to be a nice DLNA streamer itself. Why add a second streamer as input to it ?
The steps I would follow: - Test the streaming function of your Hegel - If dissatisfied, test RuneAudio on a Raspberry Pi with USB input - If dissatisfied test RuneAudio + a I²S board with Coax or Optical output to your Hegel
-- Aquarius Hifi Gear: RuneAudio/Volumio on Raspberry Pi B + Hifibery Digi, Atoll ST200 (network streamer, DAC, pre-amp), Emotiva XPA-2, Bowers & Wilkins 683
Thank you for the guidance and sorry for my late response (been quite busy)!
I've been testing DNLA a bit it seems to work just fine, but it's always nice to have more than one way to play music. A Raspberry Pi 2 with RuneAudio is a fairly cheap addition to DNLA. The only thing I am not too happy with is the apps for DNLA, they seem a little clunky (using Android), maybe RuneAudio is better there? The tests I have done with DNLA, USB, Coax and Toslink so far does not seem to make much of a difference. So unless I buy a device with terrible output (USB or whatever) I think it will be fine.
I've had great results with a Pi 2 with Rune Audio. I feed my Audiolab M-DAC via USB and it works fine as an interface. I use a good Quad power amp and Quad electrostatic loudspeakers so if there was an issue I'd hear it.
I have a HifiBerry digi+ board on my Pi and have experiemented with optical, coax and USB input from the Pi into the M-DAC - there is no audible difference when I switch inputs half way through a track. However, in conversation with John Westlake, designer of the M-DAC, he advises that the best quality input from the Pi would be the USB connection.
It sounds like your H360 is doing what you need but the Pi is a wonderfully cheap way to experiment if you want to have some fun. With good quality FLAC recordings, it really doesn't let itself down in my system. Lastly, I ran my Pi head-to-head in a blind test against an Auralic Aries Mini recently and the Aries owner and myself could hear a very clear difference between the two sources (like being outside the room where the sound was coming from, then inside it). We were both surprised when we lifted the cover over the DAC to see that the better input was the Pi.
I hope this helps.
Last edited by Discovery on 31 Mar 2016, 10:29, edited 1 time in total.
I was wondering if usb connections in itself will make a change to the audio files. I ' m planning to use a pi together with a hypex dsp. This dsp has usb audio in. So I thought that the most clean way to hook up my system is usb to the dsp. Unless the usb output of the pi also compresses the audio, no matter what the file type is Any thoughts?