Confused about how to improve my audio system!

Radu, other projects have intervened, and I haven’t gotten there yet.

My old Mac Mini running Ubuntu was also running its fan almost endlessly, so I ordered a CanaKit replacement Raspberry Pi 3 B+ kit. All in one: board, case, power supply, heat sinks. $55. You need an 8GB MicroSD card, too. This morning I downloaded Etcher and RoPieee, flashed RoPieee to the card with Etcher (trivial, couldn’t be simpler), assembled the board into the case (trivial; 2 minutes), put the heatsinks on the board (a small tweezers came in handy), slid the card into the SD card slot at the bottom of the case, plugged the case into Ethernet and power, waited 5 minutes for the autoconfig, logged into the build-in web server and configured the timezone and name, plugged in my Liberty DAC, went to the Roon Remote, which saw it fine, and enabled it. Now playing Mozart through it with full MQA “authentication”. So $60 for a Roon USB endpoint.

Shout out to @spockfish for making the software side of this so painless!

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That was a brief honeymoon. Combining the Liberty DAC with the USB port of the RoPieee box seems to have done something bad. It will play for two or three songs, then the DAC goes into some error mode and has to be power-cycled to get it to work again. Back to the Mac Mini as endpoint.

Update: Apparently this is some kind of Roon/RoonBridge bug with XMOS chipsets and Linux:

I suspect it is a Linux/XMOS bug that Roon brings to light.

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The Mac Mini is also running Linux, and it works fine with this DAC.

7 posts were split to a new topic: Apple MacOS Lineage

Does the Mac Mini use XMOS USB?

I thought it was the DAC that was using the XMOS chipset? So, same DAC, same XMOS chipset in it.

In any case, the Mac Mini (Macmini4,1) seems to have NVIDIA chips:

    $ lspci -v | grep USB
    00:04.0 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 OHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev a1) (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
    	Subsystem: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 OHCI USB 1.1 Controller
    00:04.1 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 EHCI USB 2.0 Controller (rev a2) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
    	Subsystem: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 EHCI USB 2.0 Controller
    00:06.0 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 OHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev a1) (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
    	Subsystem: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 OHCI USB 1.1 Controller
    00:06.1 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 EHCI USB 2.0 Controller (rev a2) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
    	Subsystem: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 EHCI USB 2.0 Controller
    $

Roon isn’t running on the DAC.

New data point: when switch the Pi back in, unplug the Ethernet cable and let WiFi do the streaming from the Core to the endpoint, things seem to work OK. So I"m taking the noisy fan Mac Mini out again and going with the RoPieee box.

So did you turn off upsampling now?

Yes, and I set the resync delay back to 0.

Managed to track down the service manual for my receiver. Looks like a TI PCM1754 DAC chip is used, just like the Hegel H80. However, right now I’m just running it in “pure audio” mode, feeding it analog output from my Liberty DAC, and it sounds very good. Very very good. I’m listening to live performances, and can make out what the customers at the tables in the venue are saying.

Oh, good lord, I may be an audiophile! Damn. Or at least a hobbyist…

I have my perfectly good Onkyo TX-8050 working away as more or less a pure power amp plus volume control, with a Mytek Liberty handling the bits-to-analog conversion. But I found Archimago’s nCore power amp so nifty I ordered the parts and they’re arrived! And Massdrop had the Topping D50s for $185, so I’ve ordered that to use as DAC/preamp! To replace a perfectly good working system! Woe is me!

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Ah, fixing things that aren’t broken. A prime symptom.

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Don’t forget to upgrade those ordinary cables, get cashmere covered interconnects, hand knitted by ninja nuns.

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A lovely area to live, aside the Kettle Moraine. Great golf course nearby too (Naga-Waukee)!

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https://www.dynakitparts.com/

I cancelled the D50s, and went with the D70 instead. Balanced XLR outputs, extra RCA outputs for a subwoofer, built-in power supply.

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How are you getting on with the nCore power amp?