PecanPi -- Raspberry Pi DAC and Streamer

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #90

Two ways to look at it.

  1. SW volume control increases processor usage which means more heat, and therefore an increase in thermal noise.

  2. Depending on how the SW volume contol is implemented the HW one will have higher accuracy.

My guess is that with most of the specialized audio software #2 is no longer an issue these days as there is plenty of processing power available to implement volume control accurately.

(Danny Dulai) #91

No – you can not provide a copy of the Roon Bridge software at all.

You can download it on first run, or upon clicking something by the user, but no one can not take our binaries (or archive of binaries) and copy them for others.

Ropiee, DietPi, and Volumio solve this using one of the 2 method mentioned above.

The fact that you are charging $100 for this “service” only makes it more egregious.

(Ged) #92

They have changed now the community has shown them how to ship a build WITHOUT roon that then auto builds. @Slim_Fishguttz did the business I think.

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #93

I am not charging for it and I am not shipping anything with Roon binaries, they are downloaded and installed automatically when user first turns on the device.

(Jan) #95

I’d love to get my hands on one. if it weren’t for tax and custom charges to Europe and the expensive :heavy_dollar_sign: :confused:

(Steve Mato) #96

This is absurd! What about the (next generation to ApplePi) DAC?! The whole is a turn-key super high quality network streaming device with quality digital volume, that yes is built ontop of a RPi. But it is not just a RPi in a case! Saying so is simply trying to be obtuse and argumentative.

I think for non DIY’ers, this is great bang for the buck. The man has the right to make a living on the very excellent DAC that he produces in any way the market will embrace. And I think it should and will embrace it.

(Douglas Gunn) #97

I agree with Steve above . . .

I’m not sure if I missed something here but the tone directed towards Leo at Orchard has, as times, appeared a bit frosty.

If you don’t like or want his product (or his goal of making it plug and play) that’s cool - move along.

Yes, it is quite an expensive Pi DAC but, in the general world of DACs in which it is to compete, (hopefully well) it is realistic!

If you compare the price to the highly praised Allo Digione Sig (which does less!) it isn’t a crazy at all.

I have a headphone setup using an Allo Piano DAC that is just crying out for a better Pi DAC that can feed my Schitt Jotunhein with a balanced connection - the PecanPi is looks pretty unique in this! So I’m watching with enthusiasm . . .



I think that mentally RaspberryPi is synonymous with “DIY” and “cheap”. The expensive streamers out there aren’t using a supercomputer. The Pi - like the Arduino - are perfectly capable for particular applications.

It is the same argument as the Nucleus. Folks will say “but I know how much a NUC is. That’s crazy” while others will find the price great value. For those who don’t the counter argument is “go make your own”.

I’ve got a Naim Uniti Atom and think it’s great. It’s also £2000. Open it up and there is probably less than a Pi in there. USB? Nope. HDMI? Nope. The unit cost of their processor to them is probably less than £35.

I’ve also prototyped telemetry systems in racecars using Arduinos. Come to fabrication and all the stuff that makes an Arduino easy to program gets left off. You pretty much have a microcontroller and a clock source (plus some capacitors). But if someone looked under the hood and saw an over engineered Arduino they’d say “DIY”. Open it up and see less than an Arduino on a PCB and it now is good value.

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #99

For those who may be interested I am working with Asus to get the PecanPi DAC supported on the Tinkerboard.

We are very close and I expect full support before the product ships.

(R. Neal) #100

Dropping in to apologize for my previous skepticism and snark. I suppose I can see the point of providing a fully assembled and tested solution, with support, for a premium, targeted to customers who don’t have the time or the inclination to DIY. I would also never begrudge or discourage a young entrepreneur, having been one myself in a past life.


I’ve decided to preorder one. It actually packs a heck of a lot of kit in it (including headphone output). Looking at Leo’s background in design I’m pretty optimistic. Plus it’s good to see folks having the guts to get out there and do something.

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #102

First review / writeup on the PecanPi:

Some quotes from the writeup:

“I know very well how the SBT and AudioEngine 5+ powered speakers sound, but even as I was being somewhat distracted by enabling this new RPi endpoint in Roon, my focus was immediately drawn to the music when I started up Jean Michel Jarre’s latest “Equinoxe Infinity” (via Tidal). It’s a new reference recording, and I immediately noticed a significant sound quality improvement. Granted the SBT is probably a better streamer than DAC, but holy cow! The stereo imaging on Flying Totems (Movement 2) was outstanding, and the bass much, much tighter. Everything was just better.”

“Thebass is huge and the imaging is precise. Way better than Ithought possible. I even forgot about wanting to add a subwoofer. My wife even commented on how great it sounded and wants me to now set up something at her office. What just happened?!?”

(Derek) #103

PecanPi looks very interesting for ‘Bang Per Buck’. The proposed SNR dB numbers are high- end performance figures. That does not mean to say the PecanPi will be musical, that is to be heard; yet it’s a benchmark to take note off and for Orchard Audio to deliver. I watch their development with interest.

Why? I have been amazed now good a Pi based interface can be as a roon endpoint and the steps to provide a clean & clear audio signal. I am using 2 RPi roon streaming configs that outpoured IMHO 2 premium brand streamers supplying 2 premium DACs. Also, the RPi3 USB noise levels are not as bad as perceived in the Pi community in terms of audio SQ. Plus the recent introductions of quality ‘USB Audio Digital Interfaces’ have shown that a good audio output from USB is reality.

What is clear is that digital audio is up for disruption in terms of ‘Bang Per Buck’ and providing volume solutions to a mass market. Companies like Orchard Audio and Allo are in there….! I remember in 2016 the $1,500 Bryson BDP-π, based on a Pi and HiFiBerry as a streamer/digital player. This pe-ced (pun intended) my interest as a serial upgrader looking for real value for money tweaks and improvement’s, Pi and roon based are right up there in my interest!

I wish you well Leo as an audio disrupter.


My frame of reference for this was the Bryson and the Allo Katana. In relation to those the price is very reasonable. I’m looking forward to getting to try it out. Certainly on paper it looks good and I’ve only heard good things from folks who had the ApplePi.

(Tony Reimann) #105

@Orchard_Audio Can a ribbon cable be routed out of the case to connect a touch screen?

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #106

Yes. You will just need to get one that is long enough.

(Steve Mato) #107

That is one heck of a write up of both of your products. I’m very happy Frans decided to not scrap everything just written (as mentioned in Part 2) covering the evolution with the ApplePi DAC with and without the screen option, and took the path taken, as a Part 1 then 2. Great write up for a couple of great products.

(Jan) #108

This is exactly the type of streamer/dac I am looking for to use in my living room and for listening to headphones in my favourite chair.

  1. What about the headphone amp qualities?

  2. And driving high sensitivity in-ear monitors? have a JH Audio 13 Pro’s with input sensitivity 119dB @ 1mW.

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #109

The RCA outputs double as a headphone amplifier, you will need an adapter cable, see my website for pictures.

All specifications on the the RCA output also pertain to the headphone amplifier. So headphone amplifier also has very high performance.

The JH Audio 13 headphones have an impedance of 28ohm, the PecanPi can drive all the way down to 16 ohm with no issues.

With that very high sensitivity you will probably have to listen at lower volumes. The built in HW volume control goes from 0dB to -80dB in 0.5dB steps.

At 0dB the power into 28 ohm will be 225mWrms, or 450mWpeak.

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #110

I realized that you can use the PecanPi DAC or Streamer to bi-amp speakers because the XLR and RCA outputs can be used at the same time.