Advice regarding upgrading from Pi 4 system

hermano

Active Member
Hey folks, thinking of upgrading from current Pi 4 system. I use Pi with LMS (via Max2play) via usb into dac. Sounds good, but itchy to see if can be improved upon at reasonable budget (up to around £600). Not looking to replace my dac, just server/player. Currently Pi4 works as both. I have 2 x hard drives attached. I did look at Bluesound but worry about track limitations.

Would prefer one box solution as opposed to Nas.

Any thoughts?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
There is a few opinions on this. 1s and 0s are just that. If you use the same dac and same res files you will get the same sound. Only usability will be effected
 

AgentOrange76

Active Member
I have a Pi4 that feeds USB into a Ifi Zen DAC. Its currently using Volumio with Amazon Music, Tidal and Radio Paradise supplied via Airplay (or hardwired via USB) from the source. This has been moved to my second system only becuase I needed a second streaming source and managed to procure a used Node 2i for roughtly the cost of another Rpi and DAC. I have played both options on both systems and can not determine any diference between the two options and that includes comparing Airplay on the Rpi to direct streaming on the Node 2i. Im sure someone will point out MQA and all other Hi res points but when hardwired my source could do above CD quality. Again i cant determine a diference.

Other than being able to stream direct rather than through a device (phone) and initial set up the node is no diferent than the Rpi.
 

Cebolla

Member
Other than being able to stream direct rather than through a device (phone) and initial set up the node is no diferent than the Rpi.

That makes sense, given that AirPlay uses lossless ALAC for streaming audio, though it is fixed at the CD-res of 16bit/44.1kHz, so will only be bit perfect if the source audio is also at CD-res (which is what you imply you are using it for, given your alternative "hardwired by USB" method for when you require hi-res).

Of course the Raspberry Pi can also relatively easily be used to stream direct (though Amazon Music is a notable exception) - it's just that you haven't set yours up for that purpose.
 

AgentOrange76

Active Member
I had tidal on free trial and the free option for Volumio so couldn’t go direct.
Before RPi I had connected an iPhone to the DAC via lightning to usb cable and streaming that way
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
Hey folks, thinking of upgrading from current Pi 4 system. I use Pi with LMS (via Max2play) via usb into dac. Sounds good, but itchy to see if can be improved upon at reasonable budget (up to around £600). Not looking to replace my dac, just server/player. Currently Pi4 works as both. I have 2 x hard drives attached. I did look at Bluesound but worry about track limitations.

Would prefer one box solution as opposed to Nas.

Any thoughts?
Think the only thing you'll find different is operability, and less money in your wallet. Does the pi/lms give you everything you need? If so why change. If you wanted to improve the setup, I would add the pi touch screen, for easy control, viewable album art, plus vu meter and spectrum analyser. Max2play allows for easy integration of the screen (although need license, but can help you tackle that), or you could just get picoreplayer for free which is easy to setup.

I've got a pi3 with dac hat (and a currently loaned zen one signature) and touch screen, and a pi4 connected to my zen dac at my desk, and really rate them. Given how they perform and the cost, I dont think anything gets close. My pi3 can be controlled by the touch screen, my phone or remote control using a flirc usb.
 

Cebolla

Member
I had tidal on free trial and the free option for Volumio so couldn’t go direct.
Before RPi I had connected an iPhone to the DAC via lightning to usb cable and streaming that way
TIDAL supply an API to approved 3rd party app developers which allows users of their streamer controller apps to connect the streamer to TIDAL's online server directly - so you could have gone direct using one of those 3rd party TIDAL supporting apps that can also be used as UPnP/DLNA controllers (Volumio free has a built-in UPnP/DLNA streamer), eg, the mconnect Player app (iOS & Android; Lite version is free) or the BubbleUPnP app (Android only; unlicensed version is free).

In fact, the OP's current method, LMS, supports TIDAL directly (via the TIDAL LMS plugin which again uses the official TIDAL API).
 
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