NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 21583 times.

rustydoglim

Someone asked about this at T.H.E. Show and we quickly came out with this chassis and I think we took the idea one step further to include uDSD integrated (optional).

You can install Plex media server on the latest $39 Raspberry Pi and turn it into a "high-end" product with clean power supply, 32/384k DAC with native DSD, WiFi and RJ45 network for wireless and wired audio streaming, internal and external hard disks.
I don't know about the retail price, but my guess is that it would range from $299 to $449 depending on options. May be less, may be more, it is only an estimate.  In any case, it will be reasonable and compared to what others are charging in the 4 figure price range using entry level PC motherboard, this is cheap. 

The chassis and front panel is similar to IDA-8.





If there is enough of you who want this, we will make it.

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #1 on: 14 Jun 2016, 08:54 pm »
Can someone please post this on head-fi.org or www.computeraudiophile.com ?
They don't like (non advertising) manufacturer to post things.

Steidl Guitars

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #2 on: 14 Jun 2016, 10:27 pm »
I like the idea.  So the intention is to include everything except the Pi and the optional uDSD board? 

jseipp

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 140
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #3 on: 14 Jun 2016, 11:58 pm »
I was just talking with someone about something like this.

There are people who DIY cheaply on their own, and people who like ready made, with a few who DIY for top quality regardless of price.  If you can especially appeal to those who DIY with your quality/price ratio -- and that seems to be one of your specialties -- then I think you'll have an enthusiastic base for encouraging those who've never done anything beyond plugging in a cable.  Raspberry Pi has made it possible to do this without much too much more effort on the customer's part than that.

I would definitely be interested.
 

pmarun

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #4 on: 15 Jun 2016, 12:27 am »
Hello

I use the Pi to run my LMS server but also have OSMC on it to watch movies via HDMI. Music is stored on a Network drive. The front end is the Squeezebox connected wirelessly with an SPDIF out to my DAC

What I am missing is a quality power supply and a Spdif/Optical out to my DAC. I have control via my phone.  With this I can do away with the SB touch.

My 2 cents.

Arun

pmarun

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #5 on: 15 Jun 2016, 12:32 am »
Wanted to add, definitely happy to see a product like this being thought of and in this price range from a credible manufacturer.

Rgds
Arun

agdev01

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 48
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #6 on: 15 Jun 2016, 02:47 am »
Jason - you definitely took what we discussed and pushed it a few steps.  I certainly didn't think about mounting a uDSD but that really adds a lot of flexibility, especially those running LMS or RuneAudio providing a nice all in one solution.

I know we talked about mounting the Pi at the back of the case but looking at your pictures, what about rotating the Pi 90 degrees so that the ports are exposed internally?  That would allow easy access to all of the usb ports.  I tried drawing the connections for each of the various components.

Sort of like:





For external connections could the rear modified to remove the single USB output and add a couple of screws hole for for an RJ45 and UsB panel connectors like below:





In my setup i would personally go with a uDSDless configuration as i would hook the USB output to one of my NuPrime DACs. would it be possible to replace the volume control with the power/input button on the DAC9/IDA-8 for versions without the uDSD?  that way it could be hooked up to something like in the picture below to power it on or off:




I'll make sure to make a post on the Roon forums where i would guess there would be several interested posters and i'm definitely in for a couple.


Armaegis

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 803
  • slumming it between headphones and pro audio
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #7 on: 15 Jun 2016, 03:03 am »
Can someone please post this on head-fi.org or www.computeraudiophile.com ?
They don't like (non advertising) manufacturer to post things.

Done!
http://www.head-fi.org/t/811335/nuprime-raspberry-pi-server-and-dac-with-volume-control

I'll wait a day or two before linking back here.

Armaegis

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 803
  • slumming it between headphones and pro audio
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #8 on: 15 Jun 2016, 03:08 am »
So for someone who's never worked with Raspberry Pi before, can I get the condensed version of how this works?

I'm assuming that we hook up whatever file sources we have, then access it remotely through a smartphone app or computer browser?

Would I be able to add/modify files on the internal hard drive without removing it first?

agdev01

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 48
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #9 on: 15 Jun 2016, 03:30 am »
Im certainly not an expert but i'll try and give you a condensed version.  For reference im using a raspberry pi as a Roon Endpoint running Roon Bridge to output to my IDA-8 and am just smart enough to following directions on installation.

The RaspberryPi is essentially a small pc that runs linux.  There are quite a few people who have developed server/player software for the Pi.  The Pi would essentially handle the network streaming and sending the signal to the uDSD in that configuration, or via USB output without.

Depending on what you are using you would control via browser or app, I guess guess that HDMI output to a monitor, keyboard would also be possible but can really answer that as Roon Bridge doesn't have a control interface.

With the proper setup there isn't any reason why you wouldn't be able to create a network share to drag and drop files to the drive.

mresseguie

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #10 on: 15 Jun 2016, 03:43 am »
Interested!

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #11 on: 15 Jun 2016, 07:42 am »
I will try to answer various questions here.  First of all, we are expert in hardware but not software.  So we need help from the community.

Hardware - we will collect all your requirements here, sort them out and then present an updated configuration.  We might end up with two types of pricing.  A fully configured (with Raspberry Pi board, SD card with OS, Plex or some other media server and DAC) product for standard distribution.  The price will go up once it has to go through the distribution channels.  But we can also make the parts (mainly the case and power supply, perhaps DAC board) available for much lower price for order online. This will be fair.  Non DIY person will be ok to pay $200 to $300 extra to have everything nicely put together with usage guides.

I started to realise that we can be very competitive. The STA-9 for example, such a high-end amp, is roughly 2X the price of a similarly configured DIY amp. We are able to offer Raspberry Pi chassis and parts because NuPrime has a factory.

Software - Plex is very interesting because it is a media server and client software that runs on everything. I am just starting to explore this.

For the non technical people, you can do a lot of things with Raspberry Pi:
1. It can be easily setup (out of the box from the factory) as a media server for your music and video. You can run Plex app on all your devices. See https://plex.tv
2. It can also be used for other purpose because ultimately it is a linux computer.

This platform is complementary to all our "high-end" products. You still need a very good DAC and power amp. Or a portable server and player such as Omnia.
Customers have a choice and not lock in to some proprietary and outdated platform.

Instead of Raspberry Pi board, we can also consider miniPC board.


Steidl Guitars

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #12 on: 15 Jun 2016, 08:55 pm »
Good ideas here -- Jason, good for you for soliciting input.

I use a HifiBerry Digi+ (a small board that plugs right into the top of the Pi) that extracts the digital signal (is2 bus) and feeds a S/PDIF jack that I use to feed a DAC.  I think it's fair to say that for the Pi most think this approach is superior to using the USB signal -- I've not compared them. 

For me (and at least one other above) it would be nice (probably even necessary) to retain that option -- that is, to have a S/PDIF connector on the back panel.

As an aside, I'm using the Pi to serve audio, not video, and liking the Moode Audio player very much -- lots of attention from the developer.  Perhaps worth checking out if your needs are similar.

http://moodeaudio.org/

stanleysg

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #13 on: 16 Jun 2016, 06:22 am »
Might want to take a look at the WD (western digital) PiDrive that was announce not too long ago. It has a very unique Pi capacity. 314GB  :lol: I think it is also available in 1TB. One of the most wonderful thing is probably the fact that it is designed to run significantly less power.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8107
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #14 on: 16 Jun 2016, 12:52 pm »
Yes, would be interested in a turn-key server including everything needed to mindlessly/simply with high stability Linix based processing, linear power supply, store 2TB in ALAC, using USB output, controlled via a smartphone/tablet.

mresseguie

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #15 on: 16 Jun 2016, 04:37 pm »
I guess it makes good marketing sense to include a DAC, but I (and many other audiophiles) already have a DAC, so I personally would prefer to see it without an internal DAC. I like the idea of an internal HD or SSD (even better!).

While your engineers are building this, I hope they experiment with different power supplies. I've read that a better PS can really make a difference in SQ. Perhaps, in the end, a choice of good, better, and OMG, this is amazing! power supplies could be offered at different price points.


Armaegis

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 803
  • slumming it between headphones and pro audio
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #16 on: 16 Jun 2016, 04:58 pm »
While options are fantastic, it also greatly adds to the complexity and resources required to build/maintain a product and can kill the project before it even hits the shelves. "Too many things for too few people" as they say. Unless they veer towards a full-on modular system, I would rather see one single product developed.

Mike B.

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Acme Audio Labs
    • http://www.acmeaudiolabs.com
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #17 on: 16 Jun 2016, 05:47 pm »
Excellent idea. I posted a link at the Computer Asylum asking for positive input.

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #18 on: 16 Jun 2016, 11:25 pm »
While options are fantastic, it also greatly adds to the complexity and resources required to build/maintain a product and can kill the project before it even hits the shelves. "Too many things for too few people" as they say. Unless they veer towards a full-on modular system, I would rather see one single product developed.

Yes, we have to start somewhere.  So far, this is the requirement:
1. Basic platform - a case with external power supply. Power filter board is internal so external switching or linear power supply can be used.
   The case has mounting screws for Pi board, hard disk and uDSD DAC (asynchronous USB DAC with coaxial, line out and headphone outputs).  The bundled price of uDSD board will be much cheaper than a retail product.
2. A complexly configured system with Plex installed.

"agdev01"  will be the first beta customer since I promise to get him a set at THE Show.  Obviously we will test the whole setup at the factory before delivering to anyone.

Armaegis

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 803
  • slumming it between headphones and pro audio
Re: NuPrime Raspberry Pi Server and DAC with volume control
« Reply #19 on: 16 Jun 2016, 11:49 pm »
Is it mostly a space-saving issue to go with an external power supply? All other NuPrime products have internal supplies and it'd be a shame to break that aesthetic.