Introducing ApplePi DAC -- Highest Performance Raspberry Pi DAC

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AmpDesigner333

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The first review of the ApplePi DAC is out; check it out:

"Ok, specs are great and all, but how did it really sound? Frankly, very good, surprisingly good."
and
"The mid-range and truthiness of the music rivaled that of the other DACs I have on hand that cost significantly more."

http://theaudiobeatnik.com/applepi-dac-review-theres-art-in-this-dac-and-it-shows/
Interesting.  How about a photo?  Thanks.

orchardaudio

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Interesting.  How about a photo?  Thanks.







orchardaudio

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I would like to start getting a list together of people who would be interested in the tour.

So far I have:
1. JohnR - Australia
2. Wayne1 - USA
3. aldcoll - USA
4. otto802 - USA
5. JerryM - USA
6. sm31 - USA

I will keep this post updated with full list. Please let me know if you would like to be added. And let me know what country you are in.

I would also like to make sure that everybody agrees to pay shipping to next person on the list, and to not keep the unit for more than one week.

The tour is moving along. The unit is going to otto802 next.

There is still time to register if you want to be on the tour.

Wayne1

I highly suggest that folks sign up for the tour to hear this wonderful device.

I spent a good week listening to it and came away extremely impressed with what Leo has done with this DAC hat.

For anyone that is using a Squeezebox Touch or similar unit, they should find this to be an quite an upgrade.

I did compare it to a DAC I built with AK4990 DAC chip and Salas shunt regulators DIY modular DAC
I really could not pick one over the other. The sonic difference was completely dependent on the file being played. I feel both units are very transparent.

For under $250, the combination of a Rpi and the ApplePi DAC board is an outright bargain in today's audio world.

When it is released, I will be buying one. 

Wayne1

I forgot to mention that the DAC does have true balanced outputs. Leo sent along a cable with the Mini XLR connectors to standard XLRs. The tone was a bit different from the RCA outputs. This could be from the difference in construction material of the two cables or it could be the fact that the XLR inputs on the amp I was using use electrolytic coupling caps.

However, I did notice a substantial increase in dynamics using the XLR outputs, even with output levels matched.

This is a very well engineered and built DAC. I again suggest folks sign up for the tour and listen yourself.

orchardaudio

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For those that are interested in the more techy side:


Studio19atx

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Please add me on the list, Austin TX 78701.

Will definitely be buying one when available for pre-sale. Do you have any plans to offer case? It will be nice to have a case with branding to be offered as a kit.

orchardaudio

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Please add me on the list, Austin TX 78701.

Will definitely be buying one when available for pre-sale. Do you have any plans to offer case? It will be nice to have a case with branding to be offered as a kit.

Added to list. Please see my private message.

poseidonsvoice

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Add me to the list.

Endorsement from Wayne1? Check.

Balanced XLR? Check.

PCM1794a dac? Check.

Best,
Anand.

aldcoll

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I have had the Apple Pie for a while and I must say I am really impressed.

I am also impressed with Leo or Orchard Audio.   I had some issues with the Ethernet connection that we finally figured has to be my Comcast router.   He spent almost two hours on the phone with me.
 
As all our work failed Leo packed up a Smarti Pi Touch with his DAC board.   While this isn't the current tour setup I would hope that it is explored.  This configuration would allow the listener to view the current play information with out a smart device.  I personally like the set up as I have been hitting random on my music catalog.  And it seems I do a lot more of "What is That".

Any way this is a dammed fine budget setup that punches way above it's weight.

I have had a couple friend over and they share my assessment.

I look forward to the finished product.

Alan.


WC

What is the two pin header (located between the DAC chips and towards the 40 pin header) for?

randytsuch

I've been waffling, but after reading the reviews would like to be added to the list too.

I do have some schedule issues, we can discuss in PM, but hopefully it will work out.

I'm in Los Angeles.

Randy

orchardaudio

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I've been waffling, but after reading the reviews would like to be added to the list too.

I do have some schedule issues, we can discuss in PM, but hopefully it will work out.

I'm in Los Angeles.

Randy

Added to list.

orchardaudio

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Add me to the list.

Endorsement from Wayne1? Check.

Balanced XLR? Check.

PCM1794a dac? Check.

Best,
Anand.

Added to list

orchardaudio

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What is the two pin header (located between the DAC chips and towards the 40 pin header) for?

There is an EEPROM on the ApplePi DAC that stores some information that is required for the device to meet the HAT spec for the Raspberry Pi.

The jumper when installed, will allow you to write to the EEPROM, not recommended unless you know what you are doing. Without the jumper the EEPROM is in write protect mode.

orchardaudio

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Check out another review of the ApplePi DAC by Volumio's founder Michelangelo:
https://volumio.org/forum/orchard-audio-applepi-dac-review-t9633.html#p47446

sm31

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Can you remove me from the list? Too busy.

orchardaudio

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Can you remove me from the list? Too busy.
Sure

orchardaudio

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orchardaudio

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With only two days into the project we already have more than 50% funding. We are aiming for 500%.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1844799967/applepi-dac-highest-performance-raspberry-pi-dac