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Raspberry Pi - Upgrade from Chromecast Audio into rDAC??

Niloc79

Member
Jan 17, 2021
4
1
20
Hello there! I'd be grateful for some streaming advice...

My Setup: Chromecast Audio (toslink out)/ Arcam rDAC / Roksan Kandy KA1-MkIII / Dynaudio Audience 40s

Since selling my CD player (Marantz CD63 mkII KI Sig), I've been using my Chromecast Audio to stream FLAC from Plex Media Server and for Spotify / Tidal.

I'm wondering if there is any benefit to upgrading from the Chromecast to a Raspberry Pi based solution, using my rDAC? (I am aware of USB issues which should be resolved on Pi 4).

I use Hi-Fi cast, USB Audio Player Pro, Spotify and Tidal Apps (Hi-Fi subscription) to control playback.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,449
911
12,070
Hello there! I'd be grateful for some streaming advice...

My Setup: Chromecast Audio (toslink out)/ Arcam rDAC / Roksan Kandy KA1-MkIII / Dynaudio Audience 40s

Since selling my CD player (Marantz CD63 mkII KI Sig), I've been using my Chromecast Audio to stream FLAC from Plex Media Server and for Spotify / Tidal.

I'm wondering if there is any benefit to upgrading from the Chromecast to a Raspberry Pi based solution, using my rDAC? (I am aware of USB issues which should be resolved on Pi 4).

I use Hi-Fi cast, USB Audio Player Pro, Spotify and Tidal Apps (Hi-Fi subscription) to control playback.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks
Can't comment on your Chromecast performance (I bought and returned a couple due to an inherent, very slight background noise (on their line out)).
I never had any issue when using Pi3b+ on USB.
One (respected) online reviewer however, suggests that performance enhancements on the Pi 4 make it less suitable (for audio purposes) than the 3.
Make of that what you will, but I doubt spending extra for the 4 would bring any extra benefit for audio purposes.
Indeed, another member here made the point that a Pi Zero is all you need.
In your case, the R-DAC is determining the quality, doubt changing from CCA to Pi would give you much (if any) noticeable improvement.
(Assuming that the CCA feeds the DAC with bit-perfect files, as the Pi can do).
 
Last edited:

ifor

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2002
74
2
18,545
I don’t remember what model my Pi is, but I used it with a HiFi DigiPro (coaxial connection) and MoOde Audio software into an rDAC, which since been replaced by another DAC. Superb results. I know nothing about Chromecast.
 

Niloc79

Member
Jan 17, 2021
4
1
20
Can't comment on your Chromecast performance (I bought and returned a couple due to an inherent, very slight background noise (on their line out)).
I never had any issue when using Pi3b+ on USB.
One (respected) online reviewer however, suggests that performance enhancements on the Pi 4 make it less suitable (for audio purposes) than the 3.
Make of that what you will, but I doubt spending extra for the 4 would bring any extra benefit for audio purposes.
Indeed, another member here made the point that a Pi Zero is all you need.
In your case, the R-DAC is determining the quality, doubt changing from CCA to Pi would give you much (if any) noticeable improvement.
(Assuming that the CCA feeds the DAC with bit-perfect files, as the Pi can do).

Gray,

Thanks for your help.

I'm a bit of a tinkerer and like the idea of a RPi solution which I can play with and may improve the listening experience, particularly as the CCA does not allow gapless playback. In addition, I believe that it is limited to 96KHz/24bit and the rDAC supports 192Khx/24bit (although not via USB I understand). However, I'm not sure any difference here would be detectable to my 40+ year old ears.

I already have a RPi 2b which was given to me and may look into adding an audio HAT of some description.

I appreciate that my kit is getting on a bit, but you seem to suggest that the rDAC is the limiting factor. Do you believe that upgrading that may reap greater rewards?

Cheers
 

Niloc79

Member
Jan 17, 2021
4
1
20
I don’t remember what model my Pi is, but I used it with a HiFi DigiPro (coaxial connection) and MoOde Audio software into an rDAC, which since been replaced by another DAC. Superb results. I know nothing about Chromecast.
Ifor,

Cheers for the info. I'll certainly look into the HAT option for the Pi. May look out for a used DigiPro on ebay!

Ta
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,449
911
12,070
I appreciate that my kit is getting on a bit, but you seem to suggest that the rDAC is the limiting factor. Do you believe that upgrading that may reap greater rewards?
Being older doesn't (necessarily) make it worse.
Your DAC is determining SQ but limiting it? That's something only you can judge.
I'm not alone in having found SQ differences between 'decent' DACs to be very subtle.
But, to put things into context, a hell of a lot more noticeable than any? difference between 16/44.1 (let alone 24/96) and 24/192.
I'm glad you're realistic about that, it might save you some disappointment.
As is always, rightly, said, original recording quality is so much more important.
 
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Niloc79

Member
Jan 17, 2021
4
1
20
Being older doesn't (necessarily) make it worse.
Your DAC is determining SQ but limiting it? That's something only you can judge.
I'm not alone in having found SQ differences between 'decent' DACs to be very subtle.
But, to put things into context, a hell of a lot more noticeable than any? difference between 16/44.1 (let alone 24/96) and 24/192.
I'm glad you're realistic about that, it might save you some disappointment.
As is always, rightly, said, original recording quality is so much more important.
I just missed out on a Allo DigiOne on ebay, but I can't help think it was money I did't need to spend. I'm happy with the CCA with the exception of no gapless playback.

Cheers for the advice. Much appreciated.
 
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