PI2AES Transport - I2S Output

Hello all! I decided to start this thread since several of our customers (I own Pi 2 Design) have been using our PI2AES Raspberry PI Add-On to interface with a number of PS Audio DAC’s. Reported results have been very positive. If anyone has questions about the product it can be found on our web site, www.pi2design.com, or emailing us at support@pi2design.com. I will also be monitoring this thread should anyone have technical questions.

I apologize in advance if this is seen as a naked sales attempt. While we would certainly love more sales, I wanted to make sure we understood and could answer concerns PS Audio users may have about our product. :grinning:

Cheers,
Michael

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Welcome, Michael

At least two of us use pi with the hifi berry digi plus pro, spdif and optical, can you comment on the advantages of using this board instead of that one (apart from the obvious point of having a proper aes port)?
Thanks :slight_smile:

Obviously the AES Coax (BNC), AES balanced, I2S parallel and I2S over HDMI offer significant functional advantages. Using the same interface however, the differences are a bit more subtle. Use of better voltage regulators and lower jitter clocks make a big difference in overall jitter.

We have plots on our website that show the jitter of our board compared to the allo Digione signature:

http://www.pi2design.com/uploads/4/8/5/3/48531975/pi2aes_plots.zip

Last but not least, the ability to power the raspberry pi with clean 5V@ 4A, and our board from a single low-cost power supply, while still achieving outstanding performance, is another plus.

Regards,
Michael

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I assume it accepts an ethernet input from a music server? What is the status of Roon readiness?

Another couple of questions:

  • I’d be using it with Logitech Media Server (on a NAS) and run PiCorePlayer with SqueezeLite using the analogue video out, again, any idea if this is a supported combination (i.e. PiCorePlayer sees the digital outputs ok)?

  • Acrylic cases are cool an’ all, I love 'em, but I am currently using a steel case for the Pi/HiFiBerry combo, thinking shielding was more valuable than the cool see-through cases. Any thoughts on this?
    Should I get one and wrap it in tin-foil?
    (and no, I don’t have a tin-foil hat :wink: ) It’s just always been sound engineering practice in my world…

Thanks again!

Oh yes, and, international shipping? (UK, for example) :slight_smile:

The Raspberry PI support ROON by using the ropieee distribution. This then presents a ROON compatible endpoint.

Michael

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International shipping via USPS First Class International is about $25 USD and takes 1-2 weeks depending upon customs. Please note that right now we are back ordered and it takes us 2-3 weeks to get a new unit out the door. We hope to dramatically shorten that, and even actually keep it in stock!

Michael

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Well tin foil is an option, but the you can’t see all the LED lights! As for PiCore player it is supported and we have tested it. Note that all of the outputs are active at the same time. No selecting required.

Michael

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Hi Michael, are all outputs limited to 192kHz?

Why is your product’s I2S implementation limited to DSD64? I am looking for a streamer that has I2S out at DSD256 with HQPlayer NAA functionality.

The PI2AES connects to the Raspberry Pi via it’s I2S interface. As such it is limited to the speed and formats the Raspberry Pi supports via this interface. This is different than USB which allows more formats and higher speeds. But USB delivers much lower sound quality than direct I2S. The Pi I2s supports a maximum of 192Khz and PCM format.

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Running a couple of these now. (Was so impressed with my first one, I ordered a second!)

One goes I2S into a Topping D70 into my Rogue Sphinx V3, and the other goes Coax into the DAC of my Parasound HINT6 integrated. (Both use RoPieeeXL and HQPlayer NAA.)

Very happy with the sound, and couldn’t care less about DSD, frankly!
:grin:

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Frankly, at least some people do care about DSD…

exactly my point.

you need to find a device that will make you happy.

for you, this isn’t it.

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Price now is US$199, not $149, shipping is US$75 and not $25 as Micheal has mentioned.

Happy to report that the pi2aes HAT works fabulously with my senior PS Audio DSD. I bought the pi2aes specifically for its I2S interface, and it is indeed the best among all the other options. Optical came close, but is still noticeably worse than I2S. My streaming setup was Macbook air + Audirvana → USB → PS Audio DSD. Replacing the USB with UPnP on pi2aes (running ropieeexl) brought a clear improvement. I’m using an AQ USB cable that’s half the price of pi2aes itself, whereas my HDMI is just a throwaway 5 dollar cable from amazon.

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Welcome, Dave!

The price of $199 is correct, but shipping varies by country. In general it runs about $45-75 (US is ~$8). Blame COVID. Sending first class mail was not a good option anymore as packages were taking 4-6 weeks to arrive and several did not! Changing to usps priority took care of that.