New Picoreplayer is out->V3.5 (24.March 2018)

hi there, 😉
a new picoreplayer is out->V3.5->https://sites.google.com/site/picoreplayer/home/news

new rpi-kernel/firmware, „..Updated to Squeezelite 1.8.7-1052, includes native DSD support.“, got it to work (ES9028Q2M) with the „I-Sabre-9023“ „card-control“, checked „384k“, Logitech Media Server is now at: V7.91->http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/?ver=7.9
(nevertheless u have to activate the DSD-plugin under „plugins“))

sounds very „strong“, good, low latencies (thx to the new rpi-kernel+firmware and so on), got DoP with 352k and without any commandline-options like „-e dsd“ or „native DSD-patch“ and 384k PCM with „X“ (command-line-option)..

 

very „fast“ (low latencies) as said->absolutely the advantage of a very slim/less resources using system; no disruptive layer/driver..
(but as said, still with a little bit „metallic“-sound; don´t know why..)

Very,very interesting post by Iancanada@diyaudio-forum/ESS-controller…

so, 😉
came by chance about this post in the diyaudio-forum->http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pc-based/302687-es9018k2m-es9028q2m-9038q2m-dsd-i2s-dac-hats-raspberry-pi-post5386371.html
its from iancanada@gmail.com, Github->https://github.com/iancanada/DocumentDownload..
Dimdim“ from the famous Hifiduino-project is also there and they discuss a project in which the „..Sample rate, clock frequencies, X*Fs, date length, PCM/DSD/DoP format..“ could be determined by a „signal format analyzer“ (developed by Iancanada) running on the ARM-processor/Raspberry Pi to „run the ES9038Q2M in high-performance-mode“ 😉 ..

a lot of really interesting infos !! (i dont write here some more cause i don´t know if i have the „permission“ for it..)
also with the pictures..i took only here one or two; hope its okay for Ian..(if not please mail) 😉 (i personally think posting here a lot of pictures from his projects could help him to sell more from it/have more budget to develop !)
a MUST read !! 😉

(interesting is also that he uses some STM32 for his „ESS-controller; we/i´ve made some tutorials/first steps with it here too)

(another interesting topic there is by „Mikett„; he says „..in the end I stuck with the 49720. It sounded slightly better than the 5532. The 5532 seemed to provide better drive but the higher frequencies on the 49720 was better I thought.“ and thats absolutely the same as i feel/think about the „drive“ on a NE5532 and second about the LME49720 which ESS recommends (see the table in an earlier post)

ES9038Q2M: DAC DSD Decoder Support IIS DSD 384KHz Coaxial Fiber DOP+TFT LCD !!

so, 😉
absolutely fresh:“Our“ ES9038Q2M now with the promised I2C/TFT-display..!! 😉

Aliexpress->$79.90 – $96.90 (with and without Apple-TV-remote!!)>
Link-Aliexpress !!  (+NEW: also on Ebay->LINK)
(theres also another link on ebay; but its a little bit confusing because the picture shows „ES9028Q2M“ printed on the PCB->Link Ebay (63,66$))
this one from Aliexpress says: „ES9038Q2M VR1.07

(the second and third pictures are from Ebay)
absolutely great for now !! we can maybe use then a greater TFT(over I2C) and it looks that we havent then to read out the Anamero(XMOS-)-boards for the sample-rate+format !!(+it displays the filter-settings of course).
so we have a lot to test out in future !! 😉

Update: ES9028Q2M 384khz (MPD) in newer Dietpi (6.4 and up) I-Sabre-K2M-driver..

so, 😉
after „Kennyliveforever“ made a great post about porting/including the I-Sabre-K2M-driver in Volumio->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=64, i´ve re-checked this driver-option in Dietpi (v6.6) again..
a few months ago i tried everything to get this driver in Dietpi (earlier versions) to work and there was/i heard absolutely nothing..
Now with the new DietPi (v6.4 and up) there was/must be a change in installing the driver..after you change the soundcard in rpi-config to „i-sabre-k2m“ there „comes“ a rpi-update and after that it loads some software from codeload.github.com, install some compiler-binaries and after that it compiles a complete new .dtbo (overlay) and includes it automatically afterwards..
some month ago, as said, these steps were absolutely not proceeded..

and now we have our lovely „384khz“ back !!!

(i really don´t know why this is not clearly communicated via „fourdee“ at dietpi..)
anyway, i started this whole blog/site by/of this problematic and alone for this, this blog has been paid off !! 😉 
okay, i had only a few minutes to test it, but i think with this ess-driver which uses (i hope) and demands the special capabilities of the ES9028Q2M i have a here a really better sound (about 10-20% min., i „surmise“); it comes now really up to my best combo at present->ES9038Q2M with Muses8920+Skysong-USB-bridge !!
but, and this is very important too: i strongly recommend to upgrade your ES9028Q2M to „Muses8920“ too !!
(they cost only about 3,50$ from this seller by example (and they are not „fakes“, guess so 😉 )->https://www.ebay.de/itm/362255966842?ViewItem=&item=362255966842)
(i will test if this i-sabre-k2m driver also works with the ES9038Q2M..)

ES9038Q2M+Skysong/Singxer XMOS-USB-bridge->(final) thoughts/settings tone optimization

so, 😉
after i tested a lot of different op-amps+filter-settings on the ES9038Q2M (Blue) lately i came to this (final) conclusion:
The Muses 8920, are/“sound“ brilliant on these Blue, i think they are lately called „YJ-ES9038Q2M“ Q2Ms..
much better as with the NE5532 or the OPA2134 for example (other possibility would be the AD797, LMEXXXX (see earlier post))..

by that to provide the Skysong/Singxer USB-bridge with an external 5V power supply also boosted the overall performance of the Bridge by 10-15% !!
absolutely to recommend !! 😉

absolutely wonderful bridge (read elsewhere they should be the „finest“ with the best XMOS-implementation)..(i have the version with the golden crystek cchd957s))..

the filter-settings have here for me not such an impact on the sound/tone, guess 2-3%, max 5% 😉 , but u can hear it if u want..but the differences are really „paper-thin“ (on other DACs/millboards it could have a greater impact)..
by that „kennyliveforever“ made a great post in the forum-> http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=64 about how to include the „original“ essabre-driver (I-Sabre-K2M) for the ES9028Q2M in Volumio (and then maybe in other audio-distros)..
so far for now !!

Op-Amps: NE5532 vs OPA2134 vs. Muses 8920 (02) + ESSabre-Link (+DietPi 6.5)

so, 😉
got yesterday my „OPA2134“ and had finally the time to check it out 😉

okay, fired up my Raspberry with the ES9028Q2M and thought first:“ ? why sound it so „distorted“ ?“ (my main „rig“ is at present->Skysong/Singxer USB-bridge (golden Crystek CCHD957s) + unmodified ES9038Q2M (Blue)..
Changed then the NE5532 to the OPA2134 and the result ?

Surprisingly good !! 😉

bought a few month ago some OPA2604; they were really, really, really bad (in any case on these Sabre-boards)..

This OPA2134 is very lively, airy, is more about middle-highs and really less „distorted“..
you can use them without any problems/thoughts to upgrade your NE5332..!

by that it brings me some „glance“ back (in the highs) which i missed since 5 or 6 years ago, as i had to change my lovely Via VT1828S (onboard) to an „ordinary“ Asus Xonar DX..;-)

changed then to the „Muses 8920“ and ? Better 😉 ..it has the best from both op-amps: this airly, lively (OPA2134) but also the „push“ (NE5532) mainly in the middle-lows..;-)(„its all about the slew-rate“ 😉 ; funny+interesting article here->http://nwavguy.blogspot.de/2011/08/op-amp-measurements.html )
anyway this OPA2134 is as said very good..
the next possibility would be an „AD797“ or some LMEs..(and Burson V5 of course)
ES Sabre itself recommend these „AD797″ + some LMEs (for the ES9006+ES9008 series)..its from a very interesting download->“Maximizing DAC performance…“->http://www.esstech.com/index.php/en/support/downloads (thx to „Mark04“ again, over at the DIY-audio-forum->LINK)

(picture from „janos_904„->hope i could use it here..)

so, and another thing is that i´ve updated to Diet 6.5 and with every version it sounds better and better and the main advantage is that u have meanwhile almost no horrible „pops“ in changing the music-file-format like flac to wav or 44,1 to 192khz for example..
i guess its also because u got a better/fresher raspian-(firmware) everytime u update it via DietPi..
greets for now..

Different filter types->ES9038Q2M + other..

so, 😉
because i´ve got now the possibility to change the 7 different-filters „on the fly“ (on the ES9038Q2M), means no annoying jumper settings, and via BT or web-control, i can say/state a little bit to my impressions about it:

I tested it via jumper (manually) a few weeks ago and at that time i´ve got the feel that it makes a huge difference, up about to 20%, and i really loved the „linear phase fast roll-off filter“ (JP3+JP6)..
but, now, yesterday, i didnt feel it was such a huge difference, only about to 1-2% !! the other „circumstances“, quality of the source, the right op-amp, the quality of the power-supply (15V and or +/- 15V) have absolutely a really greater impact of the sound/tune..
The filter here on the ES9038 are really on the digital/sample-site, there is no more 3D, spacious or something and had almost no effect on the „true original“-tune..
if u really like the bitperfect, faithful, „true to original“ tune, u have to improve your hi-fi in another place..
with the different filter u hear something more expressed (or decreased) but the overall „sound/tune“ stays the same..
so, in this case, i/u have to work more on the power-supply-side, onboard voltage supply on these Chinese-ES9038Q2-boards/cable/source-material and so on (as said).
On the other hand are there a few differences in the „sound/tune“->here is a very interesting picture from stereo.net.au->https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/81435-ak4490eq-filter-adjustment/, its about filter settings on an AK4490EQ, but the basics are the same..(i´ve also posted a few month ago an article about different-filter-types and the impact on the sabres from resonessence-labs („Invicta-Mirus“)->
http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=21

and i got/have almost the exact feel about it !!

very interesting is also this „Sound Source Positioning“->had the exact impression in changing from one filter to another->also thought „..this voice/guitar/something is more in the back or in the front..“ and so on (normal hi-fi experience) !!
Summary: u can hear/have differences, the filter on this board have not soo much impact (imo), but also try to improve your hi-fi in another place !!

(filter/jumper settings ES9038Q2M „Blue“)

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