Raspberry Pico is out !! 4$, 2xI2S, 2xSPI etc../ Twister OS for Pi4

hi there ;-),

found by chance that a new „Raspberry Pico !! “ is out/available..

Cost is about 4$, software is micro-phyton or C/C++, has USB1.1, Dualcore ARM cortex 133mhz, looks like an ESP32-alternative..

some more technical specs->

Mikrocontroller RP2040
• 2 MB QSPI Flash-Speicher,• 256 KB RAM,• 2x 20 I/O Pinleiste (30x GPIO-Pins 3,3V),• ADC 12-Bit 500ksps,• 2x UART / 2x I2C / 2x SPI / 16x PWM
• RTC / Timer mit 4 Alarmen,• Pinabstand: 2,54 mm
• Micro-USB 1.1 für Strom und Datenübertragung

u can get it for example here-> https://www.rasppishop.de/Raspberry-Pi-Pico-RP2040-ARM-Cortex-SBC

and here´s a tutorial how getting started->https://pico.raspberrypi.org/getting-started/

by that, i´ve „discovered“ „TWISTER-OS !!„->absolutely super great (for RPI-4s)..


absolutely super nice + top usable, + absolutely sleeky look, it has tons of software pre-installed (Kodi,VLC-Player,Retro Pie,Steam-client etc..) and the great advantage is still the phenomenal sound (over USB to a xmos-bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M) because of the short electronical circuits on the board (as mentioned in the article before), absolutely great and for the first time a real good OS for the Raspberry Pi-4 !! (its based on the normal Raspberry OS)

fantastic, give it a try !! 😉

another thing is that i´ve bought now a third pair of speaker (Mission 760i (not SE)) this time and will tell u then more very interesting facts on these Mission-lines (760,780)..wanted originally make a new subsite for it (/mission-speaker) for it..

by that a very interesting site is also this: https://www.hifiengine.com/

https://www.hifishark.com/ (link also in a widget on the right) is a very good adress for „used“ hifi-gear (crawler), cause this is also a „hi-fi website“ 😉 (or is intented to be 😉 )..

more to come „in this fashion“,

greets for now !! 😉

New speaker / little experience-report / Volumio at 2.861 / some new ES9038Pro DACS / Universal USB to I2S Interface Indicator

so, 😉

as i´ve bought some „new“ speaker (Mission Cyrus 780 (one bass driver was defect, had to order some spare from GB)), i´ve had to re-adjust/re-set/re-listen to my hifi in general..

I´ve just bought some AMD Ryzen on some Asus-Board too and so i could test the nowadays „onboard-sound-solutions“ (in this case some Realtek S1220A with 120db SNR) against some „normal CD-transporter“ or some Raspberry PI 4 over USB->I2S to some ES9038Q2M..

Absolutely still no comparison !! ->we forget these onboard-sound now and go directly to the USB->XMOS-USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M vs. Raspberry Pi -> XMOS USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M thing..

First thought (over PC->XMOS-USB->I2S->ES9038Q2M) these ESSabre-engineers „add/or re-invented“ some really funny/sunny/airy components to the digital stream..absolutely lovely, much „more voluminous“, airier..(these advanced-bitstream-thing))

But after connected to the Raspberry Pi 4 via USB(3.0)->XMOS-USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M its still an enermous „lap ahead“, guess its absolutely because of the short electronical circuits on the Pi (less latencies) and the less EMI-interferences on some PI-boards against the „noise“ on some normal PC-mainboards..

So its again some „normal“ CD-transporter (over spdif to some dac/ES9038xx) vs. Pi-4 (for saved media-content)..

Updated my volumio-software on the Pi-4 (now at V2.851), absolutely great, super fast „scrolling“ through the libraries (more CPU-power Pi-4)..


So conclusion for now (again):->forget the soundcard/USB-thing from the PC/MAC->its still about „normal“ CD-transporter vs Raspberry Pi ->USB-bridge->ES9038xxx..

I´ve also bought some Synology DS214Play now->absolutely great, no lags/problems now, absolutely smooth..

by that i´ve found right now by chance these „Arduino-based Universal USB to I2S Interface Indicator“ by dimdim.gr; its here->http://www.dimdim.gr/arduino/universal-usb-to-i2s-interface-indicator/ (+ there are a lot of very interesting infos about sabre+akm-boards in general on this site !!)

thats exactly for what i searched soo long !! (.ino is here->LINK)

also found some new ES9038Pro-DACS on massdrop for example->will post then more about it..

greets for now !! 😉

NAS-stuff (Part 2): Synology Diskstation DS211/J + Ünnlink 192 + XPenology + ITX-Case

so, okay, 😉

as i still plan to buy some Topping D50S, S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th Mk.2 or Topping D10S,

(picture: SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII, 110$, Amazon->Link )

i´ve meanwhile bought a very simple so called mini-DAC 😉 (just for converting tos/coax to chinch for my home tv) from aliexpress for only 9$ !! (incl.shipping) -> the „Ünnlink 192Khz Digital to Analog Audio Converter Decoder Spdif Toslink Coaxial to Analog Stereo 3.5mm 2RCA DAC with BT for TV“->https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001102727604.html

its a nice little guy 😉 , absolutely no problem with it and u will be surprised how good the audio quality is ! 😉 (and we are here on a self-called „hi-fi“-site 😉 with a lot of tests for hifi-gear) …

u can buy it (him 😉 ) without a problem..

Synology-OS („DSM“) Part 2:

and as said, as i got meanwhile data-rates up to 60-70MB/s with a non „J„-version i´m absolutely blown away by this wonderful Synology-OS („DSM“) that i thought about how to get it on „normal“ PCs, linux-devices and there is a way/possibility !!

„XPenology“ !! 

Xpenology: The Definitive Guide (2020 Update)


i don´t know if this is „half-official“ or something (although its an „open source“-project) but i will give it a try in the next weeks/months and report about it..

because i like the design from the original Synology-Diskstations (the white ones) very much and because of these great OS i thought i´ve build my own little NAS (and mainly because the greater Synology-DSes are unbelievable expensive !! (in comparison to other PC-parts)) with a little cube + some ITX-boards !! for example)->

Thermaltake CA-1B8-00S6WN-01 Core V1 Mini-ITX Snow Edition PC-Case white->

(around 50$, Amazon->Link:https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B015UDUAKG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A3JWKAKR8XB7XF&psc=1 )

or „Thermaltake“ direct link->https://de.thermaltake.com/core-v1-snow-edition.html )

will post/report more then about it + no worry, i´ll be coming back to the „main-theme“ here (modding ESSabre 90xxQ2M/Pro-things) in future !! 😉

but many greets for now and have a nice christmas-time !! 😉

NAS-comparison: Synology Diskstation DS211/J + Zyxel NSA-310 + new category + Ünnlink 192 / Part 1

hi there ! 😉 ,

first many greets + sorry for not soo much posting here lately..! 

so,okay, as we have our streamer (see last „projects“) with or without Raspberry Pi´s here, (as said for me „Volumio“ + Bubble UPNP is the best alternative), and we also have now mostly a lot of Android-Devices (SmartTV, Handy,Tablet etc..) we now have to „feed“ them.. 😉  (and at best, „permanent, quiet + energy-efficient“), we have to look at some „Diskstations/NAS-devices“..

I´ve just bought over the last weeks three of them to get into that business in general and to test the usability over all..

First i´ve bought some „Zyxel NSA-310„, 1-bay, e-sata support, cheap, to test..it has a very „rudimentary“/simple interface/gui and i´ve got transfer-rates about 40-50MB/s (Gigabit-network smb) ->got it easy in the network- + u can find it easily with some Android Apps like before mentioned „Bubble UPNP“ or „Mediahouse“ or similar..

but it was for me a little bit to slow/the gui is too simple..

so i´ve bought next some „Synology Diskstation DS211J“ ! ; absolutely in another league/world ! 😉

absolutely great user-interface/Synology-OS („DSM“), absolutely „massive“-options for sychronizing all your cloud-accounts (GDrive,Dropbox,Box etc.), great tools („Audio Station“,“Photo Station“,“Cloud-Sync“,“Media-Server“,“Surveillance-Station“ etc..) + the according Apps (Android/Apple) for it->“DS Audio“,“DS-Video“ etc..

BUT !! : the great downside was the really, really horrible slow hardware !! on this Diskstation(s) !! absolutely slow data-rates (about 40MB/s) + absolutely slow/laggy GUI !!

on these „DS211J“ u can do (honestly said) nothing with it->sooo absolutely slow..

I´ve found then, that are tons of different-versions from these Diskstations-> link see here ->https://www.synology-wiki.de/index.php/Welchen_Prozessortyp_besitzt_mein_System%3F, 

and so i´ve bought another one without the „J“ (junior)(there are 3 classes->“J“, normal, and „+“) and on these „normal“-version (DS211) u can use the station „fairly“..

so conclusion/hint for it/for you: NEVER buy a „J„-model, absolutely horribly slow, almost unusable.. !!

(more in „Part-2“)->(coming)

greets for now !! 😉

Raspberry Pi 400 is out !! 70$, 1.8GHZ, 4GB LPDDR4-3200

hi there !!, 😉

hooray !! , the new Raspberry Pi 400 is out !!

Will cost about 70$, u can pre-order it from pimoroni->LINK for example..

very nice, so much things/possibilities to do with !! ..(i think this time i make a real Commodore C64/Amiga emulator with it->see comparison)

Still has the 40 GPIO-Header, 1.8GHZ (a little bit more than normal), has a keyboard general power ON/OFF (Fn+F10) but no audio connector (okay, u should use a usb-soundcard anyway 😉 )..

absolutely nice !! 😉

New: Topping D10s (1 x ES9038Q2M) vs. SMSL Sanskrit 10th SK10 MKII (AK4493)

hi there, 😉

unfortunately nothing new from here building/buying around some new ESSabre (9038Q2M) chips (DIY) but 2 new, interesting DACs „came up the table“ lately:

The Topping D10S with 1xES9038Q2M in it, XMOS XU208 + OPA2134  (changeable)->

goes for only 99$ !!  (Amazon,Aliexpress,Ebay,Audiophonics,Shenzhenaudio)..

a very detailed test about it is here (as always „audioscenereview“)->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-d10s-usb-dac-and-bridge-review.14859/

and/or the SMSL Sanskrit 10th SK10 MKII for a little bit more (110$)  (Amazon) ->

audioscenereview-review is here->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-sanskrit-10th-mk-ii-dac-review.12148/

question is which sounds better ? (i will make a new thread about it in the forum (Link) and hopefully someone will/can post his/her experiences with both of them)

as i originally wanted to buy some Topping D50S (2xES9038Q2M, 250$ Amazon) because of the 3 inputs (USB,coaxial,toslink) the Sanskrit would be the better choice..

but as i like these phenomenal, unbelievable, „airy“, „openstage“-sound from the ESSabre-chips sooo much, its the question if these AKM4493 were sounding similar..

more to come… (gather some more information about them (the two) right now) 😉

Usability / Volumio->BubbleUPnp / Volume-Potentiometer-Hardware-None

so, 😉

sorry for the lately uninteresting/not so „fresh“ news about the ES9038Q2M/ES90xx-chips/boards etc..; maybe that will come back..

today, to keep this blog going, some usability-tricks/tips using a RPI-4B and volumio..->https://volumio.org/get-started/

runs fantastic (imo), is absolutely DSD-capable (remember to use an USB-bridge (XMOS or Anamero) „in-between“ and set volumio on „DSD-direct“,“no mixer“, „no resampling“-> else u wouldn´t get the red/torquise DSD-lock-light on the ES9038Q2Ms..->

by that i´ve tried a lot of dlna-apps for volumio and best for me so far is->BubbleUPnP->LINK

there are millions of other („Mediahouse etc.,etc.,“) but imo, BubbleUPnp correspondends superb with volumio..u can see in BubbleUPnP whats playing, can change the volume via the „normal“ volume-keys and u can also play/send .mp4/.mkvs etc.  to volumio and it plays only the audio/tracks..great ! 😉

by that i´ve bought a 10kohm-poti again (wire-diagramm here->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1660  ) and although we have a web-volumecontrol with a MCP4131 „here“->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1306

i still thought its „usability-wise“ better to use an old-school (analogue) poti but its still the same problem as first: u have only a very short range (i guess 35 degrees) from full to nothing and u have to turn it manually ;-)(but u are nearer on it 😉 )..still doesnt know the right conclusion for me, still in testing 😉 )..

greets for now and more to come !! 😉

again some new pics->DIY-DAC (ES9038Q2M) / 100.000 visitors..

so, 😉

because we have almost a 100.000 !! visitors here on the site (hooray, tomorrow i guess 😉 ), i post some additionally pics on the improvements of the DIY-DAC..

I´ve added some 0.96OLED (I2C) to display the data-format and rate (DSD/PCM-44.1k-384k DSD256 and so on); by that i use also 2 new LEDs (blue for DSD and red for PCM) to make the dac more shiny 😉 ..

problem was to get the information through the usb-bridge if it got DSD or PCM..will post then more about it..

unfortunately nothing „more“ new about these „whole“ ess sabre-things, maybe then more, greets for now !! 😉

(fifth picture is from a „Copland CSA100“->Quad Mono Sabre)

1 2 3 19