Cambridge Audio (or other) IR-repeater Option 5 / Broadlink RMmini3 / Fire TV Cube (2.Gen)

so, folks 😉

unfortunately nothing new from here concerning ES9038Q2Ms (or audio-sound-wise) but got today some „Broadlink RMmini3“ for cheap (7,50€ incl.shipping/Ebay, „normal“ about ca. 20€) to test out the „Alexa“ (-uuaargh ;-( )-functionality of my new bought Amazon-Fire-TV-Cube (was on „easter-sale“ on Amazon, 60€ instead of 120€ (more later))..

i primarily wanted to use the RM3mini as an alternative for my Cambridge-Audio IR-remote which is really,really bad in terms of ir-range (i think 3cm max directly right in front of the amp 😉 )..

I´ve made 4 „tutorials“ of this, „Cambridge IR-repeater“->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?s=cambridge+audio, first via bluetooth (DIY), then „web-controlled“ (html), third with some mqtt-broker-thing on a Pi, and then „over-simple“, only with an Arduino, some ir-transmitter + -receiver +some dupont-cable->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1939,

and now  i thought, i say „Volume down“ or „Aux“ in the firecube remote and the RM3mini will do it (more maybe later)..

okay, got it today, and it has really a superb ir-coverage (there a 5 or 6 led-transmitter in it), the apps according to it („Broadlink IR-remote“ etc..) are a little bit tricky to install, but the „learning-procedure“ (in using the buttons on the original remote) itself is very simple..

fine..u have a great „template“-collection, i used a very simple one (see above) but u can easily customize it..

so, just started the „Alexa“-integration with the „Broadlink“-Skill, but its a bit more complicated then for 5 minutes..

okay, now to the Fire-TV-Cube (2.Gen)->absolutely greater video (+20% compared to Fire-Stick 4K)-quality („deeper“ colors + contrast) + also audio is much better..

in these Fire-Cube 4Ks is some Amlogic S922x with 6-core and 2GB Ram..these Amlogic S922x were the „high-end-boards“ of the other Android-TV-Boxes..got years ago 2 of them here (and still) , the first also had some spdif-output and could play flac-files up to 96khz or 192khz (which was not common in the early times of mini-media-player („WD-player“, Asus O-play and such) and i used Kodi on these boxes..(okay, now with all the „HDMI“-tutorials here on the site, u can still get a good clean sound/tune out of it)..

anyway, „Kodi V19.4 (ARMv7/32bit)“ runs absolutely great, fast and very good on these 4K-Cubes (as said 6-core, 2GB Ram)..

and because Kodi runs so absolutely smooth, i thought about to „pimp-up“ the audio-line a little bit (besides the normal HDMI-output), and i knew that these Amlogic 922x also has some I2S-output (original design) but on the Amazon-Cube-board its after the first „check“ not available/disabled/not carried out->

(more here ->  https://de.ifixit.com/Anleitung/Amazon+Fire+TV+Cube+Motherboard+Replacement/116369)

anyway, we could use (with the help of our great „HDMI“-tutorials here 😉 ) the hdmi-output with some hdmi-audio-extractor to I2S and tell Kodi to put it out „native“/bit-correct/“hdmi-passthrough“..(havent check it out here at present)..

so, that was it for now, as said „hi-fi“-bricolage (with case,toroidal,es9038q2m) is a little bit on hold but i´ll post then maybe more about it..

but many greets and have a happy easter !! 😉

 

Little update: ES9038Pro / SMPCB v1.07 better than Skysong ES9038Q2M / new ES9068AS

so, 😉

a little update:

re-checked a few days ago these „SMPCB 1.07″ (Green) against the Skysong ES9038Q2M and for me, the „SMPCP v1.07“ has a much better sound/tune than the Skysong-board: more crispy + dynamic (IMHO)..

by that, as we are now „through“ with the ES9038Q2M, the next step will be a ES9038Pro (or ES9068AS, see at the bottom) 😉 (the „balanced“ output-options are also very interesting..)

also i´ve heard some new AKM4495 in a high-end headphone-amp surrounding (by a friend), and for me these „velvet-sound“-(branding) from these AKM-chips is for me (as ESSabre-„enthusiast“) still „hearable“/present, although these two approaches (Sabre+AKM) are coming more and more close to each other the more „high-end“ they come..very close meanwhile..

(update: SMSL-8U (ES9068AS-chipset)-review->https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/s-m-s-l-su-8s.25206/reviews ->“..to put it shortly, it sounds very good considering its price. A trained ear will quickly recognize that quick and sharp Sabre sound signature. Highs are bright and airy, mid-range is clean and informative, emphasizing crisp edges and transients„)

so, found by chance some ES9038Pro-„implementation“ in a SMSL-SU-9 (450$) (see pictures, audioscene-review is here->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-su-9-balanced-dac-review.16150/ ) 😉

they „measured“ it at a very high (they called it „Sinad“) point with 121db (SNR)->“..it is my pleasure to highly recommend the SMSL SU-9. Great job.“

point is, that u also see, that these dual DC is absolutely „uber-important“ + by that the SU-9N uses the xmos216 + theres also a „new“ ES9068AS on the market, for example in some Topping E50->https://de.shenzhenaudio.com/products/topping-e50-dac-es9068as-mqa-xu216-32bit-768khz-dsd512-decoder-ultra-low-noise-preamp-headphone-dac , also with some „CPLD“ jitter reduction (guess its a hardware-solution like in the Chord-Mojo (FPGA) for example)

will have to check out the difference (and price) to an ES9038Pro and if this chipset (ES9068AS) will also being implemented on some cheap chinese-boards..we will look  for it 😉 ->“A18 (AK4499) vs X16 (ES9068AS)-„shootout“ is here->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/new-gustard-twin-shootout-a18-ak4499-vs-x16-es9068as.17428/

so, and as we´ve learned soo much about the right power-supply-chain and i2s-hdmi-connection-things and and and 😉 , we can just sit back and relax and wait for the new cheap chinese-essabre-boards to come out 😉 ..

many greets for now ! 😉

Happy New Year !! ;-) / momentary „gear“ / nothing new / I2S over hdmi far better than via spdif

Hi there !! 😉

first, Happy New Year !! 😉

second: unfortunately absolutely no news from here 😉 ..i´m „stuck“ at present to find the right toroidal transformer + the right rectifier for it (Dual DC +-15V) (as written here a thousand times) (btw. „burnt“ meanwhile 2 rectifier + 1 Philips power-board + 1 ES9038Q2M-board ;-(  (so, be careful 😉 ) 

and because its always the same here lately, i just want to wish you a happy new year !! 😉

hope i´ll get something more interesting in future about this whole DIY-DAC-thing + ESSabre-boards !! 😉 

(some quick and dirty pics (only for happy new year) ->Sony BDP-7200->HDMI->HDMI-extractor->I2S over hdmi receiver->I2S->Skysong ES9038Q2M (only single 12V at present)..(+but after connecting it via I2S its really really far better than the normal spdif/coax-line from the Sony BDP7200)..

many greets !! 😉

Skysong ES9038Q2M / very handy..

so, 😉

finally (and last for this), the Skysong ES9038Q2M with display and voltage-poti arrived today (see post before)->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=2768 ->

meanwhile i can´t determine exactly the differences between the ES9038Q2Ms like this Skysong and some green SMPCB V1.07, cause they „sound“ almost exactly the same (maybe these Skysongs are a little bit more „warm“ and not so „crispy“ like the SMPCB-versions of it (its the same with the Skysong-XMOS-Bridge) , but can´t say this for absolutely sure..

anyway, a real improvement in sound/SQ on these boards is to use a dual-DC -power-supply chain (with +-15V !!) (also see posts before), i would tell it like so (and come to an end with these ES9038Q2M-chinese-boards) (but its very „speculative“, only some guess/feel by myself 😉 ):

  1. 100% -> SMPCB V1.07 (Green) with Dual-DC +-15V
  2. 98%    ->Skysong ES9038Q2M with Dual-DC +-15V
  3. 82%    ->both boards with Dual DC +-12V
  4. 72%    ->SMPCB V1.07 (Green) with single 12V/15V
  5. 70% 😉 ->Skysong ES9038Q2M with single 12V/15V
  6. 68%     -> „Blue“ ES9038Q2M with single 12V/15V

but as said, very „speculative“ 😉

by that these new Skysong ES9038Q2M with the display, volume-poti and possibility to „control“ it via some cheap (3$) Apple-TV-remote is very „handy“ usability-wise; very nice to adjust the volume on the board too (its a „hardware“-volume mixer (bit-wise)) and has very little impact on the sound-quality, almost nothing..(by that i can finally change the different filter-types „on the fly“, will maybe post a little bit more of it) as originally wanted here on the site..

so again, sorry about it, but i guess thats the final post concerning the differences on these ES9038Q2Ms, maybe we´ll get some ES9038 Pro in future 😉 ,

greets for now 😉

Hifi-Speaker test/review: Mission 780 MK.II vs Mission 780 / Mission LX-/QX-2 MK.II

so, 😉

as i wanted to upgrade my hi-fi in general, i´ve bought 2 month ago some Mission 780 MK.II; they were two times „speaker of the year“ and as i´ve tested my old 780 against  some Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 ->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=2137 and was absolutely disappointed (see the post) i thought i stuck with the „Mission-direction“ (and okay, have to test some KEF, Dali Zensor, Monitor Audio etc.,etc.,etc.) but for the present i´ve ordered them with 2 not „original/Mission“ bass-driver (these Mission 780 MK.II were extremly „rare“ ->https://www.hifishark.com/model/mission-780 )

but in a very good condition + niciest wood-veneer and bought afterwards the missing 2 bass-driver also..

got them at home, replaced the driver and voilá: wonderful, lively, unbelievable, „roomy/airy/3D-ish“ „Mission“-sound ! 😉

BUT: to thin ;-( ..no wonder, the overall „volume“ of the speaker-cases is unsufficient (IMO)..) by that, the „old“ 780er sounded really better/more hi-fi then the new ones (but absolutely not so lively/clear like the new-ones, MK.IIs)..

and so as i was unsatisfied with the case-volume of the MK.IIs i came across the much newer Mission LX-/QX-2 (MK.II) !!->399€->

(last 2. picture: Philip Thielen -> https://www.lite-magazin.de/2021/03/mission-lx-2-mkii-fuer-hohe-ansprueche-und-kleine-geldbeutel/)

and yes, as u see, they are much more voluminous, „bulgy“, thats what i also thought, want to have 😉 (in comparison to the 780 MK.IIs)

so, i guess that would be the next „goal“ 😉 (and afterwards maybe some Monitor-Audios or KEFs or Dali or or or or 😉 )

in these sense, many greets for now 😉

PROJECT IV: PART 3 / Dual DC +-15 / LibreELEC / Toroidal T.+ LM317/337

so, 😉

as said, burnt my Philips BDP9500-powerboard with these fabulous dual DC (+-12V) ->(see post before) but i didn´t give up 😉 and so i tried another way to get my wonderful dual DC 😉 ..

okay, as i have now only straight/normal +12V DC (via another line on the powerboard (have still of course the toroidal Dual AC (18V1 + 18V2, more later)) i thought why don´t buy a single DC to Dual DC-converter !! ? (found it by chance,  didn´t knew its possible)-> 5,50€ Aliexpress-> https://de.aliexpress.com/item/32924044001.html

and so i could test-out again the „benefits“ from dual DC..

okay, the dc-dc converter runs a little bit hot (had to screw the poti a little bit up (from 12V to +- 15V)(use a little 5V-fan to cool it) but again, such a nice sound/tune from dual DC (absolutely better channel separation etc., see also post before) (and now with the, for me missing, „push“ from the +-15V instead of +-12V before !!) + and this time i used „LibreELEC„->https://libreelec.tv 

because i´ve got the Rasberry Pi Zero 2 earlier, (and wanted to check the usability as a media-center with only 512MB Ram from the Zero 2) and voilá also a nice sound via Pi 4->Skysong XMOS-USB-bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M; really a little bit „airier“ maybe better as with „Volumio“ for example (but also a little bit more „distorted“, have to evaluate it more), but absolutely nice, these better dual DC-sound 😉 ..

and because i´m an absolutely dummy/noob concerning electronical things like these whole dual AC/DC.-thing (but made these site also for people with no knowledge in these things 😉 , to learn about it) i also found out by connecting the toroidal 18V1/18V2 to a simple dual AC to dual DC-converter (see post before) that i got a massive voltage drop under load (means: set to +-15V out, dropped under load extremly about 4-5V (to 11V for example), had not such a drop with the single DC-rail/line, discussed it with some friends and yes, absolutely clear, u need some capacitor to „buffer“, like with these ->“regulated LM317 + LM337 power supply board AC-DC“ with some 35V/2200uF capacitors for example ! 😉 (as said, totally clear for some electronical-hifi-freaks but not for me till this point); there are a lot of them around, also with greater capacitors, but just to learn about)..this thing cost about 9€ ->https://de.aliexpress.com/item/32570124466.html

(Voltage input-range: Dual AC28V (three lines), Voltage output-range: ±DC1. 25 V to 30 V adjustable.)

good 😉 ,

so, and now we´ve learned:

you have to use/need a regulated power-board behind some toroidal transformer !! 😉 (and some „thermistor“ before, another time..)

more to come + greets for now 😉

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W / ESP32-S2 (ESP12K) / Skysong ES9038Q2M

so, 😉

as i unfortunately „burnt“ my green SMPCB 1.07 + the power-board from the BDP9500 (schniff ;-( , had not fixed the +12V-0V–12V cables correctly, only „so half-way“ 😉 , moved the sabre-board a little bit and voila: a nice grey cloud lifted up here above the power-board 😉 ) (but i ordered a new one (ES9038Q2M), see at the bottom), i´ve meanwhile recognized the arrival from the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2..

has 4 cores @ 1GHZ (instead of 1 core before) (same amount (512MB) ram), some newer Bluetooth (4.2) BLE and cost about 19$->https://buyzero.de/products/raspberry-pi-zero-2-w (u can read a lot about it in the web->https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero-2-w/ )

(i still thought to use it as „control“ for the LCD1602-display, the relais for the inputs (coax+tos) + „webcontrolled“ (see other projects before), but i guess the „boot-times“ for the Pi Zero 2 (also for Micro-Python btw.) are too long, so i guess i stick back with the ESP32 but this time i think i use „micro-python“ because u can use the same „sketches“/python-scripts on the both platforms (its easier + more interesting for me at present (super easy to flash and work with micro-python on the ESP32 btw.))..

and so i found a newer revision of the ESP32; the ESP32-S2 (ESP-12K)..it has only one but newer core, a little less ram, without bluetooth (was either way too resources-hungry) + has a better usb-support etc..cost only about 5€; is here->https://de.aliexpress.com/item/1005001489650877.html

so, and as i either way „burnt“ an „old“ SMPCB 1.07, i thought this time i buy a

„Skysong“ ES9038Q2M with display and poti; 45€ from here->https://de.aliexpress.com/item/32979155509.html

(i wrote about this particular ES9038Q2M-board already here-> http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=2211)

and i think/thought that as they made such a phenomenal XMOS-USB-bridge („..best xmos-implementation..“)->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1040

it could be really an upgrade to the SMPCB 1.07(will report more then about it)..by that these ES9038Q2M-board is DSD512-compatible (didn´t read it somewhere else) + special japanese condensators + u can also use some Apple TV remote (3€) to select the input-channel (I2S,coax,tos) + volume adjustment + select digital filter..

by that, a new „Moodeaudio“ is out (7.6)->https://moodeaudio.org/

nothing else new from here, guess i want to buy a new (spare-part) Philips BDP-9500 power-board (for the dual 12V) and will maybe post a python-script for the web-controlled/IR-receiver/LCD1602 for the „ES9038Q2M-Box“ in future..

but greets from here and have a nice pre-christmas-time ! 😉

SFB2

PROJECT IV: PART 2 / fast update / benefits from Dual (+12V-0–12V) DC

so, 😉

fast update: as my original plan (using the massive Cyrus-PSX-talema transformer (see posts before) + some AC-DC rectifier for dual-DC)) is now suddenly „obsolete“ cause i´ve got no voltage output at the end of the chain (don´t know why at present) i used the power supply for the video-section (+12V-0V–12V) from the BDP9500 and my green ES9038Q2M for finally dual DC power supply..and first impressions ?

1.for the dual DC-thing: absolutely more exact left/right->absolutely better „channel separation“ higher S/N i guess too, more „lively“..i knew and read a lot about it, and indeed, it has a great impact of the output (want not to go back to single DC) +

2.the high-class power-supply chain (from the BDP9500): absolutely lower „noise-floor“; everything more „lively/airier“, absolutely higher S/N-ratio (is absolutely clear->if u remove the background-noise, everything will get more in the „foreground“ and is more clear + lively)..

i miss a little bit the „attack“ which i got more, the more voltage i put in (IMO) and as said, the manufacturer says „..dual 15V (+15V-0V–15V)“ and have now only 12V; will look for a way to solve this..

another result from this 2 „optimizations“ is an absolute greater „presence“ in the mids/vocals (here on Mission-speaker)..by that i´ve got the feel that i have to put the volume on the amplifier a little bit „up“, to get to the „sweet spot“->guess a good alternative could also be to reduce the DAC-volume via the onboard/onchip-volume-control via some poti to 90%-95% (and turn the amplifier up)->had this first checked with the ES9028Q2M some years ago 😉 -> http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=440 and the result was fine..(the disadvantage is maybe a little bit worser SQ (because of the „altering“); have „to balance/check“ it out) 

Conclusion: with these 2 „optimizations“ you get some really interesting new ways/turns concerning the sound/character !! have now to adopt it in further testing out; dual DC + high quality power supply (+less EMI-noise +such)->to recommend !! 😉

greets for now (+ more to come) !! 😉

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