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 !! 😉

 

SACD_extract 0.3.9.3-099/-GUI / difference between Philips and Sony .dsf/.dsdiff-files

so, 😉

as i wanted to play finally my .dsf/.dff-files on the Sony BDP-S7200 (via USB, not to mention over DLNA) i´ve got always a file is corrupt or wrong media-format“ (->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=2618)..

found then by chance an article in which is written that the files has to be “flagged” (more or less) as a Sony or Philips .dsf-file..

on www.sacdr.net they say:”Sony SACD-Format is DSF, Philips SACD-Format is DFF” , don´t know if this is true/right but this leads me to the “sacd-extract.exe” + GUI in which u can checkbox “Output as Philips dsdiff-file” or “Output as Sony .dsf-file”..->

did it, and voilá:->it works !!” 😉

u can get the “sacd_extract.exe” (-0.3.9.3-99) from here->https://www.videohelp.com/software/sacd-extract

(direct-link Win64->https://www.videohelp.com/download/sacd_extract-0.3.9.3-99-win64.zip or here->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/driver/sacd_extract-0.3.9.3-99-win64.zip)

the according GUI is here->https://sourceforge.net/projects/sacd-extract-gui/

(now in V1.5.0.1; they changed the gui a little bit)->

(also here->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/driver/sacd_extract-gui-winforms-dotnet-1.5.0.1.zip)

okay, listen now to the .dsf-files but heavy white noised because of now little connection problems over I2S between the hdmi-extractor + ES9038Q2M, but will solder new I2S-sockets on it, we´ll see..

so many greets for now + much more to come !! 😉

Audirvana for windows: no comparison to a pi/i2s/es90xx-combo nor VLC-player nor CD-transporter solution

so, 😉

as i´m lately here full on “try-out” to play DSD/dsf/dff-files (easy handling at first !!) i came today  about “Audirvana” (for windows)..It has a very great reputation in the Apple-scene, and i read about it from time to time..

so, i just downloaded the windows-version (not easy to find, absolutely complicated on their website, have first to be registered and so on..) 

wanted to try it because of the DSD/dsf-files compability and okay, fine, you got a nice settings-menu with the capabilitys of your connected DACs->

(also interesting is that “our” great Skysong XMOS-USB-bridge (see other posts) has the capability of up 768khz/PCM and DSD256 (the “Leaf”-XMOS-USB-bridge (also other posts) for example goes only to 384khz/PCM, DSD128))

okay, tried the “Xduoo Link” (55$)->(http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=2193) to play, finally !!, some dsf(DSD)-files under windows without any problems/hassle (like foobar2000 for example) and voilá, it works !! ;-)->

the UI of Audirvana is also okay (u get again another approach to your wonderful/great music library !!) but now the downside:

for me, absolutely NO hi-fi !!

the “normal” VLC-player (for windows) has a better “performance”( soundwise) IMO, not to speak about some brilliant raspberry-pi/i2s/es90xx-combo or CD-transporter-solutions..

absolutely too “muffled” and no “clear” presentation (its because of the PC-emi-things and thousand processes running in the background) against the short electronical circuits on a pi for example..so conclusion:

very nice UI, another approach to your great music-library, easy handling, u can play dsf(DSD)-files but soundwise absolutely no hi-fi..(because PC-based)..

but okay, very easy handling, no “pops” by changing/playing different sound-formats and u can play dsf-files..

so, more to come, (ordered some Sony Bluray-player with DSD over hdmi-capability and will post then more about it !!)

greets for now !! 😉

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 !! 😉

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 !! 😉

Raspi-AK4137 single-HAT for 2/3B/3B+ Pi (30$) ; “Sonore” ISO2DSD v7

so, 😉
thx to this phenomenal (post) in the diyaudio.com-forum->https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/314935-es9038q2m-board-278.html,
we have now here our AK4137 as a single HAT for the Pi !! 😉
as said in earlier posts, we have to improve the signal-quality(lower jitter and so on) over I2S->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/2018/06/srcs-ti-4192-ak4137-volumio-update-foo_dsd_asio/


it costs only 30 !! $ and u can get it here->LINK
..The main function of this board is to improve the quality of the Raspberry Pi I2S signal and reduce jitter. And make up for the Raspberry Pi I2S output without MCLK! The original I2S output of the Raspberry Pi does not have MCLK and most high-performance DACs require MCLK to work. And the AK4137 reconstruction clock reduces the Raspberry Pi output signal jitter enhancement.
This board supports Raspberry Pi 2B 3B 3B+”..
so, as also posted earlier the AK4137 has 768khz (PCM) + 12.288 MHz DSD and DR: 186dB !!THD+N: -150dB ->AsahiKasei(AKM) datasheet->Link

(u use it between the Pi and our ES9038Q2M for example..a really long explanation on the other functions of this HAT is in the ebay-description above)

by that i came by chance (and according to the previous post) about this “Sonore ISO2DSD“-converter (a GUI for the sacd-ripper) + “Sonore DSD2FLAC“->


u can download both from here:
https://www.sonore.us/iso2dsd.html
https://www.sonore.us/dsd2flac.html

many greets for now !! 😉

Little (Win)-exkursus -> foobar2000-alternative – Teac Hi-res Editor / ASIO-DSD / Win 384k

so, 😉
by searching for the right settings to play real, native-DSD i came by chance about this tool->TEAC Hi-res-editor (WAV/DSD/DFF)
->https://teac.jp/int/product/teac_hi-res_editor/top

very interesting was, and thats why i post it here mainly, is because i couldnt play (flacs) above 192khz in VLC for example in Win8.1 (Win10) with the XMOS(Skysong)-USB-bridge and our lovely chinese-sabre-boards (ES90xx..)
i could select 24bit/384khz in sound-properties (XMOS-USB-Audio), could “generate” a test-tone, but playing flacs in 384khz by example was not possible..
I´ve installed this “Teac-Hi-res-editor” and surprisingly i had my 384khz (VLC) in Win8.1(Win10) !!
think it had installed some driver from which i was not aware of before..
second, the main very interesting feature of this Teac-Player/Editor that u can select the different DSD-rates (DSD64-2.8M,DSD128-5.6M and DSD256-11.2M) via the “play-frequency”-dropbox and it switches/plays through it->the Skysong(XMOS-USB)-bridge “clacks”-through and changes the LEDs accordingly to it !!

wonderful and absolutely easy !! (i had the ES9018K2M connected and have unfortunately a white noise at these rates (the PCM-rates up to 384khz are working well), but will test it with the ES9028Q2M and the ES9038Q2M)..
anyway, absolutely simple and very prolific !! 😉
(u must change the audio-driver in the audio-driver settings to “ASIO” of course-> see pictures..but soo easy, great)(if u have no “ASIO->(XMOS USB)”-option try to install the xmos-driver V4.36 or V4.45 again (here singxer/skysong-driverpack))

greets for now !! 😉