Volumio at V2.457 / Dietpi V.6.16 / mympd / upgraded ES9038Q2M decoder board I2S

so, 😉
after searching today for some new ES9038Q2M-boards/-infos, i´ve found also this “Upgraded version of ES9038Q2M decoder board I2S input OPA1612+AD8397ADRZ” (it was also mentioned in these diyaudio.com-forum)->Link

it costs only about 42$ (incl.shipping), and interesting is (besides all the disadvantages like the 5V-9Vplug, the only-headphone 3,5mm jack and so on) that they use “OPA1612” for the AVCC-section and some “AD8397ADRZ” for the “output”-section..

i´ve googled immediately for “AD8397ADRZ” and according to this post/article->https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audio-gd-discrete-op-amps-reviewed-opa-earth-opa-moon-opa-sun-v-2.397691/ its only in the “Category 2 – nice but incomplete sound” 😉  (posted the link+excerpts also in the forum here->Link)

the author there also said, that for him (and thats interesting for me) the AD797BRZ (i have the AD797ANZ here) are the only ones in the “Category 5 – complete sound traveling in the clean air” 
“..roughly, it’s like the AD79ANZ with all advantages of the OPA627BP added” and as u know, i just wanted to buy lately an OPA627 (the “Bugatti Veyron” on the OP-Amps) to “finalize” my op-amp-experiences..
so i guess i have to check-out these AD797BRZ some time too 😉

another thing is that they are now at Volumio V2.457 (PI Kernel bump to 4.14.69 and some fixes), i´ve tested it immediately with the ES9038Q2M and the “Allo-Katana”-setting, and it was, as said in an earlier post, “massive” (ES9038Q2M+2*AD797) again !!


this time had the chance to test it before with the ES9028Q2M-option (in Volumio) and some minutes before also with the i-sabre-k2m option in Dietpi V6.16..

last time i thought it could also be by the changed footprint/pi-kernel-bump but today i would say the “Allo Katana”-overlay is more specialized on the ES9038Q2M-core->

finally, at present, i must really say that i have the best sound (on all distros) with the newer Volumio (V2.452 and up) + “Allo Katana”-settings on an ES9038Q2M+2*AD797 !! (okay, its really tight between them but Volumio is absolutely easy to handle at present)

DietPi is now at V6.16, i just wanted to set up the new “mympd”-(fork of ympd), ran into trouble, theres a workaround now and its fixed in DietPi V6.17..(“Allo Katana” works NOT on DietPi (with the ES9038Q2M) but with the “i-sabre-k2m” overlay i got 32/384..)

more to come, greets for now 😉


3 Kommentare

  • Hello ,

    I am interested in buying that same es9038q2m board . The reason is compactness of the board , and the fact that I only have a 5v power supply available . My plan is to connect the board to a raspberry Pi zero w , to replace currently used dac based on pcm5102a . The pcm5102a is currently working through is2 bus , and I would like to put in the es9038q2m board in the same place , and connect to same amplifier I have .

    Will this board work with raspberry Pi on is2 connection , with Volumio ?

    Also I have not been able to find any diagram how to connect this board to Pi . Do you know how the pins connect ?

    Much thanks , appreciate your help.

    • P.s. enjoyed your articles

    • hi there !!
      many thx for your interest in these es90x8q2m´s ;-)..
      okay, while first reading your post, i´ve promptly thought: “the raspberry pi zero has not enough cpu and overall power for your “arrangement”..
      I´ve connected exactly what u want (in this case an es9028q2m to a zero, see this post->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1359 ) and as far as i remember i made a special picture exactly about how to connect an es90x8q2m to a zero via i2s (must be somewhere here on the site/or in the forum but havent found it right now ;-))..(maybe for now its enough what u see in the above mentioned post)..
      anyway in reading the above post, i wrote that anything works fine with volumio and the low cpu power of the zero, but in remembering i thought, the zero is too slow..(and if u have a slow cpu u have more connect/lock problems over I2S)
      another problem is that u mean u have only a 5V power supply; but u need min. 12V (better 15V) for the ES9038Q2M..
      summarized: its absolutely possible to connect a es9038q2m via I2S to a zero and play volumio on it, but its a little bit to slow in my opinion and u need a 12V supply in any way..
      but many thx for now, i hope i could help u a little bit (also with the post above); right now i´m just searching for this picture with the I2S connection between the zero and an es9028q2m..if i will find it, i will post it here !! 😉
      but many greets for now !! 😉

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