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 !! 😉

 

Absolutely simple Arduino IR-repeater for Hi-Fi Gear Cambridge Audio CA-540A or other..

so, 😉
after i´ve made some IR-Remote substitutions for my Cambridge Audio CA540 Azur Amp (see „Project-1“ and „Project-2“ and so on) here on the site with first Bluetooth and then Web-Control i´ve finally made it „over-simple“ 😉 and use an Arduino (2,50$) + some IR-receiver (VS1838B)(0,40$) + IR-Transmitter (0,40€) + some dupont-cable (also 0,50$ incl.shipping)->on aliexpress by example..->Link,Link,Link

 


the point was the right library for this and i used (many,many thx to „Eddy Yanto“ !!) the simple IR-repeater-library on github->https://github.com/eddyyanto/ir-repeater
point was that in description it says:“..This sketch receives the infrared signal on standard pin number 3, decodes and dump the infrared information on Serial and forward the raw infrared signal to pin number 4.“; but that works not !!
in the .ino on the other hand it says:“..int RECV_PIN = 4;
IRrecv irrecv(RECV_PIN);
IRsend irsend; // Defaults to pin 3“ and thats the opposite !! (works with the .ino-settings now of course)..
tried to reach him via e-mail to correct the description->no success until now..
anyway, u can now use almost any (hi-fi)-remote; place the ir-receiver at some point near u (and to which your remote can point/send to of course), make a dupont-cable-connection to your arduino in any length u wish and from there also in any length to the ir-transmitter !!
(the sketch only receives + transmit->no more other modifications to do in the sketch !! (noob-friendly 😉 )
easy as this and thats it ! 😉 (Total costs: 4$)
(working sketch is here btw.->Link) and on Github of course, again->https://github.com/eddyyanto/ir-repeater
by that i´ve bought some Burson V5i as D (Dual) and will report then about it !!

greets for now 😉

„Project 1“->Cambridge Audio Azur 540A IR/BT-Remote DIY – *Works* !! ;-)

so, 😉
after i´ve got my „Arduino Mega 2560 R3“->on sale 11,99€ Amazon->LINK a few days ago, i just wanted to revive my „Project 1“ Cambridge Audio Azur A540 Remote via a „Bluepill“ (STM32F103C8T6) or an Arduino; original post here-> http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/2017/12/programming-subkurs-i-ir-receiver-raspberry-pi-project-1-cambridge-audio-azur-540a-remote/..


I´ve ordered an Arduino because this Bluepill/STM32-programming via the Arduino IDE is still very complicated at present imo, because there were nowhere really clear,simple instructions and libraries (pin assignments and so on)..(more maybe later)..
so i´ve decided to „fall back“ on this original Arduino-thing, hoped it would be easier at first for me..
long story short: (I´ve made a really long TuT over at the forum->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=18)
because i didnt know how to send and receive IR-signals (simultaneously) and which pins i then i have to/use edit in the boarddefs.h (Arduino IRremote-library) i switched over to my HC-06 Bluetooth-Modul….
etc..etc 😉
Full story (as said) here->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=18




and now it works here absolute fantastic !!! 😉

Programming-Subkurs I: IR-Receiver -> Raspberry Pi / + „Project 1“: Cambridge Audio Azur 540A Remote

so,
because this site is all about „Building your own DIY-DAC“ 😉 (and audio in general) i just new invented a new category: Programming (Rpi+STM32) + „Projects“-> in this case „Project 1 – building your own Cambridge Audio Azur 540A Remote“ 😉
okay, got a wonderful IR-Receiver+Remote-Set (HX1838) from Aliexpress today->0,78€ !! (inkl.shipping)->Link

and have here at home an „Cambridge Audio Azur 540A“ – Amplifier..



(really good sound (more maybe later), got almost everyday better 😉 )
but with a really horrible, horrible IR-Remote->i have to point to from 1cm away 😉 ), so i thought i build an own ir-modul (receiver and transmitter) with this DIY-things and a STM32F103C8T6 „Bluepill“..
long story short: tried to setup LIRC on a RPI according to this TUT->https://tutorials-raspberrypi.de/raspberry-pi-ir-remote-control/
bu there was no output in the console..googled a lot and the solution is->“LIRC not working on Raspbian Stretch Raspberry Pi“->
„## 0.9.4 disruptive update
The configuration is so much changed that updating from 0.9.0 requires
manual intervention. This could be done using the update scripts or as
a completely manual process. Many users will always need some manual steps“
from here->https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=192891
another thing is, its not a .sh file (as wrongly described) , but a python one, so->“sudo python3 lirc-old2new„..
(now it works..)
(more to come..)

Review: Sanskrit SMSL Sanskrit 10th MK.II / absolutely „bad“, not for „hi-fi-enthusiasts“

so, 😉

got today the „SMSL Sanskrit 10th MK.II“ (from Amazon) in red and the first thing to remark is that the case/DAC is absolutely small; absolutely smaller than you might expect..

second: had trouble in detecting it via USB under Windows 10..installed the original smsl(xmos)-driver (Thesycon), tried all different USB-ports, restart etc, no success..

connected then a blurayplayer via coax->suddenly the DAC via USB was detected..

third: the tone !!

generally speaking: absolutely nothing..absolutely no push/aggressiveness, no particular soundstage, no „3D“, no „airy“, brilliance, nothing, absolutely „flat“..

okay, for „normal“ PC-soundcard-user its maybe an upgrade, but for really sabre-hi-fi-enthusiasts absolutely NOT !!  

i would say, from the overall tone-quality its in the ES9018/28Q2M-range, almost so bad like the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic-100 for example, the Xduoo-Link (portable) sounds almost better..(btw.just saw the Cambridge Dac Magic 200M uses also ESS Sabre-chips; the „100“ used Burr-Brown, no 3D,soundstage,nothing)..

okay, so absolutely no comparison to an ES9038Q2M (not to speak of an ES9038Pro for example)->„worlds/“lightyears“ between them (also i got the feel that the AKM4493 is not soo bad as Sanskrit has it implemented in this „Sanskrit 10th Anniversary MK.II“)

so, great/final conclusion:

buy the SMSL Sanskrit 10th Anniversary MK.II

„ABSOLUTELY NOT“ !! 

absolut no recommendation; if u would buy a cheap chinese ES9038Q2M (for only 35$)  you will have an absolutely better tone/sound !!

AKM vs. ES-Sabre:

i really miss this „spectacular“ 3D, soundstage,“airy“, aggressiveness/push from the ESS-Sabre-chips..no comparison, ESS-SabreChips are laps/“worlds“ ahead !!

so, the other possibilty in this price-range would be the Topping D10S, one ES9038Q2M in it (the D50S for example is a dual-ES9038Q2Ms-build), but it has only an usb-input, no coax/toslink/no remote..

so, todays conclusion for me is to safe money and buy a Topping D50S (with this dual ES9038Q2M)..(obviously it would be better buying some DAC with an ES9038Pro or similar, but this also costs a lot more..) 

greets for now !  (was a tough/interesting afternoon ! 😉 )

Again: The „..there are no differences between Op-Amps“- fable !! (OPA2134-NE5532-Muses8920)

so, 😉
again: i´ve changed the NE5532 on the ES9018K2m today to an „OPA2134“ and i hear absolutely great differences..
The OPA2134 is very „airy“,“lively“ (in comparison to the NE5532) see this post:->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/2018/04/op-amps-ne5532-vs-opa2134-vs-muses-8920-02-essabre-link-dietpi-6-5/
and has (brings back) a certain „glance“ in the high-middles/highs..and this is all too because its very less „distorted“ than a NE5532 par example..
okay, it misses a little bit the „push“ from a NE5532->all said and written in the above mentioned post and some other..
(update: for me also too „thin“; but for this we have our lovely „Muses8920“ 😉 )
but the main fact is that there are absolutely great differences; okay i have here a Cambridge Audio Azur 540A amplifier and some phenomenal Mission-Cyrus-speaker; so more „monitor/neutral/british“-sound..
but i dont get it, why some people say (like in my „praised“ diyaudio.com-forum too) they hear almost no differences and „..there is to be cleared if its to hear at all“
???
are they (some) completely stupid there or what ? 😉
and such crap i´ve read also as i started to read/buy/change the Op-Amps on our lovely essabre-boards too and this „comments“ almost hindered me to start it at all..
so, to come back to start:
upshot: there are great differences by the different OP-Amps and u can hear it loud and clear !! 😉

Massdrop: SMSL IQ Portable DAC/Amp ES9018Q2C + Sabaj DA3 (2*9018Q2C)

so, 😉
no worry about the ES9038Q2M 😉 there are new ES Sabre-audio-chips on the way/in the pipe.. 😉
and because this is an audiophile-site i present here some (mobile-)DACs from time to time..->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/category/dacs/
came by chance about this thing on Massdrop->https://www.massdrop.com/buy/smsl-iq-portable-dac-amp..

 

cost only 109$ (88€ !!) but is shipped not before March 8, 2018 !!
the specs are looking great:
Dynamic range: 125 dB
Frequency response: 10 Hz–100 kHz
THD + N: 0.0003%
SNR: 118 dB
Bit depth: 16, 24, 32, 1 bit
Sampling rate: PCM (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384, 705.6, 768 kHz); DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512

and according to this pictures/links it has 2 !! ES9018Q2C-chips onboard..

same with the Sabaj DA3->there also 2 !! ES9018Q2C..

they also said this Sabaj D3 with 2 Sabres sounds better than an Cambridge AudioDacmagic V2, what i really believe because i had an Cambridge Audio Dacmagic here and it was well manufactured but by far not such a high resolution as the ES9018K2M by example; on the first DacMagic there were Wolfson-chips in it->see review at the forum->LINK

other useful links->https://www.head-fi.org/threads/smsl-idea-portable-dac-amp.851110/page-22
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=152638.200

„Skysong“ XMOS-USB XU208->first impressions+experiences (Win10)

so, 😉
first, i must say: „Unbelievable“ 😉
(first impressions after arrival:looks very neat and very well manufactured !!“)

hadnt expected so much; just wanted to uprade my PC-soundcard a little bit (Asus Xonar DX) and get rid of those horrible clicks/pops on the raspberry pi..
use now my „ES9018K2M“ cause i dont wanted to f*** up my raspberry-setting with the ES9028Q2M..
and now i know what i already knew 😉 , that the ES9018K2M were already „High-End“ in the right circumstances/surroundings..(and they were implemented on these/our „cheap“ chinese-boards with low-quality components !!)


i also read somewhere that our lovely chinese-boards were specially designed for XMOS-USB devices; don´t know if its true but i can confirm that it is almost unbelievable what i now hear here ;-)..
so „dry“, such a lot of details, spaciousness, so less latency..
(it really upgraded my hifi-gear by 10-15%, and i have here a Cambridge Audio-Amp and Mission Cyrus Speaker)

okay, use now the standard-Win10-driver; had problems with Win8..
Krunoslav Kovacic“ send us fortunately the driver for the Skysong/Singxer for DSD on Win10 (hadnt test it yet by myself) and moved it also to the forum..(and some „standard“-driver)..->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/forum
it says „XMOS USB Device“ and „Skysong DFU“ in the device-manager..absolut no hassle or problems while installing..
u can select up to „24bit/384khz“ in the audio-properties->(see picture)

VLC-player plays 192khz but no more; Windows Test works with 384khz..
use now here JRiver („XMOS USB Audio-WASAPI“) will test then foobar, ASIO etc..
(and this is all on a PC; hadnt started the whole Raspberry/Dietpi/Moode-thing right now 😉 ..)
Conclusion (for the moment): absolutely super to recommend !!->47$/39€ inkl. shipping (23 !! days to deliver from this seller)
https://www.ebay.de/itm/XMOS-XU208-Asynchronous-USB-coaxial-fiber-output-IIS-DSD256-spdif-dop64/122848729137?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

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