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Digital source advice.

Discussion in 'audio' started by Natara, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    I’m looking for a digital source that will play high res files either from it own hard drive or from a usb storage.
    I won’t have WiFi but Bluetooth would be handy so I could stream Tidal etc from a phone or Laptop I already have a Dac so it doesn’t really need its own one.
    Price wise about a £100 as it’s only for a 2nd system consisting of TPA3116 amp and small monitors.
  2. thebiglebowski

    thebiglebowski pfm Member

    Raspberry Pi with a bluetooth dongle running Volumio
  3. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    Just be careful that Bluetooth is not CD quality, I think you'd be better off using Airplay, which Volumio supports. I just open up the TIDAL app on my phone (on the same network as the Pi), then set it to send to Volumio, done. :)
  4. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    Thanks that's interesting as I'm not really up on these things. I've used a Pi with a digi one but only over wifi and connected to a Chord 2Qute it was quite a bit better than the Naim streamer I had at that time and of course it will take a usb storage device.
    ariegur likes this.
  5. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    Didn't know about Airplay but my only wifi source will be my phone (no home wifi) so will this still work? I used to use Tidal via Volumio when I had a Raspberry before but did find it a bit clunky having to add tunes to playlists which I just couldn't get my other half to fathom but I'll also have a Google Chrome attached to the dac for her to use.
  6. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    An Apple Airport Express is a cheap way of creating a wifi network if you need one. I have a few of them and plug one in for use around the house. It just needs an Ethernet cable to feed it some internets and to be in a place where the signal will reach to where you need it.

    As for a digital source I use an old (2007) Mac mini that I picked up from a car boot for a tenner and it runs an old free version of Audirvana.
    Alex S likes this.
  7. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    So I can use Volumio on my phone as a controller to play music via bluetooth thats stored on usb drive inserted in the Pi without a wifi network?
  8. tuga

    tuga European

    If you wish to use your phone as controller you will need either wi-fi or bluetooth.

    Wi-fi requires a wireless router.
    You can place it close to the R-Pi and connect the two with a Cat5 or Cat6 Ethernet (patch) cable.
  9. cupples

    cupples Active Member

    Raspberry pi 3 and above has wifi on board, and bluetooth - if no wifi network it can be set to act as a wifi hotspot so that you can connect directly via your phone, but then you wouldn't be able to connect phone to the net to stream Tidal etc... but you could connect to control the usb content. If you're doing a lot of streaming, maybe getting a cheap portable 4g wifi hotspot with a pre-loaded data sim might be an option. I don't think that you can easily control Volumio via bluetooth, but other options would include fitting a touchscreen, or perhaps using an old phone or ipad touch purely as a remote over wifi?
  10. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    No it doesn't! If you use Volumio on a Pi it acts as a WiFi hotspot and you can connect directly to it via any web browser.


    tuga likes this.
  11. tuga

    tuga European

    Didn't know that.

    Personally I'd rather not have the Pi using wi-fi but I agree that it is the most convenient option.
  12. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    I’m beginning to think the whole Pi route is just too much faffing about for me.

    I’ve been looking at some DAP’s with Digital out that will take SD cards up to 1TB and also have Tidal incorporated fully allowing offline mode.

    The Fiio M9 in particular can use its own onboard twin dacs via headphone out or supply a signal via coaxial to an off board dac.
  13. Darren

    Darren All Business

    I Currently use an LG V20 phone as a streamer using its built in "HiFi" dac (very well specced and reviewed) . A 3.50mm to twin phono cable goes into the amp and I use spotify connect to remotely control it. I dunno whether a similar set up would be any good? You can get a nos V20 for not very much and it sounds great.
  14. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    Thanks Darren,
    I've actually just purchased a Fiio M9 DAP that has both digital and analogue out so that I can either connect directly to an amp as you do using the twin onboard DAC's or bypass those and connect it to a seperate DAC and from there to an amp.

    The M9 also has Tidal which I use preinstalled and can also be installed with Spotify, Roon and Quboz amongst others and it allows you to use Tidal in offline mode if you have a subscription. Though it only has 2GB on board it can take up to 2TB via an SD card so can store a huge amount of music and with the latest firmware can accomodate Airplay.
    Darren likes this.

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