Building a streamer using Rpi 4, 4gb or 8gb RAM?

essrand

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Hello,

I want to try my hand at building a roon endpoint using Rpi 4.
Wanted advice from someone with experience on Rpi, does the amount of RAM matter, 4gb vs 8gb, I know more RAM is always good in the PC world but is it the same with Rpi. Should I splurge for the extra 4GB RAM if budget permits?
THanks,
Bhaskar
 

rikhav

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For roon endpoint , rpi by its own is a complete no.

The allo usbridge signature with the rpi + it's own usb hat board totally transforms the sound.

The complexity involved would be absolutely same as both involves using raspberry Pi, but sound wise allo usbridge signature would be a giant leap.

Even more if you can add the shanti LPSU to it.

Use ropieee with this combination to make it a roon end point
 

OM_2K19

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You can also opt for a Celeron based NUC (pretty cheap) with a 100GB SSD (OS/Media Library, pick a drive per your media library)/ 4GB RAM (Min). Put Ubuntu on it and install Roon Server, it won't disappoint you.
 

Kannan

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Hello,

I want to try my hand at building a roon endpoint using Rpi 4.
Wanted advice from someone with experience on Rpi, does the amount of RAM matter, 4gb vs 8gb, I know more RAM is always good in the PC world but is it the same with Rpi. Should I splurge for the extra 4GB RAM if budget permits?
THanks,
Bhaskar
As mentioned above by @rikhav , rpi standalone is not a good bet for audio.

The options are ALLO products (USBridge Signature or Digione Signature)
USBridge signature uses a CM6 tweaked rpi board bereft of bluetooth, wifi and non-galvanised USB ports. So you will not have a choice of rpi.
It however supports hi-resolution files (DSD) out of the board, of course also depends on your DAC capability.

Digione Signature uses the normal rpi board so you can keep upgrading. You will get onboard bluetooth and wifi. With rpi4 you will also get bluetooth 5. 4GB RAM is more than enough if you use native playback of local files and stream Spotify, Tidal etc natively if supported by the OS like Volumio or LMS (LMS also supports native youtube playback). If you will use something like MoOde, rpi will only be a client for Spotify, Tidal etc. so streaming will be the option, then 8GB RAM could be more beneficial in terms of buffering.
But digione signature cannot do DSD if that is your goal as well, it is restricted to 24/192 because of the coax hardware restriction.

There are of course other alternatives to ALLO to be used with RPI with dedicated i2s DAC and transports and even integrated amps on i2S.

Then again you also have other options than RPI for single board computers (SBC) like VIM with khadas tone board, tinkerboard from ASUS, SBC kits from Nvidia etc.
 

amitk777

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If the idea is that Roon server is on a different machine , like a laptop, go ahead with 2GB on Pi. I used to run Roon server on a old laptop and as per the (linux ps command) CPU performance it logged , the old laptop wasn't stressed out. Ditto for the roon end point. Roon server takes a huge amount of memory if you use its UI. If you use its moblie app, it is alright.
 

essrand

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Thank you all for your kind responses.

I want to start with Rpi 4, then maybe move on to Allo, before jumping to some off the shelf streamer and at each point see the delta of SQ improvement.

Currently I just want to see if the Rpi 4 streamer would beat connecting my mac mini directly to the DAC via USB. It's quite cheap to do so. Also want to get my hands dirty with Rpi to see what all the fuss is about :)

@Kannan, @rikhav, do check this link out: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/60691-how-is-the-pi-4/?do=findComment&comment=1084195
With a lot of DIY someone has kicked ass with Rpi 4, it seems.
 

rikhav

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Are you talking about the station pi about which it's written about later in the thread
Or rpi used with picore as roon end point?

If it's about the rpi with picore I still have no doubts the allo digione signature / usbridge signature with shanti LPSU would be leagues ahead of s stand-alone rpi to be used as an end point
 

Hassan Khani

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Hello,

I want to try my hand at building a roon endpoint using Rpi 4.
Wanted advice from someone with experience on Rpi, does the amount of RAM matter, 4gb vs 8gb, I know more RAM is always good in the PC world but is it the same with Rpi. Should I splurge for the extra 4GB RAM if budget permits?
THanks,
Bhaskar
4G should be more than enough as its main purpose is music playback. If you have a USB DAC then rpi 4 alone should be sufficient.
 

essrand

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It looks like the thread I was talking about () had the same Q I asked by another newbie. And the answer was: "If you run the PI4 as client 1GB is usually sufficient. If you consider to use the PI4 also as server or even later as desktop machine it'd be not a bad idea to go for 2/4/8 GB. 2gig is very interesing from a price point nowadays and will also cover most server duties. If you consider desktop duties 4gig is the minimum. If you go 8g you need the new 64bit Rasberry Pi OS."
 

essrand

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Are you talking about the station pi about which it's written about later in the thread
Or rpi used with picore as roon end point?

If it's about the rpi with picore I still have no doubts the allo digione signature / usbridge signature with shanti LPSU would be leagues ahead of s stand-alone rpi to be used as an end point
If you check the link I sent (https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/60691-how-is-the-pi-4/page/3/#comments)

There's another guy who follows the instructions and says the tweaks to the picoplayer installed on his rpi4 beat his allo usbridge by a far margin.
I guess, like all things audio, have to take with a grain of salt, until you tried on your own system with your own ears and have an open mind.

The Rpi is 1/4th price of an entry-level audiophile USB cable, so am gonna give it a shot -- will report back.
 

narcissus

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The member “Soundcheck” is well known on the DiyA forum, especially in the Allo Shanti thread. He claims to have contributed towards building a couple of Allo products. He’s highly knowledgeable & speaks his mind.
@essrand you might be on the right track.
 

Rud31

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I had a query along the same lines.
Can Volumio be installed on Raspbian as Server app instead of Debian based distro that is usually suggested for Raspberry Pi?
 

venkatcr

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On the RPi, Volumio has to be installed as an independent package with its own OS. As far as I could make out, the developers do not seem to be interested in offering a package that can be installed on existing OSs - Debian, Raspbian or otherwise.
 

essrand

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I had a query along the same lines.
Can Volumio be installed on Raspbian as Server app instead of Debian based distro that is usually suggested for Raspberry Pi?
You should start a new thread about this topic.
 

essrand

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Okay. So I made some progress on this project.

First I tried to make Rpi4 into a roon endpoint using ropieee. It was quite easy. Took me 30 mins.

SQ however was not great, Roon via mac mini and USB connected to DAC beat the Rpi4 roon endpoint. That was that for a few weeks.

Today, I started on soundcheck's long tutorial on optimising Rpi4 streamer, am halfway through.

Already my LMS+Rpi4 streamer using picoplayer is beating Roon + USB + Mac Mini in SQ in subtle ways, sounds more alive and faster and engaging.

More to follow......
 

Andrew Lebon

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Hello
greetings can anyone help me to add a remote control to my rasberry pi/pi/fi dac hat .i have added the touch screen its working
warm regards
Andrew
 

lithiumnk

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I'm using rpi4 8gb with both Metrum Amber n pi2aes running gentooplayer in ramroot.
Rpi is a very impressive device. It can do many things. With proper software n LPS, SQ improves very much.
 

narcissus

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I'm using rpi4 8gb with both Metrum Amber n pi2aes running gentooplayer in ramroot.
Rpi is a very impressive device. It can do many things. With proper software n LPS, SQ improves very much.
Which LPS are you using for the RPI4?
 

mbhangui

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Hello,

I want to try my hand at building a roon endpoint using Rpi 4.
Wanted advice from someone with experience on Rpi, does the amount of RAM matter, 4gb vs 8gb, I know more RAM is always good in the PC world but is it the same with Rpi. Should I splurge for the extra 4GB RAM if budget permits?
THanks,
Bhaskar
I have built my own streamer using RPI4 with 4Gib. Only 200 MiB is being used. I am using the official 64bit Rasbian image. I have built my own distribution (without using any of dietpi, volumio, moode, etc). This that I have done

1) installed apache, mpd, lirc, libusb-dev, shairport-sync (for airplay), samba-common samba-server, php php-mysqlnd php7.3-mysql php-fpm php7.3-xml, mariadb-server mariadb-client, toilet figlet fortune, cowsay, flac, metadsf, php7.3-sqlite3, php7.3-mbstring, php7.3-gd, php7.3-curl

2) installed my own software mpdev, pistop, indimail-mini from my repositories at
3) removed all useless stuff (cups, nano editor, pulseaudio, etc)

4) installed rompr for a web interface for playing internet radio and music (But mostly I use cantata player on my macbook and linux laptops)

5) setup nfs-server and a central mpd store which provides the music directory to all mpd clients (concept known as mpd satellite servers). This way the music database gets updated on the PI4 server automatically with a "auto_update" entry in mpd.conf. So if I add new music, the same is available instantly to all mpd clients in all my rooms. This PI4 has a 4Tb hard drive connected to it on the USB3.0 port.

6) connected a USB IR receiver to the PI4 using which i can play, pause, stop, shutdown. The 0-9 buttons is also used to rate the songs. When I shutdown the PI4, all satellite players also do a shutdown. I also use a concept known as karma. Every song I play gets a karma for it's good deeds. If it gets played often, it's karma increases. If I skip a song because i don't like it, it's karma decreases. A dynamic playlist feature presents me with song that I love. All songs that I play gets scrobbled to last.fm at https://www.last.fm/user/mbhangui

7) All satellite mount the hardrive of PI4 using automount automatically as soon as anyone access the Music folder.

8) I also have a allo usbridge on the network to which I have connected a allo Revolution dac, both powered by Shanti. The PI4 is powered by Nirvana SMPS. The allo usbridge and all my satellite players run stock 64 bit raspbian or Ubuntu 20.04. I don't use any of the distributions like volumio, moode, dietpi, etc. Some of these fiddle too much with the OS. example. The volumio mpd is crippled. It doesn't have mpd sticker support, which allows one to store song ratings, etc. The moode forces your device to be on an old kernel. DietPI runs too many things in the background to do simple things like disk cleanup, etc.

9). By removing all unwanted stuff, the CPU usage decreases and more memory is available for Music.

1633862330097.png
 
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mbhangui

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Here is a link to my RPI4 in action. Total of 3 power supplies are used.

1) Original RPI power supply to power the RPI4 board
2) Nirvana power supply to power a Kali I2S reclocker + Piano 2.1 board. I use the piano only when I want some bass thumping. The piano 2.1 has DSP and allows low frequency to be output on a different RCA plug
3) The 3 AMP output of Shanti goes to power the USB bridge and 1 amp goes to power the Allo Revolution DAC. The output of the dac goes to either a Yamaha AVR connected to RTi A9 or a Allo Class D amp connected to two electrostats.

 
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