Do you have a hi fidelity stereo and want to add a high resolution music player? Chances are you've looked on the market and seen high resolution music players with network connectivity selling for thousands of dollars.
With a Raspberry Pi 2 model B single board computer you can easily, and cheaply make your own high-resolution digital music player with network connectivity. Using Volumio or other software on your raspberry pi you can run a music server capable of playing all of your digital audiophile quality music. Add a Lucid Labs raspberry pi DAC and you now have a high- quality analog output comparable to that in several-thousand dollar audio players.
The Lucid Labs Raspberry Pi 2 model B/B+ DAC uses the Texas Instruments PCM5102A DAC chip capable of up to 32bit/384khz. This chip features a Signal to Noise Ratio of 112dB and THD+N of -93dB. In addition, we have used an ultra low noise TPS7A4700 linear regulator to provide the PCM5102A with an extremely clean power supply. The result is incredible sounding audio.
How are we able to do this so cheaply?
simple, most DACs you see use custom made computers or complicated USB interfaces to obtain PCM audio data that is, in turn fed to the DAC chip. The raspberry pi allows you to simply send PCM audio Data to the Lucid Labs DAC board via the General Purpose Input Outout (GPIO) pins. This reduces the overall component count necessary to make a high-quality audio interface. Did we mention we will be making these in the USA?
How hard is it to setup a music server using your DAC board and Volumio software?
Setup is simple and you can be up and running in no time. Simply go to volumio's get started page and follow the instructions to load volumio onto a micro SD card and get started using volumio. With Volumio you play music from USB hard drive, memory sticks, and network locations. You can also remotely control the server using any computer connected to the same network or an android phone connected to the same network via wifi and the free volumio android app.
I want to use this DAC for a custom raspberry pi project, will I still have access to the GPIO ports, display port and Camera port?
Absolutely. We know Raspberry Pi users are often Makers, Hackers and Tinkerers....so we made sure not to block off any of the important connections and ports available on the raspberry pi.
In Volumio right now there is some stuttering when playing 32bit/384khz files and this is only because the raspberry pi cannot keep up. It will play 32bit/192khz files perfectly as well as 24bit/192khz and anything lower. A faster raspberry pi or future config updates may make 32bit/384khz possible. This dac card however can play 32bit/384khz audio over i2s so whenever these changes happen the DAC will be ready.
Risks and challenges
We have been testing and revising the Lucid Labs Raspberry Pi 2 Model B DAC for months now. Changes have been made to make the devices more durable and simpler to manufacture. We hope that this extended testing period will help to limit potential issues and risks associated with this project. There will always be risks and challenges associated with creating a physical product when using contract manufacturers. Potential risks and challenges include quality control issues, unexpected costs, production delays. Years of experience in product design and working with contract manufacturers throughout the design process will help us to overcome any potential setbacks with this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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