Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Turn your Raspberry Pi into the ultimate media player, costing thousands less than high performance DACs.
Turn your Raspberry Pi into the ultimate media player, costing thousands less than high performance DACs.
Turn your Raspberry Pi into the ultimate media player, costing thousands less than high performance DACs.
35 backers pledged $8,678 to help bring this project to life.

About

ApplePi DAC - Highest Performance Raspberry Pi DAC project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

ApplePi DAC - Highest Performance Raspberry Pi DAC

$8,678

35

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

8731134233a631fb1009fa2bf1e84fdf original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Orchard Audio's ApplePi DAC is the most advanced and highest performance sound card hat for the Raspberry Pi.

ApplePi DAC fully assembled with Mini XLR connectors
ApplePi DAC fully assembled with Mini XLR connectors

The main goal of the project is to provide audio quality at a price point that is currently not available in the market. For less than $250 (ApplePi + Raspberry Pi) you can achieve performance currently only available at $750+ USD. In addition, ApplePi DAC eliminates the need for pre-amplifiers, saving even more money. 

Get to know the hardware behind ApplePi DAC
Get to know the hardware behind ApplePi DAC

Over six months of development went into this project. Using only the highest quality and performance components available, the ApplePi DAC was designed from the ground up to offer commanding performance (see specifications below). Using the latest packaging technologies, ApplePi DAC became a reality. Performance was verified on a state of the art audio analyzer from Audio Precision.  

Reviews:

The Audio Beatnik

"Ok, specs are great and all, but how did it really sound? Frankly, very good, surprisingly good." and "The mid-range and truthiness of the music rivaled that of the other DACs I have on hand that cost significantly more."

Read the full review at this link: http://theaudiobeatnik.com/applepi-dac-review-theres-art-in-this-dac-and-it-shows/

Volumio's Founder -- Michelangelo

"Sound-stage and spatial resolution are just excellent." and "This DAC is producing the most detailed sound to ever come out of my Raspberry PI, all the subtle nuances of my test tracks were there and clearly distinguished from everything else."

Read the full review at this link: https://volumio.org/forum/orchard-audio-applepi-dac-review-t9633.html

Specifications

  • Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): 128dB (2,510,000 to 1)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N): <0.0005% (-106dB)
  • Balanced Output Voltage: 5 Vrms (0dBFS)
  • Balanced Output Impedance: 200 ohm
  • Single Ended Output Voltage: 2.5 Vrms (0dBFS)
  • Single Ended Output Impedance: 100 ohm
  • Dual TI Burr Brown DAC (PCM1794A) in Monaural Mode
  • Ultra Low Nose Linear Regulation
  • Low Jitter PLL Clock Generation
  • Supported Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz
  • Supported Bit Rates: 16-Bit and 24-Bit
  • Outputs: Mini XLR or RCA
  • Power: Powered from Raspberry Pi or Power Directly (Optional)
  • Optional Power: 5V with Micro USB connector
  • Power Consumption: 4.5W (5V @ 0.9A)
  • Supported SBCs: Raspberry Pi, Tinker Board, Sparky SBC
  • Raspberry Pi Hat Compliant
  • Designed in New Jersey, USA
  • Manufactured in Texas, USA

Putting It Together

This video shows how to assemble an ApplePi DAC with a Raspberry Pi.

This video shows you how to install an operating system on to your Raspberry Pi's SD card. The ApplePi DAC already has a driver built in that will automatically get detected by Raspian on bootup. 

This video shows how to connect power to the ApplePi DAC and Raspberry Pi. 

This video shows how to use the fully assembled ApplePi DAC System with and without a touchscreen.

NOTE: 

Due to power consumption, it is highly recommended to use a 5.25V power supply when powering from the Raspberry Pi or other SBC.

ApplePi DAC vs. Others

Supported Software 

Volumio, Rune Audio, moOde Audio, piCorePlayer, and Roon Network Endpoint

Rewards - Explained 

$175 Reward Level w/ Options
$175 Reward Level w/ Options
$374 Reward Level
$374 Reward Level
$549 Reward Level
$549 Reward Level

ApplePi Volume-Clocker (05/04/18)

The ApplePi Volume-Clocker allows you add hardware volume control to any RapsberryPi I2S DAC.

Volume is controlled by a potentiometer R15. Volume is adjustable from 0 dB to -127.5dB, in 256 steps.

In addition to HW volume control this board will also remove jitter from the RapsberryPi's I2S signals improving audio quality.

It can be powered externally though it's own micro USB (X6) connector or from the Raspberry Pi. The ApplePi Volume-Clocker cannot back power the Raspberry Pi.

Specs:

  • Dynamic Range: 144 dB (–60-dbFS Input, 20 Hz to fS/2, A-Weighted)
  • THD+N: –140 dB (0-dbFS Input, BW = 20 Hz to fS/2)
  • Supported Resolutions: 24-bit, 20-bit, 18-bit, and 16-bit
  • Supports sampling rates up to 212 kHz
  • Power Consumption: 0.75W (5V @ 0.15A)
  • No drivers required. 

The ApplePi Volume-Clocker can be added to any reward level for $79 USD, except for the touchscreen one. It can also be purchased separately for $79.

ApplePi Volume-Clocker
ApplePi Volume-Clocker

Project Milestones

  • 250 ApplePi DACs Sold --> Each unit will also ship with a $5 USD gift card to HD Tracks (www.hdtracks.com)
  • 500 ApplePi DACs Sold --> Each unit will also ship with a $10 USD gift card to HD Tracks (www.hdtracks.com)

Follow Us

 How do you like them apples? 

Risks and challenges

Developing the ApplePi DAC is not cheap and requires a lot of time. All of the contributions will be directly re-invested in new products to expand the ApplePi family.

With the prototype units, the design has been fully tested and proven. Only some minor fine tuning is needed before moving to mass production. This includes tweaks to components and component placement to improve and streamline manufacturing.

Most of the risk is associated with setting up mass production. I am currently working with three different manufacturers and suppliers to get everything in order.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Thank You!

    We are extremely grateful for your support of our project. Thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    Custom

    If you're interested in a reward that's not listed, please email us at leo@orchardaudio.com.

    Pledge:
    $1,700 -- Get 10 x ApplePi DAC (additional $5 off per unit)
    $4,125 -- Get 25 x ApplePi DAC (additional $10 off per unit)
    $8,000 -- Get 50 x ApplePi DAC (additional $15 off per unit)

    Additionally as a thank you, your name will be listed as a gold backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • Custom Order
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Name Recognition - Bronze

    We are extremely grateful for your support of our project.

    As a thank you, your name will be listed as a
    bronze backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Name Recognition - Silver

    We are extremely grateful for your support of our project.

    As a thank you, your name will be listed as a
    silver backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    Name Recognition - Gold

    We are extremely grateful for your support of our project.

    As a thank you, your name will be listed as a
    gold backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    ApplePi Volume-Clocker

    The ApplePi Volume-Clocker allows you to add hardware volume control to any RapsberryPi I2S DAC.

    In addition to volume control this board also removes jitter from the Pi's I2S signals using high quality HW reclocking.

    Additionally as a thank you, your name will be listed as a silver backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    $79 USD can be added to any of the other reward levels except for the touchscreen one.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • ApplePi Volume-Clocker
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    ApplePi DAC - Review Unit

    Receive an ApplePi DAC which was used by reviewers for evaluations, it will retail for $200 USD.

    This ApplePi DAC will not have optional power connector.

    Additionally as a thank you, your name will be listed as a silver backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Add $5 to this reward level to also receive a stacking header.

    Add $25 to this reward level and also receive a 5.25V 3A power supply, this will ensure that both your DAC and Raspberry Pi are powered correctly.

    Add $30 to this reward level to receive both 5.25V 3A power supply and stacking header.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • ApplePI DAC - Review Unit
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    ApplePi DAC

    Receive an ApplePi DAC which will retail for $200 USD.

    Additionally as a thank you, your name will be listed as a gold backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Add $5 to this reward level to also receive a stacking header.

    Add $25 to this reward level and also receive a 5.25V 3A power supply, this will ensure that both your DAC and Raspberry Pi are powered correctly.

    Add $30 to this reward level to receive both 5.25V 3A power supply and stacking header.

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • ApplePi DAC
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    17 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $374 or more About $374

    Fully Assembled ApplePi DAC System

    Receive a fully assembled, ready to use ApplePi DAC with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, 5.25V power supply, acrylic stand, and a SD card programmed with your choice of Volumio, Raspian, or Rune Audio.

    At the end of the project you will receive a survey asking which operating system you would like installed.

    Also as a thank you, your name will be listed as a diamond backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • Fully Assembled ApplePi DAC System
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $549 or more About $549

    ApplePi DAC System with 7" Touchscreen

    Receive a fully assembled, ready to use ApplePi DAC system with 7" touchscreen, running Volumio. 5.25V power supply included. This item will retail for $600

    Also as a thank you, your name will be listed as a diamond backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • ApplePi DAC System with 7" Touchscreen
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,399 or more About $1,399

    CRISPIN Ultra Amplifier - Review Unit

    Receive a CRISPIN Ultra amplifier which was used for reviews and will retail for $2000.

    You can read reviews here:
    https://goo.gl/zVCWLH
    and here
    https://goo.gl/qg1rLU

    Also as a thank you, your name will be listed as a gold backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • CRISPIN Ultra - Review Unit
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,599 or more About $1,599

    CRISPIN Ultra Stereo Amplifier

    Receive a CRISPIN Ultra stereo amplifier, which will retail for $2000.

    You can read reviews here:
    https://goo.gl/zVCWLH
    and here
    https://goo.gl/qg1rLU

    Also as a thank you, your name will be listed as a platinum backer on our website: www.orchardaudio.com

    Add $350 to this reward level to also receive a Fully Assembled ApplePi DAC System

    Add $500 to this reward level to also receive an ApplePi DAC System with 7" Touchscreen

    Shipping is charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside USA.

    Includes:
    • CRISPIN Ultra
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (33 days)