Volumio and CD / turntable playback via USB

Since 2014, I have been designing and building tube amplifiers and passive boxes again, music reproduction is the common thread through my life. I am retired and of course I now have the time :wink:
The only thing I was missing was a “preamplifier” containing an internet radio (over WIFI or LAN) and music from a NAS, CD player and USB connection to play music from a stick.
Last week I saw that my son had provided the EL34 amplifier, which he had received from me, with a network music player on which he had installed Volumio.
Further investigation revealed that it was a Raspberry Pi 4b with a BOSS I2S DAC V 1.2.

For about half that price, I can also put that together myself: Raspberry Pi 4 B, 4x 1.5 GHz, 2 GB RAM + Raspberry Pi Shield - HiFiBerry DAC + RCA, the standard 5.1V / 3A prescribed as power supply.

In several articles I have become a lot wiser about Volumio: most desires are fulfilled, including the integration of Spotify.
The only question I still have is: can I play music via USB from the RPi with an external CD player from, for example, a laptop?
Same question for my DUAL turntable with a USB port (for ripping music).

In the future I can still equip this with a 7 “touchscreen, built into a housing” SmartiPi Touch 2 “+” SmartiPi Touch 2 back cover - 35mm ".

I’m also intrigued about this but I haven’t dug into it further than the R part of R&D.

You would think that USB analogue to digital converters like the ones used to connect instruments to computers would be able to be used as the source.

A different take is to turn your turntable into a shoutcast stream and let volumio consume it as though it is an Internet radio station. Here is a discussion on that. Is this the easiest way to connect an analogue turntable?


The USB signal, from both the CD player and the turntable, is digital I think. The turntable also has a USB output to rip music from LPs to MP3 on the PC.
So would I expect an app on the RPi to be able to handle that, just like on PC or android?


You can add a Hifiberry Adc DAC board an play Vinyl like that. I tried various USB inputs but it did not work. Currently you can only rip CDs via USB. More might be on the way… (like Hdmi input…)

Thanks Joachim, now I know enough to buy all the components with confidence.
I only doubt between the DAC + ADC and the DAC + ADC Pro. The Pro can also hardware control the input volume + capability for microphone (I don’t need that).
Is there a lot of difference in the volume level of the ADC input compared to the regular sound source? If not, the Pro is not necessary for me.

I first hijacking an analog HDMI converter by feeding it with an analog sound and a unrelated video. That sounded awful. Then I bought a 50€ ADC from Amazon, that was a bit less awful. Then I invested in the Adc pro thingy from Hifiberry - that sounds great. I tend to believe that ADCs are more critical than DACs (or the market is smaller and the prize higher) and that every ADC € counts…

Then it becomes the ADC-Pro.
Did you have to install an extra plug-in in Volumio?

No. Initially there was a problem, that you needed to select the ADC DAC board as I2S device in order to use it as input, but then you could only use the board‘s analog port as output which makes it quite useless. Volumio send me a fix which is, I believe (?), included in the current distribution. Now you can select HDMI as output and use the ADC as input. You do need the Superio subscription for it to work… That makes the whole thing a pretty expensive ADC, I would imagine that Volumio makers may want to give that a second thought…
You can select the ADC input level via the Alsa interface, it is set rather low and should be Ok in all cases.

… that does not sound well …
Anyway, I’m going for the “Volumio Free” distribution. I also start to doubt whether the detour with a DAC ADC-Pro is necessary:

  • I just figured out that I can link the turntable directly to my amps through the input selector. The turntable has a built-in RIAA / phono preamp.
  • I also read that the Nanosound plug-in can handle the playback and extraction of CDs. I need to get some more information about that first.