VOLUMIO soundcheck invitation for Hamburg, Germany

So your room looks pretty darn good to begin with.

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I found three nice cases for my participating devices.
For all others, housings are available from the manufacturer.

The black Hifiberry Zero Case for the Sabreberry.

stapelbares Acryl Gehäuse für... kaufen bei BerryBase for the AUDIOPHONICS DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M with Kali.

Home - Fischerelektronik, Product: RSP 1 H for the AroioDac plus Isolator board.

Hey you guys,
I have postponed the date by two weeks, so to October 12, 2023.
I keep you up to date…

sorry, this time it is jinxed with the appointment. I had to move the date again. The event will now take place on October 19, 2023.
Thank you for understanding.

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I might be interested in the soundcheck event. Can you tell me where it’s going to be?
Many greetings,

OK, we did our soundcheck yesterday

unlike announced, we heard 8 currently available devices:
innomaker DAC pro, Sabreberry, Audiophonics Evo sabre and I-Sabre ES9038Q2M, AroioDac, Dacberry Pro+ and both pecanPi.

We played them in a multiroom configuration. With current volumio images and adjusted volume level.

So we could select the music during the event. This made sense as we could select songs we thought we knew quite well. Also, there was no offset when playing the pieces which was otherwise irritating.

After the first few songs (streaming and local files) we could tell that everything sounded very good and almost the same. Nevertheless, there were small, subtle differences.

We started to sort out the weakest devices. These were Dacberry pro+ and I-Sabre ES9038Q2M. As said, all devices played really well. Sometimes it was a tone in a woman’s voice that stood out differently, sometimes it was a bit of recessed bass. Then we took Sabreberry , Evo Sabre and Innomaker out of the comparison (in this order). Remaining were then, as so often the PecanPi devices and the AroioDac. The AroioDac I had used this time was with an isolator board from Osaelectronics.

The top 3 played so flawlessly for us that we named all three devices as our favorites.

In the conversation in between the question came up if and how much it makes a difference to use another Raspberry. It was noticeable that all three top devices were equipped with a Raspberry Pi 3B. Also the cases from Orchardaudio are designed for the 3B(+) variant and I also heard from the manufacturer of the Aroio Dac that he prefers to use the 3B!

In this respect we still have many questions for further soundchecks!

Stay tuned!

Cable chaos


Clever way to play via multiroom!

Well done Jens!


I was hoping you would report a clear preference for the PecanPi+ over the PecanPi, but that is not the case?

I have two RaspberryPi based streamers, one PecanPi and one Pi2AES feeding an old Wadia 12 DAC. I tend to listen to the Pi2AES more often.

Neil, thank you for your interest in our soundcheck.

At the last two Soundcheck events, the PecanPi+ was clearly the favorite of some listeners. Also better than the PecanPi. This time the PecanPi’s was again on top, but no listener had highlighted the PecanPi+. That’s how it is. Also, the taste of each listener is always a little different. Perhaps the Multiroom setting also made the differences smaller during the test…

Glad you are happy with the PI2AES.

PS: If you’re located in the NY area, you can hear the differences for yourself at this demo event:

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I’ve got another new DAC Hat and I’m really curious to see how it performs. A friend introduced me to the R2R DAC devices. They are supposed to play particularly naturally and organically. I have now received an R2R from Malaysia. Perhaps we can elicit these traits from this R2R representative.
I’m now planning a new soundcheck for the end of March, beginning of April - this time in a living room atmosphere. :grinning:
DAC from https://audiophilediyer.com

The PecanPi+ DAC that uses the AK4499EX which is an R2R chip.

That’s good to know, leo.
Then I’ve already fallen in love with an R2R DAC!

Hey guys,

it’s time again to announce the next soundcheck!
On April 11, 2024 from 8 pm we want to test 8 currently available DAC Devices for volumio.
Unfortunately, great DAC HATs like the Mamboberry keep disappearing from the market. I could also no longer find the InnoMaker Pro on Amazon.

Seven I2S and one USB DACs should be compared:
PecanPi+ from orchardaudio.com
PecanPi from orchardaudio.com
EVO Sabre from Audiophonics.fr
Primo from Volumio.com
AroioDAC from abacus-electronics.de
Discrete R2R DAC from Audiophilediyer.com
SabreBerry from Muc89.com
ToneBoard from khadas.com

you are welcome to joyn this event in beautiful Hamburg.
As always, the event is free of charge. Registration requested by PM.

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Thank you!

We now even have a new competitior! The ProtoDAC version of @Vincent_Fong just arrived.
After a bit of soldering and playing in, I should have it ready in time for the soundcheck.

hi music lovers
due to a cold, the soundcheck will be postponed by one week.
Now on april 18.
stay tuned

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@judydudi FWIW, I’ve just read your message on the Innomaker dac pro not being available on Amazon and was about to post about it on the manufacturer’s post in the forum: it seems they’ve re-stocked and updated it with new capacitors:

This is the previous version, where it looks like they’re using 100uF capacitors:

And this is the new listing on Amazon, with red caps that look to be 220uF:

I’ve looked at my own and can confirm the 100uF 25v gold/yellow caps. I can’t tell what voltage the new, red ones are. Also, get well soon!

that’s a good hint. thank you very much.
I can confirm the availability.
Without question, the board is very special. ES9038Q2M and XLR for less than 60€.
apparently they have further optimized the board.

Yesterday there were four of us to test the two new additions.
The new additions were the discrete R2R DAC from EW and the ProtoDAC from Vincent.
To save myself from much effort, I decided to pit them against two TOP devices - the PecanPi and the PecanPi+.

I adjusted the volume to same level and connected the devices via multiroom.
This meant we could pause important passages in the music and play them on the next device.
For example, we played Hans Zimmer Dune part two ‘Beginnings are such delicate times’ again.
The bass part really brings cinema into the living room.

Of the four devices, we realized that three were in a league of their own!
The three devices played very musically, with fine resolution that impressed us much.
When asked which was our favorite device, there were two groups.
But we all placed our 2nd. place to the ProtoDAC from Vincent.
The stage was nice and wide, very detailed, bass was well present, controlled and beautiful timbres.

I would never have thought that the DIY DAC board would play that well with a 30 year old DAC. Hats off!

First place in one group went to the PecanPi+. The DAC doesn’t play as far, but with a bit more musican and punch. Things are more compressed there. The bass here has ‘caramba’ which goes into the pelvis. :wink:

First place in the other group went to the discrete R2R DAC from EW. The stage was a little more subtle and wider than the ProtoDAC. With pleasure to be able to explore the sound of the stage in detail. With cost of losing a little foundament/bass.

Now I can say that we have gained two really great boards!
It’s really worth listening to them!
If you can solder, you should definitely try the ProtoDAC.

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Thanks for the summary of the sound check. I’m also amazed by the sound from this 30-years-old thing :grinning: