Yet another RPI to USB DAC to Tube Amp DIY project!

Hi everyone!
I would like to share my latest Volumio related Hi Fi project, since it’s giving me a lot of satisfaction.
I cannot absolutely define myself an “audiophile”, I don’t believe in snake oil and esotheric-milion dollar solutions for best performance, but I do like to understand what’s behind a good sounding setup, and I try to achieve the best compromise between cost and quality.

It consists of:

  • RPI 3 with Volumio installed, powered by a common 2A wall-wart power supply;
  • An external Topping NX4 DSD USB DAC. I was intrigued by the latest I2S DAC solutions, but in the end I thought it is more efficient to use an off the shelf solution like the NX4: it’s battery powered, it’s portable, it has a built-in headphone amplifier, it’s relatively cheap, and… it sounds damn good!
  • A DIY single ended tube amp, based on the Tungsol KT-150. This is the real “icing on the cake”… It took me some time to find the best schematic to adopt, and it’s not exactly cheap, but boys… Is that sweet!
  • A pair of Klipsch RP 150 bookshelf, which I find a good cost/quality compromise.

Here are a few pics…

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more pics:

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