Is Raspberry Pi 4B that good!


Decided to shake things a bit - in came RPi4. Pretty straight forward flashing of VitOS using Etcher. 

Rest is all standard office equipment - Croft Integrated, Harbeth p3esr, R2R Metrum DAC, Duelund spk cables, Venom USB to HP Roon Core dedicated laptop. 

Sound changed from analog, rich, musical, less fatigue to analytical, instrument separation, quieter background, more digitized. Not sure which one I like better.

RPi4 burn in time approx 4 hours.

Does RPi4 really have what it takes to be a true grade quality audiophile product? 


89ae497c 8720 4edc b0cc 421695314140ghulamr
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Quick answer: yes it does...... in the absence of better streamer. If you have nothing else to play with, it’s the best
Yes. It responds well to LPS, SPDIF conversion    (a hat or S10) and a quiet switch. VitOS. was developed by Silent Angel which feeds mine
For using Roon vitOS claims lower latency than many but they don't site Volumio, also free including a Roon bridge. Volumio has radio and a local player, no need to pay up for Roon.
I've been extremely pleased with my RPi 4B player. It runs Picoreplayer and outputs via USB into my Bifrost DAC (I also have a Topping E-30.) The RPi has a 7" touch screen attached so it can display what's playing and also select and control what's playing.  I have no urge to change.
So I’ve been playing with my office set up using Pi4 for a few days now and I am more confused then before. Did A/B comparison between RopieeeXL, Volumio, VitOS and Moode. 

So far learnt that to my ear and system Moode sounds the best. It has more air, instrument separation, detail and blacker backgrounds without the digital glare and fatigue. 

RopieeeXL and Volumio sound close to each other which is very similar to how music sounds when playing through my laptop USB acting as Roon endpoint. My laptop USB does not sound all that bad - but nothing compared to my Aurender in the main listening room. 

VitOS is very sterile, thin and digital sounding. It lacks bass and weight. 

Couple of point to note: all this is system dependent. I am driving my Harbeth p3esr using Croft Integrated amp. Using dedicated beefed up HP elite book laptop for Roon Core. Using Metrum Onyx DAC. 
Also still waiting for Pi2AES HAT to come in the mail - which might change things a bit. 

Since the sound out of Harbeth is warm, organic and relaxed, Moode gives it life and a little boogie factor - which I like. 

I will be trying DietPi next and possibly Picoreplayer. I have a lot of SD cards laying around. 

Each player has it’s strengths, and I value Volumio and Moode UPnP and airplay feature to listen to Pandora etc. 

What I am surprised is the lack of write up in the audiophile online forums comparing the different Pi JEOS music players. Once I receive my Pi2AES HAT - I will compare all the music players directly to my Aurender in the main room to see where each stands. 
@ghulamr -- The general lack of write-ups about Raspberry Pis on the audiophile online magazines is probably due to a couple of factors.

A big one is there are no significant advertising dollars to be had from RPi articles, and in fact, any promotion of RPi setups could possibly hurt the sales of products from companies that are currently buying ads.

Second, there is a heavy DIY aspect to setting up a RPI based player and a lot of experimentation required that is a different experience than unboxing and plugging in an assembled product. That likely limits the interest of more traditional audiophiles. Also, with a RPI player assembled by the user, you don’t have anything very fancy to look at in terms of casework.   

That said, there are a number of audio discussion forums (as opposed to online review sites) where there is quite a bit of active discussion about RPI players and setups.