AUDIOPHONICS RASPDAC MINI LCD Kit DIY Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4 & DAC ES9038Q2M

AUDIOPHONICS RASPDAC MINI LCD Kit DIY Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4 & DAC ES9038Q2M New

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Caution: To work, this kit needs to be combined with a Raspberry Pi 4  and a power supply sold separately.

This kit is only compatible with Raspberry Pi 4

RaspDac Mini LCD

Kit Network Player & DAC 32bit 384kHz / DSD 128



For its third generation, the RaspDac Mini is now equipped with a color LCD screen and can now display the covers of your albums as well as the visuals of the web-radios being played. Likewise, the layout of the metadata and the reader status data becomes more readable thanks to a screen resolution that is significantly higher than in previous versions. The functionality as well as the audio performance of the kit remains unchanged.

Ideal to improve your sound system while having fun, this self-assemble kit is a very intuitive opportunity to learn the basics of audio-oriented DIY method.

The assembly involves neither welding nor special knowledge in DIY. The only tools required are a H5 hex screwdriver and a P4 Phillips screwdriver.

Once mounted, the whole device constitutes a network drive based on Raspberry PI, with all the advantages that it represents in terms of connectivity.

The digital / analog decoding is done internally by a dedicated DAC ES9038Q2M chip, one of the best component in the field of high-fidelity music. This compact model can compete with devices that are way more impressive from their size or their price.

Sabre DAC I-ES9038Q2M

Audiophonics sabre ES9038Q2M


All decoding operations are made thanks to an I-sabre card ES9038Q2M. The latter was specially developed to make the best of a SBC (Raspberry Pi).

This DAC works with its own power stage with DC DC converter and integrated linear regulators. It incorporates the latest optimizations (2020) including an anti-pop relay.

When operated in conjunction with a software solution that has an optimized audio kernel (as is it the case here), the RPI and DAC I-sabre are able to play 32bit 384kHz.

DSD files are also supported up DSD128 (DOP).

The analog output stage is based on two bipolar operational amplifiers NJM 2114 fed with 9V. A third OPA of the same type serves as a buffer. This configuration ensures optimal resolution and a very stable output signal.

Test and review by Audio Science Review

"The AUDIOPHONICS DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M finally brings good performance to HAT DACs. It rivals the performance of the higher priced DACs from Allo and Orchard Audio but at lower cost."
Test Qobuz

Remote control from anywhere

interface Raspdac mini


The ES9038Q2M DAC chip offers hardware volume control function (does not damage audio resolution). This hardware volume is controlled remotely from the user interface (smartphone, tablet ....) for maximum comfort and optimal accessibility in any circumstance.

Similarly, playback options and source selection are made on smartphone / tablet (or any other connected device capable of running a web-browser).

Thanks to its software, the RaspDac mini can stream music from DLNA / AIRPLAY compatible devices.

The new infrared remote included with the RaspDacMini LCD is now the same that we use for our RaspDac EVO. It offers more option for fine control of playback and rendering.

Extensive connectivity

raspdacmini_arrière.jpg


By combining the ports of a Raspberry Pi with those of the ES9038 sabre card, the device now offers an impressive connectivity.

The Raspdac Mini has 4 USB-A ports to which the user can plug a hard disk, a USB drive or even a USB CD drive.

Of course, the device is also perfectly at-ease when it comes to play online hosted files through a wired network (RJ45) and non-wired (Wifi / Bluetooth).

The Mini RASPDAC simplifies your audio setup with an extra S / PDIF input port that can connect an extra digital source (CD player, television, gaming platform ... etc). It can thus be effectively integrated in various cases with sufficient flexibility to make all your digital devices enjoy the RaspDac efficiency.

Dimensions of raspdac mini

More compact and still as powerful


Its dimensions of 60 x 90 x 120 mm allow the RaspDAC Mini to fit easily into your audio environment, regardless of size and complexity.

All ports are on the back of the case so as not to damage the visual harmony of your audio-system with visible cables.

Once your RaspDAC is installed and operational, it is not necessary for its operation to redefine wiring or to access the micro SD card. All of its functions can be set wirelessly.

Software solutions


Thanks to the Raspberry Pi 4, the RaspDAC Mini LCD is a real mini-computer equipped with a high fidelity audio output. Installing the software layer is easy (flash an SD card before inserting it into the integrated card reader).

Users wishing to avoid any computer configuration / manipulation can turn to our pre-configured and ready-to-use SD card sales service.

Warning: this multiplicity of choices and options means that the software layer (essential for playing audio) is not supplied with the RaspDac Mini LCD kit. You will then need to choose an approach from the following options.

volumio-os-sdhc-8go-1.jpg

Preinstalled moOde Audio


You can get a micro-SD card with a ready-to-use moOde image we edited specifically for RaspDac Mini here.

We made this custom solution to make the process as easy as possible : just insert the SD card in your RaspDac Mini, turn the device on and follow the network configuration. Your RdM is ready to use.

This software solution is suited for user that want to be able to manage more complex integration process in the future. However it might not be the easiest solution to set up for complete beginners. (Requires some user interaction to mount external hard drives / NAS ).

logo.jpg

Preinstalled Volumio


You can get a micro-SD card with a ready-to-use Volumio image we edited specifically for RaspDac Mini here.

Again, the process is really simple, just insert the SD card in your RaspDac Mini, turn the device on and follow the network configuration. Your RdM is ready to use.

If you have no experience with any audio-dedicated software or if you have no idea which solution is the best for you, you will find this one easy to set up and to use.

custom.jpg

Or do it yourself


You already have an unused micro-SD (8GB of memory needed) and you are not afraid of doing the installation yourself. Every software image for the RdM is available for free on this webpage for a DIY installation. You can manage a DietPi installation this way as well.

DIY images installer are available for free without time limitations.

Sober and comprehensive display


The front screen is now a color LCD screen with a resolution of 320x240px. The latter is protected by a transparent acrylic surface making it invisible when the device is not switched on.

When the RaspDAC mini LCD is active, the screen displays all the information necessary to locate in the music in addition to the album cover.

Screen raspdac mini interface


Input / Output

4x USB-A Female, 1x Micro USB (Power); 1x stereo RCA, 1x Micro SD In, 1x RJ45 Female, 1x SPDIF Female (complementary digital input)

CAUTION: TO WORK, THIS KIT NEEDS TO BE COMBINED WITH A RASPBERRY PI and a power supply SOLD SEPARATELY.

RaspDAC Mini test by Qobuz & Framboise314

" This RaspDAC Mini Audiophonics streamer deserves to be played with the screwdriver to put it in the case because these efforts will be rewarded with high quality sound reproduction. "

Qobuz - Philippe Daussin

Caution: To work, this kit needs to be combined with a Raspberry Pi 4  and a power supply sold separately.

Specifications
inputs4x USB 2.0-A
1x Coaxial
1x RJ45
1x Micro SD
ExitsX1 RCA Stereo
Supported audio formatsUp to 32bit 384kHz
DSD (DOP) 128
dynamic range129dB
THD + N-120dB
Power supplyUSB-C (5V)
DimensionsHeight: 60mm
Width: 90mm
Depth: 120mm
Weight470g
housing material100% Aluminum
ColorBlack



Parts Supplied

Parts supplied mini kit raspdac
Acrylic platex2
Acrylic Supportx1
Aluminum housingx2
LCD Screenx1
Screen PCBx1
I-sabre ES9038 DAC with matching PCBx1
Infrared remote control (No battery)x1
Expansion slot for Female Micro SDx1
Spacers M2.5 - 20mmx2
Spacers M2.5 - 10mmx2
Phillips screw M2.5 - 15.8mmx2
Phillips screw M2.5 - 8.1mmx2
Phillips screw M3 - 7mmx2
Allen screw M3 - 13mmx8
Acrylic Nut M2.5x2
Bracket M3x2
Washer M3x2
RCA Washer Black / Red / Whitex3
RCA Boltx3
Rubber standsx4
USB-A to USB-C cable with switchx1

Assembly instructions can be found in the "download" tab on this same page or on this link




Some information about the start-up....

  • The Micro SD card must be removed from its adapter and then inserted into the reader, taking care to follow the direction, without forcing it.
  • Once the RaspDAC Mini is powered on, a more or less long delay (a few tens of seconds) is required before a display appears on the screen.
  • To control the RaspDAC it is necessary for you to have a computer, a telephone or a tablet also connected to your local network.
  • To access the Volumio web application, simply enter the address shown on the RaspDAC display on your control device (computer, smartphone, tablet).
  • To use the Coaxial input, press the "Input" button on the remote control so that "SPDIF" appears on the display.
 
Data sheet
InputUSB
InputMicro SD
InputSPDIF
InputRJ45
OutputRCA
DAC / ADC ChipES9038Q2M
Max sampling rate384kHz
Max sampling rateDSD128
ColorBlack
 
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Average votes
4.8 / 5
5 reviews
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Note :
 5/5
Date :
Simple solution that just works!
Works as expected! The assembly took some 30 min, the system is very straightforward and I got Spotify Connect working in just a few minutes. Scanning files from NAS took a bit longer but also simple. Overall, pretty happy! Good sound!

A couple of smaller issues:
1. Remote does not always work, still figuring out how to configure additional buttons. However, volume and source work fine and that's the most important.
2. TFT screen is not fully off when in screen saver mode. But not too bright to be a problem.
3. Spotify connect plugin can freeze if you switch tracks too often. You have to either restart the raspdac or open the UI and manually restart the plugin. Still figuring this one out.
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS RASPDAC MINI LCD Kit DIY Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4 & DAC ES9038Q2M
Note :
 5/5
Date :
Great sound, great DIY project, but with some quirks–and a personal learning curve.
I really do enjoy the sound of this DAC! Recently I upgraded my sound system with a pair of Kef LS50 (meta), which already gave a huge step forward in sound staging and detail. As a source, I mainly used a RPi 3 + HifiBerry Digi+ Pro HAT, connected to a NAD D3020 hybrid digital amplifier (S/PDIF), streaming FLACs and Spotify with Volumio. After some research on the web, it became clear to me that the streamer now was the weakest link in my audio system. I therefore decided to give the RaspDAC MINI LCD a try, mainly based on the enthusiastic Darko Audio review of the previous version of the MINI (I had looked at the acclaimed, but much more expensive Volumio DAC, but Darko coudn’t tell the diffecence with the MINI). Was it perhaps for this positive review that the first batch of the MINI LCD version sold out so fast? It took about 4 weeks before the DAC was delivered (but only 3 working days to get from F to NL). Putting the thing together was instructive fun to do (and super easy with the visual guide from Audiophonics). I also like the sturdy build quality of the black box. However, when I gave the DAC a first spin, the sound was ‘OK’, but only slighly better than the Rpi3/Hifiberry combination. There were also a few other issues that tempered my original enthusiasm.
1. Using a standard RPi 3A USB-C power adapter, the system consistenly kept showing yellow flashes on the LCD screen, indicating insufficient juice. This happened both at startup and during playback. The system thus appeared quite unstable, responding with long response delays or even unexpected shutdowns when using the remote control, even spontaneously during the playback of music. Therefore I ordered another custom power adapter from my local Pi store (SOS-Solutions in NL), that was able to generate 4A. Even worse: much more high frequency noise, which also disrupted the S/PDIF input stage from functioning properly. After contact with the supplier, they kindly sent me the low noise Alli 5V 3A mini-USB adapter (also available from Audiopnonics): problem solved! It appears that the system is quite power critical. Another finding: the sound improved dramatically–much more detail and space, compared to the sessions in the previous days using HD reference music. Perhaps a linear PS could even improve the sound further?
2. The system uses a card adapter with a flat cable to guide the communication with the micro-SD card to the back of the box. This did (and does) not work in my setup. First I though this was the result of the power issue, but after switching to the Allo adapter–still dead. I tried the card adapter on other Pi’s: no problem there, so it does not seem to be broken. I now use the RaspDAC with the card inside of the box–no big deal, but if anyone has a suggestion to solve this, I would be interested to find out how.
Overall this has been a very good investment (so 5*) in terms of lessons learned ánd a better sounding audio system. My advice to future buyers is to use only a good quality power adapter of at least 3A with the MINI LCD. First I thought that Audiophonics reason to upgrade the new MINI with a RPi4 instead of RPi3 and swapping the monochrome display for the colour LCD was for the most part cosmetically (b.t.w., the added value of the LCD is –at least to me– rather limited). Now I understand that this could be related to the separate power supply of USB and ethernet connections, which makes the RPi3 potentially noisier in audio setups (particularly after my power issues of the past days…). I applaud Audiophonics for bringing such nice products to market. DIY projects are to educate and learn, so mission accomplished.
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS RASPDAC MINI LCD Kit DIY Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4 & DAC ES9038Q2M
Note :
 4/5
Date :
Raspdac mini excellent petit lecteur réseau
J'ai bien reçu mon Raspdac mini 4 (Référence : 15148) et j'ai réussi à tout faire fonctionner correctement....
Ok pour mon NAS, DD usb et les radios internet avec Volumio.
OK pour Qobuz avec BubbleUpNp, mais dommage que les jacquettes ne soient pas affichées et que l'écran défile
tout le paragraphe interprète, sans donner le titre du morceau, du cd ou du chanteur.
La télécommande ne fonctionnait pas, mais vite réglé par le sav avec une maj de volumio!
La led rouge ne s'allume qu'au démarrage, c'est dommage!
J'ai acheté ce Raspdac pour ma maison secondaire et aussi pour servir de spare à mon ancien Linn Akurate : les premiers jours l'écoute s'est avérée décevante, mais s'est bien améliorée au bout de quelques jours!
Aujourd'hui je l'ai installé pour test sur la chaine principale en lieu et place du Linn et le raspdac se débrouille très bien.
La qualité est bonne, mais bien sûr la Linn est devant (avec un prix multiplié par 20!).
Je pense essayer de bricoler une alim 5v audiophile pour essayer d'aller plus loin, car avec l'alim basique je vois quelques raies verticales à l'oscillo....
En conclusion, le rapport qualité prix excellent!
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS RASPDAC MINI LCD Kit DIY Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4 & DAC ES9038Q2M
Note :
 5/5
Date :
Excellent sounding and looking network streaming device
This is an excellent Raspberry based network streaming kit that sounds like a high-end component. The aluminum case makes this look like a manufactured product and not a DYI.

I have mine hooked up to separates (preamp and multi-channel amp) and the dynamics, soundstage, and high-end are nicely presented.

In the download section you will find instructions for assembly and usage. Thankfully for me there is an English version as I do not speak French. The assembly instruction should be slightly updated as it shows an older version component for the display unit which has been updated to an LCD display but easy enough to figure out.

I think you will not be disappointed in the sound coming from this device or the convenience of having all your music or web based music stations at your fingertips. My music was accessed by both a solid state drive directly connected to the RPI unit and via NAS.

Lastly I was impressed how quickly I got the unit within 6 days from France to the USA and it was nicely packaged.
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS RASPDAC MINI LCD Kit DIY Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4 & DAC ES9038Q2M
Note :
 5/5
Date :
Excellent
Very happy with this kit. Easy to put together and sounds very good. You do need to use the correct version of volumio, which is downloadable on this site. Colour screen is nice too!
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS RASPDAC MINI LCD Kit DIY Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4 & DAC ES9038Q2M
 

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