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Author Topic: A10 or A20 for my needs??? / Audio quality of the headphone jack  (Read 1842 times)

Offline atari82

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Hello,

I would like to buy a Cubie ... and i could not google answers to all my questions – especially concerning the A20.

I'd like to run 3 main tasks:

1. Airplay to play music from my phone/tablet
Referring to the article: http://tinyurl.com/nz7p2lo (sorry, german)
He describes using a Linaro distribution; does anyone have experience or a suggestion, if shairport runs on a A20?
... still, if the cubie is connected by cable to the router and uses it's wifi?
I heared the Raspberry audio jack sucks – mainly because of the DAC. Is the one in the Cubie better?

2. Subsonic-Server (www.subsonic.org) for my Music.
Anyone, any experience with this on a A20? (http://tinyurl.com/nl33xt9)

3. btsync
Again, any experience on the A20?
Is a SATA connected Harddrive more stable than a USB connected? Is a 2000mA enough power to handle a 2.5 external USB-drive (without extra power)?

I think on a A10 all these things run fine, but the A20 is new and i like to buy new versions of things. Does this setup make sense on a A20, e.g. does these programs make use of the dual-cores?

THANKS!!!

:-) AK
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 05:55:46 AM by atari82 »

Offline atari82

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs???
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 03:50:59 AM »
Anyone? i'm still very undecided and could still not find out about my questions ...

Offline milkboy007

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs???
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 07:55:43 AM »
well all depends on your budget.
if you can spend the extra $, i recommend get a CB2 or CBT (cubietruck) . it will be a a lil' more future-proof than CB1.
For example if in the future you need more CPU power, you can always re-purpose you CB2 or truck.
For CBT, you wouldn't need to buy usb wifi dongle or hdmi to vga converter if you dont have a hdmi monitor.

i dun use my CB2 for music streaming ( mine's for NAS and BOINC)
but AFAIK, there is in the repo shairplay for arm debian, Sub-sonic server runs on JAVA, and btsync require u to know how to do few basic stuf wif linux (make, complie, vim/nano, etc..).
so IN THEORY it should work.

for the CB's DAC, it depends on your speaker. if you have an audiophile grade speaker and a library of FLAC files, get a good USB DAC.
but since u are streaming live music, IMO CB DAC is gud enuff, since as far as i know most streams quality everage around 256kbps, and by experience anything less than a lossless file, will sound bad anyways : p

hope that helped


Offline atari82

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs???
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 05:55:05 AM »
@milkboy007: Thanks for the good answer.

Has someone a comparison of the CB's headphone-jack quality to the raspberry pi.
As i read often the raspberry's headphone-jack-output is pretty bad due to the pwm-DAC.

I mean, is the CB's better or could I also start with an RBPi?

(I'm not audiophile - I grew up with music cassettes and most of my music is 320kbps MP3.)

:-)

Offline sanyigz

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs??? / Audio quality of the headphone jack
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 11:40:42 AM »
1. i don't use apple devices, but the similar DLNA on my cubieboard2
3. I use btsync on cubie2, only an "ln -s /lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/ld-linux.so.3 /lib/ld-linux.so.3" was needed to make it run on cubiuntu.

SATA drive isn't more stable than USB... just as always, native (SATA) is faster and needs less CPU at write and read.
I don't know about the quality of audio jack, i've tried just once. I use HDMI for audio output.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 11:46:38 AM by sanyigz »

Offline milkboy007

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs??? / Audio quality of the headphone jack
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 11:13:59 AM »
ill check it out this weekend, since i got both Rpi and CB2.
but i can only give you and anecdotal review, from flac files with only my above everage logitech 2.1 pc speaker & a shure se425 headphone (i think my hi fi headphone will be the one that can give me a good comparison).

ill reply few days after that.

Offline IvanYeung

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs??? / Audio quality of the headphone jack
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 03:10:15 AM »
i think you better search the software side solution rather than focusing on hardware first. If a piece of hardware has no good software supports, it is quite hard for you to fulfill your task.

i would say the official support of cb is not that great at this moment, the main force behind cb is community support; other mini-boards have better official support (raspberry pi, beagleboard).

A simple linux server is easy to setup in cb, but for other specific tasks, you should make sure that the piece of hardware you choose at least has some solutions provided first.

Offline milkboy007

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs??? / Audio quality of the headphone jack
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 05:09:08 AM »
OP posted that
I think on a A10 all these things run fine, but the A20 is new and i like to buy new versions of things. Does this setup make sense on a A20, e.g. does these programs make use of the dual-cores?

soo, i think he ald did his research.
now he just wanna know DAC audio quality, before deciding on Rpi or CB1/2.

Offline milkboy007

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs??? / Audio quality of the headphone jack
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 10:06:12 AM »
i had a free time today, and i juz tested both RPI and CB2 audio quality
for RPI i used Raspbmc(XMBC) 3.5mm audio out(analogue)
for CB2 i used lubuntu with gnome player 3.5mm audio out(analogue)
for the music i used a flac file, one classical and the other dubstep @ 900kbps 44.1khz
for the speaker and in-earphone, i used a logitech pc speaker (nothing fancy) & a shure se425 (audiophile choice for earphone, beats is an overprice junk so dont bother asking me if i have one)
i wont use the software equaliser, nor tru the hardware control
i will also use the same low noise PSU.
(it will have the same level of everything hardware side)

what i find:
RPI DAC is horrible, very limited range of sound, low dynamic sound, bass sound is flat, low sound is is barely audible,mid high sound are also kinda flat IMO,vocals isnt clear and crips, on speaker.
worse with my earphone.
layman translation, bass is not good, vocals or treble details is horrible.

CB2 DAC tru line out (alsa codec, not hdmi), on speaker, it is okay, both low and high. nothing to celebrate about. layman, performance is mediocre like any basic laptop or mid range mobile phones.

with my earphone, the tiny detail that seperate a good DAC from the bad appears, the bass is a lil bit flat not warm(unlike the hifi device). low mid, and high sounds like a common mp3 files, so is the Vocals and treble.
layman term, its just like a basic pc or mid range mobile phones

conclusions:
i'm incline to choose CB over RPi due to better sounds, that is if you dont have a hifi speaker or headphones. RPI sound is just downright horible. the sound quality difference is noticeable even with a "normal" speaker/earphone.

without any additional usb DAC, RPI and CB isnt for an audiophile, or hifi equipment.
and if you are an audiophile, get a good usb DAC companion, low noise power suply, to go with your audio equipment. then both RPi and CB should not be a problem.

on a side note both device played the file smoothly without any skips.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 10:08:37 AM by milkboy007 »

Offline AutoStatic

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Re: A10 or A20 for my needs??? / Audio quality of the headphone jack
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2013, 10:55:42 AM »
RPi DAC is 11-bit while CB DAC is at least 16-bit.