Audiophile A10 bit perfect player

My last and final project around the mele a2000: a bit perfect player with mpd and display.
Arm powered (Allwinner A10).

Updated with a linear and regulated power supply.

quick and dirty !

Schematic:
Audiophile player a10 schematic

Fully working.

  • Ultra low power – switches to 60MHz on standby and 1Ghz on playback
  • External 12V Fortron PSU + Internal Audiophonics PSUS2 (for the mele only)
  • Automatic power on of the display via the ph20 of the mele + optocoupler Letex LA213 + 12V relay
  • Remote control with lirc, able to mechanize mpd via mpc
  • Bit perfect playback to my Micromega MyDac
  • Connected to my NAS via CIFS (seemless network reconnection)
  • Display the media quality, load, track informations via Conky and flap to the album picture every 30 seconds
  • On the front, power button of the mele, led connected to the mele ph10 (blinking slowly on standby), IR receiver

It runs ubuntu on nand with Xorg + conky.
The display turns off after 120 seconds of mpd inactivity.
The remote (lirc) manages play/stop/forward/volume etc…
The display used is connected to the composite video output and cost … bought at $18 on ebay.
The new linear power costs $30.

Total pure audiophile player cost ~ $160 ($40 of casing).

The rest of my setup:

  • Micromega MyDac
  • PreAmp: nuForce P8S
  • Crossover: dbTechnologies ASX 18 (with new Muse caps)
  • 2 x Klein Hummel O300d
  • 2 x RCF ayra 10 sub
  • Cables: rca from sommercable/choseal, usb from lyndi, xlr from viablue NF-S1 + yarbo

References:
MPD config
LIRC config
Audiophonics PSUS2
Ubuntu image
Kernel update
Composite monitor

Previous with the dirty psu (for the record):

15 thoughts on “Audiophile A10 bit perfect player

    • Thank you.
      Quick and dirty build, working perfectly so far.

      It should work nicely with the cubieboard too. It’s nearly the same board as the mele and the a10 has all it needs to process without resampling (bit perfect) all the high-end/studio masters files you could ever have.

      My Klein Hummel O300d + nuforce p8s are enjoying the setup πŸ˜‰
      Great detail and clarity at every level and frequency. The sound is just perfect for me after trying a lot of combo: another htpc, asus xonar (fine tuned op, recap, reclocked) and other dacs.

      At my big surprise, the lowest priced (at a range <$2K) and the most simple setup: mele+mydac was the best.

    • With conky.

      Here is my config: http://guillaumeplayground.net:81/share/mpd-conky.tgz


      get_folder.pl
      .conky/grab-bitperfect.pl
      .conkyrc

      Conky execute:
      – get_folder.pl : grab the folder.jpg from my nas (you have to change the directory in this file).
      – grab-bitperfect.pl : retrieve the format of the current play (you have to change the proc target in this file).

      The display, graph, etc.. is managed directly by conky.

  • I kind of copied your setting to my situation (without display). With the same PSU2
    But the heatsink of the PSU is getting hot pretty quick (50 c) athough the 5V current is still pretty low (0,5A). Does this also happen to you?

    • Not really hot, 50c seems ok.
      It’s a linear power supply so it is quite normal to be hot a bit.

      How is the sound and is it perfectly stable ?

      • I think it’s more balanced. But I’ve didn’t do much A-B comparison. So it could be a placebo effect. But I’m happy now.
        I also put a fan in my case to “cool” the inside of the cabinet to a acceptable level.
        BTW. My mele doesn’t have any heatsinks. Did you put on the heatsinks yourself?

        • Hi Laurens,

          Happy to read this.
          Mine is working so nicely that i didn’t touch my audio setup since May… which is huge for me πŸ˜‰

          For the heatsink, i put it myself. I had spares after building my cluster project.
          It’s not really necessary. The A10 is perfectly stable at full speed (without overclocking).
          And when you are not playing music, you can automatically put cpufreq back to ondemand… which make the A10 sleep at 50MHz

          Bye.

          • Funny thing, that you say in your bit perfect post you say the mele runs at 40% max when using a 24bit/96khz file. But mine regularly reaches 100% CPU load (using top command). When playing a 192khz file it’s not playable (too many hickups, mpd using more than 80% cpu load).
            Could this be the difference in the DAC (that your MYDAC is less consuming). Using a ODAC and a hiface right now. Or do you have other optimisations

        • Yes, you must have problem with your mpd configuration.

          If you are in bitperfect mode, mpd is just decoding the stream and send it to the DAC. No resample, which is what you’re seeking.

          In this mode, the mele can not run high in CPU.
          The resample is responsible for overloading your CPU.

          In the audio_output section, you should have:

          auto_resample "no"
          auto_channels "no"
          auto_format "no"

          Depending on your DAC, you will be able to read every format in bitperfect: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 192, etc…
          The dac is switching automatically when the rate changes.
          Nothing change on the player except the fact it will have more data to decompress from FLAC… which is quite light even in very high rate like 256 or 312.

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