1st attempt at high quality sound

If this should go in another section - let me know and I’ll follow up there.

I got volumio running on RPI B with a nuforce 2 DAC. I want to use it in the main room with an Onkyo reciever to run a pair of JBL L65s and a Hsu research sub woofer.

Last night I ripped a CD (Jim Croce’s greatest hits) to Flac and eagerly awaited the pleasurable sound that I get when playing a CD through the same system. Now this is not an incredible recording to begin with but I was disappointed when playing through Volumio vis a vis the CD straight into the system.

A couple of ideas come to mind that I’m going to try over the next several evenings;

  1. I was running stereo out from the Dac to the reciever. I’ve got a coaxial spif cable on its way and will try that probably tonight.
  2. I ripped the CD to flac (all default settings) then loaded onto Box.com to download in the other room to the server that has the music. Box zips the file when you download it so I’m not sure if that had any affect on the sound. I need to figure out how to move it strait to the NAS drive - that’s next.

I will try to correct these. My hope is that I will hear at least as good of quality through this system as the CD player direct into the receiver. If not - well then I have another “apple tv” to use …

Any comments tips or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks Volumio for a really cool product.


Well I complete everything I needed in order to do a side by side comparison. I connected the coaxial outbut of the unforced dac to my reciever and ripped everything locally.

I did too side by side comparisons - between the cd in my DVD player and the volumio coming from the rip.

I started with a mediocre recording - cd of Jim Croces greatest hit. There was definetely a difference between the cd and the flac file playing through the rip. I then compared Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman and came to a conclusion that although the rip volumio was good - it just didn’t have the presence that I got from the cd - vocals and acoustic guitars just didn’t pop like the cd.

It is convenient but not what I was hoping for - although 99 out of 100 folks will probably be thrilled.

Next I will experiment with some higher res flacs


Not a pro at this, but just a couple of thoughts.

First I’m sure that zipping/unzipping a file won’t make any difference.

I would not start by blaming Volumio. In both of your setups your really comparing CD and Volumio+Nuforce 2.
I checked your dac and it seemes to be usb powerd. Now first of all power and usb power is an issue on the pi.
I used to have a set up with a hiface 2 usb to coax converter and I used a split usb cable to provide extra power.
I had some issued with highres music (a known problem on the pi using usb). I then switched to adding an i2s board (Hifiberry digil) and never had an issue after that. There are several different addon boards with different output options available, just check under the dac thread in the forum.
Also I don’t know how the nuforce 2 rates as a dac compared to your cd player. There are a lot of possible sources for the difference you experience.
Hope this was helpful.


Yes it does. Thank you. Btw I’m not blaming volumio I love the interface.
Today I ordered the wolfson card. I’m looking forward to getting it up and running.

The raspberry Pi’s usb interface did (any maybe still does) have problems. I2S is definitely the way forward.

However, I believe that the Wolfson card doesn’t output at 2V RMS, so it may be quieter than your current setup. This can be annoying if you switch between your CD player and Volumio frequently with the same amplifier.

Yeah - I heard about the volume with the Wolsfon card - but I won’t often switch between the two and the reviews that I’ve heard about the sound quality has me wanting to try it.