[PLUGIN] Audiophonics EVO Sabre

Hi everyone.

Olivier from Audiophonics here.

I have been working on building an official plugin for our EVO Sabre and the first version is now available in the beta plugin store.

The source code for the plugin is available here.

Once this is has been properly tested and validated, it will entirely replace our old janky system with custom prebuilt images for this device.

In this thread I hope to gather some feedback regarding user experience during (and hopefully after) beta-testing.

If you happen to have an EVO Sabre yourself but you are not sure how to do the testing, I wrote a quick walkthrough here (or here if you speak French).

If you have doubts whether you own the correct device, we are talking about this guy here :
audiophonics-evo-sabre-pack-diy-balanced-dac-2xes9038q2m-streamer-for-raspberry-pi-4

Note : I know some users also want plugins for other devices made by Audiophonics.
However this thread is about the EVO Sabre only. Please stay focused on this specific device here.
I’ll be available to discuss other devices when this one has been thoroughly tested.

Thank you for your time.

2 Likes

Well done!

Dear,
I’m using the plugin since 3 days.

  1. In the plugin the are more instructions about configuration than in your blog (the steps about Volumio config).
  2. I used the plugin for 2 days with Direct DSD mode and switched to DoP only yesterday when I found the further steps in the plugin config, but I can’t recognize any difference.
  3. I come from DietPi/LMS, where I disabled some remote action. Thanks to have put this option in the configuration, maybe could be useful add an intermediate version: leave only play/pause button and power button (I use it to start a poweroff to get a clean shutdown), ignore everything else.
  4. [BUG] on volume regulation. If you change volume from Volumio the DAC receive the variations, but if you change the volume in DAC (example through remote) Volumio doesn’t recognise it and at the next volume change made through Volumio could happen everything. In DietPi/LMS I hadn’t this problem because LMS ignored at all the volume control leaving everything to the DAC.
  5. There is any possibility about the GPIO power control? With DietPi I had correct shutdown (the system received a sigterm from the board, maybe?)
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BUG
The plugin is not compatible with IR Remote Controller, if you have both and remove one of them, the other brake because the uninstall removes lirc witch is used by both.

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First, thank you for all this feedback. This is great.

Yes, the blog just lists the basic steps to have the plugin running and the device making sound through the right output. The in-plugin documentation is meant to approach something more of an ideal configuration.

The firmware guy insisted it sounded better that way in rare occasions. However I have to admit whatever happens inside the DAC chip is way too low-level for me so I am blindly following directions here (I can’t hear a difference either).

This would actually be a really cool feature to have a drop drown menu to set / unset the purpose of each available button on the remote. I’ll see if I can add that in a future update.

I suspected weird behavior would happen when using another plugin dealing with remote control along my own. I could copy LIRC binaries in the plugin folder during installation so nothing gets broken when either gets uninstalled. But in my opinion, trying to handle the infrared receptor with multiple plugins at once will never achieve anything stable.
Actually I added the “diagnose remote” button for this kind of scenario where another plugin would try to overwrite the remote config but you are right in saying I should do more to prevent conflicts here.

Yes. The DAC listens to the Pi but the opposite is not true. So changing the volume from the front encoder / remote will result in the WebUi displaying a wrong volume while the correct value is on the DAC (left) display.
You can however achieve the same result that you had in your DietPi / Squeeze by setting the Volume mixer to “NONE” which will result in Volumio not dealing with anything regarding volume and letting the DAC handling this by itself with the remote / front encoder.
Anyway, thank you for mentioning this because this is definitely something I should detail in the in-plugin documentation. Either way, now that I wrote a plugin I am way more experienced in Volumio, I’ll see if I can use this newly found knowledge to find a better way to expose hardware volume variations in the OS because this is definitely doable.

The answer is unfortunately “yes and no, but mostly no”.
We had so much trouble implementing graceful shutdown for the EVO that this feature was added way too long after the device initial release. Basically, a few devices have the requiring wiring for this and most don’t. There is also no way to tell if it’s there from within user space… so we decided to drop this and pretend it never worked anywhere in the first place, to avoid misleading people into breaking their SD card.
I guess yours have this wired if it works in DietPi but most units will do a hard shutdown anyway, so this is not something I can add to an official plugin and the recommended solution remains : soft shutdown then hard shutdown.

Anyway I have a small update almost ready (mainly to have better support with Spotifty metadata, since 99% of the bad feedback I had was about that). I’ll do my best to take your precious observations as well while polishing this.

Thank you again.

Olivier.

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Hi Olivier.
I have the Evo Sabre since Dec 2021, I’m the italian guy who had some problem with the power supply…maybe you remember.

Probably my unit is not of the first batch, in the DAC menu there is the GPIO option but it seems not work (you or someone else told me through e-mail that was a predisposition for future development), now it is set to ON. By the way, sometimes when the PI starts the DAC display show me the filter option and I notice that is set to SLOW, when usually I set it to FAST. When it not happen, if I open the option menu the filter is corrected set to FAST.

If I use the button on the chassis the raspberry doesn’t receive anything, but through remote yes so… I configured the raspberry and I use only the remote. Strange thing is that the poweroff period vary and I think wait for something from the raspberry to complete the shutdown. If I swith off the raspberry in another way (for example through ssh) it takes a long time (maybe it wait until it reaches a timeout?).
Maybe you can release some documentation about, I think I’m not the only who bought the EVO for the many tuning options. Also some documentation about the predisposition that are on the board could be useful and open the road to many customization and new users.

Going back to my reports.

  1. I suggest to add a line at the end of the blog post suggesting users to read the documentation inside the plugin that contains important information about the config.
  2. I think copying LIRC is not a brilliant solution. I don’t know if volumio has some predisposition to manage incompatibility between two plugins or you can dialogue with the developer of other plugins to manage a common routine for the uninstall that prevent to remove LIRC if is installed the other plugin.
  3. About remote customization. Maybe is possible manage config files in cascade? You could provide a standard configuration and in LIRC’s startup routine manage to load LIRC primary with a config file “custom” and if that file is not present with the default, so if a user wants to make a custom configuration it’s possible making it a different file and everything is fine during the update.
    For example in the startup routine you can put that if it is present ~/Audiophonics/lirc.conf (for example) LIRC loads with that file, otherwise LIRC loads with your default config file. In documentation you put this information and everyone wins.
    Actually I use 2 remotes, one bluetooth (recycled from a MiTV Box) to control the Raspberry and the oem IR remote to control the DAC, LIRC only receives the on-off command from this remote.
  4. Volume regulation. Again, I don’t know if it is possible but I suggest to set the equalizer to this config during the installation routine. Anyway I suggest to remove the volume level from the Raspi oled… it’s terrible see 2 different level in the 2 displays !!!
  5. Maybe you can evaluate the possibility to provide 2 buttons on the chassis, one for the raspberry ON/OFF and one (the actual) for all the DAC leaving the GPIO available for “tuners” :slight_smile:

Thanks!
Nicola