HiFiBerry DAC vs. DAC+ electrically

My audio system is six Raspberry Pi's in various rooms.  They are driven from a Pi3 running MusicBox/Mopidy into SnapServer.  This Pi is also a SnapClient with a DAC+ attached.  There is also a Pi2 SnapClient with a DAC+.

The four remaining Pi's are original Pi B's as SnapClients with HiFiBerry DACs.  These systems were built up with Jessie Lite and are very barebones headless systems.

After a lot of research, investigation and testing I have come to the conclusion that the single thread Pi's are not up to the job of streaming and playback.  I get a lot of dropouts.

I'm sure that there are many software improvements that could be made, but the bottom line is that the multicore Pi's don't drop out much and the single core Pi's do.  Something I read said that USB eats a lot of CPU on a Pi, but the multicore Pi's pretty much have a core that gets dedicated to the USB.  That is the most sensible thing I've read with regard to this issue.

So I've got 2/3's of my home audio system not really up to the task.  I'm happy with the performance of the HiFiBerry cards in all cases.  I just need to upgrade a bunch of audio nodes.

So the question is:  Although I know that the physical configurations are different, can I plop a HiFiBerry DAC onto a Pi3 and get audio (not blue smoke)?  Ultimately I would replace the cards as well and get cases, but I'd love to do it piece-meal, Pi3's first, then HiFiBerry DAC+'s then cases.  It would be a lot of money to do all four nodes at once.  This is a crucial juncture because I also want to expand the system from six nodes to eight.

Thanks in advance for your help.



Please sign in to leave a comment.