Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Sunday May 08, 2016

Raspberry Pi Tube Amp Lets You Use $1300 Headphones With $35 Computer

Some like the warmth of tubes while others demand neutrality, but I think both groups could appreciate what they’ve done with the Pi here.

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The 503HTA Hybrid Tube Amp is a HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) extension to any Raspberry Pi with a 40-pin expansion connector, including the Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi Model B+, and presumably even the 40-pin Raspberry Pi Zero. HAT boards differ from standard Pi shields in that they enable the Pi SBC to automatically configure its GPIO signals and drivers for use with external devices. The 503HTA incorporates a 24-bit, 112db THD PCM5102A DAC that taps the Pi’s I2S interface to drive a single 12AU7 tube gain stage at a 192Khz frame rate. The setup enables audio from 32 to 300 ohms on headphones connected to the 3.5mm jack. A gain select switch offers three gain settings of approximately 2V, 4V, and 6V rms.