DIY Hifi

Recently I started thinking about building my son a hifi system for his birthday. Not a system with expensive separates though. I thought I would go the way of building from base components, to make it easily repairable and upgradeable. The Raspberry Pi (RPi) system I’m pretty familiar with is a decent base for such a system and running Volumio on the RPi makes it a neat system he could control (for radio, Spotify, etc.) from a tablet (or later his own smartphone).

Here’s the basis of the system I’m planning:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 – Reuse an existing one, or buy a new one for £35 – you could use a more basic RPi (I run Volumio on a RPi Zero, purely for internet radio) but I like something that will be relatively snappy.
  • Q Acoustics 3010 – Forget the prices you see on some sites, with some careful shopping I reckon I can get these highly rated bookshelf speakers for about £79. Specs – Sensitivity: 86dB, Power: 15-75w, Impedance: 6 ohm
  • Hifiberry Amp2 – Top Swiss manufacturer of RPi audio boards – this no-solder HAT board is the heart of the system combining the amplifier and digital-analogue converter (DAC) and will work with 4-8 ohm speakers – £45
  • Meanwell GS60A18-P1J (60W) 18V PSU – Don’t skimp on the power supply, a poorly matched one affects the sound quality – £23
  • UGREEN Banana Plugs, 24K Gold Plated (8) – £12 on Amazon, which ever ones you get make sure they’ll fit whatever AWG gauge wire you’ll be using.
  • DCSk 20 m – 2 x 4 mm² AWG 11 Cable – Good quality and quite thick solid copper wire, enough for 4 x 5 metre runs – about £30 on Amazon as I write.

Total cost re-using the RPi3 that I have would be around the £190 mark, £225 if you have to buy a new one. For that I hope to build a sound system the equivalent of something 3 to 4 times the cost in the audio shops. The online comments by people who have built similar using the above components are very positive about the sound quality you can obtain.

Categorized as Notes