Tutorial: Connect Mini/Pro to other I2S DACs

Hi everybody,

for those of you, who like to use the I2S capabilities of the boards and do not have any clue how to do it. this is for you.
In this manual I’m using three different clients.
The first one is a simple, tiny and very cheap Dac with the PCM5102 chip that will make the sound quality much better. I still recommend to use the Arylic DAC extension board, because I personally think it sounds better. But, that’s up to you.
The second one is the Wondom ADAU1701 Dsp board. It’s a Dsp that can be programmed with Sigma Studio software. It has 2 analog inputs, 4 stereo I2S inputs, 4 analog outputs and 4 stereo I2S outputs.
The third one is the Wondom JAB5 Dsp Amplifier board. It has two analog inputs, one I2S stereo input, one bluetooth 5.0 Aptx-HD input, 4 x 100W amplified outputs and one stereo I2S output. The amplified outputs can be bridged so you can use them to make a 2.2/2.1/2.0 + I2S system.
Note this is an Arylic forum and I only discuss how to connect the Up2stream boards to the Wondom boards and how to set the settings in Sigma Studio. I assume that you know how to programm them and make a filter chain. There are lots of tutorials and videos in the internet on how to do that.
I’m not a guru on I2S and have not much experience. So, if I’m wrong on something, than please let me know.

First:

Connect the Pro v3 or Mini v3 to the PCM5102. Masterclock is not required (MCLK/SCK).
GND - GND
LRCK - LCK
BCLK - BCK
IIS_DATA- DIN

For powering the PCM5102 from the Pro v3.
VCC_5V - VIN

For powering the PCM5102 from the Mini v3.
VCC_3V3 - 3.3V

That’s all. See picture:

Second:

This is how to connect to the Wondom ADAU1701 Dsp board and chain it to the PCM5102. The PCM5102 in not neccesery if only Analog output is used.
Masterclock is required (MCLK). Power (VCC) leaves unconnected.
Pro v3/Mini v3 to ADAU1701:
MCLK - Mclk
GND - GND
LRCK - MP4
BCLK - MP5
IIS_DATA- MP0

ADAU1701 to PCM5102 (Masterclock is not required (MCLK/SCK):
MP11 - BCK
MP10 - LCK
MP6 - DIN
GND - GND
3,3V - 3.3V

See picture:

Create a new project in Sigma Studio or edit an existing one. Be sure you change the settings as in the following picture.

In the schematic input 0 and 1 is analog, 2 and 3 is I2S. Output DAC0,1,2 and 3 is analog and DIG0 and DIG1 is I2S. An example is in the next picture.

Third:

This is how to connect to the Wondom JAB5 Dsp Amplifier board and chain it to the PCM5102. The PCM5102 in not neccesery if only Analog output is used.The JAB5 Bluetooth and I2S input can not be used at the same time. So, it’s necessary to turn the onboard switch from (M)aster to (S)lave.
Masterclock is required (MCLK). Power (VCC) leaves unconnected.
Pro v3/Mini v3 to JAB5:
MCLK - MCLK
GND - GND
LRCK - LRCK
BCLK - BCLK
IIS_DATA- DATA1

JAB5 to PCM5102 (Masterclock is not required (MCLK/SCK):
BCLK - BCK
LRCK - LCK
DATA0 - DIN
GND - GND
3,3V - 3.3V

See the next Picture:

Programing in Sigma Studio is just slightly different from the Dsp-only Board. DATA input is MP1. See next picture. The input for I2S in the schematic is the same as for bluetooth and that is 4 and 5.

That’s it.

Sidenotes:

There are a few downsides on using I2S. On the Up2stream boards the internal Dsp functions and volume controle of the remote are dissabled when in multiroom mode. In the app its still working though.
The other is not related to I2S. In multiroom mode the clients are in mixed stereo. That means you here the same on both channels.

Hope this all helps.

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Interesting read, thanks for sharing. I think I’ll try the PCM5102A board option (commonly available in Raspberry Pi stores).
What makes you say the ES9203 board sounds better? They both can do 24 bit 192kHz @ 112dB SNR , the PCM5102A even higher…

Also, would you happen to know if the default volume level is higher with such external DAC? I find that with the Up2Stream onboard analog outputs I typically have to set the amplifiers I’ve retrofitted the volume control knob to about halfway open (not nice when you switch to another audio input source and forget to turn the volume down first :wink:
Or is there a way to control the default volume level in the app or APWorkbench?

The internal DAC of MINI has max output voltage level 1Vrms, and the DAC ES9023 has max output 2Vrms.

About the sound quality. It’s just a matter of personal taste and they both sound very good.

The volume is notible higher then on the mini and pro standard output. The volume of I2S boards can not be changed by the app when in multiroom mode. In APWorkbench you can not change the volume of the I2S boards.

Very helpful, thanks. I will just give the PCM5102A option a go on my next project and will inform here when done.

That would be nice. If you need some help. Be free to ask.

I want to connect the Up2steam with the Wondom JAB5. As I understood, the PCM5102 is only needed if I want to have analog output?

Yes indeed. You only need it if you want 2 extra analog channels. The 4 Analog outputs of DSP chip are occupied by the Amplifier chips. You can also use the same port to add another device. Like another JAB5, JAB3 or everything that supports I2S input.

Thanks. I connected the Arylic Up2Stream via the I2S cabel to the Jab5 but the sound ist totally distorted. I double check the connection and all PIN connectiopns but they are correct. I also tried the bluethooth, and it sounds fine. Here is what I’ve done:

  1. Cutted the cabels from Arylic and Wondom and connected the correct PINs (triple checked)
  2. Switched Jab5 in Slave Mode
  3. Changed the Bitrate in Arylic to 24bit (also tried 16bit without any effect)
    Here my main questions:
  • Do I need to connect the 5V output of I2S connector to the I2S Connector from the Jab5?
  • Do I need to change something in Sigma Studio?
    Thanks

No, there is no need to connect the 5V pins.

I actually had the same problem with distorted sound yesterday with a new Mini V3. Didn’t have the problem before. I solved it by changing the PLL mode in ACPworkbench. To do this go to:
“Settings / MCLK sourse (global) /” and select “PLL Clock1”.
Allthough you can select the others, PLL Clock1 is always selected. I don’t know why but it’s probably fault in the design.

Before you do that, you can check if it will be solved by making a factory reset. I didn’t think of doing that :sleeping:

Good luck.

By the way. 24bit and 48khz is only for the bluetooth function. The Arylic modules accept High Resolution files but it only spits out 16bit 44.1khz. Even if you use spdif.

Seams the problem is not the I2S connection. It seams this is a problem with the WiFi/Ethernet part. Both network connections sounds distorted. If I choose Bluetooth it works fine.

Sorry for late response.
Do you mean the sound is OK when using bluetooth from Up2stream over I2S to the JAB5 or bluetooth of the JAB5? When it’s from the Up2stream, then it is definitely not an I2S issue.
Have you tried making an Factory reset on your Up2stream devices? Or testing on a different network like making a hotspot with your phone to see if it is a network issue.

Yes. If I select Bluetooth it’s working. I also made a factory reset. I’m with you, I don’t think that’s the I2S. I made some testings today. Trying all the inputs and outputs. Linie in, Bluetooth, USB all working fine. Than I tested the outputs together with music over WiFi. I works until the output is I2S. It also works if I use the SPDIF/Coaxial output board.

The problem only occurs in combination with WiFi and I2S. And yes I checked the connection again with a Voltmeter. If the documentation and the print on the PCBs are correct everything is correct.

The issue is not network related, because also the internal voice from the board is distorted. It could be a firmware issue. I have 4.2.9326.27 installed.

Could it be a ground issue? I have connected the ground from up2stream with the JAB5.

I’m still using firmware 4.2.9326.26. That indeed can be the case. The odd thing is that the spdif board is using I2S too, thought.
I don’t think the ground pin is the problem, but you can try disconnecting it. It can not hurt.
How long are the cables? They should not be longer them 20 cm.

By the way. Please, don’t double post in two different threats. Administrators of forums don’t like that.

Thanks. The SPDIF has it’s own pin. Perhaps this is the reason why the SPDIF board works. I also shortened the cable.

After all you have done to solve it. I still suspect it is an I2S issue.

  1. Be sure that the cables are okay. I2S is very sensitive depending on good connection.

2.To show you what problem I had with the settings in APCWorkbanch. I uploaded these two pictures to make it clear. Take a close look at the setting of “PLL Clock1”. In the distorted picture “PLL Clock2” is active, but “PLL Clock1” is selected. So, be sure that you click with your mouse on “PLL Clock1”, EVEN if it seems to be selected.
distorted
not distorted

I really appreciate your help. I shortened the cable. It’s now 12cm long. And I check the settings.


But nothing helps, or changes something.

Hi @j.eeken1,

I’m designing a adapter board for a specific purpose using the ES9023P DAC as follows:

The bit that’s confusing me is the need to connect the Mini V3 0V to AGND to ensure the ES9023P AVCC gets 3.3V, yet I don’t want to pollute it with the Mini V3 GND as I suspect that is just a common AGND and DGND. I’ve now ended up with AGND, DGND, GND1 and Earth!

I’m aware I could easily use their own DAC, but this is how I like to learn.

Simon.

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Maybe this could help you:
https://community.silabs.com/s/article/agnd-and-dgnd-connection?language=en_US

Wifi module (Linkplay A31) manual:

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