Just what your Raspberry Pi needs: a tube amp

Written by Andy Stout

Pi2MediaWhere did you get that HAT?

We’re big fans of Raspberry Pi here at RedShark, it’s cheap, it’s awesomely versatile and its putting the computer back into the hands of the people. But even we’re not sure it needs a hybrid vacuum tube amp.

Plenty of people disagree with us though, which is why the Kickstarter set up by Pi2Media for the 503HTA has been well and truly oversubscribed and has seen over $100,000 pledged to make it happen.

The unit is essentially a High Quality I/O Shield designed to bring what Pi2 describes as “Sweet Tube Sound” to the Pi family of Single Board Computers. This HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) not only looks extremely funky but also allows the Raspberry Pi SBC to drive headphones from 32 - 300 ohm with what is referred to as ease and fidelity.

Once the unit hits production, cost is going to be $149, but Pi2 has already hit its first and second stretch goals, and thus the 503HTA now includes upgraded capacitors, a power switch, volume control options and an analog line in for stand alone operation that it didn’t have in the first place.

The extra backing, and this is the big recent news from the team, also helped the team change the 3.5mm Headphone Out to a 6.35mm (aka 1/4") jack. We’ll be interested to know the greatest ratio of cost per component people can get out of the resulting system, but if we matched the Audeze Sines we reviewed recently with a Raspberry Pi, that would give us a 12:1 headphone to computer cost ratio. Any advances?


Tags: Audio


Related Articles

21 July, 2020

Alan Turing invented computer music

Similar to unearthing a time capsule, a recently re-discovered recording by Alan Turing reveals his pioneering efforts in the field of computer music.

Read Story

20 July, 2020

How to reduce embedded wind noise in your audio

Wind noise is the bane of audio recording. Here are some tips on how to reduce it using the tools already in your NLE.                              ...

Read Story

10 July, 2020

VCA Faders: One simple thing that can make your audio mixing much easier

Replay: If you often end up with layer upon layer of audio, how do you make easy sense of it when it comes to mixing? Tim Dunphy takes us through the...

Read Story