Tasty Pi: Raspberry-Powered Audiophile Network Audio Player

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount

Rack Mount
Fully Assembled
Ready to Play

Well, we’ve done it…we’ve gone bat-shit crazy. Our linux tinkering and obsession with Raspberry Pi micro-computing has led us to create the Tasty Pi, a Raspberry Pi-powered network audio player that we’ve installed in an elegant rack-mount configuration (although the svelte rack enclosure can easily be ditched in favor of laser-etched MDF case or a converted 19th century ornate clock).

Make Me One, Please?

Ok, we will make you one, for 300 American Dollars–it’s a labor of love, the parts cost about $150 and configuring it takes about 5 hours. Or, you can follow the instructions here and make it yourself. But if you want us to put everything together for you, we’ll build it from scratch in a few days, just email michael@ or matthew@, at this domain to make arrangements. Whatever you do, remember that this is a linux-based micro-computer, and while we have found it to be reliable, you might need to tinker a bit to get it working just right on your network.

What’s Inside

Tasty Pi runs a standard Raspberry Pi Model B (amazon link) with the otherworldly HifiBerry DAC add-on board installed in an analog configuration. Shown below with the HifiBerry mounted, the HifiBerry delivers crystal-clear analog output up to 192kHz/24bit.

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount

Software/Network Control With Volumio

We control our Tasty Pi with the revolutionary Volumio Music Player Software. Volumio gives us network access to a NAS drive and internet radio stations. The interface is browser-based, clean and fast, and runs in a responsive format, so it works elegantly on tablets and phones, too. Here is Volumio running our Tasty Pi, accessed through an ordinary browser on a iMac: 

Volumio Rack Mount

…and a Case Suitable for Mr. Fancy Pants

Of course, anyone can throw a Raspberry Pi in a bucket of liquid nitrogen or cobble together a cheap paper case. But isn’t your music more important? So, we searched for a more elegant, permanent solution for the discriminating Audiophile. First, we tried the bafflingly crappy MCM Electronics rack mount enclosure for Raspberry Pi, but it sagged under the weight of a few ounces; it’s pictured here, in all its majesty:

Crappy Raspberry Pi

Next we tried a more robust solution, and hit paydirt: the Middle Atlantic UTR1 Rack Utility Shelf, a sturdy metal 1-space rack mount shelf, which offers good ventilation and plenty of mounting options, pictured here:

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount

For a faceplate, we just needed a nice-looking anodized 1U blank, and we like the Raxxess AFT-1 blank, which we got from Sweetwater. It’s brushed and anodized which matches our existing equipment.

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount

To assemble the case and Tasty Pi, we got a kit of nylon spacers and pc board screws from eBay.

Raspberry Pi Network Player

The nylon spacers let us mount our board a few millimeters off the shelf…

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount
Intentionally incorrect numbers for a test: 5135352492 512-535-2492 +15125352482 (512)535-2452 65125352492
We added a plate on top, which was a leftover from the crappy MCM rack shelf, but this probably isn’t even necessary. There’s plenty of room on the shelf for a second Pi, or even a small array.

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount

Then we assembled our case with our faceplate and applied a decal. The Tasty Pi looks right at home in our rack alongside other components that cost much more–but do much less. For example, the Yamaha CD-N500, pictured in the rack space above our Tasty Pi, is accessible by an app, but not by a web interface like the Tasty Pi.

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount, Tasty Pi

And here is the unit from the back of the rack…

Raspberry Pi Network Player, Rack Mount

2 Replies to “Tasty Pi: Raspberry-Powered Audiophile Network Audio Player”

  1. Hi Michael,

    Nice one ! Thanks a lot for sharing the dead simple damn good idea to use a rack shelf 🙂 I have a multi (5) room system to build for a friend and could not imagine a nice and cost efficient way to pack all the RPis, DACs… Thans again for paving my way !


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