From arcade tables and streaming weather stations to a DIY Amazon Echo and even cat exercise wheels, the amount of possibilities one can cook up with the Raspberry Pi is near-limitless. For audiophiles looking to jam out to their Pink Floyd discography on the $25 computer, there’s now a solution for that, too.
Designed by hardware developer Pi 2 Design, the 503HTA – Hybrid Tube Amp is created specifically for any of the 40-pin versions of the Raspberry Pi family to bring that “Sweet Tube Sound” to the versatile Single Board Computers. When in use, the tube amp is capable of driving professional headphones from 32 to 300 ohm with relative ease and fidelity.
Having already raised nearly $60K in just the first 48 hours of their month-long Kickstarter campaign, it’s clear that the developers have touched a sweet spot with audiophiles.
Says Michael Kelly of Pi 2 Design:
“We just finished testing the prototypes of our 503HTA. a small Hat size add-on that connects to the PI I2S port. A PCM5102A DAC drives single 12AU7 tube gain stage with solid state Class-A output. It is designed to drive headphones from 32 to 300 ohm quite easily.
The design is derived from the popular Bravo V2 architecture with all the modifications recommended such as: IRL510 Output Mosfet; Regulated Heater Voltage to reduce cross-talk; Adjustable Plate Bias for Tube Rollers; Nichicon MUSE Output Capacitors; and Jumper-able output impedance of 1.5, 32 and 100 ohm and switchable gain selection to match your headphones exactly.”
For those looking to get tubular with their Raspberry Pi, a select few of the units are still going for $119 a pop before moving onto the next pricing tier of $149 for the remainder of the campaign.