A Retro, Not Steampunk, Media Center


[toddfx] wanted to put his Raspberry Pi to work and set about creating one of the best stereos we’ve ever seen: It’s called the Audio Infuser 4700, and turns a conglomeration of old disused stereo equipment into a functional piece of art.

[toddfx] used a Raspberry Pi to stream music over WiFi, but also wanted to play some classic vinyl. He took apart an old Yamaha YP-D4 turntable. stripped it to the bone, and created a fantastic oak enclosure around it. To this, he added a seven-band graphic EQ, aux jacks (both in and out), and a tiny 5″ CRT from an old portable TV.

Where this build really gets great is the fabrication. The front panels have all their graphics and lettering engraved via a toner-transfer like method using copper sulphate and salt. [todd] got the idea from this thread and we have to say the results are unbelievable.

Even though this awesome device only used for music, [toddfx] used the tiny color CRT to its fullest. Flick one switch, and it’s an oscilloscope-like display. Flick another switch, and it’s the output of the Raspberry Pi loaded up with a few MAME games including Pacman, Asteroids, and Space Invaders.

[toddfx] put up a build page for his Audio Infuser and an awesome video for his project, available below.


  1. ChalkBored says:

    Wow, that looks nice.

  2. Hephaix says:

    The father is a pip boy and the mother a ghetto blaster. Of course the son is great.

  3. Jimbob Jimmyjames says:

    So did he finally figure out what was causing the hum?

    • Yeah, the hum I had talked about previously was caused by improper grounding. I made sure everything shared a common ground, and that took care of 95% of it. Remaining 5% is caused by the natural CRT noise, and only audible when volume is up in record player mode with no music is playing.

  4. jordan says:

    Are the speakers enclosed properly? That’s a sticking point with so many audio projects: not engineering the speaker enclosures. Even the best drivers sound wimpy when not in the right case.
    Everything else about this build is incredible! Big fan of the CRT visualizer

  5. Brian, thanks a lot for posting my Audio Infuser! It’s really awesome to see it here, as this is where I discovered the CRT oscilloscope hack. Without that, the project would have ended up looking very different.

    • rob says:

      For the CRT hack, if you swap the vertical with horizontal, then put the audio input into the vertical, get a nice horizontal waveform instead of a vertical one. If you just jam the audio input directly into the vertical, you get a nice growing/shrinking bar, because it has to scan horizontally much faster than it scans vertically.

      I’ve done some messing around with it, it’s pretty fun!

      • rob says:

        Crap, now I’ll have to not only dig mine out and hook it up, but I have to pick up the old TV chilling in my girlfriend’s mom attic and put another one together.

  6. fartface says:

    Excellent work! To make it steampunk, just hot glue Gears and goggles on it.

  7. Hirudinea says:

    Isn’t this more ’60s than ’70s in style, makes me want to put on some Mantovani, pour a couple of martini’s and bang a TWA stewardess.

  8. Jerry Tremble says:

    A beautiful piece of equipment! Does the name imply it took him 4699 previous attempts to arrive at this design? I respect his dedication!

  9. Jeremy Cook says:

    What an incredible build. Really puts most of my hacked together stuff to shame!

  10. This is what “audiophile” means: true DIY, art, pursuing knowledge, desire.

    Not that crap on the market to make some people rich by selling snake oil to desperate middle-aged man who have too much money on their pockets, but not enough for a sports car.

    This is one of the best I’ve seen this year! Perfect!

  11. rj says:

    The etching and woodwork are beautiful.
    It would be nice to set up ProjectM (maybe as part of XBMC) in addition to the standard deflection waveform visualizer.

    • indigo says:

      True. But he says he couldn’t find any good ones for his version of the Pi. He’ll find one eventually. In the mean time. He’s making his analogue visualiser even more awesome using the “Moog synth emulator” http://vimeo.com/65278708
      I see colours!

      But that’s not the best part. The best part is that, in theory, with a few software updates he could get it playing internet radio/tv/youtube or even (de)spotify!

      Does the ShairPort implementation of airplay include the “jukebox” feature? Can guests at a party connect and add tracks to the jukebox over wifi?

  12. Realy exelent work! I loveit!!!

  13. Jamie says:

    Excellent work, and the build log presented as well as the final item. Amazing stuff.

  14. Eric Zhang says:

    Really nice, and thanks for providing the build instructions!

  15. parko says:

    very. cool! inspiring!

  16. Awesome!
    This work is original, functional and impressive.
    My congrats.

  17. grey says:

    what are the tracks in the video?

  18. Matthias says:

    Wow, it seems I’ve missed this post. This is the most beautiful hack I’ve seen here. Amazing!

  19. Fredl says:

    Just beautiful!

    Unfortunately the build page is a dead link at the moment. “http://audio.toddkumpf.com/” cannot be resolved.

  20. Snakeblood9 says:

    I wanna buy that, so much right now

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