Starting at the very beginning. I'm raising my HAT (sorry)

edited October 17 in Digital
OK. So I've stopped tweaking software and actually bought myself a bit of gear (not that sort of gear!).

Things have moved on in the Raspberry Pi world since I bought my Raspberry Pi 3 and HiFi Berry Digi Plus combo. So I went all in and bought an Allo Digione Signature, which I think is about as good as you can get in the RPi world, although as it came out two years ago, I'm sure Allo will bring out something better real soon now!

Although I've had the cards - there's a dirty card that separates the noisy RPi from the clean card that connects to the DAC - for a few days, I've only just had a chance to fit them to an RPi3 and gather the power supplies and USB-C plugs together - RPi 3 uses micro USB; Digione Sig uses USB-C.   

First impressions? Acoustics! Lots of them!

Comments

  • What psu's are you using ?
    From experience good PSU's with Allo products make a worthwhile difference. I have used these £50 Chinese LPSU from ebay to good effect 
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HIFI-25W-DC5V-linear-Power-supply-with-display-for-USB-DAC-Raspberry-Pi-PSU/122732460380?hash=item1c936cb95c:g:TYwAAOSwOlJZz5KT
  • The PSU on the clean side is my next step. I'm using the iFi iPower I used with the RPi/Digi+ at the moment.

    From what I've read, a battery power pack is the way to go. But the thought of maintaining rechargeable batteries and Colin's case against batteries (should be somewhere on Chews) are making me want to get a linear power supply.

    So your recommendation is very timely, Mervyn.
  • edited October 17
    I had one of these but sold it to buy the usbridge sig as I needed usb. Best pi based spdif there is. Battery is the way to go on cost grounds alone, although something like one of the topping power supplies may be a good value option. I used an sbooster botw which is a great power supply that I still use. Pricey though, but fully serviceable so should outlast lesser ones. 
  • Allo have recently brought out a new PS that is very reasonably priced.   Said to be not quite as good as the Shanti, but then its a good bit cheaper.
  • edited October 17
    phorize said:
    I had one of these but sold it to buy the usbridge sig as I needed usb. Best pi based spdif there is. Battery is the way to go on cost grounds alone, although something like one of the topping power supplies may be a good value option. I used an sbooster botw which is a great power supply that I still use. Pricey though, but fully serviceable so should outlast lesser ones. 
    My situation is the other way round. I need S/PDIF for the Young, which never had a working Linux USB driver. 

    I did think about the usbridge signature, but I'd have to have upgraded the DAC at the same time and the bank account looked at me with intransigence in its eyes. I'll tackle the DAC issue once I've got the Digione Sig singing.

    The sbooster is on my investigation list, but I seem to remember it is a bit pricey.

    I also noticed one of the Chinese power supplies I looked at earlier - maybe the one Mervyn recommended - described itself as a Topping power supply. 
  • ian said:
    Allo have recently brought out a new PS that is very reasonably priced.   Said to be not quite as good as the Shanti, but then its a good bit cheaper.
    I've seen that, but it's switch mode, similar to the iPower I have, I guess. 
  • ian said:
    Allo have recently brought out a new PS that is very reasonably priced.   Said to be not quite as good as the Shanti, but then its a good bit cheaper.
    Sorry I was talking rot; the new PS is not from Allo but is made by IanCanada of DIYA fame.
  • edited October 17
    Do you have a link, Ian?

    I should have said, please :-) Threads on DIYA sometimes take days to go through, even after you've found the right one. 
  • Quick update: it's starting to sound tighter. It's been playing continuously since about 4 pm, and for about 45 minutes earlier in the afternoon. 
  • Oh, and this came up in the Roon forum: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.thel-audioworld.de/module/Class-A%20Netzteil/Blackpulsar.htm&prev=search&pto=aue. Although I haven't done more than scan the page as yet. Looks like it's a board that just needs putting into a case, but I may be wrong. 
  • Looks interesting Dave but I am sure Mr Wonfor can provide an expert opinion as to it’s potential.
    When I first started using RPi’s I compared a cheap SMPS supply with a good quality powerbank battery pack and the Chinese LPSU. The SQ improved in the same sequence ie LPSU best of bunch. I now use a high quality dual PSU by Custom Hifi Cables I managed to pick up at a great price but still cost considerably more than the Allo Dac. As usual the hifi diminishing returns rules apply as the spend goes up. 
  • I did kind of hang the link out hoping that Colin might see it. If he doesn't, I may email him.
    Were you using the Chinese LPSU on the dirty side as well as the clean side?
  • edited October 17
    Yes both sides. I was using it with the Allo Boss Dac and Isolator which sits between the RPI and Dac. Dirty Power to isolator also powered up RPi and the clean side came from the Dac power feed. I now use a Katana Dac with the CHC dual power supply. 
    In fact I think I might still have the Chinese dual PSU somewhere if you are interested in trying it. 
  • edited October 18
    There's a lot of Allo gear out there!
    That's very generous about the PSU, Mervyn, I'd love to try it.
  • Ok just pm me your address Dave and will box it up next week. 
  • PM should be with you now.
  • edited October 18
    I'm finding more and more detail, but have a nagging feeling that the sound is just a little soft. By that, I mean drums seem a bit lacking in heft.
    Maybe that's something a better PSU will sort out.
  • I don't know why I'm surprised, but the DS is getting better and better as the days go by.
  • I even think some of the missing heft may be returning, but @29mile has been kind enough to lend me a Linear PSU. I'm awaiting some cables at the moment, so I haven't been able to try it.
    The scientist in me says I should wait until the DS has finished improving - anyone have any idea of how long that's likely to take? - before I plug in the Linear PSU. But Mr Impatient wants to get on with playing with the LPSU :)
  • edited October 21
    The uglymusic brain is sometimes lacking.

    With one cable on the Chinese LPSU, I can use it for the clean board, while I use the iPower on the dirty board. I don't have to wait for Amazon.

    Anyway, impressions after an hour's listening (this may be a long lunchtime): a HUGE soundstage and the welly is back again. There's a lot of weight here.

    This DS thing seems a highly tweakable beastie. 
  • That's a great result with the Chinese LPSU Dave. I suspect you will get most benefit using it on the clean side but might be worthing trying the second output on the dirty side when you get a cable.
  • edited October 21
    Yeah. I suspect I won’t get much more from having both boards powered by the LPSU. Some forum posts have said you shouldn’t use both outputs from the same PSU, but I can’t remember why (maybe they didn’t explain?), so I may be at the optimum for my available power supplies. 

    I’ll find out. 
  • They only have a small transformer so 2 outputs could reduce overall SQ.
    What cable are you using to the DAC ? Could be another source of tweaking. 
  • Maybe. I think it's a suck it and see situation.

    I can't remember what the cable is. Funnily enough, I was thinking about researching a new cable the other day.

    Suddenly, I find myself back in the world of 'everything matters'.
  • I think Audioquest is a good place to start cable wise. Good range and priced accordingly. Pop up on ebay a lot too so you could grab a bargain. 

  • I’ll have a look into them. Thanks. 
  • While I have no problems with the DS, the case is a heap of s###. A wonky, badly presented heap of s### at that. 
    If I had the gear and wanted to take a chance on a metal case not impairing the sound, I think I’d look elsewhere and put something better looking together myself. 
  • OK. I've more news on the DS and @29mile's PSU.
    The DS sounds better with the Chinese Linear PSU on the clean board and anything on the dirty side than the CLPSU on both sides. I imagine that this is because there's a path through the PSU for the RPi noise.
  • I think using only one output ( not both ) on the LPSU gives a better quality power supply. I think Allo also say to use the better PS on the clean side not dirty which does not benefit a lot from a quality power unit. 
  • I think they do, too. But I was looking for a reason.
    Perhaps your idea about using one output giving better quality is right. I don't know.
    I'll keep an eye open for an explanation I can be confident in.
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