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ALLO Digione for my PS Audio PWD?

Stefff

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
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Hi guys, I have a PS Audio DAC (a Perfect Wave) with I2S input.
I currently use an i7 SSD laptop with JRiver player connected via USB, it's really very good but I was thinking of buying a mini PC (using the internal or external hard disk for music files; I would prefer it to the Nas solution, having not many files) to be driven with software (they say Daphile is better), but unfortunately the mini PCs do not have the I2S !!!

However, I saw that on the Audiophonics site they have this: ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE Network audio Player Raspberry 3B + DigiOne interface Pre-installed Volumio Black (it seems all already assembled and installed: I don't know how to do anything technological). Here, I understand that there is the "famous" I2S connection, which especially on my dac they say is much better than the Usb.

Can you please help me to understand if this solution I have thought is ok for me, in your opinion?
Do you think you can install an external HD for music in the ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE? Does it have an internal HD, too? Would it be controlled from a tablet or smartphone?
Sorry for the long question, I hope it will be useful to others too! Thank you!!!
Stefff
 

Friesiansam

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Feb 3, 2015
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There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with usb as a means to pass data from one device to another, whether music or any other data, it's all just ones and zeros. An alternative, proprietary connection standard will yield no improvement, no matter what is claimed.

The ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE looks very expensive for something based on a Raspberry Pi 3 and, it has woefully inadequate storage for music files. Even if 16GB is enough now, you'll soon run out of space if you want to acquire more music. I think you might be best served by sticking with the laptop. I use my pc for music with Foobar 2000 and the custom ASIO drivers from Pathos, to feed my DAC/headphone amp.
 

Stefff

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
8
3
25
Thanks Friesiansam for your advice; I take it into consideration :)

There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with usb as a means to pass data from one device to another, whether music or any other data, it's all just ones and zeros. An alternative, proprietary connection standard will yield no improvement, no matter what is claimed.

The ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE looks very expensive for something based on a Raspberry Pi 3 and, it has woefully inadequate storage for music files. Even if 16GB is enough now, you'll soon run out of space if you want to acquire more music. I think you might be best served by sticking with the laptop. I use my pc for music with Foobar 2000 and the custom ASIO drivers from Pathos, to feed my DAC/headphone amp.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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.....Can you please help me to understand if this solution I have thought is ok for me, in your opinion?
No Stefff it will not give you an I2S output for your DAC.
The Allo board does use I2S from the connected RPi but it converts it to a coaxial digital output
and that's all it gives out (on either its RCA or BNC connector).
So it doesn't suit your stated requirement.
 
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Stefff

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
8
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25
Thank you so much Gray! I was hoping I had found the solution, but thanks to your comment, I realized that this is not the case. It seems that it is not easy to find I2S devices ... Thanks again for your contribution !!!

No Stefff it will not give you an I2S output for your DAC.
The Allo board does use I2S from the connected RPi but it converts it to a coaxial digital output
and that's all it gives out (on either its RCA or BNC connector).
So it doesn't suit your stated requirement.
 
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Simon 13th note

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There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with usb as a means to pass data from one device to another, whether music or any other data, it's all just ones and zeros. An alternative, proprietary connection standard will yield no improvement, no matter what is claimed.

The ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE looks very expensive for something based on a Raspberry Pi 3 and, it has woefully inadequate storage for music files. Even if 16GB is enough now, you'll soon run out of space if you want to acquire more music. I think you might be best served by sticking with the laptop. I use my pc for music with Foobar 2000 and the custom ASIO drivers from Pathos, to feed my DAC/headphone amp.
there is nothing wrong with usb but it‘s the ps Audio’s second best digital input. I checked out the ps audio directstream in a review and i2s splits signals that Sony and Philips combined in one when they designed spdif and Paul McGowan of ps audio has mentioned why he uses i2s, so I understand the op’s point in trying to utilise best input.

but here is the thing, that DAC is pretty much great on all inputs. Really vinyl like I thought. Non digital sounding digital.

As it happens I’ve also checked out the Allo digione signature too. The storage card isn’t for onboard storage but for the operating system eg Volumio Etc. You plug usb into storage drivers or use it as a Roon end point or upnp streamer from an NAS or network drive.

laptop is good but the i7 will inject noise as a powerful processor and it’s not just ones and zeros but an analogue representation of a digital signal which is subject to timing errors so that’s not quite correct. Sorry. Darko bangs on all day long about that correctly, tbh.
 
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Simon 13th note

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Hi guys, I have a PS Audio DAC (a Perfect Wave) with I2S input.
I currently use an i7 SSD laptop with JRiver player connected via USB, it's really very good but I was thinking of buying a mini PC (using the internal or external hard disk for music files; I would prefer it to the Nas solution, having not many files) to be driven with software (they say Daphile is better), but unfortunately the mini PCs do not have the I2S !!!

However, I saw that on the Audiophonics site they have this: ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE Network audio Player Raspberry 3B + DigiOne interface Pre-installed Volumio Black (it seems all already assembled and installed: I don't know how to do anything technological). Here, I understand that there is the "famous" I2S connection, which especially on my dac they say is much better than the Usb.

Can you please help me to understand if this solution I have thought is ok for me, in your opinion?
Do you think you can install an external HD for music in the ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE? Does it have an internal HD, too? Would it be controlled from a tablet or smartphone?
Sorry for the long question, I hope it will be useful to others too! Thank you!!!
Stefff
hi steff, see my post above too.

i wouldn’t make the i2s important above the source as usb on the ps Audio is still very good and you’ll be splitting hairs. Ps audio make usb the second best input.

with i2s and DigiOne I think the lower board is i2s hdmi out, hence why there is another board above called a ‘hat‘ with coaxial and bnc outputs. a reverse process from the pi board of i2s (computer) to the conventional spdif outputs most will use. Might have to check on that though.

i2s takes seperate signals rather than joins them as with spdif. Watch my video on the subject and you’ll understand.

the Allo is a great device as a roon end point and sounds terrific - I use mine a lot - but Volumio is not great and you are using a streamer into a streaming dac, so doesn’t make much sense. if you have the directstream? i think you are better served by buying a dedicated server. you want low noise, not i7 which will generate a lot. But depends too on rest of system as to how that effects it. Maybe innuos, Bluesound, or something cheaper Brennan. If youve got decent kit, go for Roon. if you want cheap solution, but a nuc with a smaller processor which is essentially a Roon nucleus.
 

Stefff

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
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25
Hallo Simon 13th note, very helplful!
Yes, DigiOne potentially could have been a good I2S player ...:coldsweat:
My PWD has not the stream option, so, Allo with Roon is a good option.
Or, perhaps, I'm thinking of a simple Intel NUC, a mini pc, less of a problem than a laptop; the NUC can be used to manage a NAS in the future.... what do you think about? Thanks a lot.

hi steff, see my post above too.

i wouldn’t make the i2s important above the source as usb on the ps Audio is still very good and you’ll be splitting hairs. Ps audio make usb the second best input.

with i2s and DigiOne I think the lower board is i2s hdmi out, hence why there is another board above called a ‘hat‘ with coaxial and bnc outputs. a reverse process from the pi board of i2s (computer) to the conventional spdif outputs most will use. Might have to check on that though.

i2s takes seperate signals rather than joins them as with spdif. Watch my video on the subject and you’ll understand.

the Allo is a great device as a roon end point and sounds terrific - I use mine a lot - but Volumio is not great and you are using a streamer into a streaming dac, so doesn’t make much sense. if you have the directstream? i think you are better served by buying a dedicated server. you want low noise, not i7 which will generate a lot. But depends too on rest of system as to how that effects it. Maybe innuos, Bluesound, or something cheaper Brennan. If youve got decent kit, go for Roon. if you want cheap solution, but a nuc with a smaller processor which is essentially a Roon nucleus.
 
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Stefff

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
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25
In any case, currently, I mainly use the files purchased in high resolution or ripped from my CDs (I have not yet abandoned the use of the cd player, however) , and I don't like streaming, also because, although the quality has improved (Qubuz Studio, above all), it is not yet at the level of the proprietary files ( obviously we are talking about very well recorded discs that allow you to appreciate the detail). My system is very revealing, and unforgiving ... (80's b&w 801, audio research LS3 preamplifier and Rotel RHB 10 as power amp)
 

Simon 13th note

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Hallo Simon 13th note, very helplful!
Yes, DigiOne potentially could have been a good I2S player ...:coldsweat:
My PWD has not the stream option, so, Allo with Roon is a good option.
Or, perhaps, I'm thinking of a simple Intel NUC, a mini pc, less of a problem than a laptop; the NUC can be used to manage a NAS in the future.... what do you think about? Thanks a lot.
In any case, currently, I mainly use the files purchased in high resolution or ripped from my CDs (I have not yet abandoned the use of the cd player, however) , and I don't like streaming, also because, although the quality has improved (Qubuz Studio, above all), it is not yet at the level of the proprietary files ( obviously we are talking about very well recorded discs that allow you to appreciate the detail). My system is very revealing, and unforgiving ... (80's b&w 801, audio research LS3 preamplifier and Rotel RHB 10 as power amp)
thanks, that notion about quality re cds goes out the window if you try a silent server with a hard drive. I’d look at innuos in this respect as Roon server, Cd ripper, server and hard drive in one. But a quiet hard drive. Playing Ripped cds and hi res stuff off it’s hard drive is very good indeed. I have a zenith but look at a zen mini mk3 if you want good sound at a good price. The silent server idea is as good as a CD player nowadays, if you use a good dac like yours. Plus use usb out of innuos straight into your ps audio.

i tend to agree about Qobuz and Tidal etc unless you spend a lot more. you can put a hard drive on an nuc of course. It fits internally, so it can be a server and NAS in one. but they tend to use i7 processors or i5 etc which are noisy so my suggestion would be with the innuos still as they use custom motherboards and lowest processor Roon can get away with, to keep things quiet. Plus all the Ethernet isolation, linear psu etc. It really does make a difference playing locally from the solid state hard drive - quiet too as no spinning drives.

I’d forget the Allo idea if I was you, as you’ve got two streamers , one going into a streaming dac. Doesn’t make much sense. You can also get Roon servers from firms like small green computer. don’t buy a Roon nucleus as it’s just an nuc In a fancy case.
 

Simon 13th note

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Jul 27, 2020
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Thank you so much Gray! I was hoping I had found the solution, but thanks to your comment, I realized that this is not the case. It seems that it is not easy to find I2S devices ... Thanks again for your contribution !!!
thanks for the detailed reply and i'm glad you like it. the fact your purchasing it says it all !

i personally like the hegel designs with their symmetry etc but would love to see a gloss black finish.
i donno whether the HDMI on the pi board can be used for i2s transfer but I agree with Gray, as I said too, the pi board goes to the hat to change to spdif. Even if you used the pi board for i2s if that is possible it will be rubbish as essentially using a pi with a rubbish power supply. and counter to what you are trying to achieve too. I think the HDMI is just for hook up to monitor as per pi connections.
 

Stefff

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
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3
25
Thanks for your suggestions, i taken some times to elaborate :) Innous Zen Mini MK3 seems an amazing machine, but if I understand correctly, has an integrated DAC onboard... I wouldn't use it but it's a function I don't need. Thanks for your opinions, I'm sure they are of interest to a lot of people



thanks, that notion about quality re cds goes out the window if you try a silent server with a hard drive. I’d look at innuos in this respect as Roon server, Cd ripper, server and hard drive in one. But a quiet hard drive. Playing Ripped cds and hi res stuff off it’s hard drive is very good indeed. I have a zenith but look at a zen mini mk3 if you want good sound at a good price. The silent server idea is as good as a CD player nowadays, if you use a good dac like yours. Plus use usb out of innuos straight into your ps audio.

i tend to agree about Qobuz and Tidal etc unless you spend a lot more. you can put a hard drive on an nuc of course. It fits internally, so it can be a server and NAS in one. but they tend to use i7 processors or i5 etc which are noisy so my suggestion would be with the innuos still as they use custom motherboards and lowest processor Roon can get away with, to keep things quiet. Plus all the Ethernet isolation, linear psu etc. It really does make a difference playing locally from the solid state hard drive - quiet too as no spinning drives.

I’d forget the Allo idea if I was you, as you’ve got two streamers , one going into a streaming dac. Doesn’t make much sense. You can also get Roon servers from firms like small green computer. don’t buy a Roon nucleus as it’s just an nuc In a fancy case.
 

Simon 13th note

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Thanks for your suggestions, i taken some times to elaborate :) Innous Zen Mini MK3 seems an amazing machine, but if I understand correctly, has an integrated DAC onboard... I wouldn't use it but it's a function I don't need. Thanks for your opinions, I'm sure they are of interest to a lot of people
The zen and zenith don’t have a dac. There are also lots of other firms who make servers like this
 

Friesiansam

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Feb 3, 2015
166
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10,770
laptop is good but the i7 will inject noise as a powerful processor and it’s not just ones and zeros but an analogue representation of a digital signal which is subject to timing errors so that’s not quite correct. Sorry. Darko bangs on all day long about that correctly, tbh.
My PC has a powerful CPU, AMD Ryzen 7 2700 and, if what you say about the i7 is right, it should be injecting noise too. Well, if it is and I doubt that, it is at such a low level as to be completely undetectable to my ears. Any DAC worthy of the name, with an asynchronous USB interface, will take care of controlling the supply of data itself and eliminate timing errors. As for what Darko bangs on about, I'd be interested to know how he has come to that conclusion.
 
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