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    bobfa

    Allo USBridge Sig Review

    This is a slightly different review for me.  It is hardware review that focuses on a lot of software not supplied by the hardware vendor.  It is also about integrating both hardware and disparate software systems. Finally, the end results totally surprised and delighted me and everyone else who has participated.

     

    The Allo USBridge Sig arrived with the Volumio software installed. Since I reviewed the Volumio Primo over the summer, I thought that starting using the Volumio on the Allo was a great idea.  

     

    As a refresher, Volumio software is a complete music playback system for local files, streaming services, and Internet Radio.  Volumio is a complete Linux OS with a competent and flexible music player that is lightweight and designed to run on small computers. MyVolumio is an add on SAAS component to bring more services to play.

     

    The Hardware 

    allo-usbridge-sig-internal.jpg

     

     

    By using the Raspberry Pi 3+ compute module instead of the standard Pi 3+, Allo gains the flexibility to provide dedicated external interfaces.  The USBridge Sig board is engineered to isolate the ethernet noise from the compute module and to isolate the clean USB port for your DAC.  By providing the standard 40 pin interface connector, they give access to HAAT systems such as the DIGIONE Signature SPDIF board installed in the case I have.

     

    There are two separate power supply inputs on the case, one for the mainboard with the Pi computer and one for the DIGIONE board set. The Shanti power supply manages this with its two outputs.  The Shanti is a linear power supply with super-capacitor outputs.  It ships with multiple adaptors for different input connections, providing two fixed outputs 5V 3A and 5V 1A as a match to the Pi boards and HAATs. 

     

    allo-shanti-power-supply-front.jpg

     

     

     

    Allo has “earth” or ground binding posts on both the Shanti and its case for the USBridge Sig.  Allo is very insistent that you run a separate grounding connection between the devices and include your DAC if there is a way to do that.

     

    allo-usbridge-sig-case-back.jpgallo-shanti-power-supply-back.jpg

     

    That wraps up the hardware and a once over lightly for the Volumio Software.  Now to the testing and how does it sound?

     

     

    First, let's set the “sound-stage!”  

     

    The Software

     

    I am working through four Operating Systems that provide different services on the Allo USBridge Sig in this review. 

     

    allo-usbridge-sig-front.jpg

     

     

     

    1. Ropieee is a Roon endpoint application, and it has an XL version that does more.
    2. DietPi is a general-purpose Linux implementation for the Pi.
    3. Volumio is a music playback system that is a stand-alone and multi-room music playback system that also an SAAS component. 
    4. MoOde audio player is a stand-alone “Audiophile-quality” music player.

     

    I flashed microSD cards for this testing.  They are The V30 speed cards, and they help performance on Volumio and MoOde Music Players. I want to try the faster UHS II V60 or V90  cards to see if they improves performance.

     

    Here are a couple of notes of caution going down the software path that this hardware leads us.

     

    • Qobuz in the open-source world  
      • Qobuz was suffering theft of services against their service.  They have made several changes that, in effect, shut out some Open Source systems access.  Today for my testing, I cannot merely use DietPi to play Qobuz streams.  
    • Problems in the Linux 4.19xx kernel  
      • As of this writing, the current version of the Linux kernel used by some of the player software has a defect that causes clicks/pops to some DSD DACs.  (Including mine)

     

    This testing involved lots of learning and unlearning.  There is fussing / fiddling around with software and settings and a whole lot more.  I have shut down, rebooted, yanked the power, swapped USB cables, and typed on the Linux command line for a lot more hours than ever before!  As an example: after Volumio I moved over  to MoOde to get a feel of how it worked. I did a terrible job of reading, let alone understanding MoOde.  The underlying music player software is MPD, and you have to configure MPD with your USB DAC attached.  Read the Manual! Get on their forum for help.

     

    I did some of my initial listenings on my Schiit LYR3 with multi-bit DAC and with my Chord Mojo. The results were rather promising, and it helped with the break-in.  Then I moved into my main system and spent a few days listening, bouncing between my Server and the Allo.  The Allo started on a good foot and over time, it really hit its stride.  After about three weeks of on-time things were very stable!

     

     

    The Hook-up

     

    I have the USBridge Sig connected directly to my Ethernet network, and my Xeon based server/streamer connects via an opticalModule Fiber Media Converter to the same network.  I swap the Lush2 USB cable from the Xeon box (+tXUSBultra) to the USBridge Sig. 

     

    My Xeon box runs Euphony OS so it can swap around between the Roon components and Stylus player.  I have primarily been running it with Roon + StylusEP.

     

    I have an i7 NUC in my office that I also have Euphony OS on.  It runs as a second Roon server.  Again it as the same flexibility.  It is connected to the Ethernet network directly.

     

    My music library is on a QNAP NAS located in the basement.  There is no extraordinary power or network, just Ethernet, to the main Ubiquiti Switch.

     

    My system setup before the testing is shown in my profile here on AS:

     

    @bobfa Audio System

     

     

     

     

     

    Beginning to Listen: FINALLY! 

     

    allo-usbridge-kii-sotm.jpg

     

    First we have to have music!

     

    I want to thank @The Computer Audiophile and @austinpop and Kii Audio for their Qobuz Playlists. They are very helpful in finding a variety of music and not get stuck on “that one track.”   I have also added a playlist of some of the tracks I use.  I have more but this gives you a flavor.

            

     

     

    There are dozens of permutations, hundreds of settings and options that I could have tried.  I have kept this “simple” I am using three configurations. On Device Music Player, Squeezelite, and UPnP.  Where Possible!

     

    I started my actual listening tests using Ropieee as the Roon Bridge. I was disappointed in the sound quality.  Many of us have found that Room Bridge has some limitations. We have moved to Squeezelite. My time with Ropieee ended rather quickly.

     

    I setup DietPi next, and to be honest, I did not bother listening to it much at all.  I did not want to learn how it worked to run different software packages, too much GEEK!.  Maybe it was just a bad day. I want to listen to music, not manage another computer.  If there is time later, I will setup DietPi and compare it to the others.  Yes, I have to read the manual!  I am sure I am not giving DietPi a fair shake yet.  

     

    That left me with two options to work with: Volumio and MoOde!

     

    As noted above, I started with Volumio and MoOde as a stand-alone streaming solution against Roon+StylusEP on my Server.  I could not conduct some of my tests fairly as Volumio can do Qobuz via SAAS, and MoOde only plays local files without a different control point application. 

     

    Volumio works fine on the USBridge Sig, I had some problems with the iOS App finding the Allo on the network.   In the end, Volumio did not sound as good as MoOde.  It lacked clarity and depth in comparison.  I have now narrowed myself down to one OS, WHEW!  

     

    The MoOde player's user interface is pretty simple and clean.  Using the UI on small screens is hard.  On a large iPad or a laptop it is fine.  My system also has a large display hooked up to the Allo.  I use a cordless mouse to navigate.  MoOde has surprised everyone who has listened to it on my system.  It is great!  In any mode we tried.

     

    I am still trying to find a good UPnP control point for iOS devices.  I guess good is relative.  I finally got MConnect HD working on the iPad after finding a bug that took me two days to work out.  USE the GEAR icon to find your renderer. I also used BubbleUPNP on my Android Phone.  Of course, that is not all you have to do.  You need your local music on a device that is UPnP.  Fortunately, all I had to do is to configure Plex on my NAS to include my music folder.  

     

    During listening, I did not bother to search in Mconnect ; I just ran down the file/folder structure.  For some reason, there is no artwork displayed. I was mostly getting the PLEX logo on my local library.

     

    This testing showed much more of the promise coming from the Allo, but, I had to pause this project for about 10 days. 

     

    At this point, I was dizzy trying to keep notes flipping back and forth, WHEW.  I had my friend Rich come over for coffee and music. Comparing the Allo and my Xeon server has been a self-defeating process.  I have been so happy at my progress in building something that sounds so great.  Only to be squarely kicked in the rear by the Allo USBridge Sig!  

     

    In summary, I think that my friend Rich said it best; he would be happy with either device!  After another few days of listening, I have to agree.  BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!

     

    I switched MoOde over to Squeezelite and started using it as a Roon endpoint.  So now, the software paths are similar. We are “closer” using Squeezelite on the Allo and StylusEP on the Xeon.  The made the A/B a bit simpler as long as they did not crash the USB bus!

     

    We have a photo finish. The imaging is almost identical. I had some help with blind A/B testing, and it is to the point I have a tough time telling the difference.  There seems to be a bit more detail in the USBridge Sig and a little more harmonic fullness in the Xeon box.   

     

    This past weekend my friend Eli came over and listened.  He made many of the same conclusions that others have made.  The USBridge Sig is a great piece of hardware with the right software to make it shine.  (There will be more notes in my upcoming update on the DIGIONE Signature boards)

     

     

     The last lap

     

     Can I make the USBridge Sound Better?

     (Note that during this testing I was using MoODe with Squeezelite)

     

     While I was at this, I created a side project to try to “improve the sound quality” from the Allo!  

     

     I did an A/B with and without the txUSBultra connected between the Allo and the Kii Control.

     

    While this did make a difference, it was not enough to even consider back ending a $1500 device on the Allo.  The USB side of the USBridge Sig does its job, Thank You Very Much!

     

    The next A/B trial was to move my Sonore opticalModule to the Ethernet input on the USBridge.  I did not spend much time listening as I had to reboot on every change for some reason. I did not hear any difference with the FMC inline.

      

    Note that the opticalModule makes a very noticeable difference when connected to the standard Ethernet port on my Xeon server.  Again the folks at Allo seem to have done a great job on the input side.

     

     

    In Summary: The Hook-up

       

    Note that I fronted the Shanti power supply with a Transparent Generation 5 High-Performance Power cord. Yes, the cord costs more than the Shanti!  

       

    The USB cable I am using on the output of the USBridge Sig is the Phasure Lush’2 cable as the last link to the Kii Control.  But again, this cable is around $250, which is more than the USBridge Sig board costs!

       

    I feel that it is a very fair testing method, keeping everything the “same” around the unit under test. 

       

    In summary, the Allo USBridge Sig is an excellent value for the money, and it plays well above its price class.  Buy it in the bundle with the Shanti power supply and get the metal case; it is worth the price! 

       

    The hardest part of this review was starting to learn how all the different software packages work and finding software to do thinks like UPnP.    It is my understanding that Allo is working on improving the software situation!  

       

    Software and hardware stability in these rather complex systems can be a problem. Once running, the systems were stable during most of the testing. 

       

    To be completely open: more than once, I confused the USB interface on the Kii Control by swapping between devices, and that caused me to have to power it down.  I am having software issues with Roon on Euphony OS (RAM Loaded), as the system would stop talking to the DAC over USB that I am still debugging.  The problem seems to be around the audio endpoint in Roon.  I am seeing this on both of my Roon boxes and with other DACs.

     

    Going forward, I am set up to test the DIGIONE Signature board set on the USBridge Sig card. Expect additional reporting on that soon.

     

    In closing, I almost hate to admit that the USBridge Sig with the Shanti power supply sounds better than my custom-built Xeon.

     

     

     

    Just One More Thing!

     

    allo=usbridge-sig-setup.jpg

     

    As I was finishing up my review I had to go back over my listening and my configurations, ONE MORE TIME.  I started back using the Allo as the render in with Roon on the NUC server and Squeezelite on the Allo.  

     

    Then I went back to native MoOde and UPnP for Tidal and Qobuz.  The soundstage opened up, there is more detail.  Vocalists are more defined.  Listening at lower volume levels is even more satisfying.  

     

    Maybe there is something to what I have heard about MPD sounding the best? The MPD/UPnP path eliminates a lot of software, network traffic. 

     

    I am now using the USBridge Sig as the main / only device in the music system and I am  storing the local music on my NAS with an SMB share with the moOde Player.  Adding in streaming from Qobuz and Tidal using Mconnect HD rounds out the mix.  So one app on the iPad for streaming and Safari Web  browser for local music playback.   This is not Roon but it works and sounds great!  I will run with this for a while and see how we all feel operating the system.  I know that I will be happy to just listen for a while and not be testing.  

     

     

    Bob Fairbairn

     

    OK, OK; I still have to do the DIGIONE Signature !  I promise.

     

     

     

     

    Product Information

     

    • USBridge Sig  Board is $239 (link)
    • DIGIONE Signature boards $239 (link)
    • Shanti Power Supply $159 (link)
    • Case for Board only is $20 (link)
    • Case for Board with space for DIGIONE $23

     

    **Look into Allo combination pricing!

     

     

    Other equipment in the mix

     

    Kii Three + BXT + Kii Control

    Xeon server with HDPlex400

    Custom NUC with HDPlex200

    Modified SOtm txUSBultra

    Sonore opticalModule

    Lush2 USB

    Ghent JSSG360 USB

    Transparent HP USB

    Transparent HP Ethernet

    Ghent JSSG360 Ethernet

    UpTone Audio LPS-1.2 running the txUSBultra 

    Transparent Audio HP power cables and power bank 6

    QNAP NAS

    Ubiquity UniFi Network 

     

    Primary Software used

     

    Bubble UPnP on Android

    MconnectHD on iPad for UPnP

    MConnect on the iPhone for UPnP

    MoOde OS

    Volumio OS

    Roon

    Euphony OS

    Squeezelite Roon Endpoint

    StylusEP Roon Endpoint 

    Plex server on QNAP NAS

     

     

    ______________

     

     

    The purpose of life is not to be happy.

    It is to be useful, to be honorable,

    to be compassionate,

    to have it make some difference

    that you have lived and lived well.

     

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

     

     

    “Enjoy the music and the fun.”



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    9 minutes ago, franz159 said:

    I have been using Moode for many years now. As of late, after the issues with Qobuz streaming, I'm back using more and more the Squeezelite Renderer in Moode.

    For the server part, I use Logitech Media Server (LMS) installed on another raspberry on my LAN.

    As a control point, to select and play music,  I  heartily recommend this free, simple but effective skin for LMS called "LMS Material", which can be installed directly in the list of LMS plugins.

    Hi Franz

    Would you say using a server like LMS is much better than having your music in just a NAS or USB stick in terms of usability and also in terms of SQ?

    Denis

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    1 hour ago, dtossan said:

    Hi Franz

    Would you say using a server like LMS is much better than having your music in just a NAS or USB stick in terms of usability and also in terms of SQ?

    Denis

    TBH, I'm one of those guys that thinks that you should store the music where it is more practical for you,  and this is not too relevant for the SQ  if the player can access it in the proper way.

    In my case my "NAS" is a standalone raspberry with a 2Tb USB Drive attached. The USB drive contains my local music library and it is shared (r/w mode) using Samba so I can access it from anywhere in the LAN.

    On the same raspberry  I run Logitech Media Server (LMS). 

    My players/renderers are separate devices, in my case one (raspberry) is attached to the main rig and another one is used for headphone listening in my bedroom.

    For me, the key point to better SQ is the separation between the server and the player(s).


    As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been using Moode for years, and I'm still using it. In fact all my raspberries, including the "NAS" one I mentioned above, do have have Moode installed. You can think of Moode as a "Raspbian" extended with a number of pre-installed services optimised for Audio (Alsa, Samba, MPD, AirPlay, Bluetooth, Squeezelite...).

    In the past couple of months, I came back to using more and more squeezelite: the sound signature is very good, and the usability is top. 

    As I tried to explain in my previous post, I find it extremely satisfying to have one single interface for ALL my music, either local or (almost) any streaming service.

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    Hi all, 

     

    My new Usbridge Sig and Shanti installed. First impression a league better than my previous Usbridge feeded  by Sbooster and IfiPower.
     

    But I use the 5v, 1a second power supply to feed my Project Pre Box  S2  digital too with the Shanti supply.  I my opinion UsbBridge Sig and Project makes 1 + 1 = 3

     

    Ps. I use the Usbridge Os-DietPi as NAA for HQ- Player 4.1.2 in combination with the Uptone USB Regen and shunted (JS) smps. 

    Next step might be to upgrade to USB to the Uptone USB Regen and Lp2 power supply.

     

    Dear Allo you have doen a nice step in development.😄

     

    Ps. 2 Allo support told me for the time being not to update the latest DietPi version!

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    soundcheck-audio.blogspot.com

    On 11/30/2019 at 6:39 PM, franz159 said:

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been using Moode for years, and I'm still using it. In fact all my raspberries, including the "NAS" one I mentioned above, do have have Moode installed. You can think of Moode as a "Raspbian" extended with a number of pre-installed services optimised for Audio (Alsa, Samba, MPD, AirPlay, Bluetooth, Squeezelite...).


    In the past couple of months, I came back to using more and more squeezelite: the sound signature is very good, and the usability is top. 

    As I tried to explain in my previous post, I find it extremely satisfying to have one single interface for ALL my music, either local or (almost) any streaming service.

    Hi Franz,

    I'm using LMS on a NAS that holds my music library as well and have piCorePlayer on the RPi. Using iPeng as control point I can confirm that the LMS ecosystem is very comfortable and can be very nicely be tailored to one's personal needs by simply activating those of the numerous plug ins available within LMS you're interested in.

    I actually never tried Moode as squeezelite endpoint instead of pCP but after everyone is praising SQ with Moode, I wonder if it might beat pCP for SQ? Did someone recently do a comparison between the two?

    By the way I use pCP with settings according to Klaus' (soundcheck-audio.blogspot.com) suggestions which means the RPi/piCorePlayer system is slimmed down to the very essential processes.

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    Received my USB signature over the weekend - in my case there where no issues in getting it up and running and I must admit that I really like the Moode software!  I need some more time before I do sound comparisons, but it sounds great so far 🙂

     

    The eMMC module is indeed external - I should have spotted this from the photos on Allo’s website. I think it’s potentially prone to damage so...

     

    @Allo

     

    Anything stopping me replacing the existing Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 for one which includes the 32GB eMMC?

     

    Will the SDcard slot still work in parallel with the onboard eMMC afterwards?

    582E6947-BCD6-4BFD-9DB5-523A9A3BBDEC.jpeg

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    Further feedback - the USB signature is very good indeed, but it is lean in presentation compared to my DNHE NUC, Euphony and tX-USBultra digital frontend.  Both comparisions where made feeding my Naim DAC V1 -> Ncore monoblocks.  I don't really have anything to pull up on the USB Signature, it's a great product, and it is perhaps just that my sound perference is more to the warm side.

     

    To give people a feel on presentation - Euphony to me sounds like as PS Audio Directstream, whereas the Allo USB SIgnature sounds like a Benchmark DAC.  i.e. both very very good, just different presentations.

     

    Any ideas on adding some warmth?  What is the output impedance of the Allo USB sig?  Would it benefit from a higher quality preamp?  Or would a different DAC work (e.g. PS Audio).  Also I wonder if slight adustments to the frequency response might work as Moode has an integral parametric equalizer - any ideas on what slight adjustments might provide some warmth?

     

    Euphony market their sounds as 'warmth and depth of the vinyl era' and I would probably agree when compared to Moode on the USB Signature - however I'm sure some tweaks can be made to level the field and adjust to peoples preference.

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    1 hour ago, Gavin1977 said:

    Further feedback - the USB signature is very good indeed, but it is lean in presentation compared to my DNHE NUC, Euphony and tX-USBultra digital frontend.  Both comparisions where made feeding my Naim DAC V1 -> Ncore monoblocks.  I don't really have anything to pull up on the USB Signature, it's a great product, and it is perhaps just that my sound perference is more to the warm side.

     

    To give people a feel on presentation - Euphony to me sounds like as PS Audio Directstream, whereas the Allo USB SIgnature sounds like a Benchmark DAC.  i.e. both very very good, just different presentations.

     

    Any ideas on adding some warmth?  What is the output impedance of the Allo USB sig?  Would it benefit from a higher quality preamp?  Or would a different DAC work (e.g. PS Audio).  Also I wonder if slight adustments to the frequency response might work as Moode has an integral parametric equalizer - any ideas on what slight adjustments might provide some warmth?

     

    Euphony market their sounds as 'warmth and depth of the vinyl era' and I would probably agree when compared to Moode on the USB Signature - however I'm sure some tweaks can be made to level the field and adjust to peoples preference.

     

    I think your assessment is probably about right, at least from a raw playback POV.  I don't know that different associated equipment is going to change that too much.  Have you tried squeezelite on the USB Sig?  It tends to have a bigger, warmer sound.  Also, have you tried Audirvana with it?  It imparts a fuller, more relaxed feel to the USB Sig than using Moode as a standalone player.  You need to activate the UPnP renderer to do that.  I don't know how Euphony gets the sound they get, but it's not typical of the "straight" MPD sound, they definitely warm it up somehow.

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    Oh, here's another idea:  Try Volumio.  Use the most recent image from the Allo support page.  To my ears it's a bit warmer and more spacious than Moode, or maybe it's my imagination? 😉

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    10 hours ago, zackthedog said:

     

    I think your assessment is probably about right, at least from a raw playback POV.  I don't know that different associated equipment is going to change that too much.  Have you tried squeezelite on the USB Sig?  It tends to have a bigger, warmer sound.  Also, have you tried Audirvana with it?  It imparts a fuller, more relaxed feel to the USB Sig than using Moode as a standalone player.  You need to activate the UPnP renderer to do that.  I don't know how Euphony gets the sound they get, but it's not typical of the "straight" MPD sound, they definitely warm it up somehow.

    Thanks - useful feedback - Audirvana also allows the use of audio units - I'll give it a try.

     

    ickStream plugin is no longer available in LMS, and the bulk of my listening is through Tidal so Squeezelite is a no go for me.

     

    I agree with you that Euphony definately warm it up somehow, and it's not the straight MPD sound.  Moode sounds very similar to Audiolinux IMO, which should come as no supprise given their foundation.  I'd love to know what Euphony have done in their playback engine to get their warm / spacious sound.

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    Dear Gavin

     

      USbridge Sig is just hardware outputting digital signal . We concentrated on reducing any noise on the hardware bus.

     

    As such USbridge does not have a sound signature . I think that you are referring more to the combination of software that might change how you perceive sound .

     

     Yes you can play with any EQ and try finding a sound thats more to your liking , its all in software .

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    1 minute ago, allo.com said:

    Dear Gavin

     

      USbridge Sig is just hardware outputting digital signal . We concentrated on reducing any noise on the hardware bus.

     

    As such USbridge does not have a sound signature . I think that you are referring more to the combination of software that might change how you perceive sound .

     

     Yes you can play with any EQ and try finding a sound thats more to your liking , its all in software .

    Since I used the same DAC for my comparision it must be software related - so I completely agree with you.  Euphony Audio only works on x86, so I will try different software as discussed - otherwise a hardware change (e.g. different DAC or tube buffer) could be used to the same effect.

     

    Any thoughts on my other questions:

     

    Anything stopping me replacing the existing Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 for one which includes the 32GB eMMC?

     

    Will the SDcard slot still work in parallel with the onboard eMMC afterwards?

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    25 minutes ago, 4est said:

    I do not see it listed, but does the USBridge Sig come included with a Pi

     

    The USBridge Sig is not a hat, it's a complete board with the RPi compute module installed in a memory slot.  It's also much larger than a traditional RPi.

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    Hi Gavin

     

      there are diffrences betwen the CM 3 and CM3+. IN CM 3 you can use both eMMC and SD but in CM3+ you can only use one

     

    If you use a CM with eMMC how will you flash the eMMC ? Its not simple..

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    Thanks Gavin for the tips, I'm gonna follow these instructions here

     

    https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/96032/how-do-i-flash-install-raspbian-on-raspberry-pi-compute-module-3-3

     

    That carrier board is so cheap and I'll pay about 25 bucks to get it on December 12th

     

    https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=608019251388

     

    Also available here

     

    https://www.waveshare.com/compute-module-poe-board.htm

    http://www.waveshare.net/wiki/Compute_Module_PoE_Board

     

    32GB for 40 dollars with free shipping, what a bargain

     

    https://hk.element14.com/raspberry-pi/cm3-32gb/raspberry-pi-compute-module-3/dp/2989464

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    2 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

    Thanks Gavin for the tips, I'm gonna follow these instructions here

     

    https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/96032/how-do-i-flash-install-raspbian-on-raspberry-pi-compute-module-3-3

     

    That carrier board is so cheap and I'll pay about 25 bucks to get it on December 12th

     

    https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=608019251388

     

    Also available here

     

    https://www.waveshare.com/compute-module-poe-board.htm

    http://www.waveshare.net/wiki/Compute_Module_PoE_Board

     

    32GB for 40 dollars with free shipping, what a bargain

     

    https://hk.element14.com/raspberry-pi/cm3-32gb/raspberry-pi-compute-module-3/dp/2989464

     

    You're tempting me to try it. 😉

     

    I am *really* liking the Digione Sig.  Best coax I've heard, but I haven't heard that many--no glassiness or crispy sound, very warm and extremely well-defined, with exceptional separation of instruments and voices.  USB is good, but a tiny bit more veiled by comparison.

     

    I also like Moode.  Again, better instrumental separation and ambient detail.  Hearing things on favorite recordings I've never heard before.  I am using the Shanti to power both.  My system is relatively modest but revealing.  Guess I'll play with other PS configurations, but this is the best my system has ever sounded.

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    19 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

    ickStream plugin is no longer available in LMS, and the bulk of my listening is through Tidal so Squeezelite is a no go for me.

    This made me curious since I go way back with LMS, even though I don't really use it much now.

     

    Anyway, it looks like ickStream was discontinued (as you said), but the LMS TIdal app works ok.  You have to set it up at mysqueezebox.com and input your Tidal credentials (account settings tab).  Then you have to enable it and set it to display on your player's home menu (player settings tab).  I'm listening to it now that way (with squeezelite running on the USBridge Signature) and it sounds good.

     

    1409182160_ScreenShot2019-12-04at11_24_47PM.jpg.369d6a56eb57fc0d34cbfcec1f4e68ab.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

    For your player:

    1538263787_ScreenShot2019-12-04at11_24_21PM.jpg.e3681d390bba55a788af984ef37bb37c.jpg

     

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    9 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

    Thanks Gavin for the tips, I'm gonna follow these instructions here

     

    https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/96032/how-do-i-flash-install-raspbian-on-raspberry-pi-compute-module-3-3

     

    That carrier board is so cheap and I'll pay about 25 bucks to get it on December 12th

     

    https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=608019251388

     

    Also available here

     

    https://www.waveshare.com/compute-module-poe-board.htm

    http://www.waveshare.net/wiki/Compute_Module_PoE_Board

     

    32GB for 40 dollars with free shipping, what a bargain

     

    https://hk.element14.com/raspberry-pi/cm3-32gb/raspberry-pi-compute-module-3/dp/2989464

    Exactly my plan - although I did wonder if the USBsig could be used by itself as the I/O board .  I/O board is only £20 in the U.K. though so it might be easier / convenient 

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