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Mamboberry LS DAC+ and Mambo Media Player - experience and ideas ?


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HI all,

 

I am considering to get me a Mamboberry LS DAC+ / Mambo Media Player for my RPI 3+ and I was wondering if I could find some experience on this sweet little DAC. It has a Sabre 9023p DAC chip and allows itself and the RPI to be fed by a linear power supply with 5v (i.e. my HDPLEX), which looks theoretically promising. The price of a RPI3/Mambo Media Player is less than 200 Euro, shipped in Europe.

 

My idea was to compare it to my CAPS Zuma/Klein DAC (AK4490EQ-Chip) for a start. Maybe keep it as a backup solution or as source for an headphone amp. Today, I use the RPI3/Volumio 2/Dragonfly Red/HD650 solution in my bedroom, which is already a step into the right direction ;-)

 

Anyone has already got some experience on the Mamboberry solution to share with me?

 

Thanx in advance

Tom

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First, it is good. AND it can be made better...

 

IF you are a DIY'er or have one nearby, mods to the Mamboberry or Mamboberry LS (MB or MBLS) can make significant improvements.

 

Look at this thread on DIYAudio:

 

MamboBerry LS - my new PI-HAT - Page 6 - diyAudio

 

And there are good tips that apply to the MB / MBLS in this thread too:

 

Hifiberry DAC+ Pro - HW mods anybody? - Page 11 - diyAudio

 

My suggestions:

 

1. Add an Allo.com Kali I2S reclocker between the Pi and the MB/MBLS. That has alway made an improvement on every setup where I've used the Pi as an I2S source.

 

2. Separate power for the Pi, Kali, and the MB/MBLS produces the best SQ. Yup that means more expense and EQ clutter. AND it produces significant improvements. You can start by powering all three via the Kali and add supplies for the Pi and MB/MBLS later. Note that best sound out of the Pi will come from powering it via the expansion header pins, not the micro USB port... that will take some DIY work.

 

3. If you have the Kali AND the ability to have DIY work done, running the MB/MBLS in 'Sync-mode' where it gets a synchronous clock from the source (in this case the Kali, I doubt it would be an improvement with a raw Pi) provides some additional improvements IMHO. See the MB DIY Audio thread for details.

 

I had mine back in my system last week for a few days and it continues to impress. I still prefer my more highly modified HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro, but the work I did on that was serious DIY involving a lot of SMD soldering... beyond most. AND after the mods, it takes 2 supplies as opposed to the single supply of the MB / MBLS.

 

As to whether it will beat a USB-connected Dragonfly Red, not sure. I doubt it will beat your Klein DAC, but of course, is much less $.

 

Greg in Mississippi

Everything Matters!

2 systems... Well-Tempered Refs->ET-2.5->DIY or Lounge LCR MkII phono stages

Standalone digital Sony HAP Z1-ES or SDTrans384/Soekris DAM DAC

Networked digital Zotac PI320-W2 LMS Server -> EtherRegen -> USBBridge Sig -> Katana / Ian GB / Soerkis / Buffalo-IIIPro DACs

Passive S&B TX102 TVC or ladder attenuators -> BHK-250 -> Eminent Tech LFT-VIII / IV / VI

ALL gear modified / DIY'd; cables MIT;  all supplies DIY’d or LPS-1.2s w/HUGE Ultracaps; Audio gear on DIY AC filters + PS Aud P15s; misc gear on separate AC w/filters

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Thank you, Greg for your response.

I feel, much of your gentle information is lost on me, as my DIY capabilities end short after assembling a computer (PC or RPI) and feeding it with software.

But I appreciate you like both DACs, mamboberry ls and hifiberry pro, as I already have the hb used in a build for a friend.

And i did not think about having a real competition between the DACs I own and the new combo. But as comparison for what 1/3 of a DF red or 1/10 of a Klein could deliver as SQ. And if it is worth to advise/advertise to friends which are reluctant to spent big money on audio but love tiny, functional and low cost solutions.

I might look/read into the Kali reclocker, but on economic terms it just doubles the price, and i am not sure about the need when listing over ethernet only?

I intend to get a ifi usb power to feed the mamboberry for the same money.

Many thanks again.

And cheers from France

Tom

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