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Allo Digione Signature

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On 10/26/2018 at 10:04 AM, nbpf said:

With respect to question 2, I would reboot the RPi after switching on the power on the clean side. If you do not want to reboot via remote login from a laptop or from a desktop, you can setup a ssh client on you mobile phone (ConnectBot, for instance) to reboot the RPi by just tapping the app's icon. I am not sure this is an elegant solution but it should work fine if you are not switching off/on the power supply of the clean side every few minutes.

Thanks, yes that's exactly what I do.

 

I'm still curious abut my first question tho' - how do we know the Signature has locked onto the correct clock?  Maybe Allo can tell us the answer?

Thinking about it, which two clocks are we talking about - the two xtals on the board?  If so, then if the wrong one was selected it should be noticeable via wrong audio speed/pitch I guess?  By way of example, as I play CD quality I guess I might be locking onto either 44 or 48 kHz, when of course I would always require 44 kHz?

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I have been running the DigiOne Signature side-by-side with the DigiOne into a Naim DAC for six days.

 

The two devices were connected to inputs 7 and 8 of the Naim DAC through two Naim DC-1 cables of the same length. The DAC was connected to a Supernait 2 via a Super Lumina DIN-DIN connector. I have been listening to the devices through Ovator S-400 speakers and Sennheiser HD-800 headphones. These were connected to the headphones output of the SN2 which is less than optimal for the HD800.

 

The dirty side of the DigiOne Signature and the DigiOne were powered by a grounded ifi 5V/2.5A PSU. The clean side of the DigiOne Signature was powered by a LPS-1.2.

 

The DigiOne and the DigiOne Signature were hosted by two Raspberry Pi 3B+ running the same minimal Raspbian distribution, the only difference being the host name and, of course, the IP address. I have also tried replacing this minimal Raspbian with Volumio with similar results.

 

During the first listening tests through the S-400 I could not distinguish the DigiOne Signature from the DigiOne. This was perhaps because of the tone quality of the two devices which is very similar. Perhaps the DigiOne Signature needed some run in time or perhaps my system is not very revealing or I am a poor listener.

 

After listening more carefully, first through the HD800 and then through the S-400 again, I am now convinced that the DigiOne Signature is definitely an improvement over the DigiOne. The presentation is more engaging. Fast transients are better controlled. Both basses and high pitch notes are more distinct and clear. These impressions were consistent across a number of different tracks.

 

That said, the DigiOne Signature is about 2.5 times more expensive that the DigiOne and the LPS-1.2 costs about 1.5 times the DigiOne Signature. Thus, the DigiOne Signature + LPS-1.2 is about six times more expensive than the DigiOne.

 

On the other hand, the DigiOne Signature + LPS-1.2 is a very fine and flexible solution to the problem of feeding a S/PDIF DAC with a high quality signal: with MinimServer and upmpdcli running on the RPi that hosts the DigiOne Signature, one has a self contained server + network player with excellent support for classical music, internet radio and gapless replay of Qobuz, Tidal, etc.

 

What I would like Allo to improve are the packaging and the assembly quality. I have received the UpTone Audio LPS-1.2 and the DigiOne Signature on the same day. The LPS-1.2 was delivered in an impeccable package and with simple and yet detailed instructions and a lot of care for details. The build quality is excellent. The DigiOne Signature was delivered in a not so mint box with a puzzling warning ("DO NOT FEED POWER TO THE RPI AND DIGIONE IN THE SAME TIME") printed on the top of the box. The two boards of the DigiOne Signature were connected with heavy brass spacers. These spacers were about 0.5mm too short for the 8pin GPIO port that connects the two boards. The screws that hold the spacers together were tightened. As a consequence, the boards were under stress.

 

In short: the original DigiOne was a no-brainer and a great value for money. The DigiOne Signature is a definite improvement over the Digione. But at 2.5 the price of the original DigiOne, I would expect a better assembly quality and a more professional packaging.

 

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23 hours ago, smethley said:

Thanks, yes that's exactly what I do.

 

I'm still curious abut my first question tho' - how do we know the Signature has locked onto the correct clock?  Maybe Allo can tell us the answer?

Thinking about it, which two clocks are we talking about - the two xtals on the board?  If so, then if the wrong one was selected it should be noticeable via wrong audio speed/pitch I guess?  By way of example, as I play CD quality I guess I might be locking onto either 44 or 48 kHz, when of course I would always require 44 kHz?

Its all in the driver, RPI knows what file sample is playing and initializes the correct clock

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@nbpf

 

thank you for your feedback.

I will address your packaging and assembly concerns. 

From our assembly lines in India to the homes of audiophiles worldwide, our little units experience quite a journey.

The packing we selected is a sliding lid type box with sturdy 2.5mm cardboard walls (5mm total thickness when lid on).

This box is lined with anti-shock packing foam and finally, the Digi Sig is wrapped in pink anti-static bubble wrap (see attached pictures).

My point being that we focus on protecting the unit as much as we can against the elements; nevertheless, we can certainly look into improving the esthetics. 

For assembling the 2 boards we use standard 10.5mm brass standoffs, as you mentioned, the actual height of the connector is 0.1mm to 0.3mm (considering tolerance) higher.

If the assembly screws are fully tightened , there will be some minimal stress on the board, but nothing to worry about.

A solution to release this pressure is loosening slightly the 4 assembly screws.  Please note that we will look into ordering 10.7mm to 10.8mm standoffs which will address this.

Finally, as a company, we try our best to protect our customers that dont all have the same level of experience when connecting hardware. Some may and have connected 3 PSUs (2 to digi sig and 1 to RPI)... The unit will not explode and nothing bad will happen, but its just not advisable on the long term for the PSU. So we prefer to make it clear.

 

I hope to have addressed your concerns in a satisfactory manner and we thank you again for your feedback, its very valuable to us.

Regards

Andre

 

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That’s IMHO a very interesting reply thanks! ?

 

I am aware from some of the work I do of the cost constraints on many Makers.

 

Would making the packaging a bit more ‘glamorous’ be likely to add to the cost of the Signature, do you think?

 

I must admit I shared nbpf’s exact thoughts re the packaging (Apple et al. have spoilt many of us, I suspect), but then I started wondering about what, if anything, it might cost ...? ?

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Hi @RX8R3ROD

 

our KATANA DAC and Digione Signature will both share the same sturdy lid box with a new interior packing foam.

 

We can add a customized sleeve wrapped around the box a& lid, we can add graphics and so on.

 

Will it improve the sound quality delivered by our hardware, no.

Will it improve the sturdiness of the packaging, no.

Will it all likely end up in the recycling or even worst, the garbage ? Yes.

 

We are in tune with what the market wants, but lets be clear...

 

what is it that you guys think we can add considering the pictures above ?

 

thanks for sharing your suggestions.

Andre

 

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3 minutes ago, ALLOaudio said:

Hi @RX8R3ROD

 

our KATANA DAC and Digione Signature will both share the same sturdy lid box with a new interior packing foam.

 

We can add a customized sleeve wrapped around the box a& lid, we can add graphics and so on.

 

Will it improve the sound quality delivered by our hardware, no.

Will it improve the sturdiness of the packaging, no.

Will it all likely end up in the recycling or even worst, the garbage ? Yes.

 

We are in tune with what the market wants, but lets be clear...

 

what is it that you guys think we can add considering the pictures above ?

 

thanks for sharing your suggestions.

Andre

 

The material, thickness, shape and color of the box are functional and do not need to be improved, in my view. This is the same design that was used for the standard DigiOne. It is simple and unpretentious and I like it a lot.

 

My observations referred to the fact that the box that I have received was not in mint conditions and that I found the red warning printed on the top of the box rather confusing. 

 

I am perfectly fine with no detailed printed instructions. This would be a waste of paper. But it would be nice to find a pointer to https://www.allo.com/sparky/digione-signature.html#downloads printed on the box or on a sheet of paper inside the box.

 

The rest of my criticism was referring to the assembly of the two boards and has already been addressed in your previous post.

 

Thanks for your attention and for providing the DigiOne Signature! 

 

 

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Hi again,

 

OK well noted.

I will look into the outer packing.

Normally, this is what you were supposed to have received as sticker on the unit.

 

I will make sure it is the case for all future orders.

 

Regards

 

 

20181029_151400.jpg

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Apart from the DigiOne and the DigiOne Signature, I have an Oppo-203 connected to the Naim DAC via S/PDIF.

 

The Oppo is, among many other things, a network transport. Thus, it is an ideal candidate to be compared to the DigiOne and to the DigiOne Signature.

 

What do you expect the results of such a comparison to be? Does the Oppo sound better than the DigiOne Signature? Does it sound worse than the DigiOne? 

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1 hour ago, ALLOaudio said:

Hi again,

 

OK well noted.

I will look into the outer packing.

Normally, this is what you were supposed to have received as sticker on the unit.

 

I will make sure it is the case for all future orders.

 

Regards

 

 

20181029_151400.jpg

Yes, as reported "DO NOT FEED POWER TO THE RPI AND DIGIONE IN THE SAME TIME" is what is on my box as well.

 

I find the warning confusing because, by connecting the power to the clean side and to the dirty side of the DigiOne Signature, one does in fact power the RPi host and the DigiOne Signature at the same time. 

 

I now understand that the warning is meant to prevent users from powering the RPi host via the micro-USB port and the dirty side of the DigiOne Signature at the same time.

 

In this case, it would be perhaps more clear to write "Connect the clean side and the dirty side of the DS to different power supplies. Do not connect the micro-USB port of the RPi hosting the DS to any power supply."

 

 

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4 hours ago, ALLOaudio said:

Hi @RX8R3ROD

 

our KATANA DAC and Digione Signature will both share the same sturdy lid box with a new interior packing foam.

 

We can add a customized sleeve wrapped around the box a& lid, we can add graphics and so on.

 

Will it improve the sound quality delivered by our hardware, no.

Will it improve the sturdiness of the packaging, no.

Will it all likely end up in the recycling or even worst, the garbage ? Yes.

 

We are in tune with what the market wants, but lets be clear...

 

what is it that you guys think we can add considering the pictures above ?

 

thanks for sharing your suggestions.

Andre

 

I believe that the packaging is, as you and nbpf say, perfectly functional. And the product is utterly fantastic!

 

Nevertheless, I (and I think possibly nbpf?) experienced some level of disappointment in the packaging when we received the product.

 

It didn’t quite send out a message of the quality of the product inside, or the care and dedication that has no doubt gone into it, given how good it sounds! Or at least not in the way many people are used to receiving that message today.

 

I suspect more glamorous packaging would increase cost, and so I imagine you probably don’t want to do that, as (as you say) a glossy, shiny box doesn’t in any way improve sound quality.

 

Nor do you wish to create more waste.

 

So, assuming this doesn’t go against Allo ethos and values, why not make an explicit (rather than implicit) feature out of all this; IMHO it can be seen as very admirable.

 

Perhaps something on the box saying something along the lines of ‘we spend every cent / penny / rupee / rouble / whatever on sound quality, that’s why we don’t give you a shiny box. And it’s better for the environment, too’?

 

This might help shallow consumers like me (and sadly I don’t think I’m alone in that) to appreciate the admirable approach you appear to have taken as a Maker, to maximise performance at minimum cost, and minimise environmental impact ?

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11 hours ago, allo.com said:

Its all in the driver, RPI knows what file sample is playing and initializes the correct clock

Makes sense, but then surely then each new audio file will have its bit-rate read upon loading by RPI and this info passed onto the Digione board.  Therefore no need to worry about power up order.  Just complete boot/power up in any order, but before playing music.  After all, it must adapt to the bit rate of each new file on the fly - otherwise we'd have to reboot each time a new file arrives, which clearly we don't. Or have I completely misunderstood?

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16 hours ago, smethley said:

Makes sense, but then surely then each new audio file will have its bit-rate read upon loading by RPI and this info passed onto the Digione board.  Therefore no need to worry about power up order.  Just complete boot/power up in any order, but before playing music.  After all, it must adapt to the bit rate of each new file on the fly - otherwise we'd have to reboot each time a new file arrives, which clearly we don't. Or have I completely misunderstood?

 

with the Katana v1 experience You have to follow the correct boot sequence, otherwise you will have a smurf. This is a case of the master DAC. I dont know in the transport (no issue on my Doubly powered USBRIDGE though)

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51 minutes ago, pjmcos said:

 

with the Katana v1 experience You have to follow the correct boot sequence, otherwise you will have a smurf. This is a case of the master DAC. I dont know in the transport (no issue on my Doubly powered USBRIDGE though)

A smurf?

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8 minutes ago, pjmcos said:

 A smurf garble sound.. 

Thanks, so you always get a 'smurf', even if you send a new audio file?

 

To recap, I'm really just trying to find out whether I really need to reboot the RPI each time I reconnect batteries to the Signature.  I'm hoping Allo will make it clearer why this is / is not.

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9 minutes ago, smethley said:

Thanks, so you always get a 'smurf', even if you send a new audio file?

 

To recap, I'm really just trying to find out whether I really need to reboot the RPI each time I reconnect batteries to the Signature.  I'm hoping Allo will make it clearer why this is / is not.

 

Even you restart it infinitely using that sequence, you will always have it for master dac (tried on PcP, Volumio, & Dietpi). This is a known firmware issue that was fixed in Katana v2.

 

It  is always the case when you power RPi then the output stage. I normally power the output stage 1st to eliminate the issue.

 

For transport.. in my USBRIDGE using volumio i never encountered it. 

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On 10/29/2018 at 12:17 PM, ALLOaudio said:

@nbpf

...

For assembling the 2 boards we use standard 10.5mm brass standoffs, as you mentioned, the actual height of the connector is 0.1mm to 0.3mm (considering tolerance) higher.

If the assembly screws are fully tightened , there will be some minimal stress on the board, but nothing to worry about.

A solution to release this pressure is loosening slightly the 4 assembly screws.  Please note that we will look into ordering 10.7mm to 10.8mm standoffs which will address this.

...

Thanks, I would be happy to order the new standoffs as they become available. It also would be great if Allo could make available male USB C to female 5.5 x 2.1mm adapter cables as an alternative to the  male USB C to female 5.5 x 2.5mm cables that come with the DigiOne Signature.

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2 hours ago, ALLOaudio said:

it will be on the site soon and is included in each order.

Including an battery adapter in each order is a great idea!!!


MacMini Quad i7/Audirvana Plus 3.5/DigiOne Signature Player (Raspberry Pi plus USB>S/PDIF converter)/MSB Gold Link III DAC (external Monolithic PS)/Aragon 4004 amplifier/Stacked Energy 22 speakers (Reference Connoisseur on bottom & Pro 22 Utility cabinets on top) set tweeter to tweeter/Kimber Monocle XL (bottom) Kimber 8TC (top) speaker wires/stereo Mordaunt Short 309 subwoofers

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1 hour ago, SparkSpark said:

So just to be clear regarding the powering on sequence, you can connect the clean side after the RPI just make sure to reboot it?

Sure, I understand that the only thing that matters is that the interface is powered when the RPi boots.

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