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Revolution DAC Reviews


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1 hour ago, Bjoern said:

Could you share with all of us what you need to do on the Pi to make it work properly as I am concerned and inexperienced using the USB port to output the digital stream.

 

Bjoern,

depends how's your configuration in hw & sw, which I do not know, therefore some genral information about mine:
I do run an old i4790T as ROON server upsampling streams and local files to DSD512 and sending them to a RPI4 configured as ROON Endpoint (GentooPlayer) that is connected to the ALLO Revolution DAC.
Roon control point is either mobile phone or my workhorse PC.

What's your config & and how would you upsample to DSD512, if this is an objective at all for you?

The term "not for audio optimzed USB" (with all respect to the ALLO team) sounds like a very clever marketing term and did not yet convince me back when I used my RPi3b+ als LMS server and endpoint with the Khadas Tone Board DAC last year (link below). My personal perception did not lead me to fall for an audio optimized USB transport, but to get an RPI4 with sufficient RAM. I can't complain, though it's up to you if you can live with the SQ of "not for audio optimzed USB" ports or feel more engaged to spend money on that optimization. Sometime ignorance is bliss.
Nonetheless, I have advised the ALLO USBbride Sig in situations where I saw fit to people who were very nervous about that "difference" or incapable of doing the small DIY with the RPi themthelves

??? Important question, did you already had a comparative listening experience to confirm your assumptions on unenhanced and enhanced USB ports, leaving all other variables exactly the same???

If you want to test it with the RPI3b+, which imho is a very good starting point, you could use i.e. the GentooPlayer image . Depending on your  playback software in use, you choose the function of the software. Personally, I did use the RPI3b last year with the PicorePlayer.

 

You may like to get enhanced info about the subject  of RPI3b as a streamer through @Archimago's musings and in particular here from December 2018.
Sometimes unfortunately, the adventure of our hobby begins with a lot of reading if you can't experimentize everything personally.
Cheers, Tom


 

 

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2 hours ago, Bjoern said:

Hi Duck,

The Signature One I would plug on as a PI Hat with an isolator board in-between no issues there. However the question is would the Revolution which is connected via the USB port sound equally good as he USB is not audio optimized

Would that be the option for another DAC than the ALLO REVOLUTION ? 

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12 hours ago, DuckToller said:

 

Bjoern,

depends how's your configuration in hw & sw, which I do not know, therefore some genral information about mine:
I do run an old i4790T as ROON server upsampling streams and local files to DSD512 and sending them to a RPI4 configured as ROON Endpoint (GentooPlayer) that is connected to the ALLO Revolution DAC.
Roon control point is either mobile phone or my workhorse PC.

What's your config & and how would you upsample to DSD512, if this is an objective at all for you?

The term "not for audio optimzed USB" (with all respect to the ALLO team) sounds like a very clever marketing term and did not yet convince me back when I used my RPi3b+ als LMS server and endpoint with the Khadas Tone Board DAC last year (link below). My personal perception did not lead me to fall for an audio optimized USB transport, but to get an RPI4 with sufficient RAM. I can't complain, though it's up to you if you can live with the SQ of "not for audio optimzed USB" ports or feel more engaged to spend money on that optimization. Sometime ignorance is bliss.
Nonetheless, I have advised the ALLO USBbride Sig in situations where I saw fit to people who were very nervous about that "difference" or incapable of doing the small DIY with the RPi themthelves

??? Important question, did you already had a comparative listening experience to confirm your assumptions on unenhanced and enhanced USB ports, leaving all other variables exactly the same???

If you want to test it with the RPI3b+, which imho is a very good starting point, you could use i.e. the GentooPlayer image . Depending on your  playback software in use, you choose the function of the software. Personally, I did use the RPI3b last year with the PicorePlayer.

 

You may like to get enhanced info about the subject  of RPI3b as a streamer through @Archimago's musings and in particular here from December 2018.
Sometimes unfortunately, the adventure of our hobby begins with a lot of reading if you can't experimentize everything personally.
Cheers, Tom


 

 

Hello Tom,
I highly appreciate you for taking the time and effort to come back to me with so much comprehensive information.

I read thru your recommended links and did a bit of homework.

Allow me to clarify a few things:

- Being an engineer I agree with you that certain "enhancements" probably do not justify the investment needed therefore I would like to stick with a setup that has its merits.

- Regarding your question of my setup and the up-sampling: What I would like to use is the Pi3B+ together with the PicoPlayer as I like the screensavers and VU meters which I want to use. That part of the hardware I have setup and it works as expected.

- In regards to what I want to play: I will connect the Pi via Ethernet to my NAS & Spotify (via Internet). I don't have any other music servers running on the network so the Pi would have to do all the work.

I don't know much about the up-sampling. My goal is to utilize the capability of the ALLO Revolution (32b) but does the Pi3 USB port support that data rate and does the Pi support the stream ?

Do I have to setup the Pi of up-sampling or is this done in the Revolution ?

These are questions I would like to find answers to. On my NAS I have ripped CDs in FLAC format but I am also not sure if Spotify will provide high enough data rate to support the 32b Revolution.

You mentioned the DIY of the USB ports, are you referring to a clean power supply as shown in the attached schematic ?

 

Hopefully you can enlighten me a little more 🙂

Bjoern

 

Pi usb power mod.JPG

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12 hours ago, DuckToller said:

Would that be the option for another DAC than the ALLO REVOLUTION ? 

Correct, a friend of mine asked me to build a streamer for him as well when he heard of my project.

He has a DAC already so I actually thought that he doesnt need the rather exp. Revolution just a optical output.

However when I checked on the price of the ALLO SignatureOne it is quite similar to the Revolution so it might not make sense to go for optical output to an external DAC.

For me I am planning to use the Revolution within an overall Streamer/DAC chassis (Revolution chassis, within Streamer chassis) to make everything into one unit including power supplies.

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12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

Hello Tom,
I highly appreciate you for taking the time and effort to come back to me with so much comprehensive information

 I read thru your recommended links and did a bit of homework.

 

Salut Bjoern!

1. Bravo ! And thank you for the warm words.
2. My *admirable* neigbor started just his cutting the hedgerow in front of my listening room when I had my family out this afternoon and were well prepared to enjoy my critical listening session with the REVOLUTION ... So I decided to respond in time instead at Sunday evening only ...

12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

Allow me to clarify a few things:

- Being an engineer I agree with you that certain "enhancements" probably do not justify the investment needed therefore I would like to stick with a setup that has its merits.

3.As non-engineer I tend to agree to your opinion 😉

12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

- Regarding your question of my setup and the up-sampling: What I would like to use is the Pi3B+ together with the PicoPlayer as I like the screensavers and VU meters which I want to use. That part of the hardware I have setup and it works as expected.

4. Does that mean you'll use it with an OLED display or in a box without display ?
You mentioned a kind of all in Streamer/DAC box, though I remembered what I saw this week chez Audiophonics, you may want to check that out, the DAC on offer shows less focus on USB but more optical options and balanced output than the Revolution by using the same DAC chip in dual mono. The suiting case with display is imho expensive but may tick all your boxes.

12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

- In regards to what I want to play: I will connect the Pi via Ethernet to my NAS & Spotify (via Internet). I don't have any other music servers running on the network so the Pi would have to do all the work.

5.Utilizing PiCore player you use the LMS and the Spotify plug-In, correct ?
Pls. check the summerbreeze article on the setup caveats for NAS and DSD, Check out the PiCore website Tutorials or the slim device forum (https://forums.slimdevices.com/) for avoiding set up problems with the NAS share .

12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

I don't know much about the up-sampling. My goal is to utilize the capability of the ALLO Revolution (32b) but does the Pi3 USB port support that data rate and does the Pi support the stream ?

6. Streaming up to DSD26 native did work  with Picore-Player on Pi3b+ flawlessly, even over Wifi (with donglei. One point here about  what I had experienced:
I had outsourced the LMS first to my NAS, using the RPi not as server but as player/endpoint only, I changed later to an older RPI2 for the LMS tasks, as I didn't want my NAS to be busy and  online (Internet) all the time on demand of the LMS. You may take a solution like that as well into account.

12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

Do I have to setup the Pi of up-sampling or is this done in the Revolution ?

7. The Revolution has an "Over sampling Filter Bypass" which allows you to disable all filters and setting for the DAC, though this is NOT Upsampling. As noted  before, I'd may test out what's possible with the RPi horsepower but rather stay safe with native DSD and PCM as option as long I'd run the Pi. YMMV

12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

These are questions I would like to find answers to. On my NAS I have ripped CDs in FLAC format but I am also not sure if Spotify will provide high enough data rate to support the 32b Revolution.

8. The 32-bit thing is important if you edit music, for listening 24-bit should be more than enough. As someone once said: It  is a "we can do" thingy, not a "we need that to enhance quality for the listener" thingy  ... YMMV

12 hours ago, Bjoern said:

You mentioned the DIY of the USB ports, are you referring to a clean power supply as shown in the attached schematic ?

? Conceptual misunderstanding, I can't remember me indicating that,  however ;-),  
It  may be a question for trained listener if they can hear the differences between the SMPS Nirvana for 65 Euro or the LPS for +100 Euro. In the lab the Shanti may have better results, en plus it offers a 2nd port, which may be worth the money for some.
I use an LPS because I have it (or because I can 😉 ) - I once thought that would be a starting point for "cleaner" sound, but the enhancement I have noticed did not verify for me higher investments in upgrading the power sector. Still contemplating to have dedicated 16a power outlets for the audio system and the computer systems, though. SQ is already very good in my system for the REVOLUTION with the NIRVANA SMPS.
However,  I just went for testing the LPS feed of the Pi to the REVOLUTION and the NIRVANA feed to the PI in order to check out if it makes an quickly audible difference (in my system). Nothing to notice in my personal reception ... but I can't complain ... except of the neighbors from time to time ... Hmmm, smells like he's having sardines on his barbecue this evening 😉 ... neverending love guaranteed ...

Ziggy Marley is singing " I need a revolution, my own revolution, a personal revolution ... " ... there must be a bettwer way ... (sounds a bit like audiophilia nervosa 😉 )

Cheers, Tom

 

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11 hours ago, DuckToller said:

Salut Bjoern!

1. Bravo ! And thank you for the warm words.
2. My *admirable* neigbor started just his cutting the hedgerow in front of my listening room when I had my family out this afternoon and were well prepared to enjoy my critical listening session with the REVOLUTION ... So I decided to respond in time instead at Sunday evening only ...

3.As non-engineer I tend to agree to your opinion 😉

4. Does that mean you'll use it with an OLED display or in a box without display ?

 

Hello Duck,

once again thanks for your prompt response (and thanks to your neighbors:-) )

My plan for the streamer is (was) to build my own power supply based on the Revolution requirement (plus PI).

Conceptually an Arduino will monitor two rechargeable battery packs of which one is charging and the other is powering the DAC board. I am using a ultra low noise board from analogue devices based on the LT3045.

However now I am torn I that rather complex concept actually makes much sense as most of the DAC boards will DC/DC convert the input voltage using their own components and might create more noise then I am actually allowing in. Therefore a "normal" low noise power supply might be better more reliable choice (what do you think).

I have looked at the Audiophonics DAC you mentioned and I must say it is probably a better choice for my projects as it incorporates the Pi nicely and offers XLR outputs.

At the moment i am very much tempted to decide in their favor vs. the Revolution.

 


You mentioned a kind of all in Streamer/DAC box, though I remembered what I saw this week chez Audiophonics, you may want to check that out, the DAC on offer shows less focus on USB but more optical options and balanced output than the Revolution by using the same DAC chip in dual mono. The suiting case with display is imho expensive but may tick all your boxes.

 

5.Utilizing PiCore player you use the LMS and the Spotify plug-In, correct ?

 

Absolutely correct, LMS and Spotify plug-in. I love those VU meters which are displayed on the HDMI connected OLED. If I go ahead with the Audiophonics DAC I might add the small display on the back as reference or incorporate it into the front panel but that I will test once I have it on my desk.


Pls. check the summerbreeze article on the setup caveats for NAS and DSD, Check out the PiCore website Tutorials or the slim device forum (https://forums.slimdevices.com/) for avoiding set up problems with the NAS share .

6. Streaming up to DSD26 native did work  with Picore-Player on Pi3b+ flawlessly, even over Wifi (with donglei. One point here about  what I had experienced:
I had outsourced the LMS first to my NAS, using the RPi not as server but as player/endpoint only, I changed later to an older RPI2 for the LMS tasks, as I didn't want my NAS to be busy and  online (Internet) all the time on demand of the LMS. You may take a solution like that as well into account.

7. The Revolution has an "Over sampling Filter Bypass" which allows you to disable all filters and setting for the DAC, though this is NOT Upsampling. As noted  before, I'd may test out what's possible with the RPi horsepower but rather stay safe with native DSD and PCM as option as long I'd run the Pi. YMMV

8. The 32-bit thing is important if you edit music, for listening 24-bit should be more than enough. As someone once said: It  is a "we can do" thingy, not a "we need that to enhance quality for the listener" thingy  ... YMMV

? Conceptual misunderstanding, I can't remember me indicating that,  however ;-),  
It  may be a question for trained listener if they can hear the differences between the SMPS Nirvana for 65 Euro or the LPS for +100 Euro. In the lab the Shanti may have better results, en plus it offers a 2nd port, which may be worth the money for some.
I use an LPS because I have it (or because I can 😉 ) - I once thought that would be a starting point for "cleaner" sound, but the enhancement I have noticed did not verify for me higher investments in upgrading the power sector. Still contemplating to have dedicated 16a power outlets for the audio system and the computer systems, though. SQ is already very good in my system for the REVOLUTION with the NIRVANA SMPS.
However,  I just went for testing the LPS feed of the Pi to the REVOLUTION and the NIRVANA feed to the PI in order to check out if it makes an quickly audible difference (in my system). Nothing to notice in my personal reception ... but I can't complain ... except of the neighbors from time to time ... Hmmm, smells like he's having sardines on his barbecue this evening 😉 ... neverending love guaranteed ...

Ziggy Marley is singing " I need a revolution, my own revolution, a personal revolution ... " ... there must be a bettwer way ... (sounds a bit like audiophilia nervosa 😉 )

Cheers, Tom

 

Enjoy 😃

 

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On 7/26/2020 at 5:25 AM, Bjoern said:

 

Dear Björn,

if you wouldn't mind, pls post your quite interesting project in either the DAC or Streamer section of the AS Forums to show some follow up and get some more specific help when needed.
Here is another link about DS setup for LMS:
https://soundcheck-audio.blogspot.com/p/the-rpi-audio-streaming-series-dsd.html

All the best, Tom

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On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 3:39 PM, DuckToller said:

ALLO Revolution DAC.
Khadas Tone Board DAC

 

Hi Tom,

I know the KTB very well and like it.

Can you please compare it to the ARD.

Thank you 🙂

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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  • 2 months later...

I have had my Allo Revolution set up for a few days, and have been doing close A/B'ing through my preamp.  My setup is a custom server with JCAT USB XE --> Dac (Allo powered by Shanti) --> Schiit Freya S --> AHB2 -->Abyss / Ascend Sierra 2 EX.  Super resolving.  If there's a change, I hear it.  I'm upsampling to DSD512 in HQP, poly-sinc-ext and ASDM7. 

 

I've been sufficiently impressed to post my $4,000 R2R dac for sale.  I hadn't been listening to that much classical in the past year I've used this R2R as my main dac, and I think this is likely because, while it packs a punch, there is a haziness that I cannot ignore.  Meanwhile, the Revolution just clicks; the treble is both extremely detailed and coherent but also weirdly smooth.  All I want to listen to now is classical, I'm just loving it. 

 

I find myself able to better relax when listing to the Allo Revolution compared to my R2R dac.  I'm also liking it more than the Topping D90, which sounds bland and turgid in comparison. 

 

This is a real winning product, I feel like it should be getting more hype and am very eager to see what Allo releases next.  

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