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Digione Signature - Lessons learned


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I purchased a Digione Signature and wanted to share my experience with others since there was little help online for me.  I am running it on a Pi4 with Volumio plugged into a Schiit Bifrost 2.

 

BE SURE YOU

  • Power it up in the proper order (clean side, count to 10, dirty side).  Failure to do so will result in the Pi not "seeing" the hat
  • In Volumio, turn on I2S DAC and select Allo Digione as the DAC. I know, it's not a DAC, but that has to be the selection
  • Use a quality coax cable.  I was about to give up and grabbed the coax cable to bring it closer to me and then music started playing (I kept the stream going while I was troubleshooting it).  I swapped coax cables and it has been stable since.  I would love some feedback as to why there is a sensitivity with coax cables.  I was using the same cable I had plugged into my Bluesound streamer, so I know it is not "bad" necessarily.
  • I had some erratic behavior after hours of listening so I went over and picked it up.  The Pi 4 runs quite hot, I think we all know that.  A reboot seemed to get the stream back, but I believe the heat was an issue.  I oriented the case on it's end (boards vertical now) and the heat problem seemed to disappear and stability was back.

 

Can anyone confirm any of those observations?  

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1. Regarding power up sequence, IIRC Allo commented that the only necessity was that the clean side was powered up before the RPi had finished boot up. Don't think it was on this "official" forum, and more of a throw-away comment from one of the design engineers.

 

Bus based that comment, I power up both sides together using my Shanti. Same thing as when I was using a Cuinas Audio Supercapacitor PSU, single output driving both clean and dirty sides. Never had a issue with those two PSUs, nor whether the DigiOneSig was mounted on a RPi3B or, as now, USBridgeSig.

 

2. Can't comment wrt Volumio; I use MoOde.

 

3. I have used a cheapie BNC-BNC coax from Amazon Basics, and a somewhat more expensive Naim DC-1 (but bought s/h, even so it was not cheap.!). Both functioned perfectly.

 

4. RPi4 was known to run hotter than RPi3, but I thought that issue had been mitigated by a change to the power management section of the RPi firmware?

 

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2 hours ago, suzywong said:

1. Regarding power up sequence, IIRC Allo commented that the only necessity was that the clean side was powered up before the RPi had finished boot up. Don't think it was on this "official" forum, and more of a throw-away comment from one of the design engineers.

 

Bus based that comment, I power up both sides together using my Shanti. Same thing as when I was using a Cuinas Audio Supercapacitor PSU, single output driving both clean and dirty sides. Never had a issue with those two PSUs, nor whether the DigiOneSig was mounted on a RPi3B or, as now, USBridgeSig.

 

2. Can't comment wrt Volumio; I use MoOde.

 

3. I have used a cheapie BNC-BNC coax from Amazon Basics, and a somewhat more expensive Naim DC-1 (but bought s/h, even so it was not cheap.!). Both functioned perfectly.

 

4. RPi4 was known to run hotter than RPi3, but I thought that issue had been mitigated by a change to the power management section of the RPi firmware?

 

 

Thank you for the reply.  The only comments I have are that since my cable swap, the unit has worked without fail.  Ihad read other people were having some cable sensitivity issues, I was more or less confirming that I have as well.

In terms of RPi4 throttling back when it gets hot, that is true.  However, based on my experience, it apparently throttles back to the point of Volumio not functioning properly.  Since I have flipped the board stack on it's side to allow for airflow, the unit has worked without a hitch and the case is MUCH cooler to the touch.

I wished someone made a really high quality case for this unit that allowed for proper airflow and was more presentable in your system.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/20/2021 at 2:28 PM, dontheriault said:

...

In terms of RPi4 throttling back when it gets hot, that is true.  However, based on my experience, it apparently throttles back to the point of Volumio not functioning properly.  Since I have flipped the board stack on it's side to allow for airflow, the unit has worked without a hitch and the case is MUCH cooler to the touch.
 

...

 

In this case I would say that Volumio is the culprit. Unless you do oversampling, high cpufreq is not needed for music playback and cpu frequency scaling can actually be detrimental to sound quality. I set my RPi3 (+ DigiOne Signature, MinimServer + upmpdcli) to run at constant 1GHz cpufreq and never had any issue.

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6 hours ago, nbpf said:

 

In this case I would say that Volumio is the culprit. Unless you do oversampling, high cpufreq is not needed for music playback and cpu frequency scaling can actually be detrimental to sound quality. I set my RPi3 (+ DigiOne Signature, MinimServer + upmpdcli) to run at constant 1GHz cpufreq and never had any issue.

I have no doubt that Volumio is the culprit.  Just like any software product that becomes more mainstream, it gets bloated in order to make it more user friendly.  I can say without a doubt that turning the unit on its side stopped the Volumio playback issues.

I am not savvy enough to know how to fix the CPU speed to a static speed, but that makes sense.  

 

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On 2/2/2021 at 3:18 PM, dontheriault said:

...

I am not savvy enough to know how to fix the CPU speed to a static speed, but that makes sense.  

 

In Raspbian it is easy, one only need to add the lines

 

Quote

force_turbo=1       # keep the max CPU freq constant (no ondemand governor)
arm_freq=1000     # set the max CPU freq, default 1400

 

to the file /boot/config.txt. In the same file, I also have
 

Quote

dtparam=audio=off                         # disable internal sound card
dtoverlay=pi3-disable-bt                # disable bluetooth
# dtoverlay=pi3-disable-wifi           # disable wifi
sdram_freq=400                               # set the max RAM freq, default  500
#dtparam=pwr_led_activelow=off
#dtparam=pwr_led_trigger=none

 

I would expect Volumio to have a similar settings file but I never played around with it. With GenTooPlayer you can set the CPU frequency (and much more) in the web interface. Perhaps useful if it gets hotter in the summer.

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