Usbridge Sig has been my first effort at dipping my toe into streaming music. Previously I built a fanless pc using Fidelizer pro and attached it to my Chord Qutest dac.
It took me a whole day to get up and running with the supplied Volumio SD card. The instructions were mainly available online, in more than one place and were not user friendly or up to date. This disappointed me slightly as Allo described the package as "plug n play".
I ordered Volumio from Allo but only the cheap SMPS. Whilst awaiting delivery I found the moOde forum and liked the fact that Tim the developer had baked in support for the Sig and a Comcast WiFi dongle so I decided to go down that route initially.
When my package arrived, I struggled to get the SSD in my pc seen by the Sig. I was stumbling in the dark but one of the things I tried was to make the drive "shareable" from within Windows 10. I'd had to research how to find the IP address of the Sig and of the PC on my network.
Within moOde I had to change a usb setting from UAC1.0 to UAC2.0 (this was in the System settings tab) and I had to specify that I was using a usb dac (on the Audio tab but on a submenu of MPD options) and that it needed the software volume control. I also realised at some point that I needed to enter my Windows logon details into moOde.
At this stage after much trial and error, I managed to hear music from internet radio via moOde and music on a usb stick plugged into the Sig. I still couldn't mount the drive in my pc or "NAS drive" as it is described within moOde.
I gave up and tried Volumio instead. This was much easier. The menus more intuitive. Qutest was listed within Volumio as a supported dac. WiFi worked but no volume control so I had to attach a preamp. This was version 2.632. I updated to version 2.657 but used a new SD card as I didn't want to mess with the original version supplied by Allo. I got vinyl like pops and clicks.
Day 2 I decided to try moOde again and finally managed to get the path right so I could mount the SSD in my pc. This was the latest release version 6.3 and I was still plagued with random pops and clicks. However I could already tell that the sound was better than the directly connected pc and dac.
From the forums I learned that my dac does not do "Linux native DSD" it converts DSD to PCM via DOP??? I don't even have any DSD files but apparently this is causing the clicks and pops. The solution is to use older versions of moOde that use the older 4.14 version of the kernel rather than the 4.19 version. I'm not totally happy about this downgrade as I suspect the older version is not as great as the latest, it does not include the optimisations and drivers that had been included for the Sig.
MoOde did not look nice with my file system which is mainly classical music. Tim suggested that the music player was not really designed to handle the extra tags like composer, orchestra and conductor. This tagging problem was exacerbated by some of my files being WAV rather than FLAC. I worked around this initially by using my familiar Foobar player and switching on UPnP within MoOde. Subsequently I have converted the WAV files to FLAC and retagged everything to make it look right in MoOde. I was so happy with the clear detailed sound that I ordered the Shanti and was impressed by deeper and cleaner bass. I've connected the earth wire between Sig and Shanti and that seems to make the sound cleaner too.
I'm hoping that a newer version of moOde will eventually be released that uses a kernel that will work with my dac - but apparently this kernel can only come from the Raspberry pi foundation!
In conclusion, it's been a steep learning curve and definitely not plug and play but having dipped my toe into the streaming river, I've realised that while there's no going back, I've still not reached the other side!