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Getting the best out of Allo.com's new Katana DAC...
Getting the best out of Allo.com's new Katana DAC...
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Old 20th October 2019, 09:34 PM   #401
John Luckins is offline John Luckins  Europe
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Northants UK
Great to read your posts Greg. I concurr completely with your findings:

I've been trying the USBridge Sig with and without an Isolator and with various other Allo DACs before I put the Katana atop of it. The improvement over the Pi3 is evident with only a Piano or Boss DAC. I can only conclude that it will easily outperform the Pi4 with its even greater PSU noise. The isolator is to my ears a backward step. The Kali together with a Piano DAC is already better than both of my well developed Katana stacks when it is on the USBridge Sig, very much as described by Greg's friend. A separate power supply for my USB connected music drive brings about a small improvement as well.

I have to get used to just how good this sounds before I replaced the Kali/Piano with one of my Katana stacks.

Power supplies are currently non-choke regulated AMB Sigma 11's fed by 9-0-9v toroids. Load current for the USBridge Sig and the Kali/Piano settles to appro 500mA. USB drive supply oscillates between 45mA and 220mA as it gathers data. OS is Picoreplayer and local LMS with Edimax WiFi adaptor. A very neat and extremely satisfying combo. Shame we cant get a second crystal integrated into the Pi Compute module.

A quick question about the USBridge Sig's Clean Power input if anyone knows please? What is the difference between it and the micro USB socket power input and what benefits will there be from raising the applied voltage to the 9volts max?

Many thanks

John
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Old 21st October 2019, 03:24 AM   #402
Greg Stewart is offline Greg Stewart  United States
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Columbus, Mississippi
Getting the best out of Allo.com's new Katana DAC...
@matthiasw, I've asked him. I'll relay when I get an answer.

@John Luckins, great to read one of your posts as always. AND glad you like the USBBridge Sig as much as I do.

Interesting to try it with the Kali/Piano stack first. I got a little jaded when I tried my first RPi DAC HAT with that used separate output stage devices. That add IMHO lifted any competent build over anything I could do with any of the ES9023/PCM51xx-based DAC HATs. BUT the Piano on a Kali, just like the original Boss, are great for that genre.

Curious on your results with that combo with the Isolator. Before a reclocker is one of the situations where they could shine. BUT of course they are going to provide the best benefit when the source device is noisy, which the USBBridge Sig is not in my experience. Good to hear that personal experience and confirmation of how that combo works. Datapoints are ALWAYS good!

Bummer about the non-choke supplies... you are no longer using one of the most impressive RPi/DAC power setup in existance! Though Ian Canada's setup where he has 2 3000F Ultracaps as a final output buffer C for the RPi power has got to be pretty close!

On the power to the USBBridge Sig, that 9V is for the Digione Signature, not the USBBridge Sig. The power for the USBBridge Sig is specified at 5V and I remember @cdsgames said max is 5.4V or 5.5V. DON'T go over that recommendation. I poked around on the board and quickly found an LP5907 regulator, which is rated for an absolute max input of 6V.

On what voltage, I've gone as high as 5.2V and as low as 4.9V without hearing any clear correlation in the sonics. BUT I was not looking for that at that time.

AND based on the results my 'audio friend' reported bypassing the USB-C on the Katana and what I heard when I did that, I would definitely use flying leads at the 5V clean power inputs on the USBBridge Sig.

I'll have some updates on the Katana without Isolator on the USBBridge Sig AND some further thoughts on Isolator use in the near future.

Later!

Greg in Mississippi
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Everything matters!

Last edited by Greg Stewart; 21st October 2019 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 24th October 2019, 05:06 PM   #403
soundcheck is offline soundcheck  Germany
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DUS
Always interesting that there's still any surprise that bypassing USB-C
connectors is well worth the effort.
It's not that we havn't been discussing it since years (before it was uUSB).
Especially when feeding power hungry analog rails through them.

I'm pretty sure that this tweak alone will lower the distance to a
setup with external 15V. Keep in mind. Using 15V gets rid of the
USB-C as part of the deal. That alone will make a difference.

Unfortunately Allo is not listening (I do not believe that's the case though) or simply not willing to provide us
with easily accessible soldering joints/holes to be able to attach proper wires for a quality power cabling of the tower.
(the same issue we face on Shanti)

IanCanadas solutions e.g. FifoPi are simply great. Two screw sockets
one for the dirty (incl. RPI) one with the clean part. Yep, life can be that convenient.

Anyhow. I'm not sure if I asked that before. What's actually the best spot to attach external quality 5V to Katana?
I really do not want to risk to smoke that unit. And I also want to have the option to properly revert back.

Last edited by soundcheck; 24th October 2019 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 25th October 2019, 07:59 AM   #404
chipzahoy is offline chipzahoy  New Zealand
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
Always interesting that there's still any surprise that bypassing USB-C
connectors is well worth the effort.
It's not that we havn't been discussing it since years (before it was uUSB).
Especially when feeding power hungry analog rails through them.

I'm pretty sure that this tweak alone will lower the distance to a
setup with external 15V. Keep in mind. Using 15V gets rid of the
USB-C as part of the deal. That alone will make a difference.

Unfortunately Allo is not listening (I do not believe that's the case though) or simply not willing to provide us
with easily accessible soldering joints/holes to be able to attach proper wires for a quality power cabling of the tower.
(the same issue we face on Shanti)

IanCanadas solutions e.g. FifoPi are simply great. Two screw sockets
one for the dirty (incl. RPI) one with the clean part. Yep, life can be that convenient.

Anyhow. I'm not sure if I asked that before. What's actually the best spot to attach external quality 5V to Katana?
I really do not want to risk to smoke that unit. And I also want to have the option to properly revert back.
They did provide easy-to-access 5v input on the latest USBridge Sig/Audiophile Pi.
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Old 25th October 2019, 08:34 AM   #405
soundcheck is offline soundcheck  Germany
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DUS
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipzahoy View Post
They did provide easy-to-access 5v input on the latest USBridge Sig/Audiophile Pi.


To quote myself:

Quote:
...that alone will make a difference...


Let's backpower our PI4s and attach some OSCON SEPCs to that rail (done since years)...
...and see what we end up with in comparison.

Enjoy.
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