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|Today, 12:12 AM||#222|
Allo Shanti first impressions...
I've had a couple of Shanti here for a few days. They've been sitting on my worktable powered to get some run-time until I could spend the time to get one connected.
My initial impressions, even before having listened to one, were very positive:
- Solidly constructed, very substantial unit.
- Aluminum case, which I prefer for audio gear over steel.
- Some level of vibration control built-in with compliant mounting of circuit board to the case while the transformer is bolted.
- Substantial raw DC filtering, with roughly 33000uF on the 3A output.
- Engineered multiple-stage regulation and filtration, remeniscent of what we see on Allo's DAC and digital component boards.
- Grounding post for easy grounding of the case and transformer frame.
- C-L-C AC filtering using a common mode choke (I use a similar one on all of my pure digital power supplies).
The units are somewhat larger than I expected, so before I could install one I needed to determine where best to place it in my downstairs setup where a somewhat modified and tweaked Katana is currently running. While I came up with five options, I took the easy way out and put it in the location that required the least amount of re-arranging (though it is now sitting where I normally place a phono stage, so it won't stay there).
Three of my placement options would allow a very short cable run to the two flying 5V input leads (DAC board/Isolator output side, Microprocessor board) I have on my Katana. The other locations, including the one I'm currently using, need about 2' leads. Since I have to adapt to the connectors I use anyway, I just cut the leads and soldered on a pair of the female mating connectors. When I try it in the closer positions, if I feel there aren't any negative impacts of the closer placement, I'll replace the installed wire leads with shorter ones using somewhat larger-gauge wire.
AND while I will test it with the stock AC cable, right now I have a much shorter and heavier one (not an audiophile cable, but 1/2 of a 12 gauge Wan Lung AC cable that Parasound used to ship with some of their gear). AND I'm using an AMR upgrade fuse (pulled from the power supplies I normally use in this position). Anti-vibration footers and damping weights are from Herbie's Audio Lab.
I installed it with the 3A output powering the DAC board/Isolator output and the 1A output powering the Microprocessor board.
The rest of the setup and Katana mods/tweaks are as described in this thread:
Getting the best out of Allo.com's new Katana DAC...
It's in and playing. With only a couple of days worth of on-time without a load and less than a couple of hours with a load, I don't want to make any detailed comparisons and assessments. BUT my initial impression is that I'm getting sound quality that is not much different than what I got with my standard DIY'd supplies for the Katana. You can see some details of my supplies in post #4 of the thread above, though the supplies I use in this setup are somewhat different in using slightly more expensive transformers and one of MPAudio's MS-HPULN for each 5V supply instead of 1/2 of a MD-HPULN as I did orginially. These two DIY'd 5V supplies have a combined component cost of roughly $700USD. So EVEN if I ultimately prefer my DIY'd supplies over the Shanti, that the Shanti is even close (I won't say better or worse at this point... ask me again in 2-3 weeks of playing time) is a huge win for Allo at 1/4 the cost in a ready-to use format.
Great work Allo!
More after a couple of weeks.
Greg in Mississippi
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