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Help with RPI streamer choice: DigiOne vs DigiOne Signature vs PecanPi

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#1
Friends,

This is my first post in this forum. I have searched through this forum, and have read Amir's measurements on these three.

I have a Parasound Integrated Amplifier (the previous generation). I currently use an RPI 4 to stream from a NAS to my Parasound using USB. I have an iFi iPower powering my RPI 4. I run Moode Audio on my RPI and love the versatility of Airplay and Bluetooth. I have all of my audio files (24/192 and 16/44.1) on an nVME SSD attached to the RPI.

a) If I wanted to improve the audio quality of my source, which HAT would you recommend - the DigiOne, the DigiOne signature or the PecanPi? I understand that the PecanPi does not have any digital output and that it becomes my DAC, replacing the Parasound as the DAC.

b) How does the PecanPi as a DAC compare to the Parasound? If any of you have any experience here, I would love to hear.

Thank you very much for helping out!!

-Sambu

p.s: I have an Oppo 105D as well which I also use as a streamer (albeit rarely) to feed my Parasound using coax, but since it lacks Airplay and requires me to turn on my TV (projector), I hardly use this.
 
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somebodyelse

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#2
Without measurements of the Parasound it's hard to be sure whether it has any differences between usb and coax, or how good or bad its DAC may be. The Zdac v2 wasn't great - broadly comparable to hat dacs from HifiBerry etc. Unless manufacturers have messed something up there shouldn't be mich difference between the USB and coax inputs, so unless you're having ground loop type problems with the existing connection there's no reason to use a digital output hat - and if you do use one then make sure it has an output transformer or optical out to break the ground loop.

I've not seen any tests of the PecanPi either.
 
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Thread Starter #3
Without measurements of the Parasound it's hard to be sure whether it has any differences between usb and coax, or how good or bad its DAC may be. The Zdac v2 wasn't great - broadly comparable to hat dacs from HifiBerry etc. Unless manufacturers have messed something up there shouldn't be mich difference between the USB and coax inputs, so unless you're having ground loop type problems with the existing connection there's no reason to use a digital output hat - and if you do use one then make sure it has an output transformer or optical out to break the ground loop.

I've not seen any tests of the PecanPi either.
Yes, I don't see any measurements of Parasound Halo DAC. But the PecanPi ones are here. I think I am trying to really get a high quality RPI 4 based streamer and these 3 (DigiOne, DigiOne Signature, and PecanPi) are the ones I have narrowed to. Maybe there are other choices I should look at?
 

abdo123

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#4
Honestly I don’t hear any difference at all when it comes to DACs. when two DACs produce the same volume I cannot tell the difference between them.

With that said, do you have any other inputs to the Amp other than the Pi?
 

Daverz

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#5
Topping D10s or E30, depending on features wanted. Yes, they add another box, but are bus powered. But the Parasound would have to be really incompetent for it to make a difference.
 
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Thread Starter #6
Honestly I don’t hear any difference at all when it comes to DACs. when two DACs produce the same volume I cannot tell the difference between them.

With that said, do you have any other inputs to the Amp other than the Pi?
Thank you for your response. Yes, I have an Oppo 105D feeding the Parasound via coax.
 
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Thread Starter #7
Topping D10s or E30, depending on features wanted. Yes, they add another box, but are bus powered. But the Parasound would have to be really incompetent for it to make a difference.
As a streamer?
 

Daverz

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#10
Ah got it. Not sure how the E30 compares to the in-built DAC in my Parasound Halo.
From a purely technical point of view, the E30 is excellent, and I'd be willing to bet that it measures better than the Parasound. But none of this gear is going to make an audible difference over what you already have.
 
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Thread Starter #11
From a purely technical point of view, the E30 is excellent, and I'd be willing to bet that it measures better than the Parasound. But none of this gear is going to make an audible difference over what you already have.
Thank you very much for your help! Let me dig into the E30.
 

SJ777

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#12
I think I am trying to really get a high quality RPI 4 based streamer
In terms of SQ, I wouldn't expect any improvement using digiout over USB. Personally I would leave the RPi as it is.
Let me dig into the E30.
The E30 is a great DAC, but debatable whether or not you'd here SQ improvements over your existing DAC. Although there are no available measurements for your existing DAC, I'm almost certain that the E30 will measure better than it. Whether or not this is audible is another matter.

If you keep using USB out then it might be worth considering the even cheaper option of the D10s (no remote and no digi in). Conveniently it also powers directly from the RPi. I use an RPi4 into a D10s in one of my set ups.

EDIT: Just seen that @Daverz has already suggested the D10s - sorry for the repetition. :D
 
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Thread Starter #17
Thank you all for the help. I will look at D10s, E30, and MiniDSP HD. It is not clear how I can do room correction on my RPI with Moode. As I had mentioned, I also have Oppo 105D which has a USB input and can output digital coax. I tried this route as well and I see a difference in SQ, but it is not clear if this is due to lack of volume matching.

Is there a way to do volume matching reasonably accurately?
 
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Thread Starter #19
Thank
Moode 7 has a 12 band parametric equaliser.
Thanks! I will try to play around with this and see. There is also a "tone control" on my Parasound that allows for "bass" and "treble" adjustments, but I don't use this and keep this turned off.
 
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