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Review and Measurements of Allo Katana and ApplePi Raspberry Pi DACs

orchardaudio

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By that intellectually dishonest metric, the $8 CM108 Bare Board USB DAC destroys you at 8.9dB per dollar.
The main point of the image is to show that some DACs with essentially the same performance, cost a lot more money.
 

helloworld

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The ApplePi DAC is hat compliant, that means it has to be that size. It is not possible to add the reclocking and HW volume control to the board and keep it the same size.
Actually I think you’ve made a very good DAC. I was hoping to see a Pi DAC with 125dB dynamic range, 110dB thd+n, better jitter and xlr output. Hopefully I will see your next version soon.:)
 

derp1n

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The main point of the image is to show that some DACs with essentially the same performance, cost a lot more money.
Like the Topping D10 at 1.37dB per dollar, which is 2.5x better value according to your bizarro metric?

I think you would've been best to let Amir's measurements speak for themselves. After what you've posted here my opinion has only gone down.
 

orchardaudio

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Like the Topping D10 at 1.37dB per dollar, which is 2.5x better value according to your bizarro metric?

I think you would've been best to let Amir's measurements speak for themselves. After what you've posted here my opinion has only gone down.
I will remove that post, and in the future think a bit more about how to get the point of what I was trying to say a bit better.

Which was just that there are DACs out there at 10x the price with equal or worse performance.
 

orchardaudio

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Actually I think you’ve made a very good DAC. I was hoping to see a Pi DAC with 125dB dynamic range, 110dB thd+n, better jitter and xlr output. Hopefully I will see your next version soon.:)
Thank you.

I will have a stand alone DAC coming out in the next 4-6 months, based on same design with spdif input. Specs should be better.

ApplePi DAC has XLR output, you just need mini-xlr to xlr adapter.
 

orchardaudio

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@amirm,

When you get the ApplePi Volume-Cloker, please run the following tests on the XLR outputs, of ApplePi DAC:
  • Dynamic Range
  • SNR (A-Weighted)
  • SINAD
  • THD
  • Jitter
  • IMD
Per my experience all measurements should improve by about 3dB on XLR vs RCA

Thanks;
Leo
 

Nango

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All those 502DAC, Allo, Orchards and Topping are providing such an earthquake to the regular manufacturer that I think half of them will simply disappear within next 2 yrs, orobably starting with the premium labels. I welcome that. And extreme thanks to @amirm for being the kickoff of such a story of success .........
 
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andreasmaaan

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All those 502DAC, Allo, Orchards and Topping are providing such an earthquake to the regular manufacturer that I think half of them will simply disappear within next 2 yrs, orobably starting with the premium labels. I welcome that. And extreme thanks to @amirm for being the kickoff of such a story of success .........
Hope so. Methinks you might be underestimating the advertising power of the established manufacturers and overestimating the ability of the general public to distinguish real performance from marketing though.
 

orchardaudio

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Methinks you might be underestimating the advertising power of the established manufacturers
As a one man show Orchard Audio cannot compete on the advertising front with the giants, we heavily depend on word of mouth and forums such as this.

If you like what you see, sign up for the mailing list (subscribe) on the website and follow Orchard Audio on social media, links in my signature.
 
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amirm

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orchardaudio

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When you get the ApplePi Volume-Cloker, please run the following tests on the XLR outputs, of ApplePi DAC:
  • Dynamic Range
  • SNR (A-Weighted)
  • SINAD
  • THD
  • Jitter
  • IMD
@amirm, reminder
 

orchardaudio

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It would be great if this 10% off lasts until amirm finish reviewing your applepi with the volume clocke
He had told me it would be done within two weeks and that was more than a week ago.
 
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orchardaudio

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Amir is heavily back logged and it will take some time for him to finish all Volume-Clocker testing including the XLR output of the ApplePi DAC.

He has however done a jitter comparison with and without Volume-Clocker, there is an clear improvement with Volume-Clocker present.

Here is the plot:
1536692608635.png
 

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pos

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From original review:
Broadening of the "skirt" around our main 12 kHz tone indicates low frequency random jitter (could be a clock issue or noise from the Pi). The higher frequency peaks are likely different timers and clocks running around in the Pi, bleeding into the DAC.
It looks like the clocker solves the peaks, but the broadening remains.
How does the Gala DAC perform in comparison?
 

orchardaudio

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Case for ApplePi DAC...

Thanks to one of my customers (Rick D.) I can say that the HifiBerry Universal Case, fits the ApplePi DAC perfectly:
https://www.hifiberry.com/shop/cases/universal-case-black/

I would highly recommend getting these heat sinks for the DAC chips:
https://www.newark.com/fischer-elektronik/ick-smd-a-8-sa/heat-sink-dip-ssop-tssop/dp/34M6428

In addition to the heat sinks I additionally recommend drilling a few holes in the top cover to improve airflow.

The case will not work with ApplePi Volume-Clocker.

Here are some pictures:
20181003_165202.jpg


20181003_165107.jpg
 
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