allo digione signature or ifi Zen stream

Manoj Kumar

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Looking to add a music streamer to my existing chain consisting of Toppings E50 DAC->Indiq platinum Saptak power amp->Indiq diamond achal speakers within a budget of 30k. I have short-listed two streamers: Allo digione signature (with Allo Shanti LPS) and ifi Zen stream based on online reviews and looking for expert opinion to choose between the two by discussing the pros and cons of both the devices. Also seek suggestions related to alternate streamers near to this budget. Thank you.
 

gilfredpaul

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The online review says IFI streamer have software bugs, it’s not matured like bluos. why dedicated streamer when you have nuc, where you can install Audirvāna and stream music from mobile, the other alternative is tidal/Spotify connect to chromecast audio( little difficult to get, but good one).
 

fLUX

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Looking to add a music streamer to my existing chain consisting of Toppings E50 DAC->Indiq platinum Saptak power amp->Indiq diamond achal speakers within a budget of 30k. I have short-listed two streamers: Allo digione signature (with Allo Shanti LPS) and ifi Zen stream based on online reviews and looking for expert opinion to choose between the two by discussing the pros and cons of both the devices. Also seek suggestions related to alternate streamers near to this budget. Thank you.

Purely from a SQ perspective i found the Zen Stream superior to streamers i have owned in the past (NODE/2i, Allo Digione Signature, Allo Usbridge, Paradigm PW Link). In terms of playback experience, I mainly use spotify and tidal connect and have not faced much issues other than minor hiccups once in a week or two where i need to restart the spotify/tidal app and very rarely the zen stream. If you use roon, then its much more smooth and works efficiently for local and tidal/qobuz.

Having owned the Bluesound NODE (2021) i still preferred the Zen Stream back then because of the USB out support which was yet to come to BluOS and coax of BluOS vs Coax too I preferred zen stream. Of course the app experience on Bluesound was way way better, however I play via playlist or let a discover album keep playing and have not faced any issues in similar use case with Zen Stream either and have faced many more issues with PlayFi for device detection.

Again this is a personal experience, some people have had bad experiences with Zen stream software and some say its a costly device for something running on volumio, the degree of tolerance varies individual to individual and of course even I do expect them to do something better in the UI/UX department for the amount being charged ( there are reports that they are working on an app , but again they are just reports). From my side the zen stream is a good device and whatever wizardry they have done with the device has had me captivated for a far longer time than most of the other streamers.
 

Manoj Kumar

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The online review says IFI streamer have software bugs, it’s not matured like bluos. why dedicated streamer when you have nuc, where you can install Audirvāna and stream music from mobile, the other alternative is tidal/Spotify connect to chromecast audio( little difficult to get, but good one).
The online review says IFI streamer have software bugs, it’s not matured like bluos. why dedicated streamer when you have nuc, where you can install Audirvāna and stream music from mobile, the other alternative is tidal/Spotify connect to chromecast audio( little difficult to get, but good one).
Hi thanks for your suggestion. Initiallly I thaoutht of using NUC as streamer using volumio. Later I found that the USB port of my NUC is very noisy and I was really disappointed. Thus I am no longer using it for music streaming rather for time being I am using my TV as music streamer using Spotify and Apple Music apps. I have connected my tv to the DAC using a Amazon basics optical cable. Here I found intermittent pause (slow down) in music signal which is really disappointing. Thus now looking to add a dedicated music streamer.
 

Manoj Kumar

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Purely from a SQ perspective i found the Zen Stream superior to streamers i have owned in the past (NODE/2i, Allo Digione Signature, Allo Usbridge, Paradigm PW Link). In terms of playback experience, I mainly use spotify and tidal connect and have not faced much issues other than minor hiccups once in a week or two where i need to restart the spotify/tidal app and very rarely the zen stream. If you use roon, then its much more smooth and works efficiently for local and tidal/qobuz.

Having owned the Bluesound NODE (2021) i still preferred the Zen Stream back then because of the USB out support which was yet to come to BluOS and coax of BluOS vs Coax too I preferred zen stream. Of course the app experience on Bluesound was way way better, however I play via playlist or let a discover album keep playing and have not faced any issues in similar use case with Zen Stream either and have faced many more issues with PlayFi for device detection.

Again this is a personal experience, some people have had bad experiences with Zen stream software and some say its a costly device for something running on volumio, the degree of tolerance varies individual to individual and of course even I do expect them to do something better in the UI/UX department for the amount being charged ( there are reports that they are working on an app , but again they are just reports). From my side the zen stream is a good device and whatever wizardry they have done with the device has had me captivated for a far longer time than most of the other streamers.
Hi fLUX, thanks for a detailed description about your experience with different streamers. Zen stream is really a good device wrt to its performance. However connectivity issue is a really problematic thing with this device. Therefore I am seeking more user opinions about this device.
 

Kannan

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I have not used the Zen streamer, but am a long time user of Digione Signature. It is a nuetral sounding transport with quite a low noise floor.
Jitter is well controlled, but that will also depend on your DAC.
It offer both BNC (superior) and phono (RCA) type SPDIF outputs.

Good value for money. Dual linear power supply is recommended or minimum a battery bank or LPS to power the digione board.
Various distros are available like picoreplayer/LMS, Volumio, MoODe etc. Soundwise all are close to one another.
I have been using MoOde for quite sometime.
 

MaSh

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I am using digione signature, recently upgraded from digione and have absolutely no issues with the signature. It sounds really good with my soekris dac. It is powered by allo Shanti. I have Volumio ver2 installed in it and airplay from an old iPhone. Shanti is connected to a ups and digione signature runs 24x7. There has not been a single crash in around 3 months which was a pleasant surprise.

My vote would be for the signature, it's vfm, sounds great, one can experiment with various OS and the best part the community is growing. So there are always tons of suggestions and help available if needed.

MaSh
 

Manoj Kumar

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Thank you Mr. Kannan and MaSh for your valuable feedback and user experience about digione signature. Its worth considering now to add this to my stereo setup.
 

Manoj Kumar

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I am planning to build the allo digione signature streamer by purchasing the RPI model 4b and the digione signature dac hat separately. As the pi board is available in three RAM configurations its difficult for me to choose the correct RAM version between 2, 4 and 8 Gb versions. So I need your suggestion in this matter.
 

Kannan

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I am planning to build the allo digione signature streamer by purchasing the RPI model 4b and the digione signature dac hat separately. As the pi board is available in three RAM configurations its difficult for me to choose the correct RAM version between 2, 4 and 8 Gb versions. So I need your suggestion in this matter.
if you look at the price differences, 4GB is good option.
 

fLUX

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Hi fLUX, thanks for a detailed description about your experience with different streamers. Zen stream is really a good device wrt to its performance. However connectivity issue is a really problematic thing with this device. Therefore I am seeking more user opinions about this device.

Makes sense , if you dont mind scourging through 1000s of comments then this is a good link for user opinions
 

Kannan

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Does the 4gb RAM is sufficient for the smooth running of the device with the available OS as well as playback from the local hard drive.
More than enough. It runs quite smoothly even in version 3b+ with 1GB RAM. I would recommend using an externally powered hard disk
 

mbhangui

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You shortlisted zen streamer and allo digione signature. I haven't used zen streamer or the allo digione signature. But have used other allo devices (allo usbridge signature, allo revoliution dac, allo piano dac, allo volt plus amp). The usbridge signature has a provision to attach the digione hat. But the underlying hardware is the RPI compute model. So if you use the RPI 4b, it is more than enough. Aso since you are using RPI, you can do almost anything because the underlying OS is linux. You can install any software be it spotify, mpd, airplay, logitech media server, etc. Zen streamer will restrict you to its own software/firmware. Also you are free to attach any dac tomorrow on the IO header port. You will be future proofed.

With my RPI4 based setup I'm able to
1. Play music in any room
2. Play spotify, airplay
3. Stream music to any TV in the house using LMS and chromecast plugin with the artwork.
4. Act as file server (SAMBA share) for all my mobile clients to play my music.
5. Control the music playback from any device (macbook, linux laptop, android phones, IOS devices ipod touch, ipad).
6. Can connect any USB dac to the RPI
7. Can also stream losless music of my local music files on http or https by configure /etc/mpd.conf
8. Control music using IR remote
...
 

Manoj Kumar

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You shortlisted zen streamer and allo digione signature. I haven't used zen streamer or the allo digione signature. But have used other allo devices (allo usbridge signature, allo revoliution dac, allo piano dac, allo volt plus amp). The usbridge signature has a provision to attach the digione hat. But the underlying hardware is the RPI compute model. So if you use the RPI 4b, it is more than enough. Aso since you are using RPI, you can do almost anything because the underlying OS is linux. You can install any software be it spotify, mpd, airplay, logitech media server, etc. Zen streamer will restrict you to its own software/firmware. Also you are free to attach any dac tomorrow on the IO header port. You will be future proofed.

With my RPI4 based setup I'm able to
1. Play music in any room
2. Play spotify, airplay
3. Stream music to any TV in the house using LMS and chromecast plugin with the artwork.
4. Act as file server (SAMBA share) for all my mobile clients to play my music.
5. Control the music playback from any device (macbook, linux laptop, android phones, IOS devices ipod touch, ipad).
6. Can connect any USB dac to the RPI
7. Can also stream losless music of my local music files on http or https by configure /etc/mpd.conf
8. Control music using IR remote
...
More than enough. It runs quite smoothly even in version 3b+ with 1GB RAM. I would recommend using an externally powered hard disk
Thank you for bringing out the advantages of the RPI-based streamer over the zen stream. Though Zen stream is a great product I am leaning towards an RPI-based streamer due to flexibility in choosing the OS and future-proofing. Just now placed an order for RPI 4b in robu.in and due to a backlog of previous orders it shows the shipment will start at the end of this month. Next will be ordering the digione signature DAC hat and Allo Shanti LPSU.
 

MaSh

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Thank you for bringing out the advantages of the RPI-based streamer over the zen stream. Though Zen stream is a great product I am leaning towards an RPI-based streamer due to flexibility in choosing the OS and future-proofing. Just now placed an order for RPI 4b in robu.in and due to a backlog of previous orders it shows the shipment will start at the end of this month. Next will be ordering the digione signature DAC hat and Allo Shanti LPSU.
That's great. Is the player variant not available which comes with pi, hat and case?


MaSh
 

Manoj Kumar

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That's great. Is the player variant not available which comes with pi, hat and case?


MaSh
I checked the availability on fabtolab.com and found that the product is out of stock. Also, there is no option for choosing the RPI model between 3b+ and 4b while choosing the product. Hence taken the route of buying separates.
 

Kannan

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Just now placed an order for RPI 4b in robu.in and due to a backlog of previous orders it shows the shipment will start at the end of this month.
Same with me also, but on WhatsApp they updated that stocks are expected only by May end.
 
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