SPDIF Transport: Allo Digione or Allo Digione Signature Bundle (seeking opinions)

Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers

raghupb

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This thread is specifically to elicit opinions about
Allo Digione and/or Allo Digione Signature

My rig:
CCA (opt) or Laptop (USB) -> Parasound 200Pre (DAC out) -> Lyrita DHT (Preamp) -> AKSA (Pwr amp) -> KEF R300 + REL T9i
CCA (opt) or Laptop (USB) -> Parasound 200Pre (Preamp) -> Parasound 275v2 (Pwr amp) -> MA Radius 45 + REL T9i

The chromecast audio has been serving me as a streamer/casting unit for about 18 months now.
For what I paid (15 USD during closeout sale) it's a wonderful, nifty little thing.
The issue is sometimes it disappears from Google Home (not the network per se)
CC-4K also does this disappearing act, so it's Google Home that's the culprit.
Not really an issue, it is mildly annoying to switch off everything and do a reboot.

Now, the Parasound 200Pre has a COAX input (on the digital side of things) that's unused.
Been reading about SPDIF transports and Allo Digione/Signature keeps popping up quite often.
In Signature version there's dirty board and clean board (I have EE background, I understand the design principle)

The questions I have are:
- what's the best OS choice for streaming Spotify (Premium) & Amazon-Music (Prime bundle)?
- can it read a 2TB HDD and play music from FLAC/MP3/WAV?
- does it make sense to go in for the Signature version? (price difference is about 4-5K INR)
- is there a big difference Digione and Signature, if paired with Allo Shanti (as recommended)?
- no interest in their battery pack solution (not a practical solution for me)

So following my own mantra of Needs, Means, Opportunities
Need - may benefit from a SPDIF transport
Means - budget wise both units can get into my scope
Opportunities - locally available (actually cheaper in India :))

Your thoughts ....

Cheers,
Raghu
 

Kannan

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If budget is not a constrain go with the Signature. But it will need two power inputs, you can power the RPI side with any 5 volt 3 amp adapter and the clean side with a battery bank or a linear power supply.
Allo sells a LPS by the name of Shanthi which will power both the power inputs.

Regarding software there are multiple options like MoOde, Volumio, picoreplayer and more.

Amazon Music is not supported natively, but you can stream from your phone or laptop with either bluetooth or any systemwide streamer if you want to go via wifi.
Volumio paid version has native support for Tidal and Spotify, but Volumio has very poor library management.
You can also install LMS over picoplayer which my friend told me supports native plugins for Tidal Spotify and even YouTube.
 

raghupb

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If budget is not a constrain go with the Signature. But it will need two power inputs, you can power the RPI side with any 5 volt 3 amp adapter and the clean side with a battery bank or a linear power supply.
Allo sells a LPS by the name of Shanthi which will power both the power inputs.

Regarding software there are multiple options like MoOde, Volumio, picoreplayer and more.

Amazon Music is not supported natively, but you can stream from your phone or laptop with either bluetooth or any systemwide streamer if you want to go via wifi.
Volumio paid version has native support for Tidal and Spotify, but Volumio has very poor library management.
You can also install LMS over picoplayer which my friend told me supports native plugins for Tidal Spotify and even YouTube.
Thanks for the input @Kannan
If I decide on either unit, will opt for the LPS.
May get a chance to hear Digione out at a local FMs home, if/when all this Covid situation settles.

So for streaming, need some bubble-something-something, correct?

Cheers,
Raghu
 

surfatwork

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Allo digione is pretty good. Haven't heard the signature. Picoreplayer+LMS works very well. Plug-ins for most things including Spotify, YouTube, tidal etc.
 

Weathered

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I have Allo Usbridge running on Volumio with Shanti going to my USB dac. I stream Tidal with Volumio as a UPnP renderer using mConnect app which I found way better than Bubbleupnp for Tidal navigation/play. I've also connected a 500 GB USB HDD having my FLAC collection to Usbridge. I didn't find any major drawbacks with Volumio library management, though I downloaded an app called MALP to control the playback in Volumio for songs on HDD. This setup has replaced my earlier windows based laptop as source running Foobar (happy to get rid of laptop).

I'd suggest you go for Digione signature with Shanti and retain CCA for Amazon music playback or similar apps like Gaana etc. which can't be streamed to UPnP renderers like Volumio. Basically, eliminate the laptop from your chain, use Digione with your music collection & Tidal/Spotify streaming services.
 

raghupb

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Soooooo when you're ready to let go of your CCA, let me know ;)
A lot of people will be in for it!

If google could relaunch it, It would make a good business.

I have not yet decided to let go of CCA.
It is a very useful toy to have around in the system.
But if I do decide that its time will let you guys know.
I picked up 3 on sale and have installed them on 3 systems
1 in living room rig, 1 in my boy's room and 1 for my mum :)

Bubblepnp is one option. Else go with tuneblade or systemwideaudio
Allo digione is pretty good. Haven't heard the signature. Picoreplayer+LMS works very well. Plug-ins for most things including Spotify, YouTube, tidal etc.
I have Allo Usbridge running on Volumio with Shanti going to my USB dac. I stream Tidal with Volumio as a UPnP renderer using mConnect app which I found way better than Bubbleupnp for Tidal navigation/play. I've also connected a 500 GB USB HDD having my FLAC collection to Usbridge. I didn't find any major drawbacks with Volumio library management, though I downloaded an app called MALP to control the playback in Volumio for songs on HDD. This setup has replaced my earlier windows based laptop as source running Foobar (happy to get rid of laptop).

I'd suggest you go for Digione signature with Shanti and retain CCA for Amazon music playback or similar apps like Gaana etc. which can't be streamed to UPnP renderers like Volumio. Basically, eliminate the laptop from your chain, use Digione with your music collection & Tidal/Spotify streaming services.

Thanks for the clarifications @Kannan, @surfatwork, @Weathered.
Yeah the laptop is cumbersome, since I use it for work and I need music playing sometimes at the same time.
If/when I decide to pick it Digione Signature, will surely get in touch with you guys to guide me through it.
CCA can remain for the rest of the streaming services like Amazon/Gaana.
FM @MaSh said he has a Digione unit in his home. Hopefully will be able to try it out sometime soon.

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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Anshul_J

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I had recently upgraded from CCA to Allo Digione (non signature). Although the digione is better but I feel there are only subtle improvements.
Maybe my system is not that revealing or I don't have the ear(most likely), or just that the cca is that good. Try to get an audition before buying, and if you do go for it go for the signature version, Also the price difference is closer to 10k and add another 7-8k for shanti. Best of luck.
 

raghupb

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I had recently upgraded from CCA to Allo Digione (non signature). Although the digione is better but I feel there are only subtle improvements.
Maybe my system is not that revealing or I don't have the ear(most likely), or just that the cca is that good. Try to get an audition before buying, and if you do go for it go for the signature version, Also the price difference is closer to 10k and add another 7-8k for shanti. Best of luck.
Thanks @Anshul_J
I did a little more digging around on price.
This is what I have currently from FabToLab
Digione (default PS) - 11.5K INR
Digione (Shanti LPS) - 20.9K INR
Digione Signature (2 default PS) - 21.7K INR
Digione Signature (Shanti LPS) - 30.5K INR

Yes. There is something in 3 price ranges and 4 combos to choose from.
Curiously, Allo lists a cleaner SMPS called Nirvana on their Allo website.
This one is not available locally, at first glance.
Will have to call the dealer (FabToLab) and find out what other options are there for power supply.

Definitely will audition before committing.
I know the limitations and shortcomings of my setup.
My rig/room is nowhere perfect, so is are hearing abilities :)

Cheers,
Raghu
 

Anshul_J

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Digione now comes with the latest rpi4b, earlier it came with rpi3(older stock), just be careful if it matters to you.
 

Yogesh

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No Where Near to where I want to be yet...
I had recently upgraded from CCA to Allo Digione (non signature). Although the digione is better but I feel there are only subtle improvements.
Maybe my system is not that revealing or I don't have the ear(most likely), or just that the cca is that good. Try to get an audition before buying, and if you do go for it go for the signature version, Also the price difference is closer to 10k and add another 7-8k for shanti. Best of luck.

By any chance, You planning to get rid of CCA? ;)
 

venkatcr

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I have recently set up a player with the following:

1. Allo Boss 1.2
2. Allo Isolator 1.2
3. RPi3B with 1GB memory.
4. Standard power adapter recommended by Allo.

The Isolator has galvanic isolation and really protects the Boss from anything that happens in the RPi. Allo recommends that you don't power the RPi, and rather power the Boss and the Isolator. That way, the Isolator supplies power to the RPi and takes power from the Boss.

I have been constantly jumping between Volumio and Moode. Volumio did have some issues with library management. The version that was available about a month ago would take something like 2 hours to scan just 1000 files. Moode was lighting fast. Just day before I downloaded the latest version of Volumio, and it is also now lighting fast. I suspect he has switched to MySQL in the recent past.

Both software have issues with Wifi. If you can do it, the best would be a Ethernet cable. If you do use Wifi, few times they just wont connect. The best to do at such times is to just shut down the system, be patient and try after sometime. Like a fool, I reformatted the SD card thinking something had gone wrong with the installation. What really happens is that both software use the RPi's Wifi, and that is not too strong in terms of connectivity. I am thinking of fooling around with some antenna. Or if I can get an adapter that converts Wifi to Ethernet, that would be ideal.

In terms of sound quality, both are nearly identical and just out of the world. The sound stage, clarity and separation are unbelievable. Connected to the right amp and speaker combination, you really do have an audiophile system.

When you have to give 5V DC to an unit, I really am skeptical about all the Shanthi's and the Nirvana's. So I just went for the stock wall adapter recommended by Allo (some INR600), and they seem to work well. I would rather spend money on a good UPS and power conditioner so that all audio and video equipment are protected. That is exactly what I had done.

BTW, be careful of the connectors. Allo Boss and Isolator need type C while the adapter comes with a micro USB. RPi uses Micro USB.

Is there a sound difference between Moode and Volumio? Yes there is, but very difficult to define. One thing I did notice is the with Volumio, the sound volume changes from song to song. Maybe that is why they call it Volumio! Moode seems to balance the gain in a subtle manner. This could also be an issue with the song itself in terms of the gain used when it is recorded.

I still have to work on local networking, streaming, and BT transmission. But I do believe all these are very much possible.

BTW, all of Allo and its accessories are now made in India! Something we should all(o) be proud of.:D

Cheers.
 
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