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Volumio player + Allo Sparky

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Kannan

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Which do you prefer? Does the USBridge resolve better due to the higher sample rate?
The USBridge is a bit more on the warmer side wherein the digione us more neutral. But since I use the same DAC, it could be that difference possibly. I am happier with the USBridge though I am restricted to only ethernet interface as the Allo tweaked RPI board is minimalistic.
Again digione over the USBRidge board is a little better over the RPI board to my ears.
Another advantage of USBridge is that it just needs a single supply.
 

haisaikat

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I have had issues similar to @jls001 on my USBridge. There were nightmarish crashes when I was using a local hard disk. I have since moved to an NAS connected via wired Ethernet and there have been no crashes thereafter. However, Volumio sometimes forgets the existence of a music library and needs to be updated all over again.

Bughead had been too cumbersome as an audio player so I had reverted to using foobar till I stopped using PC as player. Now I use Volumio player on an Allo Sparky. Audio quality is very good (better than my highly tweaked PC+player) but it is also buggy (inexplicable lost connection to NAS despite using wired Ethernet, and very slow library update due to the low horsepower of the processor) but one doesn't have to through the "rituals" of Bughead.

These issues are gone with the latest builds and to let you know that having tested a Allo USB + Sparky side by side of a Allo Digione + RPI3, the later option had below advantages
  1. RPI is 3 -4 times faster than Sparky in finishing the library scan
  2. Digione (not the signature one) sounded better to me than the USB Bridge
  3. You can change a variety of OS options
  4. The age old volumio image on the Sparky has the following issues
    1. hangs or halts library scanning if it meets a filename it cannot digest
    2. does not support TIDAL plugin
Lastly the issue with forgetting library happens in my observation mostly when you did not allow adequate time between powering up your network share so that it is "up and available" before volumio on startup checks the network shares, if this check fails you see a red cross against the shares in volumio settings. However I have seen that with Windows 7 based shares this is a regular problem but with windows 10 it is less, may be just me.

And lastly, yes these tiny SBCs outperform costlier PC based setup for audio players, I realized this 7 - 8 years back when I switched to Rpi1 + RuneAudio combination, for its time, RuneAudio was way ahead in features than the competitors, their later versions were buggy though. However even on date had volumio was not the only option for TIDAL plugin (very costly though) I might have stayed with RuneAudio or for that matter Moode.
 

navin advani

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These issues are gone with the latest builds and to let you know that having tested a Allo USB + Sparky side by side of a Allo Digione + RPI3, the later option had below advantages
  1. RPI is 3 -4 times faster than Sparky in finishing the library scan
  2. Digione (not the signature one) sounded better to me than the USB Bridge
  3. You can change a variety of OS options
  4. The age old volumio image on the Sparky has the following issues
    1. hangs or halts library scanning if it meets a filename it cannot digest
    2. does not support TIDAL plugin
Lastly the issue with forgetting library happens in my observation mostly when you did not allow adequate time between powering up your network share

Have you compared the RPi 3 and 4 with the USBridge Signature?

I am thinking of using the USBridge Signature with a Pi2AES transport. The idea is to take the HDMI (I2S LVDS) output from the Pi2AES and feed that to the I2S LVDS input of a DAC (there are several that can do this including the Gustard X16, Topping D70s, etc.).

The challenge I have is to decode MQA files in the USBridge so that the DAC can render the same. Typically (at least the Gustard and Topping) can only render MQA via the II2/LVDS input. They can, however, decode and render via the USB (X216) input but I intend to keep the USB input free (with a cable connected) for use with my laptop should the occasion arise. This way I save myself the trouble of going behind the DAC each time I need to switch inputs (between streamer and laptop) to the DAC.

I am not too PC or software literate hence any help would be much appreciated.
 

haisaikat

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The challenge I have is to decode MQA files in the USBridge so that the DAC can render the same. Typically (at least the Gustard and Topping) can only render MQA via the II2/LVDS input. They can, however, decode and render via the USB (X216) input but I intend to keep the USB input free (with a cable connected) for use with my laptop should the occasion arise. This way I save myself the trouble of going behind the DAC each time I need to switch inputs (between streamer and laptop) to the DAC.

My experience of dealing with RPI and open source OS based on it for several years w.r.t Audiophilia tells me that if USB is the intended (by developer) as the primary channel we should make use of that, there is a high possiblity that across other type of terminals there may be a downgrade of sampling / bit rate even if that works out to be an option. Again no way to be certain unless you try that out.

Have you compared the RPi 3 and 4 with the USBridge Signature?

No. I have not had the opportunity to do that.
 

rrunner

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Will Allo Sparky alone works well as a streamer for a USB dac interface say like the khadas tone board. Which is the current best software image that can handle Tidal and apple music playback on the sparky.
 
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