As soon as you start factoring in, say, four power supplies for the different stages the value proposition would need retesting against more conventional DACs.
Not to 2nd guess Allo but going from a single to 4 x PSU’s, it’s possible you’re adding more potential for ground/leakage current loops. Also more potential for adding more mains RF with more PSU’s. There’s no free lunch with anything in this fun hobby of ours.
That’s all a rather long way of saying, I’m sure the Katana Player will sound really nice with just a single PSU. I’ve been impressed with a lot of the Allo stuff. I’ve tried most of it myself already and will probably take Katana for a spin at some point.
Linking the Roon Setup guide for the Katana and DietPi published by Allo.
The excellent Ropieee Beginners Guide is also available.
My first impressions of the Katana DAC running on Ropiee are very poor. Absolutely no bottom end. Allo has contacted me to let me know that all the units initially sold are being upgraded at n/c to Katana 1.2 which involves new super capacitors…not certain if this is germane to the lack of low end. Sound was very detailed, fatiguing and shrill. Burning in over the weekend to see if this helps.
Note that I am using 3 PSU
Give it a week of solid use and then listen critically. Out of the box a lot of components sound crap but improve. What is the rest of your setup?
Hans Beekhuyzen just reviewed the Katana. He discusses various ways of powering the device. He believes that the 3 PSU arrangement sounds inferior to the alternatives. You might listen to what he found with various PSU configurations.
I’d like to see an honest comparison between the Katana and the Boss. Does the Katana sound noticeably better? And even if, is it worth messing with three or four power supplies? This whole setup seems overcomplicated and silly.
The Boss sounds great and can be run with a single power supply – two if you want to power it separately from the Pi. I never did that and it always sounded good to me.
I haven’t rewatched it but I seem to remember he said it sounded better with three power supplies but only if they were good ones like his sboosters. Of course my memory may be failing.
Wasn’t one of his best reviews.
Not a good start for the Katana is it. If it is reliant on a specific combination of PSUs to get it to sound good then it is a really poor design. Even then, consensus on what is the ‘best’ configuration will take quite a while to form (and could be system specific or contradictory). If Allo keep releasing new versions to combat perceived issues, it will get even more interesting…
Given its cost, plus that of four ‘decent’ PSUs (plus your time, trouble and endlessly worrying if you have the right combination of components), what sort of price level DAC is it aiming to sound better than?
Relax guys, give them the opportunity to sort their issues. And stop hanging off every word of a reviewer. Who has 3 or 4 top quality linear supplies??!! The answer is virtually no one so don’t fret.
Henry, I’m running the Katana with 3 ifi 5v PSUs. In my other Allo gear this PSU does a wonderful job. From what I read on the Allo site the Katana is “trimmed” by them at the factory(there are a number of blue pots with screws). I heard no low end, had to check if my sub was turned on, it was… but hardly moving. Turning up the volume on the Sub gave me nothing, as if it was not getting much of a signal. It’s very discouraging, sadly this product seems not yet ready for Prime time. If I do get it to output descent sound I’ll be happy to rave about it.
our Katana is undergoing a change in filtering on the output. On some speakers the sound is very good, on smaller speakers we have found it a bit fatiguing . So we spoke to Ess Sabre and they advised on some changes.
We tried to contact every single customer and advise them about changes and the fact that a new unit will be sent to them
Still the fact that you dont have “low end” point to the fact that your unit has some other problem as Katana delivers an excellent bass
Please give us a few more days .
Thank you Johan, I’ll wait a few days, in the meantime unit is running to burn in.
I will play with the jumpers and move to 2 PSU to see if under any of the PSU configurations I get low end.
going from 3 to 2 PSU should not change anything . Katana has excellent bass better than Boss.
Maybe its an issue with jumpers but I would rather think its something else in your analog stage.
Send us an email and we will offer you a free isolator as well with your new Katana.
Thanks Johan @allo.com for your continuing support when issues arise with your products. It’s one of the reasons I’m pleased to recommend Allo. Interested to see how the new unit sounds for Mark.
we apreciate the support and kind words.
Frankly its all about the customers especially when our unit does not perform to the level it was designed for.
Katana 1.2 is undergoing major testing on SQ and so far we are pleased. Still we sent units to a few reviewers to make sure that they hear the same thing . We will not rush it and everyone that placed an order with us will receive some free gifts (like isolators) as an apology
An interesting thread over on ASR, with contributions from Allo:
Johan, My Katana has been powered up and burning in for more than a week now with music streaming to it but no RCA outs connected. Just connected l and R to amp and heard static filled music. Repowered all three PSU simultaneously…unit now not showing up on network nor in Roon. Very Sad outcome. You asked me to wait a few days, how many is a few?
regarding THD+N , we found that 2 PSUs are enough (uController power and RPI power)
We are still doing tests on SQ , I would say less then a week to finalize.
Independent review of Katana with full measurements .