Basic Allo question

I am confused if Allo sends one all inclusive kit?

I think what I want is:

  • DigiOne Player
  • Kali
  • Piano 2.1 DAC
  • Plus I want WiFi to start before I get ethernet sorted

Does that make sense or am I missing something?



DigiOne is for connecting Sparky board to an external DAC.
Piano 2.1 is a DAC.
Kali is a USB rejigger, so to speak. Goes before a DAC that’s a daughterboard on the main Sparky board…

You forgot Sparky, which is the main board needed for everything.
No ethernet, you’ll need a WiFI dongle.
You also need an OS. Most people use DietPi. Don’t forget to donate some payment for it.

Question #1 - Do you already have a DAC? If Yes, then -
Question #2 - Does your DAC use a USB input or some other interface?

Those answers will determine what Allo boards you want.

Oh, yeah, I remember you now. If you’re going to use the Meridian, then you probable want the USBridge bundle. Has everything you need except the WiFi dongle. If you don’t want to clean up the USB signal, then just Sparky or RPi for that matter.

Honestly, I’m not stalking you. Forgot about our prior conversation.:sunglasses:

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Just a couple of comments:

The DigiOne board works with RPi3, not the Sparky. The DigiOne Player is a complete, preassembled setup that includes the DigiOne board, an RPi3, a case, an SD card with an OS on it, and a PSU, so it’s pretty much a turnkey solution.

The other important thing is that the DigiOne is strictly for S/PDIF coax connections, so if you want to hook up a DAC via USB, it’s not for you.


Yeah, I think, if I understood the OP’s prior post, he want to use a Meridian. Which is USB, coax and optical. So, it looks like DigiOne Player for S/PDIF or Kali+Piano2.1 for USB. Right?

Unclear as to whether Kali+Piano2.1 works with RPi or just Sparky. ???

@RobOK, don’t give up. We can do this.

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Thanks all for the help!

You are right I have the Meridian Explorer2 and am using it on my laptop and for exploring MQA, but I don’t necessarily see that in the final solution for my home stereo. So in this thread I am thinking *new DAC. Sorry to open a new thread, but I was hoping this thread would clear up my Allo confusion while the other thread i was more open ended.

So why I get confused is one reply above says Sparky and one says RPi3!! (seriously i appreciate the help)

So back to my original post here… if DigiOne player has RPi3, SD card, PSU then I add Piano DAC and Kali for good luck, then isn’t that the right combo? :sunglasses:

No, can’t combine those.

Let’s settle one thing up front to cut down on the confusion.

You’re going to buy an external DAC and if so how do you want to connect? Most people by a DAC that uses USB, but there are also coax and optical connection choices, like your Meridian.

Answer what kind of DAC you want then we’ll take it from there.

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@xxx isn’t wrong, but looked at another way, if you want a DAC shield (also called a hat) rather than a standalone DAC, you could get the Kali + Piano bundle and then pair that with an RPi or a Sparky. In this scenario, you’ll need to flash the appropriate memory card with an OS, add in a power supply and a case (one that accommodates all these boards), and assemble everything.

The DigiOne board doesn’t fit into this scenario. The DigiOne Player is something you’d use to connect to a standalone DAC via coax S/PDIF.

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I’ve had these conversations with the OP in another post. At that time my impression was he was going to buy a Meridian (hence the suggestion of the Allo boards) and then, later, that he has a Meridian. I recommended a Schiit Modi Multibit and that’s where it was left. I don’t think DigiOne was mentioned, but maybe it was.

Before we can move on the OP needs to decide what kind of setup he wants. All in one like SBC+Piano+Kali. Or a new ‘external’ DAC like a Schiit, etc., and then what interface he wants.

Until then it’s just round and round, but as to the topic of this post - the combo he originally wanted won’t work.

I’ll be standing by, but after supper.:sunglasses:

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I am not trying to be difficult :wink: Hopefully i have cleared it up (in a post up above):

I want a Roon endpoint that initially is wireless but ultimately wired ethernet. I want a new DAC, it could be a SBC form factor or could be more traditional piece of kit. In this thread, I was trying to figure out an all-Allo solution just so i understood.

What I gather is I should get my own RPi3 and add a Piano 2.1 and Kali. And so my OP question here, does Allo have a full solution (Transport + DAC), sounds like the answer is no (which is fine, just trying to understand). (Where I went wrong is DigiOne is for an external or existing DAC, i get that now).

Now am i good?

As long as you’re comfortable dealing with all the bits and pieces, you should be fine.

AFAIK, you’re correct that Allo doesn’t currently offer a turnkey solution that includes SBC + DAC shield + reclocker.

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OK @RobOK, I’m back, my belly’s full and I’m less cranky. Here’s the way I see it -

I don’t think you want a DigiOne or DIgiOnePlayer. Yes, a DigiOnePlayer is a turnkey system as far as the transport portion of endpoint is concerned, but you still need to buy an external DAC, e.g. Meridian or Schiit or whatever. Said DAC needs to have a coax or optical interface. Keep in mind that coax can only handle 192k and optical usually only 96K files. It seems, in our price range, most people get a DAC with a USB interface.

Since you are starting, relatively speaking, from scratch my recommendation is still the Sparky+Piano2.1+Kali bundle. It has all you need for an endpoint, i.e. streamer, DAC, USB reclocker. Were I in your situation that would be my get-your-feet-wet choice. Yes, you’ll need a power supply, an sd card, and a case, but except for the DigiOnePLayer, you’ll need that for any setup. Don’t worry it’s much easier than it sounds. If you install DietPi OS (and you should) there are complete instructions on that website. It’s cake, really. Also you’ll need a WiFI dongle, but installing one using DietPi is trivial.

Last, if you want an external DAC, Schiit Modi Multibit handles all 3 connections that you might use, i.e. USB, coax, optical and gets stellar reviews. In this case get a DigiOnePayer bundle or a USBridge bundle depending on the interface you want to use.

Why Allo instead of Rpi. I consider Allo the better board for audio, as do others.

Yes, you’re basically right. The only real mistake you made was to conflate DigiOne with Piano+Kali and not include Sparky.

@orgel, does above sound coherent?

To be continued???

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Sparky has an ethernet port no? It’s for WiFi where you need a dongle.

Yes, that’s what I meant. That is, I meant the OP doesn’t have ethernet then he’ll need WiFI. Where you been, time to chime in.

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Ha just had breakky so my belly is full too.

I haven’t eaten yet, so I’ll turn it over to the fully nourished guys.

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Yeah… i totally followed everything you said and it now makes sense to me!!

Except tjhis…

Did you mean “Why Sparky instead of RPi?”

So then a possible option is:
Schiit Modi Multibit

Almost, but not quite. You’re conflating again.

Yes, i meant Sparky, but Piano and Schiit Modi are both DACs. So, it’s either the Sparky add in card, aka HAT, that is Piano or Schiit fed by a DIGIOnePLayer or a USBridge setup.

Roon core–>network (WiFi or ethernet)–>[Sparky+Piano2.1+Kali]–>amp/receiver etc.
Roon core–>network(WiFI or ethernet)–>DigiOnePlayer bundle or USBridge bundle–>DAC–>amp/receiver etc.

You see, it matters where you want your DAC. That’s really the major difference between the two choices.

The drinking lamp is lit. Soon, these discussions will be beyond my reach.:confounded:


Got it. Don’t know why I put two DACs in my last post!

Well put, thanks :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

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Sorry to jump in to this thread, but I’m looking at getting something for my son to use in his room, that he can access my music files from Roon. He has ethernet connection in his room, and has a CD player, which would connect via the RCA outputs of the Allo.

Originally I had looked at the Boss Player, but do you think it would be better for me to get the Vana Light 2.0 bundle

Thanks in advance.


Not sure how the CD player would fit into the setup. I don’t know what you mean by connecting CD player to Allo RCAs. Those RCAs are output to a preamp or amp or receiver.

Don’t have any Allo boards myself, but it looks like the only significant difference is that Vana uses a Sparky SBC instead of an RPi and has a USB signal cleaner upper. Do you need such a thing? Some say yes, but I’m beginning to wonder. Doesn’t hurt, anyway.