Best PI DAC? Looking at sound quality

(David Melvin) #1

I appreciate this is very subjective, what is the best PI DAC?

Im currently using a Allo digi+, feeding into my coax input of my Onkyo tx8150…i fully understand that im now using my buikt in DAC…

It sounds ok, but very flat, and underwhelming.

I have previously used the Allo boss, original… this was good, and wish i still had this… also the IQ audio.

I welcome opinion, as im in the market, so to speak.

Thanks for an awesome community on here btw

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(Philo Melos) #2

There are a lot!
One I’m gonna try is this one: Orchard Pecan Pi It’s a streamer and DAC in one, but also available as a only dac version. The maker Orchard_Audio is also on this forum.

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(J. de Hond) #3


DDDAC, , 1794 with Kali reclocker and i2s link to raspberry and Moode audio. Some attention to the power supplies and you have a great sounding set.

(thomas clark) #4

You know anyone who has this?

I’m looking for a better sounding DAC myself .

What have u heard about this?

(J. de Hond) #5

I use this combination. Sounds better than my Antilope dac.

(Philo Melos) #6

No, but I think for the price the streamer/dac can’t be wrong. You can read about it here on Roon in this topic.

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(Leo Ayzenshtat) #7

Here is a review that just got published:

(thomas clark) #8


I just ordered 1

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(David Melvin) #9

Not impressed with the sponsered answer :neutral_face:,

I went with the Khadas Tone Board, fed by the output of my Allo Digi plus… Both fed from a big Anker USB battery.

The Khadas definitely lives up to all the hype… Unbelievable detail, and clearly defined bottom end…

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #10

I am not sure what you mean by sponsored answer, my policy is that I do not pay for or give away equipment for reviews.

(David Melvin) #11

A manufacturer answering my question :wink:

(Steve Mato) #12

Well then I’ll answer. I don’t have the PecanPi DAC. But I do have Orchard Audio’s previous ApplePi DAC and I’ll stand by his product.

Also of note …

  • I own the Allo Boss and I agree it gives excellent results. But my subjective opinion is the ApplePi out performs it in detail and musicality.
  • I do not own an Allo Katana but I plan to purchase one eventually and it is #1 on my list for ‘next DAC’.
  • there are many more candidates on my radar for #2 and after. But I bet you know about them too. Plus as I don’t have personal experience yet, naming them wouldn’t be worth anything.

The website has tested a few RPi DACs. And I know that the backlog of DACs the site owner plans to eventually test is quite long. So I keep going back to the site to check if any have been added.

Edit: as the Tone Board is a big deal there, you probably already know about the site immediately above. But I’ll keep the info here In case you do not; and for the benefit of others coming along.

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(Michael) #13

Let me chime in as well… I had the opportunity to listen to the PecanPi Streamer for about a week… My writeup here:

Caveat: I’m not that familiar with DACs for the Raspberry PI, but I am quite familiar with numerous different quality DACs and the DAC HAT in the PecanPi Streamer sounds amazing and specs out top of class.

And @Steve_Mato - thanks for the reference to the ASR index of reviews!

(Steve Mato) #14

You’re very welcome. It seems the site owner is a bit behind updating it tho. So I often go back in the site hierarchy and navigate to the DAC or Amp sections directly. Often finding some recent additions there, not yet in the master list.

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #15

The PecanPi DAC is essentially the ApplePi DAC and Volume-Clocker combined together + a headphone output.

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(Michael Grant) #16

Another vote for the Khadas Tone Board. Absolutely fantastic sound and separation. I built a case for it using the DIY Guide over at ASR. Punches above it’s weight for sure and is very close to my $1000 RME ADI-2 DAC.

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(David Melvin) #17

Im looking to laser cut a custom case for mine :wink: stay tuned !

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #18

Another great write-up and win for PecanPi: