Can I Do Better Than The HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro?

(Lloyd Borrett) #1

G’day,

I have a Raspberry Pi 3B with HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro, Steel case, and 16 GB memory card coming. The intention is to run RoPieee OS to create a RoonBridge. RCA output into a NAD 3020e stereo amp.

Most of my music will be coming from 16/44 FLAC files.

I have at least one, maybe two, other stereo systems I’d like a similar RaspberryPi based solution for. All need to have RCA output.

Should I stick with the HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro add-on board, or are there better solutions you think I should consider?

If so, what makes them better?

It would be nice to add a 7 inch Raspberry Pi Official Touch Screen to at least one of these setups. I believe RoPieee already supports this option.

Does anyone know of a good case that can house the screen, the RasberryPi 3B, plus the DAC board as a single unit?

Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.

#2

While I can’t speak to the touchscreen addon, I’ve been very happy with the above setup, in both the RP3 + HifiBerry DAC and RP3 + HifiBerry Digi+ combinations. RoPieee is really cool, but keep DietPi in mind if you’d like to include AirPlay or other server functionality. In my case, I run a minimal DietPi installation with wifi disabled, and the OS serves up both a Roon and AirPlay endpoint.

2 Likes
(Greg Guillot) #3

The HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro seems to be highly rated for an all-inclusive solution. I think you’d have to go to discrete components to do any better (ie: DigiOne with separate DAC.) Check out Hans Beekhuyzen’s reviews - I found them invaluable. I have the HifiBerry Dac+ Pro and also the Allo Digione with several different DAC’s and both are very good solutions.

1 Like
#4

Here’s a list of all the RPi Audio HATs / add on boards I made https://www.tech-knowhow.com/2017/06/raspberry-pi-audio-hats-hardware-attached-top-definitive-list/ if you find any more I would be happy to add them. I’ve been wondering about the Collybia/Mamboberry board.

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(Kevin Ketterle) #5

Personally I am very happy with the AUDIOPHONICS DAC I-Sabre ES9028Q2M, together with a linear power supply.

(Lloyd Borrett) #6

G’day,

I’ve decided to try an Audiophonics RaspTouch I-Sabre ES9028Q2M KALI Streamer Touch with Volume Control for my 2nd RaspberryPi based unit.

An all-in-one solution to adding the touch screen functionality. It will be interesting to compare the sound quality with the HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro.

I haven’t looked into what software will be required, but I suspect there will be something else available if RoPieee can’t do the job.

Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.

(Greg Guillot) #7

Wow - that is a comprehensive list. Thanks for sharing!

#8

Please do post back your experience of this when you have it setup - looks great!

(Lloyd Borrett) #9

Audiophonics contacted me today to say the unit isn’t available because a supplier has told them a component will not be available for an indefinite period. Now I have to come up with an alternative.

(Andrew Callum) #10

Have a look at the Allo Boss DAC. We have one in my daughter’s system. I think it sounds great. We have a number of RPi based systems (HifiBerry Amp+, Allo DigiOne, etc) and her system sounds as good as the HifiBerry ones.

1 Like
(Lloyd Borrett) #11

G’day,

I’ve been told my order for an ‘Audiophonics RaspTouch I-Sabre ES9028Q2M KALI - Streamer Touch with Volume Control’ can’t be fulfilled because they can’t source a component. I haven’t been told what component is not available.

Their web site says they have the ‘RaspTouch I-Sabre ES9028Q2M - Streamer Touch with Volume Control’ in stock. One would think they could just provide me with that plus a separate KALI board so that I end up with the same thing.

Alternatively, maybe I could achieve a different RaspTouch solution using a different DAC board.

Has anyone tried putting together a ‘RaspTouch Chassis / Accessories and Touchscreen 7" Kit DIY Black’ with an Allo Boss DAC and a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B? Could they work together and give me a similar solution? I don’t really need the volume control.

I like the re-clocking that the Allo Boss and Kali provide to the total solution. However, I’ve been told the Allo Kali reclocker will not pass DSD. So using the Allo Boss DAC might be a better way forward.

I like the RaspTouch combined touch screen and case. Does anyone know of a different case that will nicely house the touch screen, Raspberry Pi and an Allo Boss DAC board?

I’m planning to run RoPieee to deliver up my FLAC music files via units like these to possibly four different sound systems.

Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.

(Henrik Richter Schie) #12

I was close to hitting the order button on the HiFiBerry when I read about the Allo Boss DAC, and now I’m not so sure. Possibly leaning towards the Allo Boss, but have anybody tried both and can compare?

(Lloyd Borrett) #13

G’day,

I’ve been told by Audiophonics that you can fit a RPi plus an Allo Boss into an Audiophonics RaspTouch chassis, but you have to manually route the Boss RCA output to the RaspTouch rear panel. So that could be an interesting option.

I’ve been told the Audiophonics RaspTouch I-Sabre ES9028Q2M KALI Streamer Touch with Volume Control combination isn’t available because they’re having problems sourcing a part, but I haven’t been given an ETA.

Doing some online reading I get the impression that the Allo Boss DAC 1.2 is better than the HiBerry DAC+ Pro. But that the Audiophonics I-Sabre DAC ES9028Q2M is better than either of them. Adding the Allo Kali improves the I-Sabre DAC ES9028Q2M, but you trade that off against not being able to do DSD.

I don’t know if not being able to do DSD is a permanent hardware limitation, or a software one that might be fixed by a later software update.

Of course, factors like how you power the units can have a big impact on the results. Powering the DACs via the RPi isn’t good. Powering the RPi from the DAC is sometimes a better option. Powering the RPi and DAC separately is better again. And using a good linear power supply is best.

I’ve seen that having the touch screen in the mix can also introduce SQ issues. As always it’s a trade-off between functionality and sound quality.

And just when you think you’ve worked out the best setup, someone will come out with something better again. :slight_smile:

Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.

(Christian Lagman) #14

I am using ALLO Boss with RPI2 and am very happy with it. I actually prefer the sound of the ALLO Boss compared to my Bluesound Node. It’s amazing what you can get for $100 PI and ALLO Boss combo. I also upgraded to an iFi power supply as well.

I will be trying DigiOne soon along with a Schiit Modi 3.

(Staatskapelle) #15

Greg - do you prefer the HifiBerry or the Allo?

(Greg Guillot) #16

It’s kind of like comparing apples and oranges. The HifiBerry Dac+ Pro makes a great all in one solution, but using the DigiOne with a high quality DAC provides much better sound quality. I have the DigiOne Signature paired with the Schiit Yggdrasil DAC and it is a terrific combination, although probably 10x the cost of the HifiBerry solution.

(Leo Ayzenshtat) #17

This list is missing Orchard Audio’s PecanPi™ products.