Does the Allo DigiOne Signature or All USBridge Signature Provide Better SQ

Have to say I’m blown away by the USB from the Pi4, I’ve had a Auralic Mini for a while now so well used to its USB output into my Mojo DAC, but the Pi4 simply let’s more through - the old veil lifted effect I suppose for want of a better phrase! I spent a long while making sure I wasn’t just listing to hardness or hash misinterpreted as detail, but no, the outlining and multi-stranded information is astonishing. Having said that, a bad recording quickly becomes unlistenable, but swapping the Mini for the Pi4 backwards and forwards on harsh tracks shows the issue is there in both cases.

Having said all that I am going to try a HAT board to check the Mojo’s other inputs as well, for those prices you would be daft not to play! :blush:

PS. The HiFiBerry article obviously plays up the need for a HAT still, understandably.

RME ADI-2 also is known for how clean it’s USB in is…I only suffered mild ground hum to PC at loud volumes but iFi Defender 3 cleaned that up.
My next step is to try an Allo USBridge Sig which is why I am lurking here.

Anyone have one connected to a RME ADI-2

Cheers

Must add to this Digital over Coaxial SPIF does get affected by cables and transports by power supplies. If you can’t hear it check resolution of your system. This is discussed at length on many sites that would explain much better than I.

Most agree Digital over Coaxial SPIF is better than Optical SPDIF. Optical is handy for breaking ground loop from PC or MAC to DAC…

Until recently I thought Digital over Coaxial SPDIF was the best. I have listened and discovered USB with Asio Native drivers and now am interested in remaining open minded and try the Allo USBridge sig over the PC. As mentioned for me the Pi 4 was a fail in comparison already and it was powered by Same PS as Allo Digione sig was. Which still comes quite close in sound with high bit rate PCM but Native USB pulls ahead on DSD.

The beauty of it is everyone is entitled to their opinion and just wanted to express another.

3 posts were split to a new topic: US Bridge issue

Other related question :slight_smile:

UltraRendu versus USBridge signature.

Any experiences?

Thank you

I have both and they both sound great.

Also they both should be used differently. The AlloDigi Sig strengths are in its SPDIF output while the USBridge Sig strengths are in its USB output.

While it is possible to add a AlloDigi to the USBridge it would not make sense to bypass all the tech put into clean USB output.

The RPi module for the USBridge = a RPi3 therefore the RPi portion does not bring any advantages.

Hi,
I would like to consult, I’m at the beginning and I got to Allo products. I try to break it all down and understand, so I’ll ask for patience if my questions are naive.
I decide between:
ALLO DIGIONE SIGNATURE and ALLO USBRIDGE SIGNATURE.
I own a Hegel H120. It has inputs USB, coax, optics, DLNA (no wifi, only ethernet) Hegel does not do DSD.
Optics, coax and DLNA work until 24/192. USB works until 24/96.
I don’t have Roon yet.
Which of the following would be more suitable for Hegel? The music source is Flac from HDD and tidal hifi at the same time?
There is also the option to purchase together as the ALLO USBRIDGE SIGNATURE set in the MATRIX X-SPDIF 2 USB combination.
But that’s another almost € 400 up.
Digi ONE works until 24/192.
USB BRIDGE works up to PCM32 / 768 and DSD512.
What is important, please? What data and parameters? What to follow and what is decisive when choosing?
Thank you for every answer.

It’s a shame that Hegel isn’t on-board with Roon as yet since your H120 has a network input and could be an endpoint in its own right.

As to the question at hand: I’m sure that there are others in this community better placed to answer than me since I don’t own any Allo products but the USB Bridge Signature player is a bit cheaper and does support higher resolution PCM and DSD. Although from what you’ve said, the USB input only permits up to 24/96 which is odd, because normally the USB inputs of DACs tend to support higher sample rates than Coax/Optical.

I suppose it’s a question of how important it is to be able to play files with a higher resolution than 24/96…

Stick with your Digione Sig with a Pi3b focus on clean power or wait to see how your Hegel will sound with Roon.
I had clean power then upgraded the Pi3b to a Usbridge Sig adding my DigiOne Sig to it instead, no sound difference when connected Coax.
The USB side of USBridge sig would improve sound quality when connected USB vs Pi3b with USB doubt it would sound much better than COAX input. The only reason my present DAC isn’t connected to COAX is via USB it can do up to 32bit/384 and DSD 256. With COAX 24/192 DSD64.

Per chart below your DAC is limited on USB to 24/96 and supports 24/192 on Coax so would stick with that connection being higher quality.
https://support.hegel.com/product-articles/product-comparison-chart#h120

BTW USBridge Sig vs Pi4b the sound quality difference was minimal using VitOS on 4b, compared to Allo’s version of DietPi which couldn’t be updated at time.

The DAC for testing was RME ADI-2

I tested the Allo USB Bridge + Shanti against a MacBookPro, turns out that the MacBookPro sounds better, the Allo adds some colorations I don’t like, yes the Allo could provide more air to the recordings at the expense of ruin the treble by removing the crispiness, also adds midrange coloration and calm down the sound a bit.

The MacBookPro doesn’t add nor remove anything from the original sound, so the MacBookPro wins hands down. If you like the colorations I mentioned or think those colorations can improve your audio equipment so go get the Allo.

Currently have a Signature one plus on a pi4 running via a Chord Signature tuned array cable (I know the cable costs more than the pi set up) this plugs into an Audio lab Mdac +, then via Chord signature tuned array balance cables into a Massdrop THX AAA 789 headphone amp, then on to a pair of Hi-Fi Man he 650 she’s.
Music arrives from a Melco N1A via Ethernet (Melco’ S cat 7) via an Intel I7 Rock. All power from a PS Audio p5, Furutech power cables.
Okay seems over kill to just use the pi set up, but it shows how good it can be, even against an Auralic Aries at 4x the price.
The above is extremely to some, just my headphone set up, but the main set up Kef reference, Devialet 400, secondary Boenicke W8’s Meridian G57 plus much much more.
So for me currently the pi4/signature one set up stays until I find better.

I have experimented lots with transport, and in my experience USB from computer adds an edginess to the sound, especially for the treble. A good transport won’t add or remove anything. In your case its not that Allo colors the sound, its the MacBook that colors the sound but you are probably used to it so it feels like you miss something when using a quality transport.

If you look at it from a technical perspective, a transport don’t change the bits, so both a transport and a MacBook will send bit-perfect data. What a good transport does though is remove electronic noise that affects the sound, and if not removed it will color the sound.

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I think edginess could come from the DAC or the amplifier not necessarily from the transport, crispiness is not equal to edginess, if you have heard a drum kit in real life you will find the cymbals have some crispiness to it, well the Allo seems to darken o soften too much that the treble could sound subdued on many recordings, I don’t use any EQ’s, I like to listen to the real stuff recorded without any manipulation, I don’t find any edginess on my audio equipment with the MacBookPro, I’m using a USB Audioquest Carbon cable to my DAC.

Adding some air to the recordings doesn’t mean a transport is better than another, I could add some air to my recordings by using an EQ and raising the 16Khz slider way up, you need to listen to individual instruments, timbre and dynamics. But I get the point that we all listen differently.

What computers have you experimented with, Windows based computers are well known for generating a lot of noise, the MacBookPro I’m using have SSD and a USB Audioquest Carbon cable, I don’t get either any edginess nor any noise, I get a very clean signal.

Well, lets put it this way: if you do get a difference between a good transport and a PC, its because the PC sends more electronic noise (a slight simplification since the clock for the USB protocol also matters, and Allo has a good clock).

About edginess: you described the Allo sounding more soft which is what happens when the edginess is removed.

I think hi-fi gear should focus on recreating the real timbre of instruments, not to soften or cut out the excess from the original music, if the track has been recorded poorly a good hi-fi system should show it as it is, I know of many audiophiles looking for sweet and soft highs and there exist gear that create that coloration, but my approach is to get the real thing, I don’t fully buy the argument that soft highs mean clean digital signal.

My DAC has an internal clock that ditches the one coming from my computer, so I already have a clean clock signal.

For asynchronous USB, your DAC reclocks the PCM/DSD signals (44.1/48 and multiplies) but the USB protocol clock for the sender also matters, which is 24Mhz. The purpose of a transport is to give the DAC a well clocked signal free of any electronic noise. This is not 100% possible, but the closer you get the more transparent sound.

I don’t use an Allo myself, but I am 100% confident that it will give a better clocked signal with less electronic noise than an MacBookPro’s. However, depending on system and preferences, electronic noise can give a subjective better sound (but not more transparent).

@Magnus, thank you for your input, I know your are a knowledgeable person, I’m running Roon Bridge on the MacBookPro and on the Allo, besides the accuracy of the clocks maybe the difference I’m perceiving is also due to Roon, perhaps there is a mild difference between the Roon version for Mac and Dietpi.

I know of an amplifier that sounds bright and has a sharp timbre that could benefit from the calmer sound of the Allo, I think in the end it all boils down to personal taste and synergy.

Also I have yet to test another software like Volumio, squeezebox etc. to compare against the Mac

No problems, its important to remember that you should use the equipment you think sounds best. Transparent sound is not always the “best”, just look at all the tube users which adds a lot of distortion as so called harmonics.

Speaking of tubes, I am considering adding some tube to my setup as well, its a little to clean and clinical sounding right now (I have gone to great lengths to isolate my HiFi from mains grid and network with LiFePo4 batteries and fiber).

My own experience with a 2012 MacBook Pro is that, most often, a network endpoint can sound more like natural, well-recorded voices and acoustic instruments than a directly connected usb dac. I have tried Audioquest Cobalt, Meridian Explorer, iFi Black Label and S.M.S.L. dacs so far. Players include Roon, Audirvana and, very occasionally, iTunes.

I prefer listening to either the Allo DigiOne Signature (running DietPi) or Meridian 218 as endpoints on my local network feeding Meridian active speakers with SPDIF and AES/EBU inputs. I also own the original DigiOne and USBridge products, which I still consider excellent value for the money, but have not experimented with any endpoints costing more than $1,000 such as Auralic, Mytech or naim.

It’s only when I am traveling with the laptop that I rely on usb to the Cobalt dac for my more portable Audioengine powered speakers or Audeze LCD-X headphones these days.

I hope today’s feedback is useful for others exploring this particular corner of audiophilia.

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