I’m streaming Roon from a laptop through an ethernet extender directly into Kef LSX active speakers. Would plugging the ethernet cable into an Allo usbridge signature pi and then usb into Modi 3 dac to analog outputs into the Kef aux input be an improvement in audio quality? Seems like a good budget upgrade?
I’ve done a little reading and I suspect that your speakers are all digital. This means that the analogue output from the external DAC will be resampled by your speakers ADC and then out through their internal DAC after any DSP magic. Chaining conversions like this isn’t likely to sound better and it looks like the internal DACs unavoidable.
Yes, the internal dacs will resample what is sent from the analog outputs. I’m curious to hear if the Allo usbridge will make the diifference. It’s gotten some great reviews and the only way I know of to hear it is to put it through a dac and then into Kefs.
There seems very little point to it. The original USBridge was popular because of the interference between the Ethernet port and the USB ports on the original Pi 3 – it basically added another USB port to a Pi that wasn’t affected by using the Ethernet. But this isn’t a problem with the Pi 4. So to my mind it brings into question any reason for the existence of the USBridge Signature. Just use the USB port on a Pi 4.
My guess is you’ll hear no difference. The Modi 3 will do its job of reconstructing the analog waveform from the PCM sent from the USBridge; the A/D converter in the LSX will then resample it back into bits and send it to the LSX’s DAC chip, which will reconstruct the waveform again. You can only hope that the A/D conversion in the LSX is as good as the original mastering equipment that created the CD in the first place, and that the DAC chip in the LSX is as good as the one in the Modi 3. You’d be lucky not to get a degraded signal, but there will certainly be no improvement.
Thanks for the info. I just have a bad case of budget upgrade fever. I watched Hans B’s review of the Allo
and got hooked. So, putting an external streamer like the Node 2i as a Roon endpoint wouldn’t be better than direct streaming with Roon core on my laptop? Don’t get me wrong, the Kefs with Roon DSP sound great. Just got upgrade itch. Thanks for talking me off the ledge
Ah! Hans has that Teutonic stolidity thing going for him, but I’m not sure he knows what he’s talking about with respect to some things he talks about.
You know, John Atkinson reviewed the LSX speakers, and it was a pretty glowing review. The whole point to them is that everything is integrated; you don’t need all the outboard electronics.
I put the KEF speakers on the same beads of Blu-Tack on the same 24"-high Sound Anchor stands the LS50s had occupied, 5’ apart and 29" from the front wall. Instantly, six heavy black boxes, two turntables, an expensive DAC, and a suitcase full of audiophile wires, all became useless—and the point of wireless audio became totally clear. That whole junkyard mess of steel, copper, sharp points, and dust balls could now be replaced
From an engineering viewpoint, this is ideal, because now each piece can be tailored and fitted to support all the other pieces – there’s no mix and match that has to be allowed for.
If you’re talking about streaming to the KEF LSX speakers, I think that would be the case. You’ve already got everything else you need, right there in the speakers. You might consider buying a separate small computer to dedicate to running the Roon Core, but you don’t need to.
If you really want to fiddle with separates, you’re going to need to buy passive speakers, I think.
Sir, you make a lot of sense. Damn! https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OGC.05260debbef066a5d7607b95ba0b50f7&pid=Api&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.giphy.com%2Fmedia%2Fqc3KYJ3ZfK8fu%2Fgiphy.gif&ehk=nV%2FED87yyeqJTEpc59qjzkiqEpbG%2ByP05Vugy8vpFXc%3D
One more thought- I really just want to try Allo as a streamer. Do you think it’s possible to run the USB
out from the Allo into my Schiit Eitr that converts signal to spdf and then run a coax into the LSX and use the internal DACs. Would there be an improvement that way?
Every time you transform the signal, you run the risk of screwing it up. So what you’re doing is just feeding the digital signal through (1) Ethernet to the Allo, (2) USB to the Eitr, (3) S/PDIF to the LSX, where you could be just doing (1) Ethernet to the LSX. So no, I don’t see how there could possibly be an improvement.
OK, thanks for the quick reply. I guess I’m done. Appreciate your help!