New Allo USBridge SIG - is it Roon Ready?

I have an Allo USBridge Sig, Shanti LPS with Ropieee running + NUC 7i5. Sounds very good.

I heard very little difference (if any) between a budget USB cable and an expensive $150 USB cable. Let me know if the Cinnamon does.

Thanks for the reply Derek. I agree, hearing differences in cables is a subtle thing at best if at all.

When I asked my expert friend if a generic USB cable would be adequate his reply was:

“An audio USB cable will have much tighter tolerances around the 45Ω termination impedance at each end, which is important to minimize transmission reflections within the cable. It will usually have better shielding to minimize noise transfer from the data lines to the 5V power in the cable. For your DAC, AudioQuest Cinnamon or iFi Audio Mercury3.0 Type-B should be great.”

I just hope I can discern a difference with the Allo Bridge - Sig-Shanti in the chain as opposed to a direct USB connection from my Roon core PC to my Brooklyn DAC. To me, my current, sub optimal direct connection, sounds really good already. We’ll soon see.

One of the issues with all of this is where does one stop…if you hear a good positive difference do you decide to sell that and move ‘theoretically’ up to something meant to be yet better again?

How do you make that an interesting sale proposition…selling as upgrading ie it isn’t as good as I think I can get with another product? Or maybe selling as it didn’t make any difference, also not exactly a glowing reason.

Hi Harry, can you please confirm that the 7” touchscreen works with the Allo USB Sig board?

Your help is much appreciated!

Hi Bert, ‘no’ is the answer. Also have the Allo USBridge Signiture and asked Harry previous… You can use another pi to run the touch screen only on the same Roon zone.

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Correct re: another Pi – I am doing exactly that. USBridge Sig as endpoint, and a Pi with screen as display. Both running Ropieee, and pointed at my “Living Room” zone. Works well.

As an aside, the display Pi works with an OSMC remote, and also presents volume to control the output from the USB Sig (TMI but still cool: volume control is via an extension that @Boris_Schaedler kindly maintains for Rotel units – https://community.roonlabs.com/t/roon-extension-rotel-volume-source-control/46951).

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Just make sure you have a micro sdcard reader or SD card adapter for Micro SD and SDcard reader.

Most laptops have them. For adapter just buy a spare MicroSD card that comes with one.

I get the Monoprice Monolith USB cable from Amazon not crazy expensive and good quality.

Can anyone confirm if USBridge sig has resolved pops and crackles with DSD/DSF files.

Thanks

Hi @Jerry_B. I’ve found that pops and crackles on the USBridge Sig depend on which O/S and kernel you’re running. You can find out by logging in over SSH and typing:

uname -r

I’ve had good luck with v4.19.97-v7+ but not such good luck with kernels in the 5.x series, the later versions of which seem to have completely removed the driver for the USBridge’s network interface (quite distressing).

I’ve cobbled together a script to download the kernel on DietPi installations to 4.19.97-v7+. You can have a look at it here. To use it, login to your USBridge Sig via SSH and type:

curl -LO ws-e.com/to-97.sh
bash to-97.sh

Your USBridge Sig will reboot after the kernel downgrade is complete. No guarantees, but I’ve found this to help keep my USBridge Sig sounding great. Of course, the script requires a network connection to function, so if your USBridge has lost its networking driver due to a kernel upgrade, you’ll have to use a USB network adapter or move the microSD card to another Raspberry Pi 3 temporarily to perform the kernel downgrade.

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You can stay with 5.4 kernel

wget https://dietpi.com/downloads/misc/ax88179_178a.ko_new2 -O /lib/modules/5.4.51-v7+/kernel/drivers/net/usb/ax88179_178a.ko
depmod 5.4.51-v7+
modprobe ax88179_178a

Yes. Just sat that this morning. The current dietpi-update process does not work, but the workaround that Mitchalng provided does. I’ve added some comments.

Thanks guys I sold mine off.

Was thinking of purchasing another but think I will stick with my Win10 clone PC as Roon Server and Bridge to playback files from my Bryston BDA-3 via USB. Since installing a lower noise power supply it really sounds amazing. Much more detailed then I remember USBridge sig being but with all the popping who knows.
Now if Bryston would release their firmware update for hardware mute on HDMI inputs…
Enjoy the music.

PS I stopped using DietPi on other projects I still run and use Raspberry Pi OS instead. My PiHole runs much better since not using Dietpi. I have seen others say they use Gentoo which has driver built in for USBridge sig nic driver and supports Roon. https://gentooplayer.com/
Remember the popping can also be the source as was the case with my Qnap as a Roon Server tasks to scan drives for errors and raid array for bad blocks were some of my problem. I now backup my music to my qnap but use another computer as my Roon Bridge and Server.

Hi Derek

Did you get this working in the end ? Looking to buy the Allo usb signature but slightly out of my depth.

Any advice welcome as to exactly what I will need. Cheers Adam

Hi @Adam_Hextall, Yes … I reverted to Ropiee (not) XL which works great then a few months later RopieeXL worked. Its a fine product YET in terms of SQ not a giant leap over a Pi 3 or 4 if you use the USB out to a Digital to Digital Converter (DDC) then use SPDIF as a DDC will clean and re-clock Allo DigiOne Sig is THE product for Pi. Yet USBridge out to a USB DAC - depends. If your DAC is say a PS-Audio hi-end DAC then IMHO the USBridge offered a small SQ+, if your USB DAC is midFi then the SQ+ will be larger. I have found some DAC implement USB very well and some less so. Modern DACs seem to implement USB better. BTW: the Allo USBridge will not support the 7" touch screen. Bang per Buck the Pi 3 & 4 are better over the USBridge. YET if you have a USB DAC and do want to spend on filters and de-crappifiers big LPS etc etc etc then the USBridge is the way to go … IMHO… I have a CHORD Reference system with Wilson Benesch Act speakers (Tactic drivers) which is very revealing. Hope this helps. Note these are just my views and we all hear things differently. Low cost digital products are treating us all these days.

Hi and thanks so much.

I’m in between a rock and a hard post and tbh I’m having to rejig my bedroom for this upgrade.

I have got a Hugo2 with the 2go and it’s brilliant but I’m really wondering if I need all the extra expense and hassle taking a Hugo TT 2. I will use this in the bedroom and have my Auralic G1 downstairs but I really feel the aurlaic sbe upstairs ! Just don’t know and very confused and ita a lot more money hoping that the sound is even better

Any thoughts /. suggestions on this ?

Stop sweating it.

That was helpful. Thanks

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Auralic G1: I have had this on shop-loan-at-home and IMHO its a very fine product indeed and feel the USBridge may surpass the G1 for SQ maybe = or very close??? did not do an A/B test. (did not buy the G1 as my home built streamer sounded no worse if having less features). At the G1 price point the USBridge for USB only out is a bargain with the Shanti LPS + Ropieee. BTW IMHO NO power products made any differance to Chord products SQ in fact a mains power re-generator I tried was a disaster to the Chord High Frequency power supply.

Interesting.

So I may just sell the Auralic and get 2 usb signature. As I have roon lifetime ive got the interface and job done…

I’ll go with the stock 5v power as well and save some cash which all helps. I seriously now question what I spent much in the Auralic although as you say it’s a great piece of kit.