I have some longer term ambitions at the moment involving new main speakers and a new headphone end point, but in the meantime, and whilst saving up, I am in the market for a new streamer.
In terms of my current system, I have installed Ethernet around my house I have a NUC running ROCK as my core. I have two main end points, my living room and my office.
Allo USBridge>Mytek Liberty Dac>Musical Fidelity M3i Amp>Monitor Audio speakers
Windows 10 PC>Arcam irDACII>Adam F5 studio monitor speakers
I wanted to remove the windows 10 PC from the office system for a few reasons, not least because I want to be able to run the office endpoint without the PC being on - using phone/tablet for control.
Yesterday, as a trial, I moved the Allo USbridge from the Living room to the office to try out instead of the PC. It works great and sounds great too.
So now I am looking for a new streamer, but what to buy. I could just buy another Allo USBridge and have one feeding the Arcam and one the Mytek but I did wonder if I should think about the Allo DigiOne Signature as a possible alternative. Although I can’t seem to find much comparing the two inputs on the two DACs.
Does anyone have any thoughts? Should i be thinking of anything else?
I have a few files at 24/192 but not many really. I can use MQA on the Mytek but not the Arcam. So I don’t think I need to worry too much right now about files above that level. I have tried upscaling but I have not found a large benefit so I tend to not do that right now. I might use the Roon DSP functions in the future but again I don’t think will present an issue.
That’s a fairly modern DAC, and presumably well-engineered. Have you thought about a plain old Raspberry Pi 3 B+, using the WiFi to connect to the network, and the USB out to drive the DAC? I do this with my Liberty DAC, and it works well. You’d get 24/384 support with the USB input to the DAC, I think.
I probably should have mentioned, I do have a raspberry pi 3 b+ and was testing with it yesterday, not wirelessly but with Ethernet. It works well and I will use it again in the future but the USBridge does sound better to me. I am likely to set-up an end point in a back bedroom which i think will be a perfect opportunity for the rpi.
I had concerns about the Pi when using Ethernet and USB simultaneously. It triggered the dreaded XMOS bug in my DAC. Supposedly this is a timing-dependent issue, but I see issues in the Pi USB driver codebase about possible dropped interrupts, and I do wonder if perhaps USB packets are getting dropped in this configuration. Without a USB sniffer it’s hard to tell. Anyway, I switched over to WiFi, which uses a different controller chip on the Pi, and those issues went away. Using a USBridge would similarly use a different controller chip, so there may be an actual reason the USBridge sounds better.