ALLO Digione Signature

Going Grey Now

Active Member
I wanted to post a few thoughts on my recent purchase, especially because I’ve received a lot of helpful comments on AVF over the last year or so and this product has cropped up a few times. I thought something in my journey might help someone else.

12 months ago, I didn’t have a streamer. I’d always wanted to “do something” with a Raspberry Pi (being reasonably IT literate) but never got round to it. Deciding I could use it as a streamer was the justification I needed.

So, I purchased a 2Gb Raspberry Pi 4 with OEM power supply. From memory, I can’t remember having a case on day 1 - not something I’d recommend - but thought I knew enough at that stage not to output audio via the PI’s own 3.5mm socket. At the same time, I wanted to tie everything in with my recently acquired Sennheiser 650s (used, not new!) and so my first foray into the world of “high res” music was a Dragonfly Black. Not just a headphone amp, but it also doubled as a USB DAC for the Pi, with audio out to my powered speakers via a 3.5mm/twin RCA cable.

SQ - as far as I was concerned at that time - was excellent but what made me change from Dragonfly Black to Red was that the Black struggled to power my 650s.
if I’m honest, I think I would have needed an A/B test to tell the two Dragonflies apart - at least when listening through the speakers.
Anyway, things then progressed and because I could afford to, rather than needing to, I progressed to a DAC board for the PI. Although I know there are several options on the market, I opted for the ALLO BOSS DAC v1.2. Again, as far as I was concerned, SQ was the best that I’d heard to that date.

Fast forward - the powered speakers went to a family member and I purchased a new amp and speakers. this meant that the Dragonfly Red could find a new home as my new amp had a headphone socket.

Fast forward again - the BOSS DAC was sold and in its place a Schiit Modi 3 DAC (see John Darko’s video for the reason why). About 3/4 months later, I had the opportunity to trade up to a 2nd hand Schiit Modius which I did. this DAC is with me still (at the moment anyway - and until GAS takes over again).
At every step, I believe that I have achieved an improvement in overall SQ (on a like for like basis). Whether real or imagined, I’m not sure - but it doesn’t really matter because in my head the SQ has improved and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

The conclusion to this part of the story happened a couple of weeks ago when I got lucky and purchased a used ALLO DIGIONE Signature from a member on another forum. I’m not sure I would have been able to justify the cost of buying new, particularly as I was happy enough with the SQ being achieved with USB out on the PI into the Modius.

There is zero doubt in my mind that the SQ has taken another step forward with the DIGIONE Signature. And that is with OEM power supply for the Pi and battery power on the other side of the Digione. I’m not going to try and quantify it in number terms because I can’t and although I’m not very good at describing what I’m hearing in the same way as others, I do think I am hearing more detail, the sound is coming from a wider soundstage and there is something more almost “holographic” or “real” in what I’m hearing with a definite increase in depth.

I‘m sure there are much better streamers out there, able to improve massively on my set up - I don’t dispute that. Probably, though, I’m never going to get to hear them and even then, I would probably still opt to spend additional cash on other items of hi fi kit.

Congratulations to anyone who has had the patience to read to the end of this! If helps only one person to decide if to embark on the streaming journey, either via a Raspberry PI or some other way - then as far as I am concerned it will have been worth my time as well as acting as a small thank you to all those who have helped me get to this point.

Although I’m sitting here listening to FLACs of Stevie Nicks, Bruce, Fleetwood Mac et al, and not wanting to move, I’m going to have to get off my a... soon and do some hoovering! Such is life.
 

RugbyAl

Well-known Member
Thanks, interesting read! Where are you streaming from, a NAS or PC? I've looked at the Pi a few times but I'm not sure how well it'll handle streaming services such as deezer etc. What software are you using?

Ps. great choice in music, seen the Boss and Fleetwood Mac a few times live!
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Thanks, interesting read! Where are you streaming from, a NAS or PC? I've looked at the Pi a few times but I'm not sure how well it'll handle streaming services such as deezer etc. What software are you using?

Ps. great choice in music, seen the Boss and Fleetwood Mac a few times live!
a kindred spirit. Fleetwood Mac live twice and Bruce once (sadly only once - he was on stage for the best part of 3 hours).
Anyway, back to the question.
I started with Volumio (which I liked). I then downloaded Moode (as I had a spare micro SD) and that has been in the PI for 5/6 months now. It does everything I want (including Parametric equaliser) and although I have no reason to change, I’ve heard so much about Squeezebox that I may have a play with LMS at some point.
At the moment all of my music is/are FLAC files, copied to a 128Gb USB stick which stays in the PI. I don’t “stream” in the more traditional sense. There are plenty of internet radio stations in Moode if that’s your thing and there are also settings/renderers for Squeezelite/Spotify/Bluetooth/Airplay & various UPnP - none of which I currently use. I did try Airplay just to prove that I could use it but then went straight back to my FLAC files only because that’s how I want to listen to my music.
If someone had said to me 12 months ago that I could be getting this sort of SQ for such a modest outlay (excluding the Digione Signature), then I would have had difficulty in comprehending.
Feel free to ask anything else, if I can help I will.
What I would say to anyone contemplating using a PI is try not to be put off by the initial set up unless only wanting a “plug and play” type device. One other big plus for the PI is that you can “add bits” as you go - very much as I’ve done.
 

jamieu

Active Member
Thanks, interesting read! Where are you streaming from, a NAS or PC? I've looked at the Pi a few times but I'm not sure how well it'll handle streaming services such as deezer etc. What software are you using?

It obviously depends on what software you run on it, which I suspect is why you asked ;-)

Volumio supports Qobuz and Tidal but you have to pay extra for it. There are also various free Spotify Connect plugins for Volumio.

PiCorePlayer (LMS) can be configured to act as both a player and LMS server and LMS supports Deezer. It also supports Qobuz, Tidal, MixCloud and Soundcloud as well as Podcasts and Internet Radio. Although if you do go down the LMS route make sure to enable the Material Skin plugin or else it will look terribly dated.

You could just use a RPi as a headless network/audio endpoint rather than a full blown streamer with it's own app or web interface. Although that would require you to stream directly to it from a phone or laptop (via AirPlay / Bluetooth / DLNA / RAAT / Spotify Connect / LMS Squeezebox protocol etc.) or have some software running elsewhere ie. on a NAS, that you could do that job and that you could control remotely.

If you're an Apple user then AirPlay is lossless 44.1Khz/16bit so you could just use the native Deezer app via Airplay (for anything up to CD resolution). Alternatively the mConnect app supports Deezer and can stream to a DLNA supporting endpoint ie. a RPi running Ropieee XL or HiFiBerrryOS (only works with their hats). Qobuz also have 'beta' support for DLNA in their native desktop app, although last time I tried it with HiFiBerryOS it didn't play ball, not sure if it works better with Ropieee XL. These routes do however require you to have your phone or laptop on while music is playing.
 
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RugbyAl

Well-known Member
Thanks guys. I'm considering a change in my main hifi at the moment and this could be the approach I take regarding streaming.I have a bluesound node 2 in the kitchen which I love, but have a Nad C338 with in-built chromecast in the lounge which is doing my head in as it regularly drops off my network, requiring router restarts and re-adding to google home to get it working.
Looking at what my options are currently, and the pi player seems interesting. I'll have a read through of your posts later and maybe start a thread of my own so as to not take over this one when I've done some more research.
 

Sleuth

Active Member
@Going Grey Now I'm on the same journey. What are you connecting your Allo DigiOne Signature to? The Modius?

I have a Pi 4 connected to a Hifi Berry Digi+ Pro then to a Chord Mojo then into my HiFi and I'm wondering about something to replace the Mojo as I use that more with my phone and Headphones.

I agree it's great to be able to slowly upgrade experiment with the Raspberry Pi Eco system.

I run mine using PiCore Player and LMS with my audio on a 500GB SSD conneced to my Pi.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
@Going Grey Now I'm on the same journey. What are you connecting your Allo DigiOne Signature to? The Modius?

I have a Pi 4 connected to a Hifi Berry Digi+ Pro then to a Chord Mojo then into my HiFi and I'm wondering about something to replace the Mojo as I use that more with my phone and Headphones.

I agree it's great to be able to slowly upgrade experiment with the Raspberry Pi Eco system.

I run mine using PiCore Player and LMS with my audio on a 500GB SSD conneced to my Pi.
Yes, my Digione Signature connects into the Modius via a standard co-ax cable. I say standard cable - in fact it’s Van Damme and I had it made up for me.
Can I just say that although I am very much into “Schiit” products (I know how this reads, but you know what I mean), I was very happy with the Modi 3 which I previously had (see John Darko’s review if unsure). The only reason for upgrading to the Modius was because I happened to be checking the for sale ads (looking for speakers) and saw the Modius for sale at a price too good to miss. I sold the Modi for good money with no trouble at all.
As good a DAC as it is, I don’t think I could have justified buying a new Modius when I was more than happy with the Modi 3. In fact, for me the situation would be even more clear cut now as Schiit have released a Modi 3 plus, with their “Unison USB” connection.
However, for those wanting balanced connections (not me), then this is something the Modius offers (the Modi 3 doesn’t).
In saying all this, I do have to accept;
1 I’ve never had an opportunity of listening to DACs higher up in the Schiit range to know how good they are. Ditto other makes/brands, including your Mojo.
2 I’ve just had another look on the Schiit UK website and they’re still OOS of both Modi and Modius. I faced a similar situation with my Modi and had no trouble importing from the USA. Let me know if you’d like details.
Hope some of this might help.
 

raptor

Well-known Member
Good to see another happy Digione signature user,i must admit i went with the non signature 12 months ago but got the bug to move up to the signature and it was another jump up the sound ladder.
In my opinion i think you need to spend big money to better the digione signature but you also need a good dac,i was able to hear the difference between the 2 digione boards the signature had better bass control and more of it & the high's sweeter.
 

Sleuth

Active Member
Yes, my Digione Signature connects into the Modius via a standard co-ax cable. I say standard cable - in fact it’s Van Damme and I had it made up for me.
Can I just say that although I am very much into “Schiit” products (I know how this reads, but you know what I mean), I was very happy with the Modi 3 which I previously had (see John Darko’s review if unsure). The only reason for upgrading to the Modius was because I happened to be checking the for sale ads (looking for speakers) and saw the Modius for sale at a price too good to miss. I sold the Modi for good money with no trouble at all.
As good a DAC as it is, I don’t think I could have justified buying a new Modius when I was more than happy with the Modi 3. In fact, for me the situation would be even more clear cut now as Schiit have released a Modi 3 plus, with their “Unison USB” connection.
However, for those wanting balanced connections (not me), then this is something the Modius offers (the Modi 3 doesn’t).
In saying all this, I do have to accept;
1 I’ve never had an opportunity of listening to DACs higher up in the Schiit range to know how good they are. Ditto other makes/brands, including your Mojo.
2 I’ve just had another look on the Schiit UK website and they’re still OOS of both Modi and Modius. I faced a similar situation with my Modi and had no trouble importing from the USA. Let me know if you’d like details.
Hope some of this might help.
Thanks - that's interesting food for thought. I'll probably stick with using the Mojo for the short term, but might look out for a used Allo or DAC too, just in case
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Good to see another happy Digione signature user,i must admit i went with the non signature 12 months ago but got the bug to move up to the signature and it was another jump up the sound ladder.
In my opinion i think you need to spend big money to better the digione signature but you also need a good dac,i was able to hear the difference between the 2 digione boards the signature had better bass control and more of it & the high's sweeter.
Good to be in touch again - I seem to recall you mentioning either your Digione or Signature when we were last in touch on a previous thread.

I echo your views about having to spend a lot more to better the Digione Signature - that said, I do have to accept that I cannot backup my opinion with any first hand experience or comparisons to other, more expensive, streamers. It’s just a gut call. Even if I’m wrong about this, I’m not concerned because to my ears the DS is as good as it gets - particularly within my budget.

Over the last few months I’ve also stared to accept that as much as I like them (good sound and a superb piece of furniture), it’s my speakers that are the “weakest” part of the system now. For some odd, bizarre, reason - based on no first hand experience at all - I am being drawn strongly to Tannoy dual concentric speakers and although the new “Legacy” range is far outside of my budget, I’ve put a few feelers out for original speakers from the 80/90s. I know of a couple of places where I could get them serviced, refurbed, etc.

Although I’ve not had my DAC for long, it wouldn’t be any surprise to see me make another change. Having a Rega Brio amp, I’d like to give a Rega DAC ago, but of course they’re no longer in production.
Stuart
 

Sleuth

Active Member
By the way @Going Grey Now are you able to share what other forums are worth following for Raspberry Pi bits and pieces (you mentioned you got your Allo Signature on another forum)? Many thanks
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
By the way @Going Grey Now are you able to share what other forums are worth following for Raspberry Pi bits and pieces (you mentioned you got your Allo Signature on another forum)? Many thanks
I’m also a member of HiFiWigwam and regularly have a look at Artofsound and PFM. I think there may be an active R Pi section within the Roon forums, but have not visited.
As a user of MOODE on the PI, I also log into the MOODE forums from time to time.
 

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