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Thread: The ALLO Audio music steamer - Pic heavy review

  1. #311
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Pune, India

    Posts: 3
    I'm Vakharia.

    Default My impression on the BOSS DAC and comparison with FiiO D03K

    I got the BOSS about 10 days ago and have been 'testing' it out with my Dali Zensors powered by Marantz PM5005.
    The BOSS is mounted on a Raspberry Pi 3 and the combination sounds pretty good to me. Overall I am very satisfied.

    I do not have an expensive power supply for my RPI - just a normal Motorola charger for which the RPI has never complained.

    My source is all digital - mostly FLAC files and also some online radio with bitrates varying from ~40 kbps to 320 kbps.
    Some of the low bit rate radio stations also sound quite good to me.

    This afternoon, I did a comparison (side-by-side) between this DAC and my FiiO D03K DAC which is connected to my Panasonic Plasma smart TV.

    Only on a side by side comparison you can make the difference out.

    After listening to various genres of music I could say that the BOSS tends to somehow bump up the lows and the highs.
    (I am aware of the 'burn-in' time of about 50 hours - which I have not yet crossed with my BOSS - so I might come back with my observations after some time again)
    I do not know if this is called the 'dynamic range', but if yes, then that is higher/ wider.


    So, for casual listening the BOSS tends to make the music sound 'punchier'. However the FiiO which costs me half, give a much flatter output. This seems to be better when listening to vocals.

    The low end 'thump' is significantly higher with the BOSS - you can really feel that. On the flip side, this sometimes tends to overpower the vocals.



    I have not had any experience with other RPI DAC's so, I cannot comment on that part.

    Currently using Volumio but waiting to try MoOde.
    Last edited by vakharia; 19-03-2017 at 06:28.

  2. #312
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Manchester, UK

    Posts: 111
    I'm Luke.

    Default

    I received the Boss yesterday, finally got it working with Volumio (not yet possible in Moode?), and listened to a few tracks before retiring to bed. While I am hesitant to jump to any conclusions based on such limited listening, and especially as people report improvements after 50 hours or so, but I am already very happy with it. Compared to my previous IQaudiO pi-DAC (which I feel was an excellent Pi DAC) it already seems like there's more life to the music at the same volume (I listen at fairly low levels) and instruments are projected a bit further out from the speaker. I wondered about the claims for bass handling that I'd read, and so far I agree. I didn't listen to any particularly bassy music (looking forward to trying some bass driven jazz and reggae) but the piano music I listened to had a lovely realistic timbre to the lower keys. So far so good. Can't wait to listen to a lot more music on it! Will post an update in a few weeks.

  3. #313
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 7,063
    I'm Josie.

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    Looks like you guys are hearing the same as me. Yes, try some decent Reggae... lol

    Regarding the PSU. I have since tried the BOSS with the normal wall wartythingie and to be honest it's pretty good. It's not as defined and the bass is less focused but it's still fine to listen to.
    Preamplifier: Croft Epoch Elite - Dual external PSU & Upgrades
    Amplifier: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp No. 5 using KT150's
    Digital: Raspberry Pi & ALLO Piano DAC & KALI - IQAudio DAC with SBooster Linear BOBW PSU & Trio DP700 CDP
    Turntable: Thorens TD124 MkII - Schopper refurbished
    Tonearm: SME 3009 S2 None Improved - Audio Origami modified
    Cartridge: Ortofon SPU GT
    Speakers: 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds in Lockwood Majors with Tannoyista Spec 3 crossovers
    Cables/Mains: Mark Grant Black Series mains cables & 6-Way power bar
    Cables/IC's: Mark Grant HDX1 Pure Copper + Custom made Silver/Gold interconnects
    Mains Other: Tube Distinctions/Mark Grant 'The Power Works' Digital noise mains power filter TD2414-MG - Nick Gorham DC Blocker unit constructed by Mark Grant

  4. #314
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Pune, India

    Posts: 3
    I'm Vakharia.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LC1979 View Post
    (not yet possible in Moode?
    Yes. MoOde 3.5 will have support for this.

  5. #315
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Manchester, UK

    Posts: 111
    I'm Luke.

    Default

    I'll look forward to it, hopefully not too far off.

  6. #316
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Manchester, UK

    Posts: 111
    I'm Luke.

    Default

    Has anyone got 3.5 to work with Allo Boss DAC? I'm using Rasp Pi 2. The image installed and I set it up like I usually do, but no sound at all

  7. #317
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 1,935
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LC1979 View Post
    Has anyone got 3.5 to work with Allo Boss DAC? I'm using Rasp Pi 2. The image installed and I set it up like I usually do, but no sound at all
    I use the Piano 2.1 DAC and it took me ages to get sound from it, but I can't for the life of me remember how I did it sorry. I am assuming the Boss DAC will be the same issue as I had, I know I restarted mpd a few times and checked the alsamixer in Putty.

  8. #318
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 33,048
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    had a couple of issues myself but its working with rpi 2b. it wont run all features though i think, might be a power issue or a processor one. Not really had a chance to run it much to give myself an impression of if its better yet. Been too busy setting up jriver 22 which I think I may buy. I feel although its not finished yet and has some stability problems, it sounds better than 21.
    Regards,
    Grant ....
    Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    IMUTO TAURUS X4 BATTERY SUPPLY. - RPI2B & AUDIOPHONICS DAC running MOODE 3.6- TONBRUX BATTERY SUPPLY & CHROMECAST2 AUDIO DONGLE no1 - JBE SERIES 3 SLATEDECK & EMOTIVA XPS-1 PHONO - DENON DV2900 & HEAVILY MODDED MF X10v3. BERESFORD SWITCHBOX. - TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK AMPLIFIERS. - XIANG SHENG DAC\PRE\HEADPHONE AMP. -AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 HEADPHONES - WIN10 JRIVER22, SPOTIFY PREMIUM- OPPO PM-3 PLANAR HEADPHONES, KINPS CABLES, SMSL M6 MINIDAC, CHROMECAST2 AUDIO DONGLE no2 POWERED BY ANKER BATTERY PSU - FULL RANGE TWIN & SINGLE TELEFUNKEN's - TANDBERG TCD310 - CARTS.. AT95 Shibata, SHURE M55E original, JVC MD1029. - RCA CABLES BY BRIAN SPKR CABLES BY MOI HAIR BY MARCO FEET BY ELECTRICBEACH - MAINS REGENERATED BY POWERINSPIRED AND FILTERED BY BELKIN PUREAV.

  9. #319
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Manchester, UK

    Posts: 111
    I'm Luke.

    Default

    Thanks both, I will persevere then!

    It took me a bit of fiddling to get it working with Volumio, but I spent at least 1.5 hours last night trying all different settings and rebooting frequently, but still no joy. The interface of MoOde seems a bit clunky on the I2S DAC front, with two different places to select which DAC you have: one list doesn't have The Boss, the other does! It's all very confusing!

  10. #320
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Manchester, UK

    Posts: 111
    I'm Luke.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vakharia View Post
    After listening to various genres of music I could say that the BOSS tends to somehow bump up the lows and the highs.
    .
    .
    So, for casual listening the BOSS tends to make the music sound 'punchier'. However the FiiO which costs me half, give a much flatter output. This seems to be better when listening to vocals.

    The low end 'thump' is significantly higher with the BOSS - you can really feel that. On the flip side, this sometimes tends to overpower the vocals.
    I think I disagree with this. Perhaps report back once you have passed the burn in period?

    Sure different DACS have different sound signatures and much is down to preference and perhaps matching with the rest of your system, but for me I don't hear any evidence of the U-shape tuning you refer to (often used purposely to make cheaper speakers/headphones sound 'good').

    I don't like overly bright sounding components, and The Boss doesn't have this, to my mind.

    The bass 'bump' you refer to I actually think is better bass definition and handling. I don't hear anything that shouldn't be there, and in bass heavy music like reggae there isn't any hint of booming or over-emphasis over the vocals. I'm thinking here of well recorded reggae, something like the Bob Marley studio albums mastered by Barry Diament, for example. They sound great through the Boss, and the vocals sound very well tuned alongside the good bass.

    Would be great to hear your updated thoughts

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