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Thread: THE ALLO KATANA 1.2 DAC REVIEW - A new ball game

  1. #41
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 454
    I'm Twisted.

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    Thanks both. I have a couple of Lurcher linear supplies. I use one for the Pi now, I imagine I can get an adapter for the other.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    Simon

    Pi, Allo Katana+Isolator; Longdog 300b; Reiver Fenwicks & Edingdales; Mark Grant G1500; Colin Topps wires; dedicated mains, chair.

    Twitter @siashmore

  2. #42
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 8,130
    I'm Josie.

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    Just updating this thread for you guys.

    I've recently been running the SQ version opposed to the THD version lately.

    The difference between them both is small. Differences with the SQ is a smoother, more analogue sound. It reminds me of a more vintage DAC but without the bad bits. It has the same presentation, focus and scale as the THD version but with a touch more class. A more ethereal, classic and natural quality.

    The bass is somewhat more dynamic too. Still as lovely as THD but with a tad more sway.

    So far it's been in my system for just over 3 days and so this is still 'burning in'so I'll be back with more later on.

    My preference so far is the SQ is more me but I'll be keeping both to do further experiments.
    Thorens TD124 (Schopper refurbed) - SME 3009 S2 (None improved) (Audio Origami refrubished) - Ortofon SPU GT - RPI 3 & ALLO Katana 1.2 DAC with Isolator - Tube Distinctions Copper Amp (Using KT150's) - Croft Epoch Elite (Very highly upgraded) - Studer A80R Master Recorder (High Speed 15/30 IPS) - Rectec M142 monitor - 15" Tannoy Monitor Gold Loudspeakers in Lockwood Major cabinets - Tannoyista SPEC 3 Custom Crossovers - VanDamme Black Speaker Cable - Mark Grant Interconnects

  3. #43
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,644
    I'm James.

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    What does SQ and THD stand for Josie?
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  4. #44
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 454
    I'm Twisted.

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    Hi Jimbo

    This from the Allo site

    Katana gives you the choice between 2 stages:
    "Pure THD+N": At -112.9 Thd+n 1Khz A weighted, this stage will satisfy those that want no distortion in music. Board sounds very good.
    "Sound quality" stage: 100.5 Thd+n a weighted 1Khz, this board has been optimized for sound quality. While sacrificing some thd+n numbers we found the subjective experience to be, in a word, closer to analog sound.


    You can apparently change from one to the other within the same unit by moving jumpers and suchlike.

    Simon
    Simon

    Pi, Allo Katana+Isolator; Longdog 300b; Reiver Fenwicks & Edingdales; Mark Grant G1500; Colin Topps wires; dedicated mains, chair.

    Twitter @siashmore

  5. #45
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 8,130
    I'm Josie.

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    Aw.. Thanks Simon.

    Sorry, James.. I just kept getting distracted but Simon has explained it better than I.



    Sent from my 9001X using Tapatalk
    Thorens TD124 (Schopper refurbed) - SME 3009 S2 (None improved) (Audio Origami refrubished) - Ortofon SPU GT - RPI 3 & ALLO Katana 1.2 DAC with Isolator - Tube Distinctions Copper Amp (Using KT150's) - Croft Epoch Elite (Very highly upgraded) - Studer A80R Master Recorder (High Speed 15/30 IPS) - Rectec M142 monitor - 15" Tannoy Monitor Gold Loudspeakers in Lockwood Major cabinets - Tannoyista SPEC 3 Custom Crossovers - VanDamme Black Speaker Cable - Mark Grant Interconnects

  6. #46
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,644
    I'm James.

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    Thanks for the explanation. I think the SQ may sound better?
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  7. #47
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 8,130
    I'm Josie.

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    That's my findings, James.

    Sent from my 9001X using Tapatalk
    Thorens TD124 (Schopper refurbed) - SME 3009 S2 (None improved) (Audio Origami refrubished) - Ortofon SPU GT - RPI 3 & ALLO Katana 1.2 DAC with Isolator - Tube Distinctions Copper Amp (Using KT150's) - Croft Epoch Elite (Very highly upgraded) - Studer A80R Master Recorder (High Speed 15/30 IPS) - Rectec M142 monitor - 15" Tannoy Monitor Gold Loudspeakers in Lockwood Major cabinets - Tannoyista SPEC 3 Custom Crossovers - VanDamme Black Speaker Cable - Mark Grant Interconnects

  8. #48
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 454
    I'm Twisted.

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    Iíve been using the Katana (SQ version) with Isolator for a few weeks and thought some fellow forum members might appreciate a further user perspective.

    For the record I have no relationship with Allo, other than as a customer. I havenít used their other products and I purchased the Katana with my own cash.

    A bit of preamble. I have used the PI & IQ Audio DAC+ combo since whenever it was the DAC+ came out. A couple of years at least. Before that I had streamed to Squeezebox devices from a Vortexbox (NAS). So I am pretty comfortable with streaming solutions.

    I use the Katana with the recommended two PSU setup; a Nick Lurcher Linear supply for the isolator/Katana and a switch-mode for the Pi. The rest of the system is a ĎLurcherí built 300b SET (super) and Colin Topps Fenwick (wonderful largish stand mounts).

    Cutting to the chase, in every respect the Katana is fantastic. My experience fully reflects the improvements and characteristics others have described - timing, separation, sound stage, detail retrieval Ė large ticks in every box. I have encountered no listener fatigue. Quite the contrary the sound is so engaging that I am spending hours listening. Itís a wonder.

    Within my system this is not a small step up. The improvements were instantly very noticeable, as well they might be - the Katana is at least six times the price of the DAC+ - so thereís no dishonour to IQ audio here.

    I waited some weeks before writing this up to allow myself time to validate my opinions and observe any burn-in effect. I have to say Iím unsure about burn in, not that I disbelieve the possibility, but Iím not sure to what extent perceived differences are due to physical component changes vs getting used to a sound signature over time. I feel it is sounding smoother.

    Further observations:
    I use the Katana with Picoreplayer. All works a treat. There are some DSP options that you can do on the fly, but Iíve found the changes (at best) very subtle. A welcome addition is that you can set a maximum volume through Picore, and then tweak volume in player software.

    The katana runs warm.

    I purchased the pre-made player version, which should effectively be a plug-and-play 2 psu option. That wasnít quite my experience since the kit is supplied set up as though it were the non-isolator version. To get mine working I had to a) buy a second USBC adaptor (only one is supplied), and b) close a jumper (bung the supplied cap over a couple of prongs Ė skill level required: toddler). Potential buyers should note that although set up is for two PSU operation, only one is supplied.

    None of these things are big deals, but although Allo provide a Ďhow toí guide, I hadnít appreciated I would need to do them, and so set up involved a bit of swearing and for Paul from Picoreplayer to point out I needed to close off the jumper.

    So, a little more refinement needed in Alloís customer experience, but far from being a bewilderingly complex set up that some have speculated about.

    Hope this is useful to some folk.
    Simon

    Pi, Allo Katana+Isolator; Longdog 300b; Reiver Fenwicks & Edingdales; Mark Grant G1500; Colin Topps wires; dedicated mains, chair.

    Twitter @siashmore

  9. #49
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,731
    I'm Oliver.

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    Can the isolator be used with the boss?
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

  10. #50
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 55,249
    I'm Grant.

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    why those little.... yup agree if you bought it a a up and running unit they should have supplied 2 psu and done thumper or at least added a leaflet with how to.
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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