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Thread: PI Katana DAC advice needed.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 34
    I'm ian.

    Default PI Katana DAC advice needed.

    Hi Guys.
    I have purchased a Katana DAC (not arrived yet) it is pre loaded with Diet pi and Roon.

    I am currently ripping and streaming from a Vortexbox OS 2.4 (installed onto a Intel Atom D525 1.8 Ghz dual-core CPU) using LMS, this is connected to an AV amp via coax.
    I have bought the Katana to connect to my 2 channel system and hopefully achieve much better sound quality.

    The advice I need is which OS/distro would be best suited to get my music files from the Vortexbox over Ethernet to the Katana.

    Any help will be much appreciated, I am new to streaming and the PI world so go a bit easy please.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 458
    I'm Twisted.

    Default

    Hi. Iím not familiar with dietpi or roon - so itís possible you will already have all you need.

    My preference (and what I do with a similar set up) is to use Picoreplayer (as an alternative to DietPi) to drive the katana/pi. It will be able to see the LMS on your vortexbox.

    Using picore will give you some digital EQ (useful) and filter controls (I canít tell much difference) over the katana

    You can control the whole set up using iPeng (apple) or orange squeeze/ squeezecommander (if itís still going) on Android.

    Make sense?
    Simon

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

    Twitter @siashmore

  3. #3
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 34
    I'm ian.

    Default

    Thanks for the info Simon, I will have a good read up on Picoreplayer.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 458
    I'm Twisted.

    Default

    No problem. My experience is that Picore is rock solid and easy to use. When I have had need to call for help (because I’m an idiot) the developer has always been very responsive.
    Simon

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

    Twitter @siashmore

  5. #5
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 34
    I'm ian.

    Default

    Thanks Simon.
    It seems like the Picore is the way to go for me then.
    Do you need to add a monitor and keyboard for the initial setup?
    What are your thoughts on your Katana? the one I have bought has the isolator too, with 2 power supplies (1 pi and one ifi iPower) how many power supplies are you using?
    It would be great to hear your thoughts.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 448
    I'm malcolm.

    Default

    +1 for Picoreplayer, I've been using it on various RPis with numerous dac hats with Vortexboxes for the last few years with no issues.
    Audiophile Tosher

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 34
    I'm ian.

    Default

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 458
    I'm Twisted.

    Default

    Picore set up is a doddle. Download the software. Write it onto an SD card. Put the card in the Pi and boot. Your router will assign it an IP and you can make adjustments via web interface - just type in the IP into a web browser from any machine on your network and you're there. The only thing you 'have' to do on the software is to tell it you are using the Katana dac. It's the first dialogue box under squeezelite settings tab. There are a million other tweaks you can make through software, but none of them are 'must dos'. Picore's website has screenshots and walk throughs.

    We have the same set up: Katana and Isolator. Like you I use a linear PSU (Longdog) for the clean side and a simple switching PSU for the PI. There is a power up order, from memory it's isolator then pi a few seconds later.

    The only faff I encountered on initial set up was that the Isolator needed a jumper (bit of plastic, supplied in the box) to go over two prongs, which wasn't immediately obvious to me (though it was in the instructions); and that I needed to buy an extra USBC lead for the isolator, since only one was supplied. The isolator was rather new at the time I bought it, so I guess Allo hadn't adapted their kit. It's possible that they now provide the extra cable. I noted these little issues in the Katana review thread at:

    https://theartofsound.net/forum/show...all-game/page5

    I'm probably making this sound much more complex than it is. All I would say is that you should be prepared for a small amount of head scratching at first as you get to grips with the various software and hardware interactions, just as when learning to use any new bit of tech.

    As for sound. Well, coming from the IQAudio it was a revelation. I would say that in every respect the Katana is leagues ahead. What struck me most was it's ability to retrieve detail, and yet it's not at all fatiguing. I should note that the IQ Dac is already good, and one fifth of the price, so I'm not knocking it. Several months in and I still love it.
    Simon

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

    Twitter @siashmore

  9. #9
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 34
    I'm ian.

    Default

    Thanks again Simon for taking the time to respond.
    I have just realised that I read your review during my net trawling while trying to decide on the Katana.

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