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Advice on upgrading Pi Digione

Discussion in 'audio' started by ks.234, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    I've heard it said that upgrading my Pi/digione to something like USB signature and Shanti PSU will result in better SQ. However, being a techno numpty, I have no idea if it is possible with my system, or what I need to do to make it work.

    Currently I have LP12, DV300 HX1.2 and Shahinian Arcs. I also have a MHDT Labs Orchid Dac for iPhone, TV and Pi

    The RPi Digione has LMS and Pi Core Player and acts as a server for 2 further Pi's in the Office and workshop

    When not listening to vinyl, I listen mostly to Radio Paradise, Radio 4 and CD's ripped to SSD as Flac files. Never got into Spotify for example

    Is an upgrade worthwhile? what would I need to do to achieve it?

    Cheers, Keith
  2. SteveH

    SteveH pfm Member

    Also interested in this as using a digione myself (streaming lossless from an iMac). It sounds fabulous but I guess it could be even better?
  3. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    If I'm honest, I don't think you need to upgrade. Below 1ps jitter is already astonishingly low. The DigiOne is the best digital front end I've used. Also, using coax instead of USB is the safest way to maintain these low jitter levels, with a USB input, you are at the mercy of the DAC's USB front end's quality.

    Your system already looks well-sorted to me...
    Moppit and Julf like this.
  4. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    If you mean replacing your pi/digione with an allo usbridge then of course you can do it (assuming you have a usb dac) although LMS will have to be set up again. You just buy one of these https://www.allo.com/sparky/usbridge.html and set up LMS on dietpi
    Presumably you can buy some sort of fancy psu for it. The usbridge doesn't work with a pi so you obviously have to start from scratch
    Alternatively you could presumably get a digione signature which should work with the existing pi. Allo should be able to tell you whether this will require much effort at the pi end. Perhaps not.

    It's pretty unlikely that this will make much difference to the output of your dac, but you might find that everything sounds better to you.
  5. suzywong

    suzywong Wot, no electrons?

    1. What model of RPi?
    2. What Power Supply on the RPi?
    3. What interconnect cable to the DAC? (you mention USB, but your Digione has SPDIF)
  6. Dave***t

    Dave***t Revolutionary relativist

    Is there a reason to want a USBridge Signature rather than a Digione Signature, which would presumably be a straight swap and thus a tad easier?
  7. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Yes, that sounds best. I’ll give it a go
  8. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    It’s a 3b+ with standard Pi power supply and currently trying cheap bnc, I was using Chord c digital coaxial.
  9. suzywong

    suzywong Wot, no electrons?

    Ok, a Digione Signature is a straight drop in for your Digione (I also run mine off a 3B+), the only thing that might be different is the driver. I don’t know LMS; I use Moode Audio, and up until the latest update I was using Moode’s Digione driver, so I suspect the drivers are pretty much the same, even in LMS.

    Power supplies. The ADS uses two, the one for the “dirty side” can be your standard RPi PS. For the “clean side” Allo used to recommend a 5-6V battery pack; now they have the dual output Shanti. An interesting alternative (and what I use) is Cuinas Audio’s ISO-PS Supercapacitor dual +5V supply for both dirty and clean sides. If you’re interested in going down that route then there’s a long thread on PFM (entitled something like “supercapacitor power supply grand tour”). The PS I’d originally bought for the clean side was the iFi +5V; but for some reason the ADS & iFi did not play well together and in my test there was an alarming amount of distortion and crackling - so much that I leapt across the room to pull the plug because I though it might be doing damage to my nDAC. Yes, it really was that bad! (“bits iz bits”, eh...:D)

    SQ. I haven’t tried the Digione, and before I got the ADS I was using the very fine IQAudio Digi+ though cheap RCA coax to my Naim DAC+XPS. The ADS runs though cheap BNC coax to the DAC+XPS.

    The green forum claims that the nDAC SQ improves as the digital input “gets better”, and as has been pointed out many times on these illustrious forums, the nDAC must therefore reside within the ranks of the ”not competently designed” :p:D [/SARCASM].

    I can only state that in my all-Naim system (82-active SBLs), the ADS(Cuinas)+nDAC(XPS) sounds very, very good.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    Paddy likes this.
  10. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    I moved from Digione to Digione sig with the battery pack and 4 x lifepo batteries. It sounds great and *maybe* more precise but the difference from the Digione wasn’t life changing as that was already excellent. Still it’s not an expensive upgrade in the big scheme of things and the battery pack isn’t as fiddly as you might imagine.
    suzywong likes this.
  11. suzywong

    suzywong Wot, no electrons?

    Did you use Allo’s “modified” battery pack? I trust you put the batteries in correctly, unlike the John Darko video :D:D
  12. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    yeah, be careful!
  13. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

    It's the same driver

    Is there a routine (using two power supplies) for power up?
  14. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    If you don't have an SPDIF input, then there'd be a reason to use the USBridge.

    Consider that there are a lot of poor USB front ends out there, so plugging in the USBridge won't necessarily 'rescue' one of these. At least with SPDIF, you know you're directly feeding a low jitter clock.
  15. Dave***t

    Dave***t Revolutionary relativist

    Yes, but my question was to the OP, who already has a SPDIF setup working.

    More generally though, I agree, USB doesn’t seem the best for audio, what with all the purifiers etc that people swear by. For anything up to 24/192 it seems a solution which can obviate the jitter of a toslink connection is ideal, like I believe Rob Watts claims for Chord DACs. Though how effective it actually is, I’ve no idea.
  16. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    +1 for Digione sig, as already noted, useful but not life changing improvement in sq over the Digione. Powering the dirty side with standard psu & the clean side with ifi psu without the issues noted in a previous post (faulty psu?, I've had issues in the past with a faulty 12v ifi psu).
    You will probably get bigger changes in sq swapping out the DAC (better or worse), I am currently using a Topping DX3 pro which sounds nicer to these ears than my previous Mytec Liberty despite being one fifth the price. Would love to try one of the MHDT DACs at some point.
  17. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Any thanks to everyone here. If I’ve understood it correctly, the consensus is that if I am going to upgrade, then a Digione Signature is the way to go, though I might not get a huge improvement in SQ.

    If I did go down the Digi/Sig route, I notice that it isn’t supported in my current picoreplayer squeezelite settings. So what does a techno numpty need to do to get noise coming out of my speakers. I’m keen to learn, but know little and struggle with some of the language of IT/computing. You’ll not insult my intelligence if you assume I know nothing
  18. webster

    webster Listen & enjoy.

  19. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    webster likes this.
  20. saturn9

    saturn9 guitar mangler

    Allo Digione is there in the Squeezelite settings certainly in v5.0. What version are you running?

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