Allo DigiOne Signature

Posted by: Timo on 22 August 2018

For those who are interested, Allo has just released the DigiOne Signature, and if you use the voucher code "Roon10" you get 10 percent discount.

Posted on: 23 August 2018 by RX8R3Rod

I was interested, and mine arrived today.

What a fabulous bit of kit; for my taste and preferences (and bearing in mind I use Fujitsu TD 712zís so that probably says something?) itís as big a step up on the PRaT front, amongst other things, than the DigiOne was over the HiFiBerry (which in itself is IMHO a fab bit of kit).

As Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling would have said ... ďSeize itĒ

Posted on: 23 August 2018 by Timo

Great to hear that you like what the DigiOne Signature delivers. Could you please elaborate how the old DigiOne and the new Signature compare? ????

Posted on: 24 August 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Hi, Iím loving it.

As this is a Naim forum, it probably makes sense to summarise it and say itís (for me) similar in effect to a serious power supply upgrade; at least in the context of my system.

You could perhaps think along the lines of of the kind of differences between a standard unmodified HiCap, XPS and Supercap, (I have no significant experience of the DR models) and think instead Hifiberry, Digione and Digione Signature. 

IME and in my system, thatís the kind of difference between the Digione and Signature.

Music becomes more interesting as it just seems to time better. Subtle shifts in rhythm become more apparent, and you can far more readily follow a kick drum or bass through complex passages. This extends up the frequency range. So that, for example, vocal harmonies and inflections where the rise and fall of backing voices independent of, but intertwined with, the main singer become clearer and more meaningful, musically.

You can more readily answer the question Ďwhy did the musicians even bother doing that?; IMHO a question not that many Hifi systems answer much, if any, more convincingly than a transistor ????.

When I think how much Iíve paid in the past to get smaller improvements, I can only call myself an idiot, and thank Allo for offering us so much for so relatively little.

Obvioulsy the YMMV rider always applies, and Iíve only heard it in the context of my system (which is probably a bit odd compared to some), but itís getting even better as it beds in!

I am very much looking forward to the Nirvana power supply!

Posted on: 24 August 2018 by MatthiasW
RX8R3Rod posted:

Hi, Iím loving it.

As this is a Naim forum, it probably makes sense to summarise it and say itís (for me) similar in effect to a serious power supply upgrade; at least in the context of my system.

You could perhaps think along the lines of of the kind of differences between a standard unmodified HiCap, XPS and Supercap, (I have no significant experience of the DR models) and think instead Hifiberry, Digione and Digione Signature. 

IME and in my system, thatís the kind of difference between the Digione and Signature.

Music becomes more interesting as it just seems to time better. Subtle shifts in rhythm become more apparent, and you can far more readily follow a kick drum or bass through complex passages. This extends up the frequency range. So that, for example, vocal harmonies and inflections where the rise and fall of backing voices independent of, but intertwined with, the main singer become clearer and more meaningful, musically.

You can more readily answer the question Ďwhy did the musicians even bother doing that?; IMHO a question not that many Hifi systems answer much, if any, more convincingly than a transistor ????.

When I think how much Iíve paid in the past to get smaller improvements, I can only call myself an idiot, and thank Allo for offering us so much for so relatively little.

Obvioulsy the YMMV rider always applies, and Iíve only heard it in the context of my system (which is probably a bit odd compared to some), but itís getting even better as it beds in!

I am very much looking forward to the Nirvana power supply!

Thanks for your impressions.

With which DAC do you use your Digione Signature?

Matt

Posted on: 24 August 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Hope they were helpful.

A Teac UD501. I ended up for no particular reason owning it in parallel with a NAC 272 powered by an XPS, but I always slightly preferred the Teac DAC to the 272ís, so have stuck with it.

i should also mention that I have in ifi reclocker at the spdif input to the DAC, and that does, I think, somewhat help the Teac.

Posted on: 25 August 2018 by Timo

Thanks RX8R3Rod! That's quite an endorsement for the new Signature -- possibly the cheapest black box upgrade ever... ;-)  I bought my "regular" DigiOne only a few months ago -- just to play around a bit. I enjoyed trying different software solutions. I shouldn't really consider the Signature, but I am tempted... :-) 

Posted on: 25 August 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Hi Timo, I think as you say it could well be the cheapest black box upgrade ever ????????  And itís such an easy one, as the driver is still the same. So it is literally take existing Hat off, replace with Sig Hat, sit back and enjoy! ???? 

Posted on: 30 August 2018 by nbpf
RX8R3Rod posted:

Hi Timo, I think as you say it could well be the cheapest black box upgrade ever ????????  And itís such an easy one, as the driver is still the same. So it is literally take existing Hat off, replace with Sig Hat, sit back and enjoy! ???? 

Well ... you still need to order those USB C to barrel adaptors from Allo, don't you? Most high quality PSUs come with barrel connectors, I guess the Nirvana will have USB C power cable connectors.

Posted on: 30 August 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Ah yes, I forgot about that ... though you do get one in the box (which I used to connect my Allo power supply to the PI 'Dirty Supply') and I used a spare USB to USB C connector I had from my computer to go from ifi Nano USB 3.0 to the Signature 'Clean Supply'. 

I got my 9v battery to DC connector today, so can give that a try as Allo suggest, and am waiting for a 5V iPower so I can give that a try powering the Pi, with battery or iPower/Nono USB3 on the Signature.

Lots of fun and audiophilia nervosa ahead ... :-)

 

Posted on: 30 August 2018 by nbpf
RX8R3Rod posted:

Ah yes, I forgot about that ... though you do get one in the box (which I used to connect my Allo power supply to the PI 'Dirty Supply') and I used a spare USB to USB C connector I had from my computer to go from ifi Nano USB 3.0 to the Signature 'Clean Supply'. 

I got my 9v battery to DC connector today, so can give that a try as Allo suggest, and am waiting for a 5V iPower so I can give that a try powering the Pi, with battery or iPower/Nono USB3 on the Signature.

Lots of fun and audiophilia nervosa ahead ... :-)

Thanks, please report your findings. My DigiOne (hosted by a Pi 3B+ running both MinimServer and upmpdcli under Raspbian) has since a few months replaced my fitPC3 + Eitr (or fitPC3 + M2Tech hiFace Evo) source for a Naim DAC. Thus, upgrading to a DigiOne Signature would be a very natural step for me.

Posted on: 31 August 2018 by Ardbeg10y

Regarding Powersupplies, I consider to replace my switch by a PoE enabled switch and then add this to my Pi + Allo Digione:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/poe-hat

Don't know if this is going to work but I like the idea to have a good PS powering the PoE.

Posted on: 31 August 2018 by RX8R3Rod

I have often wondered about PoE, so if you go that way do let us know!

Instinctively I would have guessed it might be a little bit noisy, which is why I've never actually tried it, ... but what do I know 'instinctively'? Having tried so many bad ideas and (initially) dismissed so many good ones over the years I try to be as open-minded (eared?) as I can these days.  

My 5v iPower is supposed to arrive tomorrow, along with a DC iPurifier.

Some combination of all these bits must give an optimal performance ... until the Nirvana comes along, no doubt.

Shall report on Sunday, with a bit of luck 

Posted on: 31 August 2018 by Ardbeg10y

If I get that far, I'll report back. I have a few weeks of business travel in front of me so I don't know how much I make progress.

I currently have an iPower powering my RPi, which should be good and I'm quite happy. I've started a project to simplify electricity. We have power supplies everywhere and that can't be good. So I thought - lets have a good one on the switch. Maybe it works well, maybe it does not.

I'm a happy user of the Digione by the way. My wife uses it by spotify (raspotify) during daytime, I use it in the evening for serious listening - hires downloads. We use the Chord Mojo as a dac. Disadvantage of that is that the Dac switches of after 10 minutes all the time. Smooth / silky sound. Lovely.

Posted on: 01 September 2018 by RX8R3Rod

The Digione is just great, isnít it? ????????

From my experiments today, so far just with the dc iPurifier, it would appear that in my system, with my electricity supply, mains filtering and distribution, etc (YMMV)  it pays to power the Pi with something a bit lower noise than the standard Allo supply, regardless of the isolation levels between the Pi and Signature.

At the moment getting worthwhile PRaT-type improvements, along with reduced intermodulation between instruments, with the dc iPurifier between the Allo supply and Pi, and the iPower and Nano usb 3.0 powering the Signature.

I canít explain why, but thatís what Iím hearing. ????

Will try adding new iPower on the Pi tomorrow, and iPurifier on the Router (Roqos) if I get time tomorrow.

 

Posted on: 02 September 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Today I tried powering the Pi from an IPower followed by dc iPurifier, with Signature powered as before (iPower followed by Nano USB 3.0).

Both of the iPowers are hanging off an isol8 mains conditioner which allegedly prevents / minimises interference between power outlets.

With the usual YMMV rider (Ďcause itís true, sadly) there still seemed to be gains to be had, albeit getting smaller.

The overall learnings I would personally take from all this are that:

- the changes made for the DIgione Signature seem to move performance on (to me) in a worthwhile way.

- the ability to power the PI and the Digione separately is a beneficial one

- whilst itís probably most beneficial to have the best supply on the Digione, donít ignore the Pi

- whilst I have been using iFi products for this (which seem to me pretty good, and in some cases remarkably so for the price) I imagine there are other solutions out there (LPSís, and the like) which may sound as good or perhaps better. The important thing IME is that the power really makes a difference, and personally Iíd try not to get hung up on the power technology arguments. I imagine many of us have read about SMPSís being Ďrubbishí and Linear being Ďgoodí, etc. I suspect many of us have also read about something which is alleged to be musically useless (Direct Drive and unipivots spring to mind as easy analogue examples) which, when done Ďrightí can work remarkably well. IMHO itís not what youíve got, itís what you do with it that is more likely to count.

Enjoy! ????

Posted on: 02 September 2018 by michael1702

How would you compare the Digione to the Digione Signature/summarize the differences? Thanks for the testing and feedback! 

Posted on: 02 September 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Pleased you found it helpful! ????

I donít think I can really add too much more to how it compares to the Digione (a great product in itself) than I said in an earlier post.

The effect of the Signature is, for me in my system, of a similar kind to a power supply upgrade in a Naim amp.

You can hear more things going on, instruments youíve not heard before can pop out of the background, you hear more reverberation tails, etc.

Which is great, ... but for me the key thing is that music just makes more sense, because the timing seems better.

Individual instruments appear to make less Ďpullí on surrounding instruments (you know that awful effect when, for example, the Ďbackgroundí strings blast in and seem to suddenly define the rhythm, even when theyíre self-evidently not supposed to, and the drums / bass / rhythm guitar or whatever was holding the beat suddenly goes AWOL for a bit?) and so the:

- timing and structure of the music is clearer

- the contribution each artist makes - and how that contributes to the whole - is more apparent

and so it all makes more sense, and itís easier to just get lost in the performance.

But I guess you have to bear in mind that this is whatís really important to me (hence ending up with single-driver Eclipse speakers, etc.)

Some folks will - quite rightly for them - put far more importance on how smooth the treble sounds, or whether the bass is deeper, imagining is better, or whatever. As thatís whatís important to them.

Unfortunately I canít really answer those kinds of questions, as the treble on the Eclipses is inevitably a bit curtailed and a bit rough v lots of multi-driver speakers, and although I can get 30hz bass when properly set up, it isnít very loud. I can say that imaging is v good! ????

But for what matters to me, in my system, and given that Iíve only heard the equipment Iíve heard in my system, Iíve not heard better than the Signature.

Hope that is of some help?

 

Posted on: 04 September 2018 by michael1702

Great help! That's why I just ordered one. 

Posted on: 04 September 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Great to hear, Michael, hope you really enjoy it! ???????? Do let us all know how you get on.

Posted on: 05 September 2018 by nbpf

I am wandering whether it would make sense to power both the clean and the dirty sides of the DigiOne Signature from a single, high quality power supply (using a Y cable) or whether it is better to use two different power supplies. 

Posted on: 06 September 2018 by nbpf
nbpf posted:

I am wandering whether it would make sense to power both the clean and the dirty sides of the DigiOne Signature from a single, high quality power supply (using a Y cable) or whether it is better to use two different power supplies. 

According to Allo it is advisable to power the clean and the dirty side of the device with different power supplies to avoid defeating galvanic isolation.

Posted on: 06 September 2018 by RX8R3Rod

Not sure I can answer that, though I guess it may be likely to be two (might be worth a try, though, if you already have (say) an LPS spare, for the cost of a Y cable or a bit of soldering?) 

What I can say is I finally got a set of the 18650(?) 3,000 mAh 3.7v batteries Allo recommends (Samsung ones in my case) and a battery box and they certainly (and surprisingly, from my experience with battery power) provide more bottom-end weight and drive than the ifi iPower / Nano USB 3.0 combo on the ĎCleaní power input to the Signature.

So the sound is more foot-tappy and, I think, ties things together even better timing-wise. On some songs it seems almost unbelievably Ďsnappyí. And (as an example) acoustic guitar can play identfiable notes with distinct harmonics for longer when the going gets busy.

My only question at present is an occasional v slight warmth / bloom in the bass that wasnít there before. But Iíll give it a few days to settle, as that may pass.

And also how long the batteries last before needing a recharge ...

But in my system and with my preferences IMHO very well worth a try for not much more than £20 ????????

Posted on: 06 September 2018 by nbpf

Thanks for the feedback RX8R3ROD!

Posted on: 06 September 2018 by nbpf

At about 250 EUR, the DigiOne Signature is slightly more expensive than a Schiit Eitr. Has anyone compared the Signature to an Eitr connected to a USB port of the same RPi that hosts the Signature?

Posted on: 06 September 2018 by T38.45

I have the Shiit Eitr, very happy with the SQ (running Audirvana+itunes> USB--Shiit-SPDIF). Could I be happy with  it until the end of days? YES!