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Allo Katana DAC
#11
Hi Rafa,

Normally I need to spend at least a couple of weeks b4 I decide whether I truly like how any particular audio device sounds with my main speaker systems but initially, the Katana sounds just fine to me. No audible distortion, tight bass, smooth, clean mid/highs and like my other ESS based DAC, a Mambo LS, there is absolutely no audio glitch when manually start/stop a track as is the case with the Burr Brown PCM5x based HAT DAC's that I have. 

An additional plus to the engineering in the Katana is that they implemented shielding over the NDK oscillators to prevent RF leakage from messing up the WiFi/BT band :-) My test unit runs on top of a Pi-3B and uses its integrated 2.4G WiFi adapter and no issues whatsoever. I posted a ping trace over at diyAUdio to add to the stats from Paul http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendor-s-...ost5501730

-Tim
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#12
Hi Tim

Not only shielding over oscillators but also we shielded the DC/DC convertor and small MCU. Yeah we hope to have less noise leaking and interfering.
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#13
Yes I noticed the additional shielding but I wasn't sure what the components were so thanks for clarifying :-) Thats some really nice engineering, btw.

-Tim
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#14
Thx you Tim , we appreciate it.

Will be present on the forums and try to answer as many question we can.
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#15
Following this thread and Diyaudio with great interest!

Trying to decide on most analog sound for my hi-fi system (to keep digiOne and upgrade DAC to something like gustard dac-x22, or to move to Katana stack).
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#16
I would say...get the Gustard

Just kidding , Katana is a great but it needs a good system (and speakers) to shine.
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#17
A good system is exactly what I have! This makes it more interesting to see how Katana compares to external DAC setup.

Most of my rig is setup for very good vinyl playback, but I’ve been exploring Pi based digital for just over 2 years now.

RPi 3B+
DigiOne
Moode 4.2
Samsung 860 SSD
CAL Sigma 2 DAC
Tube preamp and monobloc amps
(built by me).
Crites modifications to old Klipsch.
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#18
I'm on a somewhat different boat.

I have a fairly good standalone DAC / PRE, a NuPrime DAC-10. It is balancedly hooked to his 'brother' a highly reviewed AMP, the ST-10.

The thing is, my RPi3 B with Moode is connected via a regular USB to the DAC-10. I have compared this with airport express connected via optical to the same DAC and the results are practically indistinguishable.

So I am wondering if I am missing something to jitter or other interferences by using the USB connection and I am contemplating the option of something like Katana. My ideal solution would be a good i2s to optical or coaxial board in the RPi and take advantage of the very good DAC I purchased.

But maybe, the Katana is good enough to use it as the DAC and just use the DAC-10 as a pre. Or even bypass it completely. But it's a bit of a gamble and I could end up spending money on something that could provide no improvement whatsoever (or even prove to be even less refined than the stand-alone NuPrime DAC).

So I'm a debating wether it would be a logical move.

Allo (CDS?), care to venture a guess on the perceived benefits of a break through HAT like Katana over a fairly good external DAC? (By the way, I know cost of equipment is irrelevant and not at all a measure of quality, but if both are reasonably priced, it can be a cmparisson tool or starting point... so unless my DAC is a crime complete rip-off - which reviews claim it's not and my ears as well - it's a $1500 DAC).

It does have two nice non-digitized analog inputs which si could hook up the Katana. Not yet sure if I would see any improvement.

Thanks for any feedback, best regards,
Rafa.
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#19
Hi Rafa

I cannot answer directly the question but I can say this:

Katana was build to compete with DACs that are more than 1k USD. Also Katana is using the latest ess9038q2m that is a new generation from Ess Sabre. At last our analog stage is made of discreet components and runs in class A amplification vs opamps running in class AB in most commercial designs.
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#20
(07-31-2018, 05:55 AM)RafaPolit Wrote: I'm on a somewhat different boat.

I have a fairly good standalone DAC / PRE, a NuPrime DAC-10.  It is balancedly hooked to his 'brother' a highly reviewed AMP, the ST-10.

The thing is, my RPi3 B with Moode is connected via a regular USB to the DAC-10.  I have compared this with airport express connected via optical to the same DAC and the results are practically indistinguishable.

So I am wondering if I am missing something to jitter or other interferences by using the USB connection and I am contemplating the option of something like Katana.  My ideal solution would be a good i2s to optical or coaxial board in the RPi and take advantage of the very good DAC I purchased.

But maybe, the Katana is good enough to use it as the DAC and just use the DAC-10 as a pre.  Or even bypass it completely.  But it's a bit of a gamble and I could end up spending money on something that could provide no improvement whatsoever (or even prove to be even less refined than the stand-alone NuPrime DAC).

So I'm a debating wether it would be a logical move.

Allo (CDS?), care to venture a guess on the perceived benefits of a break through HAT like Katana over a fairly good external DAC? (By the way, I know cost of equipment is irrelevant and not at all a measure of quality, but if both are reasonably priced, it can be a cmparisson tool or starting point... so unless my DAC is a crime complete rip-off - which reviews claim it's not and my ears as well - it's a $1500 DAC).

It does have two nice non-digitized analog inputs which si could hook up the Katana.  Not yet sure if I would see any improvement.

Thanks for any feedback, best regards,
Rafa.
If you want spdif input to your dac from the RPi you could try a digione hat from Allo.
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