My Innomaker PCM5122 arrived.
Now I have 2 systems running Volumio.
Abacus AroioDAC (€70) - need to select Hifiberry DAC plus as the DAC in Volumio
Hifiberry case (€15)
Total cost €150 (including shipping from max2play)
Running through a Cyrus 3 amp with Keff C20 speakers
Innomaker PCM5122(€29) - need to select Allo Boss as the DAC in Volumio
Hifiberry case (€15)
Total cost €79 * (free shipping via amazon prime)
Running through a Yamaha AV Receiver RX-V377 and LM1 B&W cast aluminium speakers (the yamaha struggles to do these babies justice!).
I didn’t include SD cards (both 16Gb), RCA cables, or 5V power supply in these costs, but they are required if you don’t have these already.
*worth noting, the Innomaker does not include stands (or standoff), the little struts that support a GPIO board, so that is an extra cost if you want those. Best price I could find was around €10 for way more than I need. Ultimately, I didn’t bother, but it’s a bit disappointing these were not included.
On visual inspection of the AroioDAC and the Innomaker it’s clear which one cost 70 and which one was 29. Time will tell if the quality components used in the Aroio will equate to a longer lifespan.
The source of my files is Apple Music and web radio.
I ran both systems on my Cyrus/Keff setup and the Aroio does have a richer sound. However, I would not describe the Innomaker as bad. When it’s installed on my AV receiver and smaller speakers it sounds fine. I’m listening to Deuter on it now and am pleasantly surprised at the variety of sounds it is handling well (but it is nowhere near as nice as the other system on the Cyrus when I switch between the two - but they do have a better amp and speakers).
Please note, I’m not a sound engineer or audio professional. However, I have experienced some amazing setups thanks to a friend who is a vintage hi-fi buff. So feel I can spot a good sounding system when I hear one.
I wanted a cheap, but decent sounding, streaming solution for the living room amp and am perfectly satisfied with what I got. I still love my Aroio and do not regret paying more for that system but if I were to setup other systems in say the kitchen or bathroom I would find it hard to justify the additional cost.
One big discovery for me was experimenting with a RP3B v’s a RP3B+. The 3B is €15 cheaper. As I was not using a touch interface for this setup I think it’s fine without the faster processor. I don’t have a huge library of FLAC files so the slower wifi on the 3B doesn’t cause me any issues either.
I’m positive I could not buy a better complete streaming DAC system for less than €79!
[4 weeks later update: after using both extensively on different systems. There is quite a difference between this cheaper DAC and the more pricey Abacus I have in terms of sound quality. The Inno is not bad but does not touch the Abacus in terms of the richness of the sound. So I would say that this is a good option if you are looking for a fine but cheap solution but not to add streaming functionality to your audiophile high quality hifi setup. Just wanted to make that distinction clear.]