In case anyone is interested I would like to comment on my experience comparing Rapsberry PI 3 + Allo Kali + Allo Piano 2.1 and Rapsberry Pi 3 + Allo Boss
My impressions are just mine, but it is true that my Neumann 120A speakers are very flat, very detailed and in fact their function is that, the editing, therefore be detailed and able to reveal faults or virtues. My only reservation is if these results are extrapolable to what is not near field, and I am sure that in other systems the differences that my system shows can be very subtle and even irrelevant.
Before entering the hardware, the first clear conclusion is that via streaming I do not perceive the difference between Volumio and PicoReplayer in terms of sound quality (I would say it sounds better Volumio, but I think it’s psychological because I really like Volumio). I prefer Volumio because it is easier to configure and agile in handling large libraries through dlna, with applications like Jriver, which is worse understood with squeezebox, for example. What it does have very superior squeezebox is the speed to pass in streaming from one track to another, is immediate, with Volumio takes several seconds (about 5). The tests with Piano 2.1+ kali and Boss have been done with both operating systems.
Another thing that has already been commented is that the music in an MicroSD card much better (it does not matter if it is in a usb pen). And there is little difference, it translates into a more analog sound (more realistic timbre if you prefer), more serious and better scene.
One point, I prefer the sound of the PCB Odroid C2, but it is not compatible with the dac Boss. Another, the power supply is linear, for me is basic, there are those who do not give so much importance, it could be that my power line is very bad and linear power is a must.
And now entering the detail on the hardware, my clear conclusions are these, of others I’m not so sure so neither commented:
- Rapsberry Pi 3 + Allo Boss.
Musicality in pure state. It stands out neither by detail nor by seriousness, neither by naturalness, nor by scene. Yes because of its depth, you can really distinguish the different layers of the recording in different planes, as I have rarely heard. I could be hours listening to Boss without any kind of fatigue, knowing that there are better dacs (more realistic, better scene, better serious) but the sound is really sweet and addictive. It reminds me of the difference between tubes and transistors, not to say that it is a tube dac, but it reminds me a lot, even in the slight grain that the voices present. I will say the biggest nonsense I said in an audio forum, and I said many: this dac caresses your ears and mind, and it is as if the music floats around you and you submerge in it. To have a timbre (especially the voices) more realistic would be an experience very similar to the live music. In a concert you get all the music as a unit and not with the separation and detail that we have in our equipment (except chamber music or acoustic concerts heard very closely). This set would not recommend it for fans of the micro detail, the almost unreal scene and the crystalline voices. It is a dac for music lovers.
- PI 3 + Allo Kali + Allo Piano 2.1
It is almost the opposite of the previous one. Until I heard the Boss I thought that few things could sound better. Compared to the Boss who is sweet and very musical Kali + Piano 2.1 sounds more aggressive (if the Boss enters the ears like a caress kali + Piano 2.1 sounds sharp, although rather less aggressive with Odroid C2 than with Rpi3). More serious and better with this combination (some people are talking about the opposite, I think that my linear feeding does a lot here). The scene admits no comparison, it is not wider, but all the instruments are better dintinguen, you do not all come at the same time as the Boss but separately, on the contrary, does not have the depth of the Boss. The voices are cleaner, more realistic, but can be a bit aggressive (with Odroid C2 this does not happen). There is more detail, not that with the Boss you miss things, is that to be cleaner this sound the details perceive better. This dac is ideal for those who not only want to enjoy the music but also the details of a recording or mastering. Listening for hours can cause hearing fatigue if we are really aware of the amount of detail.
They are two dacs perfectly compatible and very different, in fact I am going to stay with the two, a pity that you can not use the Boss with the Odroid C2.
What is already incomparable and beyond all parameters is the double mono of Piano 2.1 that finally Allo will not support (I still do not understand). Possibly one of the best audiophile experiences of my life and I have had many, very good and very expensive. The immersion in the scene, the amplitude of the scene, the detail and the bass frequency so real deserve better luck. Allo, do not stop working the dual mono in your future projects, the improvement is remarkable. And I will not stop asking you to reconsider giving dual mono support to Piano 2.1.