Volumio Rivo first impressions

Hi Stephan
Of course I will check it but I can’t do it today.
When I had the Dragonfly Red connected by USB the Volume Control has worked but I have never use it whe I use the SPDIF out.
Friday or Saturday I will let you know.
Cheers
Christian

No hurry :wink:.
Thx again

Let me clarify: Rivo CAN have digital control on digital output, by using a software mixer.
But since this might degrade sound quality, it’s not on by default.

This is true for all S/PDIF sources.

I have been using Rivo for a few days now, comparing with three other streamers:

  • Melco N1A EX
  • Odroid N2
  • Rapsberry Pi4

Rivo is powered by a Welborne Labs PSX 3A LPS and it is feeding a Neukomm CDA126S DAC / Preamp via USB. Cables are Habst Ultra 3 and Absolue Creations USB-TIM.
Rivo handily beats the RP4 and the Odroid N2, which was previously my favorite “reasonable price” streamer. That was to be expected.
The comparison with the Melco N1A at around 4 times the price of the Rivo was interesting. The Melco had more detail, there is no arguing. However, the Rivo has a very pleasing sound profile, almost analogue like. Very easy to listen to. Details are still there, just a bit less pronounced than with the Melco. Also, very nice sound stage. While the Melco will stay in my primary system (sorry Rivo), the Rivo will replace the Odroid N2 in my second system.
Looks like I will be spending more time listening to my second system than previously
:grinning:
Very happy with Rivo. Congratulations to the team, well done!

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Hi!
your impression “almost analogue like” is really the best description for the “rivo sound”. Are you using any special network switch?
Cheers
Christian

@Divastream I am using a Melco S100 switch with LPS and a Trendnet TFC-1000MGA Optical link before it (no LPS here). Ethernet cables are Meicord
Rudi

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Just tried it. You can control the volume. I can only get “5er” steps on the Ipad.
But it’s working.
Cheers and have a nice weekend.
Christian

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First test in german HiFi magazin:

Michael

4 Likes

Hi Christian,
Thx a lot.
Stephan

Here are my notes on setting up and listening to the Rivo:-

  1. Unboxing – nice packaging, no plastic is good. A little worry if transport vibration can cause scratches to the surface finish, but not on my set, so probably not an issue.

  2. Industrial Design – it’s a beautiful design, unique shape and very nice colours and finish. The gap between front panel and the extrusion housing is noticeable but not objectionable.

  3. Instruction on turning on is not too clear – in the user manual there is no mention of pressing the red square button to initialize the booting process, and actually I was not aware it was a push button switch, so I waited a while and nothing happened, so I thought there may be a software problem. I read the procedure for the Factory Reset with thumbdrive, but the file for Rivo was not to be found on the website.
    Because all my previous RPi based streamers from Allo or Hifiberry did not require a pushbutton start, I was not expecting this, so it took a while to realize my mistake.

  4. I had problems connecting my Synology NAS with my music to the Rivo. It was unsuccessful after many tries and finally with the help of my IT colleague (the one who took care of the software part of my USBridge Signature CM4 project), he found out the Rivo is using SMB1 protocol. He suggested this should be upgraded as SMB1 is obsolete and unsecure. I think this is also the same reason I was unable to connect my NAS to my MiniDSP SHD Studio running Volumio. (I gave up and did not use the streaming capability of the MiniDSP box.)

  5. Finally the sound quality – it is noticeably clearer than my modified USBridge CM4 which was already an improvement over the native USBridge CM3. There was also no stuttering with DSD or MQA files while simultaneously connected to a HDMI display. This was the problem with the USBridge CM3 with display connected - hi res files would stutter unless I disabled the display, even with Allo’s modified LAN driver.

  6. I am using a fairly high resolution DAC (Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro), good quality power amps – Purifi 1ET400 for casual listening, Nagra VPA tube amp and Mastersound 845 tube amp for serious listening, connected to Wilson Audio Yvette speakers. Note: I did not use the included SMPS, I re-used what I have in my system – the Allo Shanti LPS, so my listening experience is based on that. Also I only used the USB connection to the DAC, I did not try the coax or AES/EBU.

  7. My conclusion – the Rivo is a success, and I am very happy with it. Congratulations Volumio team, you have a winner!

Regards
KC

2 Likes

Hifistatement also seems to find significant improvement by using an LPS vs. the switched wallwart

Hi,
what is the official volumio version for the rivo? The 3.378 is mentioned on your homepage. When I start the system update query in test mode, I get the message: 3.378 Unofficial beta build, please wait for official beta release.
The default is 3.368. Do I or my Rivo have a problem?

THX - Stephan

Please disable TEST MODE.
We are releasing an update for Rivo this week :wink: Check back in a couple of days :wink:

:+1:

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Hi, I’m new here after just ordering the Rivo now it just got available… It will be a long wait until the end of November!

I hear nothing but good things about the Volumio hardware, but never heard one myself. Around 2 months ago I was about to buy the ‘old’ Primo but desided to wait after I read about the Rivo to be released soon.

I currently use a Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 fed by a Paul Hynes SR4T, not a slouch either, that will be my direct comparison once I get the Rivo. Unfortunately I need to replace the Paul Hynes because it’s not a 5v version. Any advice on a good LPS here? :slight_smile:

Hi!
I 've got the same Innuos Mini Mk3 as a roon server. The digital output is already nice but if you connect the Rivo direct (via CatKabel) to the Innuos LAN “Streamer out” you will see what the Rivo can do.
Regarding the power supply at the moment I am using a self build one based on a Mean Well 5v / 3A power supply which is already a big improvement over the original one that comes with the Rivo. Maybe I will buy a HD- Plex 300 to feed Router, Switch, Server and Rivo. By the way a Allo Nirvana should also be able to run the Rivo well.
Cheers
Christian

Thanks for your reply Christian.

But wow, are you using both in your chain, as a permanent solution? What is the benefit of that if I may ask? I was planning to replace the Innuos with the Rivo, not extending the chain… :slight_smile:

And regarding the LPS, I’m also planning a DIY solution, looking into it currently, thanks for your tip.

Hi!
It’s a bit Tricky. My Main system is normally running with a NAD M 33 and it’s linked to the Internet through the Innuos mini as the Roon server. The Rivo is in my Second system , a self build System based on aktivated Monitor Audio speakers an two subwoofers - pure digital. Here the Rivo is connected to the switch (at the moment a normal D Link switch with an extra Power supply and extra Ground connection) also the Router and a squeezebox server (Raspi 4 with SSD) is here.
For a smal Test I take the NAD away and use my Ayre Preamp Amp combi with a Audionet Art G2 as a DAC The Rivo was the streamer connected directly to the Innuos. That was amazing.

Regarding the power supply I simply added three Filmcaps 1µF parralell to the Rivo - as far as I trust my ears thats mostly all you need.
Cheers
Christian

Thanks for your clarification Christian. Nice to have the luxury of having multiple sets at home :slight_smile:

I have one setup and intend to use the Rivo as main streaming solution. Of course only if I like it better then the Innuos… On the one hand I believe in the concept of a short audio chain, but it’s also better for my wallet, knowing that I can still get some decent money for the Innuos.

I still have some time time before the Rivo arrives so I will be focussing on getting a nice 5v power supply ready. My Paul Hynes will probably feed my switch in the future.

Enjoy the weekend!

Grtz,
Huub

Hi Huub,
What kind of DAC will you use with the Rivo?
Cheers
Christian