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December 07, 2021, 12:37:51 PM

Author Topic: Nice low budget, great sounding DAC  (Read 182 times)

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Offline Natural Sound

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Nice low budget, great sounding DAC
« on: November 15, 2021, 07:32:32 AM »
I needed a low budget but good sounding DAC for my garage/workshop. It had to connect to my network drive where I keep my music collection. I didn't want to spend a lot of money so I set a budget of $100. I'm one of those kind of people that tries to squeeze out the best bang for the buck. I've been real happy with the Allo BOSS setup in my office and the Allo DigiOne Signature transport in my main system. Neither of those would fit my budget but I wanted to stick with Allo if possible. That's where the Allo MiniBoss comes in. At just $39 it's a fraction of it's big brother's price tag. And it operates in I2S Master mode like the full sized BOSS as well. The next thing to sort out was which Raspberry Pi I was going to use. The MiniBOSS was made to work with a Pi Zero (although it will work with any Raspberry Pi). I've always shied away from the Zero for any of my projects in the past because of it's single core processor limitation. That limitation was eliminated recently when the Raspberry Pi Foundation upgraded the zero to a much faster quad core processor. And they kept the price at just $15, yay! So here is the breakdown of what I wound up with.

$39 MiniBoss for RPI Zero
$15 Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
$12 Case
$20 Linear PS with micro USB adapter
$0 MoOde Audio software
===============
$86 Total

I already had a MicroSD card so I didn't include that in the price breakdown but even if I had to buy one I still would have come in under budget.

I'm floored by how good this DAC sounds. The design team at Allo did a fantastic job as always. It rates very highly on my "bang for the buck" list.

I know the question, "Where can you get a LPS for $20?" will probably come up. So here are the details. It works quite well and sounds much better than a switching power supply. I'm probably pushing the 1A maximum a bit but the PS is only warm after streaming all day. I may get curious one day and measure it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B88EP1I/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G6EBGWO/ref=crt_ewc_title_srh_2?ie=UTF8&smid=A21QX3PEKSFI3Z&th=1
« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 07:57:18 AM by Natural Sound »

Offline debk

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Re: Nice low budget, great sounding DAC
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2021, 02:59:39 PM »
Thanks for posting this.  I think I may build one looks like fun

Debra K

Eros 2Phono amp
BeePre2, Psvane ACME 300b
Kaiju, Linlai Elite  300b
Monamour 2a3 amps various tubes
Sota Sapphire, Pete Riggle Woody Tonearm, Kiseki Purpleheart Cartridge
Rega P6 Ania Pro cartridge
Roon Nucleus
MHDT Labs Orchid DAC
Jager speakers

Offline Natural Sound

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Re: Nice low budget, great sounding DAC
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2021, 04:49:11 AM »
Deb, one thing I forgot to mention. The Zero doesn't come with a GPIO header attached. You need to buy one and solder it on. Also, I think you are in the US. Make sure you buy from one of the US based retailers or the shipping will be astronomical.

https://chicagodist.com/
https://www.pishop.us/


Offline debk

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Re: Nice low budget, great sounding DAC
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2021, 02:37:06 PM »
Thanks I ordered all the parts and I knew about needing the header.
 Looking forward to hearing how it sounds.

Thanks
Deb
Debra K

Eros 2Phono amp
BeePre2, Psvane ACME 300b
Kaiju, Linlai Elite  300b
Monamour 2a3 amps various tubes
Sota Sapphire, Pete Riggle Woody Tonearm, Kiseki Purpleheart Cartridge
Rega P6 Ania Pro cartridge
Roon Nucleus
MHDT Labs Orchid DAC
Jager speakers

Offline 2wo

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Re: Nice low budget, great sounding DAC
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2021, 04:46:42 PM »
I upgraded to the Digione a while ago feeding my Bottlehead DAC. Although not in the  Spirit of what you are doing I have been happy with the Allo products....John
John Scanlon