Introducing ApplePi DAC -- Highest Performance Raspberry Pi DAC

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orchardaudio

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Please add me to the list too.

Sending info.

THANKS!

Greg in Mississippi

Added.

orchardaudio

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My only concern and probably you might get it from many people is the mini XLR connector. I have some very high end XLR interconnect cables that I have found to match very well the amps I use, having the mini XLR connector limits the option.

This can easily be solved with a pair of Mini-XLR to XLR adapters like these:
http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/t-xlrm-minixf.htm

Also thank you very much for being on the tour and sharing your feedback.

poseidonsvoice

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Studio19atx,

Product has arrived. Thanks.

Auditions to start this weekend  :popcorn:

Best,
Anand.


orchardaudio

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The DAC is on it's way to stellarelephant.

orchardaudio

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The DAC is on it's way to gstew.

orchardaudio

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The tour is over, I hope to see some more reviews and feedback soon.

orchardaudio

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Here is how the final board will look:






orchardaudio

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Image of ApplePi Volume-Clocker:






orchardaudio

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The ApplePi Volume-Clocker is now available for purchase:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/283046502392


The DAC will be going up for sale shortly.

orchardaudio

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Guaging Interest...CRISPIN Group Buy.

$1499 + Shipping per unit - 25% savings.

For CRISPIN details see here:
https://orchardaudio.com/crispin

All 10 must sell to get the group pricing.

Please post if you would be interested.

Thanks;
Leo

orchardaudio

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Both the ApplePi DAC and Volume-Clocker are now available for purchase.

You can buy from my ebay store here:
ApplePi DAC -- https://www.ebay.com/itm/283068026346
ApplePi Volume-Clocker -- https://www.ebay.com/itm/283046502392

You can also send me an email to leo@orchardaudio.com to buy direct and save 5%.

orchardaudio

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Starting to get some feedback from kickstarter backers:
Kevin:
"ApplePi DAC is an excellent DAC. Compare to the Audio Note DAC 3 I have, it has much more detail."

orchardaudio

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orchardaudio

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Here is a review that was just posted on diyaudio:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendor-s-bazaar/321303-applepi-dac-performance-raspberry-pi-dac-post5520363.html

I was part of the ApplePi tour and want to share my impressions of this DAC.

HARDWARE

I tested the hat with Rpi 3B, IanCanada IsolatorPi, and Allo Kali. Each board had separate power: I fed the Pi with an iFi iPower and the other three boards each got a GStew modified Jameco linear wall wart. Listening environment was a rather analytical nearfield desktop setup--a Tripath amp into some Axiom 2 way bookshelf speakers, and a humble full-range setup using another Tripath amp with Aura NS3 drivers.

First surprise: This DAC seems to be immune to PSU noise! Other DACs I have tested are all very sensitive and exhibit hum and hiss to some extent, even with an isolator board, Kali, and four separate power supplies with earthed ground rails via John Swenson Ground Tweak. Using these careful measures, I have been able to reduce noise by, say, 95% with the other DACs. But I can still hear a tiny bit near the speaker when music is stopped and I crank the volume knob to max.

In contrast, ApplePi is silent. Even if I float the PSU grounds by unplugging my earth wires from the negative terminals...it stays silent! The other DACs would be intolerably noisy this way. I'm impressed. This could make getting good sound from a Pi a heck of a lot less hassle and expense.

(edit: Since this test I have booted the iPower out of my setup completely, and going completely linear in combo with the IsolatorPi killed noise at the speakers almost 100% for any DAC Hat on my Pi stack )

SOFTWARE

I played music through the ApplePi with both Moode and Volumio. I was not able to get 16/44.1 files to play natively on ApplePi with Volumio, though Leo told me this works for him. It did play 24-bit files quite nicely, but everything in 16-bit I had to upsample...and IME Volumio upsampling sounds sort of lifeless. Thus, I spent most of the time playing my music collection (which is 95% Redbook FLAC) via Moode, which worked flawlessly, natively decoding all bit depths and sample rates I tried.

SOUND

One huge advantage this DAC holds over all others I have tried is the beastly 2.5V output--it just makes both of my amp/speaker combos sing, almost like having a preamp. This results in some of the best, most effortless bass control I have heard in my systems to date. I wish every source component had such gusto. In both my systems, ApplePi made my little flea-powered Tripath amps able to push significantly more air from the woofers without distortion. (Note to self: buy a real amp). IME good gain staging just makes everything downstream happier. Take note: the board gets quite hot. Leo said he has made some revisions to help dissipate heat better with the production boards.

Entering into highly subjective territory, now. My listening impressions parallel my experience with Alex's DIAL_DAC to a great extent...the sound signature shared between the sibling Burr Brown chips is evident. Analytical and smooth at the same time--detailed without harshness. Especially with 24/192 files, transparency is excellent.

I feel that the powerful, controlled bass and detailed treble are the most apparent and expressive parts of the music with the ApplePi. At this point I have to reveal myself as a total sucker for midrange body and warmth. Thus, the ApplePi doesn't push all my buttons...in fact, I'd say it stands in slight contrast to the meatier tonality of the TDA1387 DACs which usually sit atop my Pi stack. Which flavor you'll prefer will surely depend on the other gear in your system as well as your personal taste.

Nice job, Leo.

orchardaudio

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GALA DAC
« Reply #95 on: 28 Aug 2018, 06:47 pm »
Hello,

I will be launching another product shortly, the GALA DAC

It is based on dual Burr BrownPC1794A chips (monaural mode), with dual differential outputs. Fully standalone with SPdif input.

SNR: 130dB (0dbFS, A-Weighted)
THD+N: -108dB (0dbFS)
Output Level: 5Vrms (XLR)
Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz
Resolution: 16 and 24 bits

Introductory price: $400 ($500 Retail)

Here are some pics of the front. Which knob do you thinks looks better?



Also would like this DAC to go on a tour please post if you will be interested.

Sign up here to receive updates and get special pricing on launch day:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gala-ultra-high-performance-stereo-dac/coming_soon/x/19247162

Thanks;
Leo
« Last Edit: 30 Aug 2018, 11:24 pm by orchardaudio »

orchardaudio

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Re: GALA DAC
« Reply #96 on: 28 Aug 2018, 06:54 pm »
Place holder for list of tour participants...

1. Richidoo - Raleigh, NC
2.
« Last Edit: 7 Dec 2018, 05:06 pm by orchardaudio »

rollo

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Re: GALA DAC
« Reply #97 on: 28 Aug 2018, 07:09 pm »
 That is an interesting entry into DAC world. Great chips, great price excellent specs. Good luck.

charles

orchardaudio

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Re: GALA DAC
« Reply #98 on: 30 Aug 2018, 12:59 am »
Sign up here to receive updates and get special pricing on launch day:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gala-ultra-high-performance-stereo-dac/coming_soon/x/19247162

poseidonsvoice

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Re: GALA DAC
« Reply #99 on: 30 Aug 2018, 10:42 am »
What other inputs are available besides SPDIF?

Thanks,
Anand