ALLO KATANA 1.2 SOUND QUALITY DAC for Raspberry Pi ES9038Q2M 6x AOP SparkoS Labs SS3601 32bit 384kHz DSD128

ALLO KATANA SOUND QUALITY DAC for Raspberry Pi ES9038Q2M 6x AOP SparkoS Labs SS3601 32bit 384kHz DSD128

With its Katana, a master DAC for Raspberry Pi, Allo offers an extremely powerful high-end solution, at a contained price and directly competing with equipment sold at higher prices. To achieve such a result, the brand has carefully selected the best components to integrate them into a complete module on 3 stages.

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224,17 €tax excl.

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Shipping date: 26-08-2019.

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This is the "SOUND QUALITY" version: -100.5dB @ 1Khz weighted.
This model has been optimized for sound quality. While "sacrificing" a few dB of THD+N, ALLO found the subjective experience to be, in a word, closer to analog sound.

Allo Katana SOUND QUALITY

DAC for Raspberry Pi ES9038Q2M 32bit 384kHz DSD128 6x AOP SparkoS Labs

Allo Katana DAC pour Raspberry Pi ES9038Q2M 32bit 384kHz DSD128 6x AOP SparkoS Labs

With its Katana, a master DAC for Raspberry Pi, Allo offers an extremely powerful high-end solution, at a contained price and directly competing with equipment sold at higher prices. It is also probably the best DAC for Raspberry Pi to date. To achieve such a result, the brand has carefully selected the best components to integrate them into a complete module on 3 stages.

Allo Katana DAC ES9038Q2M

ES9038Q2M

For the Katana, Allo turns to the excellent ESS ES9038Q2M conversion chip. This is indeed the latest version of the ESS converters, displaying excellent characteristics with a THD+N to -120dB and leaving the design of the analog part in the hands of the integrator (Allo in this case). Another advantage of this chip is the support of high sampling rates, up to 32bits 384kHz in PCM but also the DSD 128 and DoP.

Clock

All Delta Sigma circuits are extremely sensitive to jitter. To avoid this problem, Allo uses two Ultra Low Jitter NDK NZ2520SDA 45.1584 / 49.1520 Mhz clocks. In addition, the signal is also filtered by 2 LDO and an HF filter. Finally, to perfect signal synchronization and filtering, buffers are also integrated. This set of components results in a tiny jitter of 390fs.

Allo Katana Horloge NDK NZ2520SDA
Allo Katana AOP SparoS Labs

Analog stage

The Katana's analog stage benefits from a complex design offering excellent performance. This is based on discreet PDOs from SparkoS Labs. This brand specializes in high-performance audio components, operational amplifiers and discrete controllers. It therefore has particular know-how, enabling it to offer exceptional PDOs. The Katana takes advantage of this know-how by integrating no less than 6 simple SS3601 discrete PDOs, filtered at input and output with LDOs for extremely low noise. Each DAC is then manually configured under real operating conditions and programmed for THD+N compensation to reach a value of -112.75dB. On the connector side, there is a stereo RCA output (unbalanced) but also a balanced XLR output, to solder (connectors sold separately).

Sorties RCA et XLR

For its Katana, Allo directly integrates an unbalanced stereo RCA output on the DAC module. But the brand does not stop there and also allows anyone to add a balanced XLR output. For that, some solderings are enough, Allo having envisaged points to be soldered to add to the module of the XLR subbases.
For wiring, we invite you to refer to the guide available in the "Download" tab of this page. XLR subbases are sold separately.

Allo Katana sortie XLR

Find in the "Downloads" tab of this page or by following this link the Katana user guide. It details the different modules composing the Katana, explains the different ways to feed it and provides configuration information.

Katana Review V1.2 + Isolator byThe Hans Beekhuyzen Channel

Technical characteristics

Specifications
DACESS ES9038Q2M
Hardware compatibilitéRaspberry Pi 3 B
Raspberry Pi 3 B+
Allo Isolator (prochaine version uniquement)
Software compatibilityDietPi
Volumio

Available at the end of July :
  • Max2Play
  • piCorePlayer
  • Moode
OutputsRCA
XLR balanced output can be wired (soldered, connectors not supplied)
THD+N-100.5dB @ 1kHz, 0dbfs, A-Weighted
Jitter390fs
Clock2x NDK NZ2520SDA (45.1584 / 49.1520 Mhz)
Power supplyNot included - 5V 3A (refer to the downloadable guide to discover the different power options)
PackageKATANA DAC
Screws
DC 5.5 x 2.5 to DC 5.5 x 2.1 DC Barrel Adapter
Type-C-to-DC Adapter Cable (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)
MicroUSB to DC Adapter Cable (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)
Battery Wire-to-DC Barrel (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)



Parts supplied


XH cable connector to bare wire - use with terminal block below (28cm)

XH power cable


Terminal adapter to DC Jack 5.5 / 2.5mm

Jack Connector to terminals


DC Jack 5.5 / 2.5mm adapter

Jack DC Adapter


Cable female jack DC 5.5 / 2.5mm to Micro-USB (12cm)

DC jack female to Micro-USB


Cable female jack DC 5.5 / 2.5mm to USB-C (10cm)

DC jack socket to USB-C
 
Data sheet
OutputRCA
OutputXLR
Components / ChipES9028 Q2M
 
Delivery
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ALLO KATANA 1.2 SOUND QUALITY DAC for Raspberry Pi ES9038Q2M 6x AOP SparkoS Labs SS3601 32bit 384kHz DSD128
With its Katana, a master DAC for Raspberry Pi, Allo offers an extremely powerful high-end solution, at a contained price and directly competing...

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