Having read countless reviews for other DACs I decided to give this one a look. Unable to find a single review for it all I had to go off was the manufacturers description. On paper its numbers don't seem to be anything like some other dacs on sale. Its components aren't the latest or ground breaking in anyway but don't let that deter you.
I am comparing this to my old system (Teac vrds transport, teac dac, Rotel pre and an AMC valve power amp with Acoustic Energy AE1 speakers) which i no longer have -sold to free up space, opting for an all in one box system, a Teac h-750np. A nice sounding bit of kit with a built in dac. Streaming from a Synology nas drive it was clunky to use -thats when I decided to give Volumio a go. Connected via the usb output into the Teacs dac the sound was nice but nothing special. Very listenable but not as revealing as my old system -something that can be a negative because hearing something warts and all isn't always nice!! 4 years ago I bought a Geekroo pi cobler dac -this uses the rpi internal clock, and you can tell. Flat sounding and lacking clarity and detail, making me realise just how good the little Teac was. At this point I was wondering if this is as good as it was going to get with mp3's and a nas drive.
Geekroo pi cobbler dac
The Audiophonics TDA 1387 X8 is fantastic. It has everything. A sound stage so wide and deep that goes beyond the physical space of the room. Separation of each instrument making following and focusing on a particular musical part a joy. Listening to a well known track and hearing something new is always a delight -for instance Pink Floyds Wish you were here and hearing each individual guitar string as its strummed Depth of Bass and attack it there too. Jamie XX album In colour is revealed -electronic sounds are twisting in 3D not just a flat 2 dimensional as before. Revealing to much? Possibly- as demonstrated on the Aphex Twin track Avril 14th. The solo piano here is accompanied with the mechanical clunking of each key being pressed sounding like the piano had seen better days. Insightful? We are all trying to hear what the original artist heard on the day, so here it is!
I haven't heard any of the current run of in trend dacs -the Boss or Mamboberry. Their specs tick all the boxes. I would be interested to see how this compares -I live in Manchester uk. Anyone local with an Allo Kali set up?
I won't be looking at any other dacs myself. I am more than happy with this one.
I'm very tempted by this; Chord DACs are still using this way of working, rather than the delta sigma approach... Does the TDA1387 power the Pi or vice-versa? More specifically, does the TDA1387 *need* the 5v feed or is it optional (I can't tell from their website) ?
Having read a handful of reviews on this board, I decided to go for it. I am running this board with a RPI3 B, Ifi power suppy, straight into a McCormack ALD-1/DNA .5 combo and my trusted Dynaudio Gemini's (DIY custom built) and, of course, Volumio's latest build. Setup is straight forward, "Generic I2S DAC" works fine and I got sound on the first try. Setup "no resampling" and "DSD to DoP". I won't bore you with more details, the main reason for this post is to share (again) the opinion of the amazing sound quality to be had with a low budget setup.
Whatever the source material is thrown at it, the DAC handles it well. Had a little trouble with DSD64 sources and because of the N wifi interface, it seems to be choking on larger file sizes streamed from a NAS. No problem with 24/192 FLAC sources.
The sound quality is close to "vinyl-like", but with more detail and the resolution of digital interface. Low end is more pronounced, the top end slightly recessed but smooth and without any typical DAC brightness. The soundstage is improved.
Based on these initial results, I have decided to pair this unit up with a Kali reclocker (specifically built to support NOS type DAC's, with 22/24 clock frequencies). I hope to be able to improve this setup further by providing enhanced clock support.
Digital: Audiophonics/Teradak TDA1387, Allo Piano 2.1/KALI, Allo DigiOne, Gustard X20u, Chord Mojo, Dragonfly Blk/Red