Katana Dac by allo

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Katana Dac by allo

Postby Tadley62 » Mon Feb 18 2019 04:50

allo wrote:
michelangelo wrote:Katana still offers the most detailed presentation I was ever to witness from a DAC. Praat is still fantastic. The lower end still is great (maybe even better in this revision).

It seems then from my initial impressions that Allo managed to solve the fatiguing issue without compromising on other aspects like detail and Praat. Still, the level of detail (personal opinion here) might sometime feel still too much. I still have some sort of mixed feeling about that. Before Katana, I thought to be the kind of Audiophile which likes a high level of details. Now I am not so sure.
I have the strong feeling that this will mainly suit the tastes Audiophiles with a strong preference for hyper-detail, while it might disappoint those who do not.

I will share further impressions in a future update.


Hi Michelangelo ,

first thx you for taking the time and reviewing the Katana V1.2.

A few point to clarify.

Katana v1.2 was designed with 2 PSUs only in mind. Of course , having multiple PSUs might (will) push the sound even further , but most reviewers, including Michelangelo, tested the V1.2 with 2 PSUs only, one for RPI and one for Katana stack (versus 3 PSUs on first Katana)

Isolator will keep the same PSUs count. 2 only. No drivers , no complexity. As many of you have found , isolation betwen SBC and DAC results in a deeper blacker background. However if your speakers/amp are not very good, it might not be required (but can be added at any time)

Fatiguing sound , was in fact traced back to the fact that opamp rails were oscillating when music was playing (on a fixed load there was no oscillation). Bu using a few capacitors (audio grade) the oscillation was nullified . No noise detected with our test equipment. So to be clear , fatiguing sound was fixed and tested.


At last, respectfully , I have to disagree with Michelangelo on the "hyper detail" and audiophile preferences .DACs do not create details. A DAC should be transparent to the music recorded ( music has all the details present) . Katana v1.2 is very transparent , it will serve you what was recorded. If you want a DAC that masks some of the details.. hold on , why would anyone want that ?? Why veil the music ..

A string is pinched, a cymbal decaying , raspy voice at the end of a track...all details.

Katana will deliver them. Music as it was recorded.


Hopefully you guys will like it.


New here so apologies if not the best place to add this. Using Volumio for a couple years and been tweaking my listening system recently and this discussion of Allo Katana is interesting as I suspect my IQaudio DAC Pro is likely the weak point of my system. I am not sure how to judge the two versions of the Kanta. Optimized for least THD vs “analog sound” leaves me unsure of which version is better for my use. Is there some way to get more clarity on this difference?
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby Rees » Mon Feb 18 2019 18:00

Tadley62 wrote:New here so apologies if not the best place to add this. Using Volumio for a couple years and been tweaking my listening system recently and this discussion of Allo Katana is interesting as I suspect my IQaudio DAC Pro is likely the weak point of my system. I am not sure how to judge the two versions of the Kanta. Optimized for least THD vs “analog sound” leaves me unsure of which version is better for my use. Is there some way to get more clarity on this difference?


Welcome, and I believe you've found the right place to post this question. Unfortunately it's not an easy answer as I've been following the development of the Katana (still haven't decided to buy one though, mostly due to total cost of DAC and PSU's). As far as I can tell it's just up to personal preference which is why Allo decided to sell both.

The forum topic below is many pages covering the development of the Katana DAC and the page linked is where they've first described the "analog sound" option.
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendor-s-bazaar/294940-fifo-buffer-rpi-sbcs-246.html

The only difference between the THD and analog sound boards is a single capacitor added to the output of the DAC - there is a whole discussion at the forum topic below.
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/the-lounge/249418-dac-filtering-rasmussen-effect.html

allo posts on the forums here so I'm sure they can add or correct anything above.
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby Tadley62 » Mon Feb 18 2019 19:27

Rees wrote:
Tadley62 wrote:New here so apologies if not the best place to add this. Using Volumio for a couple years and been tweaking my listening system recently and this discussion of Allo Katana is interesting as I suspect my IQaudio DAC Pro is likely the weak point of my system. I am not sure how to judge the two versions of the Kanta. Optimized for least THD vs “analog sound” leaves me unsure of which version is better for my use. Is there some way to get more clarity on this difference?


Welcome, and I believe you've found the right place to post this question. Unfortunately it's not an easy answer as I've been following the development of the Katana (still haven't decided to buy one though, mostly due to total cost of DAC and PSU's). As far as I can tell it's just up to personal preference which is why Allo decided to sell both.

The forum topic below is many pages covering the development of the Katana DAC and the page linked is where they've first described the "analog sound" option.
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendor-s-bazaar/294940-fifo-buffer-rpi-sbcs-246.html

The only difference between the THD and analog sound boards is a single capacitor added to the output of the DAC - there is a whole discussion at the forum topic below.
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/the-lounge/249418-dac-filtering-rasmussen-effect.html

allo posts on the forums here so I'm sure they can add or correct anything above.

Thank you for these links Rees.
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby Chris14 » Sat Mar 09 2019 13:43

allo wrote:
pista302 wrote:
allo wrote:This is not Nirvana but our LPS with 2x 5V output at 3A and 1A
On LPS last test data shows we have reached 80nV of noise 0-30Khz (audio band). That makes it the lowest noise power supply in the world.

Nirvana new PCB will reach next week and we will test. We are expecting at least 3uV of noise on this SMPS


SMPS will never be as good as a properly designed LPS. Also the price point for the 2 PSUs is different . At last the LPS has 2x5V output while SMPS will only have one.


Any news on the LPS or Nirvana?
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby allo » Tue Mar 12 2019 14:48

We are working every day on both , doing the alu casing right now so we can send for FCC testing
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby avangerx » Wed Mar 13 2019 14:11

Katana is a very powerful DAC however the bottleneck in many of the same products is RPI. Asus tinkerboard S is much powerful than RPI and you need to make all of your products compatible with Asus tinkerboard S. I have Vana player and a separate RPI + Kali + Piano 2.1 DAC and I wish I could replace Sparky or RPI with Asus Tinkerboard S as it gives much more juice for the system.
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby Yatsushiro » Wed Mar 13 2019 17:08

avangerx wrote:...however the bottleneck in many of the same products is RPI...


In what way does this bottleneck manifest itself, when playing audio?
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby SanjeevM » Thu Mar 14 2019 02:32

Better clock is one.
RPi3B / Katana THD on Linear PSU / 7in Waveshare Screen / TPA3255 Class-D on MW LRS-350 / Paradigm Monitor 11;
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby Yatsushiro » Thu Mar 14 2019 10:09

SanjeevM wrote:Better clock is one.


Which 'clock'?

The better RPi DAC's have their own 'clocks', and there is the Kali for those that don't.
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Katana Dac by allo

Postby SanjeevM » Thu Mar 14 2019 16:25

You're right, this inadequacy of RPI is overcome by buying a reclocker. If you have ATB, you save money then.
RPi3B / Katana THD on Linear PSU / 7in Waveshare Screen / TPA3255 Class-D on MW LRS-350 / Paradigm Monitor 11;
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