Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

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Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby orchardaudio » Mon Aug 06 2018 16:20

yannig27 wrote:
orchardaudio wrote:
Thank you very much for your feedback.

In the future if you have a chance please also take a look at the ApplePi Volume-Clocker (https://orchardaudio.com/applepi) which adds HW volume control and re-clocking to the ApplePi DAC or to any other I2S DAC or Amplifier.



A little question :
How did you make it "loosless" with any dac i2s? (from my many tests, the lossless subject is very important to my ears !)
But I have a very good attenuator in my amplifier, so, this point is not so important for me.

Perhaps I'll test it with Kali, and perhaps too without output opamps, and with a Sowter 1465 instead.
Output transformer dacs work very well in no-feedback amplifier systems, for my ears...

And for my experience, I think that the lack of " in PRaT" is more due of the use of opamps than a clocking issue.

best regards


I2S is lossless by definition, so I am not sure what you are asking.
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Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby yannig27 » Tue Aug 07 2018 11:11

orchardaudio wrote:
I2S is lossless by definition, so I am not sure what you are asking.



OK, I was not precise enough.


So, another question : how do you manage a volume control with i2s dacs which don't include hardware volume control ?
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Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby orchardaudio » Tue Aug 07 2018 11:45

The Volume-Clocker intercepts the I2S data from the Pi, re-clocks it, does bit-perfect volume control in hw and then sends out a fresh set of i2s signals with the volume controlled data.

The pot is not involved in the volume control itself, just sets the volume level, and feels like a traditional volume control
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Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby twinterfinder » Wed Aug 15 2018 04:32

Last time I heard a CDP on my system(Audio Note) was 10 years ago. I am now a Spotify lover and able to enjoy continuous countless music at great quality level. No more CD swap, walking back and forth, and bad purchase regret. It is an ultimate goal for a poor lazy man. Thanks to Volumio, too. It does a fantastic job in Raspi streaming. Long live streaming‼

What I have
Source: A.Yamaha WXC-50, B.Raspberry Pi 3 B+
Integrated amp: Audio Note Soro
DAC: A.Audio Note DAC 3, B.Orchard Audio ApplePi DAC
IC: Blue Jeans Cable Belden 1508A mini XLR to XLR
SC: Blue Jeans Cable Ten White Speaker Cable
Speakers: Dynaudio 1.3 SE

DAC AB comparison: Pi gives better transparent sound and stays neutral. Somehow I feel DAC 3 is a bit warmer perhaps tube matters.
From bass, mid to high, I don’t see anyone outstanding but well balanced. It consistently reveals more detail from top to bottom. Yes, the detail I have never heard. From guitars, violins, pianos, brass instrument to vocal, none of exception. Especially the end of the note, the tiny tone change is crystal clear. I was shocked.
My listening room is not perfect and surrounded by furniture. The soundstage in my origin system is soso. Pi does extend it a little bit but not much. I have a cabinet next to a speaker. It might be the cause. However, that disadvantage doesn’t limit the improvement of sound body. Pi does a significant job for it and vocal is mostly benefited. The greatest sound body I have ever experienced on a pair of 1.3SE was with a full set of Audiobyte system($5K+) plus Spotify from the origin owner of my 1.3SE. It was absolutely amazing(the key I bought the speakers) and superior than a $10K+ system(those in the audio show). I guess Pi is about 80% of it. I also feel the music is a bit more solid and focused perhaps due to better detail revealed.

Before being a backer of Pi, I was not quite sure how good could it be. After 2 weeks of audition, the question became “how far could it go?”. I wonder the bottleneck now is my machine. Hope there could be more reviews coming up from you.

I knew many audiophiles enjoy music though computer desktop speakers and I have never had a problem with it.
If you have an upgrade chance one day, please check it with Pi whose potential could be far beyond your imagination.

Lots of brilliant engineers step into Hifi world and bring us excellent innovations.(and avoid expensive snake oil)
I shall say “great job done! Orchard Audio”.
Your works is really appreciated and I am very much satisfied.
A tiny board plus an amp, they look absolutely neat and tidy in my room.
Keep going! Will continue my tiny purchase.

PS: BTW, Blue Jeans Cable is one the excellent product, too.(no expensive snake oil) Recommanded!
Last edited by twinterfinder on Wed Aug 15 2018 13:24, edited 2 times in total.
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Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby orchardaudio » Wed Aug 15 2018 12:45

twinterfinder wrote:If you have an upgrade chance one day, please check it with Pi whose potential could be far beyond your imagination.

Lots of brilliant engineers step into Hifi world and bring us excellent innovations.(and avoid expensive snake oil)
I shall say “great job done! Orchard Audio”.
Your works is really appreciated and I am very much satisfied.
A tiny board plus an amp, they look absolutely neat and tidy in my room.
Keep going! Will continue my tiny purchase.


Thank you.
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Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby bigbear2003 » Thu Aug 16 2018 05:46

$199 for the DAC card + $99 for the volume control you must be kidding. :?
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Re: Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby PatrickB » Thu Aug 16 2018 06:02

bigbear2003 wrote:$199 for the DAC card + $99 for the volume control you must be kidding. :?
Why? Compared to what?


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk
Raspberry PI B+ with Hifiberry Digi+ (Audio-GD DAC) and NAD A/V receiver with Dali speakers.
Also working on a Pi 3A+ connected over USB to in-car DSP
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Re: Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby bigbear2003 » Thu Aug 16 2018 07:32

PatrickB wrote:
bigbear2003 wrote:$199 for the DAC card + $99 for the volume control you must be kidding. :?
Why? Compared to what?


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk


Not sure if this is the most expensive or 2nd most expensive rpi dac outta.
I wont spend this much on a rpi dac card let along from a small unknown company.

Even the big name Allo gets it wrong on their latest most expensive offering.
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Re: Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby Ernesternest » Thu Aug 16 2018 10:32

bigbear2003 wrote:
PatrickB wrote:
bigbear2003 wrote:$199 for the DAC card + $99 for the volume control you must be kidding. :?
Why? Compared to what?


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk


Not sure if this is the most expensive or 2nd most expensive rpi dac outta.
I wont spend this much on a rpi dac card let along from a small unknown company.

Even the big name Allo gets it wrong on their latest most expensive offering.
You don't have to.
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Orchard Audio ApplePI DAC review

Postby bigbear2003 » Thu Aug 16 2018 11:37

Dont worry. I dont have money to waste.
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