This is the first time I post a review and a link to my new blog. If the moderators want to move or suggest a different way to do this in the future, please let me know. So here goes:
Volumio sent me their first in-house product to have a listen to and evaluate. They call it the Primo. It is what I would refer to as an all-in-one digital music source. It runs on Volumio's own developed software that offers playback of music files stored on a local USB hard drive, network shares or networked media servers. It also plays music from Internet based radio and streaming services. The music is then delivered in digital or analog form as per user preference.
For the past couple of weeks I discovered quite an exciting and pleasant product, especially for a first time user of a networked streamer device, or someone seeking a good music source that can grow with their audio gear acquisitions over time. But it certainly also provides a lot of value for the avid listener that already makes use of lossless music files and streaming, and already have more expensive gear, but wants to stop using a noisy computer or laptop and wants a smaller, dedicated, purpose built music source that just works and move out of the way. Let me explain and share my experience with you.
In absolute terms you are correct. The Allo specialist devices are, and should be, better with all the dedicated multiple power supplies, multiple boards and many more parts. I mean I just love the DigiOne Signature. Its marvelous!
But my main point was that the Primo targets a different market where it provides everything you need, in terms of outputs, at a level that is more than good enough, for each of the outputs, to make the majority of audiophiles very happy. When they are not happy anymore, they enter a different market and appetite to spend much more on better gear. And that is awesone as well, because at this point they know what they want, and specialist gear will be much more satisfying purchases. Partly because they appreciate the small differences it make, and they have much more resolving gear to pair it with. The Primo should not disappoint up to this point in the audio journey. And then it clearly does not replace the better sounding specialist units I mentioned.
I wonder if we will ever see something like a Digione Signature on top of an ASUS Tinkerboard... would that not be an amazing device!? What we need is a Raspberry Pi like SBC, built with audio and media in mind, that is still affordable enough to be a starting point for all kinds of audio products. Could this be the USBridge V2 you talk about? We will have to see and I am very excited about this news and I hope I get a chance to evaluate it.
AFAIK, the upcoming SBC from Allo has the USBridge implemented and the Digione Sig can be used on top of it. I am curious about the upcoming Motivo streamer from Volumio and will see and listen to it at HE Munich this weekend.