Allo Piano 2.1 (DAC) + Kali I2S Reclocker.


I’m about to buy a bundle of DAC + Reclocker and just realized that Allo website sells a new version of Allo Piano DAC called 2.1.

Does this DAC works with volumio? I haven’t seen any review nor comments about it in the forum.
Is it really worth to pay the extra 15$ that costs?

Apparently the only extra functionality I noticed is the double RCA connector for each channel.


That’s because it’s a different device for (probably) a different use case. The Piano 2.1 has a dedicated sub-woofer aspect to it, making it a small surround-sound device, whereas the Piano is a dedicated stereo device. I can’t think of a reason to buy the Piano2.1 since it offers nothing for the pursuit of stereo music, but I’m certain someone can show me the error of my ways …

Chris M

Oh, I see.

It’s a pitty, I would love to to have 4 RCA in my DAC. Will get a basic piano then.


The big difference is the used DAC chip. The new 2.1 has a newer chip that has a build in DSP. Although at the moment, there are no drivers available yet that take full advantage of the DSP functions, it can be very interesting if you are considering using DSP/EQ type of functionality which you can not get from the basic Piano DAC.

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Ah, most interesting. If there’s a sensible chance to get DRC inserted into the DAC board, I’d be jumping on that. As it is, there’s still no use for the other ‘half’ of the Piano2.1 in my life but still…

Thanks for the info,

Chris M


Today I received the Piano 2.1 dac. I have two questions about it.

  1. At the moment I want to use the Piano as a 2.0 dac which - says the Allo website - is possible. How can I do this?

  2. When I use the Piano 2.1 dac as a stereo dac will the sound quality be the same as the (cheaper) Piano Dac?

I hope someone can answer my questions!


Not sure if it will work with Volumio, try the normal Piano DAC driver and see if it will work.

On SQ, I think it will sound the same as the real D/A pieces of both chips are the same as far as I know.

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Hi John,
you can use alsamixer to do that. With F6 switch to the PianoDAC Plus soundcard and go to the Subwoofer selection setting.
With up/down you can change to 2.0.
Don’t forget, you need to reboot afterwards.


Gé, the version with DSP has not been released yet… So what he can do is just use raspyplayv3 and use it as a normal stereo dac

oops, did not realise that :wink:

Thanks for all your answers!

So, when I choose Raspyplayv3 the Piano 2.1 Dac is no longer pre-programmed as 2.1?

When Raspyplayv3 is chosen it’s still 2.1 but no sound from subwoofer with 16/44.1 flac files. In my case the dac is pretty much useless at the moment because most of my library is in 16/44.1 format.

Looking forward to piano 2.1 driver.

Just got my RPi set up with the Kali re-clocker and a Piano 2.1 DAC, and I’ve got to say that I agree with Michaelangelo that this is a real game changer.

I’ve been working with RPi and various DAC’s for a few years now. Have always loved these setups, but with very large, high bitrate files (I use mostly FLAC files), there has always been trouble with jitter, particularly if you are trying to do anything else on the RPi, like copying files, etc. From what I’m seeing so far, this setup completely resolves those issues, and also improves the soundstage pretty noticeably. All of this also makes a lot of sense, logically, given the buffer and the dedicated clock.

One question that I have is, why has this not been done before - i.e buffering the data being fed to the DAC with a dedicated clock? Would this not be something that could be built in a single HAT that includes the DAC? I.E. given that the Kali is just an FPGA, it seems like it’s purpose could be implemented at a much lower cost with a purpose-built circuit, and added to a DAC board.

At any rate, I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows about the possibilities for creating a DAC with integrated, Kali-type buffer and clock. It seems to me that this, combined with a low cost SBC (RPi or other), and loaded with Volumio, could be a formidable commercial product for the non-DIY audiophile market, competing with Olive One and similar products.

Game. Changed.

[also, I’m dying for a case for this setup, as I’m sure the rest of us are… anyone have anything yet?]

You might check the HIFIBERRY DAC+PRO

Thanks. I have tried the HIFIBERRY DAC+PRO as well, and found it to be good as well, but it seems to me that the buffering of the Kali is making a (positive) difference for me.

I am using Kali I2S Reclocker and Piano 2.1 DAC with subwoofer mode 2.0. With that selection, the minimum low pass filter option is 60. It seems that the filter really is active because, as I change it to higher frequencies, I can clearly hear that more and more bass is cut off. If my observation is right it would make sense to either completely remove the filter for subwoofer mode 2.0 or add more frequencies to it as to cut off at 20 Hertz for example.

That’s strange, because that combination works as it should for me when in 2.0 mode. If I try to alter the frequency it just resets itself to 60Hz again. Are you taking the signal from the main outputs?
The Piano 2.1 doesn’t work as it should when in 2.2 mode, but Allo have said they are working on that.
You could try using the setting for the IQAudio DAC Plus. That will also work with the Piano.

On that image there was a bug…wait until the latest image that will be released tomorrow ,meanwhile back to testing…

I hooked up my new Kali and Piano 2.1 to an RPi3 board, loaded up Volumio, picked Piano 2.1 as DAC, set up the wifi, restarted and it has worked flawlessly from the get go. Nice work Allo!

I think I like the sound a bit more than that from the hifiberry dac pro (which is cheaper so there is that). Instrument decay seems a bit more natural among other things. hifiberry had a nice case though. Come on Allo, you need to step it up in the aesthetics department :slight_smile:

N.B.: if you would also package a PSU with the Volt+, that would have been great. Its a pain to find a PSU that fits. I didn’t get the Vana player; the Volt+ is not in the same system as the DAC.


A lot of the good work is from our friends, Mike and Ge .

Anyway , still things to fix.

Btw… you are using SCK bypassing the PLL of the TI IC :smiley: