Best Selection for Dac Amp etc

my current setup is:

  1. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
  2. Volumio
  3. AMP: Nobsound MS-10D
    ( a amplifier with transistors and 4 tubes as buffer. They have good sound for his price (130 euro).
  4. Speakers: Roister Silk 75 watt

I want to add a DAC in the raspberry for better sound.
I am thinking for Allo 2.1 Piano, Allo Boss, IQAUDIO PI DAC+, IQAUDIO PI DAC Pro or HIFIBERRY DAC+ PRO.

When i start to read reviews i have see also the IQAUDIO – PI-DIGIAMP+.

I want to ask if the IQAUDIO – PI-DIGIAMP+ have better sound from a normal amplifier in the price of 130 euro.
This type of amps (like PI-DIGIAMP+) it is maked in order to use it when want a basic audio quality with small size or it is true Hi Fi amplifiers so we have no reason to use another amp except if we go to very expensive ones?
Also i have see that PI-DIGIAMP+ have not so good DAC (like the OI DAC PRO). The difference is big?

In my system i play jazz, rock and blues music.

Thank you

Call me conservative, but I’m sceptical that a combined, creditcard-sized DAC-Amplifier of 2x20 W costing <80€ can beat the quality of a well-designed, 100+€ amp with a DAC in the same price range. To be fair, that latter is double the price, but if you have the amp anyway I think you’d better spend your 80€ on a DAC and keep your amp :wink:

A few things, keeping in mind I’m new…

The analog audio output on the Pi is pretty terrible.

I’ve heard from others that streaming audio through USB on the Pi typically doesn’t result in super great results. The Pi doesn’t have a great clock, and as a result there is a lot of jitter in the USB signal. This means an external DAC connected via USB isn’t super smart.

You’ve already spent money on an amp… so buying an amp that has a DAC built in probably isn’t a great use of your money, anyway.

I have a similar setup in some ways, a Pi with Volumio and an inexpensive amp and speakers.

Initially I had the Pi hooked up using a stereo analog cable to the amp.

I personally found it was a HUGE difference when I bought an inexpensive clone of the HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro.


I suspect from my research that the Allo Boss is worth the extra $$ over the HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro as it has separate clock circuits which could definitely result in better more musical sound, but that said, IMHO any of the known common Pi add on DAC boards is going to give you GREAT bang for the buck.

Basically by adding a board, you are leveraging the $$ you already spent on your Pi.

Yes, the analog jack is terribly bad.
USB is not so bad though, taking a few things in consideration. An asynchronous DAC circumvents the Pi’s bad clock, similarly as the Allo DAC board has its own clock. Furthermore, the main source of noise on the USB is the shared ethernet. Simply use the wifi and no problems there.

I agree with your last statement: any DAC, no matter how cheap, is going to make a major improvement compared to the Pi’s jack. Pick what is most comfortable and within budget.