HifiBerry vs Marantz PM7005 USB Dac

I am currently using the built-in USB dac in my Marantz PM7005.
However, I am considering buying a HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro and connecting this with RCA instead.

Can I expect this to improve my audio quality? Also - are there any better Raspberry Pi DAC hats available that I should choose over the HifiBerry?

Not sure about your Marantz but for comparison, I had a USB Musical Fidelity VDAC-II running which I thought sounded good. I put a HFB DAC+ Pro on instead, the wife looked up and said it sounded just like the old turntable-based system when new, and the Musical Fidelity stuff went onto Ebay.

Yes, there’s much more complicated HATs out there, and they may sound better in your circumstances, but your room, the rest of your system, the state of your hearing, possibly even the phase of the moon may have an effect, so the question is very much an open one. Popular commentary suggest that the ALLO Boss, the ALLO Kali + Piano2.1 combo, or the Orchard Audio ApplerPi DAC all have something going for them. I myself have just switched from a HFB DAC+ Pro to the ApplePi DAC, and there’s more music coming out of the speakers.

I suspect that if you wanted to push limits, you wouldn’t spend time with HAT DACs, but use the RPi as a transport via a transport HAT such as the HFB Digi+ Pro, then onto something like the Chord Electronics Mojo or Qutest. At this point, you’re out of the hobby purchasing area but, if you want to be exact about this sort of thing, then you have to be exact, and Chord represents that.

Try the ApplePi or the BOSS…

I use an Allo Usbridge transport for my music to my Marantz NA8005… which PM7005 shares DNA. the both have cirrus logic and can read upto DSD128 music files.

I use jitterbug and ifi purifier 2… the detail is wow using usbridge… very detailed… Marantz HDAM infuse warmish character to the analog out of NA8005 to my neutral sounding amp…

You can try also Digione or the Digione Signature from Allo and connect it to your coax…

im using Allo Katana v1. 0 as my main Streamer with an ESS chipset. but my usbridge-marantz NA8005 can go for a tie…

I have th same set up as you do with a pi being connected via usb to my PM7005, and was looking for a change as well. What hold me from doing so:

The DAC in the PM7005 uses a Cirrus Logic CS4398 and has dual clocks for working in master mode. The CS4398 has, at least on paper, a dynamic range of 120 dB whereas Texas Instrument’s PCM5122 used in Hifiberrys, Boss and the like has (only) 112 dB. Also total harmonic distortions + noise are significantly better on the CS4398.

The CS was (is?) one of Cirrus’ best DACs and the marantz’s implementation with dual clocks and sophisticated power supply is also well engineered. This is of course, when you use it via asynchrone usb, which you already do.

I’m not saying that the 5122 Hifiberrys or Allos are bad DACs. Especially the boss is said to give great musicality for the buck! I just wouldn’t consider them an upgrade to your set up…

Right now I’m waiting for the reviews on Allo’s Katana v1.2. If you want to stick to the raspberry pi, this DAC seems to be a whole different league. I haven’t decided though if I can justify 260€ plus power supplies for a musical upgrade, when I mainly listen to Spotify :wink:

You really see Chords mojo that way ahead of an allo boss DAC?

Yes, as Rob Watts has been at this a long time, and his products are boringly predictable at winning hifi awards. There’s a reason for that, and Allo, good though they are, are simply using someone else’s DAC implementation with the best price/performance they can get for a small budget. Chord have their own theory of perception management and it seems to be an effective one. A problem would be that, for me, anything from Chord would be overkill as I’m too old (61) and a motorcyclist to have youthful hearing, i.e. I have a probable reduction in hearing of anything up to about 40dB in the higher frequencies by comparison with a 20 year old.

This is an interesting article on why a Mojo: the-ear.net/how-to/rob-watts-chord-mojo-tech.

Personally, I go with Colin Chapman’s motto: “Simplify, then add lightness.” It works for all sorts of things; Allo’s design capabilities notwithstanding, look at their circuit boards. Compare the Boss, and more particularly the Katana, and the ApplePi DAC from Orchard Audio, or the HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro. Component count on those two are trivial by comparison with the Allo boards, yet they still sound very good. I can understand Allo’s stated purpose in their design decisions but, in common with much coding that I have seen, I don’t think they’ve understood the problem fully enough. Their stuff is too complicated; just look at the Katana re-manufacturing issue. The Chord approach is to have it all ‘soft’, with the FPGA simply representing the latest version of their thinking on that subject. If the FPGA is chosen to allow it, new versions of the Mojo could be downloaded.

Sorry for the length of the reply…

Chris M

I am before buying a Marantz 7005 with a USB B dac and before buying a raspberry pi 3b + or

(please advise me which model is better to choose, it will only be for music, I don’t want

to assume

no fans must operate on passive cooling).
On Raspberry Pi I want to put the Volumio system and it will only serve me as a transport


Tidal, Spotify and Tunein radio with Raspberry usb A to Marantz 7005 on usb B with usb

I want to use Raspberry only to connect only with this USB cable to Maranzt, I don’t want


mount an additional HiFi Berry card.
My question is will my Marantz detect Raspberry connected to me via this usb cable?
Do I need to add any Rasberry usb-audio drivers to Volumio?
If all this works, will the sound be of the same good quality (of course

Spotify and Tidal) how does this happen in the integrated newer Marantz 7000N? (

which has everything already integrated on the Heos platform and plays it sensational, but

I listened

it’s only very short while listening to the store)?
I will add that I do not want to have Heos platform only in that it is often hung,

disconnects (many descriptions are on other forums).
Please, send me a link to the Usb - Audio driver for Raspberry Pi 3b +, 4 (if

is different) and possibly how to install it?
I’m just starting the adventure with Raspberry.
And will Raspberry really work with this DAC model in Marantz 7005?
Will Raspberry 3B + handle Spotify well without jamming via WIFI?
Thank you in advance for your response.

ps. english translator

If you’re using USB to talk to the Marantz, then RPi4, as that has a much better USB implementation. Don’t bother with lots of RAM, get the smallest one, Volumio is not a major overhead.

As far as USB output is concerned, Volumio doesn’t (AFAIK) output to the USB ports on a RPi, but to any attached output device (HAT, HDMI or audio jack). There’s not really a PC-like ecosystem of drivers to be sought for the RPi, so it’s not a question that can be answered. I think Moode may write out to USB, but I’m stuck for any ideas on how to get Volumio to do it…

Of course it does. Just connect your usb device and select it in output settings.

After connecting the Raspberry usb A to Marantz 7005 cable with a USB B cable, will the signal volume be as quiet as I would connect to a Raspberry jack with an RCA cable?
Will the signal be strong and loud?
Thank you in advance for your answer.

Just connect your laptop or PC to the Marantz. The signal will be the same. So yes, “strong and loud”.