Allo Digione Signature + LPS vs. Berkeley Alpha USB to SPDIF Converter?


I'm currently running a Mac Mini + JKSPDIF Mk3 USB->SPDIF + AMR DP-777 SE DAC and am looking at either upgrading the JK to Berkeley Alpha USB or simplifying to an Allo DigiOne Signature + Shanti or other LPS.  Anyone have experience with the Allo and Berkeley?  Or Berkeley vs Singxer SU-6?

I also have an Audiophilleo + PurePower in a different system that I've tried with this setup and it sounds really good.  JK is too soft and smoothed out while AP without PP is too hard in the upper midrange; AP + PP strikes a good balance.  I'm just assuming the Berkeley would be a step up vs AP based on reputation.  I've been out of the game for several years and haven't tried any of the newer dedicated streamers.  Ultrarendu would be a consideration but I need SPDIF to use the superior tube output of the AMR. 
eugene81
You prefer SPDIF to USB on the AMR?
Interesting thread. Thank you for your impressions.

But I would have the same question. The conventional wisdom is that on a DAC of your quality, the USB input outperforms the spdif.

But one never knows in audio. On the advice of someone I respect I recently found a 1M $7,99 toslink cable to outperform a $130 spdif one. But I am eventually looking for a USB solution. In any event, a renderer that gets the music files completely out of the computer.

Until I can find an I2S one.
Yes, I do prefer SPDIF to USB. This DAC has tube SPDIF inputs and, while USB still sounds very good, SPDIF brings a bigger, wider, more open, vivid sound. Aside from the size aspect, music through the USB input sounds like the performers are just kind of going through the motions, like another day on the job, while SPDIF sounds like they are really putting their hearts into it. The caveat is that it depends on what you feed it. When you introduce a converter, its power cable/supply, and a SPDIF cable, that all tunes the sound.

In some applications I have preferred toslink with a good glass cable too. My experience with direct USB hasn’t been too favorable, but I’ve read that much progress has been made in recent years. It was generally not very good in the early days, even with advent of asynchronous interfaces. Actually, I did have an iFi Pro IDSD and found its USB input to be comparable to SPDIF, if not slightly better. However, I thought wireless streaming was best. Go figure.

As always, YMMV with system synergy and personal taste.