Review: New soundcheck at Hamburg. Mamboberry HD DAC+ at 2nd place!

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Dear music lovers

we had the soundcheck yesterday.
It’s always a pleasure for me to share a moment with other music/electronics technician enthusiast.
Thank you very much for coming. We were five and had a relaxed evening together

I had trouble with my 16 port audio switch (making noise) so i used again the 5 line ports of my amp.

The special of this Soundcheck was, that Michelangelo was so kind to sent us two brand new volumio devices, a prototype of a ESS9028 DAC called ‘PRIMO’, and Tinkerbell S pocket device named ‘Minuetto’.
I was so curious how it would sound. Thank you so much Michelangelo!

I put these devices in a king class group (all in) :
TERRATECHNOS – Terra-BerryDAC 2 ( with Switch 1 and 2 off ) (v.2.413)
mamboberry HD+ DAC with Crystek Clock and allo kali reclocker (v.2.413)
pi2design 502DAC PRO (v.2.146 with Hifiberry DIGI+ PRO driver)
allo Piano 2.1 with Kali in dual mono and 32bit target upsampling. (v.2.413)
volumio Primo(v.2.418) and RPI3p

Of course, we did a blind test.
We especially noticed two devices, one with a confusing high field and less bass, another one with remarkable more details and slightly emphasized bass, a third board was noticed as especially ‘friendly’- detailed and well balanced.
No question, the other two boards where great too, but not that spectacular.
So, the secret was, that the primo was our no.1. the mambo on place 2.. place 3 for piano and 502dacpro.

Then, how would be the primo compared to the other great boards:
mamboberry HD+ DAC with IDT Clock (v.2.413)
allo BOSS v. 1.2 (v.2.413)
odroid c2 & hifi shield 2 (v.2.411)
IQaudio DAC pro (v.2.413)
volumio Primo (v.2.413) and RPI3p

We did it again as a blind test. To our surprise, we found the same dac’s as best.

 

Full review here:

https://volumio.org/forum/volumio-soundcheck-invitation-for-hamburg-germany-t5918-50.html#p50701

Thank you again Jens! 🙂

REVIEW: New review and an audio guide from TNT-Audio

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Reviewer: Richard Varey – TNT New Zealand
Reviewed: April, 2018

[Collybia Mamboberry]

A magnificent music experience [Part 1]

Introduction

Welcome to my journey through the land of RaspberryPi file playback and online streaming, and beyond. My exploration of some very attractive alternatives to PC-based music file players runs over three parts. In Part One, I begin my investigations by looking at and listening with several devices.

Part Two continues the travels with more devices, and in Part Three I consider software options and some enhancement accessories that came to my attention whilst looking at the burgeoning field of RPi-based audio over Ethernet.

 

Read the full review at:

http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/ethernet_audio1_e.html

Thank you TNT and specially Richard! Music experience is all it matters!

REVIEW: Soundcheck in Hamburg is finished. Guess who won… :)

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My friends, we came together and let me say it’s always a view for a moment.

i was really happy that we had the chance to compare 5 power supply’s.

1. original raspberry 5V 2,5A PSU (~13€)
2. allo 5V 3A PSU (~13€)
3. ifi iPower 5V 2,5A (~50€)
4. allo dual psu (5V & ~19V) (~100€)
5 collybia mambo (5V 2A-3A) (~139€)

the allo dual comes in a pretty acrylic case, similar to there other cases, just bigger and DC connector, adapter.
for me a perfect combo for the boss&volt setup. (pic follows)

the mambo comes in a stable alu case, USB connector, switch and adapter.
and thank you collybia team, for shipping us your new product and be the first to examine it ! :D

So, see my setup above. 5x Rpi & Mamboberry LS DAC, 100h burned,
same http://cinch-kabel.org/dcsk-stereo-nf-audio-mk-ii-cinch-kabel/rca cable,
Marantz PM6003 amplifier, 4x ELAC FS 78 loudspeaker.

We where overwhelmed. The distances were to small for us. i would say, for most people no difference. But maybe most people are not audiophile :D … so in conclusion:

for better equipment and/or more sensitive people it makes sense to elimate power noise.
(i will do another test in the morning when ears are more relaxed, just with 2 friends and the elac element ea101eq-g amp.)
… stay tuned

We also compared 5 I2S Boards.

Again, i have to say. All boards are really on a high level, but here, differences are much clearer than the psu comparing.
It’s like hear a taste.

we had
Raspberry Pi 3 & Allo Kali Reclocker & Mamboberry LS DAC +
Raspberry Pi 3 & Allo Kali Reclocker & Allo Piano DAC 2.1 (dual mono)
Raspberry Pi 3& Allo Boss DAC
Raspberry Pi zero w & Allo mini Boss DAC
Raspberry Pi 3 & IQaudIO Pi-DAC PRO

to my surprise, this time we voted the mambo&kali for first place(!) (‘natural&magic’) followed by the IQaudIO Pi-DAC PRO ‘brighter, well balanced’)
The allo boards where on place three.

isn’t it confusing? :) but may not. we are human. and it’s a come together with always different people…
next soundcheck will be in december. you are invited to follow this quest.
judydudi

Volumio 2.246 was used, 100% volume.
playing
David Bowie – Cat People (Putting Out Fire 1982) FLAC {24bit-96kHz}
The Hilary Hahn Encores – In 27 Pieces CD1 – Bates: Ford’s Farm FLAC {16bit-44kHz}

sound3.jpg
Allo dual psu and mambo power supply

 

Unbenannt-1.jpg
ears are needed

 

PS. We want to thank Jens and Kompage again for their support and honor to include LS DAC+ to their soundcheck! Thank Jens and keep up your musical trip to audio!

A “soundcheck” project in Hamburg.

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Mamboberry LS DAC+ at Hamburg soundcheck project!

We are very happy to hear that a young man and enthusiast member of audiophile community, demonstrate in a soundcheck project, Mamboberry LS DAC+ "face to face" with other dac's of the dac-hut market.

We really like the competition, and in our opinion we think, it makes everyone better and keep the sound in high quality standards, if you actually love what you are doing.

In Collybia Team we believe that "the clothes do not make the "dac". The good pcb board designing and the choice of the electronic parts, make the difference.

From our website/eshop we would like to congratulate Jens for his efforts to prepare and accomplish this audio project and share his love for HQ sound with other people.

Thank you Jens. We are really appreciate it!

REVIEW: New audio review from TNT-AUDIO.com!

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Introduction

My curiosity about alternative digital audio was piqued by the latest new product announcement – a shiny silver box that serves music from a stored library or online streaming services. And for a mere $5000! The basic tenet of the sales pitch was «do you really want the hassle of setting up a PC-based or other system, why not just buy a made-for-purpose product?». I wondered the opposite – how can I do it at low cost and easily without hassle?

The Mambo Media HiFi Player is one answer to my question. Essentially, it’s a Raspberry Pi B+ credit-card size PC and credit-card size (65 x 55 mm) Mamboberry HiFi DAC+ mounted in a box with an external power supply adaptor, and software installed and configured. For more than 40 years my hi-fi attention has been on electronic components in large metal cases, typically 17″ wide, so the idea of a high definition digital file player and Internet radio streamer in a tiny box with a small price needed to be investigated. I approached this product as an audiophile curious to test for myself the claims that truly high definition music playback quality is available simply by combining low-cost off-the-shelf assemblies. I requested a low-cost plug-n-play high quality media player – and that’s what I got – and more.

What you get

Collybia sell the boards and also now do the assembly and audio player software set-up to sell a tailorable plug-and-play media box configuration. This uses the ESS Sabre ES9023p DAC chip and Sigma/Delta PCM 24 bit – 192 kHz architecture with Linux kernel 4.1.16 v7+. In other words, the DAC is high definition and associated with a PC board with open source operating system and music player daemon. In this case, the front-end is the MoOde Audio Player which can play DSD, and the media box can also handle DXD at 352.8 kHz. The design concept was to eliminate jitter, and Collybia claim to have achieved this. I note that this solution comes from a computer firm rather than a home audio producer. Why would you use such a product when there are many very arty and glitzy big boxes offered elsewhere for music serving duties? Firstly, the low cost is a real eye-opener. High definition playback is promised, making this a tempting consideration for audiophiles. The box is very small, allowing the unit to be hidden away if desired. The unit is silent and does not get hot, using only about 4 W and so there is no fan to dirty the electrical signals. The PC is headless requiring no dedicated monitor, and control via a web browser is oh so easy and effective. The 9 V – 1 A linear power supply is external and ultra-low noise.

[Inside the Mambo Media HiFi Player]

Inside the tiny Mambo Media HiFi Player

The unit supplied is mounted in a black aluminium box just 110 x 100 x 42 mm (white is also available), with a green LED panel (other colours are available), and MoOde installed (Archphile or RuneAudio are also available). An SD card reader can be included – options are selectable on the website ordering page. Before powering on, I plugged in a USB stick with FLAC files loaded and attached a CAT5 cable network connection. The media box will also operate on a wireless connection, but this is not recommended by Collybia and I didn’t try it. A network connection is essential to enable control through a web browser on a PC or tablet. I used the Discovery app on my iPad to get the IP address for the device and found the user interface on the network (see photos) by typing this as the URL in my Google Chrome browser. This gave me control over player on/off, settings, browsing sources (USB, Internet radio), library of files and searching, playlist, volume, and of course play.

[Mambo Media HiFi Player] [Mambo Media HiFi Player]

The Mambo Media HiFi Player control interface (click to enlarge)

I have been able to use the unit in three ways:

  • as a server transport, to play files over the home LAN from my PC using JRiver Media Center 21 as the library manager (files are sent to the Moode UPnP device as a playlist); this also worked very nicely with the JRemote iPad app;
  • to stream Internet radio (I listened to Linn Radio and Audiophile Live, which is based in Athens!);
  • to play music files from a USB stick (or externally-powered USB hard disk drive).

[Inside the Mambo Media HiFi Player]

Inside the tiny Mambo Media HiFi Player

A small remote control device is supplied and this was quite effective for start/stop, pause, volume, and moving back and forth among adjacent files. The range seems to be very short (no more than a metre?), so this is not a way to control the unit from the couch, but it does add functions that don’t have buttons on the box itself. Clear line of sight with the IR receiver was essential, and one snag is that the IR receiver is not on the same face as the LED display which shows file titles. Control through a web browser which also allows source, network, system, and MPD configuration and interface customisation. Sonic quality of playback of my FLAC files is astonishingly good. I have used a Cambridge DACMagic and SoTM HD interface for several years, and recently also tried a Carat-Peridot USB DAC from StyleAudio (South Korea), and iFi iPurifier and USB Disruptor. The Mambo is crisper, very dynamic, and tonally very engaging. For a couple of weeks now, the others have been switched off, and the Mambo has become my preferred player with the MPD configuration set to SoX very high quality (24 bit – 192 kHz, 175 dB noise rejection, linear phase). I’m loving the sound of my digital albums!

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