The Katana is Allo’s top-performing DAC (Digital-Analog Converter) for the Raspberry Pi. Use this to feed high-quality analog audio signals from your digital music files to your amplifier. It features a choice between two different output stages, tuned for different tastes. This Katana DAC includes the Sound Quality output stage.
Also available are the Katana DAC with Pure THD+N output stage, as well as the individual Pure THD+N output stage that you can purchase for swapping with the Sound Quality output stage included here. Only one output stage can be used at a time.
The description of the two output stages are below. Allo says “The difference between the output stages depend on your system and your personal preference. We really like both.”
- Pure THD+N Output Stage: At -112.9 Thd+n 1Khz A weighted, this stage will satisfy those that want no distortion in music. Board sounds very good.
- Sound quality Output Stage: 100.5 Thd+n a weighted 1Khz, this board has been optimized for sound quality. While sacrificing some thd+n numbers we found the subjective experience to be, in a word, closer to analog sound.
The Katana Story
Allo set themselves the goal of building a DAC that would compete with any other under $1000. They went to great lengths, selecting a unique DAC IC (ESS9038Q2M) and ultra low jitter NDK clockss. Power is filtered well, with resulting noise in the micro-volt (uV) range.
A unique analog stage featuring 6 custom opamps configured for class A amplification results in a total noise lower than 1mV! Each board is hand-trimmed for DC offset, and programmed for THD+N compensation.
So in essence, the Katana DAC is an excellent implementation of the Ess9038q2m in Master Mode (an industry first).The resulting THD+N numbers (1Khz, 0 dbfs, a weighted) are -112.75!!!
- Possibility to wire balanced XLR output (Soldering required)
- Board mounted RCA output connectors
- ESS SABRE 9038Q2M DAC chip
- THD+N (1Khz, 0 dbfs, a weighted) at -112.75
- Ready to use with DietPi, Volumio, Max2Play, Picoreplayer, Moode and more.
Katana DAC with Sound Quality Output Stage – Contents
- Katana DAC Stack with Sound Quality Output Stage
- 1 x DC 5.5 x 2.5 to DC 5.5 x 2.1 DC Barrel Adapter
- 1 x type-C-to-DC Adapter Cable (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)
- 1 x microUSB-to-DC Adapter Cable (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)
- 1 x Battery Wire-to-DC Barrel (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)
Support & Downloads
- Katana Tech Manual
- Katana + DietPi + Roon Setup
- Katana + Volumio Setup
- Katana Default Power Source Settings
- Katana MC Firmware Upgrade Procedure