Allo Katana V1.2 DAC with Sound Quality Output Stage


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SKU: 2145 Categories: , ,


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)

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