If Leo was a DAC, he'd be top of the line for sure. Few years back when I first heard of Orchard Audio, checked their initial product which was right up their with this new trend of SBCs out of the UK which made robotic learning for kids the new hype, as well as low cost, high quality devices for men and their guilty pleasure, the SOUND.
What made it very interesting is that in the world of RaspberryPi, HifiBerry and so many others, you had this company who's owner and creator was a rock star among us men. Everyone was talking about Leo this and Leo that. The product reviews, although always among the most recommended, still came after all the praise for Leo.
Yesterday I got my Orchard-Audio PecanPi Streamer from a private vendor. The unit was 2nd hand, it arrived in a box with nothing else but a note: Enjoy the music.
Of course nothing worked as I had hoped it would and I was left with no other choice but to contact the company for HELP!
I got on a chat line with someone at the company and that person soon discovered that we were both talking different languages and where could not even described my new purchase correctly. Well lucky for me, that person did not give up on me, he tried one thing, and then another, and this went on until we hit a key word that brought us together on the same page, with a sudden clear understanding of what I had to do. 45min. that's all it took after that for me to get my new PecanPi Streamer connected, with a new SD card in and a fresh configuration.
That was the moment when music started playing, not any kind of music, but for me at least, the MUSIC that I as a man have been evolving to. I have now reached plenitude and am now ready to die if I must, but before, please let me listen to that music a little while longer. Oh!, did I mention that the poor sole at the end of the chat, the one who walked me through Dante's Inferno, well, yeah it was indeed...Leo.
Leo thanks for the MUSIC and for being you.
Robert A Rust
Leo, after our discussion at the Florida International Audio Fest, I am so glad that you built a three channel amplifier, the Duo/Trio. Just having a single power cord to get your amplification over three mono amps with power supplies and power cords is a great help. More importantly, it goes extremely well with my tube amplifier used for my front speakers. I think the GanFet class D works well for the other three speakers because it matches closely to the power rating of the tube amp, adds clarity to the center channel, and balances the frequency in the rear speakers, without competing with the front speaker pair. I also think that the use of the RCA to XLR converters are important to use instead of XLR to RCA cables. The increase of 6 dB improves the sound and allows the Duo/Trio to work optimally. Why buy an amplifier and then not use it to its full capacity? Anyone who wants to purchase this three channel amp, or any other of your amps, should seriously consider adding these converters to their system. To this point, I like the converters so much that I am ordering a third for my tube amplifier to insure that I am getting a fully balanced performance.
Great job all around, thank you for taking the plunge. I hope this amplifier helps all of those people looking to upgrade their amplifiers using an Audio Video Receiver or processor, including those with tube front channels.
Leo is awesome! He is the owner. Very quick shipping! Great product! And great customer service. I have asked way too many questions. And he always answers the same day.
TL/DR: Sounds amazing. Extraordinary customer service. Highly recommended.
I have wanted to add a streamer to my hifi for a while - Rega Brio, KEF LS50s, CD and record player. But which one and what sort? Roon? Sonos? Bluetooth? WiFi? I went down the rabbit hole of reviews and forums.
I am not a technophobe by any means but a lot of the info I found was too technical and confusing. I just wanted a plug and play streamer for Tidal and was thinking of getting an Audiolab 600N. I didn’t want to spend too much as the tech seems to be advancing.
Then I read a John Darko piece about Raspberry Pi streamers and thought that seemed like an elegant solution but one that was too much of a DIY project for me to do by myself. More Googling and I found Orchard Audio.
Here’s a dude (Leo) in New Jersey with “decades of engineering expertise” at big companies making reasonably priced streamers that get great reviews. What’s not to like?
I bought the PecanPi, it arrived really quickly. It’s small, sturdy and has a solid, homemade feel that I love. I couldn’t wait to try it out.
I chose the Volumio option after discussion with Leo. Plugged it in and nothing. Ugh. I rebooted everything (all very IT Crowd). Nothing. So I emailed Leo. Ten minutes later he had emailed me back. Problem was fixed (turned out it was just some glitch in my internet) but it was clear to me that Leo was on the case if I had issues.
So now it is up and running and it’s phenomenal. Hifi descriptions of sound are as impossible as wine reviews, it’s so subjective, one man’s blackberry and slate is another’s blueberry and tar. But for me the PecanPi (in my smallish NY apartment) is big, detailed, has a great, intimate, 3D feel and sounds as good playing Satie as it does the Oh Sees.
Very happy customer. Thank you!
I was looking for the best GAN based Class D amplifier I could and stumbled across some positive reviews of the Starkrimson Ultra Gan amplifier. My initial buying experience was atypical in that the amplifier wasn't able to deal with my 125vac due to it triggering the overvoltage circuit to cut off the amplifier. I'm not going to sugar coat it; I reacted a bit too hastily with my words g g and well in the end cooler heads prevailed and Leo agreed to put a better regulated replacement power supply and solved the problem for me. Right out of the gate this amp has a very deep punchy bottom end. The midrange drivers and AMT tweeters sound as good as I've ever heard them now. I'm glad I kept this amplifier as it offers so much better control over the bass with extremely natural sounding mids and high. I highly recommend you audition the Starkrimson Ultra before checking out other class D or Gan based amps
Orchard Audio Starkrimson Stereo Ultra Review
A big thanks to Leo for the opportunity to evaluate the Orchard Audio Starkrimson Stereo Ultra amp.
It is hard to add anything that hasn't been already said about this amp. It is detailed, dynamic, lively, has well defined bass, etc. Superlative in many aspects.
Detailed, smooth, and bright. Musical notes are very articulate and distinct from one another. Great separation of musical instruments. Percussion instruments are rendered in great detail. I was hearing things I hadn't heard in the mix before.
These little monoblocks paired with the streamer as a pre-amp is the smallest footprint endgame stereo set up out there.
I bought a PecanPi 18 months ago yet Leo didn't hesitate to advise on solving a technical issue I ran into today. Top Man!
I recently acquired the Pecanpi Streamer Ultra with the PiCorePlayer pre-installed. Since I have more experience using Volumio, I flashed a new micro SD card with the latest version of Volumio. I had a few questions and needed some guidance so I got on the phone and called Orchard Audio and got no answer, but almost immediately I received a text from Leo stating that he was not available to talk at that moment. So I texted my issue to him and he was more than willing to help me out. He was able to guide me with the IS2 driver to use and additional config tips to successfully configure Volumio. So thank you Leo for your awesome customer service.
So a quick personal review on the Pecan Pi Streamer Ultra performance. By no means I am a pro, but will give you my honest opinion on how the Streamer Ultra fared with my system. Let me start with the audio setup - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum tube integrated amplifier, Magnepan LRS speakers, Zu Audio Speaker Cables, Schiit Audio Bifrost 2 Multibit DAC, Music Hall MMF 5.0 turntable with Denon DL103R MC cartridge and Blue Jean Cable interconnects.
When I asked Leo on which connection method would be better, the PecanPi DAC or through my Bifrost 2 DAC. He told me that the PecanPi should sound better. I listened to him and connected it via the RCA outs to my Cronus Magnum. I must admit, it sounds really good! I have tried different DACs over time - the Schiit Modius, the Bifrost 2, even the Yggdrasil, Topping D90... -- All of them sounded great with good soundstage and imaging, but I felt that there is a very ever so slightly lacking clarity on the upper mid highs, i.e. when the drumstick hits the cymbals... The PecanPi Streamer Ultra delivered. Do not get me wrong but the Bifrost 2 is an awesome DAC and will continue to use it. But the Ultra gave me what I have been wanting.
Just want to say, PecanPi Streamer Ultra earned my respect and will stay in my system. The Bifrost 2 and my DIY Raspberry Pi streamer with HifiBerry Digi+ Pro will go in my second system. Keep up the great work and awesome customer service, Leo!
Wish List for the Streamer Ultra - a power button.
Starkrimson Stero Ultra- I’ve had this for almost a year now. It’s an excellent addition to my system”klipsch Heresy, Moon Mind II streamer. Musician Pegasus Dac. I love it . Natural, open, dynamic sound. It replaces wyred 4 sound and PS Audio.