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$189 DSD Dac and headphone amp?


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I just saw this advertised yesterday...

 

This is by far the least expensive DSD option I have seen.

 

It is by far the least expensive native, Quad-rate DSD capable DAC.

 

Buying this is a no-brainer unless you have the budget for the upcoming iDSD products.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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A must have IMO. Can be made to sound better than many full size DACs just by adding a good clean PS.

 

Hey Bob, which power supply did you add?

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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Hey Bob, which power supply did you add?

 

I am using a TeraDak supply I already had. It was originally for the SB Touch. I am powering my PPA Studio USB card and the DAC. I really think the the Micro and Mini will be even better. Multiple DAC chips and discreet output... Killer. :) I am very impressed with Mr. T's. handiwork...

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It is by far the least expensive native, Quad-rate DSD capable DAC.

 

Buying this is a no-brainer unless you have the budget for the upcoming iDSD products.

 

Have micro and mini DSD products already been promised?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Have micro and mini DSD products already been promised?

 

The Micro iDSD has been. Honestly, I am not sure how they can possibly make it all that much better than the Nano iDSD, sound wise. That little things just sounds amazing, especially with DSD content.

 

iDSD micro Crowd-Design. Super Duper feature 2.0: XBass, the Ace of Bass (page 65) - Page 43

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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That link also has a photo showing an iFi promotional catalogue with the Mini series (iCan, iTube and iDSD).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I just saw this advertised yesterday...

 

IFI NANO iDSD DAC at Music Direct

 

AIFINOIDSD.jpg

 

This is by far the least expensive DSD option I have seen. Does anyone know anything about the device???

 

 

I don't know anything about this piece, but I have the Ifi iLink and the iPower connected together by the Gemini cable and I'm simply not impressed. The iLink (USB to SPDIF) won't work at all if the iPower is in the circuit, and when used alone it "clicks" in a loud, disturbing and potentially speaker destroying manner! OTOH, the build quality is excellent but the fact that some connections are one one end, and some on the other, makes it difficult to integrate this stuff into one's system- Notice the both RCAs and the headphone output are on the same end of the unit on the iDSD as well. Awkward.

George

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I don't know anything about this piece, but I have the Ifi iLink and the iPower connected together by the Gemini cable and I'm simply not impressed. The iLink (USB to SPDIF) won't work at all if the iPower is in the circuit, and when used alone it "clicks" in a loud, disturbing and potentially speaker destroying manner! OTOH, the build quality is excellent but the fact that some connections are one one end, and some on the other, makes it difficult to integrate this stuff into one's system- Notice the both RCAs and the headphone output are on the same end of the unit on the iDSD as well. Awkward.

 

Sounds like you are doing something incorrectly.

 

As far as the Nano goes, it is small and meant to be portable device, where would you like them to put the connections?

 

regards

Bob

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My thought is almost anything sounds great in dsd. It's not the dac it's the dsd. Take the mytek it's good with dsd but the PCM is horrible to my ears. I think dsd just sounds much more natural to our brains. Hence it's a no brainier . I had to say that ....

al

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My thought is almost anything sounds great in dsd. It's not the dac it's the dsd. Take the mytek it's good with dsd but the PCM is horrible to my ears. I think dsd just sounds much more natural to our brains. Hence it's a no brainier . I had to say that ....

al

 

It's not that clear cut in the voting results for the DSD vs. Everything Else thread, where some mention Euphonic and a perceived , perhaps artificial (?) smoothness for DSD . Perhaps it's a little like the personal preference of quite a few for vacuum tube amplifiers over solid state amplifiers ?

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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It's not that clear cut in the voting results for the DSD vs. Everything Else thread, where some mention Euphonic and a perceived , perhaps artificial (?) smoothness for DSD . Perhaps it's a little like the personal preference of quite a few for vacuum tube amplifiers over solid state amplifiers ?

 

I think it is (clear cut) and agree with Al. Have a look at the Stereophile review, especially the measurements on the Playback Designs MPS-5. The DAC in that device converts anything to DSD128, and has by many (other than the CA founder) determine this DAC to have very little fault and praise the output. Roch has one.

Yet, the measurements show the exact reverse. The measurements look dreadful, but our perception of that DAC is that of smoothness and detail right down to the noise floor, with music, not test tones.

Maybe it's the way DSD samples the waveform and mimics our hearing mechanisms and gets it right, even with distortions, non linearities, and countless other irregularities that PCM can't get right, even though a PCM DAC has better looking measurements..!

 

Tube amps are high distortion, or low depending how much the designer put an effort in to remove it. The results are that warmer sound that a lot of people like so it is a preference in that regard. The topology with DSD is different, since it occurs earlier in the chain and is recognised by solid state gear. I'm sure people who listen to DSD have tubes somewhere downstream, the effect could be, you add tube distortion on DSD distortion, but it doesn't happen that way. A loss of detail would occur at low levels as a result. Well, nothing in these pages that someone admits to or be reported!

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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I think it is (clear cut) and agree with Al. Have a look at the Stereophile review, especially the measurements on the Playback Designs MPS-5. The DAC in that device converts anything to DSD128, and has by many (other than the CA founder) determine this DAC to have very little fault and praise the output. Roch has one.

Yet, the measurements show the exact reverse. The measurements look dreadful, but our perception of that DAC is that of smoothness and detail right down to the noise floor, with music, not test tones.

Maybe it's the way DSD samples the waveform and mimics our hearing mechanisms and gets it right, even with distortions, non linearities, and countless other irregularities that PCM can't get right, even though a PCM DAC has better looking measurements..!

 

Tube amps are high distortion, or low depending how much the designer put an effort in to remove it. The results are that warmer sound that a lot of people like so it is a preference in that regard. The topology with DSD is different, since it occurs earlier in the chain and is recognised by solid state gear. I'm sure people who listen to DSD have tubes somewhere downstream, the effect could be, you add tube distortion on DSD distortion, but it doesn't happen that way. A loss of detail would occur at low levels as a result. Well, nothing in these pages that someone admits to or be reported!

 

Stereophile review on Playback Designs DAC? My God, I never bought NOTHING by measurements... I have an oscilloscope on my repair gear closet (for repairs only). Curiously, after the review of this non advertising company DAC (by that time), another famous DAC company advertise his product in Stereophile like "the DAC that measure and sound perfect..."

 

Now I can quote Miska recently saying that the devices that measure DAC jitter could be a no sense, because the jitter is now so low that maybe the instrument is measuring his own jitter!...

 

From a highly priced music gear manufacturer: "If something sounds better than his measures please go to the better sound".

 

Regarding new design tube gear, if somebody can listen some distortion from my Conrad Johnson you will be the new owner for free.

 

Good recorded DSD is closer to analogue, and better (to my ears).

 

A lot of BS from people who had never the chance to listen to an excellent DSD setup. Ultrasonics noise? My as*!...

 

Happy listening,

 

Roch

 

PS/ I never cancelled excellent PCM listening. I love it, also!...

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It's not that clear cut in the voting results for the DSD vs. Everything Else thread, where some mention Euphonic and a perceived , perhaps artificial (?) smoothness for DSD . Perhaps it's a little like the personal preference of quite a few for vacuum tube amplifiers over solid state amplifiers ?

 

My experience is my Benchmark DAC2 is exactly in line with what you write: on top-notch recordings that are available in both PCM and DSD (such as 2L's La Voie Triomphale or Eudora's Sor Guitar Sonatas), DSD and PCM both sound extremely good, but DSD sounds very slightly smoother and "euphonic" and PCM slightly more realistic. Based on this comparison for a couple of tracks from the Sor Guitar Sonatas which I bought individually in both formats, I purchased the whole album in PCM, and now I regret this choice because, even if the guitar sounds a little bit more realistic in PCM, I prefer the very slightly smoother sound of DSD. So perhaps I'll buy it again in DSD, but I am not sure since, while the recording is truly top-notch, the music is not so captivating that I want to spend €45 in total on it.

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For me the proof of the pudding that DSD decoded to analog sounds better than PCM decoded to analog, is when you do Redbook to DSD 128 or 256 conversion. The same musical content, and for 90 pct on any music you want to listen two, the DSD sounds significantly better.

 

Found this to be the case on three DAC's Oppo 105D, Exasound E20 MK 3 and Antelope Zodiac Platinum

 

euphonic ? phooey

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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My experience is my Benchmark DAC2 is exactly in line with what you write: on top-notch recordings that are available in both PCM and DSD (such as 2L's La Voie Triomphale or Eudora's Sor Guitar Sonatas), DSD and PCM both sound extremely good, but DSD sounds very slightly smoother and "euphonic" and PCM slightly more realistic. Based on this comparison for a couple of tracks from the Sor Guitar Sonatas which I bought individually in both formats, I purchased the whole album in PCM, and now I regret this choice because, even if the guitar sounds a little bit more realistic in PCM, I prefer the very slightly smoother sound of DSD. So perhaps I'll buy it again in DSD, but I am not sure since, while the recording is truly top-notch, the music is not so captivating that I want to spend €45 in total on it.

 

Euphonic is misunderstood to mean "pleasing distortion added by a component" - which I personally do not think is the case with PCM vs. DSD. My ears tell me that DSD sounds more natural, though I admit, that may be a bit dependent upon the DAC.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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My experience is my Benchmark DAC2 is exactly in line with what you write: on top-notch recordings that are available in both PCM and DSD (such as 2L's La Voie Triomphale or Eudora's Sor Guitar Sonatas), DSD and PCM both sound extremely good, but DSD sounds very slightly smoother and "euphonic" and PCM slightly more realistic. Based on this comparison for a couple of tracks from the Sor Guitar Sonatas which I bought individually in both formats, I purchased the whole album in PCM, and now I regret this choice because, even if the guitar sounds a little bit more realistic in PCM, I prefer the very slightly smoother sound of DSD. So perhaps I'll buy it again in DSD, but I am not sure since, while the recording is truly top-notch, the music is not so captivating that I want to spend €45 in total on it.

 

Boris,

 

Please remember 2L records on DXD (PCM) and transfers to DSD. Then something could be missing (or emphasized) in the conversion.

 

Regarding Eudora's Sor, when you listened to the PCM it was converted from DSD (the original recording). Again, something could be missing (or emphasized) in the conversion

 

I would like better to compare a native PCM to native DSD recording. Some times hard to find, but from Cookie Marenco where she records in analogue master tape and then transfers to PCM and DSD?

 

Of course I agree with you regarding euphonic definition: "euphonic: agreeable in sound."

 

Best,

 

Roch

 

PS/ Also, there are differences in SQ from DAC to DAC, and in taste from listener to listener.

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Euphonic is misunderstood to mean "pleasing distortion added by a component" - which I personally do not think is the case with PCM vs. DSD. My ears tell me that DSD sounds more natural, though I admit, that may be a bit dependent upon the DAC.

 

-Paul

 

Hi Paul,

 

Babel Tower is always present, different languages and different interpretation on a term in an specific language!... Not to talk about slang...

 

In each Latin America country, a lot of times, the same word means a compliment or an insult!...

 

Best,

 

Roch

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OT: My company does a lot of business in Central and South America. Remind me to tell you about the time we decided to use an angry, quacking, cartoon, DUCK in an agent training campaign. Everyone in the U.S. and Europe loved it- but it had different connotations in some S.A. locations! :)

 

-Paul

 

 

Hi Paul,

 

Babel Tower is always present, different languages and different interpretation on a term in an specific language!... Not to talk about slang...

 

In each Latin America country, a lot of times, the same word means a compliment or an insult!...

 

Best,

 

Roch

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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