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iFi Retro 50.


Liam

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Nice review. iFi Audio Retro 50: no quarrel between the ancients and moderns for this mini-speaker crowned with a Qobuzism!

 

Got mine recently as Livingroom system. Very happy indeed. Playing Qobuz mainly via a Kokkia Apt-X Bluetooth adapter from my IPad 2. Very musical. No listening fatigue. No gripes at all in fact.

 

image.jpg

Forgive the photo from my iPhone 4.

LOUNGE: Lab12 Gordian Power Conditioner>Qobuz Studio>TP-Link RE650 AC2600 WI-FI Extender>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>EtherREGEN/Keces DC-116 PSU>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>Lumin UI Mini Streamer/LEEDH volume/External PliXiR BDC Elite 12v 4amp Linear PSU>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>MHDTLabs Orchid DAC>Townshend DCT 300 RCA Interconnects>Amplifier Air Tight AMT-1S>Townshend Isolda EDCT Speaker Cables>Audium Comp 7 Passive Speakers>10x Ground Noise Isolators>Schumann Resonance generator RR-888.  Furutech fuse in each device.

LIVING ROOM:- Bluesound Node2 (as streamer only)/Vibradome Blue Star>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>iFi Retro 50/2. Furutech fuse/iFi LS3.5 Speakers>1x Ground Noise Isolator>Schumann Resonance generator. 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Update. Switched from APT-X to a USB connection from the iPad 2 using the camera kit connection via a iFi .70 Gemini. Before the Gemini arrived for this system I was using one of the freebie cables that iFi supply; actually the one AMR supply with the DP-777 SE. The Gemini was quite a bit better. Deeper bass , more tone, and a more smooth substantial top. An iPurifier 2 added yet more body. More impact, precision and rhythm. Bass was easier to discern in the mix. But even when using the AMR cable alone the USB link was better than the APT-X.

LOUNGE: Lab12 Gordian Power Conditioner>Qobuz Studio>TP-Link RE650 AC2600 WI-FI Extender>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>EtherREGEN/Keces DC-116 PSU>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>Lumin UI Mini Streamer/LEEDH volume/External PliXiR BDC Elite 12v 4amp Linear PSU>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>MHDTLabs Orchid DAC>Townshend DCT 300 RCA Interconnects>Amplifier Air Tight AMT-1S>Townshend Isolda EDCT Speaker Cables>Audium Comp 7 Passive Speakers>10x Ground Noise Isolators>Schumann Resonance generator RR-888.  Furutech fuse in each device.

LIVING ROOM:- Bluesound Node2 (as streamer only)/Vibradome Blue Star>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>iFi Retro 50/2. Furutech fuse/iFi LS3.5 Speakers>1x Ground Noise Isolator>Schumann Resonance generator. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

There seems to be so little interest in the Retro 50 despite many ifi users. Seems like a nice combo of all the different separates they sell. Wonder why it's not getting much love.

 

 

Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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Often times the less people say the happier they are. Some people you only hear from when they want to moan or need information for themselves :)

LOUNGE: Lab12 Gordian Power Conditioner>Qobuz Studio>TP-Link RE650 AC2600 WI-FI Extender>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>EtherREGEN/Keces DC-116 PSU>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>Lumin UI Mini Streamer/LEEDH volume/External PliXiR BDC Elite 12v 4amp Linear PSU>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>MHDTLabs Orchid DAC>Townshend DCT 300 RCA Interconnects>Amplifier Air Tight AMT-1S>Townshend Isolda EDCT Speaker Cables>Audium Comp 7 Passive Speakers>10x Ground Noise Isolators>Schumann Resonance generator RR-888.  Furutech fuse in each device.

LIVING ROOM:- Bluesound Node2 (as streamer only)/Vibradome Blue Star>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>iFi Retro 50/2. Furutech fuse/iFi LS3.5 Speakers>1x Ground Noise Isolator>Schumann Resonance generator. 

 

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That's a nice way to look at it. But with hardly any user feedback, yours being the only one I came across recently, it does make someone like me wonder whether it's worth going on my want list. I know it's sad but we do live in a world now where the confidence we have in a product often comes from reinforcements by fellow hobbyists. Sure some are way overhyped but at least it's a starting point for shortlisting wish lists for evaluation.

 

 

Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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I have the Retro 50 and using it with the Gemini USB Cable which makes quite a bit of improvement to the sound. The audio-GD units that I have do not benefit from the Gemini USB Cable maybe because the 5v is not used and not connected internally to the Audio-GD units. There are many fine products that do not get much publicity. As long I enjoy mine, it is not a popularity contest.

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Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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In the last few days I updated my Retro 50 firmware to Gelato v5.1 I'm absolutely blown away by the improvement to sound quality. I was happy with the sound before, but firmware version 5.1 elevates the Retro into a much higher fidelity category. Much has been said in praise of the sound quality of the Retro 50 by owners and Reviewers, but really this is an order of magnitude better in my opinion.

 

The clarity is incredible, like a haze I didn't know was there has been removed. The result is that sounds are just 'there', if you know what I mean. Going with that are soundstage improvements, and stereo imagery is very much improved. Rhythm is precise, without being etched and the sound just flows in a captivating toe tapping way. Listening to Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians is better than ever. The improvements don't stop at the aforementioned. Musicality, in terms of tonality generally, has taken a big leap across the board.

 

The upgrade was completely straight forward on my Mac Mini 2011 OS 10.6.8. As always follow the instructions provided here

micro iDSD – Firmware | iFi Audio

and here

Steps: Firmware Upgrade | iFi Audio

 

Having clicked on the 'Firmware Updater Program' I saw no progress bar for the uploading of the update and I wondered if it had actually commenced loading. I waited though for a very short time and up popped the complete confirmation.

LOUNGE: Lab12 Gordian Power Conditioner>Qobuz Studio>TP-Link RE650 AC2600 WI-FI Extender>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>EtherREGEN/Keces DC-116 PSU>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>Lumin UI Mini Streamer/LEEDH volume/External PliXiR BDC Elite 12v 4amp Linear PSU>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>MHDTLabs Orchid DAC>Townshend DCT 300 RCA Interconnects>Amplifier Air Tight AMT-1S>Townshend Isolda EDCT Speaker Cables>Audium Comp 7 Passive Speakers>10x Ground Noise Isolators>Schumann Resonance generator RR-888.  Furutech fuse in each device.

LIVING ROOM:- Bluesound Node2 (as streamer only)/Vibradome Blue Star>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>iFi Retro 50/2. Furutech fuse/iFi LS3.5 Speakers>1x Ground Noise Isolator>Schumann Resonance generator. 

 

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I suppose firmware upgrade applies to the DAC components? I got the iTube and iCAN SE. Wondering if there's upgrade too.

 

 

Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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I suppose firmware upgrade applies to the DAC components? I got the iTube and iCAN SE. Wondering if there's upgrade too.

 

Not mentioned specifically for the iCan SE. You would need to check. Certainly not applicable to the iTube.

 

The links above did not post. Trying again.

 

micro iDSD – Firmware | iFi Audio

 

http://www.ifi-audio.com/steps-firmware-upgrade-2/

LOUNGE: Lab12 Gordian Power Conditioner>Qobuz Studio>TP-Link RE650 AC2600 WI-FI Extender>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>EtherREGEN/Keces DC-116 PSU>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>Lumin UI Mini Streamer/LEEDH volume/External PliXiR BDC Elite 12v 4amp Linear PSU>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>MHDTLabs Orchid DAC>Townshend DCT 300 RCA Interconnects>Amplifier Air Tight AMT-1S>Townshend Isolda EDCT Speaker Cables>Audium Comp 7 Passive Speakers>10x Ground Noise Isolators>Schumann Resonance generator RR-888.  Furutech fuse in each device.

LIVING ROOM:- Bluesound Node2 (as streamer only)/Vibradome Blue Star>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>iFi Retro 50/2. Furutech fuse/iFi LS3.5 Speakers>1x Ground Noise Isolator>Schumann Resonance generator. 

 

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I suppose firmware upgrade applies to the DAC components? I got the iTube and iCAN SE. Wondering if there's upgrade too.

 

 

Hi,

 

Both the iCAN SE and the iTUBE are analogue devices. Hence, there is no 'firmware' upgrade as such.

 

Cheers.

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
Android (Renderer) Mobile
Desktop (Decoder) via USB
Desktop (Decoder) via SPDIF

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Hi,

 

Both the iCAN SE and the iTUBE are analogue devices. Hence, there is no 'firmware' upgrade as such.

 

Cheers.

 

Hey that's what I thought. My technical knowledge must be improving.

 

With this upgrade in SQ the Retro is a serious contender for my next purchase. But there's also the iCan Pro fighting for my limited dollars. Will wait for the dust to settle before making decisions.

 

 

Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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Hey that's what I thought. My technical knowledge must be improving.

 

With this upgrade in SQ the Retro is a serious contender for my next purchase. But there's also the iCan Pro fighting for my limited dollars. Will wait for the dust to settle before making decisions.

 

 

 

Hi,

 

The Retro Stereo 50 is everything for everyone - yet done to audiophile level.

 

The Pro series is studio-grade for pure headphone/line-stage people.

 

But as always, try both and see which suits your needs best first.

 

Different beasts!

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
Android (Renderer) Mobile
Desktop (Decoder) via USB
Desktop (Decoder) via SPDIF

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Now that's news. Any time frame when we can see some new additions to the Retro range?

 

 

Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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That would be nice but I already got a vintage TT so for selfish reasons I hope not. Heh. What I hope is that ifi will make a pure digital audio transport which is lacking one in the portable segment. There's a FiiO thread on head-fi asking if they should make one and its erupted into a melee when people screamed yes but the company decide to throw a DAC/amp into it as well. Guess only desktop and hifi guys understand the importance of a good dedicated source. Then again that's unlikely to fall under ifi retro range.

 

 

Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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I tried all that. I'm now using a DX80 which is fine but nothing beats a specialised component esp one made by ifi.

 

 

Speaker Rig: Roon > microRendu + HDPlex 100W > Yggdrasil > iTube > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II 

 

 

 

Vinyl Rig: Sansui SR-2050C > Sansui Au-555a > Dali Royal Menuet II

 

 

 

 

Home Rig: Roon > microRendu > iPurifier 2 > Yggdrasil > iCAN SE > HD800S (LPS: HDPlex 100W)

 

 

 

Office Rig: Roon > mac mini > iDSD BL > HD800S / Viso HP50 / Marshall Major II

 

 

 

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One time I think that IFI may try to add a turntable for the Retro.

Could they do anything better than Rega or Pro-jet though... I think this is a case where dealer bundling offers better possibilities.

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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iFi USA

 

Official distribution handover

iFi.jpg

Southport, UK – 18th April 2016

iFi has taken over distribution from Avatar Acoustics.

AMR/iFi would like to thank Avatar Acoustics for their immense contribution since 2007. The new launches, product awards and national dealer network is second-to-none. Avatar Acoustics will always remain much respected.

iFi USA; a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMR/iFi will handle the expanding retail network and all the demands hitherto required of such a major operation. It is fully committed to serving our customers as we enter the next growth phase.

For further details, please email [email protected]

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
Android (Renderer) Mobile
Desktop (Decoder) via USB
Desktop (Decoder) via SPDIF

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Could they do anything better than Rega or Pro-jet though... I think this is a case where dealer bundling offers better possibilities.

 

Thank you all for your kind comments. We have no plans to develop a turntable because the market is too small as iFI is a volume producer and this is best left to our industry friends who are specialist TT manufacturers. Now if we had a blank sheet of paper and could make an AMR turntable that was no holds barred, it would have one very special feature and fix one major flaw with TT design.

 

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
Android (Renderer) Mobile
Desktop (Decoder) via USB
Desktop (Decoder) via SPDIF

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  • 1 year later...

LOUNGE: Lab12 Gordian Power Conditioner>Qobuz Studio>TP-Link RE650 AC2600 WI-FI Extender>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>EtherREGEN/Keces DC-116 PSU>AfterDark Ethernet Cable EtherREGEN Special>Lumin UI Mini Streamer/LEEDH volume/External PliXiR BDC Elite 12v 4amp Linear PSU>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>MHDTLabs Orchid DAC>Townshend DCT 300 RCA Interconnects>Amplifier Air Tight AMT-1S>Townshend Isolda EDCT Speaker Cables>Audium Comp 7 Passive Speakers>10x Ground Noise Isolators>Schumann Resonance generator RR-888.  Furutech fuse in each device.

LIVING ROOM:- Bluesound Node2 (as streamer only)/Vibradome Blue Star>Oyaide DB-510 bnc/bnc Digital Cable>iFi Retro 50/2. Furutech fuse/iFi LS3.5 Speakers>1x Ground Noise Isolator>Schumann Resonance generator. 

 

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