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New firmware v5.2 for iFi customers (ONLY!)


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For immediate distribution:

 

Unified Firmware 5.2

Limoncello

 

 

 

 

 

700

 

 

 

 

Southport, UK – 13th May 2016

 

 

Latest Unified Firmware v5.2 ‘Limoncello’

The very latest in-house firmware1 version 5.2 for ALL iFi products2 is available. It is very similar to Gelato v5.1 but there some nice, minor improvements:

 

 

  1. Minor code optimisation.
  2. Fixed issues surrounding DoP standard; including ‘clicks’ when changing tracks and sonic differences to native DSD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As before, for customers with particular requirements, there are two firmware sub-versions:

 

2) For nano iDSD and micro iDAC2 v5.2A - Enables DOP256 operation

 

 

  • This enables DSD256(DoP) operation, which requires 768kHz PCM at the USB interface level.
  • Nano iDSD and micro iDAC2 CANNOT decode 768kHz at the DAC level, but they can all be programmed to receive 768kHz PCM at the USB interface level hence enable DSD256(DoP).
  • With 5.2A, the user MUST make sure to manually alter the PCM audio settings correctly (especially Mac), otherwise there will be no audio output at all.
  • In other words, when playing PCM files, the sample rate must NOT set to be higher than 384kHz. Only set the sampling rate to 768kHz when one wants to play DSD256(DoP).
  • There is no need to use this firmware if one uses ‘native mode’ (not DoP) to play DSD or if DSD files are not played at all.
  • Do NOT use 5.2A on any other products other than nano iDSD and micro iDAC2.

 

3) For iDSD micro Firmware v5.2B - Disable Sleep Mode (Smartphone users ONLY)

 

 

  • This is strictly for Smartphone users ONLY, there is no other reason to use 5.2B on the micro iDSD.
  • The micro iDSD micro will try to recharge while in Sleep Mode (e.g. when connected to a PC). If connected to a Smartphone which is ‘seen’ as a computer, it will recharge via the Smartphone.
  • 5.2B disables the Sleep Mode within the micro iDSD; hence it will no longer try to recharge during Sleep Mode and flatten the Smartphone’s battery.
  • Do NOT use 5.2B on any other products other than micro iDSD.

 

 

 

 

For detailed instructions and the download files, please follow this link:

Download | iFi Audio

 

 

 

1Background. The DSD DoP Evolution

 

DoP DSD is known for inherently creating noise when switching between PCM and DSD-DoP tracks and back. This problem has been addressed at the source by some but not all playback software - hence, much available software when playing DSD, struggles.

 

 

 

So we at iFi have taken it upon ourselves to think ‘outside of the (PC) box’ to resolve this upstream issue at the downstream firmware level for all our DSD capable devices. In a process that took over a year, we have resolved the many areas where the differences between DSD-DoP and PCM make switching an annoyance.

 

 

 

Additionally, DoP is often cited as offering a lower sound quality. By adjusting core code and the clocking system in the firmware, this point is now moot – as we eliminated the hit on processor utilisation by DoP vs. native DSD playback.

 

 

 

So choose native DSD or DoP-DSD with the confidence that either will deliver the same great DSD sound quality and user experience. Just like DSD and PCM, we like one as much as the other.

 

 

 


[1] WARNING: Do NOT flash non-iFi products on the XMOS platform with iFi firmware!

 

 

[2] iFi Native DSD-capable DACs so original iDAC excluded so do NOT update using v5.2.

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Already upgraded, no more noticeable clicks apparently, even when switching from DSD to PCM, smooth upgrade on Mac from Mac as the last two upgrades, and solid DoP DSD256 performance and SQ.

 

I don't know if you guys have tried Damien's Audirvana Beta with PCM->DSD256 realtime up-conversion with the upgraded Nano, but it sounds stellar!

 

Congrats Thorsten and Team, and thank you!

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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Spoke a little too soon: there's still some noticeable clicking in the case of switching from DoP DSD256 to AIFF.

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

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Spoke a little too soon: there's still some noticeable clicking in the case of switching from DoP DSD256 to AIFF.

 

 

Hi,

 

If this happens only for AIFF (but not FLAC or other formats) the problem may be the file itself, or a bug in the player.

 

If it affects all PCM, let us know. We can work through it on the STS with you.

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
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Where is the 5.2A firmware file? The zip file on the website only contains 5.20 and 5.2B.

 

Hi,

 

nano iDSD – Firmware | iFi Audio

 

It should contain the v5.2A for the nano iDSD and iDAC2 (we'll update the iDAC2 section which needs the v5.2A).

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,

 

nano iDSD – Firmware | iFi Audio

 

It should contain the v5.2A for the nano iDSD and iDAC2 (we'll update the iDAC2 section which needs the v5.2A).

 

I also only see Gelato 5.2a for 5/13/16

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

.

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@AMR ... can you clarify something for me ... I though DoP used the 44.1 family so DSD64 was 176.4; DSD128 was 352.8 so doesn't DSD256 requires 705.6?

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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@AMR ... can you clarify something for me ... I though DoP used the 44.1 family so DSD64 was 176.4; DSD128 was 352.8 so doesn't DSD256 requires 705.6?

 

The DACs support DSD at the usual multiples of both 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz. You are correct that the DoP rate for regular 44.1-based DSD256 is 705.6 kHz.

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It does indeed. I didn't realise there were multiple zip files even though the firmware is "unified."

 

Hi,

 

Yes - we have different versions for different people. But we say 'unified' so people just stick with the main version 5.2. Otherwise we get asked which version should I use?

 

For those who know what they are doing for certain special applications, we further modified the firmware for them as per v5.2A and v5.2B.

 

Hope this clarifies!

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

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

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Does my Mini need to be connected directly via USB to the DAC or can the Mini be on a network line work? I keep getting "Firmware Upgrade Failure" using the latter.

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

.

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@AMR ... can you clarify something for me ... I though DoP used the 44.1 family so DSD64 was 176.4; DSD128 was 352.8 so doesn't DSD256 requires 705.6?

 

Hi,

 

This is precisely what Firmware 5.2A (and earlier 5.XA) firmware does. It enables 705.6/768kHz sample rates on iDAC2 micro and iDSD nano, even though their hardware does not support 705.6/768kHz sample rates (or DSD512).

 

So DoP 256 will work, attempt to play 705.6/768khz PCM or native DSD256, the DAC will mute.

 

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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Does my Mini need to be connected directly via USB to the DAC or can the Mini be on a network line work? I keep getting "Firmware Upgrade Failure" using the latter.

 

Damn, instead of helping me with a FW failure, you decide to comment on info that's already out there, Wow...

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

.

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Damn, instead of helping me with a FW failure, you decide to comment on info that's already out there, Wow...

 

Have you read the upgrade instructions on the website?

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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Damn, instead of helping me with a FW failure, you decide to comment on info that's already out there, Wow...

 

Hi,

 

Can you please open a support ticket with us? AMR & iFi-Audio :: Support Ticket System

 

Also you will need the Mac instructions;

 

1) Firmware iDSD micro: micro iDSD – Firmware | iFi Audio

2) Installing: Steps: Firmware Upgrade | iFi Audio

 

Please connect the iDSD micro via USB directly to the Mac.

 

Thanks.

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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Does my Mini need to be connected directly via USB to the DAC or can the Mini be on a network line work? I keep getting "Firmware Upgrade Failure" using the latter.

As far as I know; to do the firmware update you need to connect the DAC directly to your MacMini via a USB cable. That is the only way to do it (afaik).

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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As far as I know; to do the firmware update you need to connect the DAC directly to your MacMini via a USB cable. That is the only way to do it (afaik).

 

Ah, that's the problem. I'll try a direct connection and give it a try. Thanks Eloise!

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

.

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Ah, that's the problem. I'll try a direct connection and give it a try. Thanks Eloise!

 

Hi.

 

Yes - must have Computer > USB > DAC.

 

If any questions, just open an STS.

 

Thanks.

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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Already upgraded, no more noticeable clicks apparently, even when switching from DSD to PCM, smooth upgrade on Mac from Mac as the last two upgrades, and solid DoP DSD256 performance and SQ.

 

I don't know if you guys have tried Damien's Audirvana Beta with PCM->DSD256 realtime up-conversion with the upgraded Nano, but it sounds stellar!

 

Congrats Thorsten and Team, and thank you!

 

I am plagued with a lot of static (micro iDSD). A+ PCM to DSD very noisy if volume reduction is none, better if volume reduction is added.

 

Also A+ PCM upsamplig very staticky when 2x upsampling yields high sample rates (705.6kHz).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Love my Nano!

 

My setup: iMac El Capitan > BitPerfect player > Nano > traditional hi-fi.

 

I'm done with DSD, removed from system. PCM – redbook and hi-res – suits me fine.

 

Is this current update, seemingly all DSD improvement, worth doing for me otherwise?

 

I did the last one easily enough, but I usually avoid updates unless there's a clear benefit.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Love my Nano!

 

My setup: iMac El Capitan > BitPerfect player > Nano > traditional hi-fi.

 

I'm done with DSD, removed from system. PCM – redbook and hi-res – suits me fine.

 

Is this current update, seemingly all DSD improvement, worth doing for me otherwise?

 

I did the last one easily enough, but I usually avoid updates unless there's a clear benefit.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

The nano playing DSD files should provide better sound. At least upsample by a large 2x factor.

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