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iFi's Pro iDSD (official) - NEW Firmware - MQA and more.


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3 hours ago, MoWa said:

 

Hi Em2016 (and IFI)

 

I think they are “ignoring” your question regarding the volume control position on the iCAN, since I guess there is a hardware  “problem” in the analogue circuit.

 

 

 

Thanks MoWa!

 

I hope R&D aren’t ignoring my question and hope they’re just taking their time - which is fine of course.

 

Sounds like you have the exact same frustration at the Pro stack that I have.

 

As you also know and wished like me, the way it should work is, when I’m at 12 o’clock on Pro iDSD alone at 0dB gain and things sound great, then when adding Pro iCan at 0dB and Hifi fixed output, I should have the exact same volume level at 12 o’clock on Pro iCan’s knob.

 

The only differences should be the available power on tap and the quality of the headphone amp circuitry (and SQ) of Pro iCan of course. But in terms of gain tracking, they should match.

 

Because of this I hesitate to add a Pro iCan - unless iFi can advise how I can get this fixed, without having to add an iematch or having to use variable hifi output.

 

But I’d really love to add a Pro iCan to Pro iDSD, and not another brand headphone amp , so I’m open to ideas from @AMR/iFi audio

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Thanks.

 

Before I give up the balanced mode and use an output with an additional resistor to consume some of the power, I would rather have the volume knob between 8-9 clock or use “hifi variable” at the iDSD. 

 

Puhhh, if f.e. the big Focals are also put into the “oversensitive” category, then they probably tested only with power hungry headphones like Audeze and are not really following the actual trends on the market - But I think they just lost it. 

 

However, what shall they say to us without voluntarily offer a free change (and admitting a mistake). They went with the concept of not altering the volume in the digital domain, due to quality reasons, there it could be easily fixed (we can still do this f.e. in Roon, but with some degrading of the signal quality). 

 

They have so many connection possibilities at the iDSD and the iCAN, but lost focus to allow headphones with higher sensitivity (as they become more and more common these days for both uses at home and portable) the best possible audio quality.

 

I would bet, that the next version of the iCAN will be able to deal with this, since now they know. 

 

P.S. Hope, that the MQA update comes as advised. On the new website this functionality is not advertised anymore, or at least I haven’t found it. 

 

Maybe their testing group for new stuff is not big enough. 

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I'm thinking about adding either an Iso Regen with LPS or microRendu with LPS to the Pro iDSD chain. Given my current setup, which option should sound the best? 

Alienware R7 with Paul Pang V2 USB PCIE -> iFi Pro iDSD -> McIntosh MHA100 -> Hifiman Susvara. Keeping it simple!

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3 minutes ago, gordec said:

I'm thinking about adding either an Iso Regen with LPS or microRendu with LPS to the Pro iDSD chain. Given my current setup, which option should sound the best? 

the mRendu has similar cleanup circuitry to the isoRegen (more like the Regen) built in; and since the Pro iDSD also has USB cleanup circuitry, seems like the iso would be overkill. Get the mRendu and add the functionality (and possibly better sound) of the streamer. 
Are you not satisfied streaming to the Pro iDSD?

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: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 minute ago, firedog said:

the mRendu has similar cleanup circuitry to the isoRegen (more like the Regen) built in; and since the Pro iDSD also has USB cleanup circuitry, seems like the iso would be overkill. Get the mRendu and add the functionality (and possibly better sound) of the streamer. 
Are you not satisfied streaming to the Pro iDSD?

 

Streaming to iDSD sound fine but I can only control it with Muzo with DLNA server setup on Jriver. There way Muzo populates the tracks is very finicky. Maybe microRendu sounds very similar with pro Idsd from PC USB. I'm just curious.

Alienware R7 with Paul Pang V2 USB PCIE -> iFi Pro iDSD -> McIntosh MHA100 -> Hifiman Susvara. Keeping it simple!

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1 minute ago, gordec said:

 

Streaming to iDSD sound fine but I can only control it with Muzo with DLNA server setup on Jriver. There way Muzo populates the tracks is very finicky. Maybe microRendu sounds very similar with pro Idsd from PC USB. I'm just curious.

The mRendu is a great item and gives you pretty much limitless possibilities of SW control between it's various modes. You can find a way to use almost any SW available for playback with it, other than a few closed proprietary systems. 

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: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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3 hours ago, MoWa said:

They went with the concept of not altering the volume in the digital domain

 

Actually they have an even better solution in the xDSD... A digitally controlled, analogue volume control. It works really well. Very transparent.

 

The future Pro xDSD and Pro xCAN should eliminate all  volume range related issues.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

 

Actually they have an even better solution in the xDSD... A digitally controlled, analogue volume control. It works really well. Very transparent.

 

The future Pro xDSD and Pro xCAN should eliminate all  volume range related issues.

 

 

 

Makes sense, a follow on Pro xLine based on the xDSD’s growing popularity (I have one also), with all the problems sorted out. 

 

So I am part of a big field test without knowing it ? Then I take back, that the testing group at ifi may be to small. 

 

Maybe I should sell my ifi Pro’s now, and go back to Chord while waiting, before the ifi Pro’s drop in value, when everybody knows about the Pro xLINE coming.

 

Sounds very logical, what you say, I think it will be this way, the only question is when. 

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8 minutes ago, MoWa said:

Sounds very logical, what you say, I think it will be this way, the only question is when. 

 

I made up Pro xDSD and Pro xCAN. So I hope nobody reading this starts rumours. It was just a bit tongue in cheek / semi-joking.

 

But the reception about the volume control with xDSD has been so positive, it kind of makes sense in my mind that this is where they will go one day, if I were a guessing man.. 

 

I was very quite happy with Pro iDSD demo, on it's own. If I were to add a separate headphone amp, it needs to be transparent and allow good range of the volume knob. I'll try the 3.5mm SE output of Pro iCAN, otherwise will wait to see what else comes up.

 

I have to be honest, I've always had a great experience with iFi products and iFi support. They've been very generous in answering my questions, so I can't knock them.

 

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4 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

 

I made up Pro xDSD and Pro xCAN. So I hope nobody reading this starts rumours. It was just a bit tongue in cheek / semi-joking.

 

But the reception about the volume control with xDSD has been so positive, it kind of makes sense in my mind that this is where they will go one day, if I were a guessing man.. 

 

I was very quite happy with Pro iDSD demo, on it's own. If I were to add a separate headphone amp, it needs to be transparent and allow good range of the volume knob. I'll try the 3.5mm SE output of Pro iCAN, otherwise will wait to see what else comes up.

 

I have to be honest, I've always had a great experience with iFi products and iFi support. They've been very generous in answering my questions, so I can't knock them.

 

 

No, no rumors, just guessing. 

 

Ifi is very welcome to my universe to and I have read also about the history of their co-founder Torsten Loesch. It is a lucky coincidence for us audiophiles, that such a talent has this pure desire for good sound and takes action to. 

 

Once, again I guess, your “idea” is perfectly marketable. You do not discontinue the Pro iLine you bring in a new Pro xLine which is a bit slimmed down, f.e. without the tubes etc. Then the early adopters do not feel cheated and you can widen your margin.

 

If ifi has such plans, then it shall be quick, in order to ride the success wave of the xDSD. 

 

So this was my last guessing about this “rumor” subject. 

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17 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

 

I see you're using Roon too. What is your source? Just a direct USB connection from PC/Mac to Pro iDSD? Or a USB streamer?

 

So far I have only started to use Roon, before I used Audirvana for years. We can argue about the file handling, although I like already, that Roon shows you the available versions of a song. 

 

I am still the old fashioned way with a direct USB connection from a Mac. 

 

I do not run DSD files and I am hoping for MQA. Older music can also not really be pimped up, if they already screwed it during the recording. 

 

I was always thinking, why not make a simple file transfer to the DAC and do everything from there. No more jitter or clock issues then. It took some time coming in this direction, however it is questionable, if the streaming services do like this, I mean a kind of music download outside of their software. 

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9 hours ago, MoWa said:

P.S. Hope, that the MQA update comes as advised. On the new website this functionality is not advertised anymore, or at least I haven’t found it. 

 

Please rest assured that very soon things will happen. MQA is going nicely and will be with you folks soon.

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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7 hours ago, firedog said:

The mRendu is a great item and gives you pretty much limitless possibilities of SW control between it's various modes. You can find a way to use almost any SW available for playback with it, other than a few closed proprietary systems. 

 

Anyone using a microRendu or ultrarendu with Pro iDSD?

Alienware R7 with Paul Pang V2 USB PCIE -> iFi Pro iDSD -> McIntosh MHA100 -> Hifiman Susvara. Keeping it simple!

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Hi @AMR/iFi audio

 

For long term health of Pro iDSD components, do you recommend leaving the unit on 24/7?

 

Or turning it to 'standby' when not in use?

 

And does this recommendation apply to solid state AND tube state? Or only solid state?

 

Some designers like Rob Watts of Chord recommend leaving their gear on 24/7 - fewer power cycles, less stress cycles on certain components.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

Hi @AMR/iFi audio

 

For long term health of Pro iDSD components, do you recommend leaving the unit on 24/7?

 

Or turning it to 'standby' when not in use?

 

And does this recommendation apply to solid state AND tube state? Or only solid state?

 

Some designers like Rob Watts of Chord recommend leaving their gear on 24/7 - fewer power cycles, less stress cycles on certain components.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

It's possible to leave the unit on, but we don't recommend it because we want to save the polar bears.

 

Pro iDSD doesn't have a standby more, it's either on or off. 

 

We will leave other companies to speak for themselves about leaving gear on  ?

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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2 minutes ago, AMR/iFi audio said:

 

It's possible to leave the unit on, but we don't recommend it because we want to save the polar bears.

 

Pro iDSD doesn't have a standby more, it's either on or off. 

 

Noted, thanks!

 

Is it the XMOS USB interface that does PCM filtering/up-sampling?

Or does the FPGA handle both the PCM up-sampling AND DSD re-mastering?

 

And what is underneath the big heat sink in the pic below?

780292048_ScreenShot2018-08-26at1_15_47am.thumb.png.819a8e71c21f0b4dddcf3c31a1de2140.png

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7 hours ago, Em2016 said:

 

I see you're using Roon too. What is your source? Just a direct USB connection from PC/Mac to Pro iDSD? Or a USB streamer?

 

Hello, I am using Roon with the Pro iDSD and an SMS 200 Ultra, and this works very well, DSD plays over DOP and I hope they include native on the next Eunhasu update, they support the micro and nano in native DSD and the ID is the same of the Pro iDSD so is very possible this will happen.

 

Roon does not support the Pro iDSD, it supports it with airplay protocol only, but airplay is very limited and poor compared to native RAAT support, so audio will be downsample to the airplay quality and that's terrible. 

 

The need for the RAAT protocol made me buy an SMS200 Ultra, after investing on the Roon infrastructure this is a need for future acquisitions. The combination of the SMS200 Ultra and Pro iDSD is impressive, but very expensive because the SMS 200 Ultra works best with an upgraded power supply.

 

If the RAAT protocol was included in the iDSD Pro the need for a SMS200 or other device like this could not be justified, to not talk about the added investment at least in my case.

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8 minutes ago, applesnowleo said:

 

Hello, I am using Roon with the Pro iDSD and an SMS 200 Ultra, and this works very well, DSD plays over DOP and I hope they include native on the next Eunhasu update, they support the micro and nano in native DSD and the ID is the same of the Pro iDSD so is very possible this will happen.

 

Roon does not support the Pro iDSD, it supports it with airplay protocol only, but airplay is very limited and poor compared to native RAAT support, so audio will be downsample to the airplay quality and that's terrible. 

 

The need for the RAAT protocol made me buy an SMS200 Ultra, after investing on the Roon infrastructure this is a need for future acquisitions. The combination of the SMS200 Ultra and Pro iDSD is impressive, but very expensive because the SMS 200 Ultra works best with an upgraded power supply.

 

If the RAAT protocol was included in the iDSD Pro the need for a SMS200 or other device like this could not be justified, to not talk about the added investment at least in my case.

 

This makes sense. I was trying to get Roon to play through iPad as endpoint -> Pro iDSD via CCK adapter. It would play like 2 seconds then everything stops. 

Alienware R7 with Paul Pang V2 USB PCIE -> iFi Pro iDSD -> McIntosh MHA100 -> Hifiman Susvara. Keeping it simple!

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5 minutes ago, gordec said:

 

This makes sense. I was trying to get Roon to play through iPad as endpoint -> Pro iDSD via CCK adapter. It would play like 2 seconds then everything stops. 

 

I have a pretty stable network connection, I do not use the wireless on the iDSD Pro, the wireless protocol on the iDSD I think is only 2.4ghz, and if is only 2.4ghz wireless, simply forget the wireless and go to wired connection is faster and stable. I have no audio dropout's in Roon.

 

If you play audio from Roon to the iDSD Pro, Roon has to downsample the file to be compatible with Airplay supported format, so starting the track could have a little delay. With a streamer play has no lag, and works as expected with all formats that the pro IDSD Supports.

 

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2 minutes ago, applesnowleo said:

 

I have a pretty stable network connection, I do not use the wireless on the iDSD Pro, the wireless protocol on the iDSD I think is only 2.4ghz, and if is only 2.4ghz wireless, simply forget the wireless and go to wired connection is faster and stable. I have no audio dropout's in Roon.

 

If you play audio from Roon to the iDSD Pro, Roon has to downsample the file to be compatible with Airplay supported format, so starting the track could have a little delay. With a streamer play has no lag, and works as expected with all formats that the pro IDSD Supports.

 

Appleplay works. What I was trying to do is use iPad Pro as Roon endpoint and run a CCK again to Pro iDSD via USB. Others have reported excellent sound quality using this method with other DACs. Some say better than Ultrarendu. Anyways I tried it, I can get like 2 seconds of audio then Roon just cuts off. I think I need to wait for Roon to support Pro iDSD as an USB DAC.

Alienware R7 with Paul Pang V2 USB PCIE -> iFi Pro iDSD -> McIntosh MHA100 -> Hifiman Susvara. Keeping it simple!

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