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


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50 minutes ago, danielet80 said:

Many thanks for your help Holzohr! Another question: where I find a guide to update the firmware?

 

Please take a look here:

 

https://ifi-audio.com/downloads/

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
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Folks, we have something short and sweet for you today. Our Thorsten talks about Pro iDSD in the context of AMR's upcoming Diablo DAC. These two machines have A LOT in common and more nfo we'll reveal shortly. In the meantime, Thorsten himself, enjoy!

 

 

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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On 12/21/2018 at 10:18 PM, AMR/iFi audio said:

 

It's probably too late now since you returned your loaner, but once setup, the Muzo app you can use ANY DLNA app. It can be used for config only.

 

 

Actually,  no: it isn't too late; I bought it. :)I gave up the HD solution which seems to be a technical possibility, but not a really usable one, with large libraries and HD. So I bought a NAS and after several painful days, it works now and I can listen to my music through the little and brave thing.

 

I have now a question about gapless playback, i.e. the continuous playing of tracks without seconds of silence between them. It's necessary for many classical, jazz, elctronic... works. Nobody wants to get pauses inside a continous piece of music, of course. So far, Neutron is the only application that respects more or less (sometimes with clics and pops) gapless playback. Unfortunately,  I find Neutron quirky and unpleasing to use. I would vastly prefer Bubble upnp or Hi-Fi cast.

 

Here is the answer I got from Hi-Fi cast support about the subject:
 

Quote

 

It seems that the IFi iDSD doesn't support gapless directly via UPnP/DLNA (it returns an error whenever the Hi-Fi Cast app tries to queue up the next track).

Neutron works because it creates a single (gapless) stream that is sent to the player. So unfortunately there's nothing you can do to prevent the gaps when using the Hi-Fi Cast app.

 

 

My question is: is it really impossible to get continuous playback from the Pro iDSD, but with the less than ideal Proton application?

[Synology DS218play NAS > Proximus BBox3 router] + HDPlex 200W lps > D-Link powerline adapters > Wireworld Platinium ethernet cable >  Ifi Pro iDSD streamer + Wireworld Electra 7 powercable > Esprit Eterna XLR cable > Gamut D3i preamp. + Esprit Eterna power cable > VTL XLR cable > Gamut M250 mkIII amp. > VTL cable >  Harbeth SHL5+ speakers + Rogoz stands - Accustic Arts active power strip (streamer & preamp.)

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23 hours ago, anroj said:

Hi all, I am considering the Pro iDSD as a replacement for my Micro iDSD and have concerns about having to reformat my HDD to FAT32 to be able to use it with the Pro. I have contacted Ifi but have not gotten a response yet. Can anyone confirm that that is indeed true. The thought of having to reformat my HDD and re-ripping and re-downloading 6TB worth of music is not appealing.

 

You may want to read my (too) long post above yours:

 

On 12/18/2018 at 10:18 AM, o.fz said:

Finally, here is the conclusion, after two days and half in the Ifi territory.

 

1. The Sandisk Extreme, usb 3.0, 32 Gb, memory key was recognised. It's just that it appears down under the list of all the streaming services and you have to notice it, as it's unconspicuous and the user manual doesn't mention where you should look for it. - Then comes the Muzo app. ? More about it later.

 

2. The LaCie, usb C 3.0, 4Tb, Porsche design, desktop drive wasn't recognised. It has to be formatted in Fat32 (remember), so I had to partition it in 2 x 2Tb, as the Fat32 format can't manage a HD larger than 2Tb. I suspect that the Ifi couldn't cope with a partitioned HD, but I have no certainity about it and Ifi's technical service was of no help. By the way, I tried everything that was in the range of my knowledge and beyond; it never worked.

 

3. The Müzo app... Well... It has some subtle limitations (oh no, I'm being sarcastic again). The Müzo app doesn't present you with the albums, that you could sort by artist, title, genre, wathever you want, like any other civilised app. No: it does list ALL the tracks in a single "flat" list and that's all. If you have about 16,000 tracks like me, I wish you goog luck to find anything back in a raw list of 16,000 tracks. Moreover, it does truncate the track's name after about 30 or 50 caracters, I didn't count. Suppose that you have somewhere, in this endless list, the Brandenburg Concertos by Rinaldo Alessandrini. Every single track from both CDs will be named like "Alessandrini_Brandenburg_Concert", that's all. No mention of the concerto's number, the movement, ... anything. Just find your way in that mess. ?

 

My conclusion would be that if you have a large CD library ripped on a hard drive, even if it's under the limit of 2Tb, you shouldn't hope the Pro iDSD will allow you to browse it in any convenient way. I also doubt it will be able to manage a large library stored on a NAS, but it's to be confirmed. Regarding that aspect, there is a lot of work to be done by Ifi's IT department, before it's usable.

 

[Synology DS218play NAS > Proximus BBox3 router] + HDPlex 200W lps > D-Link powerline adapters > Wireworld Platinium ethernet cable >  Ifi Pro iDSD streamer + Wireworld Electra 7 powercable > Esprit Eterna XLR cable > Gamut D3i preamp. + Esprit Eterna power cable > VTL XLR cable > Gamut M250 mkIII amp. > VTL cable >  Harbeth SHL5+ speakers + Rogoz stands - Accustic Arts active power strip (streamer & preamp.)

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7 minutes ago, o.fz said:

 

You may want to read my (too) long post above yours:

 

 

Thanks, o.fz. I got a response from iFi that was very vague: 

Hi James,

Thanks for your email - We've created a ticket for you.

The iDSD Pro needs to have FAT32 to be formatted, NTFS may not be supported.

There may be scope for the future but I can't confirm at this time.

Hope this helps.

I am interested in the Pro iDSD because it combines a DAC, preamp, and streamer in one component. I think I will wait until iFi has figured out how to move beyond FAT32 support before I reconsider the Pro iDSD.

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39 minutes ago, o.fz said:

My question is: is it really impossible to get continuous playback from the Pro iDSD, but with the less than ideal Proton application?

Hi, I have the LMS (Squeezebox server) running on my NAS (Synology) with the UPnP/DLNA-bridge plugin and no problems with gapless playback. Bubble UPnP should work, too. Maybe you can install the MinimServer on your NAS.

 

Never heard about these Hi-Fi Cast or Neutron apps so far.

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon or Stylus) --> Euphony EP (NUC7CJYH: Roon Bridge or NAA or StylusEP) --> Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (I2S) -->

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon) --> WS 2019 Core (i7-8700: HQPlayer, JPLAY Femto, Roon Bridge, MinorityClean) / Matrix Audio Element H --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (USB) --> B & M Prime 6

Synology DS 112+ (LMS) --> pi3B+/HifiBerry Digi + Pro (PiCorePlayer) --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (SPDIF) -->  

bedroom: pi3/DigiOne (RoPieee) --> S.M.S.L M500 --> KRK Rokit 5 or AKG 712 Pro

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1 hour ago, Holzohr said:

Hi, I have the LMS (Squeezebox server) running on my NAS (Synology) with the UPnP/DLNA-bridge plugin and no problems with gapless playback. Bubble UPnP should work, too. Maybe you can install the MinimServer on your NAS.

 

Never heard about these Hi-Fi Cast or Neutron apps so far.

 

Thank you for your help Holzohr. Bubble doesn't work gapless with Synology's native multimedia server application - in my current settings, btw. I don't know if I tried it with MinimServer. I'll do it soon. However, I've read somewhere that gapless playback is streamer dependent, not server dependent.

[Synology DS218play NAS > Proximus BBox3 router] + HDPlex 200W lps > D-Link powerline adapters > Wireworld Platinium ethernet cable >  Ifi Pro iDSD streamer + Wireworld Electra 7 powercable > Esprit Eterna XLR cable > Gamut D3i preamp. + Esprit Eterna power cable > VTL XLR cable > Gamut M250 mkIII amp. > VTL cable >  Harbeth SHL5+ speakers + Rogoz stands - Accustic Arts active power strip (streamer & preamp.)

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I confirm that Bubble doesn't play gapless, either with MinimServer, unfortunately. :(

[Synology DS218play NAS > Proximus BBox3 router] + HDPlex 200W lps > D-Link powerline adapters > Wireworld Platinium ethernet cable >  Ifi Pro iDSD streamer + Wireworld Electra 7 powercable > Esprit Eterna XLR cable > Gamut D3i preamp. + Esprit Eterna power cable > VTL XLR cable > Gamut M250 mkIII amp. > VTL cable >  Harbeth SHL5+ speakers + Rogoz stands - Accustic Arts active power strip (streamer & preamp.)

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4 hours ago, danielet80 said:

Hi, I sent a mail to IFI's support to receive the beta 2.0 firmware but I don't have receive any answer: anybody knows if the IFI support is closed for holidays?

 

We got confirmation several minutes ago that you ticket wasn't delivered for some reason. Could you please open it again?

 

5 hours ago, o.fz said:

 

Actually,  no: it isn't too late; I bought it. :)I gave up the HD solution which seems to be a technical possibility, but not a really usable one, with large libraries and HD. So I bought a NAS and after several painful days, it works now and I can listen to my music through the little and brave thing.

 

I have now a question about gapless playback, i.e. the continuous playing of tracks without seconds of silence between them. It's necessary for many classical, jazz, elctronic... works. Nobody wants to get pauses inside a continous piece of music, of course. So far, Neutron is the only application that respects more or less (sometimes with clics and pops) gapless playback. Unfortunately,  I find Neutron quirky and unpleasing to use. I would vastly prefer Bubble upnp or Hi-Fi cast.

 

Here is the answer I got from Hi-Fi cast support about the subject:
 

 

My question is: is it really impossible to get continuous playback from the Pro iDSD, but with the less than ideal Proton application?

 

Your much appreciated feedback was sent to our R&D team. As soon as we know what to do with this, we'll get back to you. And it's cool that you got Pro iDSD!

 

A small update: gapless playback via App/Ethernet/WiFi is currently impossible and has to be addressed on the firmware level. We're on it. 

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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Thanks a lot. A working gapless playback would make me perfectly happy with the Pro iDSD. ?

[Synology DS218play NAS > Proximus BBox3 router] + HDPlex 200W lps > D-Link powerline adapters > Wireworld Platinium ethernet cable >  Ifi Pro iDSD streamer + Wireworld Electra 7 powercable > Esprit Eterna XLR cable > Gamut D3i preamp. + Esprit Eterna power cable > VTL XLR cable > Gamut M250 mkIII amp. > VTL cable >  Harbeth SHL5+ speakers + Rogoz stands - Accustic Arts active power strip (streamer & preamp.)

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1 hour ago, o.fz said:

I confirm that Bubble doesn't play gapless, either with MinimServer, unfortunately. :(

 

You should find the BubbleUPnP Server among the community apps on your Synology package center. Please install it additionally beside the MinimServer. It is an add-on for UPnP/DLNA-servers and supports Linn's OpenHome mode. Then install the BubbleDS Next app on your tablet or smartphone.

 

I was using the MinimServer with BubbleUPnP Server "on top" a couple of years ago and gapless playback has worked this way, definitely. 

 

 

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon or Stylus) --> Euphony EP (NUC7CJYH: Roon Bridge or NAA or StylusEP) --> Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (I2S) -->

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon) --> WS 2019 Core (i7-8700: HQPlayer, JPLAY Femto, Roon Bridge, MinorityClean) / Matrix Audio Element H --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (USB) --> B & M Prime 6

Synology DS 112+ (LMS) --> pi3B+/HifiBerry Digi + Pro (PiCorePlayer) --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (SPDIF) -->  

bedroom: pi3/DigiOne (RoPieee) --> S.M.S.L M500 --> KRK Rokit 5 or AKG 712 Pro

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Anyone knows if micro/ultrarendu or SMS 200 supports Pro iDSD? I want try to go streaming route purely for better SQ. It's already awesome with Paul Pang USB card and Uptone JS2 feeding the USB and Pro iDSD, but I wonder I can squeeze a little bit more out of it with a network renderer. It may be fools gold.

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

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7 minutes ago, Holzohr said:

 

You should find the BubbleUPnP Server among the community apps on your Synology package center. Please install it additionally beside the MinimServer. It is an add-on for UPnP/DLNA-servers and supports Linn's OpenHome mode. Then install the BubbleDS Next app on your tablet or smartphone.

 

I was using the MinimServer with BubbleUPnP Server "on top" a couple of years ago and gapless playback has worked this way, definitely. 

 

 

 

Thanks again for your help.  I'll try this setting next Saturday.

[Synology DS218play NAS > Proximus BBox3 router] + HDPlex 200W lps > D-Link powerline adapters > Wireworld Platinium ethernet cable >  Ifi Pro iDSD streamer + Wireworld Electra 7 powercable > Esprit Eterna XLR cable > Gamut D3i preamp. + Esprit Eterna power cable > VTL XLR cable > Gamut M250 mkIII amp. > VTL cable >  Harbeth SHL5+ speakers + Rogoz stands - Accustic Arts active power strip (streamer & preamp.)

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1 minute ago, gordec said:

Anyone knows if micro/ultrarendu or SMS 200 supports Pro iDSD? I want try to go streaming route purely for better SQ. It's already awesome with Paul Pang USB card and Uptone JS2 feeding the USB and Pro iDSD, but I wonder I can squeeze a little bit more out of it with a network renderer. It may be fools gold.

 

The Rendu do via Sonore's UPnP Bridge app: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/29373-ifi-audio-pro-idsd-official-thread-its-happening-folks/?page=17&tab=comments#comment-882470

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon or Stylus) --> Euphony EP (NUC7CJYH: Roon Bridge or NAA or StylusEP) --> Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (I2S) -->

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon) --> WS 2019 Core (i7-8700: HQPlayer, JPLAY Femto, Roon Bridge, MinorityClean) / Matrix Audio Element H --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (USB) --> B & M Prime 6

Synology DS 112+ (LMS) --> pi3B+/HifiBerry Digi + Pro (PiCorePlayer) --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (SPDIF) -->  

bedroom: pi3/DigiOne (RoPieee) --> S.M.S.L M500 --> KRK Rokit 5 or AKG 712 Pro

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36 minutes ago, Holzohr said:

How do you feel it sounds coming from microrendu vs straight out of USB?

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

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3 hours ago, AMR/iFi audio said:

 

We got confirmation several minutes ago that you ticket wasn't delivered for some reason. Could you please open it again?

 

 

Your much appreciated feedback was sent to our R&D team. As soon as we know what to do with this, we'll get back to you. And it's cool that you got Pro iDSD!

 

A small update: gapless playback via App/Ethernet/WiFi is currently impossible and has to be addressed on the firmware level. We're on it. 

 

Hi, I just open another ticket, please le me know, thanks!

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10 hours ago, gordec said:

How do you feel it sounds coming from microrendu vs straight out of USB?

 

I find the ethernet input amazing soundwise. Indeed I have prefered it versus the USB output of the microrendu. Not sure if it was due to the ethernet input or Squeezelite or all together. Ifi seems to have implemented a big buffer. It takes about one minute until the playback stops after unplugging the LAN-cable.

 

Btw I have sold my microrendu. I was thinking about the ultrarendu but now I use a NUC instead with Jussi's NAA ramroot image. The ethernet port is reserved for my LMS, running Philippe's UPnP/DLNA-bridge plugin. I think Sonore is using his plugin for the rendu app.

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon or Stylus) --> Euphony EP (NUC7CJYH: Roon Bridge or NAA or StylusEP) --> Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (I2S) -->

Euphony (NUC7DNKE: Roon) --> WS 2019 Core (i7-8700: HQPlayer, JPLAY Femto, Roon Bridge, MinorityClean) / Matrix Audio Element H --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (USB) --> B & M Prime 6

Synology DS 112+ (LMS) --> pi3B+/HifiBerry Digi + Pro (PiCorePlayer) --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) (SPDIF) -->  

bedroom: pi3/DigiOne (RoPieee) --> S.M.S.L M500 --> KRK Rokit 5 or AKG 712 Pro

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19 hours ago, AMR/iFi audio said:

A small update: gapless playback via App/Ethernet/WiFi is currently impossible and has to be addressed on the firmware level. We're on it.  

 

Good to know! I'm using the Ethernet connection, indeed. It's very good as far as sound quality is concerned. Would you technical team work faster if I would send them a box of Belgian chocolate? ?

 

Meanwhile , the "Neutron" application can be a workaround, if a rather user-unfriendly one.

[Synology DS218play NAS > Proximus BBox3 router] + HDPlex 200W lps > D-Link powerline adapters > Wireworld Platinium ethernet cable >  Ifi Pro iDSD streamer + Wireworld Electra 7 powercable > Esprit Eterna XLR cable > Gamut D3i preamp. + Esprit Eterna power cable > VTL XLR cable > Gamut M250 mkIII amp. > VTL cable >  Harbeth SHL5+ speakers + Rogoz stands - Accustic Arts active power strip (streamer & preamp.)

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iFi audio – The 2018 Summary

It’s been quite the year…

 

Dear community,

2018 is coming to an end and we’ve decided to use this occasion to share with all of you good people a word or two. Many of our product ideas were developed from what you had to say, so we’re extremely grateful for your support. You’re the fuel to our fire, thank you!

 

The end of the year is also a good time to summarize what we were able to achieve in the last 12 months. Without further ado, here’s what we did:

 

Hardware

 

        March – xDSD

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Before this product came to be, we knew that we had to develop something very different from what we’d done before. We thought about many things – toasters with built-in speakers, a wind-up DAC for use in the dessert…only kidding! We aimed for a portable device with wireless functionality as good as a wired connection, improved volume control and a new look. Suffice to say, we strongly believe that with xDSD we were able to deliver on all counts. The toaster has had to wait!

 

        May - Pro iDSD

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The Pro iDSD is the most ambitious and complex product of ours to date. It started many years ago as a rather simple machine, but the more time passed, the more advanced it became. After years of suffering (and here we mean both ours AND yours, just take poor Curtis as an example), the Pro iDSD eventually came into being as a state-of-the-art desktop platform loaded with so many features that it's far easier to list things it doesn't do! Not only this, but the Pro iDSD also has A LOT in common with AMR's upcoming Diablo DAC. The former is actually a scaled down version of the latter and we're exceptionally proud of how it turned out.  

 

        June - iFi OTG Cable

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We released this item due to huge demand. It's reliable, affordable, looks sleek and there's no rocket science behind it. It does the job where it should. It's useful. Hey, if we're capable of delivering headphone amps and DACs, who said that we can't make a quality OTG cable? And nope, before anyone asks, we can’t make the equivalent Apple cable – if we could, we (and the rest of the world) surely would!!! Sadly, Apple don’t share the tech that we’d need to make one work. Would you, if you were Apple?

 

        June - DC iPurifier2

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All our iPurifiers were developed to show that even a small and affordable item can really improve sound quality if backed by solid tech. The iPurifier2 is a step up over previous versions of this product, simply because our in-house developed circuitry got better over time. Practice makes perfect!  

 

·         July - iPurifier3.0

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USB sorters have always been of utmost importance to us and the iPurifier3.0 shows our attitude towards these items. This product might look nothing like our nano or micro iUSB3.0 machines, but its roots are the very same. It was designed to audibly improve the USB interface and very positive feedback from you guys out there showed us that it does just that! Thank goodness!

 

        October – xCAN

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Yet again X marked the spot in October! We really looked forward to releasing the xCAN. On the surface, it resembles our xDSD; they have similar set of features and they look very much alike, but the differences end there. Yes, each has finely implemented Bluetooth receiver, DAC and headphone amp in one neat enclosure BUT the xCAN is a portable and fully analogue amplifier above ALL else and its D/A conversion option is a cherry on top, whereas the xDSD - a DAC in the first place - is the exact opposite. Plus these two can work as a team and we have photographic evidence from you guys to prove it!

 

        November - Ear Plugs

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This one you didn't expect, huh? Us neither. But then again, we like silence and it’s yet another way to give you guys a low noise floor! (Plus they can protect your ears from the squeaks of protest when your loved one finds out you’ve bought yet another piece of audio equipment!) We try to think of everything…

 

Software

 

        March - MQA firmware for all nano and micro products

 

This firmware was one of the most important things for us in 2018. We didn't want to include MQA functionality in just one or two products, we wanted to roll things out across all suitable iFi goods, even some discontinued models. Even though the 5.30 'Cookies & Cream' firmware has some limitations, this is the one to go after if you'd like to listen to MQA regardless of the iFi audio DAC you use.

 

        October - GTO filter firmware for all nano and micro products

 

The GTO filter was a tricky thing to develop, but in the end, it surely was worth the effort. To our ears it sounds amazing enough to surpass every other filter out there and we encourage everyone to give this one a try. Hey, it comes at nil cost, improves sound and if you don't like it, you can always use our previously released firmware. That's a win-win right there.

 

        November - Beta MQA firmware for the Pro iDSD

 

Fully operational MQA on our Pro iDSD took us a fair bit longer than expected for a reason. (Poor Curtis was turning in his grave!). The amount of work needed in order to have this signal fully decoded was nothing short of staggering. Everything had to be coded from scratch. Both our team and MQA's engineers were involved in this project and we're ecstatic that we were able to finally have this functionality ready. Enjoy!

 

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Additionally, one thing we’re very proud of is that we were able to push our head of sales out of the UK office for well-deserved holiday. Blindfolded, the man was in shock and had no idea where he was transported. Since no laptops or comms with his team were allowed, after the adventure he told us that withdrawal shivers kicked in hard. But once he got off the plane and acknowledged he was in Iceland… Long story’s short, after this trip he returned as a new man. Even though he’s a good lad, we didn’t miss him at all but shhh… 

 

 

 

 

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, danielet80 said:

 

Fryday I sent a new request to IFI support and I received a confirmation via email. When will I receive the required firmware?

 

As soon as our tech team can get back to you, it's usually two working days.

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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How the Pro iDSD actually works...

The XMOS Processor

 

The XMOS processor primarily handles the interfaces, including USB connections, SPDIF/AES-EBU connections and I2S input from the WiFi/Network audio module. All inputs are decoded, passed through a memory buffer, then DSD/DOP decoding is applied and then MQA decoding. Also, the entire user interface, display control etc. are handled by the XMOS processor – the 16-Core / 2,000 MIPS.

 

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From the XMOS the I2S PCM signal or DSD signal is passed to the FPGA for any filtering/conversion etc. and from there through a galvanic isolation barrier to the final re-clocking and DACs. This makes sure that all the noisy ‘digital’ processing and its noise is contained on the digital module and cannot affect the DACs and analogue side.

 

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The audio clock is placed next to the re-clocker and DACs and on the ‘Audio’ side of the isolation barrier. This clock is programmed extremely precisely with a < 0.04ppm precision (hence, beyond the ‘femto clock’ level) and is either fixed (USB input) or is adjusted to the long-term average of the incoming data (SPDIF/AES-EBU/I2S from Wifi) which together with the memory buffer makes sure any source jitter is ‘locked out’ completely. This system is the same as found originally in the AMR DP-777 where it was implemented in an FPGA. For the Pro iDSD we have ported it to the XMOS, which is more suited to this kind of task.

 

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After all that digital complexity (which is there for very good reason), the rest of the Pro iDSD is delightfully simple.


The DACs are used in voltage output mode. The signal from the DACs is direct-coupled to a RCLC passive low-pass filter at around 80kHz and from there either to the volume control and the input of line drive circuit or directly to the input of the line drive circuit.

 

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The line drive circuit is in essence a modern take on classic 1950's tube studio circuitry. It is conceptually based on late generation TAB/Mahaik Studio Console line-driver modules, which had two low-gain triode stages and a choke-loaded cathode follower driving an output transformer with a modest amount of looped feedback to lower distortion to what was considered ‘adequate’ by the stringent requirements of the German Public Radio/TV system.

 

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Our circuit is not capacitor / transformer coupled but instead Direct- Coupled and able to drive 200 Ohm (or lower) loads without the need for an output transformer. It is fully discrete and a single ‘non-op-amp’ structure modelled on the way tube circuity works, eliminating for example distortion between stages caused by the non-linear input impedance of solid-state devices compared to tubes.

 

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We use either triode (NOS GE 5670) or J-Fet input, with a special second stage in solid-state that offers extremely high input impedance and high linearity, similar to a triode circuit. The current drive comes not from a cathode follower, instead we use a Mosfet Follower loaded by a CCS with a ‘current booster’ using bipolar transistors as output buffer. Again, a modest amount of loop feedback is used to achieve ‘studio standard’ measured performance.

This looped feedback can be lowered to almost zero in the Tube+ setting, meaning the input tube operates without feedback and the solid-state second stage and output are enclosed in a shorter local feedback loop. This causes much higher measured distortion, subjective sound as always is a different story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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