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New nano iDSD LE and Linux - what's the problem?

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I bought a new nano iDSD LE about 2 weeks ago and noted the following problem as described in the trouble ticket I opened within 18 hours of receiving it:

 

  • "Hi - I received my nano LE last night and love the sound. I'm driving it with a NUC running Roon ROCK and playing through JBL 305 powered monitors, all of which is trouble free. When I clicked "play" on a 128dsd file just now, I got a faint crackle from the speakers followed by total loss of audio output. I then tried playing multiple Redbook FLACs but there was no audio through RCA or phone jack, even though Roon's progress bar was showing normal play at the bottom of the screen. I turned the LE off, disconnected the USB cable from it, waited a few minutes and reconnected it to the NUC (already powered up) before turning it back on - and it's now fine again and plays all files including the one loaded when this happened. As I've only had it for a day, I'd like to be comfortable that it's truly fine or return it for a replacement while I can do so without a hassle. What do you suggest that I do? Thanks."

 

I got the following response:

 

  • "Are you able to confirm using Windows or Mac to see if you have any problems with it?  Just want to rule in/out if its settings related. "

 

...to which I responded:

 

  • "I just downloaded the Win10 driver and connected my nano to my Win10 PC, where it works fine at all resolutions thru both the 'phone jack and line outs. Then I turned it off, unplugged it, and moved it back to my NUC running Roon ROCK core, turned it on after plugging in the RCA cables to my monitors, and once again Roon wouldn't play. This time, the progress bar for the track did not move from 0 and the seconds indicator remained at 0. I turned the nano off, unplugged the USB, then reconnected it and powered up again - and now it works fine again on the NUC (which is obviously running the Roon Linux kernel). Is the above behavior normal? Is there anything else I should check?"

 

The iFi tech support response was:

 

  • Thanks for your update. You've confirmed that the iDSD is fine as it would do the same behaviour on the NUC. Since its Linux, we don't support this as there are many varaitions. You'll have to check if its USB audio class 2.0 compliant, maybe need to install a driver. 

 

And from me:

 

  • "Your answer is a bit confusing - to what behavior are you referring as "...the same behaviour on the NUC"? The iDSD only does this on the NUC. It worked perfectly when I moved it to my Win10 PC, with both JRMC25 and Foobar (once I select it in the player's control panel, of course). But when I moved it back to the NUC, it wouldn't play any file until I powered down, unplugged & replugged the USB input, and powered up again. And it plays fine once I do that.  I'm amazed at your statement that 'Since its Linux, we don't support this as there are many varaitions [sic]'. Had I known this, I wouldn't have bought the device. Please be aware that your own website says otherwise, and I relied on this:   iFi_linux.jpg.013abbf51e6c8782a33b71935c2656ea.jpg
  • Why in the world would your support site include Linux if you don't support it??? Almost every Raspberry Pi and similar SBC runs on some Linux distribution. The Roon ROCK core is based on a Linux kernel. I'd strongly suggest that you make management aware of this so a warning that you don't support Linux use can be put on your website immediately, to prevent anyone else from making the same mistake I just did. I will have to pay return shipping and a restocking fee to Amazon to return the device simply because it isn't supported for the operating system I use for audio - it was what I ordered and It isn't defective.  Frankly, this kind of misunderstanding makes for a truly terrible customer relationship. I appreciate your prompt responses, but if there had been a disclaimer on the iFi site that Linux is not supported as an OS, I would not have wasted my money. Now I have a wonky device and no solution is available to me.

 

Here's the iFi response:

 

  • We put the logo on the website as its able to be used with Linux, but its open source, so one must check into Linux. We just don't provide support for Linux, though the unit should work if its USB Audio Class 2.0 compliant.

 

Bottom line: every 2 or 3 days, when I turn on the device and hit "play" on Roon, the selected track loads but does not play even though the iDSD shows as an active zone in Roon.  If I power it down, unplug and replug the USB cable, then turn it on again, it's completely fine - until the next time I have to go through the unplug-replug routine again.  Ignoring the stated (and, at least to me, foolish) iFi support position that "Since its Linux, we don't support this", I need to decide if I'm going to push to return the device while I still can.

 

So I have these questions for the AS community:

 

  1. Does anyone else with any iFi iDSD device driven by a Linux box of any kind (including Pi, ROCK, etc) experience periodic non-response that's corrected by disconnecting and reconnecting USB?
  2. Has anyone had a similar problem with any of these devices driven by an OS other than one based on or derived from a Linux distro?
  3. Should we accept without protest that iFi simply doesn't support use of their devices with any Linux based system, even though the iFi website clearly suggests otherwise & offers absolutely no disclaimer or other suggestion that Linux is in any way a disqualifier for support of aberrant behavior?
  4. What would you all do now?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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That very much sounds like an issue with the ROCK more than the iFi. I think the iFi people were doing a bit of CYA there, but perhaps, with some justification. I would contact Roon and put in a ticket with them. Be sure to let them know the behavior does *not* replicate under Windows.  Not much help, I know... 

 

Yours,

-Paul 

 


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

Robert A. Heinlein

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39 minutes ago, Paul R said:

That very much sounds like an issue with the ROCK more than the iFi. I think the iFi people were doing a bit of CYA there, but perhaps, with some justification. I would contact Roon and put in a ticket with them. Be sure to let them know the behavior does *not* replicate under Windows.  Not much help, I know... 

Thanks, Paul.  I've not had this (or any other problem) running ROCK on the NUC into any other DAC.  My NUC drove my Emotiva Stealth DC-1 for about 9 months with no problem, turning the DC-1 off after each use just as I do with the iFi.  I'll put in a Roon support request, but the probability of a problem in the NUC or ROCK seems very, very low to me.

 

I'm truly bummed by this, as I really love the sound of my music through the iFi and it's a perfect device physically for my workspace.  I don't hear any difference between the iFi and the Stealth playing formats they both handle.  But the Stealth only goes to 24/192, and I'm discovering a new world of high res files.  I don't find a consistent, dramatic, appreciable difference in the exact same source material presented at 16/44 or 24/192.  But I think the general quality of the dedicated high res files I've gotten so far is simply better, from recording of the source material to the care and attention given to processing / mastering / etc - so they do sound much better.

 

I must say that I find iFi's response to this to be both inappropriate and misleading - I did not expect a disinterested CYA from a manufacturer with so strong a stated (and apparent!) interest in us and our passion.  The iFi website says clearly and simply that Linux supports USB2 natively and that no driver is needed to use their devices.  It doesn't go on to say that users should not expect normal function or that we're on our own with problems such as the one I'm experiencing.  Roon is Linux. And the nano is designed for and aimed squarely at the portable and small device market, in which many (if not most) devices run on some variant or derivative of Linux. 

 

If I can't get a reasonable answer or some assurance that the nano will continue to work normally upon simply disconnecting and reconnecting the USB cable, I will have to return it while I still can.

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Sounds like a mixer crash of some type could have happened.  Are you doing any type of volume control on the ROCK/Linux device?  I have seen Linux misbehave sometimes with mixer controls and DSD playback, that's why I ask.  Sometimes volume has to be maxed in an app for DSD playback to work right, or volume control disabled in app.

 

I'd try switching between file types as much as you can and see if you can reproduce it.  I'm with Paul that i'd be more inclined to blame the ROCK device at this point.  If you try to reproduce it and can't, could be an anomaly.

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55 minutes ago, Paul R said:

The Emotiva doesn't have he same kind of USB volume control as the iFi uses. I would still tend to blame the ROCK more than the iFi. 

 

-Paul 

 

I've got an iFi Nano iDSD and a iFi Micro iDSD Black Label and I've found they both have volume control via USB even though they both have their own volume controls. I found that out when the volume I was getting from my Shanling M0 with the iFi DACs was less than I was expecting, and then I noticed that turning up the volume control on the M0 affected the sound level coming out of the iFi DACs.

 

I think the OP is being unreasonable in expecting iFi support to telepathically sort out his Roon ROCK problem, when it probably isn't to do with their DAC.


System (i): (iUSB3.0 Nano/RPi 2/Moode > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodek/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/Pure Sound P10; Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/RPi 2/Moode > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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(grin) I have exactly the same two iFi DACs, though I think I am going to sell the BL. (Too many DACs, not enough sources... ;) )

 

I don't think the OP is being unreasonable, I just think that his ire is targeted at the wrong place. For the same money as the ROCK, he could have had a uRendu, which performs absolutely flawlessly with both DACs for me, as well as with several other DACs.  The uRendu runs a version of Linux. 

 

Given that, some folks who opinions I respect have reported frustrations with the iFi along similar lines. I don't know if this is an example of the same thing or not, but I would be all over that Rock. 


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

Robert A. Heinlein

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2 minutes ago, Paul R said:

(grin) I have exactly the same two iFi DACs, though I think I am going to sell the BL. (Too many DACs, not enough sources... ;) )

 

I don't think the OP is being unreasonable, I just think that his ire is targeted at the wrong place. For the same money as the ROCK, he could have had a uRendu, which performs absolutely flawlessly with both DACs for me, as well as with several other DACs.  The uRendu runs a version of Linux. 

 

Given that, some folks who opinions I respect have reported frustrations with the iFi along similar lines. I don't know if this is an example of the same thing or not, but I would be all over that Rock. 

I'm not frustrated with my iFi DACs or with my Shanling M0, it was only that I didn't know what was going on with the USB volume level problem. As soon as I had worked that out, Shanling came out with a new release of their firmware which allowed you to disable USB volume control, and that was exactly what I needed. Maybe in the Roon ROCK config there is a setting to do the same thing.


System (i): (iUSB3.0 Nano/RPi 2/Moode > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodek/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/Pure Sound P10; Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/RPi 2/Moode > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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2 hours ago, Paul R said:

I don't think the OP is being unreasonable, I just think that his ire is targeted at the wrong place.

No ire here - I’m too old to let this kind of thing get under my skin. I’m just not happy about having bought a brand new DAC that drops its input connection while dormant. And I’m not happy about being blown off by the manufacturer’s support staff with no help beyond “we don’t support Linux use with our devices” when their own website says it should work. They ought to know better.

 

I appreciate the many thoughts expressed so far, but this happens with volume control disabled as well as with device VC enabled. I find it hard to imagine that consistently dropping the USB connection while nothing is playing would be related to anything in the NUC when the NUC works with other DACs and the iFi works with other OSes - it’s much more likely to reflect a problem in the iFi firmware. And it may be just a minor inconvenience if it always comes back with a simple unplug-replug.

 

I just don’t want to have a dead DAC one day next month and be told by iFi that the warranty is void because I used it with Linux.

 

 

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7 hours ago, bluesman said:

I bought a new nano iDSD LE about 2 weeks ago and noted the following problem as described in the trouble ticket I opened within 18 hours of receiving it:

 

  • "Hi - I received my nano LE last night and love the sound. I'm driving it with a NUC running Roon ROCK and playing through JBL 305 powered monitors, all of which is trouble free. When I clicked "play" on a 128dsd file just now, I got a faint crackle from the speakers followed by total loss of audio output. I then tried playing multiple Redbook FLACs but there was no audio through RCA or phone jack, even though Roon's progress bar was showing normal play at the bottom of the screen. I turned the LE off, disconnected the USB cable from it, waited a few minutes and reconnected it to the NUC (already powered up) before turning it back on - and it's now fine again and plays all files including the one loaded when this happened. As I've only had it for a day, I'd like to be comfortable that it's truly fine or return it for a replacement while I can do so without a hassle. What do you suggest that I do? Thanks."

 

I got the following response:

 

  • "Are you able to confirm using Windows or Mac to see if you have any problems with it?  Just want to rule in/out if its settings related. "

 

...to which I responded:

 

  • "I just downloaded the Win10 driver and connected my nano to my Win10 PC, where it works fine at all resolutions thru both the 'phone jack and line outs. Then I turned it off, unplugged it, and moved it back to my NUC running Roon ROCK core, turned it on after plugging in the RCA cables to my monitors, and once again Roon wouldn't play. This time, the progress bar for the track did not move from 0 and the seconds indicator remained at 0. I turned the nano off, unplugged the USB, then reconnected it and powered up again - and now it works fine again on the NUC (which is obviously running the Roon Linux kernel). Is the above behavior normal? Is there anything else I should check?"

 

The iFi tech support response was:

 

  • Thanks for your update. You've confirmed that the iDSD is fine as it would do the same behaviour on the NUC. Since its Linux, we don't support this as there are many varaitions. You'll have to check if its USB audio class 2.0 compliant, maybe need to install a driver. 

 

And from me:

 

  • "Your answer is a bit confusing - to what behavior are you referring as "...the same behaviour on the NUC"? The iDSD only does this on the NUC. It worked perfectly when I moved it to my Win10 PC, with both JRMC25 and Foobar (once I select it in the player's control panel, of course). But when I moved it back to the NUC, it wouldn't play any file until I powered down, unplugged & replugged the USB input, and powered up again. And it plays fine once I do that.  I'm amazed at your statement that 'Since its Linux, we don't support this as there are many varaitions [sic]'. Had I known this, I wouldn't have bought the device. Please be aware that your own website says otherwise, and I relied on this:   iFi_linux.jpg.013abbf51e6c8782a33b71935c2656ea.jpg
  • Why in the world would your support site include Linux if you don't support it??? Almost every Raspberry Pi and similar SBC runs on some Linux distribution. The Roon ROCK core is based on a Linux kernel. I'd strongly suggest that you make management aware of this so a warning that you don't support Linux use can be put on your website immediately, to prevent anyone else from making the same mistake I just did. I will have to pay return shipping and a restocking fee to Amazon to return the device simply because it isn't supported for the operating system I use for audio - it was what I ordered and It isn't defective.  Frankly, this kind of misunderstanding makes for a truly terrible customer relationship. I appreciate your prompt responses, but if there had been a disclaimer on the iFi site that Linux is not supported as an OS, I would not have wasted my money. Now I have a wonky device and no solution is available to me.

 

Here's the iFi response:

 

  • We put the logo on the website as its able to be used with Linux, but its open source, so one must check into Linux. We just don't provide support for Linux, though the unit should work if its USB Audio Class 2.0 compliant.

 

Bottom line: every 2 or 3 days, when I turn on the device and hit "play" on Roon, the selected track loads but does not play even though the iDSD shows as an active zone in Roon.  If I power it down, unplug and replug the USB cable, then turn it on again, it's completely fine - until the next time I have to go through the unplug-replug routine again.  Ignoring the stated (and, at least to me, foolish) iFi support position that "Since its Linux, we don't support this", I need to decide if I'm going to push to return the device while I still can.

 

So I have these questions for the AS community:

 

  1. Does anyone else with any iFi iDSD device driven by a Linux box of any kind (including Pi, ROCK, etc) experience periodic non-response that's corrected by disconnecting and reconnecting USB?
  2. Has anyone had a similar problem with any of these devices driven by an OS other than one based on or derived from a Linux distro?
  3. Should we accept without protest that iFi simply doesn't support use of their devices with any Linux based system, even though the iFi website clearly suggests otherwise & offers absolutely no disclaimer or other suggestion that Linux is in any way a disqualifier for support of aberrant behavior?
  4. What would you all do now?

 

Thanks!

 

I have an iFi micro-iDSD (original, not Black Label).  For a couple of years I went through dropped connections, blaming everything else but the DAC.  Then I read Miska, who knows something about DACs, and I believe jabbr as well, say they'd had trouble with their iFi DACs dropping connection.  If I remember correctly, Miska said he was fed up with the iFi's buggy firmware.

 

The problem stems from the fact that these iFi DACs are positioned as semi-portable units with batteries.  To prevent overcharging, the firmware shuts off power through USB when the DAC is fully charged.  However, the firmware is buggy, and not only does it shut off power, it drops the connection.

 

iFi is not going to resolve this problem.  As I said, it's existed for years.  I bought myself a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2, which in the very same system as the iFi hasn't dropped a connection yet in 10 days of use, including a party during which we circulated an iPad with the Audirvana remote app and people selected the next track they wanted to play for over 3 hours without a single hiccup.  That could never have happened with the iFi.  I happen to like the sound better too.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC ->

Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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54 minutes ago, bluesman said:

No ire here - I’m too old to let this kind of thing get under my skin. I’m just not happy about having bought a brand new DAC that drops its input connection while dormant. And I’m not happy about being blown off by the manufacturer’s support staff with no help beyond “we don’t support Linux use with our devices” when their own website says it should work. They ought to know better.

 

I appreciate the many thoughts expressed so far, but this happens with volume control disabled as well as with device VC enabled. I find it hard to imagine that consistently dropping the USB connection while nothing is playing would be related to anything in the NUC when the NUC works with other DACs and the iFi works with other OSes - it’s much more likely to reflect a problem in the iFi firmware. And it may be just a minor inconvenience if it always comes back with a simple unplug-replug.

 

I just don’t want to have a dead DAC one day next month and be told by iFi that the warranty is void because I used it with Linux.

 

 

 

Oh, no - that sounds a lot more like the troubles Jud and Jabbr had than I originally thought. 

 

I think you might consider a different DAC and send back the iFi,  if you really like the ROCK. Life is way to short to have to deal with aggravating hardware. :)

 

There are a bunch of really good DACs out there that are both cheap and just fantastic. I think they looked at this little jewel, but you might want to check with them.  

 

Yours,

-Paul

 


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

Robert A. Heinlein

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1 minute ago, Paul R said:

I think they looked at this little jewel, but you might want to check with them.

 

Not that one, this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B073WD644G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Amazon's current page says the DAC comes from Audio Advisor, but when I bought it just a couple of weeks ago it came from World Wide Stereo, which as you know @bluesman isn't far.

 

I bought from Amazon for 2-day free shipping, and because with an Amazon Prime Visa you can pay 30-some dollars a month for 12 months, no interest, which to me was just about the same as not having to pay for the unit at all.  ;) 


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC ->

Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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IFI customer service is notoriously bad. My IFI microIDSD BL has clicks and pops with Hqplayer. After six months back and forth with them, including engagement with Jussi, there was no choice but to give up. They don't care. The communications were a joke.

 

Shortly after filing a ticket, one of the CSRs said I'm leaving for holiday for the next three weeks and we can discuss your ticket on my return. No handoff, no concern about my issue. Just indifference. Nothing of substance ever happens, ever.

 

Fortunately despite the clicks and pops, the microIDSD just sounds great driven by my Audiolinux/NUC. I have been hoping to find a replacement DAC, by auditioning the RME ADI‑2 DAC, the Project S2, and the HoloSpring Kitsune edition driven by an SU-1.

 

Despite trying many different power and USB configurations neither the RME or Project DAC can be made to sound as musical as the IFI BL  The HoloSpring/SU1 is musical but after weighing up the pluses and minuses isn't enough of an improvement to justify an investment.

 

The new IFI DAC pro IDSD is an obvious candidate but I can't consider it given the lack of customer service and the take it or leave attitude towards their customer base.

 

The search goes on.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, lmitche said:

IFI customer service is notoriously bad. My IFI microIDSD BL has clicks and pops with Hqplayer. After six months back and forth with them, including engagement with Jussi, there was no choice but to give up. They don't care. The communications were a joke.

 

Shortly after filing a ticket, one of the CSRs said I'm leaving for holiday for the next three weeks and we can discuss your ticket on my return. No handoff, no concern about my issue. Just indifference. Nothing of substance ever happens, ever.

 

Fortunately despite the clicks and pops, the microIDSD just sounds great driven by my Audiolinux/NUC. I have been hoping to find a replacement DAC, by auditioning the RME ADI‑2 DAC, the Project S2, and the HoloSpring Kitsune edition driven by an SU-1.

 

Despite trying many different power and USB configurations neither the RME or Project DAC can be made to sound as musical as the IFI BL  The HoloSpring/SU1 is musical but after weighing up the pluses and minuses isn't enough of an improvement to justify an investment.

 

The new IFI DAC pro IDSD is an obvious candidate but I can't consider it given the lack of customer service and the take it or leave attitude towards their customer base.

 

The search goes on.

 

 

 

If you are looking in the lower end, this is an astonishingly good Dac, and sounds very much like an iFi Nano. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/TOPPING-ES9038Q2M2-DSD512-768KHz-Decoder/dp/B07D2ZZMW8/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Divilpoetry+d50&qid=1555251069&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0


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

Robert A. Heinlein

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16 minutes ago, Paul R said:

 

If you are looking in the lower end, this is an astonishingly good Dac, and sounds very much like an iFi Nano. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/TOPPING-ES9038Q2M2-DSD512-768KHz-Decoder/dp/B07D2ZZMW8/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Divilpoetry+d50&qid=1555251069&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Thanks, I am sure you are right about the Topping DAC.

 

I am aware of Amir's forum and Sinad measurements where the Topping and other Chinese DAC are popularized. The new Czech DAC from Okto research looks interesting as well. I am signed up for the US tour of this DAC.

 

FYI, I am expecting to spend as much as $3500 on a new DAC.

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12 hours ago, Paul R said:

Oh, no - that sounds a lot more like the troubles Jud and Jabbr had than I originally thought.  I think you might consider a different DAC and send back the iFi,  if you really like the ROCK. Life is way to short to have to deal with aggravating hardware. :)

 

And here's some more breaking news!  After reading these very helpful and reassuring posts, I left the nano connected to my Win10 PC overnight, and it disconnected from that too. So it's clearly the DAC and not the OS that's the problem. There are too many Linux users on AS and elsewhere using iFi DACs for me to understand how iFi could simply ignore tech issues by saying that they don't support Linux.

 

I and many others are clearly very happy with the sound of iFi DACs driven by Linux boxes, e.g.

 

3 hours ago, lmitche said:

the microIDSD just sounds great driven by my Audiolinux/NUC

 

2 hours ago, Paul R said:

If you are looking in the lower end, this is an astonishingly good Dac, and sounds very much like an iFi Nano. 

 

So I'm going to take a chance that the problem is purely in iFi firmware (as quite reasonably suggested by Jud) and keep the unit for use in the system to which I listen while working at my computer and for playing "backing tracks" while practicing and composing.  I'll unplug/plug the USB when necessary - it's not a big deal, it's just a stupid and annoying flaw that shouldn't plague buyers of good equipment.  If it bricks during the warranty period, I'll return it for service or replacement - and if they fight me because I drove it with Roon ROCK, I'll push back as hard as is reasonable.  How iFi tech support can blow off or ignore the many, many Roon and JRMC users out there with NUCs running ROCK, Raspberry Pis running Debian variants, etc is beyond me.

 

I was really looking forward to having an iFi DAC.  But from this encounter, I found iFi tech support to be characterized by the "lack of customer service and the take it or leave attitude towards their customer base" observed by Imitche.  With no positive response at all from iFi despite multiple communications on my trouble ticket, I wouldn't consider buying another product from them. 

 

Ifi, if you're reading this thread, I was serious about trying the nano first because I wanted to move all my systems to DSD and wanted to see what dealing with you was like by buying your entry level product first.  So I just ordered an SMSL SU-8 version 2 for my living room system and am looking elsewhere for better DACs for my other 2 systems. I truly wish you'd been more reasonable to deal with and hope someday you'll learn from all this feedback and improve your customer service.  You should also put a disclaimer on your website that Linux users are on their own for tech support beyond physical hardware failure.  Even better, you could start helping us by fixing your firmware (or finding and fixing whatever else might be the problem causing repeated disconnections, if that's not it). Your products sound, look and feel great - I'd love to buy more, but I can't do so knowing that you'll not be there for me.

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4 minutes ago, bluesman said:

I left the nano connected to my Win10 PC overnight, and it disconnected from that too. So it's clearly the DAC and not the OS that's the problem.

If you really want to see what iFi tech support is like, tell them about this discovery.

 

I concur with @lmitche's assessment of their attitude.  I had a problem with iGalvanic on Windows 10 and documented it carefully for them.  iFi just kept denying they had a problem and told me my motherboard was incompatible, which was complete nonsense.  They actually suggested I return the product, which is exactly what I did.  I have a micro iDSD, but I'd never buy another iFi product after that experience.


Innuos Zenith SE --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> ISO REGEN/LPS-1.2 --> iFi iDSD Micro --> Focal CMS50's 

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I had a iDSD nano BL and it did sound pretty good, but I decided that MQA wasn't worth it after giving it a go.  Back it went during my return period.  At times it could be odd, but usually it was mixer settings dropping to zero or muting on their own when using Volumio which is also linux based.

 

I was looking portable so tried Topping NX4-DSD, like it better so far.  The BL was too bulky to strap to my phone, the Topping is nice and slim.  And the Topping has separate data and charge USB ports.  Can also be used as a non-DAC head amp, has a line in.  Topping you are paying for all engineering and not features you may not need.

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4 hours ago, BrokeLinuxPhile said:

I had a iDSD nano BL and it did sound pretty good, but I decided that MQA wasn't worth it after giving it a go.  Back it went during my return period.  At times it could be odd, but usually it was mixer settings dropping to zero or muting on their own when using Volumio which is also linux based.

 

I was looking portable so tried Topping NX4-DSD, like it better so far.  The BL was too bulky to strap to my phone, the Topping is nice and slim.  And the Topping has separate data and charge USB ports.  Can also be used as a non-DAC head amp, has a line in.  Topping you are paying for all engineering and not features you may not need.

I run with the last non-MQA firmware version. One can't trust firmware with MQA on board. Sometimes it gets stuck in MQA mode.

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On 4/14/2019 at 12:57 PM, rickca said:

I concur with @lmitche's assessment of their attitude.  I had a problem with iGalvanic on Windows 10 and documented it carefully for them.  iFi just kept denying they had a problem and told me my motherboard was incompatible, which was complete nonsense.  They actually suggested I return the product, which is exactly what I did.  I have a micro iDSD, but I'd never buy another iFi product after that experience.

 

The more I think about this, the more confused and disappointed I get.  iFi products are clearly excellent in most respects, and they represent great value for audiophiles.  Except for the oddball glitch,  sound and features are great and we all seem to love them unless something goes wrong that iFi won't (or maybe can't) fix.  I was very impressed with the look and feel of my nano iDSD LE from the second I opened the shipping box - and the sound is so good that I'm (reluctantly) living with the need to power down and unplug/replug the USB cable to reestablish function.  I'm also reluctantly (and unhappily) living with the apparent fact that iFi tech support will not help us with problems beyond trying to vindicate themselves. So I realize that I'm in for more difficulty if anything else goes wrong with my device, and I could end up with a pretty brick for which I paid good money.

 

In business school (I got my MBA 20 years ago), we learned that the first rule of customer service is to delight the customer.  Satisfied customers still shop elsewhere - but truly delighted customers return to you and only you, again and again, because of the quality of the experience.  I've been a delighted Emotiva customer since they opened shop - their support is unparalleled and they stand behind their stuff.  Their people are uniformly helpful, interested in their customers, and excellent at their jobs.  I always get emails informing me of the status of my orders or inquiries. For example, my systems were all 19" rack mounted in our house, and their website said that they were coming out with rack mounts for the first equipment I wanted from them.  I called and was told that the mounts were expected within 6 to 8 weeks, so I bought a DAC (their first one) and an amp. They emailed me a few times about the status of the rack mounts, and true to their word they shipped the mount system to me the day they got it.  They've been equally great about every item I've bought from them since then, and repaired one piece with a one week turnaround from sending it to getting it back (with 3 email updates during that week).  Sadly, they don't currently have a DSD DAC, so I had no choice but to look elsewhere.

 

If iFi had responded well (or, at least, appropriately) to my inquiry, I'd already have bought a better DAC from them for my living room, and I'd be purchasing 2 more DACs and an amplifier from them in the next 6 months. It's self-defeating for a business to offer great products and go out of their way to alienate their customers.  If they have to patch or even rewrite their firmware so devices don't have to be plugged in again every few days to re-establish USB connectivity, that's what they should do.  If they have to charge another 5% to cover the cost of proper service & support, that's what they should do - it's hard to imagine that any of us would pick an alternative product to one we loved if they upped the price by $5 per $100 and provided the best customer service in the business. 

 

As already posted by many on AS, almost everyone who has a bad experience with an iFi product simply returns it and buys another brand.  I probably ought to do the same thing - but I love everything about my nano except its rude behavior.  This is all so unnecessary!!!!

charlie_brown_ugh_small.jpg.efc6e2bdde5f20d4eda685837058a23b.jpg

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My dad once complained to me at length about how stupid the routing of the fuel line in his Buick was: under the frame in a position where he'd gone over a dip and crimped it shut, necessitating a tow to get it fixed. I asked him whether he was going to keep buying GM cars, and his response was "Why not?" I said "Because then they have no reason to build a better car."

 

If people let iFi keep their money, there's no reason for them to make better firmware or provide better customer service. (I was long out of any warranty/return period before I understood the iFi firmware was causing the disconnection problem.)


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC ->

Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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1 hour ago, Jud said:

If people let iFi keep their money, there's no reason for them to make better firmware or provide better customer service. (I was long out of any warranty/return period before I understood the iFi firmware was causing the disconnection problem.)

That’s both correct and a powerful argument that I should return it, Jud.

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