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Change my mind

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Hi all,


So I purchased an IFI iDSD Signature for IEM wearing at night (crashing), paired w/iBasso it04's exclusively.  My source is a Win 10 Surface Pro and I stream Tidal/MQA (for now), and I listen at pretty low volumes.  At times I love the audio, others, not so much, and I'm not sure if it what feels like inconsistency is the source material, or the dac, or just me expecting an eargasm, and I can't really even put my finger on it, but I'm not always feeling the gut level punch I thought this rig would deliver.

Aside from that, I am very disappointed at the amount of channel imbalance, and poor performance, muffled sound, and /on off quality of listening of the pot at low listening levels.

So I called my retailer and asked if he thought is I should upgrade to the Diablo, and he indicated that would not be a good match, as the Diablo would be too much for IEM's.  My first inclination was he didn't want an open box unit coming back into the store, so I'm wondering if any here would agree with that?  And also, I would have side/upgraded in a heartbeat, if this retailer had a transportable in that range (sig to diablo), but they just don't, so he was suggesting going to a dap.  I told him I'd have to think on that.

So I have some q's;


Is the low level, on/off, imbalance issue common to most dac's, or is there a unit out there that actually has a pot that has a true, linear volume capability?  Next, I'm wondering, if I should just hang on to this unit, live with it's personality, or if I should seek something else, (if my retailer had the Dethonray Honey H1, I would have exchanged for it, but again, I'm gearing a let-down, because I'm wondering how much all of this is marketing hype), or is there some thoughts on something else, that I'm not aware of, from boutique/bespoke companies, that I just have to hear?  Last, it IS NOT my intention to spark any MQA rants, it just so happens I'm in that ecosystem, until I advance any further, but the biggest reason I bought the Ifi is because it unfolds my chosen system.  So very simply, would I regret buying a dac if it does not unfold?  (I'm not interested in collection building, streaming works for me), or is it possible I'm missing out on something even better?


I have three days grace, left, to return this unit, and refund or exchange.

I appreciate all contribs in advance, and I'm very pleased I found this comprehensive group of hifi heads.



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Most analog pots do have some difficulty at very low volume levels, and this is more noticeable in headphone/IEM use.

You could try a DAC or preamp with a ladder resistor volume control or possibly a volume reducer somewhere in the audio signal line.

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You could try reducing the digital volume on your Surface Pro - that will allow you to use the analog volume control in a region of its travel where inter-channel matching is better.

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