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Found 18 results

  1. Right, about that PRO iDSD thingy people talk about lately? IT! IS! HEEEEREEEEE! Well, almost. OK, as per usual, we can't give too much specifics, teasers will have to do the trick today... But let's take it one day at a time and dang, things are going to get heavy. Stay with us just a little longer! Juicy details are to be served very soon. In the meantime, ENJOY! UPDATE!!! We have some major news to share. First of all, the Pro iDSD premiere date: The 15th of February 2018 We don't expect any difficulties along the road towards this day. Yet if some shifts will occur, we'll update this very post to keep you good CA people properly informed. And secondly, the Pro iDSD retail price: $2,499 (ex-tax) €2,999 (inc vat) £2,499 (inc vat) Additionally, this thread will serve as the official Pro iDSD repository, which means that every publication (or its location link) related to this device will be listed in this thread for as easy access as possible. 1. Our take on digital filters How iFi audio sees digital filtering in general. 2. Digital filters/options in our Pro iDSD Explanation of how and what is upsampled in the Pro iDSD. Tech talk Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4: Part 5: Major GE5670 related announcement Pro iDSD front panel Part 1: Part 2: Pro iDSD - The GTO filter Part 1/4 (and the 5.3C FW release announcement): Pro iDSD - The MQA firmware FW 2.01:
  2. I bought the Marantz SA-10 SACD player about a year ago. It took me a while to figure out how to get the best sound when using external renderer compared to playing CD/SACD on SA-10 and playing music files from USB drive connected to SA-10. There is no audible difference when playing physical media vs playing music files from USB drive with the SA-10. However, I was unable to get the same sound quality when using external renderer until recently. So this is my humble experience sharing, not a review. This is also my first post here. My system is pretty revealing although it is not really high-end. It’s in the living room. Eventually I plan to have a dedicated listening room. Torus AVR30 wall mount – isolation transformer plus voltage regulation (230V country) Digital sources: Marantz SA-10, Oppo UDP-205 Analog: TW Acustic Raven Two turntable with 2 tonearms: Raven 10.5 (Benz Micro LP-S) and Tri-planar Mk7 U2 (Quintet Black). Audio Research Ref 2 SE phono stage Passive preamp : Bent Audio + Dave Slagle pure silver autoformer in fully balanced configuration (4 autoformers total). Internal wiring using Swiss-made Audio Consulting 0.5mm single core silver wires with cotton sleeving Slave passive preamp for HT channels: 3 copper autoformers controlling volume of Oppo 205 center and rear channels into MC303. Follow volume setting of stereo preamp Bryston 10B-SUB active crossover McIntosh MC452 driving frequencies above 60 Hz into Focal Utopia III Diablo McIntosh MC303 driving center channel (another Diablo) and rear channels (Focal Electra IW1002 BE in-ceiling) 2 units of JL Audio fathom f113 subwoofers receiving frequencies below 60 Hz from 10B-SUB So why not just play music files from USB drive connected to SA-10? It’s limited to PCM 192k and DSD 2x / 5.6. When using external renderer connected to the SA-10 USB Audio type B input, the maximum rates double to PCM 384k and DSD 4x / 11.2. Navigating music files inside the USB drive is painful – it can only be done with the supplied remote control with the help of single-line SA-10 display. There is 1000 folder limit, and the SA-10 struggles with reading large SSD drive; most of the times it hangs, sometimes require restart. The USB drive must be formatted as FAT32 and some characters are not supported. Folders and files are ordered based on creation history, not based on file/folder names like Windows. It feels like there is an ancient computer inside SA-10 running DOS! Also, when playing DSD files from USB drive or DVD-R, there is relay click and mute between tracks, hence no gapless playback for DSD. Gapless DSD playback is a requirement for me. I started computer audio playback pretty late as I use computers too many hours per day. My first digital music player was Sony HAP-Z1ES, but its USB Audio output quality is lacking. I tried building my own streamer/renderer. Using Intel NUC7i5BNH with 16GB RAM, 256GB Samsung EVO 970 NVMe M.2 SSD for O/S and 2TB Samsung EVO 860 SATA3 SSD for music files, I tried various playback software for both Windows 10 and Linux. Among all the players, I was impressed with Euphony. I utilized 30-day trials for version 2 and then again for version 3. Eventually I purchased Euphony version 3. The Intel NUC was powered by China-made Zerozone 19V 4A linear power supply purchased through ebay. Through Euphony, I throttled down maximum CPU speed to 1.8GHz – temperature of the 2 cores remains around 50 deg C, hence no noisy CPU fan. Curious USB cable was used between NUC and SA-10. Initially I was impressed with the NUC as its sound is better than Sony HAP-Z1ES. But when NUC is compared to SA-10 internal rendering, the sound is inferior; missing details, more digital sound especially with decays, and poor bass control. Even though Euphony supports DSD 4x / 11.2 playback, playing DSD 4x from NUC sounds inferior compared to playing DSD 2x from SA-10 USB drive. I then purchased a used Innuos Zenith Mk.II with 2TB internal SSD for experimentation purpose. I never like the idea of spending too much on a streamer, especially when I don’t need the CD ripping functionality of Zenith. Not to my surprise, Zenith sounds better compared to NUC, but the low-end slam and bass tightness cannot match SA-10 internal rendering. Musical instruments sound slightly different with Zenith. My goal is to make external renderers able to match the sound quality of SA-10 internal rendering. When playing CD/SACD or music files from USB drive, I believe the short path of digital signals and isolation from external noise resulted in superb sound. I consider SA-10 internal rendering as the reference sound. Please note that there are no measurements – all tests done by listening, not just by me, but also by my audiophile friends. Previously I had Denafrips Terminator for 4 months but was unable to optimize the external renderer as I don’t know what the right sound is – each digital input gives different sound, with USB not being the best. The Terminator sounds the best when Marantz SA-10 was used as CD transport with its coaxial output into Terminator. The Terminator was eventually returned due to issues with DSD playback. Please note however that Terminator has an updated DSP + USB board recently. I explored USB regen – read various reviews and forums. Not willing to spend too much, especially regens which require separate expensive linear power supply costing more than the regen, I settled with iFi Micro iUSB3.0. Per AudioStream iFi Micro review’s recommendation, I also purchased Wireworld Starlight 8 USB 3.0 A to B cable for connection between NUC/Zenith and iFi Micro. I ordered a customized Curious USB 300 mm flipped cable and use it for connection between iFi Micro to SA-10 USB type B input (DAC). SA-10 already has USB ground galvanic isolation, so I don’t think another external galvanic isolation is necessary. I also purchased iFi iSilencer 3.0 for fun. About 168 hours are required to break in the iFi products and Starlight 8 USB 3.0 cable. I put an old, first generation DragonFly into iFi Micro USB output so that it acts as the DAC during the break in. This is to prevent unnecessary aging of my beloved SA-10. Intel NUC was used and a selected music folder was played continuously. I tried various USB ports on the NUC – some ports are better. The best combination is with the Starlight 8 USB 3.0 cable connected to top rear USB3 port, iSilencer connected to the bottom rear port, and another iSilencer in front. With this combination, the sound quality from NUC/Euphony/iFi is close to SA-10 internal rendering, but the way the music flows and the definition of micro details still cannot match SA-10 internal rendering. I removed the 2TB Samsung EVO 860 SATA from NUC and use it as an external USB drive, first into iSilencer in front of NUC, and then into iFi Micro second USB port. With the Samsung SSD connected to iFi Micro second USB port, I finally got the aha moment. It sounds exactly the same with SA-10 internal rendering. Finally I was able to hear DSD 4x / 11.2 at its best. So SSD is indeed noisy and it pollutes the 5V power when used inside the NUC. iFi Micro and iSilencer fixed the NUC issues of missing details, digital sound especially with decays, and poor bass control. All those digital glares were replaced with smooth, analog sounding music. Piano decays sound so good and addictive. Out of my own curiosity, for connection between NUC and iFi Micro, I replaced the Starlight 8 with 1.2m Curious USB cable I’ve used for about a year. Suddenly there are more details, but very digital and scattered. The smooth analog sounding sound is gone with Curious. Either iFi is correct that USB3 can transmit data better than USB2, and/or the Starlight 8 USB 3.0 cable is really good. Between iFi Micro USB output to SA-10, short Curious USB cable remains my choice. I also tried using the iFi products with Zenith. I’ve seen an advert where someone sold his iFi Micro iUSB3.0 after he bought a Zenith Mk.III since he thinks with Zenith, USB regen is not required. With my Zenith Mk.II, it makes a difference. Zenith has 2 accessible USB ports even though the SuperMicro embedded motherboard has a lot more. 1 USB2 port is for DAC connection and 1 USB3 port is for backup. Technically both ports can work with iFi Micro. Using Starlight 8 from Zenith USB3 into iFi Micro gives better results, but adding iSilencer 3.0 into the USB3 port before Starlight 8 cable gives even better results. This is different from NUC where putting iSilencer adjacent to the port with Starlight 8 cable gives better results. With Zenith, musical instruments sound slightly different. I don’t think I am done yet with getting the best sound from Zenith, or maybe it was voiced differently such that it will never be able to match the sound of SA-10 internal rendering. I am really happy with the results with NUC/Euphony/iFi and very surprised Zenith Mk.II can be bettered by DIY solution. Currently Zenith OS does not support DSD 4x / 11.2 with SA-10. Nuno promised they will add that capability in the next kernel update, but it was not in 1.4.3 released recently. Euphony still does not support Native DSD with SA-10 even after multiple promises by Robert. DSD 4x / 11.2 is done as DoP. Right now my only choice to play DSD 4x is with NUC/Euphony. I am tempted to build another NUC. Despite its limitations like having DC to DC converter on the motherboard, it can still produce very good sound with the right software and USB cleaners.
  3. Power to the people iFi’s new PowerStation mains block uses Active Noise Cancellation to deliver a whole-system clean-power solution for high-performance audio/AV systems. Southport, England – The PowerStation is the latest addition to iFi’s collection of performance-enhancing audio essentials – a six/eight-way mains block that ensures any audio or AV system is supplied with clean, consistent electricity to unleash its full potential. Every audio system can be tainted by poor mains quality – a problem that affects many of us, especially those living in towns and cities. The quality of our mains power is further eroded by the abundance of cheap switch-mode power supplies in typical household appliances and the sea of RFI/EMI in which we are constantly bathed. The signals that move loudspeaker drive units are electrical; if the ‘unrefined fuel’ from which these signals are formed – the power we feed our systems – is corrupted, the negative impact on sound quality is inevitable. iFi manufactures a number of highly effective products that reduce ‘noise’ (distortion) in incoming electrical power – both directly from the mains or via USB ports – but the PowerStation is the first to offer the company’s proprietary Active Noise Cancellation in a whole-system, six/eight-outlet mains solution. Intelligent technology to tackle a universal problem The PowerStation’s core performance–enhancing technology is Active Noise Cancellation II – the latest version of iFi’s proprietary noise-busting tech. Most power ‘conditioning’ products engage passive noise reduction through a selection of filters and regulators. Whilst this can be effective, it has inherent disadvantages compared to iFi’s active system, which uses inverse noise current to cancel out the noise in the mains signal. The way this works is not unlike the technology in noise-cancelling headphones. Noise in the mains supply occurs at different frequencies, depending on the cause. Passive noise reduction systems are effective at the top end of the frequency spectrum but tend to be less so at lower frequencies. In addition, passive systems need large capacitors to be truly effective, which make the best such products bulky and expensive. iFi’s Active Noise Cancellation II is effective in reducing noise consistently across the entire frequency spectrum, by approximately -40dB. This is coupled to additional passive filtering on each outlet to eradicate noise at the very highest frequencies – typically caused by wireless transmission systems. The result is an affordable mains bar that delivers highly effective reduction of both differential mode noise (caused by conventional switch-mode power supplies, for example) and common mode noise (including interference caused by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) from an affordable mains conditioning block. Smart features to enhance and protect The PowerStation’s smart diagnostics system helps to avoid potential issues by indicating both correct polarity and whether the system has a ground/earth in place. The lack of an effective earth can cause an audible buzz or hum through the speakers, resulting from amplified low-level mains noise; this can be rectified by attaching an optional ground cable into PowerStation’s earth socket. iFi calls this circuit Intelligent Ground because it will not create a ground loop (a common cause of buzz or hum) even if the system is already earthed. The PowerStation not only enhances the performance of every connected audio/AV component, it also guards the connected equipment from spikes and surges in the mains supply. Instantaneous and repeatable protection ensures that damage will not occur as a result of power fluctuations, providing valuable peace of mind. If the protection circuit is triggered, the PowerStation will only reboot once it is absolutely safe to do so. Specialised construction for optimised performance The PowerStation’s case is solidly constructed from dark anodised aluminium, as befits a high-quality audio/AV component. Inside, each of the six/eight mains outlets is independently isolated in its own chamber to prevent differential mode cross-contamination, with the addition of strategically placed EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) to damp vibrations. PurCopper – a form of 99.9999 per cent pure OFHC (Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity) continuous-cast copper – is used extensively for its superior conductivity. This includes heavy-gauge internal wiring with multi-layered polymer insulation, solid PurCopper busbars and the conductive elements of the AC outlets themselves. It all adds up to a level of functionality and performance that users will not obtain from other whole-system clean-power solutions without spending considerably more. Sonic improvements delivered by the PowerStation include greater clarity and definition, plus enhanced dynamic and spatial qualities, avoiding the apparent softening of leading edges, timing and dynamics that can occur with lesser mains filtering products. Available from August with a choice of four outlet types to suit the UK, EU, USA/Japan and Australia, it raises the performance level of every connected component – a whole-system upgrade delivering impressive value for money. The retail cost of the PowerStation is US$499 (ex tax) or €549/£499 (inc. VAT.)
  4. Let no noise go unsilenced If you think of mains power as the ‘gasoline’ fuelling your audio system, the AC iPurifier is the product that ensures that it’s getting a clean, super premium blend to deliver the best possible audio fidelity. The AC iPurifier is the latest in iFi audio’s stable of ‘power products’ designed to clean-up noisy mains supplies to audio systems. But this is no ordinary mains purifier. Technologically advanced, it’s Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) circuitry can eliminate far more noise across the frequency range than other passive devices. At -40dB, the difference is as distinct as night and day. The following diagram depicts the placement of three AC iPurifiers in one system. Insert AC iPurifier (1) into the shared mains wall outlet. Place AC iPurifier (2) at the first entry point. A third AC iPurifier (3) is best located in-between the two types of power supplies. We recommend that all linear power supplies are located after the AC iPurifier (2) but before AC iPurifier (3). Then all SMPS power supplies are located after AC iPurifier (3). Also, the digital and analogue power sources should be in their respective groups as shown in the diagram. Specifications: Noise Reduction: >40dB (> 100x) Surge Protection: max. 30,000A @ 1,000V/10uS Operating Voltage: 90V – 265V Size/Weight: (USA) 40mm x 105mm (L) 108 (g) / 0.24 (lbs) (EU) 40mm x 115mm (L) 126 (g) / 0.28 (lbs) The retail price of the AC iPurifier is US$99 (ex-tax) or €109 /£99 (incl. tax). Next in line are AC iPurifier technical notes, hence stay tuned!
  5. iFi audio's xDSD - The Official Thread iFi's latest portable beauty Yup, this space is devoted to our upcoming xDSD model. Every piece of nfo regarding this one we'll post in this thread. Stay tuned!
  6. Extra Ordinary MQA Easter Egg Introduction With Easter just around the corner, iFi audio has delivered an eagerly anticipated upgrade option as a very special Easter gift. iFi first introduced MQA into its product mix with the nano iDSD Black Label in November 2017. Since then, iFi customers across the globe have been asking when this option would be available in other iFi products. The good news is that the latest improvements to the nano Black Label firmware version 5.30, ‘Cookies & Cream’, does just that. Mqa for all This latest firmware flavour not only adds the latest scoop to the nano iDSD Black Label sundae but it also dishes out MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio to the full range* of iFi audio products going back to 2013! This ‘legacy’ update means that you can now download the MQA upgrade (PC and Mac) straight from the Support section of iFi’s website at no extra cost. Mqa optimised Firmware version 5.30 will optimise your device for MQA and can handle up to DSD256 and PCM384. Enjoy the MQA magic like never before. And Finally… None of the above would have been possible without the MQA software engineers who worked tirelessly alongside the iFi software team to make this unique opportunity happen. Thank you. Go to https://ifi-audio.com/audio_blog/mqa-firmware/ to enjoy your upgrade. This firmware provides MQA rendering as this is the ideal solution for portable products and those with power considerations. This means the workload is shared between the host (the computer) and the client (the DAC). The listener will still enjoy full MQA experience. For more information on MQA, go to http://www.mqa.co.uk/customer/how-it-works Legacy *The only exception is the original iDAC.
  7. iDEFENDER3.0 The iDEFENDER3.0 solves the common ground loop/hum. It ‘breaks’ the ground loop but in a, proper and electrically safe way Just add iPOWER 5v to inject clean power at the source. Break ground loops the correct way. iDefender3.0 with IsoEarth® Use upstream at the audio source. Because USB is bi-directional. Latest USB3.0 standard. For optimum performance. Cut-off noisy power. Inject pure, clean iPOWER 5v. The iDefender3.0 protects against the common problems of ground loop noise and noisy USB power (if used with optional external iPower 5V). As USB is bi-directional, it is important to address noise issues upstream as well as downstream. Common USB noise problems addressed by the iDefender are: [*=center]Breaks noisy ground-loops. Significantly reduces system noise floor and makes for better dynamic contrast, warmth and resolution [*=center]Disconnects the USB Power from the PC and replaces it with a clean external power (optional iPower* 5V for ultra low noise) [*=center]USB3.0 port technology – most advanced and highest USB specification The iDefender, just like its iUSB power sibling, brings usb port noise at the computer from a typical 100uV down to 1uV. So a 100x reduction that is quieter than a 9v battery. Beneath the compact exterior, the iDefender is feature-rich, with the latest iFi technology. To be used directly at the Source such as the PC usb port, it breaks ground loops and cuts the noisy USB power line. From computer audiophiles, musicians, home studio artists to pro audio customers, it improves audio playback quality at home and on-the-go. *To obtain the best result, the optional iPower 5V is recommended. USB is bi-directional, pays to look upstream Unlike SPDIF which is directional, even as the USB logo itself illustrates, USB is bi-directional. Therefore, despite more efforts and benefits to looking downstream such as at the DAC end, we believe it is also beneficial to look upstream at the source. The iDefender3.0 solves one quite common issue found with either: 1. Multiple earths 2. No earth That is a ground loop which manifests itself as an audible ‘hum.’ The iDefender3.0 cuts the ground loop AND also offers the ability to inject a clean 5v power supply via the micro USB port at the side. For computer audio enthusiasts to professional recording studio engineers, the iDefender3.0 slves these two issues in one fell swoop. Break the noisy USB power, but in the correct way There are more than a few products that break the USB Power connection, but of the ones known to us, they do very little because the noisy ground connection remains. This is quite a major oversight in our opinion. For DAC's that do not use USB Power (except for handshake) the iDefender3.0 breaks the ground connection eliminating earth loops, while allowing normal handshake operation to continue. So in terms of cutting out the noise, it does it in the most comprehensive way possible while at the same time, in an electrically correct way. USB3.0 technology, at the cutting-edge It is now a hallmark of all the latest iFi signal and power products to be USB3.0 standard. First USB3.0 is backwards compatible with USB2.0. Second, in terms of the specifications, USB3.0 is superior to USB2.0 eg the wire gauge specification is more exhaustive and the connections are better. Need clean power? Inject iPower ‘quieter than battery’ technology As the iDefender3.0 breaks the noisy power supply, this is it for DACs with an internally-powered USB line. But for DAC's that use USB Power a separate power connection is provided to feed in a 5V DC Supply - this is needed to break the ground connection, as long as the DAC tries to draw USB power from the Source instead the ground cannot be isolated. With a noise floor that of 1uV, the iPower is a new-breed of near silent DC-power supply. Low power consumption and low-noise. With 12-Element Array on the output and 6-Element Array technology on the input, there is next to no noise supplied and ‘leaked’ back out to nearby devices. Specifications: Super-Speed USB3.0 (and USB2.0 backwards compatible) Connectors: USB3.0 gold-plated connectors Dimensions: 48 (l) x 18 (w) x 8 mm (h) Weight: 6.5g (0.23oz) Warranty period: 12 months The EU retail price: €49 incl VAT The US retail price: $45 ex-tax
  8. Something completely new, REALLY BIG and literally out of this world is coming. https://amr-audio.co.uk/ Stay tuned, it's worth it.
  9. iPurifier 2 – Active Asynch USB Purifier Repeater Filter-packed to the nth degree Southport, UK – 30st Oct 2015 Leading the field in USB audio technology The iFi obsession with cleaning up the USB audio chain continues. Drawing from the knowledge pool of AMR and on the heels of the iUSB3.0 comes the iPurifier2. It is an Asynchronous Active USB Purifier Repeater. It offers 100X to 100,000X [1] noise reduction for USB Power, underpinned by REclock®, REgenerate® and REbalance®. It is so intelligent, it is an active USB repeater so it can extend USB lengths. Used at the end of the chain, just select the type A, B [2], C or micro USB connector version to enhance any and every USB audio device. Features Active Noise Cancellation® military-grade circuit for 100X to 100,000X noise reduction REgenerate® and REclock® asynchronous technology to eliminate jitter REbalance® re-corrects USB signal balance to cancel DC offset noise Compliant with USB Audio Class 2.0 for DSD/PCM/DXD formats (to 768kHz and beyond) Aluminium aircraft-grade ‘Final’ connector (impedance 90 ohms) 4 versions – USB A, B, C and micro connections The retail price of the iPurifier2 is US$109 (ex-tax) or Euro119 (incl VAT). [1] Magnitude of improvement dependent upon where in the audible frequency range. [2] Type B is available now, types A,C and micro USB to follow. Enjoy!
  10. OK! No one's looking? Gooood! Can't tell you much about two of AMR/iFi products just yet, not before RMAF, but in order to grasp what we're up to this time, please see the pictures below! Enjoy!
  11. The Pro iESL First among energizers The Pro series iESL is an unsurpassed energiser for electrostatic headphones (and transformer-coupled stage for flagship dynamic headphones too). The Pro iESL driven by either the iFi Pro iCAN or a powerful amplifier takes electrostatic headphones to an unprecedented level of performance. Its defining characteristic is a transparency and an ultra-wide dynamic range that is totally natural. The Pro iESL works with Stax, Sennheiser Orpheus and many more. Classic & Cutting Edge Technology The Pro iESL’s three key elements combine the very best in classical approaches with the latest in cutting-edge technology AND superb component quality to deliver the ‘perfectly matched’ headphone experience. • Atypical Pinstripe Permalloy Core transformer • Bias voltage generator • Capacitive Battery Power Supply Outstanding Component Quality One-off, hand-wound, Pinstripe Permalloy Core Transformer Wima Capacitors Vishay MELF resistors Gold-plated silver and sealed-silver alloy contact relays Specifications Maximum Output voltage: 640V RMS (16Ω/20V in) 320V RMS (64Ω/20V in) Frequency Response: 5Hz – 50kHz (-3dB) Input Voltage (Pro iESL): 5V – 9V/1A max Input Voltage (iPower): AC 85 – 265V, 50/60Hz Power Consumption: < 1W Dimensions: 213(l) x 206(w) x 63.3(h) mm Weight: 2.5kg (5.5 lbs) The retail price of the Pro iESL is US$1,399 (ex-tax) or €1,575/£1,395 (incl VAT). Stay tuned, tech stuff coming up shortly!
  12. Hello everyone, I would like the discuss chaining the above equipments. Has anyone tried that already? I would like to replace my hq player naa with the sMS-200.
  13. Together AMR and iFi audio have more than 35 products in their combined portfolio from the AMR 777 CD player to the new iFi iGalvanic3.0. Given the breadth of our model range, we have a dedicated technical support team at your service. Why not just solve problems directly on the forums? This means a lot of posts blocking up threads and often crucial info can get missed. Our forum team will seek the advice of tech support which means you are getting info third or fourth hand. It's more efficient to get a quick, fast response directly from our tech guys themselves plus customers get priority over staff! So, we advise all our customers, old or new, seeking support about a new or existing purchase to use our support system for a quicker, more detailed response first time. Our support team offer: 1. Over 50 common FAQs: iFi-Audio :: Support Ticket System - These are updated regularly. Examples include - How do I setup the AMR/iFi driver? How do I to recharge the micro iDSD? 2. Dedicated 'Support Ticket System' - This is where you open that crucial support ticket! AMR AMR Audio :: Support Ticket System iFi audio iFi-Audio :: Support Ticket System Here, once you have opened a ticket and your case has been logged, our team of dedicated professionals with the most up-to-date information and PDF tutorials will aim to reply to you within 24 hours (or less). For non-AMR/iFi audio owners, you are also welcome to open a ticket and ask questions. Please give our support system a whirl. You will find that we do try to go the 'extra mile'. We just want you up and running as soon as possible so you can enjoy your music. Thank you. The AMR/iFi Teams.
  14. The iDAC2 – spilling the secret sauce (part 1) The iDAC2’s musicality has wooed – most recently the iDAC2 + iPurifier2 + Pro iCAN at the Fujiya AVIC Headphone Festival in Tokyo where the market is probably the most demanding on the planet. Source: iFi Retro Stereo 50 + iPurifier2 at Fujiya Avic 2015 | DAR__KO The Pro iCAN was one of the show ‘best sound winners’ so the small but mighty iDAC2 + iPurifier 2 combo deserve some credit for producing the digital-to-analogue conversion to feed the Pro iCAN. At the show, the quite technically proficient Japanese press asked us on more than one occasion why the recently-launched iDAC2 sounded so nice. And this is a press pack that has turntables in heavy rotation so they know their onions. This gave us the idea to put finger to keyboard. Source: 【候補多すぎ】ヘッドフォンç¥*アワード2015秋は週末までに公開致します! | 目福耳福 Fujiya Avic BLOG Bake-Off: the iFi recipe behind a really good DAC The following are our thoughts only. The application of the parts budget as common industry practice is similar to what we did in the iFi iDSD nano which is more indicative of <US$1,000 DACs. Often a very large part of the budget is needed for the digital platform (after all, we need a DAC Chip that headlines and a good USB processor). Power supplies and analogue stages receive the remaining budget. Hence, the three key cost areas in the electronics of a digital-to-analogue converter: Digital section cost - is much the same across the board, chipsets/clocks vary but slightly and software is usually ‘off the shelf’ like the XMOS firmware and off the shelf DAC Chips of usually comparable cost. In a USB DAC the USB Processor is usually the biggest ticket item before the DAC. Clocks and their power supplies often cost as much as a DAC Chip. Analogue section cost – from a simple double Op-Amp for 20 cent to things done much more extensively cost varies. The iDAC2 has BB Soundplus integrated amplifier and a discrete JFet and BJT Class A output stage. Further it employs C0G Capacitors and MELF Resistors for all signal positions, all this adds cost. Power supply section cost – Often USB DACs have minimal power supply arrangements with generic 3-pin regulators. If done more extensively, then the cost is higher eg iDAC2 uses ELNA Silmic Capacitors and Active Noise Cancellation® to eliminate the USB power noise. iDAC2 is no piece of cake Things are different in the iDAC 2: we started with a larger budget, we could have spent it in a number of ways, like more DAC Chips or different ‘fashionable’ DAC Chips or fancy clocks. Instead we chose to put the extra budget where it impacts most, namely analogue stages and power supplies. The iDAC2 has a similar cost digital section as with other DACs out there (and to our iDSD nano) but its analogue and power sections are more extensive hence its overall cost is greater so its pie chart area is larger. The proof is in the listening. Next time: Part 2. The Digital section
  15. iEMatch What the $^ heck is it? We thank you all for your patience and for entering the competition. But besides DUke40, none of the answers were close to being correct - and Duke 40 already won over at Head-Fi. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed running the competition. Thank you all for entering. The iEMatch 1) What is this new product? Where is it used? iEMatch - it is inserted between the Source and the Headphones/IEMs. 2) What is the first button for – the one on the main barrel (on the left)? Getting rid of the HISS and excessive LOUDness. From mismatched source amplification and headphones. 3) What is the second button for – the one on the 3.5mm connector (on the right)? Selection of Single-Ended (TRS) or Balanced (TRRS). This is a connector proposed by iFi audio to make life simpler with SE or Balanced operation on the go. (More on this later). Why did we develop the iEMatch? The following series of technical notes outlines why we have brought this product to market. We hope you enjoy reading them. Too LOUD, too much HISS? (Part 1) Headphone/IEM mismatched Nearly every High-End Headphones/In-Ear-Monitors(IEM) user has encountered one of the following scenarios. When the headphones/IEMs are connected to the: inflight entertainment system smartphone A/V Amp, HiFi System or dedicated headphone amplifier the volume is at the lowest setting but it is still TOO LOUD and between songs there is a LOT of HISS. This is a mismatch between the Headphones or In-Ear-Monitors and your audio source. Now one can of course sell the new Headphones or IEMs and buy some that are a better match, except many modern Headphones and IEMs are designed with a very large (around 10 times/20dB) mismatch built-in. Instead, one can simply add the iEMatch® in line with your IEM’s or Headphones and adjust for the best match with your source. How bad a mismatch do I have? Background Let us take some numbers for sound levels. [TABLE=width: 100%] [TR] [TD=colspan: 2] Noise/Sound levels[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] Jet takeoff (50m)[/TD] [TD] 140dB[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] Thunderclap[/TD] [TD] 130dB (Threshold of pain)[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] Auto horn (1m)[/TD] [TD] 120dB[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] Chainsaw (1m)[/TD] [TD] 110dB[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] Loud Rock Concert[/TD] [TD] 105dB[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] # sustained exposure >95dB may result in permanent hearing loss Due to the risk of hearing damage it is not advisable to exceed 95dB average SPL and around 115dB peak sound levels. Mismatch If we use an iPhone set to maximum (appx. 0.8…1V) and a common HiFi system or in-flight entertainment system (appx 8V) and play music with peaks at the digital maximum, how does a small sample of high-end Headphones and IEMs fare (2)? * at Ultra sensitivity setting [TABLE=width: 113] [TR] [TD] Mismatch[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] Acceptable[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] Good Match[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] Red (>116dB) is ‘WAY TOO LOUD,’ which means you have a jet taking off or a thunderclap right beside your ears, which is the majority of the headphones sampled fall into. Amber (113 - 116dB) is borderline. Green (<= 112dB) is fine. The loudest headphone (actually an IEM) is a whopping 30dB or eight times as loud as a standard airline headphone. No wonder it will blow one’s head off even at the lowest volume setting on in-flight entertainment. And with a good headphone amplifier or HiFi system it will produce an unbelievable 155dB, never mind irreversible hearing damage, at those SPL’s tissue in the human ear begins to die off!! (yes, hearing is permanently destroyed). In addition to irreversible hearing damage, having mismatched headphones/iEMs mean that the annoying background noise (hiss) is significantly amplified and affects the enjoyment of music. Solution Most headphones can be matched into the ‘green’ range for comfortable listening using iEMatch® with one of the two settings or at least be brought much closer.
  16. Easter ‘Bug Bounty’ Hunt Hunt 'em, wherever they are... Introduction Our just announced firmware v5.30 is MQA capable and in one fell swoop, elevates legacy iFi products* with MQA capability for even more sonic enjoyment. The MQA integration was a little difficult. It involved: Totally replacing the customised core code Re-apply tuning/core loading and Further fine tuning the firmware for even more precise allocated resource use in order to allow us to support MQA and 384kHz. To bring all this to fruition required the combined efforts of the MQA and iFi software developers or a total of +1,000 programming hours to deliver firmware v5.30 (excluding testing on all iFi legacy units). Notwithstanding, there may still be one or two software bugs we have not quashed – hence we would like to involve you, the customer – in the Easter Bug Hunt. Bug Bounty The prize for the FIRST person to report each UNIQUE bug (this involves making a formal bug report, see next) iEMatch (choice of 3.5mm or 2.5mm) Bug Report Procedure Open ticket: http://support.ifi-audio.com/ Provide full system configuration incl s/w and patch versions Description of the bug and HOW to replicate it Our tech team will then replicate and verify Customer must be contactable so that we can liaise (if we cannot replicate we may liaise) Note: iFi reserves the right to decide if a bug is genuine/unique. Its decision is full and final. We wish all our customers the best of luck with the bug hunt! Legacy *The only exception is the original iDAC.
  17. That "small" electrostats ready project from our skunkworks directly? Finally it's here. Well... almost. You know the drill - teasers first, details later on. Bear with us, please Enjoy!
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