Pros: True hifi gear - Quality for monney - Powerfull enough output to drive power amps
The unit arrived in perfect condition, packaged in the usual iFi nice boxing.
- The IDSD was powered through the iUSB2 unit and an Uptone power supply
I don't use headphnes, so my judgement is only valid for the RCA output.
We connected it on two different hifi systems :
1 - Krell / Vecteur Alpha / with and without the Audio Research Preamp. USB cables is Absolute Creation and Howland for the RCA and speakers
2 - A large Acoustat 44 electrostatic system, amplified with Electrocompanie mono amps, with and without a modified Perreaux SM3 preamp.
Audio files are all non compressed, mainly Classical and Jazz (P.Herreweghe/Beethoven/9th - Harnoncourt/Haydn/7th words of Christ/Teldec - McGegan/Arias for Mantegnana- Ahmal Jamal/Live concert ...)
Immediate comparison between the Standard and Black label unit show indiscutable improvements/
- Voice are more natural, I would say more transpare,t, but without loss of impact and presence.
- Bass seems to extend deeper, lighter, but this extension comes without any negative artifact, at the opposite of an 'Hifi' sound. There is more music there.
- The unit is more dynamic than the standard IDSD, an loses the slightly 'warm' sound of the former.
Longer listening session shows that the Black label is more regarding toward the system on which it is connected than the older one. It may reveal some defects of the others components, such as harshness or 'bummy bass.
In some cases the addition of the preamp added some warmth, but removed some neutrality and tones reality.
I clearly prefer this new unit. It is more of my taste : closer to the reality of dynamics, voices humanity and quick low response.
Once again, AMR/iFi gives the opportunity to put one foot in the 'tru living music' for many audio enthousiasts. Thanks !
I don't see any concurrence below 2000e to beat the IDSD, and even more the Black label. A true bargain.