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iFi Audio Nano iDSD discussion + impression - Page 29

post #421 of 1760

Got the iPurifier about a week ago and burned it in for awhile with the iDSD. First opinions - does what its advertised to do, well worth the $99. If a $300 USB cable sounded that good I would also have been pleased. Another thing I noticed is that the volume control works better. Much better. No digital strangness/instability when the volume is turned down VERY low. There is still a rather abrupt decrease in volume but I can live with that as long as I can play low when I want to. Again, thought, I will say that the volume control is worth the issues in that it does have excellent sound quality. Maybe iFi will perfect that on the next go around..

post #422 of 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwaxxer View Post
 

 Another thing I noticed is that the volume control works better. Much better. No digital strangness/instability when the volume is turned down VERY low. There is still a rather abrupt decrease in volume but I can live with that as long as I can play low when I want to. Again, thought, I will say that the volume control is worth the issues in that it does have excellent sound quality. Maybe iFi will perfect that on the next go around..

 

 

Having the iDSD nano, and with IEMs hearing:

 1. an obvious volume "jump" in the volume at 9oclock

and

 2.  digital clicking as volume goes up to 9,10,11,12 etc

 

are you saying that 1) is still there but more even?

and 2) is completely gone?

 

I too am somewhat mystified why iFi doesn't build "the best USB connection" they've developed internally to their product, and instead appear to encourage these ugly USB dangles hanging all over the place.

post #423 of 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by jexby View Post
 

 

 

Having the iDSD nano, and with IEMs hearing:

 1. an obvious volume "jump" in the volume at 9oclock

and

 2.  digital clicking as volume goes up to 9,10,11,12 etc

 

are you saying that 1) is still there but more even?

and 2) is completely gone?

 

I too am somewhat mystified why iFi doesn't build "the best USB connection" they've developed internally to their product, and instead appear to encourage these ugly USB dangles hanging all over the place.


I havent quite had the same issues as you.

 

With me when the volume was low, approaching off, it would sound like the digital equivalent of a poor connection, like the 'lock' was not real tight. I guess you could call that a clicking of sorts. I dont have a jump in volume at the upper end or have any issues at the upper end. What I was doing until I got the iPurifier was to use the digital (internal) volume control in JRiver.

 

Since installing the iPurifier I have realized that the JRiver 64bit control downgrades the sound (I didnt hear it so much before). - There is still a jump in volume going from low to higher volume, but at least the low volume sound is listenable. - bottom line - still funky but better. If I didnt love what I am hearing I would be annoyed.

 

As far as the USB connection you have a good point  - I use an adapter to avoid using a cable and all the issues with that.

post #424 of 1760

I do not have much issue with the volume control on my Nano iDSD since I use it mostly as a limiter for loud music using the RCA outputs. One of my sounds cards, the Juli@ by ESI does have a large jump in volume at a certain point of the gain control. I am only using the last 1/4 of the gain conrol on the Nano iDSD typically. I do find that the stepped attenuator method that  IFI uses is more smoother than other digital or mechanical attenuators that I have heard in the past. 

post #425 of 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by kugino View Post


I'm actually interested in how idsd and the Loki compare with DSD files.

I have both and they are different in features and presentation Keep in mind that the Loki can only play DSD64 only while the iDSD can play both 64DSD and 128DSD. I find that the iDSD give a fuller sound while the Loki gives a more leaner sounding presentation. The soundstage or the space of the concert hall that the recording takes place is more vivid with the iDSD and extends to a bit lower frequency range than the Loki. A fuller sounding iDSD means more body to the midrange. I  find that the switcher button on the Loki tends to get in the way with different levels when I wanted to hear the output of my other PCM DAC connected to the Loki. I would prefer that the RCA jacks on the Nano iDSD to be on the back. I understand that the micro iDSD will have the RCA's in the back.

post #426 of 1760

Latest Update: 29th April

 

We have developed some exclusive attenuators for iFi customers who use very high-sensitivity IEMs with the nano iCAN, nano iDSD and

micro iCAN. There are two versions: -12dB and -24dB.

 


We are running a competition for the next 10 days (close: Saturday 10th May GMT: 21.00) here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/695086/ifi-nano-ican-name-that-feature-competition-nano-ican-or-1-head-fi-rated-micro-ican-up-for-grabs

 

Should you accept this mission, your objective is simple.

 

i. Think of a name/names instead of "attenuator"

 

ii. Post your suggestion/s in this thread

 

iii. The top 3 most-liked names - chosen by the iFi senior team of Thorsten et al will win:

#1 micro iCAN (rrp Euro259) (Ranked Number 1 headphone amp on Head-Fi!)

#2 nano iCAN (rrp Euro169)

#3 nano iCAN (rrp Euro169)

 

Best of luck to all of you!

 

Any questions, just ask away.

post #427 of 1760

Call me crazy, but I have a problem putting another resistor in the signal path. It seems that the proper approach would be to actually fix the volume control. As a DIY'er I go to great lengths to remove or upgrade passive components in the signal path. So, what brand of resistor is this? I like the sound of tantalums.

post #428 of 1760

Has anyone compare this with Geek out....

post #429 of 1760

If my GO450 ever ships out, it will end up next to iDSD nano for a couple of days of back-n-forth listening.

(of course the Geek Out won't work (natively) with iPhone/iPad and CCK cable)

 

first listening with IEMs and NAD HP50.  if I locate a decent 3.5mm adapter, maybe HD600 as well.

 

not holding my breath tho....

post #430 of 1760

Seriously!? Is this as good as the Gungnir as earwaxxer states? I was thiking of buying the Gungnir but if this is as good thats money wasted...

post #431 of 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post
 

Seriously!? Is this as good as the Gungnir as earwaxxer states? I was thiking of buying the Gungnir but if this is as good thats money wasted...


Ok, so I can tell you more specifically how the two sound different and then you can choose. The iDSD DAC has a tighter sound for one. Now this is with my Emotiva amp, which is an amp that leans on the 'analog' side, sort of the tube side of sound if you will. Also with the Maggies being very quick and precise plannar speaker, you can hear the difference quite quickly. So the Gungnir, in my system sounds 'low res.' compared to the iDSD.

 

I have noticed this difference not only between the iDSD vs. Gungnir but also the Gungnir vs. the FiiO Tasham (a $27 DAC you can get from Parts Express). The FiiO is a bit anemic, but a very 'realistic' sounding DAC in my system, especially with a good USB/SPDIF converter up front. 

 

These differences dont come out and hit you in the face mind you. I think with the maggies, with their huge surface area, they tend to sound better with kit that is more focused vs. a 'big' sound. Another way of describing the difference would be the difference in sound between a generic interconnect or speaker wire and high end brand. Better focus, better separation of instruments, more real and live sounding - cheers -

post #432 of 1760
I'm quite afraid that what you are calling "more realistic" and "low "res" is more and less aggressive respectively. I think it's quite common for people to think that they hear more detail when it's in fact more aggressive. From my experience I know iDSD sounds very well, but I can't really believe you that Gungir would not do better. I can confirm that for example iDSD sounds way better than dac in Pan Am, but dac in Pan Am is more harsh, grainy or simply aggressive as one calls that. The iDSD is not that smooth either, but it is a great improvement over dac in Pan Am. I have this old big T744 at home, and no dac I ever heard does better job than this device. When I listen to vinyl records my PP2 is connected to analogue input of T744, which converts it to digital 96/24, just to convert it back to analogue before signal enters power amp section. The volume control bass and treble on T744 this all are done 100% in digital domain. So analogue sound from vinyl records is being converted by T744 internally to digital, and it still sounds amazing. But for comparison when I play CD from my Blue-ray connected to T744 via optical, the sound is very good, but it does not impress me the way sound of vinyl does even though it's converted to digital. I have downloaded from HDtracks some piano works, and apparently I do have the original vinyl record as well. When I play digital 176/24 version through iDSD it does sound very good, but same song played from vinyl does sound better. And even though there are pops and clicks, the resolution and realism are not comparable to anything. Playing vinyl is a lot of hassle, you need to prepare a bit to play your record, and then you need to stand up from your couch to change the side. Also to find record you are interested to listen to is a lot of work, there is no search, you need to do the job manually your-self. In digital world it is much easier, you just launch Spotify and start radio, and that is basically it. Unfortunately digital sound does not give me the same level of enjoyment, and I'm forced to hurt my-self with all that vinyl rituals. But it is worth it, since the enjoyment I get from it is incomparable to anything. I'm still waiting for DAC that will make me stop using this big piece of rotating junk biggrin.gif I'm quite convinced high grade CD player, like this famous Oppo, could be the solution. With iDSD I am very impressed how good it is for that little price, and to get better dac I believe you would need to either pay arm and leg, or search whole universe to find it.
post #433 of 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolas View Post

I'm quite afraid that what you are calling "more realistic" and "low "res" is more and less aggressive respectively. I think it's quite common for people to think that they hear more detail when it's in fact more aggressive
biggrin.gif I'm quite convinced high grade CD player, like this famous Oppo, could be the solution. With iDSD I am very impressed how good it is for that little price, and to get better dac I believe you would need to either pay arm and leg, or search whole universe to find it.

Interesting points... I feel I have mostly tamed the 'aggressive' side of digital by doing some oversampling before the fact with Foobar. CD's at native res. have always sounded harsh and aggressive to me, even the best recorded ones. IMO that aggessive nature of redbook digital is due to the filters. When it upsampled, you can play with better filters etc. Its also my opinion that doing that in software NOT IN REAL TIME, but by changing permanently changing the files,  yields much better results.

 

Its my opinion that the house sound of the Schiit kit does not fit my system. Now, what sound is 'better' may be system dependent. For me, I need the focus and the separation of instruments etc. The Gungnir does not do that for me.

post #434 of 1760

One other point I can make to this discussion. IMO, it makes sense to buy the less expensive DAC's first to get a feel for what sounds good and what doesnt sound good. Sometimes you get a clue from that. For example - I like the sound of that little FiiO. They use Cirrus Logic. Never thought I would like Cirrus Logic - put that in the back of my mind for future reference.

post #435 of 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwaxxer View Post
 

Interesting points... I feel I have mostly tamed the 'aggressive' side of digital by doing some oversampling before the fact with Foobar. CD's at native res. have always sounded harsh and aggressive to me, even the best recorded ones. IMO that aggessive nature of redbook digital is due to the filters. When it upsampled, you can play with better filters etc. Its also my opinion that doing that in software NOT IN REAL TIME, but by changing permanently changing the files,  yields much better results.

 

Its my opinion that the house sound of the Schiit kit does not fit my system. Now, what sound is 'better' may be system dependent. For me, I need the focus and the separation of instruments etc. The Gungnir does not do that for me.

I applaud your attempt at being generous, but I happen to agree with you that the digital stuff  from Schiit really just isn't that fantastic. The DACs best feature is that they visually match their amps.

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