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iFi iDSD - no1 seller in Japan! XMOS software notes as you guys asked. - Page 3

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ticos442 View Post
 


I got it from musicdirect.com, $189 and free shipping. 

 

ticos, 

 

How are you liking the iDSD compared to the meridian explorer? I use an ifi iDAC but considered the explorer instead. I ultimately chose the iDAC because I got a good deal on a used one. I never got to compare an iFi side by side with the meridian. It seemed like they were both of similar quality but different character. What do you think of explorer vs iDSD?

post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post
 

 

ticos, 

 

How are you liking the iDSD compared to the meridian explorer? I use an ifi iDAC but considered the explorer instead. I ultimately chose the iDAC because I got a good deal on a used one. I never got to compare an iFi side by side with the meridian. It seemed like they were both of similar quality but different character. What do you think of explorer vs iDSD?

I would like to write more comparisons in a few days after more break-in on the iDSD, but here are my very early impressions after listening to the iDSD for about 5 hours in standalone power mode, through the iPad+CCK configuration, listening to mostly 24/192 PCM files.  The difference with the Explorer is that I had to of course use a powered hub to connect the explorer, which is not needed in the iDSD due to its internal power source.

 

- Explorer:  Great detail, smoothness and liquidity in the sound, which is the signature Meridian sound.  It has an overall relaxed sound that I have not heard in any other DACs, except of course the more expensive Meridian Director and Meridian Prime

 

-iDSD:  very accurate in all frequency ranges, seems to reproduce the music exactly as it was recorded without any coloring.  Not as smooth as the Explorer, but very close in terms of sound quality.

 

The above is just an assessment based on the sound.  If the assessment is based on functionality, the iDSD wins hands down.  Here are a few features that the iDSD has that are not available in the Explorer:

- Internal battery power, up to 10hours (alleged)

- Ability to play DSD files up to 1 bit, 6.2MHz

- Volume knob for manual control

- RCA outputs

- SPDIF digital output (PCM only)

- USB 3.0, with USB 2.0 compatibility

- PCM up to 32 bit, 384 KHz

- Digital filter option

 

I have no idea how iFi was able to pack all these features on a $189 device.  The packaging (Apple-like) and build quality are first class as well.


Edited by ticos442 - 1/5/14 at 7:14pm
post #33 of 46

Ordered one and waiting for it to arrive...have some nice DSD to test on this.....

 

V

post #34 of 46

Which DSD albums do you recommend?

 

I recently purchased a few DSD files for testing that I'm now enjoying on the iDSD:

- Shelby Lynne/ Just A Little Lovin'

- Michael Jackson/ Thriller

- Opus DSD showcase volumes 1 and 2

- Opus The Lars Erstrand Sessions

- Tomas Örnberg’s Blue Five

 

Very different music styles but they are great recordings and sound fantastic in the iDSD!

post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 

iDSD is no1 seller in Japan!

 

Yoroshiku iFi Japan!

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=649138701788542&set=a.461191017249979.95398.460963790606035&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_comment

 

Holy cowabunga!  This really made our day!

 

If you would like to watch the e-earphone video...
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43157048
(see 00:09:36 for the sales chart)

Note to all: around the globe, there is still a waiting list as demand continues to outstrip supply of the nano products in particular the iDSD. We simply have been unable to satisfy the exponential demand. Some countries have already pre-sold their future shipments! 

 
From all of us here at iFi, we would like to make a huge heart felt THANK YOU for your custom & patience. We truly appreciate it.
 
post #36 of 46
Thread Starter 

Some background as we had a few similar questions elsewhere on DoP.

 

 

 

 

 

DoP is the industry standard for DSD to be transferred natively" That is, DoP does not carry out any format conversion, this transmission protocol ensures the USB Audio Data Package maintains the integrity of the DSD file as it remains unchanged.

 

Of course upon entering the actual DAC, one should also insist that the DAC itself INTERNALLY does not manipulate the data (as some DAC chipsets convert to PCM etc). In this regard, the nano iDSD ensures the DSD file remains DSD internally. Hence, 'True Native.'

 

 

 

Tech Background on SDIF-3 (not SPDIF!)

DoP was devised for PCs as the original protocol is to transmit DSD is called SDIF-3: (not SPDIF bty)

http://www.grimmaudio.com/site/assets/files/1088/sdif3v10.pdf

 

This transmission standard is NOT supported by any current PC based hardware nor is it supported by iOS devices. So this is a non-starter for the real-world of computer audio users.

 

In 2012, to work around this limitation in order to transmit DSD over standard USB Audio Links, DoP was developed by a number of Companies supporting DSD.

 

DoP uses Standard USB audio as a transport for the original DSD Data. The DSD data is NEVER processed nor altered, it is simply placed into USB Audio packages and recovered on the other end. 

 

The Output Data from DoP decoding is in effect SDIF-3 Data - simply making it electrically compatible with SDIF-3 produces a true SDIF-3 Output that is a perfect replica of the original DSD/SDIF-3 data at the recording (unless processing was applied in the studio).

 

 

Yup, iDSD uses SDIF-3 (not SPDIF)

You will be pleased to know that internally, when a DSD signal is rec'd, the iDSD uses SDIF3 to carry the signal throughout.

 

So as you can see, the nano iDSD has serious technology going on beneath its aluminium chassis to ensure the sound quality is the very best that it can be.

 

Interestingly, there seems to be more misunderstanding in the West (while Japanese customers seem to be much more knowledgeable on the finer points of DSD-probably thanks to Sony et al).

 

We shall therefore produce a whitepaper covering these aspects in a few weeks. It will be published in the FaceBook tech notes section.

 

 

 

thank you


Edited by iFi audio - 1/29/14 at 1:41am
post #37 of 46

Unfortunately, it doesn't seems to work with my iMac. The machine is able to detect it as iFi  usb audio out, however the error message " The selected device has no output controls"

 

any idea folks? no sound at all. BTW, i have no problem with my Dragonfly DAC with the same iMac


Edited by Smgwee1 - 2/1/14 at 6:43am
post #38 of 46

 

folks, finally resolved. you will still not be able to control the volume via the system volume control. the volume control is via the iDSD volume control job. launch Audio Midi Setup in Utilities to make sure that it is not mute.

post #39 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smgwee1 View Post
 

 

folks, finally resolved. you will still not be able to control the volume via the system volume control. the volume control is via the iDSD volume control job. launch Audio Midi Setup in Utilities to make sure that it is not mute.

 

Hi,

 

The digital volume control truncates the bits. As such, it is sonically far better to bypass it and use the analogue volume control of the iDSD.

 

This is why it was designed as such.

 

cheers

post #40 of 46
Last week I bought the IFI Nano IDSD to hook up on my phone. At the moment I'm using an Iphone 4s with isub (streaming app) installed. When playing high resolution FLAC or DSD files from my PC I can see on the DAC (different color lights) it's converting all the different formats/ frequencies (48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz, etc). When playing the same songs using Isub on my iphone, the audio signal to the DAC only seems to be 44/48kHz (green light). No matter which format I play. The Isub player shows the right format information, but it's actually not sending it to my DAC. Active transcoding is turn off in Subsonic. Does anyone has experience playing high resolution files using a streaming app like Isub?
post #41 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

You are all invited to the Crowd-Design (not Crowd-Funding) party here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/711217/ifi-skunkworks-micro-idsd-crowd-design-by-you-for-you/30

 

The top 10 most-valuable contributors to the features of the micro iDSD will receive a brand-spanking new, super-hot micro iDSD. See you there!

 

thank you


Edited by iFi audio - 3/27/14 at 3:39am
post #42 of 46
Thread Starter 

Latest Update: 29th April

We have developed some exclusive attentuators 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).


 

Enter here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/695086/ifi-nano-ican-name-that-attenuator-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.


Edited by iFi audio - 4/30/14 at 6:14am
post #43 of 46
Thread Starter 

For all nano iDSD owners:

Quad-Speed DSD256 for iDSD

 

 

Quantum leap to Quad-Speed DSD 256 on nano iDSD

Not to rest on our laurels, iFi is absolutely over the moon to announce that with the latest firmware update[1], the nano iDSD is now capable of True Native Quad-Speed[2] DSD256[3] playback at 11.2MHz/12.4MHz.  The nano iDSD is already the #1 seller in Japan and with the free Quad-Speed DSD256 upgrade, there is nothing to touch it.

 

ASIO 2.2 native DSD transfer  

Previously, the only native DSD transmission protocol was DSD over PCM (DoP). With the latest iFi driver, one can choose between ASIO 2.2 or DoP for native DSD playback.

 

Hope you like it! Free upgrade to Quad-SpeedDSD256!


[1] Firmware 4.0 must be used in conjunction with the latest iFi driver v2.20

[2] Quad-Speed is four times the SACD sample rate.

[3] It is also referred to as DSD256 because the sample rate is 256x that of CD.

post #44 of 46
Thread Starter 

It is quite opportune that with the latest firmware update, we thought we would add this update for you. When we say the iFi XMOS software is optimised in-house, we REALLY mean it. Do NOT use the latest firmware on any other iFi product except for the iDSD and under no circumstances try to flash another non-AMR/iFi product that uses XMOS as it will be bricked.

 

Without further ado.

 

 

Software Design Team's Notes (1) (taken from Crowd-Design thread)

 

Thorsten and his team have been getting all the limelight so we thought we might introduce you all to Mark, Gordon and his team as they head up the software side of things. They are good guys and dont get as much press as they "only" do the software.

 

 

iFi-XMOS Solution: all out 8-Core and Ground-Up Coding

With software design, when it comes to the usability factor, Apple is the undisputed king.

 

No, we cannot match Apple, yet we can still try our very best to improve the usability factor as much as humanly possible with each and every new product.

 

The micro iDSD is no exception. It really has an unprecedented level of software optimisation at both the XMOS and the microprocessor levels. As a typical user, he or she will never see but we sure hope they hear it (J).

 

Starting from the XMOS chipset, we are employing the very latest U-series XMOS Octa(8)-Core chip.  

 

Traditionally for USB audio, the 6-core chip is more than enough, however we are packing in a lot of extra features and XMOS internal clock optimisations hence the two extra cores are required. 

 

This is like a Dual-Core versus a Single-Core computer, no comparison when it comes to benchmark tests and in use.

 

 

XMOS Programming – CPU Load Optimisation

There is the XMOS USB platform and there is iFi XMOS USB platform.

 

The micro iDSD uses an Octa(8) core XMOS chip (not the common 6 core).  In our experience, to have the best audio performance, the loading of each core needs to be optimised.  However, the XMOS development tools do not provide us with a tool (think Task Manager in Windows) to monitoring the real-time loading of each core and every core. As a result, we just went ahead and developed our very own real-time load monitor for the XMOS.

 

We then used it to analyse the loading of each core of the stock XMOS platform for all the sampling frequencies and data formats (PCM and DSD).  What we found out was that loading was not optimised for best audio performance.

 

Loading of an XMOS core before optimization

  • Overall, a very unevenly spread and with some very high loads

 

 

We then went on to perform a full optimisation (took us a few months to punch through) on the core loading. Now we can sleep better at night knowing that the XMOS running on all iFi products is fully-optimised for audio and we can hear the results easily (we hope you can too).

 

Loading of an XMOS core after optimization

  • lower and smoother loading for each and every core.
  • especially for the audio-related cores, the lowest and the smoothest.

 

 

More to come. Next time, the XMOS Star Clocking Scheme.


Edited by iFi audio - 5/14/14 at 5:14am
post #45 of 46

Waiting for this one to come!

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