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iFi Audio "Pro" desktop line discussion thread - Page 33

post #481 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio View Post
 

 

Hi,

 

Thank you for these kind comments but it will not be priced at $800-900. Without taxes, the iDSD Pro is expected to be at the ~$1,500 level.

 

When we can give out the juiciest bits we shall.

 

But it will be a dedicated hard core DAC (with Quad Burr-Browns) with a very respectable headphone stage. The fact that there will be an iCAN Pro already hints that first and foremost, the iDSD needs to and will deliver the sonic goods as a professional class dac.

 

If you look at the iDAC2 thread, you can see that that runs Class A, is Directly-Coupled and uses some pretty nice parts like Elna Silmic IIs, C0G capacitors and MELF resistors. You may/may not have auditioned the nano and micro iDSDs but from all these, you can rest assured that we don't neglect the core sonic heart of our dacs at the cost of a good headphone stage.

 

Thanks.

I think what he was getting at is that he was wondering if you could make a version of the pro without a headphone amp for less money. Many of us have really nice amps and like things to be modular anyway. Is that a possibility?

post #482 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFi audio View Post
 

 

Hi,

 

Thank you for these kind comments but it will not be priced at $800-900. Without taxes, the iDSD Pro is expected to be at the ~$1,500 level.

 

When we can give out the juiciest bits we shall.

 

But it will be a dedicated hard core DAC (with Quad Burr-Browns) with a very respectable headphone stage. The fact that there will be an iCAN Pro already hints that first and foremost, the iDSD needs to and will deliver the sonic goods as a professional class dac.

 

If you look at the iDAC2 thread, you can see that that runs Class A, is Directly-Coupled and uses some pretty nice parts like Elna Silmic IIs, C0G capacitors and MELF resistors. You may/may not have auditioned the nano and micro iDSDs but from all these, you can rest assured that we don't neglect the core sonic heart of our dacs at the cost of a good headphone stage.

 

Thanks.


Just curious, who is this posting for IFI?

 

regards

Bob

post #483 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabta View Post
 

I think what he was getting at is that he was wondering if you could make a version of the pro without a headphone amp for less money. Many of us have really nice amps and like things to be modular anyway. Is that a possibility?

+1

 

 I am sold on your ability to make an excellent dac section. I love the micro idsd dac section, don't use the amp. I have no plans to use the headphone section in the pro either. I have a Woo WA2 for that. It would be great if ifi offered the idsd pro without the headphone section for less than the ~1500.....or gave us some other increased functionality instead for the same price. 

post #484 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsherman View Post
 


Just curious, who is this posting for IFI?

 

regards

Bob

 

They call him/her "The (audio) Stig".  Damn UK folks love their mystery!


Edited by tf1216 - 3/23/15 at 1:39pm
post #485 of 1532
Indeed I do have the nano idsd and it is extraordinary for its price point. I purchased 4 weeks ago to test the waters and I am so pleased with the house sound that I plan on moving up the chain very soon, I will keep my eyes open for the iDSD Pro! BTW, my audio club is having a DAC shootout with 7 DACs next weekend with the nano idsd in the mix, I will likely post results on Computeraudiophile shortly thereafter. Good luck, God bless Thorsten Loesch and keep up the great work you guy's are doing!
Monte Verdi
post #486 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franatic View Post

+1

 I am sold on your ability to make an excellent dac section. I love the micro idsd dac section, don't use the amp. I have no plans to use the headphone section in the pro either. I have a Woo WA2 for that. It would be great if ifi offered the idsd pro without the headphone section for less than the ~1500.....or gave us some other increased functionality instead for the same price. 
Exactly this was the point I was trying to make!
post #487 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte Verdi View Post

Indeed I do have the nano idsd and it is extraordinary for its price point. I purchased 4 weeks ago to test the waters and I am so pleased with the house sound that I plan on moving up the chain very soon, I will keep my eyes open for the iDSD Pro! BTW, my audio club is having a DAC shootout with 7 DACs next weekend with the nano idsd in the mix, I will likely post results on Computeraudiophile shortly thereafter. Good luck, God bless Thorsten Loesch and keep up the great work you guy's are doing!
Monte Verdi

 

What are the other DACs?

post #488 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by tf1216 View Post

What are the other DACs?

Teac UD 301, Resonessence Invicta, Antelope not sure which model, I think Zodiac, Sony ZX2, Benchmark original DAC 1, ifi iDSD nano, and a diy unit! Oh, and Mojo Mystique NOS AD 1865-k DAC!
Edited by Monte Verdi - 3/23/15 at 2:48pm
post #489 of 1532

Guys, it makes very little practical sense for iFi to create this thing without a headphone section. For that matter, it makes even less business sense. It's not that iFi are followers (indeed, that's why I'm endeared to them, because they're not just making cookie cutter gear), but when nearly all of your competition has a headphone section, plus the majority of new buyers are looking of an all-in-one solution, you're a.) going to cater to new users, b.) create the best DAC section, anyway, because, in essence your DAC is not dependent upon the HP section and/or c.) try and steal some market share from your competitors.

 

There's also d.) iFi feels that the integrated HP section for the iDSD Pro will blow away most integrated units, yet they are keenly aware that even the best integrated unit isn't up to snuff with a dedicated headphone amp...thus the iCAN Pro.

 

So, can I justify $1500 for a DAC section, alone? Well, for those standalone DACs which are out there, many of them will run you the same or higher. There are a few that will run you even lower. Still, standalones are a small sub-sect these days.

 

Do we need to have more standalone DACs to choose from? Yes! That's why I understand what the beef is. But quad Burr-Browns, balanced I/O, "discrete" analog (I still don't quite understand where iFi is coming from here), I don't blame iFi for making the prospect irresistible, even at the expense of probably $500+ more than I should spend.

 

I don't have wads of cash just floating around, but I certainly can't help to wonder what iFi's entry into pro audio will be like, because that's my background. I'll pay the convenience fee.


Edited by EVOLVIST - 3/23/15 at 3:34pm
post #490 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVOLVIST View Post
 

Guys, it makes very little practical sense for iFi to create this thing without a headphone section. For that matter, it makes even less business sense. It's not that iFi are followers (indeed, that's why I'm endeared to them, because they're not just making cookie cutter gear), but when nearly all of your competition has a headphone section, plus the majority of new buyers are looking of an all-in-one solution, you're a.) going to cater to new users, b.) create the best DAC section, anyway, because, in essence your DAC is not dependent upon the HP section and/or c.) try and steal some market share from your competitors.

 

There's also d.) iFi feels that the integrated HP section for the iDSD Pro will blow away most integrated units, yet they are keenly aware that even the best integrated unit isn't up to snuff with a dedicated headphone amp...thus the iCAN Pro.

 

So, can I justify $1500 for a DAC section, alone? Well, for those standalone DACs which are out there, many of them will run you the same or higher. There are a few that will run you even lower. Still, standalones are a small sub-sect these days.

 

Do we need to have more standalone DACs to choose from? Yes! That's why I understand what the beef is. But quad Burr-Browns, balanced I/O, "discrete" analog (I still don't quite understand where iFi is coming from here), I don't blame iFi for making the prospect irresistible, even at the expense of probably $500+ more than I should spend.

 

I don't have wads of cash just floating around, but I certainly can't help to wonder what iFi's entry into pro audio will be like, because that's my background. I'll pay the convenience fee.

 

No one is saying they shouldn't make a all-in-one unit. It's kinds silly to ask them not to, since they already announced it. What we are asking is if they would consider making a version without a headphone amp for a lower price. An awful lot of people are making stand a lone head amps/speaker amps and are doing quite well, it is just common sense that there is a market for stand alone DACs. 

post #491 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabta View Post

No one is saying they shouldn't make a all-in-one unit. It's kinds silly to ask them not to, since they already announced it. What we are asking is if they would consider making a version without a headphone amp for a lower price. An awful lot of people are making stand a lone head amps/speaker amps and are doing quite well, it is just common sense that there is a market for stand alone DACs. 

You're right. I'm sure there are more standalone amps than there are standalone DACs (at least from what I've seen), which implies there should be an equal number standalone DACs. Since that's not the case, though, you are asking iFi of the possibility of having a standalone DAC that is equal or better than the iDSD micro. I understand. I, too, don't want an integrated HP amp if I can keep from it.

In this case it's the iDSD Pro, and I'm not waiting for any future model, unless they were to announce a standalone DAC to spec with the Pro model, today. I mean, for a standalone, there is the iDAC2 next month.

You know what, the more I think about it, the more I think you guys are right. It's not going to sway me from the iDSD Pro, but entering the true "pro audio" market, what pro DAC has a HP amp? I can't think of one off of the top of my head. Maybe that's iFi's selling point: pro audio with an HP amp. Or, maybe we define 'pro audio" differently.

Hmmm...it's a bit of a quandary now. Maybe some of you guys will have to wait for the iDAC4 or something.
post #492 of 1532

Benchmark and Grace Design are definitely pro audio  DACs with great HP amps

post #493 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelob View Post

Benchmark and Grace Design are definitely pro audio  DACs with great HP amps

Well, let's define "pro audio" (subjectively, of course).

Traditionally, pro audio DACs have been the veritable definition of analytic sound. Some even say "cold.' After all, what comes in, in the pro audio world, must come out.

Having previously owned a Benchmark DAC1, I can attest to the microscopic view into the album I was listening to. Paired with my HD800s, I could hear the bass player's stomach grumble at 30ft from the mic. That's good and all. That's what the DAC is supposed to do. There wasn't any soul to it, however. It was void of much musical enjoyment because I was trying to listen to a tree, when the whole forest was calling.

Now take the iDSD micro and it gave freedom of choice back to me. It was no less microscopic, yet some way, somehow, it imparted a wholly analog - near vinyl ambiance to the same music.

This isn't hyperbole. It's me trying to rectify iFi's jaunt into the pro audio realm, while understanding what they mean by the term.

If it's to reproduce an exact replica of what's in the recording, I can't recify that with what I've come to know the iDSD micro as, i.e. a device that turns digital audio into vinyl while not losing the original artist's intent, mixes, tone, mastering, etc.

I think - but I could be wrong - that iFi's intent is to take some tried and true pro audio concepts to build a device that rises above the common DAC fare, to elevate their preexisting sound to another level: one that takes archetypal pro audio disciplines of quality into a consumer friendly package, while staying true to their original vision...and then some.

That said, I just can't see the iDSD micro moving too much into the cradle of hyper-realstic sound reproduction fit for mastering. The engineer would not gather a clear picture of the sound. Instead, it would be filtered through the optic of how the music is supposed to sound on the other end, and not the even keel known to studio professionals.

In that arena I can then see how iFi attaches the moniker of "pro," to this line, without misappropriating the word. But to glue it to the Benchmark or Antelope sound, I wouldn't want it.

Instead, I have the feeling that this is what the pro wants the music to sound like once they take it out of the console and put it in their ear holes.
post #494 of 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVOLVIST View Post


Well, let's define "pro audio" (subjectively, of course).
 

 

When discussing about "Pro Audio", beside the sound quality, I learnt a lot from my Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC, what features are important for a "Pro Audio" DAC. While I'm not really a huge fan of the sound signature of the Mytek (I like my ifi iDSD micro sound signature better), but sound quality aside, the "Pro" features in Mytek are really useful, and those really set it apart from the consumer DAC category. I believe "Pro" label is meaningless without real "Pro" features.

 

For example, the volume control is really flexible. 2 types of volume control, digital and analog, up to us to choose. When perfect balanced between left and right channel is a must, we may use the digital volume for higher accuracy. Both digital and analog volume control has precision 100 steps @ 1 dB per step. So we know exactly how many dB of the volume adjustment, very useful for sound engineer. The analog volume control is stepped programmable analog attenuator, 100 steps. Not only that, there are 2 separated volume control for line output and headphone output, that means 2 sets of precision stepped programmable analog attenuator. So we can adjust the volume of speaker and headphone independently. There is also a pair of analog input to make use of the sophisticated analog volume control for analog pre-amp function.

 

The 2 custom function buttons are really useful. We can assign those 2 buttons to whatever function we often need quick access. Like mute, input selector, filter selection, etc. The line output has 6 dB trim, can be used when the output is to high. Also a must "Pro" feature which is the 'World Clock' input and output for clock synchronization with the rest of the equipment in the studio.

 

Another nice feature is the additional USB 1.1 input port. When we bring it to other studio, or on the go, and we don't want to bother with driver installation, just plug any PC to the USB 1.1 port, it is plug and play without any driver installation (max 24bit - 96kHz). Useful for a quick test.

 

I'm not promoting Mytek here. No intention for it. Just showing what's the different features of "Pro Audio" DAC as compared to non "Pro" DAC. Sound quality wise, Non Pro DAC may sound better than the Pro DAC. There many big budget Non Pro DAC that sounds really good.

 

I just hope all the "Pro" series of ifi, are designed with "Pro" audio applications in mind.

post #495 of 1532
So...iFi,

Will the iDSD Pro come with the new iPower?

Say it's so!
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