Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › iFi iDSD Micro DSD512 / PCM768 DAC and Headphone Amp. Impressions, Reviews and Comments.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

iFi iDSD Micro DSD512 / PCM768 DAC and Headphone Amp. Impressions, Reviews and Comments. - Page 177

post #2641 of 7575
Quote:
Originally Posted by earfonia View Post


For the build-in headphone amplifier in micro iDSD, Normal power mode sounds better than Eco mode. YMMV. I occasionally switch to the headphone output of the micro iDSD for comparison, therefore I set the power mode to Normal.


Thanks for this... I agree that when using the iDSD's built in heaphone amp, normal mode slightly increases the dynamic contrast on many headphones. I was mainly wondering if you hear any difference through the RCA jacks between eco and normal power modes (I personally do not notice any change).

post #2642 of 7575

After just over a week of owning the iFi Micro iDSD and iUSB Power combo (I’m calling that combo iDSD Stack ;)) I knew it was special and that it was in my system to stay for a very long time.  I decided to pack up my iDSD, iUSB Power, and Gemini and send it to Mike over at Audiophile Vibration Control (AVC) so he could design and build a rack that was more stable and offered better isolation for the iDSD Stack.  The reason for this is that it plays double duty for me – I use it for headphones as well as in my main 2 channel rig.  After a couple of weeks of prototyping, he came up with something that far exceeded my expectations.

 

I'm excited to share that iFi is back in the house - and this time around they're planted much more firmly into my 2 channel rig :)  I am absolutely over the moon thrilled with what Mike came up with – I have to say that I'm blown away!

 

Forgive the slight mess, I still have some work to do in my room, but I wanted to provide a quick update because I'm so excited :D

 

iDSD Stack, meet AVC's IRACK...

 

 

And just in case you have more to stack I think he'll have an option for that...

 

I recently switched over to a MacBook Air pulling high-res DSD and PCM files off a 4TB NAS via Ethernet.  Before I was running a 2009 Mac Mini with the 4TB hard drive attached directly – I’m going to try the MacBook Air out for a little more versatility when I want to use the computer for something else.  I still can’t believe just how good the little $500 iFi Micro iDSD along with the iFi Micro iUSB Power sounds.  And for a little perspective, my 2 channel rig consists of some pretty serious “audiophile” gear costing more than I care to admit – I can wholeheartedly say without any reservations that the iDSD Stack is a ridiculous value.  Normally you would see a qualification to that statement like “the iDSD Stack is exceptional for the money” – but I would be so bold as to say that the iDSD Stack is exceptional.  Period :)  At any price.

post #2643 of 7575

Hey JD

I am happy to see someone having a similar experience with the idsd/iusb power combo. I use mine in a 2 channel home setup and the performance is amazing. I have heard others minimalize the iusb's contribution. I feel it helps move it from very good to great. I use the rca line out in direct mode.

I have just upgraded the power supply in my audio pc of my 2 pc streamer to a Corsair AX860i. The noise floor has dropped even lower and now even micro details are revealed. I have much hd pcm and dsd material. The better the environment I put the idsd in, the more it reveals it superb capability.

post #2644 of 7575

jdlivestrong,

 

Sweet setup!!  Are you going to try the iTube?  You are almost all the way to iFi heaven :wink_face:

post #2645 of 7575

Franatic - sweet!  Thanks!  Sounds like you've got a great 2 channel setup as well.  I, too, think the iUSB Power is a great upgrade to the iDSD in my 2 channel system.

 

tf1216 – cool to see another local Minnesotan!  And if your birthday is 12/16 like your user name might suggest, that is creepy!  My system is undergoing a little bit of change at the moment, I used to have the Micro iPhono but I’m working on a new turntable so I sold it with my old table – the only reason I sold it was that he paid me full retail for it because he wanted it.  So I figured I could just buy another one when I get my new table!  I don’t plan to get the iTube because I run a hybrid tube / solid state integrated amp – so I feel I have just the right amount of tube goodness in my system at the moment (though it would look cool to fill up the AVC IRACK with all 4 levels :D)

post #2646 of 7575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triodemode View Post
 


Thanks for this... I agree that when using the iDSD's built in heaphone amp, normal mode slightly increases the dynamic contrast on many headphones. I was mainly wondering if you hear any difference through the RCA jacks between eco and normal power modes (I personally do not notice any change).

 

I don't remember I hear any difference on the RCA output on different power modes, but I haven't been really observing the line out quality on different power mode, only the headphone output. Normally I always set the power mode on normal mode, since the headphone output sounds better that way. I will observe more next time.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlivestrong View Post
 

iDSD Stack, meet AVC's IRACK...

 

 

 

Wow :eek:

Awesome! Very cool and nice looking iRack!!!

post #2647 of 7575

can anyone please explain to me what the other ifi products do and are supposed to do? i might be interested in buying more than just idsd micro, if anything can add up to even a better sound, but i want to understand what they are, what they do, and how they work,.

post #2648 of 7575

As a DAC I hear a difference in direct vs preamp mode. In the Direct mode you get line out and it does not use the amplifier section. You get the purest possible output.  The 3D and Xbass only work in Preamp. At first I fell in love with these effects and used the idsd preamp mode mostly. With more discerning listening I began to favor the SQ in Direct mode. The preamp had a slightly thinner sound, a touch hollow sounding, even with 3D off. It also lost some of the subtle details. IMHO, the direct sound is superior. It is fuller with slightly better details. I do my flavoring in my Woo WA2, which acts as my preamp for my main system and my headphone amp.  AWESOME COMBO!!

 

I still occasionally use the preamp mode for the 3D effect with classical orchestral music, but mostly I leave it in Direct mode. I don't want to be continually flipping switches. I'm still playing a bit with the minphase vs bit perfect setting. Not sure which one I prefer yet. I'd be interested in others feedback on that.

post #2649 of 7575
Quote:
Originally Posted by skerry2006aj View Post
 

I agree with you and all, but i would not be able to buy a desktop version of idsd, because i need something portable..

 

but chord hugo has got them magics in it... but with all seriousness, i have a real problem deciding, i cannot listen to ifi thingy, because the only shop from which i can buy is in hugary, around 800km distance from me... it would have been simpler if i could had listened to it before trying to decide...

I think the SQ per $ calculation is decidedly in favor of the iDSD. Money not an object? Reasonable people differ.

post #2650 of 7575
Quote:
Originally Posted by senorx12562 View Post
 

I think the SQ per $ calculation is decidedly in favor of the iDSD. Money not an object? Reasonable people differ.

no, money is not important. still i think that if i can buy soething cheaper that sounds just as good, i might as well might!

post #2651 of 7575
Quote:
Originally Posted by skerry2006aj View Post
 

I was not searching for the best DAC under a certain price... i was searching for the best portable DAC ever made

 

This is why i feel like anything but hugo is going to make me feel like i bought the right one..

 

about hd audio.. why?.. i am just curious why? there is clear evidence that you cannot hear above 20khz, if you go to an audiologist, you might want to know that you hear even under 20k... so i don't care about file types and such, only SQ... i know that chord hugo is here to stay for as short as a few years more, it reached the state of art afterall...

 

all the comments around here made me understand that ifi idsd micro is not able to beat up chord hugo, no matter what. it will probably sound like a side-grade from my fiio x5, not a total full upgrade in all senses... a concept about what is truly better, is what is totally more transparent, more soundstange, more dynamic, more micro details, more UN-Coloured, more analytical, more layering of instruments, more these things, not another sound signature... my x5 already sounds better than i expected, and chord hugo is only 4-5% better. i wanted to know that at 25% of the price idsd is at least 3-4% better than fiio x5, but i guess that nobody around here has an x5 for comparation...

 

anyways thanks for all the help!:L3000: 

 

Have a good listening!

My iDSD brought about a huge difference in sound quality from my x5 using it as a transport only.

post #2652 of 7575

I'm sure the Iusbpower and the Gemini Cable probably makes an impact no the sound. My question though is, is it worth almost 400 dollars? I would like to ask how discernible the difference is when it is compared to a battery powered Micro Idsd with the included usb cable. I primarily use my CIEMS, so the impact may be not as big as having full sized cans. I've read earlier in forums about the Shell plus and the Shell Nitro, but since CIEMs are easy to drive, I would assume iDSD would provide enough clean power? I am asking because I am debating whether to purchase the pair. Thank you.

post #2653 of 7575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dithyrambes View Post
 

I'm sure the Iusbpower and the Gemini Cable probably makes an impact no the sound. My question though is, is it worth almost 400 dollars? I would like to ask how discernible the difference is when it is compared to a battery powered Micro Idsd with the included usb cable. I primarily use my CIEMS, so the impact may be not as big as having full sized cans. I've read earlier in forums about the Shell plus and the Shell Nitro, but since CIEMs are easy to drive, I would assume iDSD would provide enough clean power? I am asking because I am debating whether to purchase the pair. Thank you.


As I am using the idsd/ iusb/ gemini cable +PPA usb cable combo in a $15,000 home system, the extra expense ($650) is justified for me. I am trying to extract evry bit of its superb capability as a dac. I also already had the iusb power/ gemini for my nano idsd setup.

 

In a portable headphone setup I would think that kind of expense would be hard to justify. Also I doubt if you would get as much benefit from the combo as in a home setup. Someone who is using it in the way you intend can surely give you more definitive feedback though.

post #2654 of 7575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dithyrambes View Post
 

I'm sure the Iusbpower and the Gemini Cable probably makes an impact no the sound. My question though is, is it worth almost 400 dollars? I would like to ask how discernible the difference is when it is compared to a battery powered Micro Idsd with the included usb cable. I primarily use my CIEMS, so the impact may be not as big as having full sized cans. I've read earlier in forums about the Shell plus and the Shell Nitro, but since CIEMs are easy to drive, I would assume iDSD would provide enough clean power? I am asking because I am debating whether to purchase the pair. Thank you.

 

I would at least purchase the Gemini cable to insure that you're getting a clean signal for audio, really cutting out any noise from the USB port. I have both the iUSB Power and the Gemini. I bought the iUSB Power first, and yes, it made a difference, but not near as much as the Gemini did, either by itself or with the pair. It's pretty difficult to quantify something like, though. If you have a really noisy system I would say both are a must. If you're wanting that extra layering, and you have a fairly clean system, then the Gemini by itself.

 

The only reason I'm keeping the iUSB Power is because I'm hoping it will come in handy with the iDSD Pro desktop model when it comes out. I have pretty clean power, but the iDSD Pro will not be battery based, so just in case (although I might not need it) I'll keep it. It doesn't hurt. But the real miracle is in the Gemini.

 

Now ask yourself what degree of cleanliness you want and if your rig needs considerable de-noising.


Edited by EVOLVIST - 2/4/15 at 6:48pm
post #2655 of 7575
I'm considering a Schiit Wyrd which has a data reclocker and as well as a filtered power supply. Anyone with experience with this at $99 with the iDSD? http://www.audiostream.com/content/collection-usb-audio-enhancement-products
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › iFi iDSD Micro DSD512 / PCM768 DAC and Headphone Amp. Impressions, Reviews and Comments.