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iFi iDSD Micro DSD512 / PCM768 DAC and Headphone Amp. Impressions, Reviews and Comments. - Page 20

post #286 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisnon View Post
 

Anyone compare this to the Chord Hugo?

 

Obvious parallel products.

From my point of view the only advantage I see for the Chord Hugo is that it is a bit smaller than the micro but it is 5 times the price! Too much much risk to carry the Chord Hugo on a daily base. It makes more sense for me to use the NANO for the daily portable use and the micro more or less at home with the main system and still save a lot of money. At this SQ level it more of a personal taste than what is better.  

post #287 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLGrado View Post

this is an issue with DSD bitstream.  Mostly software related, as in, not totally a DAC issue.  

In my system, pops and ticks are very rare, and pretty quiet when they do happen.


Earlier in this thread iFi posted some other things to try to help eliminate it.  


Pops and ticks at the beginning and end of DSD tracks are also a problem in the professional world.  Even the multi thousand dollar Pyramix DSD recording and editing system, that is the standard these days for the best DSD recording, has issues with pops and ticks in editing situations.  For an example, download any DSD download from Channel Classics.  You will hear a pop at the beginning and end of each track.  This can be very annoying, especially if you are listening to gapless recordings!

But, it is simply a DSD software issue.  Similar problem for 50,000 dollar workstations and for a 500 dollar consumer DAC.  

Now, if you want to use signal processing on the bitstream, as many 'native DSD' Dacs do, you can eliminate this.  But, you also turned the DSD signal into something that is no longer DSD, strictly speaking.  And this is one of the ways of doing things.  

But, I prefer the iFi approach.  Minimal processing = best sound.  Be it DSD or PCM.  

it is simple as you say, no matter if its a 50k system or a 500 dollars one, there is a slight minor pop at the beginning of each file. the brain will adjust to it when listening, but its simply a flaw of spliting the dsd image into multiple tracks. if dsd wants to survive the industry needs to come up with some great idea. i can remember sitting at the "High End" trade show, at the time in Frankfurt some 15 + years ago listening to the first Sony SACD player... i thought wow that sounds good, but sacd never went off for some wired reasons... dont make the same mistake again
Edited by roamling - 8/14/14 at 3:03pm
post #288 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by surja View Post

Can anyone comment on the battery runtime?
It is premium strong! You can recharge your phone for 2-3 times with full charge. I have been using them for over a week everyday, still have yet to see red lights (indicating battery low) but I do sometimes uses USB power instead. According to iFi, the battery can last more than 14 hours on Eco mode. If anything,they take time to charge smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post

I guess they are parallel, but they are in a lot of ways opposite, one of the iFi reps themselves said on the other micro iDSD thread that the iFi/AMR house sound is about as opposite of the Chord sound as you can go. The philosophical approaches are also polar opposite: no/minimal DSP and native playback vs heavy duty FPGA DSP prior to conversion. The iFi isn't cheap at $500, but it's less than a quarter of the Hugo's price. I don't think they are really comparable in any way except form factor.

I don't see the need of spending so much on portable rig IMO I find myself crazy to use the Micro iDSD for portable xD
post #289 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post
 

 

I guess they are parallel, but they are in a lot of ways opposite, one of the iFi reps themselves said on the other micro iDSD thread that the iFi/AMR house sound is about as opposite of the Chord sound as you can go. The philosophical approaches are also polar opposite: no/minimal DSP and native playback vs heavy duty FPGA DSP prior to conversion. The iFi isn't cheap at $500, but it's less than a quarter of the Hugo's price. I don't think they are really comparable in any way except form factor.

Well, they are both headphone Dacs with amps and they both play PCM and DSD. To me the comparison is self insistent.

 

Also, they are about the same total size.

 

There are many ways to skin a cat, I am asking for opinions on how the result of the skinning appeals to people who have compared both directly. People in the market for portable HeadDacAmps should rightly do some kind of due diligence here.

post #290 of 972

I do not hear any pop going between tracks or switching sample rates. I only getting a pop when I do a full stop on a DSD file or from the iDSD switching from standby. Not using DoP for DSD helps.

 

By the way J.River fix the issues I was having with PCM converted DSD to native DSD playback. Latest version is 19.0.163 which is stable for use. The previous stable version was 19.0.146 The bug was introduced with version 19.0.152 (When playing with real-time DSD output, a sample rate change of the input won't reset the output DAC) That change was backed out which caused many stability issues with many users.

 

J.River 19.0.163 is good to use. Any version between 19.0.152 to 19.0.162 needs to be upgraded to 19.0.163 to avoid a potential continuous noise bust with the iDSD.

post #291 of 972
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roamling View Post


it is simple as you say, no matter if its a 50k system or a 500 dollars one, there is a slight minor pop at the beginning of each file. the brain will adjust to it when listening, but its simply a flaw of spliting the dsd image into multiple tracks. if dsd wants to survive the industry needs to come up with some great idea. i can remember sitting at the "High End" trade show, at the time in Frankfurt some 15 + years ago listening to the first Sony SACD player... i thought wow that sounds good, but sacd never went off for some wired reasons... dont make the same mistake again

 

Actually, I don't think it is simple at all.  Yes, the issue with Channel Classics comes from rendering into individual tracks, but I believe the actual issue that causes those ticks and pops is the same as what causes them in realtime bitstreaming.  Has to do with time/clocking, as far as I know.  I am definitely open to correction...

 

 

I also don't think the guys at Merging on the pro side or the guys on the consumer side, such as iFi are unaware of these small issues or annoyances.  I do think that DSD presents some unique challenges that aren't as simple to solve.  Do I know this?  No.  But I do believe this, based on the various things I have read over the years, and also based on my conversations with Thorsten at AMR/iFi, whom I respect as much as anyone when it comes to keen insight into all things audio...

 

I imagine there may be ways to work around it, and it would not surprise me at all if the software guys at iFi come up with some kind of 'solution' to a problem that really isn't of their own making.  Reminds me of the USB 3.0 bug from a few months ago.  The bug wasn't an iFi problem.  It was literally a programming error hard coded by Intel themselves, and Intel was not going to fix things anytime soon, since it affected, well, statistically speaking, no one.  But after I am sure growing tired of hearing people complain about a bug that wasn't their own, iFi went out and rewrote code to compensate for Intel's error.  

 

 

I do believe a lot of these DSD bitstream issues may more readily be solved on the player side. Jriver, Pure Music, etc.  John' post is a good example of how different Jriver builds give quite different results.  

 

DSD can sound quite lovely.  As a matter of fact, I believe that the very best sounding recordings in my collection are pure DSD recordings by Polyhymnia for Pentatone.  There is just a certain something special that is difficult to describe.  I personally will deal with a little inconvenience for that kind of playback experience.  But I totally understand why some may not feel the same.  


Edited by MLGrado - 8/14/14 at 4:27pm
post #292 of 972
Thread Starter 

Hello N. !!  Good to see you on Head Fi!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisnon View Post
 

Well, they are both headphone Dacs with amps and they both play PCM and DSD. To me the comparison is self insistent.

 

Also, they are about the same total size.

 

There are many ways to skin a cat, I am asking for opinions on how the result of the skinning appeals to people who have compared both directly. People in the market for portable HeadDacAmps should rightly do some kind of due diligence here.

....didn't you have a Chord DAC at one time?  I can't remember if it was you or some one else who had a Qute.

 

anyway, I can't directly answer your question, but, according to the boys at iFi their house sound is quite different than Chord.  So that would be a starting point.  Also, we know that the iFi products do native DSD conversion without DSP.  Whatever Chord does on their FPGA, only Chord really knows.   I am going to venture a guess, and only a guess, that some kind of DSP is going on there. 

post #293 of 972
Thread Starter 

Okay, I had been experiencing some more pops and ticks than usual.  I was noticing them more via my speakers and was thinking the reason I was noticing them more was due to that change in listening method... from headphones to speakers.  If you read one of my earlier posts, you can see I was somewhat bewildered that simply moving to loudspeakers would make that much difference in the severity of the pops and ticks.  

 

As is turns out, I believe it was the Jriver software.  Jriver updated this morning to the latest build.  And gone, gone, gone are the pops and ticks.  No matter what kind of format switch, there is now only the most tiny of clicks.  So tiny as to be unmentionable, which is how it was when I initially reviewed the iDSD micro.  

 

 

So, I can again say that using the latest Jriver on Windows 7 with the iFi ASIO driver, pops and clicks are a non issue.  So, if you are having problems, know that this isn't the norm, and it should be fixable.  Either in your configuration settings, or via your software maker.  If you can't get this nailed down on your end, send a message to your software maker and let them know what you are experiencing.  

post #294 of 972

Just in case you want to use the X5 as transport... the Ifi idsd micro is fantastic with the X5 and so far every head phone I've thrown at it... including IEM's as the idsd micro has built in IEM comp built in...  tons and tons of power...    not a pocket solution but still a portable solution

when you don't want to carry or mess with a computer/laptop...   the coax output of the X5 is perfect for this setup..

presently I'm burning in a set of Oppo PM-2 phones and its sounding really nice so far...  ;-)

post #295 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixter View Post
 

Just in case you want to use the X5 as transport... the Ifi idsd micro is fantastic with the X5 and so far every head phone I've thrown at it... including IEM's as the idsd micro has built in IEM comp built in...  tons and tons of power...    not a pocket solution but still a portable solution

when you don't want to carry or mess with a computer/laptop...   the coax output of the X5 is perfect for this setup..

presently I'm burning in a set of Oppo PM-2 phones and its sounding really nice so far...  ;-)

 

Agree. I have been listening to X5 -> coax-out -> iDSD micro for the last few days and the combo is excellent.

post #296 of 972
Just placed pre-order for Micro at Stereo Singapore. Stock arrival is delayed to September :-\
post #297 of 972

I have trying out my other headphones like my Beyer DT860 which does not have the flattest response but can play play high SPL without distortion like my Sony 7520 and better than the DT880 and the DT990. Not sure why the DT860 is not more popular.  Anyway, all headphones have their plus and minus. 

post #298 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by roamling View Post


it is simple as you say, no matter if its a 50k system or a 500 dollars one, there is a slight minor pop at the beginning of each file. the brain will adjust to it when listening, but its simply a flaw of spliting the dsd image into multiple tracks. if dsd wants to survive the industry needs to come up with some great idea. i can remember sitting at the "High End" trade show, at the time in Frankfurt some 15 + years ago listening to the first Sony SACD player... i thought wow that sounds good, but sacd never went off for some wired reasons... dont make the same mistake again

 

My issue is the pop is quite loud (so no getting used to it)  in this set-up: MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Audirvana Plus -> ifi iDSD Micro -> LCD-3(f)

 

No pop with : MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Audirvana Plus -> Chord Hugo -> LCD-3(f)

No pop with : MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Amarra Syphony -> ifi iDSD Micro -> LCD-3(f)

 

So I think its the Audirvana Plus issue.

post #299 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somphon View Post

My issue is the pop is quite loud (so no getting used to it)  in this set-up: MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Audirvana Plus -> ifi iDSD Micro -> LCD-3(f)

No pop with : MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Audirvana Plus -> Chord Hugo -> LCD-3(f)
No pop with : MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Amarra Syphony -> ifi iDSD Micro -> LCD-3(f)

So I think its the Audirvana Plus issue.
I see you have both the Micro and the Hugo, can you please compare?
post #300 of 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somphon View Post
 

 

My issue is the pop is quite loud (so no getting used to it)  in this set-up: MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Audirvana Plus -> ifi iDSD Micro -> LCD-3(f)

 

No pop with : MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Audirvana Plus -> Chord Hugo -> LCD-3(f)

No pop with : MacBook Pro retina late 2012 -> Amarra Syphony -> ifi iDSD Micro -> LCD-3(f)

 

So I think its the Audirvana Plus issue.

I'm an Audirvana+ user, and have already trained myself to lower the volume when switching between PCM and DSD playback to help avoid the "pop".

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