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iFi iDSD Micro DSD512 / PCM768 DAC and Headphone Amp. Impressions, Reviews and Comments. - Page 217

post #3241 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakai View Post

i did try octa with foobar and it worked on my old dual core laptop. the limiting factor with regard to sq is the cpu load,
at that sampling rate, overdriving the cpu at 60 to 80 per cent. i found the best sq was on dsd 128 as it was
at 20 t0 25 percent cpu load, on sdm type b (fp 32), being the most efficient. this was when i was
comparing jriver with foobar. at octa, jriver was so distorted, whereas foobar was passable.


When I was using Jriver, I found their DSD conversion/upsampling features unusable. With HQPlayer, they are awesome tools and THE key feature of the player. I was very surprised to see how CPU taxing dsd upsampling is.

 

If I upsample to 4xdsd it puts a 35-70% load on my i5 processor, depending on which filter I use. I have to use the poly-...2S varieties if I want to play quad successfully. My favorite filter is the poly-sinc-mp. In order to use this one(which I believe is HQPlayers best), I need to limit my upsampling to 2xdsd. This puts a 27% load on my cpu, which is an acceptable workload. I also now think this gives me the best SQ of all the possible PCM-DSD conversion settings.

 

My current settings:

Filter: poly-sinc-mp    Modulator: ASDM7    Bit rate: 5644800(2xdsd)    Task Manager has now become a very useful tool...27% on these settings

 

The setting I am most sure of is the modulator, ASDM7. No other setting comes close to it in SQ. Once I found this setting I was convinced converting PCM to DSD was the way to go. It is astonishing to hear 44khz PCM sound so good! :)

post #3242 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by plakat View Post
 


Which reminds me of me recently delivered bottle of Laphroaig 200th Anniversary Edition. I think a glass of that would pair well with the DAC2 I'm using right now, despite its US-provenience. Which of course leads to the question: is the ifi British or Scottish? On the other hand... it's not that important.


The Laphroaig 200th Anniversary Edition sounds very nice indeed.Nice and peaty with plenty of iodine for that full body taste :cool:

post #3243 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franatic View Post
 

I really like Jplay 6. The SQ is definitely better than 5. Darker background producing superior imaging and details.

How do you rate Jplay6 sound quality versus HQPlayer?

 

Edit: You mention ASDM7 modulator on HQPlayer. I can see an ASDM5 or DSD7, but not ASDM7. Is this a Beta version that has new options?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr8soundz View Post

I'm upsampling pcm to Octa through Foobar. Sounds incredible and uses around 10-20% cpu off a low watt i7.

 

I used this tutorial (direct pdf link):

http://www.hificlube.net/download.ashx?media=/media/194651/Foobar2k%20MP3%20to%20DSD512.pdf

With either JRiver20 or HQPlayer, even Quad DSD stutters occasionally for me.  This is converting FLAC files using native DSD ASIO and latest iFi driver. I've tried a few buffer size/filter changes, which can help, but not entirely eliminate the issue. The options that reduce stutter also seem to reduce SQ :(.

 

Even my new ultrabook, with latest generation 5 i7 processor, struggles at this point. Processor power 30-40% at this level, which is enough to get the ultrabook's fan started, unfortunately. Even the most demanding PCM settings rarely get the CPU much above 5-7%. So I could just leave it at that, but I'm still drawn to the DSD sound signature, so would like to get the best out of it.

 

From the foobar instructions, it looks like a specific foobar driver is the key to handling these higher DSD numbers.

However, I'd rather stick to JRiver or HQPlayer, as I don't want to keep changing apps every time I come across a problem - so do iFi supply instructions for these apps?


Edited by TheAttorney - 3/22/15 at 9:27am
post #3244 of 7406
Methinks it's time that HQPlayer had its own thread in the Computer Audio forum wink.gif
post #3245 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
 

How do you rate Jplay6 sound quality versus HQPlayer?

 

Edit: You mention ASDM7 modulator on HQPlayer. I can see an ASDM5 or DSD7, but not ASDM7. Is this a Beta version that has new options?

 

With either JRiver20 or HQPlayer, even Quad DSD stutters occasionally for me.  This is converting FLAC files using native DSD ASIO and latest iFi driver. I've tried a few buffer size/filter changes, which can help, but not entirely eliminate the issue. The options that reduce stutter also seem to reduce SQ :(.

 

Even my new ultrabook, with latest generation 5 i7 processor, struggles at this point. Processor power 30-40% at this level, which is enough to get the ultrabook's fan started, unfortunately. Even the most demanding PCM settings rarely get the CPU much above 5-7%. So I could just leave it at that, but I'm still drawn to the DSD sound signature, so would like to get the best out of it.

 

From the foobar instructions, it looks like a specific foobar driver is the key to handling these higher DSD numbers.

However, I'd rather stick to JRiver or HQPlayer, as I don't want to keep changing apps every time I come across a problem - so do iFi supply instructions for these apps?

 

I haven't tried JRiver or HQplayer due to their added cost after trial runs out and I've already spent far too much on equipment.

 

Also came across Audiophile Optimizer which would add another $150 and also requires using Windows Sever 2012 which is $180 plus $149 per year (u can see how quickly software costs add up when going this route).

 

Since I was already using Foobar it was also easier for me to just add the plug-ins. I've heard the others may improve sound quality (at expense of cpu load) but, the more I search, the more it seems settings play just as much a role as equipment and software.

 

So I disabled more stuff in the bios, disabled tons of windows services (down to about 20 now on Windows 8), and changed the iFi settings to minimum latency and 0ms buffer. Yes, it does improve the sound but, even at less than 50% load, I still get occasional stutters if doing other things like browsing. But I built this dedicated desktop for audio so I browse on a chromebook if needed.

 

I posted it a page or two back, but here is what I used to configure Foobar:

http://www.hificlube.net/download.ashx?media=/media/194651/Foobar2k%20MP3%20to%20DSD512.pdf


Edited by gr8soundz - 3/22/15 at 12:50pm
post #3246 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8soundz View Post

My old music pc is an amd dual core. Saw the JRiver benchmark #s required for dsd upsampling and freaked out. Thankfully, I was in the process of building an i7 machine.

After hours of bios and os tweaks to kill windows services, the i7 still spikes to 45% at times. Never imagined I'd need this much horsepower for audio processing. Sounds incredible though; well worth it.

Man, I don't understand any of this at all. I'm using an HP 6930p, which is about 5 years old, 6gb of RAM and an i5 processor, and playing DSD 265 the most my CPU maxes out is 23%!

Now, of course I don't browse whilst listening to music, everything is played through JRiver with no up or down sampling, the ASIO driver is set to minimal latency and the highest sampling rate.

I've tweaked my Windows 7, yes, to minimum processes, but it's still Windows 7. Nothing fancy. I get no audible jitter, pops, skips, or digital garbble of any kind.

Yeah, I don't know. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones.
post #3247 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVOLVIST View Post


Man, I don't understand any of this at all. I'm using an HP 6930p, which is about 5 years old, 6gb of RAM and an i5 processor, and playing DSD 265 the most my CPU maxes out is 23%!

Now, of course I don't browse whilst listening to music, everything is played through JRiver with no up or down sampling, the ASIO driver is set to minimal latency and the highest sampling rate.

I've tweaked my Windows 7, yes, to minimum processes, but it's still Windows 7. Nothing fancy. I get no audible jitter, pops, skips, or digital garbble of any kind.

Yeah, I don't know. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones.

 

Sorry if I added to any confusion.

 

From what I've learned, your setup sounds about right. My i7 averages about 20% now, I'm using the ASIO at 64-bits, and upsampling to DSD 512. Upsampling greatly increases cpu use compared to native dsd playback.

 

I was at 12% cpu until I turned off intel speedboost and hyperthreading to stabilize the cores for less possible jitter. I know it seems crazy to turn a perfectly good i7 into a quad i5 with 2mb more cache but these are the things some of us do to eek out better sound.


Edited by gr8soundz - 3/22/15 at 3:09pm
post #3248 of 7406

when i do listen for longer period, i try to disable as many processes on task manager - specially 
windows search as this would jump into the scene  for no apparent reason,when only music is being 
played, taking about 40 per cent load, on top of what the foobar asio is taking affecting sq...
this way the laptop could upsample to dsd512 but with corresponding effect on sq. when i am not playing my music natively,i limit my transcoding to dsd 128..at 18 to 26 per cent cpu load...this on an old dual core, 
 gig ram latop 

post #3249 of 7406
All this stuff about CPU loading etc. would be very interesting in the Computer Audio forum.

This thread is about the iFi Audio micro iDSD.

Please stay on topic.
post #3250 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by technobear View Post

All this stuff about CPU loading etc. would be very interesting in the Computer Audio forum.

This thread is about the iFi Audio micro iDSD.

Please stay on topic.

 

We ARE talking about the iDSD Micro.

 

As the only DAC capable of upsampling to DSD512, cpu usage is essential. Many have to limit their upsampling due to not enough cpu resources.

post #3251 of 7406

Anyone have chance to compare android phone+ ifi Micro vs a Sony zx2? I love how the micro sounds, but I have been travelling so often and carrying my ciems along with a stack seems cumbersome. I'm thinking about getting the zx2 and selling the micro, but only if the zx2 sounds as good or better than the micro. I love my micro, but not much room in economy class on the airplane.

post #3252 of 7406
Maybe an option- the new upcoming Cozoy Astrapi?
post #3253 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8soundz View Post
 

 

I haven't tried JRiver or HQplayer due to their added cost after trial runs out and I've already spent far too much on equipment.

 

Also came across Audiophile Optimizer which would add another $150 and also requires using Windows Sever 2012 which is $180 plus $149 per year (u can see how quickly software costs add up when going this route).

 

Since I was already using Foobar it was also easier for me to just add the plug-ins. I've heard the others may improve sound quality (at expense of cpu load) but, the more I search, the more it seems settings play just as much a role as equipment and software.

 

So I disabled more stuff in the bios, disabled tons of windows services (down to about 20 now on Windows 8), and changed the iFi settings to minimum latency and 0ms buffer. Yes, it does improve the sound but, even at less than 50% load, I still get occasional stutters if doing other things like browsing. But I built this dedicated desktop for audio so I browse on a chromebook if needed.

 

I posted it a page or two back, but here is what I used to configure Foobar:

http://www.hificlube.net/download.ashx?media=/media/194651/Foobar2k%20MP3%20to%20DSD512.pdf


I also use Foobar for the reasons you state above.  Why spend hundreds when a free open source software player performs just as well.

 

Aside from Redbook PCM and 88.2khz files which can be converted using native DSD, are you also converting 96 and 192khz PCM material to DSD?  And if so, are you experiencing any degradation in having to use DoP to play these files in DSD?  :popcorn:

post #3254 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triodemode View Post
 


I also use Foobar for the reasons you state above.  Why spend hundreds when a free open source software player performs just as well.

 

Aside from Redbook PCM and 88.2khz files which can be converted using native DSD, are you also converting 96 and 192khz PCM material to DSD?  And if so, are you experiencing any degradation in having to use DoP to play these files in DSD?  :popcorn:

 

No DoP yet. Decided I didn't want yet another format of the same songs taking up hard drive space. Already have mp3/wav/flac duplicates over the years due to some of my players not supporting all of them.

 

Plus, I figure 96 and 192khz should be enough on its own so I just temporarily switch the output when playing them.

 

Thankfully, the idsd micro works well with my setup upconverting the lower stuff since there are no hi res versions available for much of my collection. The upsampling makes even old crappy mp3s sound musical. Played one for my brother who won't even touch mp3 since I put him on to flac. He couldn't believe he was hearing an mp3.

 

I considered using DoP to get DSD playback from my Note 3 but instead will wait for Android 5.0 update on it.

post #3255 of 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8soundz View Post
 

 

No DoP yet. Decided I didn't want yet another format of the same songs taking up hard drive space. Already have mp3/wav/flac duplicates over the years due to some of my players not supporting all of them.

 

Plus, I figure 96 and 192khz should be enough on its own so I just temporarily switch the output when playing them.

 

Thankfully, the idsd micro works well with my setup upconverting the lower stuff since there are no hi res versions available for much of my collection. The upsampling makes even old crappy mp3s sound musical. Played one for my brother who won't even touch mp3 since I put him on to flac. He couldn't believe he was hearing an mp3.

 

I considered using DoP to get DSD playback from my Note 3 but instead will wait for Android 5.0 update on it.

I've decided to go this route as well... Mp3 and Redbook flac get upsampled to DSD256, while the rest are played at their respective native resolutions.  It seems several others on the web share these same thoughts. 

 

Regarding DoP (DSD over PCM). My understanding in the context of our discussion, is to allow 96 and 192khz files to be converted to DSD during playback - not a new file format that gets stored on your HD.

Thanks for the response. :beerchug:

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