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iFi iDSD Micro DSD512 / PCM768 DAC and Headphone Amp. Impressions, Reviews and Comments. - Page 233

post #3481 of 7122

Oh sorry, my bad. I presumed something that was not to be presumed. Thanks for the clarification!

post #3482 of 7122
[quote name="mdiogofs"


Didn't quite get, didn't they say this update is redundant for the Micro?
[/quote]

Actually they sent me the wrong file, although 4.8.4 did work with tidal etc. on my micro idsd, I got a hold of 4.8 and installed it, all is good
Edited by Turrican2 - 4/13/15 at 1:51pm
post #3483 of 7122
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucidreamer View Post

From the iFi conversion to DSD guide:

Note to users: I. We do not recommend converting lossless PCM tracks to DSD or altering lossless tracks. We recommend that they are played in their respective native format - PCM tracks remain PCM and DSD tracks remain DSD

Just curious... why iFi does not recommend to convert lossless PCM audio to DSD512, only MP3 files? There is a definite improvement in all types of formats converted to DSD512 in Foobar+plugins and playing them natively as DSD format on Micro iDSD as far as I can hear. That conversion does not modify the actual sound if I understand correctly, only changes the rate from 44.1kHz to 22.5mHz and avoids oversampling or digital filtering on the DAC side that is pretty much like Non oversampling method does. Why not just playing everything converted to DSD512? 

We all apparently hear differently. I agree with iFi. Converting Red Book PCM to DSD512 is not to be recommended. Something is lost from the music. Call it life, realism, involvement.. it no longer sounds like the real thing.

I also found the same with my MP3 files. Now maybe I have been lucky in my choice of MP3. They are all high bit-rate, 320kbps mostly, but I preferred them played straight rather than converted to DSD512. Same result as the Red Book stuff, the music lost life, realism, involvement and dynamics. It seemed softened somehow.

Each to there own. Everyone should try it and decide but conversion of any PCM, even MP3, to DSD512 is not universally recommended.
post #3484 of 7122
yep. listen to native DSD as DSD. listen to PCM as PCM. don't know why people think converting PCM to DSD will sound better. iFi had a whole post last year on why keeping formats in their native formats is always preferred.
post #3485 of 7122

I think the transcoding from pcm to dsd was only meant for older, crappy mp3s that sound harsh.

 

The micro's insane 700k to 22mhz playback gives them a lot more room to breathe if you will; makes them sound smoother, less harsh, and more musical which is the main reason I got the ifi.

 

I've got a few bad 128k mp3 rips and have been unable to find newer, higher quality recordings. 

 

Always searching for better source material though as I agree native playback sounds more accurate. But the ifi has been my only solution so far.

post #3486 of 7122

Sorry to disagree when I upsample all PCM to DSD256 using the iDSD w/HQP this allows one to bypass the DAC's internal filters/interpolation to be done by the software thus reducing the iDSD's workload and giving it a direct signal.  By doing this using the HQP high quality filters you can reduce distortion, eliminate aliasing, and fine tune pre and post ringing.  I don't have any MP3's in my library so I can't speak to the SQ but I don't think its going to make the MP3 sound any better IMHO.

post #3487 of 7122
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurb1980 View Post
 

Sorry to disagree when I upsample all PCM to DSD256 using the iDSD w/HQP this allows one to bypass the DAC's internal filters/interpolation to be done by the software thus reducing the iDSD's workload and giving it a direct signal.  By doing this using the HQP high quality filters you can reduce distortion, eliminate aliasing, and fine tune pre and post ringing.  I don't have any MP3's in my library so I can't speak to the SQ but I don't think its going to make the MP3 sound any better IMHO.


Agree with this, and since HQPlayer is constantly evolving, it will only get better. Maybe a 3d-party, user-friendly interface for HQPlayer will become available too one day.

 

By adjusting the filters in HQPlayer, I can find the sound that I want... very much like tube rolling, but without the cost of a supply of NOS tubes. 

 

One of the micro iDSD's main technical advantages is that it handles the DSD feed natively, so I have confidence that whatever tweaking I have achieved in HQPlayer with it's PCM to DSD conversion filters has not been spoiled by some internal conversions/noise shaping taking place within the DAC chip itself.

post #3488 of 7122
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurb1980 View Post
 

Sorry to disagree when I upsample all PCM to DSD256 using the iDSD w/HQP this allows one to bypass the DAC's internal filters/interpolation to be done by the software thus reducing the iDSD's workload and giving it a direct signal.  By doing this using the HQP high quality filters you can reduce distortion, eliminate aliasing, and fine tune pre and post ringing.  I don't have any MP3's in my library so I can't speak to the SQ but I don't think its going to make the MP3 sound any better IMHO.

 

Try it for yourself.

post #3489 of 7122

Finally made the purchase after some serious contemplation, I'm really looking forward to it.

Time to download some DSD files! :)

post #3490 of 7122
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucidreamer View Post
 

From the iFi conversion to DSD guide:

 

Note to users: I. We do not recommend converting lossless PCM tracks to DSD or altering lossless tracks. We recommend that they are played in their respective native format - PCM tracks remain PCM and DSD tracks remain DSD

 

Just curious... why iFi does not recommend to convert lossless PCM audio to DSD512, only MP3 files? There is a definite improvement in all types of formats converted to DSD512 in Foobar+plugins and playing them natively as DSD format on Micro iDSD as far as I can hear. That conversion does not modify the actual sound if I understand correctly, only changes the rate from 44.1kHz to 22.5mHz and avoids oversampling or digital filtering on the DAC side that is pretty much like Non oversampling method does. Why not just playing everything converted to DSD512? 

 

We feel that lossless PCM sounds better reproduced as that, especially with the bitperfect filter.

 

However, there is no damage (other than to the music) when playing things differently. So everyone should try the different options and choose what suits them best. 

 

The Guide how to convert to DSD256/512 for MP3 shows the principle, if you want to do that for all PCM audio, sure, your call. Just listen both ways first - then pick what you feel sounds best to your ears. :k701smile: 

post #3491 of 7122

My home HP Envy laptop works great with Foobar (DSD512 conversion) but has an audible CPU fan noise that is pretty annoying especially when listening at low volumes. I have been contemplating into getting one of those cheap netbooks for under $100 recently but came across a better solution:

 

http://www.staples.com/ASUS-X205TA-HATM0103-Notebook-PC/product_1530327#pr-header-back-to-top-link

 

I already picked up one from Staples last night and tweaked it to death till 3 am last night (what would I do without coffee this morning?). There are not too many bloatware installed on that little guy, any windows program can be used just fine, unless it is a CPU killer, of course.

 

This is an atom quad-core totally silent(!!!) Win 8.1 laptop for $179, it was on sale for $99 last Black Friday but who cares now anyway. It has only 32Gigs of SSD and 2G or RAM but for basis music streaming, YouTube, internet browsing and casual light work - it is more than enough, more memory can be installed using the portable HD or microSD card up to 256Gigs. It is pretty light and small actually. The claimed battery life is 12 hrs but in reality it should be around 8 hrs, I am running it since 9am this morning and it says 58% remaining after almost 4 hours of non-stop usage, but I did some installation and optimization on the battery that could have used some juice.

 

The latest driver 2.23 installed successfully but iDSD Micro was not recognized in the Device Manager and showed some error code in hex (with the yellow exclamation mark). The previous version worked like a charm - 2.20.

 

It works pretty great actually and plays via Foobar in DSD256 without issues (knock on wood), the CPU load goes up around 45-50% with MP3s. But playing in DSD512 turned out a little stuttery, the CPU is not powerful enough and goes to 100% all the time. But honestly - I have hard time telling the difference between 256 and 512, so the former should be more than perfect.

 

Overall - very happy with the upgrade (or downgrade, depending on what was lost and gained: the lower conversion rate or total absence of fan noise). If someone is looking to get a small yet potent little laptop to stream music via USB without the vacuum cleaner or turbo jet function built into the laptop  - this is a really great choice! I am glad not to have wasted $50-100 on a 5-year-old netbook junk that people still hunt for on eBay or Craigslist these days and got the brand-new one instead for $179 (+tax) with the same or better features.

post #3492 of 7122

I have that same laptop (got it for $100 black friday).

 

Good to hear it can do dsd256. I thought it would be too slow so never tried it.

 

Actually use an i7 desktop with the Micro and have seen cpu use up to 40% when I push ALL settings to max it out.

post #3493 of 7122
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8soundz View Post

I have that same laptop (got it for $100 black friday).

Good to hear it can do dsd256. I thought it would be too slow so never tried it.

Actually use an i7 desktop with the Micro and have seen cpu use up to 40% when I push ALL settings to max it out.
I'm a Mac user so DoP no ASIO frown.gif! Just curious you say 40% are you using the *2 variants for the filters? In my setup they make the sound thinner when upsampling using the higher bit rates?
post #3494 of 7122
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurb1980 View Post


I'm a Mac user so DoP no ASIO frown.gif! Just curious you say 40% are you using the *2 variants for the filters? In my setup they make the sound thinner when upsampling using the higher bit rates?

 

Yes, I normally use the middle filter (minimum phase in pcm; means standard in dsd I believe) although I couldn't detect any change in cpu use when switching the filter.

I also use these settings in windows foobar:

 

native asio

dsd512

sdm type d

 

Average cpu use around 30% with those but can spike to 40.

 

If I change to DoP and dsd256, cpu drops to around 18%.

 

Also note that upsampling (or transcoding) to dsd/dop lowers the volume output so you may need to increase the volume when comparing to native playback.

post #3495 of 7122

Sorry, I noticed you said Foobar I though you where talking about HQP and its filters/modulators.  Interesting because DoP should have the higher processing because of the overhead?  ASIO should yield better CPU numbers since its streaming natively?  The highest the iDSD can do with DoP is DSD256 w/Mac, curious which sounds better ASIO, or DoP to your ear? 

 

On the iDSD unit I have tried all the filters and have settled with Standard which works best with HQP's filters/modulators.  With MAC and DoP when I upsample to DSD256 my CPU averages 60-65% and gets my fan going continuously.:biggrin: I have settled on DSD128 using the poly sinc mp, ASDM5 modulator, and iDSD on Standard which in my setup sounds the most clean/open/right mix of air.


Edited by kurb1980 - 4/14/15 at 11:36pm
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