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Cayin iDAP-6 - versatile new desktop transport

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by project86, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. PitBul34
    Good news! I've found how to resolve some problems. Information updated (read red marked text).

    Right now I see two software problems only:

    1. HibyLink does not work with Local Cloud - but you can use f.e. BubbleUPNP instead of HibyMusic interface.
    2. I2S does not support DSD playback, PCM only - but you can use USB Audio output instead of I2S with great result, imo.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  2. burdie
    Able to try modified hdmi by reversing BCK and MCLK before getting the new DSP board? curious whether IDAP-6 support DSD over i2s..
  3. PitBul34
    Honestly, I'm lazy :)

    What may i say after 72 hrs of burn-in time? Amazing resolution, channels separation, sound stage, natural timbres, wonderful vocal.. So, Cayin IDAP-6 digital transport able to beat many brand competitors, imo.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  4. Andykong
    I agree with you in principle, but there are quite a lot of technical issues we need to deal with in order to follow a De facto standard. Getting the pin right is only the standard point. An industrial standard is well documented and well supported by popular chipset providers, so it's not whether we want to follow suit, but can be follow suit.

    On the other hand, there are so many DACs and/or digital transport that claim to support PS Audio "style" I2S, we simply can't test them all. So the best we can do is to stick with PS Audio products in our testing. We can only sustain our iDAP-6 is compatible with PS Audio DAC, we can't ganurante that we will be compatible with A or B or C DAC even when they claim to conform with PS Audio I2S implementation.

    I'll provide a quick update on the I2S compatibility issue with PS Audio DAC and we can continue the discussion from there on.

    First of all, let me show everyone two photo:

    iDAP-6 with NuWave at 24-192 WAV.jpg
    iDAP-6 with NuWave at DSD128.jpg

    We have finally received the PS Audio NuWave DSD that we purchased to conduct this testing. We connected the iDAP-6 to NuWave DSD through a HDMI cable, and you should notice the I2S indicator of NuWave DSD has turned on. We connect the output of NuWave DSD to our Audio Precision APx525, so we can be sure that the output from the setup is "normal"

    We have tried both 24Bit/192kHz and 1Bit/5.6MHz (DSD128), both files playback faultlessly. We expect the DSD files to hang up or identified some irregularity in due course. Hopefully we'll identify some hint on the cause of compatible problem and work our a solution from there on. Unfortunately the story didn't turn up as expected and we don't have any direction to solve the problem promptly now.

    The good news is, the DSD output of iDAP-6 is compatible with at least one PS Audio DAC. We shall investigate any potential issue that can improve compatibility and issue a new firmware ASAP.

    On the other hand, we have encountered the following problem during our test:
    1. Switching between DSD64 and DSD128: obvious pop sound is heard.
    2. Switching between PCM and DSD format: obvious pop sound is heard
    3. Switching between various resolution of PCM format: no pop sound is heard.
    If someone is using PS Audio DAC in I2S with whatever compatible PS Audio Transport, I want to make sure they don't encounter similar pop sound issue. If this turn out to be a popular problem, we might need to seek help from PS Audio directly.
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    PitBul34 likes this.
  5. project86 Contributor
    Thanks for the update. I have a PS Audio Gain Cell DAC here but currently it sits in a different room than the iDAP-6. I will finish my current testing then move it back and try again. Last I tried, I got PCM working flawlessly but no DSD over I2S. But maybe I should try a different cable and some additional tracks (DSD64 and DSD128) and see how it goes from there. I will keep an ear out for those pop noises too.
  6. PitBul34
    @Andykong Please check compatibility with QNAP NAS, seems it works via DLNA only, IDAP-6 can not find it itself. WD MyCloud (twonky based) works fine.
  7. Andykong
    We have received a couple of reports and we traced the problem to compatibility with some Router, we are working on a fix to resolve the compatibility problem, will keep this thread informed when we have a new firmware available.
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    PitBul34 likes this.
  8. project86 Contributor
    Well, today I got the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC back into my headphone rig. Tried the iDAP-6 over I2S and.... nothing. Just weird static with PCM playback, and nothing at all when I attempt DSD. This worked prior to moving the Stellar DAC, so I don't know what's going on. The Stellar DAC is based on the NuWave DSD - indeed it's just a slightly upgraded version plus preamp and headphone amp. So I have no clue why Cayin's test DAC works fine including DSD while mine isn't doing well at all.

    I switched to USB out from iDAP-6 to Matrix X-SPDIF 2, then I2S from there to the Stellar DAC.... beautiful sound again, including flawless DSD128. So, it's not the DAC.

    I'm confident we'll get this straightened out at some point. In the meantime, iDAP-6 USB out to Stellar DAC sounds pretty damn good, and works perfectly.
  9. burdie
    Any SQ different with and without Matrix X-SPDIF 2 in between IDAP-6 and Stellar DAC via USB connection? Thanks
  10. project86 Contributor
    Still working on that. So far my testing has been mainly to figure out compatibility.

    My initial reaction is that the difference is a lot smaller than it is with a laptop, Surface Pro, etc. The Matrix absolutely improves SQ in those cases, but here it's a much smaller margin. I think there still may be some small improvement taking place, but I'm not positive how large yet. It might just have to do with the Stellar sounding best via I2S anyway.
  11. burdie
    I have an exact feeling with or without Matrix X-spdif 2 in between my laptop and Denafrips Pontus. The SQ improvement is so minimal, but sometime we are willing to pay that little improvement.
    As to the compatibility on IDAP-6 i2s out, will it have sometime to do with the unsync/confilct of master/slave mode on the streamer and DAC itself?
  12. project86 Contributor
    That's a good point about potential conflicts. I'm not sure I quite understand what's required of I2S - is it simply plug and play, works every time no matter what, like SPDIF? Or does it require a sort of "handshake" like USB and typical HDMI connections, which can be picky?

    I suppose I should spend some time powering up both devices in different orders, and swapping cables in and out while each device is off/on, to see if there's just some particular order it needs.

    I did learn the hard way that if you leave a USB cable connected to the iDAP-6, it won't put out sound via any other output. I had a cable inserted with no USB DAC on the other end, and had a hard time figuring out why AES and Toslink weren't sending a signal out.... now I get it.
  13. Andykong
    Good news.

    We have identified a couple of issues that should improve the DSD compatibility problem over I2S, we are working on the firmware fix right now, if things go smooth, we should be able to offer a quick fix in about a week.

    Please stay tuned. :beerchug:
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    PitBul34 likes this.
  14. PitBul34
    Hm.. My works fine with USB being conected. I just switch input to S\PDiF on my Denafrips Pontus DAC and sound goes on.

    > Tried the iDAP-6 over I2S and.... nothing.

    Did you switch iDAP-6 to I2S mode in 'Music Settings' menu ?
  15. burdie
    My IDAP-6 should be arrived in 2 weeks time. But since new firmware is about to release, just wanna request extra features or to confirm what have been fixed
    (1) fix on I2S compatibility with PS Audio on PCM/DSD? your baidu tieba did indicate this
    (2) compatibility with PS audio would be too narrow, is it possible to implement mode changes on i2s data, like the polarity so that end user can program it to suit various non standard i2s input
    (3) feature to turn on/off the master mode (i assume IDAP-6 run in master mode, please clarify)
    (4) Cayin own dedicated app on android/ios, which mirror the display on IDAP-6 or at least cover all settings/browsing etc, as Hiby not support browsing from NAS
    (5) selectable output to off the USB output so that other outputs will work (China forum also reported no other output if USB cable plug in), or make all outputs active simultaneously
    (6) 2 rear USB port able to connect 2 USB DAC and able to select DAC 1 or DAC 2 from setting (this may be ridiculous but I believed most of us own more than 1 USB Dac, and we may have separate matching setup in one room)
    (7) support of external USB CD/DVD-rom for playing CD ( i may be a bit old school)
    (8) Native DSD instead of DoP
    (9) Down/Up-sampling within IDAP-6
    (10) support DST file
    (11) NTFS or FAT32 for external HDD?
    (12) LAN port is gigabit or megabit?
    (13) USB support up to DSD256

    Sorry for asking so many question
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