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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. burdie
    Guys, Cayin just released firmware 1.1 on their official page
    PitBul34 likes this.
  2. Andykong
    Announcement of Cayin iDAP-6 Firmware v1.1


    Firmware v1.1 Header.jpg

    As our first desktop digital transport and network player, iDAP-6 has been well-received by media and customers. We have maintained constant dialogue with reviewers and users and have collected requests and suggestions that we believe worth taking place, and we deliver them as efficient as we could be.

    We are pleased to present the first firmware upgrade for the iDAP-6. Among the features and bug fix, I would like to highlight the following revision:

    Modify pin assignment for DSD signal in I2S digital interface
    This is definitely the most sought after request in the iDAP-6 discussion. We have adjusted the software control on the DSD signal pin, hopefully this will enhance the DSD compatibility with PS Audio I2S DACs.

    Enhance S/PDIF digital interface output:
    * Coaical and AES/EBU from 24Bit/192kHz and DoP64 to 24Bit/384kHz and DoP128
    * Toslink from 24Bit/96kHz to 24Bit/192kHzC

    Optimize compatibility and stability of file sharing in LAN
    We have received occasional report that iDAP-6 is unstable or even failed to connect with certain router, we have improved the compatibility and hopefully resolved the issue completely.

    We believe the iDAP-6 is functionally enhanced as well as more user-friendly after this update. Your comment and feedback are most important, so please give this a try and tell me if this work for you, your participation is most welcomed. :beerchug:
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    PitBul34 likes this.
  3. Andykong
    On top of the Firmware, we also uploaded the English User Manual to our website:

    If you have used Cayin DAP before, most of the iDAP-6 operation will become fairly straight forwarded, new comers probably will need to spend some time to get familiar with the peculiar terms and menu organisation, this manual will become handy.
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    PitBul34 likes this.
  4. Andykong
    Technically, we can handle most of these request, if not all, but then you need to wait for the iDAP-8 and that probably will be in US$2K range. :laughing:

    Some of your request require hardware changes or upgrades and to certain extend you are describe your ideal digital transport, not really feasible with the existing iDAP-6 platform. The iDAP-6 is an entry-level digital transport with networking capability, I don't think there are a lot of choice at sub-$1000 range unless you are considering some of the more mass-market orientated brand/products such as Cambridge Audio CXN or Pioneer N50A/N70A, but I don't think any of these will come close to your requirements.

    To illustrate my point, let go through some of of the suggestion/request quickly:
    (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

    First of all, there isn't a standard
    As I have mentioned previously, the compatibility problem is far more complicate then getting the pin right, it will also involve complicated digital audio processing such as handling of interrupt, mute control etc. For example, Cayin has resolved the pin compatibility problem with DSD signal on PS Audio I2S after around 1 month of hard work, but that's only the beginning of the story, we have introduced new problem after the modification, when you switch from a PCM track to a DSD track or vice versa, there will be a pop sound that we can't get it muted properly, we are working on this right now, but getting no where after a week of testing, it would be a miracle if we can resolve this within a month.

    On the other hand, you probably don't aware the complexity and chaotic situation of I2S implementation due to absent of an industrial standardization. I suggest you download the follow I2S survey document and read through it thoroughly before we set a target to allow user configurable I2S connection for wider product compatibility.

    (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
    Yes, we have a quote on this, bare-bone simple version will cost around $15K USD, a Hiby-Link equivalent with full networking feature will cost around US$50K, Not a lot if iDAP-6 will sell for 10,000 units in next two years, but what happen if we only sell for 500 units (which is not a very low figure for niche market product like digital transport)? That would mean adding US$100 to the building cost, and at least $250-$300 to the retail price.

    (7) support of external USB CD/DVD-rom for playing CD ( i may be a bit old school)
    This is pretty straight forward if we just want to make it work, but quite definitely it won't sound good with off-the-shelf components. We need to custom build a player to satisfy the control and quality if we need to integrate it with a high quality digital transport. In fact a company called Soundaware had development something like this and is selling for US$500 for the external CD-Driver, you can check it out if this is what you need.

    For the record, Soundaware is a reputable brand in Digital source, they have an impressive lineup of digital transport from entry level D280 (~US$600) to their flagship model D300Ref (US$2560), so they have a much larger volume when compare to Cayin in this product segment.

    (10) support DST file
    iDAP-6 does not have sufficient processing power to handle DST encoded DSD files, we need to upgrade our MCU in order to support this format.

    I think I have make my point already, since you have ordered the iDAP-6 already, may I suggest you test run the player in your system, enjoy your music for a while, and then we can sit down to work out realistic "software" based enhancement to iDAP-6

    PS, You can use NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT for external HDD, LAN port is gigabit.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    PitBul34 likes this.
  5. burdie
    Wow, didn't expect to receive these kind of replies from Cayin rep here, such as promoting your competitor products, 'unrealistic' demand on software enhancement....
    As a customer / end user, of course we want to find out any possible improvement / enhancement, regardless it is costing $799 or $50k. Yes, I still haven't received it, but I have read enough from this forum, china forum on how it performed, and what is lacking.... so I shouldn't ask any question before I received it?
    Hahaha, so far this is the "best" customer support i ever meet....
  6. Andykong
    Well, I am being realistic as well, I assume I am dealing with an informed customer and they know the market as much as we do, if not better, so avoiding competitors is unnecessarily in my book. Besides, I always hold the opinion that competitors will make the market more interesting, generate more noise and introduce more exchanges and activities, these are the basic factors that make the market grows steadily, so if I am confident with my products and trust my customer will make a objective decision, I should make sure there are competitors around me. :beerchug:
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  7. PitBul34
    > Firmware Upgrade Procedure

    1. For safety reason, please make sure the iDAP-6 will not power off during firmware upgrade process

    2. Download the latest firmware from Cayin website (www.cayin.cn). The firmware package should be downloaded as iDAP-6 V1.1.zip

    3. Decompress and copy the iDAP-6 firmware file (update.upt) into the root directory of a SD card.

    4. Insert the SD card into iDAP-6 and select System Upgrade under System Setting Menu

    5. Select System Upgrade in the submenu, the system will complete the upgrade process automatically, and reboot the player after update is completed.

    6. When the upgrade is completed, you can verify the current firmware version number by selecting “About Player” option under “System Setting” menu,

    Hm.. Update does not start automatically if I try to insert SD-card first (4) and then try to run 'System Upgrade' in the submenu (5). Reverse order works fine: at first run 'System Upgrade' in the submenu (5) and then insert SD-card into the iDAP6 (4).
  8. burdie
    Agreed with you, more and more competitors will definitely bring improvement to the end product and perhaps more competitive in price. So far Cayin IDAP-6 meet most of my requirement to replace Surface Pro 4 as the source of my setup, and I do hope that in future there is IDAP-8 to deliver what IDAP-6 is lacking at the moment, like decoding DST etc.
    Was informed by dealer that due to 11/11 china mega online sales, the delivery of my order will most likely delay by another week.
  9. burdie
    So the updated firmware fixed the DSD on i2s to Denafrips Pontus? I have Pontus also.
  10. Andykong
    We are quite certain that (4) Insert SD card -> (5) Select System Upgrade in submenu will work alright, we have tested the process before we draft the instruction. Maybe the system can't detect the firmware file for some strange reason. If someone has experienced this situation, please try to read the SD card by going through the Music Library, just to confirm that the card is securely locked and detected, then you can come back and try the system upgrade again.

    However, I am glad to know that (5) -> (4) will also work, that make life easier as that means the order of event is not significant.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  11. project86 Contributor
    I had a chance to update this morning before I left for work. It went smoothly, in the proper order just like the instructions say. When I get home, I'll test compatibility wit the PS Audio Stellar DAC via I2S.
  12. project86 Contributor
    Still no luck with the PS Audio Stellar DAC in I2S mode. Where before I was getting no sound at all in that mode, now I'm getting static on the left channel only, and a weird stutter/thump sound which differs depending on what music I play. To be clear, I never actually hear any music come through, but a quiet solo cello piece will be mostly smooth static, which a busy jazz track will have lots of the stutter/thump sounds. So it's somehow related to the content of the data stream.

    Just double checked, and iDAP-6 ->USB ->Matrix X-SPDIF 2 ->I2S ->PS Audio Stellar DAC still works fine. With hi-res PCM and DSD128 too.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  13. PitBul34
    Nevermind, the best Cayin IDAP-6 output is USB - it's really good, better than IIS and much better than S/PDIF.
  14. PitBul34
    Sorry, I can't test it, coz I've returned back to Soundaware D100PRO:

  15. Andykong
    Really too bad that the firmware upgrade does not resolve the I2S compatibility problem with the Stellar DAC, I have managed to get in touch with another iDAP-6 user with I2S compatibility problem but the firmware upgrade solved the problem with him, he can now play DSD64 and DSD128 from iDAP-6 to his PS Audio Directstream via I2S. I know the I2S compatibility problem is kind of complicated as different brands has implemented their I2S differently, I was hoping that the compatibility problem will be less an issue within a brand. Looks like we need to further investigate the issue and dig out more hidden technique of I2S implementation.
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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