Ideon Audio Ayazi mk2 DAC with 3R Master Time
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chrisdrop

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I am on a new-DAC mission presently. I have had the good fortune of getting a few days with this DAC by Ideon Audio. I had never seen nor heard of it, but an excellent local distributor is kind and is letting me give it a go. It is a marvel that we have so many DACs (and other things) out there to choose from in the world.

I am just starting now with this DAC this morning, plugged into a Glenn OTL, listening with a ZMF Verite Closed. I am coming from an RME ADI II DAC. Source path: Mac>USB>DAC. Later Mac>USB>Reclocker>USB>DAC. Other reviews seem to prize the USB reclocking. There are other threads here on head-fi referring to a re-clocker by Ideon, but not commenting on their DACs.

I am not going to do a super methodical deep-dive review, but given that there is no information here on head-fi for this unit (unless I missed it, which is possible), I thought I'd add some very minor info at least. I intend to 1) ignore burn-in/ hours because I probably don't have that many hours to use and 2) focus on my auditioning playlist A/B back/ forth with the RME for a few sessions.

This thread will function as a bit of a short few posts with thoughts and comments as they arise.

As of this morning, I am using just the DAC itself, and I have not yet added the reclocking device. My initial impression is that it is an audio leg-up (ear-up?) on the RME. Space, imaging and staging are all there and improved. I have both RME and Ideon here, so I will A/B as I have the patience for a few hours this weekend. FWIW - I have no plans to take or discuss measurements.

Physically the device has a pleasant yet spartan appearance. There are 2 switches on the front; on/ off and USB/ S/PDIF. The back is equally simple; USB or S/PDIF in, RCA out.

Just so it is said, no shill caveat; I have no 3rd party incentive to say anything about this (or any) product. This is for my own entertainment. I will take notes anyhow, so sharing them is just for fun. I am also no expert.

Here is a pic of my slightly ad-hoc setup presently, but here it is for reference.

20200201_093330.jpg

More posts to come with listening comments.

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chrisdrop

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USB-Reclocker in now:

20200201_103539.jpg

Interesting USB experience. I have a longer Tellurium USB cable (just the black one). The re-clocker added some quiet clicking every 5-10 seconds. I swapped for a shorter USB cable, that drove me to plug into the other side of my computer. The clicking went away. I thought it was either 1) my USB cable was too long, 2) My USB cable is not good, 3) it could be the USB port itself, 4) I noticed I had the power out of my laptop, it could be the power supply plugged in/ out. In the end, the Tellurium cable plugged into the other USB port, with the laptop power on is fine. It seems one of my USB ports is troublesome.

The re-clocker does improve the sound. It is quite audible. There are various products (UpTone audio, Shiit makes some, iFi etc.) that attempt to tidy up the USB in some way. The reclocker seems to add to overall coherence (for lack of a better word). Fewer harshnesses, notes sound more round somehow. I almost feel like my words are an audiophile caricature. Sorry about that. If only I was more eloquent...

So far, it is pretty clearly:

Ayazi+3R > Ayazi > RME ADI II​

I have nothing else to hand to compare, but I am enjoying these nonetheless.

They also make this: https://ideonaudio.com/product/3r-usb-renaissance-mk2/, which was referred to as "the little brother" of the device pictured above. I may give that a go at some point, but probably - I will just listen to music :)
 
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chrisdrop

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FYI - the DAC w/ reclocker is very nice indeed. I think the USB reclocker added quite a lot to a pretty solid DAC. The bass cleared up and became more of both full and tight. I thought this DAC/ reclocker was quite detailed, extremely smooth/ non-harsh. If you are interested in an ESS Sabre DAC, this is something you should consider IMO.

I will probably not post more on this DAC, because I am moving onto another DAC to try and I only have so many hours. After ~10h on this DAC, I can say I would be happy to have it in my setup.

I am likely to try the smaller 3r USB Renaissance mk2 with the next DAC as it was recommended to do so. I also found a review on another site and they claimed that 1) most uninformed listeners correctly selected the setup w/ USB reclockers (vs without) and 2) that they selected the Ideon reclocker as "better" than the alternative (Wyred I believe).
 
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