iFi audio’s Ask-Me-Anything thread: Thorsten Loesch
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iFi audio’s Ask-Me-Anything thread: Thorsten Loesch
You ask, iFi’s CTO himself answers!


At iFi audio we’ve always had one goal - versatile products with an off the charts price-to-performance ratio. Far easier said than done. Since day one, we’ve been striving to do ‘more’ and do it better. Hopefully, our products reflect this mentality. We count ourselves lucky enough to be able to say you guys seem to like what we do - thousands of happy customers and feedback from this honorable community all serve as solid proof.

And there’s been one brave soul with us throughout all of this…

Top quality audio goods are made for people, by people. iFi is privileged to be able to work with exceptionally skilled individuals. Just recently the legendary John Curl joined our ranks to up our game at balanced designs. Many of you are probably already familiar with his input (i.e. our ZEN machines), but there’s one more engineer who’s been our technical brain behind each device we launched, the man with the hat, the German cowboy – the one and only Thorsten Loesch himself. (Several brave souls dare to call him Thor).

TL.jpg

Thorsten is always busy but we’ve struck a deal. In exchange for gourmet food, top shelf beverages and peace, Thorsten’s agreed to chat with you good people here at Head-fi.org. The word on the street is that he’s been enjoying this place as a silent observer for years, but shhhhh.

So from today until 1st Feb, you can post your questions to Thorsten in this thread. And we’ll get the answers. There are no strings attached, by all means ask Thorsten whatever you like. He will avoid questions on specific launch dates, products at the drawing board stage etc but other than that… give it your best shot. It should be fun.

AMA answers #1
 
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Why doesn't Ifi make an Audiophile Phone?

It could be based on a Chinese OEM, or it can even be made as a partnership with Oppo, ZTE, Xioami, or other companies. Add in a good DAC chip (such as the AKM 4497, or ESS 9038Q2M), THX, a gargantuan (6000mah+) battery, and High-Midrange to Flagship Specs (such as a Snapdragon 855, a pretty good Screen, Full ON Android, etc), and you get essentially a Fiio M15 Slayer.
Although it would be quintessentially a replacement for the LG V series that is so well regarded throughout the Audiophile community. Though yet, the fact exists that LG's phone SQ is not stellar against a full-blown DAP. In any case, at, say $1200 for a 6GB-128GB option, it would be quite an excellent deal for those that do not wish to carry several devices. And even if it's oversized (1/2 inch thick) to accommodate for a good Amp section and a large battery, I really doubt many would mind after they realize their phone is outputting a whole watt through 4.4 balanced.
 
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Not asking about future products dramatically reduces the interesting questions.
 
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Not asking about future products dramatically reduces the interesting questions.
"He will avoid questions on specific launch dates, products at the drawing board stage etc"

It never specificied that we cannot ask as to why a certain product doesn't exist. We simply cannot ask about their products in the drawing board.

Come on, somebody ask why hasn't iFI created their own R2R portable DAC amp?

Oh wait-

That's actually not a bad idea. They could use Audio-GD's r2r discrete modules.
 
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Not asking about future products dramatically reduces the interesting questions.
Look, you can try, even we have no idea what Thorsten will say. Seriously. Ask the question and we'll pass it on to him.
 
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I've had close experience with two products the iFi iDSD micro BL and the ifi xCAN. Main issue with the micro BL was channel imbalance. Main issue with the xCAN was the 2.5mm balanced, 2.5mm sockets are very delicate. I see that newer products are using 4.4mm sockets and that is a huge improvement over the 2.5mm one. So some questions:
  • Are there any plans of improving the volume control in the iDSD micro BL? A balanced version using a 4.4mm output + decent volume control + bluetooth would be amazing.
  • Are there any plans of portable devices using 4.4mm output?
  • Will you continue to use the same Burr-Brown DAC in the foreseeable future?
Thanks!
 
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When is the successor for the Black Label Micro coming out?
 
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I've had close experience with two products the iFi iDSD micro BL and the ifi xCAN. Main issue with the micro BL was channel imbalance. Main issue with the xCAN was the 2.5mm balanced, 2.5mm sockets are very delicate. I see that newer products are using 4.4mm sockets and that is a huge improvement over the 2.5mm one. So some questions:
  • Are there any plans of improving the volume control in the iDSD micro BL? A balanced version using a 4.4mm output + decent volume control + bluetooth would be amazing.
  • Are there any plans of portable devices using 4.4mm output?
  • Will you continue to use the same Burr-Brown DAC in the foreseeable future?
Thanks!
+1 for the next Micro iDSD BL to have 4.4 balanced output please!

And since that’s not a question, why the different design language among the different iFi products? From nano to micro to Pro to Zen to xDSD to Aurora, it all looks different from each other compared to say Apple products where the various designs are more cohesive.
 
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IFi Zen Blue is simple but good sounding through my Amptastic Tripath amp and my Whardedale 9.1 speakers. It us very annoying though that when the LDAC cuts out it does not automatically reconnect. It is a pain in the ass having to manually reconnect. Then if it cuts out again more manual reconnection. Arggghhh.
 
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I have question regarding proper Roon support with ifi idsd pro and possibly other devices.
Current bridge solution is simply not for everyone (Windows only) and just feels like shortcut.
Do you plan to make ifi devices Roon compatible?
 
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Look, you can try, even we have no idea what Thorsten will say. Seriously. Ask the question and we'll pass it on to him.
like most I would like to know about the successor to the black label.
 
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Wasn't the xDSD supposed to be the successor to the Micro iDSD Black Label, or in order words, iFi's flagship portable DAC/amp?

I'd like to see a successor to the xDSD, which ups the build quality and adds LDAC. I also felt the sound quality could be tighter and more resolving. Essentially, a sound quality more like the DAC/amp it's trying to replace, the Black Label :)

Oh, and what do you guys think about DAPs?

I met Thorsten a couple years ago at IFA 2018. Great guy. Very colorful and enthused about this stuff. Talk to him if you ever get the chance.
 
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Wasn't the xDSD supposed to be the successor to the Micro iDSD Black Label, or in order words, iFi's flagship portable DAC/amp?
I wouldn’t consider the Micro iDSD BL as portable; more transportable. Even iFi markets it as a desktop DAC/amp.
14FDF15B-A6CD-43F7-8BAC-512F952BF433.jpeg
 
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I wouldn’t consider the Micro iDSD BL as portable; more transportable. Even iFi markets it as a desktop DAC/amp.
I've always considered the BL as a portable, and used it as such :). But I can also see someone using it as a desktop DAC. It just does it all!
 
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