iFi audio iDSD Diablo - A portable reference done our way!
Sep 22, 2022 at 12:27 AM Post #2,387 of 2,570

BS5711

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........... and 'with the recent EASTER EGG' (that revealed the Diablo has an analogue input and can be used in ways never advertised), it is truly a product to keep ...............

Based on the wording from Thorsten in a private message I'd be inclined to lean towards ifi didn't know that the "feature" existed until the Diablo was out in the wild, maybe quite some time after its release. Testing of the amp section is the reason that Thorsten stated for the existence of the feature and the feature was just left there after he left ifi.

Oddly the line in for the Diablo absolutely requires that all 5 poles of the Pentaconn are used so the units are grounded. The Gryphon doesn't require this and can happily be used with a four pole set up with no grounding. I'd guess since the balanced line in and out was designed into the Gryphon from day one.

Ifi would know that most aftermarket 4.4mm to 4.4mm cables are four wire and not grounded so presumably needed to design the Gryphon to work with a decent generic cable not only their own or a custom one as is the case with the Diablo.
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 2:29 AM Post #2,388 of 2,570

lizardos24

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Sep 22, 2022 at 3:42 AM Post #2,389 of 2,570

HiFiRobot

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To my knowledge almost all solid state headphone amps are Class A/B, some can work in Class A at lower output and then a few are pure Class A and thus generate lots of heat and need beefy cooling. Topping rep confirmed in another forum that their NFCA topology is Class A/B.
I don't know of any Class D headphone amp but maybe there are several, I'd be interested to know which.
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 5:10 AM Post #2,391 of 2,570

marcus2704

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I am thinking of buying an IFI Power Elite for my Diablo, but am confused as to which version I should buy, 5V, 12V, 15V or 24V? I am in the UK.
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 5:20 AM Post #2,392 of 2,570

whitedragem

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The ones I know are Sony S-Master series (WM1Z/A, ZX507, etc) that uses class D amplification.
That is the strength of 'S-master'; somewhere around the year 2000, paying for patents and 'rising costs of a competitive' home theatre market, the head engineer @ Sony was tasked to build a FLAGSHIP SURROUND AMP using CLASS D amplification... "you're joking right?!" (not verbatim)

The challenge was met gracefully- and S-MASTER (Pro) was born.

It allows for non destructive re-equalisation, which to my eyes is the best aspect... but Sony Class D is 'something else' mostly due to those flagship parts and proper Sony hi end using other aspects of those head engineers genius and passion (such as coming up with greater than fourty recipes for solder until they found one that matched or surpassed lead based solder sound properties....

Where I live, the city has notoriously flakey power that kills class D amplifiers -as warned by my favourite members of the audio circles here (people who have been selling for decades and 'know the local market').

Whilst I have turned down FREE $5k class D power amps (built by friends), I read that the sound from such devices is 'getting better'.
I have no doubt that various circuits designed to cost less (require less heat sinks etc) and consumer less power (good for a world with a growing population, yes?), are coming along in 'leaps and bounds'... (practice makes perfect?)

My concerns is that much 'new tech' is only trying to equate to the last gen (when it first comes to market so that initial reviews can be praiseworthy), and then everything seems to be cost cutting...
Most new to audio (ie since the year 2000) have experienced 'mid fi' has 'high fi'... which sets a lower bar.
And then qualifies that average products are exceptional.
And then those 'exceptional' (and well reviewing) products are used as arguments by many neophytes as to why "average sound" IS THE HIGH WATERMARK (and that they don't need to use better revealing kit for review purposes)- and then sign off on budget parts (that measure well) as being brilliant.

The Sony Class D tech is great sound, and no doubt benefits from a whole slew of Sony R&D efforts over decades...
I look to whatever a manufacturer sells as 'the whole package', what patents and clever tricks have they employed...
At the end of the day it isn't the way they do their tricks but the resultant sound that truly matters.

eg I know the iFi Diablo is a 'fairly simple circuit' vs other DAC/amp combos I have seen, and if there is a bunch of corners cut, the resultant sound isn't poor because of that...
I have always loved cracking open my HiFi and audio parts (since the mid nineties), to see what is contributing to the weight of the unit etc...
VS a Vioelectic V100, (or Sennheiser HDVD800/Burson Conductor etc), the Diablo doesn't have a lot going on... but super clever design takes the part beyond the sum of the parts...(no doubt)...

So I hope I have matured and next time a friend offers me a custom built Class D power amp (consisting of $5k parts), I will at least believe it can hold a candle to budget amps from the eighties.
And that Cambridge Class XD amp offered for trade against my D90 'probably isn't all that bad'.

After a few years of feasting only on recent audio market parts, I am sure I will have conditioned myself to forget the sound of 'ancient' valve amps, and the Quads that replaced them, (And the late '70s audio market with brands like Sansui)..
My late eighties Rotel power amps 'cannot be THAT special'- heck they were budget parts even back then....
but then the sound from a NAD3020 (an amp that is special for simply being a budget part (that sounds GREAT)) really reminds me of why surround amps are crap for audio and that all modern speakers are 4ohm etc...

Spec sheets drive the audio market..
Would be great if AUDIO QUALITY drove the audio market, but consumers can READ A SPEC SHEET, and we cannot all hear what aspects of sound are 'worth chasing'.. so ..

Sure class 'whatever floats your boat' is the way forward.. (its the music that matters)...
but I'd keep an eye open at garage sales, as 'one persons junk is another persons treasure'; and the number of times I have been at a party or a friends house and some legendary amp (or nice esoteric piece) from a bygone age is in a cupboard or the garage, whilst some mini system being hugely overdriven is distorting like crazy trying to make people dance.
Listening to some high end parts (through the ages) has helped me to see which parts fly close to the sun from the present pool of pieces..
Great example is stuff like an iFi Diablo, as it takes some shortcuts but the results speak for themselves...
And iFi not paying the piper to design future kit has the value of the brand seriously diminished in my eyes..
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 5:21 AM Post #2,393 of 2,570

OCC7N

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I am thinking of buying an IFI Power Elite for my Diablo, but am confused as to which version I should buy, 5V, 12V, 15V or 24V? I am in the UK.
5V/5A …. Dont buy anything than 5V…minimum 2.5A

Never mismatch V for any device in general. but A minimum 2.5A for diablo my recommendation.

Also no matter what a iFi Elite 5V/5A should be mandatory in every audiophiles home 👍
 
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Sep 22, 2022 at 5:39 AM Post #2,395 of 2,570

OCC7N

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more headroom and dynamics, 'blacker background'?
Right now mine is connected to my JCAT USB XE. But I will make a test again today for you.

The low end sounded very thick and grainy in a good way, the upper highs was very holographic/physical.

I find the X more delicate/delightful, where as the elite felt more aggressive.
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 5:45 AM Post #2,396 of 2,570

marcus2704

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5V/5A …. Dont buy anything than 5V…minimum 2.5A

Never mismatch V for any device in general. but A minimum 2.5A for diablo my recommendation.

Also no matter what a iFi Elite 5V/5A should be mandatory in every audiophiles home 👍

Thank you. I ask as a while back I had an IFI Pro iDSD and I was advised to buy a 15V one for that. If you are saying I need to go for the 5V for the Diablo, then I will place my order later today.
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 5:46 AM Post #2,397 of 2,570

OCC7N

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Thank you. I ask as a while back I had an IFI Pro iDSD and I was advised to buy a 15V one for that. If you are saying I need to go for the 5V for the Diablo, then I will place my order later today.
Using another V, could damage the diablo(any dc device) easy. Do you have the stock power supply?

1663840114995.png

5V/2.5A is the stock charger. I would not recommend anything under 2.5A. So X and Elite would do plenty charging/playback
 
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Sep 22, 2022 at 5:59 AM Post #2,398 of 2,570

OCC7N

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Thank you. I ask as a while back I had an IFI Pro iDSD and I was advised to buy a 15V one for that. If you are saying I need to go for the 5V for the Diablo, then I will place my order later today.
Ooh wait I see the IFI Pro iDSD has a range it supports then its ok DC 9V/6.7A – 18V/3.35A. 15V was a good recommendation imo :wink: ....or atleast 12V
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 6:12 AM Post #2,399 of 2,570

BS5711

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Thank you. I ask as a while back I had an IFI Pro iDSD and I was advised to buy a 15V one for that. If you are saying I need to go for the 5V for the Diablo, then I will place my order later today.

As has been said, Diablo is 5 volts ONLY ...... forget what you might have read about ifi streamers and such, this is an entirely different beast !

The watt rating of the power supply is the voltage x the amps so a 5 volt x 5 amps = 25 watts which is what the iPower Elite is.

I have messed with various power supplies due to a current demand limitation with a very specific headphone that the Diablo struggles with .... a long story .....but I found a 25 Watt charger, that is 5 volt x 5 amp is what will power the Diablo best, but always 5 volts.

I haven't tried an iPower Elite due to the cost and frankly my doubts that any sonic benefit is likely to be subtle as is the case with most things in this hobby outside of the headphones and IEM themselves.
 
Sep 22, 2022 at 6:25 AM Post #2,400 of 2,570

OCC7N

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As has been said, Diablo is 5 volts ONLY ...... forget what you might have read about ifi streamers and such, this is an entirely different beast !

The watt rating of the power supply is the voltage x the amps so a 5 volt x 5 amps = 25 watts which is what the iPower Elite is.

I have messed with various power supplies due to a current demand limitation with a very specific headphone that the Diablo struggles with .... a long story .....but I found a 25 Watt charger, that is 5 volt x 5 amp is what will power the Diablo best, but always 5 volts.

I haven't tried an iPower Elite due to the cost and frankly my doubts that any sonic benefit is likely to be subtle as is the case with most things in this hobby outside of the headphones and IEM themselves.
What do you mean ifi streamer, where was that mentioned in this regard? I did recommend iFi over the Blue but it was another thread(DCA Stealth/Expanse)
 

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