iFi audio iDSD Diablo - A portable reference done our way!
Jun 5, 2021 at 1:28 AM Post #1,442 of 1,619

qsk78

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instead of an iPower (worthless on a battery powered device)
I do appreciate that they have it in the package. Currently I use Diablo as the only source being far from home and my desktop system.
My planars eat the battery in turbo mode very fast so after 3-4 hours I need to use the iPower to keep everything running, and I appreciate that there is no noise during a charging process.

I would question the need and functionality of the iTraveller but this is a different story.

So our needs and wishes are very subjective :wink:
 
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Jun 5, 2021 at 5:43 AM Post #1,443 of 1,619

Terr0rSandmann

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I sent mine in today to fix the the LEDs and also my usb A connector on the diablo is super loose, I think from using the ipurifier, hopefully it won't take long, might not use the ipurifier anymore I think it's to heavy for the plug
I think the issue is that it is not 100% aligned.
With the iPurifier, Diablos rear rubber feets do not touch the surface. Therefore you have some small gap and this could lead to problems with the stability of the USB connector
 

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Jun 5, 2021 at 6:54 AM Post #1,444 of 1,619

Slater91

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While I don't own a Diablo (I own a BL) I always felt it was unfair of reviewers to drone on about the lack of IE MATCH on the Diablo. One reviewer right after the other chunked the Diablo and lamented it's loss. Some reviewers suggesting "Diablo is unusable with sensitive headphones and IEM's"..etc, etc., etc....
iFi Audio has 3 outboard IE MATCH devices for cheap. What was all the belly aching about? Thank God you discovered this a reported "MAGIC" and balanced this community out. Thank you!
Being one of those reviewers, maybe I can give you a bit more perspective on the "why". When you review something, you usually want to do so considering the largest possible set of use cases for a product so that you understand how a product might work for as many people as possible. So when I test an amplifier (or a DAC/amp, as in this case), I tend to test it with a wide variety of earphones and headphones in order to cover extremely high and low impedance and sensitivity values. Now, I need to say that an amplifier is too powerful for IEMs if that's the case, otherwise people are going to buy an overpowered amp for their shiny new 8 Ω, 120 dB earphones only to happily have their eardrums blown out (and to then write angry comments like "why didn't you say that it's too powerful for IEMs?").
It's important to judge a product in its entirety and if an amplifier isn't able to drive sensitive earphones at low volume, then it must be stated as such. Also, the problem with the specific situation is that in previous products the feature was available right there without any need to spend further money, so it is clearly a regression. Sure, solutions exist, but it's as if they suddenly removed an accessory from a car that was included in the price in previous models: sure, you can add it, but you have to pay more and that's hardly a great thing.
On top of this, as other people noted there's no alternative for IEMatch if you use the balanced output. What you have to do is to use a 2.5 mm cable for your earphones/headphones, then connect an IEMatch 2.5, then connect an adapter from 2.5 mm to 4.4 mm. I find this rather clunky and inelegant, compared to having a simple switch on the amplifier.
In my opinion it would actually be unfair if reviewers didn't point out this. Our job as reviewers is to hold companies accountable for their choices and give a wider perspective on the market to our readers. So if we abdicate from this role of pointing out (possible) issues, we basically give up on our duty to give our readers fair, balanced information that they can rely on to understand if a product is good for them or not. This is a larger issues with the media industry right now and I could go on writing about it for ages (I am a journalist by profession), but this is to give you the gist of the issue. I hope this helps!
 
Jun 5, 2021 at 7:45 AM Post #1,445 of 1,619

CrocodileDundee

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Being one of those reviewers, maybe I can give you a bit more perspective on the "why". When you review something, you usually want to do so considering the largest possible set of use cases for a product so that you understand how a product might work for as many people as possible. So when I test an amplifier (or a DAC/amp, as in this case), I tend to test it with a wide variety of earphones and headphones in order to cover extremely high and low impedance and sensitivity values. Now, I need to say that an amplifier is too powerful for IEMs if that's the case, otherwise people are going to buy an overpowered amp for their shiny new 8 Ω, 120 dB earphones only to happily have their eardrums blown out (and to then write angry comments like "why didn't you say that it's too powerful for IEMs?").
It's important to judge a product in its entirety and if an amplifier isn't able to drive sensitive earphones at low volume, then it must be stated as such. Also, the problem with the specific situation is that in previous products the feature was available right there without any need to spend further money, so it is clearly a regression. Sure, solutions exist, but it's as if they suddenly removed an accessory from a car that was included in the price in previous models: sure, you can add it, but you have to pay more and that's hardly a great thing.
On top of this, as other people noted there's no alternative for IEMatch if you use the balanced output. What you have to do is to use a 2.5 mm cable for your earphones/headphones, then connect an IEMatch 2.5, then connect an adapter from 2.5 mm to 4.4 mm. I find this rather clunky and inelegant, compared to having a simple switch on the amplifier.
In my opinion it would actually be unfair if reviewers didn't point out this. Our job as reviewers is to hold companies accountable for their choices and give a wider perspective on the market to our readers. So if we abdicate from this role of pointing out (possible) issues, we basically give up on our duty to give our readers fair, balanced information that they can rely on to understand if a product is good for them or not. This is a larger issues with the media industry right now and I could go on writing about it for ages (I am a journalist by profession), but this is to give you the gist of the issue. I hope this helps!
I would give 10 likes if possible. Really well said independent of the product. (BTW, you wrote my feelings about the Diablo as an ex owner of the Signature)
 
Jun 5, 2021 at 11:43 AM Post #1,447 of 1,619

greentea76

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is using the diablo with phone usb C ideal? does audio get better out of pc or anything?
probably dependent on headphones used. my akg k872 are very sensitive to source quality so i enjoy them most when connecting diablo with roon with windows pc and engage asio driver (or asio or kernel streaming with audirvana studio). I have also tried several usb cables that i have at home along with ipurifyier and it took me some time to find optimal setup. diablo is very transparent so changes in source audio are easily noticable. mac os or ios is lacking possibility of using asio drivers thats why i try to avoid them when listening. android with uapp might be better choice.
 
Jun 5, 2021 at 12:43 PM Post #1,449 of 1,619

Condocondor

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First of all, I want to thank you (Slater91) for taking the time to explain your approach to reviewing. I agree with you100%. What you've said is practically faultless from the perspective of a consumer and reviewer. Now, if you can, I'd like you, and others, to expand that perspective to discern the manufacturer's perspective and goals so as to see both sides of the equation. This would allow the consumer to be informed and give the manufacturer some cover for the benefit-of-the-doubt. BTW, iFi Audio will almost certainly have their IE Match 4.4 from way they've answered a previous question here as, "I cannot say anything much now".

When I think about iFi Audio, I see an extremely innovative company that is customer focused and has given us all such incredible variety of unique products. And they have a track record of improving their products constantly. This is a company born of passion and love for their products, music, and their customers. I can discern that this is a company of good will, good people. Step back and look at this company's full array of products. Look at this company's history for development. Go to their website and just peruse their offerings. Where does this product (Diablo) fit relative to their other products? Do they have other products more suitable to folks that have a large collection of IEMs? Do they have products that do a better job of "Swiss Army Knife" do-it-all capability? Do they have more specialized products like Diablo? Must every product please everyone, with every possible configuration of equipment? Or is there room for products with a more narrow focus?

I think the trick is to appropriately inform consumers while at the same time seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty (...it's missing x,y,z....etc.). And keep in mind that this is only one point in time. There is a future line of delicious products coming from iFi because they have that track record. Diablo was a bold product and not just in color. It is a specialized product. Could it be better? Sure! Will it be better? Eventually. In the mean time, we have a killer product with a more limited but specialized capability. In a pinch, you can haul groceries in your Lamborgini and take one of your two kids to soccer practice. Could it be that the real issue is not the product but the expectations and preconceptions of what the product should be? Remember that iFi Audio are humans that really try hard to give us neat stuff. They have families. They have to put food on the table like we all do. iFi has earned my love and compassion and admiration. Unless their integrity goes to crap, I'm in their corner rooting for them and loving their products. I own an iPower, iGalvanic, iDefender, iSilencer, iTube2, and iDSD BL. I love every, single, one, of their products. And, their stuff is very high value for the dollar too. I don't find the need to crack-the-whip on them--as yet. I guess that makes me a fanboy...lol. : )


Now, I need to say that an amplifier is too powerful for IEMs if that's the case, otherwise people are going to buy an overpowered amp for their shiny new 8 Ω, 120 dB earphones only to happily have their eardrums blown out (and to then write angry comments like "why didn't you say that it's too powerful for IEMs?").
It's important to judge a product in its entirety and if an amplifier isn't able to drive sensitive earphones at low volume, then it must be stated as such. Also, the problem with the specific situation is that in previous products the feature was available right there without any need to spend further money, so it is clearly a regression. Sure, solutions exist, but it's as if they suddenly removed an accessory from a car that was included in the price in previous models: sure, you can add it, but you have to pay more and that's hardly a great thing.
On top of this, as other people noted there's no alternative for IEMatch if you use the balanced output. What you have to do is to use a 2.5 mm cable for your earphones/headphones, then connect an IEMatch 2.5, then connect an adapter from 2.5 mm to 4.4 mm. I find this rather clunky and inelegant, compared to having a simple switch on the amplifier.
In my opinion it would actually be unfair if reviewers didn't point out this. Our job as reviewers is to hold companies accountable for their choices and give a wider perspective on the market to our readers.
 
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Jun 5, 2021 at 1:16 PM Post #1,452 of 1,619

CrocodileDundee

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how does the diablo stack up against a totl dap?
Comparing bananas to apples. Depends on the use and need. If you just compare Power, no DAP gets close to Diablo, but for one that needs an all in one, Diablo is not an option.
 
Jun 5, 2021 at 1:48 PM Post #1,453 of 1,619

justsomesonyfan

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There is no DAP on the market who can beat the Diablo. Does not matter which price tag.
Comparing bananas to apples. Depends on the use and need. If you just compare Power, no DAP gets close to Diablo, but for one that needs an all in one, Diablo is not an option.
i have a planar/dd hybrid iem. i'm considering the n6ii Ti, it has a full discrete R2R ladder, however i know that planar drivers really love extra power.. so i'm considering the diablo. the biggest problem imo with diablo is i do not know if the device that the diablo is plugged into matters (for example phone sounds worse than pc, and pc sounds worse than dap) as i do want to use it with my basic phone and not have another device to pair it with.
 

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