iFi audio - Introducing the ZEN DAC Signature V2 and ZEN CAN Signature HFM, Perfectly Balanced As All Things Should Be!
Aug 20, 2021 at 10:57 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 115
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https://ifi-audio.com/products/zen-dac-signature-v2/

https://ifi-audio.com/products/zen-can-signature-hfm/

Even purer DAC performance.


The ZEN DAC Signature V2 has been improved to offer an even greater, purer listening experience.

Just like the original, its sole purpose is to feed an external amp, be it a headphone amp, or an amp and speakers.

Unlike the original, it has a 16 core XMOS chip instead of 8. This new and improved digital engine is more powerful than ever. We’ve also upgraded the clock circuitry to enhance the purist, audiophile design even further.

Enjoy music without any distortion or colouration.

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Balanced. Blissfully quiet.

The ZEN DAC Signature V2 incorporates boutique parts and circuitry inspired by the £3,000 iFi Pro range.

It sports a fully-symmetrical, true differential balanced dual-mono signal stage with direct signal paths to ensure optimal signal purity.

The new low jitter crystal clock means >20dB better noise reduction. The ZEN DAC Signature V2 will remain quiet wherever it’s used.

Outstanding components including C0G capacitors from TDK, Panasonic OS-CON and ELNA Slimic II capacitors complete the design.

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A ‘Bit’ special…​

The ZEN DAC Signature V2’s digital stage retains its True Native DAC architecture. It delivers Bit-Perfect up to 32-bit/384kHz and native DSD up to DSD256 as well as DXD.

The iFi-programmed XMOS chip, which processes data received at the USB input, and jitter-eradicating, audiophile-grade oscillators, contribute to exemplary handling of digital audio signals as they are received, processed and converted to analogue form.

16 core means more…​

MQA an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording.

Thanks to the processing power of the new 16 core XMOS chip, the ZEN DAC Signature V2 is now a full MQA decoder.

The ZEN DAC Signature V2 includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. The LED glows green or blue to indicate that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and denotes provenance to ensure that the sound is identical to that of the source material. It glows blue to indicate it is playing an MQA Studio file, which has either been approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.


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Confident connections​

You can trust in accurate, jitter free data transfer from your source device. The USB Type B input is asynchronous, meaning that the data rate is regulated solely by the ZEN DAC Signature V2’s specialised, and now upgraded, audio clock circuitry.

A pair of RCA sockets provide a single-ended connection to an amp and a Pentaconn 4.4mm output enables balanced signal transfer between compact products that cannot accommodate traditional, bulky XLR connections.

The full benefit of the ZEN DAC Signature V2’s balanced circuit design can be heard when connected to an amp or active speakers equipped with a balanced input. This can be

Crucial combo.​

The ZEN DAC Signature V2 works well with both the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX and the new ZEN CAN Signature HFM model.

These products can be bought separately or as special ZEN Signature Sets, either 6XX or HFM. The sets include a high-performance 4.4mm Pentaconn cable to connect the units together.

When used together, the two ZEN Signatures make a fantastic, desktop-sized headphone system for both digital and analogue sources, further extending the reputation of iFi’s ZEN Signature Series for delivering exceptional performance and versatility at remarkable prices.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/zen-can-signature-hfm/

Your own personal Signature

Love your HIFIMAN headphones? Then the ZEN CAN Signature HFM analogue headphone amplifier with ActivEQ is for you

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Finely tuned.​


The original ZEN CAN, our all-analogue headphone amplifier, had the ability to drive tough headphone loads with a balanced circuit design, vanishingly low levels of distortion and exceptional sonics. The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX pushed this design even further with sonic tailoring specific to the ‘MassDrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX headphone’.
Now, we’ve finely tuned a brand new ZEN CAN Signature to work with HIFIMANheadphones – the ZEN CAN Signature HFM.

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iFi’s ActivEQ​

Our ActivEQ feature combines active and passive components to create a specific EQ curve to suit a particular pair of headphones. This is performed in the analogue domain without adding any additional noise or distortion.

The ZEN CAN Signature HFM features an ActivEQ finely tuned towards HIFIMAN’s planar headphones.

HIFIMAN headphones offer remarkable transparency and present wide-open sound staging. The ZEN CAN Signature HFM enhances the texture of the deep bass and injects more immediacy into the upper mid-range.

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One EQ. Many models.​

Pressing the HFM button on the ZEN CAN Signature HFM calibrates its signal to complement the headphone’s response characteristics right across the frequency range. This then tunes its performance to work with HIFIMAN headphones.

Excellent results are found with the Sundara, HE-4XX, HE-400S, Edition X, HE-5 headphones to name but a few. Take a look at our HIFIMAN Curve and Compatibility chart.
As with our previous ZEN CAN Signature model, this feature can be switched on or off. Without ActivEQ engaged, the ZEN CAN Signature HFM’s performance is cleverly balanced to bring out the best in all other headphones and in-ear monitors.

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Nothing beats Balanced​

The ZEN CAN Signature HFM’s circuitry is a balanced, symmetrical dual-mono design – a topology usually reserved for high-end headphone amps – with a number of key elements trickled down from the discrete Class A circuitry developed for iFi’s flagship headphone amplifier, the Pro iCAN.

Key components have been upgraded to enhance performance in line with the improvements made to the ZEN CAN Signature HFM, including the use of Panasonic OS-CON and Elna Silmic II capacitors.

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Cracking combo​

The ZEN CAN Signature HFM can be combined with the new ZEN DAC Signature V2.

You can buy each unit separately and a ‘ZEN Signature HFM Set’ is also available. This includes both ZEN Signature units plus a high-performance 4.4mm Pentaconn cable(worth £69 when purchased separately) to connect them together.

When used together, the two ZEN Signatures make an unbeatable, desktop-sized headphone system for both digital and analogue listening.

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Aug 20, 2021 at 1:31 PM Post #5 of 115

omegaorgun

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What's the power difference between these and the Zen DAC?

Also can you make a bigger version or alternative to the all-in-one Zen DAC? with XLR's, and about 3000-4000mw @32 ohm in the $300-400 range?.
 
Aug 20, 2021 at 2:59 PM Post #6 of 115

erics75

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Though I appreciate iFi's innovation, I am bothered by the short product life cycles. Seems like every time I turn around, there's a new iFi product or revision being announced. It's a frustrating frustration, as I do applaud the way they push for improvement in their products. But at the same time I'm always thinking why buy any of their new products when V2 or V3 is likely hours away. I exaggerate, but you get the idea. Plus it destroys the products resale value, which is important to me, as I do like to try new stuff, but don't want to lose 50%+ in doing so.

PS I really want to see a new Pro Ican with more tube types and a bigger difference between the solid state and tube circuits. I always felt the tube plus mode was still very solid state like, just warmer.
 
Aug 20, 2021 at 4:41 PM Post #8 of 115

Alcophone

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Looks pretty nice, unfortunately the deal breaker for me is usb input only otherwise I would grabbed this ASAP!
Yeah, with more and more DACs being USB only we need to start seeing some SPDIF to USB converters (with low latency), HDMI audio extractors with USB out, and USB/other digital audio switches (multiple inputs, single USB out). Until that is covered USB DACs are simply useless for a wide range of use cases.
 
Aug 20, 2021 at 4:55 PM Post #9 of 115

vonspanky

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If the previous zen dac v1 to v2 upgrade is anything to go by I doubt that there will be a huge leap in performance for existing v1 owners.
Also with the v2 dac + can signature combo price pushing into idsd signature territory, the value proposition is not clear to me.
 
Aug 20, 2021 at 5:07 PM Post #12 of 115

Alcophone

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If the previous zen dac v1 to v2 upgrade is anything to go by I doubt that there will be a huge leap in performance for existing v1 owners.
Also with the v2 dac + can signature combo price pushing into idsd signature territory, the value proposition is not clear to me.
I'm only interested in the DAC, the Signature V1 does sound much nicer than the AK4490 module in my Jotunheim 1. On my desk I use USB anyway, so that limitation is acceptable.

Because of the non-standard balanced connectors that aspect has to be taken into account price wise, and the official 4.4mm to XLR cable from iFi is definitely on the pricy side at $99, but this one for $21.80 seems to do the job as well (I have yet to properly compare them, but when I briefly tested it, it worked just fine). So a balanced Burr Brown DAC + cable for $300-ish bucks, that's a good value in my book.
 
Aug 20, 2021 at 7:37 PM Post #13 of 115

Deleeh

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What I'm wondering is why not release a Zen can that has a small hard drive built in where you can then adjust the different Eq presets to the headphones with an app?
That might be another way to still have a manageable selection.
At some point you have 10 Zen can versions that are only matched to certain headphones.
Should actually be possible and feasible, I think.
 
Aug 20, 2021 at 9:56 PM Post #14 of 115

Mr BubbaHyde

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Just when I thought I was done putting stuff in my new listening station! Zen Dac V2 Sig, on the Way!
 
Aug 20, 2021 at 10:32 PM Post #15 of 115

Mr BubbaHyde

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Guess I'll return the puny V1 I just bought!
If this thing had a TOSLINK input I'd consider it for another system as well.
Naw don't do that bro! The V1 still rocks, I honestly have about 12 dac's I cant tell you how many times the Zen dac gets shuffled out and everytime it comes back for something I say, umm why did I move this?? :joy: :joy: :joy:

Cheers!!
 

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