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iFi Audio Micro iTube2 Buffer

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by gr8soundz, Dec 13, 2016.
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  1. gr8soundz
    original silver iTube and space gray iTube2:
    DoctaCosmos likes this.
  2. Topspin70
    Excellent. Love the fact that it's not regular silver. Wallet is on standby. But wondering what to expect from the different tube modes.
  3. iFi audio
    As per usual, magic [​IMG]
    Once the time is right (rather soon), we'll reveal more infos. Stay tuned!
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  4. gr8soundz
    Photo by @ExpatinJapan from the Tokyo E-earphone show:
    Easy to see the iTube2's (on top) space gray compared to the silver iCan SE and iDSD Black Label in the iFi stack:
    Bansaku likes this.
  5. loplop
    Would you consider the new tube modes a replacement for "Digital Antidote" or something different, entirely?    I suspect the latter based upon the ad copy.  Sounds like something that somewhat mimics the JFET/Tube/Tube-no-NFB in the iCan Pro.
    With apple switching from Space Gray to matte black (like the iDSD BL), will you be switching to black next year to match the BL, or is space gray the new Micro line color?
  6. kaushama

    Perhaps Space grey for normal versions and BLACK for special editions!!!
  7. Beolab
    Great news!

    Had the previus iTube, and was not overly convinced with the "artificial" sound and did not think it sounded any "tubey" at all, but the new iTube2 sounds very promising i hope!

    Will place an order on it as soon it is relesed!
  8. loplop
    That would be nice, everyone likes a special edition :)
  9. iFi audio
    It depends on a product family, but yes, it's safe to say that black is very special colour to us.
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  10. iFi audio
    X-Bass is an active circuit which can't operate without an active element. The iTube 2 substantially improves the SNR and THD over the older model:
    1. SNR - 119dB(A) @ 2V for iTube 2 vs. 111dB(A) @ 2V for original iTube
    2. THD - 0.009% @ 2V/600Ohm for iTube 2 vs. 0.05% @ 2V/600Ohm for original iTube
    In buffer mode and "Tube" setting (no gain, no volume control) you get X-Bass and vanishing low distortion and noise. 
    This circuit is actually about 90% of a single-ended version of the iCAN Pro preamp output. 
    And no, it is not designed to drive headphones, though it can drive 300 and 600 ohm loads to high levels.
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  11. synapse09
    @iFi audio any official announcement on when these will be available?
  12. Beolab

    So in other words there is a Yes to that you can disable the volume control and use the Xbass+ then ? , that is very good news , and an option i wish had been implemented in the iDSD micro B L when connected to an external amp that is driving my headphones
  13. iFi audio
    Today we have a story for you all. It's about 'em tubes. Yes, again. But please bare with us, this tale really is special. You'll see soon enough...
    The (5670) electron valve. It matters. - Part 1/3
    Every audio aficionado likes 'em Electron Valves and for a number of reasons. The two most obvious ones are their influence on the sound itself and highly appealing aesthetics. Some of you might dislike the look of glowing glass and since this matter is highly subjective one, we won't focus on it. The rest though, well, that's a completely different story.
    Our latest headphone amplifier - the Pro iCan - is loaded with a pair of GE5670 JAN double triodes. OK, there's a ton of valves out there. Therefore this question is in order: why we use this one specific type from this specific manufacturer? Now that's a story to be told. Here we go then.
    Behold the WE396A double triode by Western Electric. These small critters were introduced in 1946 and shortly replaced by their 6922 variants. The former is the pinnacle, almost unfindable these days. The scenario isn't that grimm when it comes to the latter type. But as it turned out, there is one sonically as good model and made to very strict specifications - the GE JAN 5670 NOS type. It was under the radar of the audiophiles' scope for many years.
    GE stands for General Electric manufacturer, which is self-explanatory. Said company was responsible for Electron Valves production for decades and is well-known for the quality of its products.

    Moving on, JAN is the service branch of the US Armed forces and said three letters stand for Joint Army & Navy. Electron Valves marked as JAN were made for the Army/Navy (the airforce had to have their own naturally) and had to pass the most rigorous testing procedures at that time.

    The Russian parallel system was OTK, which means "Отдел технического контроля" or technical control department. Even the Russian system was very decent as one does not wish for Mach 3 Jet Fighters at 100 million ruble a pop to be falling out of the sky on account of poor Electron Valves. This translated into modern money would be ~350 Million USD - the same as the F-22 Raptor today! And yes, it used Electron Valves for a lot of critical electronics.
    It packed a targeting Radar so powerful it was a crime to even turn it on except in combat or exercise. It would kill small mammals at several 100 feet (microwaved to death). 
    Side Note: The Mig-25 Foxbat (a Mach 3+ jetfighter that scared the poop out the USAF at the time and inspired the Clint Eastwood film, ‘Firefox’ was no cheap junk (even if it was not as rad as the Firefox). 
    Germany/Europe never had an equivalent system, they got either JAN electron valves with US equipment (including export versions) or German Postal electron valves (CCa, C3g, D3a etc.) made in...Germany.

    The British Empire had (surprisingly) its own inter-service system for military electron valves, it came into force in 1941. The British generally used civilian electron valves (and later transistors) that were tested and certified for military use. British Military electron valves are identified by the letters CV (Common Valve) and a number.
    Generally JAN/OTK marked electron valves are more rugged, have very tight technical parameters and much less variation, yet are at the same time compatible with civilian types. German/European Postal electron valves in general were dedicated designs with the singular exception of the Cca and equally ruggedised. British and Chinese used selected (or not) civilian electron valves for military applications.
    Stay tuned, there's more...
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    Elecroestatico and rafaelpernil like this.
  14. DarktoreS
    rafaelpernil likes this.
  15. loplop
    Nice! Is the window on the side a tube viewing window? I wish! :)

    Can't wait to try one of these after my iDSD BL and iDAC2 > my iCAN Pro. iDSD Pro is going to have to be very good to beat that combo :)
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