iFi Audio Pro iDSD discussion thread

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by jwahl, Jan 26, 2014.
  1. iFi audio
    In short, no.
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  2. Rich Brkich
    To interject here, do ask your iFi dealer if he accepts trade-ins. While there is no official trade-up program, there are dealers (l can speak for myself as a iFi dealer), that if a customer walks in the door (or calls, emails, whatever) with a iDSD BL or some other DAC (made by iFi Audio or not) and wants to trade it in towards a iDSD Pro, I/they will not turn the customer away. I know many dealers don't accept trade-ins these days, but there are a number who still do. Check with your iFi Audio dealer and see what they say. It does not hurt to ask. As long as the dollars and cents can work out to the satisfaction of the customer and dealer - you may have a easy way here to trade-up without having to sell your old DAC yourself.

    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  3. Roscoeiii
    Not to mention that iFi gear tends to sell quickly for a pretty decent price on the Headfi For Sale forums.
  4. iFi audio
    Yes, there's no official iFi audio trade-in program. But as Rich said, individual distributors/resellers might have their own thing of this sort going on, hence it surely doesn't hurt to ask.
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  5. iFi audio
    Preview – Pro series - part 4/5
    Jaw-dropping features - the story goes on...

    Full Galvanic Isolation

    All inputs are galvanically-isolated (including USB). As found in the AMR DP-777.

    The USB Input is self-powered and does not draw power from the USB bus, making it impervious to after-market add-ons or tuning accessories.


    Cutting-Edge SPDIF technology

    The SPDIF etc. inputs use the technology derived from the AMR DP-777, including a new, solid-state implementation of HD-VDi, memory buffer and the Global Master Timing® clock system:


    The SPDIF etc. inputs are not expected to benefit much from any kind of tweaking or tuning gizmos.

    External Clock options and Synchronisation

    For synchronization in recording studios the iDSD Pro supports AES3id based DARS (Digital Audio Reference Signal) as recommended in the Audio Egineering Society’s published AES11 standard. And if you happen to have a really good atomic clock (at least a Sanford Research Systems PERF10 should be used) this can be used as to further elevate the iDSD Pro over the internal clock system.


    Yes, this is hugely over-specified but the iFi flagship deserves it.

    Passive Filtering and Discrete Analogue stage

    The DACs operate ‘Voltage Output Mode,’ giving >119dB dynamic range. All filtering is passive, using a fully-balanced third order capacitor/inductor/capacitor filter, rather than active, feedback-based circuits, to remove ultrasonic noise. (Active filters struggle with the amount of ultrasonic noise and RFI they have to handle and at a few 100kHz they can lose the ability to filter noise at all, which is precisely where a lot of noise is present.)

    Using passive CLC filtering directly after the DAC means that the following analogue stage is not required to handle ultrasonic noise and RFI originating from the DAC process. Directly after the DAC and filter is the analogue domain volume control, which uses a six-track Alps Japan potentiometer. This can be bypassed for the line outs.


    The analogue stage is more precisely a line/headphone driver stage. Using Class A circuitry, it is fully-balanced, fully-discrete, direct-coupled (coupling capacitor less) and Tube/Solid-State user-selectable.

    Stay tuned, there's more!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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    Trogdor and EVOLVIST like this.
    Happy New Year...and thank you iFi!

    Is your numbering system off, though? It seems as if we already had Pt.2 and Pt.3, on our way to Pt.4, then we get another Pt.2 :)

    It's okay; I'll take it. :)
  7. iFi audio
    Oops! Our bad. Part four just went online.
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  8. Elawarai

    Happy New Year :)

    Maybe this question has ever been answered elsewhere but can we hope at least one digital output to benefit from iFi Audio's streamer and signal improvements on another DAC ? For a streamer unit, I believe that could be a good option !
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    Alcophone likes this.
  9. Sev Bordas
    Thank you @iFi audio for the update. I'm very much looking forward to an announcement of a release date for the iDSD Pro!

    One question: your 4/5 post above talks about clocks. Does the iDSD Pro use an OCXO clock?
  10. iFi audio
    1. Once we have the exact date set, this community will be the first one to know. We're almost there.

    2. Our Pro iDSD uses clocks crystal based upon the AMR clock system good enough to a point where to hear any improvement you'll need an external one of quality, i.e. that Sanford product we've discussed in our recent tech talk.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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    Sev Bordas likes this.
  11. iFi audio
    Folks, we were able to catch our Skin the skunk lady for a short iDSD Pro related Q&A session.


    Who knows? Maybe in the future she'll be able to give us even more insight about the product itself? In the meantime, here goes...

    • Us: People ask how we do USB galvanic isolation on the Pro. Is it the same as iGalvanic? A trickle-down perhaps?

    Skin: No, in the iDSD pro we operate very differently. We use a suitable isolation barrier between the digital (noisy) section with XMOS, WiFi/networking, the Chrysopeia FPGA and the DAC's / Reclocking / Clock. In essence, all noisy digital processing is confined to a blocked of "island" on it's own board and isolated from all audio circuitry.

    This parallels the way in which i.e. the JVC K2 system is implemented for playback and the isolation of the DAC from digital noise found in the legendary Marantz CD/DA-12 system featuring the TDA1541. All this is essentially trickle-down from the DP-777.

    The iGalvanic isolates the USB connection instead, so it is a less complete solution which can't isolate noise inside the DAC itself.

    • Us: And what clocks do we use?

    Skin: We use the same proprietary GMT clock system as originally developed for the AMR DP-777. Please see here to know more:


    • Us: Are there digital outputs on the Pro?

    Skin: No, what would be the point? This device was designed as a d/a converter above all else.

    • Us: What is the RJ-45 output for?

    Skin: It is not an output, it is a connection to your local area network (LAN). For reliable streaming, especially for high resolution audio wireless networking can be frustrating with dropouts and glitches.

    If streaming hi-res content from a NAS or a server on your home network, a hard-line network connection is preferred over WiFi.

    • Us: Does the iDSD Pro use an OCXO clock?

    Skin: No, baking a crystal merely reduces long term thermal drift (over periods of minutes to hours) which is inconsequential to audio playback. We employ a high quality miniaturized 10MHz discrete crystal (not canned oscillator) as timebase for our GMT clock system.

    The GMT clock system allows the clock frequency to be set with appx. 0.01ppm (parts per million) or better than 0.5Hz accuracy compared to the nominal 45/49MHz audio clock frequencies

    • Us: At this price and by your earlier comments about USB (and SPDIF) inputs being impervious to upstream tweaks & add ons, that the PRO iDSD contains ALL of the micro iUSB3.0 and iGalvanic3.0 and SPDIF iPurifier tech, all built in?

    Skin: Items like the iUSB or iG are "add-ons" for DAC's that due to cost constraints or other reasons benefit from such add-ons. But they are ideally avoided in the design stage if increased cost and complexity is not objectionable.

    If one designs from scratch, a DAC without having much in terms of constraints placed upon the design, it is possible to achieve equal or better performance by design.

    This is what has been done in the iDSD Pro. The solutions chosen are radically different from those used in iUSB 3.0 and iG 3.0 and are integrated in the design of the iDSD Pro much deeper than would have been the case by just adding the tech from other products.

    • Us: Skin, many thanks!

    Skin: Yup, anytime, but not too often as I have things to do!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  12. Roscoeiii
    Does the memory buffer mean that there will be a noticeable delay (audio & video being out of sync) for audio if this is being used in an AV setting? If so is it possible to turn off the memory buffer for those situations or for certain inputs?
  13. Roscoeiii
    Has a list of all the digital inputs been provided yet? I've seen various inputs mentioned here and there, but don't recall seeing a full list and didn't see one just now quickly scanning the updates from iFi.
  14. iFi audio
    Shortly we'll reveal this, stay tuned.
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  15. iFi audio
    The buffer size between DP-777 and iDSD Pro is similar; short enough to not cause any issues with lip-sync, long enough to make sure the programmable clock will be stable after adjustment.
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