iFi audio Pro iDSD (Official) - NEW Firmware - MQA and more.
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Folks...

IFA 2018
...it's almost here!

IFA_Logo_2018.jpg
  • When?
The 31st Aug - 5 Sept 2018!
  • The place?
Berlin!
  • Where exactly?
Hall 1.2, stand 206, WOD Audio (iFi's German distributor)

You'll have a chance to preview our EISA award winner - xDSD! Our two lovely girls - Victoria and Sarah - will be there supported by Thorsten Loesch himself.

If you'll attend, please visit us!
 

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webmi

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The manual says 4.6V vs. 11.2V, jeah, but i dont know what that exactly means from a technical standpoint, since i cant hear any difference in volume (variable mode), what i would have may be expected.

I was hoping for a more in depth explanation other than what i already can read in the manual. For example i wonder if i can damage the iCAN by using the higher voltage.

Anyway, i will stay with Hifi, thanks.
 
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flyte3333

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The manual says 4.6V vs. 11.2V, jeah, but i dont know what that exactly means from a technical standpoint, since i cant hear any difference in volume (variable mode), what i would have may be expected.
Can you hear a difference in volumes with "fixed" modes? HiFi vs Pro?
 
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PRO mode would be for very long cable or to equipment that requires a higher voltage. You absolutely wouldn't want to use it in a home setting. The only time it would "sound different" is if you overloaded a downstream component and it started clipping.
 
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Very long cables, that makes perfectly sense to me, thanks, i am fine with that as a explanation for what it is good for.

May be ifi can say something about the volume control on win/osx not working i discussed a page earlier. I mean, MacBookPro with touchbar volume control not working on the iDSD Pro is not that great.
Is it intended like that, do i (we) have to live with it like that or do you consider to change this behavior with the next update?
 
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Very long cables, that makes perfectly sense to me, thanks, i am fine with that as a explanation for what it is good for.

May be ifi can say something about the volume control on win/osx not working i discussed a page earlier. I mean, MacBookPro with touchbar volume control not working on the iDSD Pro is not that great.
Is it intended like that, do i (we) have to live with it like that or do you consider to change this behavior with the next update?
I think this requires understanding what exactly is involved when it comes to computer-based volume control. The Pro iDSD uses a regular, physical volume control. Your computer can't control that. For a computer to control the volume of a USB-connected sound card (which is, in essence, what any USB-connected DAC is), either one of two things must occur:

1. The computer digitally reduces the volume via software. This has nothing to do with the DAC at all, but the operating system using its own, often poor-to-average-quality built-in software.
2. The DAC has the ability to digitally reduce the volume via USB. That would mean that the DAC has some means to do this, ranging from poor to excellent, via internal software. I don't know in detail how DAC-internal digital volume controls are set up, but I'm guessing they are built in to USB receiver chips.

So this is a long explanation of: The Pro iDSD doesn't have digital volume, so computer-based volume control isn't going to happen. You could buy Audirvana Plus instead to manage your music, as it has a high-quality digital volume control, and it can read your iTunes playlists.
 
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webmi

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First of all, i want to thank you for you taking the time to discuss this with me, for you taking the time trying to explain this to me. I was watching your videos on YT while i was waiting for my iDSD Pro and iCAN Pro to arrive. :smile:

I can control the volume in Tidal itself, which is the source i am using. I am used to use the FN+VolUp (VolDown) control keys on my keyboard (or touchbar volume on the MAC) for fast volume access when i am using the PC/MAC. In the past i have used and tested many USB DACs. Long time user of the OPPO HA-1, tried the RME ADI-2-DAC only 3 weeks ago and many other USB DACs in the past. Every USB DAC so far was able to control volume digital by using FN+Vol keys (or touchbar). Even the iDSD Black Label was able to control the volume digital, if i remember right.

I am getting what you are saying, even if i dont know how in detail it works either. I only want to know (from ifi itself) if how it works on the iDSD Pro is how it should work, since it is the first USB DAC i ever used, which cant digital control the volume. The iDSD is a very young product, a product which will getting future updates (MQA Renderer for example) and the only thing i wonder is, if the iDSD may be will be able to control volume digital, like i am (we all i guess) are used to in the future by updating the firmware. Its more of a "here, i found this not working like i am used to, can you tell me, if you can address this in your next update, or is this how things for me as a iDSD user from now on?" :grin:

I am new here and i already feel bad for be that annoyingly with this mater.

Little Update on the Stack/Rack:


 
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May be ifi can say something about the volume control on win/osx not working i discussed a page earlier.
Pro iDSD's volume control is analogue and implemented in hardware. It does not respond to "HID" commands via USB or the OS volume control.

The reason is that USB lacks a reliable feedback system, namely it's not possible to manually turn the knob and have the slider follow. Note that the limitation is one fundamentally of the USB audio standard, which simply lacks a method to send information about the physical position of the volume control knob back to the host.

This means that there will be a potential conflict between the physical volume control on the iDSD and the OS volume control. In some cases other manufacturers had conflicts arising that resulted in the volume control being set unitentionally to maximum by the OS (we're talking about a cursing customer ripping his headphones off or IEMs out and some blown up).

All iFi products use analogue volume controls because of sound related reasons (pun intended).
 
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flyte3333

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Question for those using the Pro iCan and Pro iDSD stack.

Assume the following settings:

- 0dB gain on both
- HiFi Fixed RCA output on Pro iDSD
- unbalanced RCA interconnects and
- single ended 6.3mm HP output.

If I can listen to a song at 12 oclock knob position with Pro iDSD alone, when I add Pro iCAN should 12 o’clock knob position on iCan be the same volume? Same source and song obviously.

In a recent demo 12 oclock was great with Pro iDSD but 9 o’clock was way to loud when Pro iCAN was added.

Looking for experiences from others using the stack that have or could test this out.

Many thanks in advance .
 
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Fatdoi

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Question for those using the Pro iCan and Pro iDSD stack.

Assume the following settings:

- 0dB gain on both
- HiFi Fixed RCA output on Pro iDSD
- unbalanced RCA interconnects and
- single ended 6.3mm HP output.

If I can listen to a song at 12 oclock knob position with Pro iDSD alone, when I add Pro iCAN should 12 o’clock knob position on iCan be the same volume? Same source and song obviously.

In a recent demo 12 oclock was great with Pro iDSD but 9 o’clock was way to loud when Pro iCAN was added.

Looking for experiences from others using the stack that have or could test this out.

Many thanks in advance .
Both units use the same 15V/4A brick with same 22-50W consumption, but iCan pro vs iDSD SE @ 16ohm 4.8W vs 1.5W that's huge difference in power allocation...
If iDSD has same output power to iCan who needs to buy the power amp? That's bad bad business strategy...
 
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flyte3333

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Both units use the same 15V/4A brick with same 22-50W consumption, but iCan pro vs iDSD SE @ 16ohm 4.8W vs 1.5W that's huge difference in power allocation...
Noted, but that's different to what I'm asking.

I'm asking about the volume levels when the volume knobs are the same and with the following settings:
- 0dB gain on both
- HiFi Fixed RCA output on Pro iDSD
- unbalanced RCA interconnects and
- single ended 6.3mm HP output.

So mine is more a question about gain, than the power available on tap.

Appreciate any feedback from current stack owners.

Btw: don't read too much into both units having the same 15V/4A SMPS brick... that single brick is meant to be able to drive both units via the DC loop feature that both Pro iCAN and Pro iDSD have... That's where you will get max. power consumption...
 
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I just used a cable I had which has regular DC plugs on either end. It's not particularly special.
Currawong, did you buy the cable or did you solder it? Could you throw me a shop link or what to google for, if possible. Thanks.
 
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Both units use the same 15V/4A brick with same 22-50W consumption, but iCan pro vs iDSD SE @ 16ohm 4.8W vs 1.5W that's huge difference in power allocation...
If iDSD has same output power to iCan who needs to buy the power amp? That's bad bad business strategy...
It's not about power only, the topology itself is important too. Pro iCan is a proper standalone top of the line amp whereas in Pro iDSD there's no regular amp, its headphone circuitry is based on a line driver. Because it's powerful enough to handle even demanding headphones and more than suitable for the headphone job in general, it's finished with headphone outputs. In many cases it'll do what it's meant to do perfectly fine. But in order to hear whether there's any benefit with headphones as high tier as Utopias, one would have to try it with Pro iCan first.
*ah ok you probably meant "If DSD *had* the same output..."
 
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Currawong, did you buy the cable or did you solder it? Could you throw me a shop link or what to google for, if possible. Thanks.
It came with another product, so I re-purposed it. If I need to make a longer one, I just buy the plugs and solder them with whatever cable I have to hand that is suitable, or if I have a dead wall-wart that terminates with that plug, I cut the wire off and solder a plug to the other end.
 
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@iFi audio is there a Windows ASIO driver for Pro iDSD, for native DSD512 support over USB? (HQPlayer).

And Linux native DSD512 support?
 
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