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

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  1. doggiehowser
    I don't have the Hugo2TT - but I had access to the DAVE and if it is one limitation of the Chord DACs - it is that it is dependent on an external transport/computer to provide it with music.

    On an optimized CAPS type device, the DAVE is simply sublime. Better than my DirectStream on USB with same computer. But once I use the Bridge II, that gap closes immensely. This was on Yale OS (on the DS DAC). The newest RedCloud OS is noticeably better than Yale but I haven't done the comparison against the DAVE (nor have I tested the MScalar upgrades).

    I reckon it is because the network streaming is just much less prone to electrical/RF noise. The network streaming part of Pro iDSD is the same - IMHO I'd have to do a lot of optimization on my PC to get the USB to sound as good.

    Also AirPlay vs DLNA - not even close. I suspect Chromecast Audio would be the same as Airplay. I have tested Airplay on the Chord Poly vs DLNA vs Roon. DLNA was superior to the other two. Roon came second and AirPlay was a distant third. Ditto with Airplay vs DLNA on something like the Naim Uniti Atom (which I used as a streamer)
     
  2. flyte3333
    Actually Airplay re-samples everything to 48kHz. Chromecast Audio is capable of 96kHz bit perfect playback (e.g. streaming 24/96 from the native Qobuz app).

    And Chromecast works more like UPnP than Airplay, in terms of clocking.

    Really hope iFi Audio is able to support Chromecast audio but I'm not sure if it has the hardware component to support this.

    Chromecast support would automatically make it a Roon endpoint and for those not using Roon an endpoint for ALL the native apps of Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Google Music, Amazon Music, Soundcloud, Deezer - all other than Apple Music for now.

    Chromecast support is easily the best 'umbrella' solution at the moment due to it's wide native app support and bit perfect playback capability. Chromecast support and Airplay support literally covers all the native apps for all music streaming services.

    The Roon guys have said Chromecast is significantly better than UPnP which is why they've chosen to support Chromecast.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
  3. iFi audio
    This happened several days ago, enjoy!

     
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    flyte3333 likes this.
  4. iFi audio
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  5. iFi audio
    iFi audio - The GTO filter
    Part 2/4 - Introducing the iFi GTO™ Digital Filter

    1.png
    • ALL DIGITAL FILTERS FOR AUDIO ARE WRONG.
    • ALL OF THEM, INCLUDING THE 'NO FILTER' OPTION.
    • THIS IS WHY WE NEED YET ANOTHER FILTER!
    All digital filters (including no filter) differ in how they are wrong and how this influences objective measured performance as well as subjective listening performance with music and indeed, specific types of music. All digital filters add specific distortion signatures in either time vs. amplitude domain or frequency vs. amplitude domain. These distortions become all the more relevant the lower the sample rate. So, the most abundant digital music source -CD quality - is most impacted with greater possible audible consequences than High-Res content.

    Wherever there is a difference, there is also a preference. Subjective listening preference may be informed by a range of factors including a learned or acquired response to recorded sound (e.g. what sounds ‘right’ or ‘hifi’ is not what sounds natural in comparison to a live performance), including direct referencing acoustic music performances.

    2.png

    However, with sufficient data from extensive listening tests and some inductive thinking, one should be able to propose and implement a digital filter that offers substantial improvements in removing ultrasonic noise over the ‘no filter’ (non-oversampling) case while avoiding as much as possible erring too far in the other direction with excessive and audible ringing.

    So here it is - the ever so musical iFi GTO™ Digital Filter in the Pro iDSD which is the first ever seen in any DAC. In due course, technological hurdles permitting, we will try to implement it as a firmware upgrade for just about all[1] iFi audio digital products.

    What is the iFi GTO™ Digital Filter?

    The Gibbs Transient Optimised filter (GTO) is named after the ‘Gibbs phenomenon[2]’ in mathematics.

    Wikipedia referred to the Gibbs phenomenon as “the peculiar manner in which the Fourier series of a piecewise continuously differentiable periodic function behaves at a jump discontinuity. The nth partial sum of the Fourier series has large oscillations near the jump, which might increase the maximum of the partial sum above that of the function itself. The overshoot does not die out as n increases, but approaches a finite limit.”

    Most crucially, this is one cause of ringing artefacts’ in signal processing which the GTO addresses.

    Way back in May 2011, the parent company of iFi audio, AMR, pioneered an earlier version of this filter in the DP-777 digital processor where it was available as an ‘Organic’ filter. Since 2011, more time has been invested into producing a filter that offered both better compatibility and technical performance than non-oversampling, while delivering a transient optimised performance that differs as little from non-oversampling as possible, delivering the new GTO™ filter.

    3.jpg 4.jpg
    Non-oversampling Transient response vs Organic- Digital Filter AMR DP-777

    No doubt there will be extended debate if our GTO™ digital filter offers the right trade-off, compared to others. To us the two key qualities we sought was to shape of the unavoidable transient or time domain distortion so that is free of any ‘pre-ringing’ and that completes its impulse response within a fraction of the Haas (precedence effect) window; to remain in effect, inaudible to the human ear.

    What we really refer to when we are talking about ringing in digital filters is actually a form of ‘Echo’ or ‘Reverb’ where, in addition to the actual transient time-shifted lower amplitude, copies of the impulse are generated using delay lines (see also the transients and digital filters section later on).

    The human hearing itself is subject to an inherent transient post (impulse) ringing that completely decays within around 0.7mS[3] (see also the transients and the human hearing section later on).

    The GTO filter’s transient post-ringing decays completely within 0.72mS for a 44.kHz source, ensuring that the unavoidable blurring of the transient response cannot be heard, but is integrated by the human hearing into the original transient.

    This is in stark contrast to some alternative filter concepts. For example, the ‘Transient Aligned’ filter seeks a maximum number of taps, leading to an impulse response that falls well outside the Haas window. ie. its ‘ringing’ is very audible, in part because there is a pre-ringing (or pre-echo) present and in part through the sheer length of the delay line used.

    For example, the 16k tap Transient Aligned filter in the Pro iDSD has an impulse response with equal pre- and post-ringing trail of around 186mS @ 44.1kHz sample rates, or a total 386mS worth of ringing. This is certainly sufficient time delay to be perceived as reverb. Using an even larger number of taps lengthens this impulse response even more.

    5.png 6.jpg
    Transient Aligned Digital Filter Transient response vs GTO™ Digital Filter iFi iDSD Pro

    It may be of course, that some will prefer the sound of a very long filter, with large amounts of ringing/reverb/echo as the result is often perceived as extra added spaciousness, however, to anyone seeking to be close to the original musical performance such additives are usually unwanted.

    In the end, with the iFi GTO filter, by keeping the filter short and without pre-ringing, the filter response is inaudible because it is masked by the limits of the human hearing system. At the same time this filter still permits significant attenuation of unwanted ultrasonic images, compared to non-oversampling and also other attempts at “low tap number digital filter”.

    Analogy: if a 20million mega pixel camera was used to take a picture of a straight line, the naked eye would see only a straight line. As the resolution is ‘beyond’ that of the human eye, any ultra-fine imperfections are not ‘seen’. This is the same as with the GTO filter with human hearing.

    If the GTO™ digital filter is so ‘perfect’, why include the other filters with the Pro iDSD? As remarked before, individual listeners may have different listening preferences and rather than imposing one option, even if we feel this option is not the best, we prefer to leave the choice down to the individual.

    1) The original iDAC micro cannot receive this upgrade
    2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbs_phenomenon
    3) “Response of the human tympanic membrane to transient acoustic and mechanical stimuli: Preliminary results” Payam Razavi, Michael E. Ravicz et al - Hear Res. 2016 Oct; 340: 15–24.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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    youurayy likes this.
  6. iFi audio
    Folks, the 5.3C Firmware is ALIVE!

    It does two things:
    • Minor bug fixes and optimisations
    • Adds Gibbs Transient Optimised Digital (GTO) Filter
      (This replaces the Minimum Phase Filter.)
    Please take a looky here:

    https://ifi-audio.com/downloads/
     
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  7. ItsAllInMyHead
    @iFi audio - Kudos. I admit it's a bit over my head, but I can't wait to hear how it sounds. Thanks for making this available to those that don't have the Pro (yet).

    [Edited - Went to DL page... Available In October for Mac Users]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  8. erpguru
    I find the firmware download a little confusing for the DSDpro, as the download link provided above for firmware 5.3C, is not showing the DSD pro as a model supported by the firmware - is there a seperate download for the DSD pro, or do all units share the same firmware? Or is this (as I assume it is) a general announcement of firmware not specific to the DSD pro since it already has the GTO filter?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  9. flyte3333
    Hi @iFi audio

    There's still no mention of the Pro iDSD on the downloads page...

    Is this firmware update applicable to Pro iDSD?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  10. gordec
    No Pro iDSD listed.
     
  11. webmi
    Cant find 5.3C for Pro iDSD?!?

    [​IMG]

    I could be wrong, but i think the Pro iDSD already has GTO Filter, hasnt it? I think i can remember already using it... :p

    PPCM Filters:
    - Bitperfect 44.1 – 192kHz, always used for 352.8 – 768kHz
    - Bitperfect + 44.1 – 96kHz
    - Gibbs Transient Optimised 44.1 – 384kHz
    - Apodising 44.1 – 384kHz
    - Transient Aligned 44.1 – 384kHz

    At least your product page (and the Pro iDSD Manual Ver1.2) says so :wink:

    I dont think so :alien:
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  12. iFi audio
    Folks, apologies for confusion. Pro iDSD isn't listed simply because it's loaded with our GTO filter already for weeks. The 5.3C update delivers GTO to the rest of our products.
     
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  13. iFi audio
    Yes, this in 100%!
     
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  14. Currawong Contributor
    A bandwidth-limited signal (ie: music) does not ring. An impulse response is not bandwidth limited and doesn't exist in music. The Gibbs phenomenon is the result of all the out-of-bandwidth frequencies being passed through the filter.
     
  15. flyte3333
    I have installed 5.3C to my Pro iDSD after seeing your post about the firmware update here on this thread (not for the GTO addition obviously... but for the mentioned bug fixes...).

    It doesn't appear to be bricked fortunately.

    What do I do now? :triportsad:
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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