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

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  1. youurayy
    Weird, neither of my 2 units have any hiss, and the standalone unit is able to more than satisfy my AudioZenith PMx2 planar-magnetics with gain set to middle position (not even max).

    The MQA is no biggie although I use Tidal, the sound is just great as it is (Master goes as 96kHz, pre-rendered (unfolded) in the Tidal app).

    Also I ended up using the Tube modes on all my units, all the time, loving it.
     
    Baten and audiocraze like this.
  2. CClose
    Read their response carefully. They are saying, IF you open the iDSD Pro, your warranty is voided. Even if you decide you can’t change the tubes, your warranty will be voided just by opening it.
     
  3. gordec
    I'm being sarcastic. BTW, Pro iDSD is one of the best sounding DACs in the $2000-$3000 range. So it does what it suppose to do very well.
     
  4. audiocraze
    Still on the hunt, I guess that’s the name of the audiophile game.. For now I’m using the built-in dac of my headphone amp. It’s an old mcintosh mha100. I compared Chord Hugo 2 to the built in dac but could not hear any difference of significance. So I think the only significant difference will be to try an MQA dac as I do most of my listenting over Tidal/Roon. I will try Lumin D2 or one of the Myteks. Onwards and upwards.
     
    CClose likes this.
  5. gordec
    The MHA100 actually is a great one box solution. I also felt it’s on par with Qutest -> MHA100 vs all MHA100.
     
    audiocraze likes this.
  6. audiocraze
    I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun. Indeed the idsd pro can sound very intriguing. I enjoyed it for one month and even found the “best of 45 options”. Regarding the hiss: the headphones you are using are 32ohm, very low impedance. I use 200ohm LCD4’s. If you use these or a Hifiman 1k or similar you need more steam. So I hooked it up on my mcintosh headphone amp, and there, at 60% volume and above, at high gain and 150-600ohm setting, the ifi hisses. This is putting 3 watts into my LCD4 at 100%. Needless to say that I tried other DACs and the internal dac , those start hissing at 90% and above. The hiss is louder when bit perfect mode is used and tube/tube+. As soon as you switch to any of the filters the hiss reduces. Must be the HF roll off of the filters. Chord H2 does not hiss, regardless of filter. But, if the pro idsd signal is not amplified very much, you won’t hear it. That’s cool, enjoy the music :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    CClose likes this.
  7. CClose
    Thanks. I also do most of my listening from Roon/Tidal. I currently have an Oppo Sonica DAC. I’m wanting to upgrade. The Pro iDSD looked promising, since it supported (*cough*) MQA. It’s off the list now. Hugo 2, Hugo TT 2 (ouch $) and Mytek Brooklyn + are on my short list. I’m still not sure MQA is a must-have for me, since Roon does the first unfold. I wish I could try them out in my system, or even hear them at a dealer. Not many dealers in North Texas carry mid/high end DACs. Damn this hobby.
     
    audiocraze likes this.
  8. audiocraze
    Damn that upgrade fever :) I know what you’re talking about. I’d suggest to go to one of the hifi events or find a dealer that has a 30 day change of mind policy. Audio is like a good wine or whiskey. You need time to appreciate it. And what wows you today might not after 30 days. I try to get an item either 20-30% below rrp so I can sell it on with little / no loss, or have a refund option. The ifi was available at 2k euros (rrp is 2.8k I think) from an authorised dealer, with full warranty, new.. he even asked me if I have friends who want to buy at that price. So you can make your own calculations what the margin is on these :) funnily enough, when I asked for a refund, he refused. I guess it is hard to sell these even at 25% discount.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  9. youurayy
    If that is so, it makes one wonder -- how do those super-hard-to-drive headphones justify themselves as compared to e.g. Utopia or PMx2 which are easy to drive _and_ sound superior?

    ps. were you able to drive those HP's with H2 ?
     
  10. audiocraze
    It’s just a different “fit”, harder to drive does not mean necessarily better. But the amp needs to fit, and some top end headphones ask for more power. Some amps can handle it. I’m not saying the pro idsd should rival a mcintosh amp in power. My point was that ifi has a micro idsd dac/amp, that is 20% of the cost of the “pro” idsd dac-amp, and still the micro is more powerful. That does not make sense, unless you deliberately decided to protect the pro ican. The H2 was louder for sure.
     
  11. iFi audio
    We're saying that you can, but that voids warranty, is tricky and in our humble opinion you really have to spend $$$ to net any audible improvement.

    But if you still want to pursue this road, we'll help you out in explaining how to open the product.
     
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
  12. iFi audio
    Pretty much this, opening the product regardless of tube rolling done or not, still voids warranty, yes.
     
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
  13. iFi audio
    Also folks, the second biggest audio event in Europe and one of the biggest in general - Poland's Audio Video Show - starts in 9 days.

    And we'll be there!

    AVS.png
    • Where: Warsaw (Poland)
    • Where exactly: The PGE Narodowy stadium, 1st floor
    • When: November 16-18, 2018
    If you're there, please visit us!
     
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
  14. iFi audio
    Folks...
    Pro iDSD & MQA
    Some of the best things in life are worth waiting for.

    1.png

    The Pro iDSD Firmware Version2.0 (Beta) is a ground-up complete re-write which totally replaced large chunks of XMOS code with all-new, in-house code, to reduce resource usage without losing functionality.

    We wanted the best features for the Pro iDSD, including the full MQA decoder.

    2.gif

    To make room for the full MQA decoder, the entire audio subsystem was streamlined, optimised and pared down in resource use WITHOUT affecting functionality. The MQA team also worked to maximise the efficiency of their code with hand-written assembler optimisations.

    That also meant redoing USB Audio, S/PDIF Audio, I2S Audio (for Wifi Module).

    The full source code package for the Pro iDSD is around 75 million characters.

    The Encyclopedia Britannica is ‘only’ 43million so just over half as ‘thin.’

    3.jpg

    In addition to the code re-work, we realized from earlier releases, that there was also room for improved usability (it is a very complex product), so we stepped up the testing. This additional testing increased time between iterations. As you modify the firmware > you debug > you do limited testing (usually a few rounds in the loop) > you go to formal testing > you list the bugs and go back to the beginning. You get the gist.

    We appreciate everyone’s patience but it took as long as it did because we want the product to be the best it can be.

    The result? Pro iDSD Firmware Version 2.0 (Beta), to our ears, sounds amazing.

    And yep, this is a Beta version. We thought you guys had waited long enough. Tell us what you think.

    How to get this FW:
    Where to report bugs?
    • Please report these via our Support Ticket Platform
    Additionally, down below you'll find two handy tutorial videos on how to enable MQA on your Pro iDSD in Tidal:

    Setup via S/PDIF:



    Setup via USB:





     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
    doggiehowser likes this.
  15. audiocraze
    Great news. I noticed that the videos only show Bit Perfect playback. Are there any restrictions regarding use of filters? Can you explain if dsd conversion and / or digital filters can be used when MQA files are played? Eg can an unfolded MQA file with 384Khz be played back with GTO filter plus DSD1024 conversion?
     
    Baten likes this.
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