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

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  1. webmi
    I use my iDSD Pro with a iCAN Pro and the tube subject is very interessting to me. I find the iCAN is much more detailed without the tube mode. So i am very interessted in changing tubes for better tube sound with my iDSD/iCAN.

    I briefly looked for the tubes mentioned. 2C51 JW etc., but it seems very hard to find a matched pair for me to order. Can someone provide a link for me, where i can order a tube upgrade for my iCAN? (May be i will order 2 sets and upgrade the iDSD aswell). Is there a shop anywhere in the world that got a matched pair of WE 396A Military in stock?

    Maybe i take a look for the iCAN thread (if there is any on head-fi) and also ask for a tube upgrade there?
  2. applesnowleo
    Depending on your system, and I reply regarding to my experiance with Ethernet. The Ethernet sound on my system has a more natural presentation, a bigger separation and made me invest a lot more on other components to get this almost perfect sound from my Pro iDSD in formats other than Airplay, and that's because I use Roon that is not supported by iFi directly on Ethernet.

    Airplay 2 Works like a dream over Ethernet, but the limited high resolution and sampling rates supported over Airplay created the need to aquire other componentes to use ROON.

    I Think Ethernet show's you more what Pro iDSD can give you, and is amazing what this type of connection with a cheap cable can offer you.

    I wish iFi would make Pro iDSD work by Ethernet with ROON RAAT, this decision would make the Pro iDSD one of the most amazing addon for any Roon user, and also make me not have to buy a lot of gear to use roon with the Pró iDSD, and use the money invested to aquire 2 more Pro IDSD to use in my home.

    After investing a lot in other high quality components to obtain a USB sound as good to what I can get with a simple Audioquest Ethernet cable, it's close, but not there.

    For me Ethernet makes you have the soul of the Pro iDSD, it's a vety simple, pratical and good final result, but the lack of direct support in ROON RAAT is something to have into account.

    Is easy to try, just connect an Ethernet cable to your Pro iDSD and listen to some good recordings.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    datasyd and gordec like this.
  3. Zowie1
    I have all my music on an external drive and I use iTunes for listening. What would be the best way for me to try the ethernet connection on Pro iDSD? Do I need anything else than just an ethernet cable (apps, devices etc.)?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    datasyd likes this.
  4. applesnowleo
    Hello, if you are using iTunes, try the Apple Airplay protocol.
  5. gordec
    Airplay works flawlessly with Pro iDSD.
  6. Zowie1
    Thanks! So I'll probably need an Apple TV for example in order to use the Airplay?
  7. gordec
    Itunes can do it. You don't need anything additional Make sure your PC/Mac is connected to ethernet.
  8. webmi
    Today, the iDSD Pro / ICAN Pro and the LCD-X got a visit. I quite like that visitor (Hifiman Arya) and think i keep it.


    Its interessting to explore the filters on the iDSD Pro on a different headphone. Quite some changes. I like apod filter on the audeze very much but not that much on the hifiman for example.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
    holzohr and gordec like this.
  9. gordec
    Love your desk.
  10. webmi
    thx brother


    Even if i can not listen balanced to the Arya right now, if i go tube or tube+ or tube on both iDSD and iCAN, the Arya likes it more.

    The LCD-X, while is not that resolving****, as the arya is, shows you a lot more. He shows you more what is lost by using tube mode instead of SS only.

    But i hope and guess in the same time, that with going balanced with the Arya as i am with the Audeze, it opens up a bit more too.

    **** The LCD-X (2018) maybe is a bit rolled of in the highs, at least compared to the Arya, wich kinna makes the Arya "more resolving".
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  11. Currawong Contributor
    I'd advise against equating treble strength with resolution. Listening to the level of detail in the mid-range, such as the detail audible from individual instrument notes on a high-quality recording, is more appropriate.

    It would also be a good idea to include what music brought about your impressions. A lot of music out there is simply not good enough for determining detail.

    Also, try listening for detail with the headphones plugged directly into the Pro iDSD, with the Transient Aligned filter engaged, and DSD off. That will give you the most detail, even if it not the most ideal for listening enjoyment.
  12. webmi
    You are right. I have to correct this.

    The Hifiman IS more resolving. At first I was not sure if it just because the Arya is a little brighter. But i listened a lot yesterday and i have to say, the LCD-X is for sure not there in terms of Details. What confuses me a little is the fact that i can, with the LCD-X, recognize better what changes by using Upsampling/DAC-Filters/Tubes etc. on the iDSD/iCAN. Its way easier with the X. For example, with the Arya, when i use tube mode, i am not missing that much as i do it with the LCD-X. Tubes are warmer and not that resolving, but on the X you are lose more, as on the Arya.

    Highs on the LCD-X are a little rolled of, compared to the Arya. For sure more detailed on the Arya.
    Mids on the LCD-X are warmer and more natural. On the Arya they are clearer and more detailed.
    Lows on the LCD-X is something i never heared on anything else like it. The details and the resolution in the low end on the LCD-X is very impressive. Very defined low notes, you can actually notice the smallest differences in the low notes with the LCD-X very easy. Something even Audezes own LCD2/3 dont shows on this level.

    The X playes more dynamic, it invites to more active listening and by doing so, you get rewarded with every little tonal change there is in the recording. It pulls you a little into the music, into listening to the music. The Arya plays clearer and a lot more detailed, yet a little boring. I dont quite get that grove for the track like on the Audeze. The Audeze is more musical and at the same time more analytical. The Arya is clear and resolving like nothing else, it got its own magic, yet not that magic i got from the X.

    Englisch is not my native language, i guess one could tell that for sure. So its hard for me to describe, what i am struggling to describe in my own language.

    LCD-X is more like listening to studio grade loudspeakers/studio monitors. The Arya is more like listening to very tall and big hifi grade loudspeakers. At least thats how i would characterize them.

    I dont feel i get the most detail by listening apod on the Arya. I feel bitperfect is the most detailed setting for the Arya. The Hifiman is so clear, i think he dont likes apod very much. On the LCD-X, i can confirm what you are saying, apod filter could be the best for details with the Audeze.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
    Currawong likes this.
  13. webmi
    This is the last offtopic, but i feel like i have to add something in defense for the Arya. With the IDSD Pro and iCAN Pro i got a pretty good chain and i am using some pretty expensive audioquest XLR & USB cables aswell, completely balanced etc.

    So far i only can compare the LCD-X to the Arya by using a Forza Noir HPC MKII 4Pin XLR with the LCD-X with the pretty clean and powerfull balanced output of the iCAN Pro and on the other hand have to use a stock single ended cable on the Arya that reminds me a little on that „Amazon Basics“ stuff.

    So may be my comparison is not that fair, since the Arya can not benefit (like the LCD-X to its fullest can) from the quality of the rest of the chain. I already ordered another Forza, this time the hybrid (cu/silver, 4pin XLR) for the Arya and hope it arrives soon. Mat already told me my new cable should be shipped on Tuesday/Wednesdy. <3 :)

    The Hifiman is a very great headphone and i will keep it in synergy with the Audeze, but i think by not using a (high quality) balanced cable on this otherwise very high quality chain, i am not quite getting what i could with the Arya yet and i think that a little of that iDSD Pro / iCAN Pro magic is missing because of that.

    I am not a cable nazi or anything, but i think in this case, it matters.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  14. drewTT
    Got one of these coming next week and really excited to try it out. Seems like a killer unit.

    I do plan to use this with powered Focal desktop monitors which accept XLR. Is the XLR circuitry in the Pro iDSD fully balanced?

    Regarding Roon from my Windows 10 PC connected via USB, any issues with playing back Tidal MQA to be aware of?

    Lastly, these tubes a good option?

  15. webmi
    Thats price per tube right, not a pair? When i buy 2, these are not matched, right?
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