iFi Audio Pro iESL - The Official Thread
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brams

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Has anyone tried using the iesl with a Manley Absolute?
 
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h1f1add1cted

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adi-2_iESL.jpg


Joined the family a bit lately.

A few things about some testings - The RME ADI-2 PRO FS R Black Edition using balanced headphone output, has enough power to drive my STAX Lambda Pro using 64 Ohm setting on iESL easily. Compared to my STAX SRD-7 MK2 energizer which has a much higher step-up ratio than the iFi ESL does not sound better, just gets louder. The iESL outperformed my previous energizer in sound quality and staging/imaging. Also using my regular headphones - the 4-Pin XLR output provides better staging/imaging. Don't get me wrong the ADI-2 PRO has one of the cleanest balanced headphone outputs I tested yet, but adding the iESL to the chain improved the overall sound quality and listening experience.
 
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robo24

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adi-2_iESL.jpg

Joined the family a bit lately.

A few things about some testings - The RME ADI-2 PRO FS R Black Edition using balanced headphone output, has enough power to drive my STAX Lambda Pro using 64 Ohm setting on iESL easily. Compared to my STAX SRD-7 MK2 energizer which has a much higher step-up ratio than the iFi ESL does not sound better, just gets louder. The iESL outperformed my previous energizer in sound quality and staging/imaging. Also using my regular headphones - the 4-Pin XLR output provides better staging/imaging. Don't get me wrong the ADI-2 PRO has one of the cleanest balanced headphone outputs I tested yet, but adding the iESL to the chain improved the overall sound quality and listening experience.
For this do you use a male xlr4 to dual xlr3 male cable? My biggest problem with the iESL (used with the Pro iCAN via HDMI) is that it just isn't loud or clear enough. The low end Stax 323-A was not only more clear, but much louder and overall much better sounding. The iCAN has dual XLR3 out like the RME does. I basically have to use either 9db gain and 24 Ohm with Stax SR-007 MK2, in which case it doesn't get very loud, or use 18db in which case it gets very distorted at decent volume.
 
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h1f1add1cted

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No I use a dual 6,3mm to 4-Pin XLR cable this is the only way to get the headphone balanced output to work.

cable.jpg


The dual 3-Pin XLR on the rear of the ADI-2 Pro are only line-outs and have high output impedance and lower output power, they would not work.
 
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@iFi audio , is there any advantage to using balanced out from the iCAN or other amp using dual xlr3 output to the iESL xlr4 input? Using the HDMI connector at 9db gain, 3D and bass boost off, 24ohm setting, the volume and clarity are much lower than when I used the iCAN RCA out to a lowly Stax 323A. I purchased the iESL expecting quite an upgrade, and so far it’s a major downgrade with my sr-007 mk2. Any advice is appreciated.
 
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Sound Eq

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can the ifi iesl be connected to chord hugo TT2 to use stax headphones
 
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saudio7

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Yes, you need cable jack to 4pinXLR or 2x3pinXLR to 4 pin XLR.
 
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Joined the family a bit lately.

A few things about some testings - The RME ADI-2 PRO FS R Black Edition using balanced headphone output, has enough power to drive my STAX Lambda Pro using 64 Ohm setting on iESL easily. Compared to my STAX SRD-7 MK2 energizer which has a much higher step-up ratio than the iFi ESL does not sound better, just gets louder. The iESL outperformed my previous energizer in sound quality and staging/imaging. Also using my regular headphones - the 4-Pin XLR output provides better staging/imaging. Don't get me wrong the ADI-2 PRO has one of the cleanest balanced headphone outputs I tested yet, but adding the iESL to the chain improved the overall sound quality and listening experience.
For me the power output of the iCan pro via hdmi was also to low on 9Db. I sold the iCan pro now. Now I am using speaker monoblocks which are connected through speaker cables on the Iesl. I am using the RME Adi 2 pro as dac and preamp.
Which adapter should I buy to connect the Adi 2 pro with the Iesl? I prefer to use the xlr outputs on the back of the Adi 2 pro.

Does the Adi 2 pro have enough current (power) to drive the Iesl?
 
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alexdemaet

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Ric4001

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I have a technical question about using the loudspeaker inputs: I want to feed the loudspeaker inputs using a pure tube amp. So I'll connect the speaker outputs from the tube amp to the IESL speaker inputs, and connect the loudspeakers to the IESL speaker outputs. A pure tube amp must always have a speaker load connected to it. I understand the IESL disconnects the speakers when the source is set to loudspeaker inputs, so will the IESL continue to present a load to the tube amp when the speakers are disconnected? Do the headphones themselves present a load? I currently have no electrostatic headphones, so I'll be using primarily dynamic headphones if that makes a difference in the answer to the question.
 
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Do you own the RME ADI-2 PRO FS R Black Edition and the iFi iESL to able compare? As I said earlier here: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/ifi-audio-pro-iesl-the-official-thread.852364/page-17#post-15923679 the line-out does not work at all for this kind of use, only the balanced headphone output is fine for the iESL and he need a proper dual 6,3mm TRS to 4-Pin XLR cable, of course not all STAX headphone have the same sensitivity, but my Lambda Pro pairs very well (other energizer with much higher step.up sound worse than iESL), I guess a a big boy like SR-007 MK2 will too quiet, I would add a small class D amp like a Pro-Ject Amp Box S2 for this operation. I made my cable myself it's not a big deal, just get some nice Neutrik or ViaBlue connectors and SommerCable with 4 wires and solder it together as explained in the RME manual about the correct pin assignment.
 
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A few things about some testings - The RME ADI-2 PRO FS R Black Edition using balanced headphone output, has enough power to drive my STAX Lambda Pro using 64 Ohm setting on iESL easily. Compared to my STAX SRD-7 MK2 energizer which has a much higher step-up ratio than the iFi ESL does not sound better, just gets louder. The iESL outperformed my previous energizer in sound quality and staging/imaging. Also using my regular headphones - the 4-Pin XLR output provides better staging/imaging. Don't get me wrong the ADI-2 PRO has one of the cleanest balanced headphone outputs I tested yet, but adding the iESL to the chain improved the overall sound quality and listening experience.
Thanks for this feedback and enjoy!

I understand the IESL disconnects the speakers when the source is set to loudspeaker inputs, so will the IESL continue to present a load to the tube amp when the speakers are disconnected? Do the headphones themselves present a load? I currently have no electrostatic headphones, so I'll be using primarily dynamic headphones if that makes a difference in the answer to the question.
Either connected headphones or speakers are a load for your tube amp, whereas iESL is its extension. But just to double-check, your tube amp can be only safely powered on if it has a load connected? Did I get this right?
 
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Ric4001

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Either connected headphones or speakers are a load for your tube amp, whereas iESL is its extension. But just to double-check, your tube amp can be only safely powered on if it has a load connected? Did I get this right?
Thanks. Yes, the tube amp requires that a speaker load be connected if it is powered on (and audio signal is going into the tube amp). Without a load, the amp's transformer and/or tubes will be damaged. So, based on your response, if the tube amp is connected to the IESL and the IESL is disconnected from the speakers (by setting the input to loudspeaker), but connected to headphones, then the headphones present the speaker load to the tube amp. So that should be fine. Thanks for your help.
 
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