iFi audio ZEN DAC - EISA Award Winner 'Best Value DAC 2020-21!
Oct 22, 2020 at 10:01 AM Post #781 of 1,047

yeboyi

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Posts
416
Likes
197
Location
tur
Hmmm, we need to stop here a bit... if this is true it's really, really bad, a true dealbreaker for lots of people? Entire Zen Dac high gain mode noisy regardless of volume or are you talking about really high volumes more than 3 o'clock (on the high gain mode)?

You are able to hear audible noise yourself (?), which headphones have you been using? Or are you looking at measurements from ASR? I assume most amps distort as some level but question is when and what level?

This would mean all headphones more difficult to drive (between approximately 100 - 300 ohm) should be avoided together with the Zen Dac? At least for people utilizing the amp section of the Zen Dac (I'm currently using it as a Dac only).

Low gain mode is more suited for IEMs or headphones really easy to drive. I assume a majority of all Zen Dac owners also utilizing the high gain mode (but I am not sure).

Hopefully @iFi audio will comment on this one.
Sorry if i wasn't clear. High gain is noisy with very sensitive iem. It has no noise with Ananda which is 25 ohm and 103db sensitivity which means it's ridiculously sensitive yet have no noise. So Zen Dac's high gain is fine.

Yes i can hear myself. The noise is always there with sensitive iem, noise gets louder if you turn the knob. If you have some cheap old iem laying around you can try it yourself.

It's not dealbreaker because you can't really use high gain with sensitive iems because it's too loud.

Difficult to drive headphones have no problem. They don't pick up noise.

I don't know the exact model of my old iem btw. It's one of the old cheap and bad Sony iem.
 
Oct 22, 2020 at 10:09 AM Post #782 of 1,047

makatech

Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Posts
88
Likes
79
Location
Sweden
Sorry if i wasn't clear. High gain is noisy with very sensitive iem. It has no noise with Ananda which is 25 ohm and 103db sensitivity which means it's ridiculously sensitive yet have no noise. So Zen Dac's high gain is fine.

Yes i can hear myself. The noise is always there with sensitive iem, noise gets louder if you turn the knob. If you have some cheap old iem laying around you can try it yourself.

It's not dealbreaker because you can't really use high gain with sensitive iems because it's too loud.

Difficult to drive headphones have no problem. They don't pick up noise.

I don't know the exact model of my old iem btw. It's one of the old cheap and bad Sony iem.

Cool, thanks for clarifying, I was a bit confused, understand now you were referring to your sensitive IEMs :)
 
Last edited:
Oct 24, 2020 at 8:48 AM Post #784 of 1,047

vonbonds

Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Posts
81
Likes
19
I can confirm Ifi Zen works with Linux Mint 20 and it's a big improvement over the Audio quest black 1.2 it replaced so it should work well with all recent Ubuntu based distro's.
I've connected the included usb 3 cable into a usb 2 port, whether that makes a difference or not ? The cable is too short to reach my usb 3 ports.
I’m a Debian user and it works fine with Buster (10). Have you tried using PulseAudio? I use it for EQing and it works really well.
 
Oct 25, 2020 at 11:36 AM Post #785 of 1,047

bOO9OO

New Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Posts
6
Likes
3
Location
UK
Good to hear it also works with Debian, I use QMMP player with EQ, it has plugins for Alsa and PulseAudio i've tried both but didn't notice any difference in sound quality.
I listen to cd quality internet radio flac streams there's a few radio stations offering this now.
 
Last edited:
Oct 28, 2020 at 3:04 PM Post #789 of 1,047

BobG55

Formerly known as Old Groucho
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Posts
3,716
Likes
6,994
Location
🦞
Hi, hope someone can help me out with my question. I listen to CDs not downloaded or digital music. I really like the Ifi Zen DAC because of it’s price & the fact that it has a Burr Brown chipset. What it doesn’t have is an SPDIF/ Coaxial input at the back.

And here are my dilemmas : I also have a Coaxial to Toslink Digital Audio Converter, so, would it be possible to connect the CD player’s Coaxial out into the the converter & the USB input from the DAC into the other side of the converter in order to get the Ifi Zen DAC to replace the CD player’s internal DAC ?

And if that works, then,I also use an EQ [JDS Labs Subjective 3 &/ or Schiit Loki] so would I use the DAC’s RCA connectors for the EQ or the CD player’s RCA. The other two RCA connectors on the EQ are for my WA6-SE 2nd gen headphone amp.

God, I hope this is clear because I can’t explain it any better and I’m not tech savvy. As a matter of fact I’m sort of stunned that I was able to write what I did above.

Thanks in advance to anyone who, one : understands what I’ve written, &, two : can help me out. 202294C0-F1F6-47E6-B22C-15A94128CA45.jpegE01B1A06-7137-4275-AB3B-DB8B4C331C20.jpegFA9A3B27-B618-41B0-8785-8ECC72BDF8F8.jpeg82DDEC68-F4DB-4ABE-AAD3-85D2BBE31794.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Oct 28, 2020 at 3:08 PM Post #790 of 1,047

Zeka

Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Posts
51
Likes
20
Location
Europe
Yes I could connect my CD player to the DAC using the RCA connectors ...
No, you could not connect CD player that way, because DAC has only usb input.
would it be possible to connect the CD player’s Coaxial out into the the converter & the USB input from the DAC into the other side of the converter
You can connect CD player to converter, but can't connect converter to DAC, because DAC has no coaxial/optical input.
 
Last edited:
Oct 29, 2020 at 4:38 PM Post #792 of 1,047

iMongui

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Posts
381
Likes
177
Guys, I have a dx3 pro but I’m not very convinced about it, I have for a very good price this model. I have all my equipment balanced plus the desk stereo system which has their own amp dedicated, but I would like to use this zen as a main of everything, is there someone that knows if this is better than the dx3 pro? Just to go for it or search for a better one
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 4:10 PM Post #794 of 1,047
Joined
Apr 24, 2016
Posts
2,152
Likes
2,328
Location
Colorado
Nov 10, 2020 at 5:01 PM Post #795 of 1,047

yeboyi

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Posts
416
Likes
197
Location
tur
Guys, I have a dx3 pro but I’m not very convinced about it, I have for a very good price this model. I have all my equipment balanced plus the desk stereo system which has their own amp dedicated, but I would like to use this zen as a main of everything, is there someone that knows if this is better than the dx3 pro? Just to go for it or search for a better one
Topping all in ones are not good. All of them have high output impedance. Zen Dac alone is fine but not good either. It stacks nice with Zen Can though. I would like to have all in one from Ifi with parametric EQ and preamp/headphone switch.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top