ifI iCan Pro - Impressions & Discussion

  1. LoryWiv
    Solid guess, but actually it's a new recording with Tedi Papavrami (Strad. violin) and François-Frédéric Guy (Steinway piano).

    Kremer / Argerich holds up really well also!
    Serge Bernamej likes this.
  2. hamachan
    I recently purchased pro iCAN which is still burning in (SQ seems almost settled). I also realised how Tube+ mode is effective for historical recordings, such as golden age of Casals, Heifetz etc who are far elder than Kremer or Argerich generation (they are still alive!). Such harsh recordings becomes so enjoyable with Tube+ mode. For me golden age of Kremer or Argerich can be Tube mode as well, depending on the recording quality. It is very nice option to salvage treasure from back of wardrobe. Thank you iFi!
    Serge Bernamej likes this.
  3. Serge Bernamej
    Haha, interesting ! I currently only own 2 versions of these sonatas. The Mutter and Kremer ones. Happy to see classical music fellows in here.
  4. Serge Bernamej
    As I said, i'm happy to read impressions from classical music lovers, FINALLY. I'll go as far as to say I don't even understand the point of "high fi" outside of classical music, and maybe some accoustic stuff.
    hamachan likes this.
  5. JeffMann
    I am also a classical music lover and I also recently purchased this amp, which is still burning-in (and has <100 hours of usage). So, far, it doesn't sound anywhere as musical as my Vioelectric V281 and in particular it has very poor soundstaging (where there is no front-to-back depth where the aural images of instruments/voices float in space and where there is dead-space between each instrumental image that is "black" [silent]). Do you have this problem?


    My audio system: PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport => Matrix Sabre-X Pro DAC => headphone amplifier => HiFiMan HE1000v2 headphone
    Serge Bernamej likes this.
  6. Slim1970
    I have the iCan Pro and the HEK V2’s and I’m not hearing what you’re hearing with the combo. I’m using the Mojo as my DAC and I have plenty of soundstage depth and width on my HEK V2’s. The sound is very seductive and detailed. My first thought is it could be the DAC you’re using with the iCan Pro.
  7. JeffMann
    Thank you for your input. It cannot be a problem with my DAC because when I use that same DAC with my Vioelectric V281 headphone amplifier (using the same HE1000v2 headphone or my HE1000v1 headphone), then I get far superior soundstage depth and width with much greater musicality. It could simply be due to the fact that my iCanPro unit has not yet completed the "burn-in" process.

  8. Slim1970
    Got it. I hope it works out for you. I really enjoy my iCan Pro. The Vioelectric is a great amp as well. Is the iCan Pro an upgrade or a side grade for you?
  9. npdang
    I think the iCan Pro is a great, fun amp but falls just a hair shy of being TOTL. While I much prefer it to the leaner, more "matter of fact" sounding solid state amps like Jotunheim or GS-X, the Pro is too obviously colored (mid-centric) to be considered a reference product. In comparison to the Allnic hpa-5000 xl ($5,500), I found the Pro to be extremely well refined and possessing a pleasing tonal richness, upfront presentation and excellent PRAT and macro dynamics, but the tube stage is disappointing and results in a far less resolving presentation, and overall there is a very noticeable lack of air and top end extension. At this price, I would have preferred a tube input stage with no option for solid state/jfet, that was executed to provide greater clarity, tone, and presence (as you would expect from a TOTL tube linestage), rather than a cheap tool for coloring/modifying the sound. The solid state input stage on the other hand is excellent, but more solid state sounding in comparison... tonally drier, flatter, more matter of fact.
  10. JeffMann
    I decided to take advantage of this great Adorama deal ( https://www.adorama.com/hmhe1000v2a...t&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_source=rflaid62905 ) that included the HE1000v2 headphone, which I wanted to buy anyway, and getting the iCanPro at a greatly reduced price was a definite advantage to buying the kit. However, it was really a side-issue because I already had the Violelectric V281 amplifier, which I have owned for a few years. I have to decide whether to keep the iCanPro for a 2nd headphone-based audio system, or whether to sell it.

  11. Slim1970
    That makes a lot of sense to get the two together. The HE-1000 V2’s are the best sounding headphone in my collection. The more it breaks in the better it sounds. They sound good with all genres of music to my ears. They are so lush sounding with deep full bass, warm mids, and detail extended highs out my iCan Pro. I can attest that iCan Pro does get better sounding the more hours I put on it but sound is very personal. I moved up to iCan Pro from the Oppo HA-1. Having the Vioelectric in your system already I can see how listening to the iCan Pro can be an adjustment.
  12. LoryWiv
    Like JeffMann I have a Matrix X-SabrePro --> iCan Pro. Definitely do not think it lacks for spatial imaging / soundstage. Have you tried activating the 3D holographic settings? On some recordings I feel this adds realism to the soundstage through headphones.
  13. JeffMann
    I do not understand why I should have to activate the 3D holograhic settings to get good soundstaging if the recording already has good soundstaging naturally inbuilt into the recording. Many of my classical music and opera recordings have excellent soundstaging effects due to the way the recording was made and those excellent soundstaging effects should be readily apparent if one uses a good audio sytem (consisting of a good source (LP or CD), a good DAC/headphone amplifier and a good headphone). One should not have to activate an artificial holographic system to hear the excellent soundstaging that is inbuilt into the recording.

    A number of my classical music recordings have very poor soundstaging and I can understand why a listener may choose to use the iCanPro's holographic settings in that situation - even though I personally find the realism-effect unnatural and of no/little value, and it seems to actually degrade the basic clarity of the sound of the classical musical instruments.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  14. Serge Bernamej
    To play the devil's advocate, one should note that most recordings were mixed not for headphones but for speakers listening. The 3D fonction, in theory, is aimed at correcting that.
  15. JeffMann
    Even if many of my favorite classical music/opera recordings were specifically mixed for speakers, they still image very well with my headphones. In fact, I now prefer the same recording heard over headphones than speakers - when considering them from a soundstaging perspective. I can readily mentally project the sound images into an imaginary "concert-space" well in front of my head, although I can imagine that many inexperienced headphone listeners may lack that acquired mental facility.


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