Zen Dac V2 or Zen Dac Signature V2?

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jandrews

Zen Dac V2 or Zen Dac Signature V2?
« on: 1 Jan 2022, 04:19 pm »
Hello
I've been using a new Ifi Zen Stream as a digital front end for my desktop system
...It's currently going into an old California Audio Labs Sigma II DAC and then into a little Vista Spark amp (20 wpc) and finally into my Omega Super 7 full range monitor speakers.

I'm planning on reserving the California Audio Labs Sigma for use with a dedicated CD transport (it's original use) and will therefore need to put a new DAC in between the Zen Stream and the integrated Amp.

Naturally the Zen Dac V2 seems like the natural choice and people do seem to love it. I am certainly not bound to stick with Ifi on this purchase but I've been pretty impressed with my recent purchases from them (Zen Stream and Blu Go).
I have no use for the IEM match on the Zen Dac V2 ...nor the bass boost.  I'll be using the RCA outs.  Both the Regular Zen Dac V2 and the Zen Dac Signature V2 also  have balanced outs and the regular Zen Dac V2 also has a 3.5mm se output.  I could see myself using the balanced out at some point.

So ...the question is, given that the regular Zen Dac V2 has a few features I won't use , is the upgrade cost to the signature worth it to get a presumably purer and quieter unit with better components to simply be a straight ahead DAC in my chain?

Does anyone have experience with both units?

Lastly, I asked this question to Ifi on their support forum but didn't quite get the answer I was looking for.  It's this:
I'm planning on upgrading the power supply that came with the Zen Stream ...probably to the Ifi Power X.
I could both power and data-connect either the Ifi Zen Dac V2 or the Zen Dac Signature V2 to the Stream via USB.
My question was whether or not the benefits from using the iPower X supply on the Stream will have downstream benefits on the Dac or would it be advisable to use a better supply on both units.
Hopefully that makes sense
Thank you

jjss49

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Re: Zen Dac V2 or Zen Dac Signature V2?
« Reply #1 on: 1 Jan 2022, 10:45 pm »
i don't know those particular dacs but i would say most audiophile dacs benefit from a good clean linear power supply if it is replacing a lower grade, switched mode one - to my understanding the ifi wall wart upgrade ps-s are still switch mode ps's, albeit with some noise filtering built it - they are short of a proper linear power supply such as those made by teddy pardo, wyred for sound, linear tube audio, and so on

also balanced outputs are indeed nice to have, but to get the benefit, you need downstream gear that has differentially balanced inputs in order to reap the sonic/noise reduction benefits

iFi David

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Re: Zen Dac V2 or Zen Dac Signature V2?
« Reply #2 on: 8 Jan 2022, 12:07 am »
So ...the question is, given that the regular Zen Dac V2 has a few features I won't use , is the upgrade cost to the signature worth it to get a presumably purer and quieter unit with better components to simply be a straight ahead DAC in my chain?


If you don't need features of ZEN DAC V2 but you'd like its more streamlined better sounding version, then ZEN DAC Signature V2 is the perfect match.



I could both power and data-connect either the Ifi Zen Dac V2 or the Zen Dac Signature V2 to the Stream via USB.
My question was whether or not the benefits from using the iPower X supply on the Stream will have downstream benefits on the Dac or would it be advisable to use a better supply on both units.
Hopefully that makes sense
Thank you

The sooner in a setup noise is squashed, the better. However, DACs tend to be more sensitive to power than streamers. If I were you, I'd probably start from one iPower X to see whether my DAC or streamer benefits from it more. Then if funds allow I'd add a second one.

In short, clean power is additive. If say your streamer is with iPower X already, the odds are that after adding a second iPower X to your DAC you'd still notice an improvement.

Hope this helps!