Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!

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iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #20 on: 28 Jan 2018, 05:24 pm »
Pro iDSD - The easygoing perspective
The enclosure and front panel – part 1/2

Introduction

Our latest and greatest DAC – the Pro iDSD – is just around the corner. We’ve already tackled several technical matters related to this device, and all these are to be found via links in the first post of this thread:

· https://www.head-fi.org/threads/ifi-audio-pro-idsd-the-official-thread.869144/

In short, we’ve explained in our regular fashion why this product is very unique. Since there’s still some time left to the official launch of our upcoming flagship DAC’s, we thought we’d describe in a less techy and more easygoing, newbie-friendly way what our Pro iDSD is all about. First stop is its enclosure’s front, back and - later on - also innards.

The Pro iDSD – what is it exactly?



This machine, in short, is a DAC, also known as a d/a converter and quite commonly as a source. This means that its main purpose is to receive a digital signal either via cable or wirelessly, convert it to its analogue form and then pass it on to devices such as a preamplifier, a stereo power amplifier, a pair of mono amplifiers, a headphone amplifier or directly to various headphones. Yes, all these devices operate in the analogue domain, which leads us on to this statement:

· The Pro iDSD won’t pass digital signals to a different DAC and yes, this is on purpose.

The Pro iDSD was primarily built as a high quality digital to analog converter and this is how it should be used. It’s already function packed as it is and - instead of making it operable as an S/PDIF converter - our goal was to use the space normally reserved for this in a more useful way. Basically, using the Pro iDSD to feed a similar device with a digital signal is a big waste of its potential.

The enclosure


Now, we have all that out of the way, let’s focus on the Pro iDSD’s enclosure. This machine is the same size as the iFi audio Pro iCAN and both products look very similar. The enclosure is made out of aircraft grade aluminium and its main purpose is to dissipate heat from the devices inside as they will get hot when powered on. In order to further improve on this, the chassis has many venting holes on its sides and on top. These align in a pleasantly rounded shape with a magnifying glass with a pair of fabulous vintage JAN GE5670 valves underneath. (Quick note – these class act valves are now reserved ONLY for our Pro series products but that’s another story). Anyway, we reckon that the Pro series chassis looks very cool.

The front panel – LED diode and standby/power switch

Let’s start with the upper left corner. There’s the iFi Pro logo based on a LED diode. Once the Pro iDSD is powered on, this lights up with one of four different colours. Each indicates a different operational status:

· Green: warming up
· White: solid-state mode
· Orange: tube mode
· Red: protection mode




Moving on, there’s a small, flat button in the lower left corner. This turns the product on or puts it in standby mode if you are not shutting it down completely.



The front panel – input selector

Let’s now go a bit to the right. A large and endlessly rotating aluminium knob is next in line. It handles several jobs with its main one being digital input selection. You can cycle through the following options:

· Ethernet/WiFi/Hard Disk/Micro SDHC (Network Bridge/Streamer)
· Host USB
· Coaxial/Optical Digital Input
· XLR Digital Input
· BNC Digital Input




There are also two additional adjustment options available via the input selector:

· Brightness (adjustable via a three second press)
· Polarity (adjustable via a long press)


The front panel – digital filter selector

The smaller knob located a bit to the right from the input selector is the digital filter selector. It enable two things.



The first feature (available via pressing the digital filter selector) is our proprietary DSD remastering. You can choose whether you’d like to have your music:

· Normal – where DSD signals are passed directly to the DAC. For PCM you may choose between a set of digital filters or bit-perfect, unprocessed PCM
· Upconverted to DSD512
· Upconverted to DSD1024

The second feature allows you to cycle through these five different filters on the fly via the rotary action:

1. 'Bit-Perfect' - No digital filtering is applied, one tap
2. 'Bit-Perfect+' - No digital filtering is applied, one tap, SINC roll-off @ HF is corrected
3. 'Minimum Phase' - Minimum filtering, no pre-ringing, minimum post ringing, 32 taps
4. 'Apodising' - Modest filtering, no pre-ringing, modest post ringing, 128 taps
5. 'Transient Aligned' - Max filtering, max pre-ringing, maximum post-ringing, 16,384 taps

Please think of these filters as different flavours. Each trades off frequency response flatness, transient response and suppression of ultrasonic images in a different way. There is no “perfect” filter option, such a thing is not possible, so select the filter that offer the right set of compromises for you.

We’ve already covered in detail how our proprietary digital filtering works in the Pro iDSD. Please take a look here:

· https://www.head-fi.org/threads/ifi-audio-pro-idsd-discussion-thread.702376/page-127

What’s important is that the Pro iDSD is equipped with a FPGA chip that runss on iFi audio’s custom firmware and is responsible for all filters and remasters listed above. It’s worth noting that in this DAC, these operations are hardware based.

mtraesbo

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #21 on: 1 Feb 2018, 09:38 pm »
Sounds really interesting with this new DAC.

A question around streamer. I am only streaming from Tidal and TuneIn. Will I need a streamer to provide the signal to the Pro iDSD? Current I have a low cost streamer from Raumfeld connected to my V-Dac from MF, and I am planning to replace the latter with the Pro iDSD.

My amplifier is an Dual Mono Amplifier from Musical Fidelity as well.

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #22 on: 3 Feb 2018, 05:24 pm »
Sounds really interesting with this new DAC.

A question around streamer. I am only streaming from Tidal and TuneIn. Will I need a streamer to provide the signal to the Pro iDSD? Current I have a low cost streamer from Raumfeld connected to my V-Dac from MF, and I am planning to replace the latter with the Pro iDSD.

My amplifier is an Dual Mono Amplifier from Musical Fidelity as well.

From the manual:
"For a wired connection directly from a router or Network Attached Storage (NAS) source. Using the MUZO Player app stream Spotify (incl. Connect), TIDAL, Napster, QQ Music, Qobuz and many more."

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #23 on: 6 Feb 2018, 04:48 pm »
Some fun is ah-brewing over here http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=155504  :beer:

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #24 on: 8 Feb 2018, 01:37 am »
Pro iDSD
Global Launch Update



News from the Skunkworks!

As you will know from recent iFi audio communications, we are about to launch the Pro iDSD. You may also know that the entire concept of this revolutionary new DAC was driven by you – the customer. Recent feedback has led us to make a small but significant alteration to the design of the Pro iDSD’s front panel.

We have replaced the 3.5mm balanced headphone socket with a 2.5mm balanced socket for users with flagship IEMs. There is still, of course, a 3.5mm single-ended socket for music lovers with any other headphone/IEM.



Unfortunately, this means a delay to the scheduled launch date of 15 February.

We are the first to admit it has taken long enough for the Pro iDSD to come to market but we have taken everything on board in its creation – from the need for a standalone flagship DAC to match the technological wizardry of the Pro iCAN to the desire to touch the dizzying audio heights of DSD1024. That’s why we are incorporating this last nugget of customer feedback. In short it’s a case of ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’.

To give the iFi Skunkworks time to implement this change, the updated global launch will be on 15 March 2018 and the Pro iDSD will feature at the Lisbon Audio Show, Portugal (16-18 March). However, we are pleased to announce that visitors to CanJam New York, USA (17-18 Feb) and Bristol Sound and Vision, UK (23-25 Feb) will still be able to see and demo the Pro iDSD on the iFi stand.

Again, thank you for your feedback and your patience.

We look forward to seeing you there!

jim dukey

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #25 on: 11 Feb 2018, 01:55 am »
Hi, Will it be compatible with HQ Player, maybe in Direct SDM Mode?
I'm most interested in the DSD Upsampling.
I'm on a Mac Computer.
Or, what Player would you recommend?
I just play Files, no streaming yet.
Been following this thread, I joined AC just to post this question!
Looks like a terrific new product.

RandyH

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #26 on: 11 Feb 2018, 04:22 pm »
digital streaming newbie here.  I have a Bluesound Node 2 that streams Tidal and files from a NAS.  I've been happy with it but am moving it to a new addition to our house so I am looking for something to replace it in my main system.  I like the idea of a one box streamer/DAC but am not at all opposed to separating the DAC and streamer.  First question:  Is the Ifi DSD Pro a component that could be the one box solution or would I still need to get a separate streamer?  If it can be a one-box solution, how is it controlled?  iPad app? What software?  Just for reference, other products I have been considering are the Auralic Altair, Lumin D2 or T1.  How does the Ifi product fit in with these other products regarding ease of use, simplicity, sound quality...? 

Thanks
Randy

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #27 on: 12 Feb 2018, 12:00 am »
Hi, Will it be compatible with HQ Player, maybe in Direct SDM Mode?
I'm most interested in the DSD Upsampling.
I'm on a Mac Computer.
Or, what Player would you recommend?
I just play Files, no streaming yet.
Been following this thread, I joined AC just to post this question!
Looks like a terrific new product.

The Pro iDSD is compatible with HQ Player.  If the choice is to convert to DSD with HQ Player, the iDSD has multiple way of handling that format.  One could also choose to upsample with the iDSD.

I have a hard time recommending a player because there is not one solution that stands above the rest.  For example, I have friends that use Bug head for playback because to their ears it sounds the best.  Other friends of mine won't deal with its interface so they lean towards JRiver or even HQ Player.  For a MAC, some love Amarra and others prefer Audirvana. 

I'd start with a free trial of Amarra then take it from there. 

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #28 on: 12 Feb 2018, 12:10 am »
digital streaming newbie here.  I have a Bluesound Node 2 that streams Tidal and files from a NAS.  I've been happy with it but am moving it to a new addition to our house so I am looking for something to replace it in my main system.  I like the idea of a one box streamer/DAC but am not at all opposed to separating the DAC and streamer.  First question:  Is the Ifi DSD Pro a component that could be the one box solution or would I still need to get a separate streamer?  If it can be a one-box solution, how is it controlled?  iPad app? What software?  Just for reference, other products I have been considering are the Auralic Altair, Lumin D2 or T1.  How does the Ifi product fit in with these other products regarding ease of use, simplicity, sound quality...? 

Thanks
Randy

The Pro iDSD could be a one box solution.  We recommend a wired connection directly from a router for streaming music.  Using the MUZO Player app stream Spotify (incl. Connect), TIDAL, Napster, QQ Music, Qobuz and more.

I have never used anything form Auralic or Lumin to know how simple they are to use. However, I am familiar with the companies enough to know they have a well-deserved following.  I can only hope the Pro iDSD works as seamlessly those competing products.  I will let this forum know how wonderful I think the device is when I get my hands on one.  :thumb:


jtwrace

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #29 on: 12 Feb 2018, 03:23 pm »
How often will firmware (FPGA) updates come out and what's the actual cost of this unit?  Any chance of making it Roon Ready down the road as an all in one box?

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #30 on: 12 Feb 2018, 04:46 pm »
How often will firmware (FPGA) updates come out and what's the actual cost of this unit?  Any chance of making it Roon Ready down the road as an all in one box?

I don't have answer about the firmware updates at this moment.  I will ask the question to the development team to see what they have to say.

No chance of making the Pro iDSD Roon Ready.  There was simply no additional space inside the chassis for a Roon endpoint even one as small as a Raspberry Pi. 




jim dukey

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #31 on: 12 Feb 2018, 05:49 pm »
Thanks for your response!
It seems that if the IFI Pro is converts to DSD 512 or 1024 in the  Hardware,
it won't be done in HQ Player.
I'm unclear on what HQ Setting to use.
Certainly I don't want HQ converting, then the IFI also converting.
I just want to sure before buying.
Will a 30 day return policy be available?

The IFI Proi DSD Dac seems like the Very Product for me.
The Mytek Brooklyn+ Dac has a Phono Section I'd never use,  and doesn't upsample as far as the IFI.

DSD512 and 1024 are available on Mac, because the Dac does the upsampling, right?
DSD 256 is all that's available on Mac with Software Conversion, or so I've read.

Looking for ward to the release of the new IFI!

jim dukey

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #32 on: 12 Feb 2018, 06:09 pm »
OK, your earlier post has gradually sunk in!
HQ can do the conversion or IFI can.
Something to experiment with.

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #33 on: 12 Feb 2018, 08:04 pm »
OK, your earlier post has gradually sunk in!
HQ can do the conversion or IFI can.
Something to experiment with.

You got it!  One staple of iFi audio is FEATURES!  They get packed into a lot of our products to allow the user to find the sound most appealing to them.

jim dukey

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #34 on: 13 Feb 2018, 01:46 am »
Is DSD 512 or 1024 achievable then on a Mac, using the IFI Internal Hardware to up-convert?

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #35 on: 13 Feb 2018, 08:28 pm »
Is DSD 512 or 1024 achievable then on a Mac, using the IFI Internal Hardware to up-convert?

Yep.  The Pro iDSD can up-convert the incoming signal internally to DSD1024.  It doesn't matter if it's plugged into a Mac, a Windows machine or a Linux machine.

gerb0075

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #36 on: 3 Mar 2018, 05:36 pm »
What’s the distinction between the ‘Host’ versus ‘Device’ USB inputs?

Thanks,
Edward

iFi Tyler

Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #37 on: 5 Mar 2018, 06:05 am »
What’s the distinction between the ‘Host’ versus ‘Device’ USB inputs?

Thanks,
Edward

Can you please tell me where you read 'Device' USB?

debjit.g

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 37
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #38 on: 5 Mar 2018, 06:18 am »
I lost track of the new release date but was that supposed to be sometime in March ? Will it then be available from US dealers, like Music Direct ?

gerb0075

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Pro iDSD is the Kitchen Sink!
« Reply #39 on: 5 Mar 2018, 11:58 pm »
Can you please tell me where you read 'Device' USB?

Look at the 2 USB inputs on the back panel.  The USB Type A female jack is labelled "Host", while the USB Type B female jack is labelled "Device":




Thanks,
Ed