Over the past few years iFi audio has delighted audiophiles and confounded industry experts with its growing range of high-quality, low-cost and very portable digital-to-audio converters (DACs). Music fans on the move could at last listen to Direct Stream Digital (DSD) on well-built portable devices that didn’t cost the Earth (£500 and under in fact).
Now, iFi is set to rock the digital world again with the launch of iDSD Pro, a ground-breaking Quad DAC that will be used across the next generation of iFi products. Yes, it’s taken a while to come to market but, boy, has it been worth the wait! There is simply nothing like it.
Coming up next, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on our Pro iDSD jaw-dropping features. Rest assured that very shortly you’ll see what we mean.
1) Quad DAC section
The iDSD Pro uses a Quad ‘stack’ of the iFi Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DAC by Burr-Brown in a custom ‘interleaved’ configuration. This enables a total of eight pairs of differential signals to be used and mixed – that’s four pairs of signals per channel.
While the iDSD Pro includes field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) for digital remastering duties – where we believe they excel – there are also external D/A sections, with a limited number of elements. In the iDSD Pro we use four interleaved 64-Element converters, to create a 256-Element DAC per channel, manufactured at high level of precision.
All signals to the DACs are re-clocked with the low-jitter Global Master Timing® master clock derived from the AMR DP-777.
2) Studio DSD Remastering
Bit-Perfect or Upsampled
All digital processing is Bit-Perfect, without employing an Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter (ASRC), or by up-sampling unless digital filters are explicitly selected. A variety of digital filters (including Bit-Perfect mode without digital filtering) are available.
The iDSD Pro supports both USB 3.0 Type B connections. All inputs (including USB) are galvanically isolated and the USB input is self-powered. The SPDIF inputs use technology derived from the AMR DP-777 including a new, solid-state implementation of the HD-VDi, memory buffer and the Global Master Timing® clock system.
Click on this link for more information on iFi’s SPDIF solution:
Next Generation X-Core 200
The iDSD Pro features the new XMOS XU216 X-Core 200 Series 16-Core processor with a maximum of 2,000 MIPS (two billion instructions per second) calculation power in dual-issue mode as a USB interface. It can decode signals from all Inputs, from USB (up to 768kHz/DSD512), AES/EBU or S/PDIF (up to 192kHz/24Bit) and Wifi/Network/Mass-storage (up to 192kHz/32Bit).
Even more jaw-dropping features
Hi-Res Network Audio
As the flagship in iFi Audio’s formidable fleet of DACs, the iDSD Pro is extremely highly specified. In addition to traditional inputs, it features:
- WiFi/network playback system with leading streaming services (see below)
- MQA decoding onboard for the maximum quality of playback via MQA music files or streaming.
- Wide protocol support including Airplay and USB Memory/Hard Drive/SD Card playback to make a full standalone streamer/network audio player with 32 Bit/192kHz & DSD64 support.
The iDSD Pro gives you plenty of options for playing music online. Here are a few of them:
- Play direct from SD card
- Airplay Network Audio Playback from iPhone, iPad, Mac Computers
- Use Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) to playback from smartphones, tablets and Windows/Linux computers
- Stream playback from Amazon Music, Audible, Spotify, TIDAL, Napster, Spotify Connect, and QQPlayer
- Playback from Hard disk drive, USB Memory or SDHC Memory Card
- Playback from Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Zero Jitter for all inputs
For all inputs data is sent to the aforementioned Memory Buffer, which iFi describes as ‘large’ and ‘elastic’. Here it is de-jittered to eliminate any transmission of source jitter to the DAC output. The data from the Memory Buffer is further re-clocked by with the low-jitter Global Master Timing® clock, which also drives the X-Core 200 & FPGA.
Click on this more information on iFi’s jitter solution:
While the X-Core 200 is favourable for USB Audio, AES/EBU/SPDIF decoding and decoding MQA, DSD, it is not the best platform for DSP, digital filters and PCM-to-DSD conversion. This is where the iDSD Pro’s Studio DSD Remastering system comes in. It excels at handling the Upsampling and Digital Filter duties and has at its heart the Crysopeia FPGA Digital Engine for digital filtering and PCM to DSD remastering, up to DSD1024.
Upsampling in hardware, on board has enabled iFi Audio to overcome the current USB limitation of DSD512 as well as implement multiple filters optimised for specific time-domain behaviour, including that of the DAC and Analogue stage, a level of optimisation not possible in generic software upconversion (as found in Foobar et al).
The five filters available are:
- ‘Bit-Perfect’ No digital filtering is applied, 1 Tap
- ‘Bit-Perfect+’ No digital filtering is applied, 1 Tap
- ‘Minimum Phase’ Minimum filtering, no pre-ringing, minimum post ringing, 32 Taps
- ‘Apodising’ Modest filtering, no pre-ringing, modest post ringing, 128 Taps
- ‘Transient Aligned’ Max filtering, max Pre-Ringing, maximum Post-Ringing, 16,384 Taps
More info to come…
secure your iDSD Pro now, and get a free gift from KitsuneHiFi