Cheap DAC OFF: Topping D30, SDAC, Modi Multibit, JDS EL DAC, iFi Nano BL

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, May 16, 2018.

  1. donunus

    donunus Friend

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    @iFi audio , If not using any mqa Is there an advantage to the older firmware for dsd when only playing dsd64 and 128? Is the older firmware better in responsiveness with those files or does it sound better since I don't intend to use mqa or dsd above 128 for that matter? Heck, does the latest firmware also affect pcm?

    EDIT: I also noticed that the manual for firmware 5.20 talks about 5.2A and 5.2B but the actual files in the archive are 5.20 and 5.2A. Is 5.20 version B? and for use with an ipad 2018, would I use that over 5.2A?

    EDIT again: I tested 5.2A and so far as the behavior is concerned, I did notice that it sleeps. Is that for safety of the LiPo batt? Other than that, I do like it on all the time and wished it had a mode where it didn't charge when I don't want it to so that it won't be trickle charging all the time without having to go to battery power mode where it also makes it discharge and need more charging ending up in battery wear and tear.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  2. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    As for FW 5.30 vs 5.20, the only difference is in their functionality. The latest does MQA, but has S/PDIF switched off and goes as high as DSD256. 5.20 doesn't do MQA, but has S/PDIF active and handles DSD512. Other than that, there are no differences.

    FW 5.20 stands for 5.2A as there are only two 5.2 FW versions; A and B. The latter disables 'sleep mode', thus if you need this, B is the way to go. As for files in archive, it's highly likely that 5.20 is actually 5.20B, which is a typo at our end and we'll double-check this.
     
  3. donunus

    donunus Friend

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    oh and 5.20 doesn't do 256 dop while 5.2a does from my testing. I use native though so no biggie here. I guess 5.3 is fine for my use if all pcm and lower dsd rates are the same because 5.20 would stop playing sound once in a while if switching tracks really fast.

    EDIT: About SPDIF, how does spdif enabled or disabled matter on the nano Idsd BL? There is no spdif in or out on the unit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  4. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Actually, let us self-correct a bit. We wrote that 5.20 is 5.20A, which is not factual, our bad:oops:

    All existing iFi devices (minus the original iDAC and minus the iDSD Pro) use the exact same firmware.

    5.20 is factory default. It means units that cannot play back 768kHz PCM will be limited to 384kHz and DSD256 via ASIO & DSD128 via DOP.

    5.2A is alternate, it "unlocks" the 768kHz setting. The device will still not play PCM 768k (no sound), but now DSD256 via DOP is unlocked (mainly for Mac Users).

    For iDSD micro, xDSD & Retro, 5.20 & 5.2A have identical behavior, so there 5.20 is standard and 5.2A is not suggested.

    For all the nanos 5.2A is suggested for users that want DSD256 via DOP (e.g. Mac people).

    5.2B is only for iDSD micro. It removes the sleep mode, mainly in regard to Android smartphones.

    5.3 will eventually have 5.30, 5.3A, 5.3B and 5.3C.
     
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  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Uh, yeah, that mess right there, that's why I didn't buy one until the xDSD where the choice is taken away from me, removing the "will i have the right firmware if zombie ghost pirate ninja were-camel evil action scientists from the negative dimension attack" nervosa.

    Talking about about sleep mode here, I have exactly 0 dsd files, likewise mqa.

    BTW, did you *have* to make the bloody thing such a huge fingerprint magnet? Whatever happened to nice matte finishing? :p
     
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  6. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Yes.

    It was never a thing, thus nothing happened.
     
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  7. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    Had a bunch of unexpected free time today so I got about five hours of listening in.

    I tried to use SPDIF coax where possible but the SDAC and IFI only had USB connections. Here's my impressesions:

    SDAC - I probably liked this the least, really flat and blurred soundstage and also some digital glare. Part of it might be the USB implementation? I'm note sure. When I feed it loud material it clips hard on transients so use a normalization plugin with this one.

    JDS El DAC - My favorite of the bunch (besides Modi Multibit, which I already own and love), it has nice timbre and texture, probably slightly better than the Gungnir Multibit in that area. Images pretty well too compared to the others in the box. I also don't feel like I want to turn it down all the time.

    IFI Nano BL
    - I guess it's cool for it's intended purpose, I like it a lot more using it with my phone and headphones than I do in my 2-channel system. This clips softly on transients, which is nice too when using with a phone. With speakers though, I just couldn't get past the hardness and dark tonality.

    Topping D30
    - Glare city. I guess if you can get past the glare it does some things well, but I couldn't.
     
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  8. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Sounds like you (as pretty much 90% of the customers) would be fine with the factory firmware as installed on various iFi DACs.

    At iFi, we provide options when we can, a choice. All FW subversions are meant for the remaining 10% of customers with 'special needs', whereas regular folks can roll with standard.
     
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  9. Blake

    Blake Acquaintance

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    New Rando here. I've been informed by a wealthy lawyer (self-proclaimed) and Amir/ASR enthusiast over on ComputerAudiophile (DAC Section) that as the owner of a poorly measuring Yggdrasil, I would "wet myself" if I ever heard the D30. As a Rando I can't participate in this loaner program but in any event, I would be curious if anyone that heard the D30, in fact, peed their pants? TIA
     
  10. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Extreme, protracted, uncontrolled laughter can certainly have that effect.

    I have heard it rumored that the D30 can induce spontaneous incontinence.

    Note that I am not endorsing the validity of said rumor, merely voicing it.
     
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  11. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    All I can say is that I'd happily send you over a D30 and that I'd even take that Yggdrasil off your hands in exchange, no charge.

    Jokes aside, there are several threads on here and elsewhere on the topic. If you do get to demo and directly compare the both and find that the D30 suits you better, then more power to you (but wtf srsly?! :p)

    What sucks about this hobby is all the damn politics involved. Find a few ears you can trust, build a system that you like, and call it quits, maybe hang out with some people to occasionally demo new gear that may or may not find use with you.
     
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  12. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    The Topping D50 is supposed to sound better than the Yggdrasil (Amir!). But it doesn't come close. I would assume the D30 is the same derailed hype train.
     
  13. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Nobody mentioned the polarity reversal - which tbh I just noticed myself after doing some IEM measurements...
     
  14. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    Politics, yes. Bad gear reviewed is a rarity among journos into audio for a living. But many valuable things are to be found in-between the lines. Several sites I've been reading for years and learnt when real enthusiasm happens or merely political correctness. It ain't that bad, one simply has to have a really thick filter.
     
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  15. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Are we talking audio gear or other things right now? :p

    That's the thing, though, it takes a great deal of patience to sort wheat from chaff from manure, not to mention a fair bit of divine provenance as well (or luck, if you insist), because after all no one goes out of their way to tell people that they're lying dictators in the making shills whose ears and integrity, or what remains thereof, have been snapped up by the highest bidder— that'd just be bad for business, now.
     
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  16. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    True that.

    I've dealt with many pro journos, several I know rather well and with one guy who's into audio reviewing for a living I've been actually sharing my HQ for several years now. I think that most of these people are decent enough to not risk turning a turd of a product into a great one and they are enthusiastic about stuff they really like. Personally I have nothing against people into audio being biased, this is a subjective hobby after all. But to me it's all about how they justify their enthusiasm, how sane they are.
     
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  17. donunus

    donunus Friend

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    Has anyone here tried the new ifi filter on the ifi nano IDSD BL? It sounds great! Less congested than the old listen filter and not harsh like the standard filter. It sounds more fluid and just right to my ears. I am using an hd58x with the back foam off and line out to the vali2 using a reflektor tube to test the sound.

    Here is the link to the explanation of the new filter https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/iFi-audio-Tech-Note-GTO-filter-FINAL.pdf in case people want to read it.

    EDIT: This filter replaces the listen filter when the firmware is upgraded to the latest 5.30C
     
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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  18. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    I have upgraded on the micro iDSD BL and I personally can't hear much of a difference with the previous minimum phase filter (listen).

    Also, on the micro on my unit at least, the volume is lower on the new filter compared to the both the BitPerfect and the Standard(Measurement) filters which annoyed me a little..
     
  19. donunus

    donunus Friend

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    The volume is slightly lower but I feel only in places where there is something sounding boosted on the other filters. In the parts that seemed like they were being masked in the other filters, the new filter seems to retain the volume of those parts making it sound like things are not sticking out anywhere. I don't know if that makes sense but for example where vocals were a little buried with the old listen filter, they are clear on the new one due to what I feel is s cleaner/less boosted bass. Switching to the standard filter It sounds like a mild loudness button with the frequencies mostly only boosted in the upper ranges. It loses the natural fleshy tone and seems more etched and hard with the measure filter. Of course YMMV
     
  20. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    I did, as part of my review of the thing.

    I still prefer listening to it in the "Measure" mode.

    "Listen" mode, either with the GTO filter or the original, rolls-off too early, lacks air/space, nobbles the natural sparkle of some instruments, and takes too much bite out of horns etc.

    I'm also largely convinced that both filters, despite ad-copy to the contrary, are minimum-phase.
     
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