iFi audio ZEN CAN Signature 6XX / ZEN DAC Signature !!!

Discussion in 'Product Announcements' started by iFi audio, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    iFi audio ZEN CAN Signature 6XX

    As you may all know, iFi audio ZEN CAN Signature 6XX was originally to be Drop-branded, as described here:


    (Please see 38:16 - 39:09)​

    It's now iFi branded but will still launch as a Drop exclusive.

    SEE IT ON DROP HERE!

    [​IMG]

    iFi audio ZEN CAN Signature 6XX features a (bypassable) high fidelity active EQ synergistic with the amplification circuit itself to tailor the sound of the amp to the characteristics of the popular Sennheiser HD6XX (also suitable for the Drop HD58X and the regular HD580 / 600 / 650 / 800S) to bring out the best in them, plus a (bypassable) highly realistic analog spatializer for transforming your headphones into a spacious home HiFi listening environment.

    [​IMG]

    iFi audio ZEN CAN Signature 6XX will feature sophisticated circuit design and high end components as also found on the Pro iCAN to produce class-leading results in the traditional measures of performance such as THD, noise floor, output power, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a bit of extra information we're putting here, ahead of even the Drop post. The correction curve applied by iFi audio ZEN CAN Signature 6XX will be as follows:

    [​IMG]

    Specs
    • Inputs: RCA, 3.5 (single-ended), 4.4mm (balanced)
    • Headphone output: 6.35 mm, 4.4 mm
    • Gain: 0 dB, 6 dB,12 dB,18 dB adjust
    • THD+N (A-Weighting): 0.0066% (balanced), 0.0058% (single-ended)
    • Maximum output power (16 ohms): 3.0 V / 600 mW (balanced), 4.0 V / 1000 mW (single-ended)
    • Maximum output power (300 ohms): 15.1 V / 756 mW (balanced), 7.6 V / 196 mW (single-ended)
    • Maximum output power (600 ohms): 15.2 V / 385 mW (balanced), 7.6 V / 98 mW (single-ended)
    • SNR: -112 dB (balanced), -112 dB (single-ended)
    • Dynamic range: -112 dB (balanced), -112 dB (single-ended)
    • Frequency response (-3dB): 10 Hz – 200 kHz
    • Function Button: HD6XX adaption and/or XSpace; Bypass
    • IMD: 0.0098%
    • Crosstalk: -50 dB
    • Zout (headphone out): 0.25 ohms (single-ended), 0.5 ohms (balanced)
    • Zout (balanced line out): 200 ohms
    • Maximum power consumption: 13 W / 2.6A
    • Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.9 x 1.2 in (11.7 x 10 x 3 cm)
    • Weight: 1.87 Ibs (0.85 kg)


    iFi audio ZEN DAC Signature
    A Standout DAC Gets a Signature Upgrade


    SEE IT ON DROP HERE!

    [​IMG]

    With a sleek form factor, solid build, and stellar sound, iFi audio’s ZEN DAC is one of the most talked-about USB DAC/amps on the market today. Now we're taking the conversation further in a Drop-exclusive model: the ZEN DAC Signature. Like the original ZEN DAC, this premium iteration can be powered by mains or a connected USB source. It boasts the same bit-perfect Hi-Res audio support, with PCM decoding to 384kHz, as well as native DSD and MQA decoding.

    [​IMG]

    Where the Signature stands out is its upgraded circuitry with premium parts selection for unparalleled analog conversion. The Signature features high-end, low-noise capacitors and resistors found in iFi’s flagship Pro series to preserve the signal in the purest form. Any downstream amplifier will sound crystal-clear when paired with this game-changing amp, but the ZEN DAC Signature (with its balanced circuit and 4.4mm output) makes an exceptional duo with the purpose co-designed ZEN CAN Signature 6XX.

    [​IMG]

    Specs:
    • Input: USB-B 3.0 socket (USB-B 2.0 compatible)
    • Supported formats:
      • 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 / 384 kHz, PCM
      • 2.8 / 3.1 / 5.6 / 6.2 / 11.2 / 12.4 mHz, DSD
      • 353 / 384 kHz, DXD
    • DAC: Bit-perfect DSD and DXD by Burr Brown
    • Power consumption: 5V / 174ma, P = 0.887W (on idle using included iPower)
    • Audio RCA output (unbalanced): 2.1 V fixed, 1 V – 3.3 V maximum (variable)
    • 4.4 mm Pentaconn output (balanced): 4.2 V fixed, 2 V – 6.2 V maximum (variable)
    • Z output (unbalanced): ≤ 100 ohms
    • Z output (balanced): ≤ 200 ohms
    • SNR: < -117 dB(A) at 0 dBFS (unbalanced / balanced)
    • DNR: > 117 dB(A) at -60 dBFS (unbalanced / balanced)
    • THD+N: <0.0011% at 0 dBFS (unbalanced / balanced)
    • Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.9 x 1.2 in (11.7 x 10 x 3 cm)
    • Weight: 1.65 lbs (0.75 kg)
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    I've got this in the house and will get to it soon! Just sort of bad timing because everything arrived at the same time.
     
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  3. Gazny

    Gazny Friend

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    How many Burr Brown chips is in the iFi audio ZEN DAC Signature?
    Also wonder how the 6xx would sound off the 4.4 mm Pentaconn out of the iFi audio ZEN DAC Signature (I know you shouldn't but it has me curious since it is variable)
     
  4. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    I wish we'd see more details about Zen DAC vs Zen DAC Signature.
     
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  5. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    We should have something ready soon.

    One.
     
  6. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    iFi audio ZEN CAN Signature 6XX: Tech Note #1

    Executive Summary


    With a revolutionary analogue equaliser acting directly on the amplification stage to tailor the output to match, your Sennheiser HD6XX (or 650, 600, 800s, etc.) will sound like you’ve never heard before. Now add:
    • our renowned XSpace analogue headphone spatialiser,
    • true end-to-end differential full-balanced amp circuitry with latest 4.4mm socket
    • circuit design derived from our $3000 Pro iCAN, with a slew of premium parts
    ....and you have a new headamp that will punch well above its price class!

    [​IMG]

    Activ EQ. The iFi way.
    The Massdrop X Sennheiser HD6XX (descended from Sennheiser HD650) is an excellent pair of headphones with first-rate musicality and massive sound stage. Why then does the 6XX need equalisation? The answer is straightforward. All headphones do. And this pair is no exception.

    The HD6XX boasts a spectacularly balanced midrange, which has made it justifiably one of the most popular headphones across the globe. However, as with any headphones, there's room for an improvement:

    [​IMG]

    i. Bass under 100Hz is rolled-off,
    ii. Upper treble is a little attenuated,
    iii. There is a significant ‘hole’ in the frequency response in the upper presence region.

    See here: https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MassdropHD6XX.pdf

    The True Zen path to equalisation
    How to upgrade what is already very good to world-class level?
    iFi audio comes with the solution!

    The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX is your answer. Our ActivEQ equalisation solution is a (much) more elegant solution to EQ than seen elsewhere. It consists of active and passive components and its EQ curve is tailored specifically to the HD6XX to correct its frequency response problems with surgical precision.

    [​IMG]

    And in the analogue domain too! Which lets you use it on everything from vinyl records to SACDs to MQA recordings, all sorts of places DSP can never reach. And thanks to its revolutionary utilization of the amping process itself to shape the output, all this is accomplished without altering the midrange, worsening SNR, increasing distortion or anything bad you can think of.

    The result moves the headphone closer to a neutral presentation with less midrange over-emphasis, with a full and natural bass and the oft-cited 'veil' over the treble lifted, helping the HD6XX become a real masterpiece.

    This elegant beast with 1600mW (@32Ω) /15.3V (@600Ω) output will drive your headphones smoother than you could have imagined. Designed to be the ultimate affordable (in price only!) headphone amplifier for the Sennheiser HD6XX, it will also significantly correct the frequency response of the HD650, HD600, HD700, HD800S and even the original HD800 (where it has been first physically modded with one of the documented 6.5kHz reduction mods that originally inspired the HD800S).

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
  7. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    iFi audio ZEN DAC Signature: Tech Note #1

    Executive Summary


    Premium version of the What Hi-Fi 5-star winning ZEN DAC. The Signature edition simplifies the design and maxes out the audiophile goodness with:
    • enhanced circuit design,
    • end-to-end True Differential Balanced design, and
    • premium parts selection inspired from our $3000 Pro range,
    A device that’s deceptive in its simplicity and a beast in performance.

    Awesome Home Fi audio
    Our best-selling ZEN DAC has a plethora of prestigious awards won, including the 5-stars What Hi-Fi award. We were tasked with an audiophile version of the entry-level ZEN DAC. We listened, delivered and hopefully, beat expectations. In collaboration with Drop (previously Massdrop), we created a powerful system with all audiophile-grade components complemented with state-of-the-art sonic design, drawing many cues from the $3000 Pro iDSD and Pro iCAN. Doubled the amount of audiophile componentry goodness and put the DAC and amp sections in separate products (they certainly won’t fit in the same box anymore). This is how the ZEN DAC Signature and ZEN CAN Signature 6XX were born.

    [​IMG]

    The ZEN DAC Signature offers a purist form designed for the demanding audiophile who is ready for the next level. The unique combination of 4.4mm balanced output, high-grade audio components and native MQA decoding means you enjoy the highest music quality at an approachable price. The product is so simple to control, that you will never have to worry about confusing settings and switches again. Less is more. We believe that simplicity is superior to elaborate embellishment.

    Our engineers designed to empower the user with a choice in the ZEN DAC Signature. YOU decide whether or not the ZEN DAC analogue volume control is used. When set to 'Variable', it can be used to control the volume of powered speakers, or its volume as a preamp. If using with downstream equipment with their own volume control - set to 'Fixed' for bypass as if it were a ‘straight wire’ from the digital source to the analog amplifier.

    Nothing but the best flagship ‘Pro series’ circuits.
    Descended from the $3,000+ flagship Pro iDSD, the ZEN DAC Signature has quite special DNA, making it perform as a DAC on a much higher level sonically than the modest price suggests. Why does it sound so special?

    [​IMG]

    Clean power = Clean sound.
    The power supply section is a masterpiece underpinning the digital and analogue section. In this vein, the ZEN DAC Signature uses among others, TI low-noise power supply ICs, well-designed ground planes for the PCB, ELNA Silmic II, Panasonic OS-CON and ECPU, Taiyo Yuden and muRata AND TDK C0G capacitors, and ingenious solutions to cleaning up the power for the DSD1793 chip. SMT and BiCMOS processes are employed to extract the very last bit of signal from noise.

    [​IMG]

    The hard work here pays off, giving performance in excess of what even the specs of the premium DACs and opamp chips used below would suggest.

    Brimming with quality technology from end to end
    From the USB input, the digital signal goes to the XMOS USB chip for support of all audio formats up to 32bits/384kHz, DSD512, and full native MQA decoding, which then feeds the Burr-Brown DSD1793 conversion chipset.

    [​IMG]

    Jitter from the source is eliminated using the separate Global Master Timing (GMT) circuit inherited from AMR, our high-end audio parent company. Taking audio data from the XMOS and clocking it according to the GMT, the BB DAC chip outputs the converted analogue signal to the end-to-end balanced analogue circuit with custom-designed premium OV2637A opamp, fitted with Vishay MELF resistors for suppression of thermal noise. The music signal can then be controlled by the ZEN’s multitrack analogue volume control (to feed powered speakers or power amps) or directly out to an integrated amp—or, of course, the matching ZEN CAN Signature.
     
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  8. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    So what exactly is different between the Signature and the OG? There's too much marketing gobbledygook to filter through.

    Plus, from the hyperlinks (which don't work) it's pretty obvious this is just a copy/paste from your HF post. If you really want to engage with the community on this forum, take some time to adapt the content to suit the culture here.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
  9. Baten

    Baten Friend

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  10. Joe Bloggs

    Joe Bloggs Acquaintance

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    I should point out that those links are dead links as well on head-fi. This had nothing to do with copy-pasting from head-fi--those links don't work, because we couldn't drop the whole glossary onto the short space we intended this to be.
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    I think I have the DAC. I have the amp, but the I don't know how to get the HD6XX mode working. There is a button, but pressing it doesn't light up the LED for the function.

    The combo is good sounding. But I assume I would need a 4.4mm balanced connector to make the most of everything.

    So some of this stuff is holding off a review.

    Stay tuned..

    P.S. Does anyone know where I can get the right 4.4mm balanced interconnect cable for this? What's the pin arrangement?
     
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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  12. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    There was an eBay seller who sold stock 650 cables with requested termination for $50 (cable+retermination), although 4.4mm plug might cost a little more. I bought one reterminated to 4-pin XLR, when I was in the US and his turn-around time was very quick (received it within a week after placing the order). I don’t know if he still sells and I can’t recall his name. Searching eBay from India, the search results are not returning any of his listings.

    EDIT: Found the seller from my purchase history: https://www.ebay.com/usr/corpsecable
     
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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  13. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Drop is offering this as an add-on, but the price seems pretty stupid ($89).
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    To be honest, that's a bit disappointing. One big draw about the iFi brand is that they always offer every possible sundry accessory to the customer. I loved that. I was never left wanting. I never had to dig for a cable or adapter. I never had to hit Amazon.
     
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  15. Roget

    Roget Acquaintance

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    Purrin, will you be posting measurements?
     
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  16. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Yes. One step at a time, or perhaps soon.
    • I thought something was a bit off after I cycled through a few headphones. It turns out that the unit I have has the EQ on all of the time. So it's the other way around, I can't turn it off.
    • The HD6XX EQ seems to be much more aggressive than what the above plots indicate.
    • Expect review soon. I will probably starting with measurements first because of what I am hearing.
     
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  17. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    As Baten listed, there's a sticky on Drop that explains what we did:

    https://drop.com/buy/ifi-audio-zen-dac-signature-drop-exclusive/talk#discussions

    We publish the same official content on all forums where we're present, and I was told that this subforum is just the place where we can do it :)

    Also, forum engines recognize for BB code, which is very useful in landing any info in multiple places pretty much instantly, without favoring one specific. And if there are any additional questions you or anyone else here at SBAF might have, both Joe and me are here to address them :)

    @purr1n you have a PM. As for pins, it's the Sony standard.
     
  18. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    So this is the gist of the differences between OG and signature?

    This is the MOT forum and you are free to post as you like here. But I would venture to speak for many in saying that a high S/N style of posting is appreciated and preferred at SBAF. There is a lot of interest in iFi products here. I own a few myself. I'm just trying to provide some constructive feedback that will let you better engage with the community.

    Your Tech Note #1 is literally tl;dr, has links that don't work, and is written in the standard iFi marketing-speak that doesn't really fit well here. The reason for my rant is I care about the quality of content on the forum.

    I checked it out and while it looks useful as a S/PDIF coax-optical converter, I don't see any clear "fact based" explanations about exactly how it improves sonic performance, just a bunch of hand-wavey stuff.
    I'm not an electrical engineer, but we're talking about a digital signal here and the above description of a square wave sounds like bullshit.
    Are "reclock" and "regenerate" actually trademarked? I couldn't find any thing here.
    https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-ap...arks/using-trademark-electronic-search-system

    Anyway, I'll stop shitting in your thread. The choice is mine whether or not to read your posts. GLWS
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    LOL.

    The square wave assertion is actually true. A square wave is the fundamental sine + infinte odd order harmonics in successively lower amplitudes to an asymptote. High bandwidth / slew rate is important to keeping this square shape of digital transmission.

    The iPower actually works. At least from a subjective point of view in regards to the iPhono3. I send the darn thing to @ChaChaRealSmooth, but have every intention of testing it out with other gear when I get it back, and not necessarily stuff from iFi either.

    --

    This industry sub-forum / product announcement is an open vendors get a free pass zone. I could care less if a vendor said buying a product could make you into a babe magnet like the famous football players in the euro leagues. We don't have to buy into any messages. It's a place where I like to be informed of new products and do wish it was used more. I really don't wan't to scare them off.

    However, feel free to critique the product on the review thread. It's up now.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  20. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    This I understand. A pure square wave has infinitely more harmonic content than a sine wave by definition. What bothered me was the statement "contain more harmonic content than a sine wave or a wave full of distortion" in the context of a digital signal that seemed to imply a direct correlation to more harmonics and less distortion in the resulting analog signal. Last post here, promise :cool:
     

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