Other DACS use just one Burr-Brown Bit-Perfect chip. The Pro iDSD has four, making it the only ‘Quad-Stack’ DAC on the market. But what really sets it apart is that it comes with wireless playback, built-in Spotify and Tidal, and remastering to DSD1024. The quad “stack” of Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DAC’s interleaved configuration means up to eight pa... Click To Read More About This Product
Other DACS use just one Burr-Brown Bit-Perfect chip. The Pro iDSD has four, making it the only ‘Quad-Stack’ DAC on the market. But what really sets it apart is that it comes with wireless playback, built-in Spotify and Tidal, and remastering to DSD1024. The quad “stack” of Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DAC’s interleaved configuration means up to eight pairs of differential signals can be used and mixed; that’s four pairs of signals per channel.
The Pro iDSD is unique because it includes iFi’s Crysopeia FPGA Digital Engine, which upsamples your music to DSD1024, double the audio clarity supplied by competing DACs. The new XMOS XU216 X-Core 200 Series 16-Core processor has a maximum of 2,000 MIPS (two billion instructions per second) calculation power in dual-issue mode as a USB interface. All digital processing is Bit-Perfect, without employing ASRC or up-sampling unless digital filters are explicitly selected. 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).
DSD1024—You Can Use It
For the DSD1024, if the MultiBit DAC is one half of the ‘heart’ of the Pro iDSD’s digital engine, then the other half is surely the Crysopeia FPGA. This is where FPGA excels, by handling the remastering duties to attain the DSD1024 audio format. In fact, the Pro iDSD can handle all audio formats to to DSD1024 or DSD512 or PCM 768kHz with user-selectable digital filters.
For all inputs, data is sent to the Memory Buffer. Here it is de-jittered to eliminate transmission of source jitter to the DAC output. The data from the Memory Buffer is further re-clocked by the low-jitter Global Master Timing® clock, which also drives the X-Core 200 and FPGA.
With LINKPLAY™ WiFi/network playback, built-in Spotify and Tidal, and wide protocol support for 32-Bit/192kHz and DSD64, the Pro iDSD can directly link to a router for online music play. This is one of the ‘holy grails’ of computer audio. All inputs are galvanically-isolated (including USB). This is the same level of execution as found in the AMR DP-777 Digital Processor.
The USB input has its own separate power management system with multiple regulators and filtering operating from the galvanically-isolated voltage generated to power this section. Unlike other amplifiers that have the same circuit and switch in/out the tube section, the Pro iDSD is the first of its kind that has two individual input circuits – one tube and one Solid-State.
This results in the best sonics of both worlds because the signal path is the shortest and there is no compromise to ‘shoe horn’ the tubes into an already existing solid-state circuit. iFi are tube lovers and they appreciate that sometimes there is a need for an even more tube-like sound, so there are two tube settings – Tube and Tube+. The Tube+ position reduces overall loop-gain and thus negative feedback to the minimum. This gives a different trade-off between the tube’s natural harmonics and the transient performance.
The amplifer audio circuit is fully discrete, fully-balanced with either tube or J-FET input switchable, bipolar second stage and MOSFET-buffered bipolar class A Power stage. The resulting circuit may be best described as a ‘tri-brid’ where each device is used to greatest sonic advantage while minimizing any drawbacks. Furthermore, the circuit is pure DC coupled to avoid using any sonically-degrading coupling capacitors.
To maximize dynamic performance, especially with bass, the analog stage is backed by ELNA Silmic Capacitors located within a few millimeters of the audio circuitry supplied. Elna Silmics are used in the final stages of the main DC bus, which is filtered using multiple stages of inductor/capacitor filters.
The digital section is powered by a bank of Elna Dynacaps ‘super capacitors’ totaling 6.6 Farad (6,600,000uF). iFi uses Elna Dynacap DZ (TM) super capacitors because they have 400 times lower internal impedance than common grades of super capacitors. This exceptional low impedance means they release energy much faster than other super capacitors.
All incoming DC is converted to a high-frequency waveform then rectified and filtered by a choke input capacitor filter. This produces a first-level DC bus from which all further voltages are derived. The circuit also generates a galvanically-isolated power supply voltage for the USB input circuitry.
The digital section is powered by a bank of Super Capacitors totaling 6.6 Farad (6,600,000uF). Individual low-noise TI LDO Regulators with local LC filtering provide the final low-noise power for all individual digital sections, a total of six individual regulators cover Clock, S/PDIF Input and the DAC’s digital section.
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