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ifi ipower X

GMG

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Are there any reviews/measurements for the new ifi ipower X
Wondering if the issue/claim of leakage back to the mains on the original ipower was resolved.
ifi claim x20 better performance on leakage compared to "standard smps"

Many Thanks
 

amirm

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My previous tests have shown their products to be ineffective. Ask them to produce a measurement on the output of a DAC with and without it and what difference it makes. Without it, it is a waste of money.
 
OP
G

GMG

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Thanks,
But wouldn't such a measurements depend on the DAC used? I mean if a DAC has a well designed internal power management/regulation then perhaps the power supply will have no effect, but if the DAC has some flaw wouldn't a better power supply have a potential effect?
That's why I was asking about measuring the power supply itself and not the effect it has or doesn't have on a specific DAC

Does that make sense?
 

LaL

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My previous tests have shown their products to be ineffective. Ask them to produce a measurement on the output of a DAC with and without it and what difference it makes. Without it, it is a waste of money.
Thanks,
But wouldn't such a measurements depend on the DAC used? I mean if a DAC has a well designed internal power management/regulation then perhaps the power supply will have no effect, but if the DAC has some flaw wouldn't a better power supply have a potential effect?
That's why I was asking about measuring the power supply itself and not the effect it has or doesn't have on a specific DAC
Does that make sense?

I've just discovered that the iFi iPower that comes with their new Zen-Can amp for ($20)extra actually makes the amp sound worse compared to an old 5v adapter I use for another device . I had plugged it into the Zen-Can amp by mistake and couldn't understand why I was really enjoying music more than usual for about 2 weeks. Now when I switch back and fort between the two 5v adapters I can pinpoint the difference. The iFi iPower supply makes the music sound more compressed, basically clarity and detail are worse. The end result is you feel like you're not enjoying music as much.

The Zen-Amp itself really does sound excellent, it's really very engaging with music.

I believe they had issues with the iPower adapters in the past but how can they be still be upselling an add-on "Clean" power supply that reduces the performance of their really good amp. As @amirm has said in the past relating to snake-oil, it's one thing to sell a product that does absolutely nothing to improve audio quality - but they are selling something that makes their audio equipment sound worse!

iFi are now selling the newer $100 iPowerX - I hope they're not unloading their older (defective) $50 iPower to new purchasers of the Zen-Can amp which for many will be their first Class-A amp and will be just happy with all the extra power and will not notice that the amp can sound a lot better with a properly functioning $8 power supply.

@GMG by the way it doesn't appear to affect my DAC, or at least it's not audible but it definitely affects the sound detail of the Class-A amp.

(Linksys 5v,2A) (iPower 5v,2.5A)
 

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raif71

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I've just discovered that the iFi iPower that comes with their new Zen-Can amp for ($20)extra actually makes the amp sound worse compared to an old 5v adapter I use for another device . I had plugged it into the Zen-Can amp by mistake and couldn't understand why I was really enjoying music more than usual for about 2 weeks. Now when I switch back and fort between the two 5v adapters I can pinpoint the difference. The iFi iPower supply makes the music sound more compressed, it kills the separation and fine detail, it sounds like it removes any air between music notes that are normally light an dynamic and instead makes them sound more stodgy, highs are duller too. But the end result is you feel like you're not enjoying music as much.

The Zen-Amp itself really does sound excellent, it's really very engaging with music.

I believe they had issues with the iPower adapters in the past but how can they be still be upselling an add-on "Clean" power supply that dramatically reduces the performance of their really good amp. As @amirm has said in the past relating to snake-oil, it's one thing to sell a product that does absolutely nothing to improve audio quality - but they are selling something that makes their audio equipment sound worse!

iFi are now selling the newer $100 iPowerX - I hope they're not unloading their older (defective) $50 iPower to new purchasers of the Zen-Can amp which for many will be their first Class-A amp and will be just happy with all the extra power and will not notice that the amp can sound a lot better with a properly functioning $6 power supply.

@GMG by the way it doesn't appear to affect my DAC, or at least it's not audible but it definitely affects the sound quality of the Class-A amp.
I've never used any other power supply other than the supplied ifi ipower on my zen can and to me the sound is already good. Maybe I can try a usb to barrel cable just to see if there is any difference.
 

pozz

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Thanks,
But wouldn't such a measurements depend on the DAC used? I mean if a DAC has a well designed internal power management/regulation then perhaps the power supply will have no effect, but if the DAC has some flaw wouldn't a better power supply have a potential effect?
That's why I was asking about measuring the power supply itself and not the effect it has or doesn't have on a specific DAC

Does that make sense?
Out of the 200 or so DACs measured so far, only the very worst examples, clearly wrongly designed, show any sensitivities to power supply.
I've never used any other power supply other than the supplied ifi ipower on my zen can and to me the sound is already good. Maybe I can try a usb to barrel cable just to see if there is any difference.
Unless the DAC is underpowered for some reason, there will be no difference.

Look here under "Tests & Studies": https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/master-review-index.11398/

And in here see reviews of different cables, power supplies and so forth: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?pages/Audio_Equipment_Reviews/

It really isn't worth the time to swap cables or power supplies unless there is something obviously wrong.
 

LaL

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@pozz said
Unless the DAC is underpowered for some reason, there will be no difference.
It really isn't worth the time to swap cables or power supplies unless there is something obviously wrong.

In this particular case the noticeable difference is with an Amp - the iFi Zen-Can (Amp Only Unit)
 

pozz

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@pozz said


In this particular case the noticeable difference is with an Amp - the iFi Zen-Can (Amp Only Unit)
If I understand you correctly, you are using an equivalent power supply in each case, one being an "upgraded" version.

It's unlikely that something is off.

If you have a soundcard or something with a mic input you can perform measurements at the output of the amp and compare the two devices to make sure your impressions are correct.
 

raif71

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@pozz said


In this particular case the noticeable difference is with an Amp - the iFi Zen-Can (Amp Only Unit)
Yup, this is just an amp only unit getting a 5V and 2.5A from the ifi ipower supply. I have several usb to barrel cables which I'm using one with the zen dac but after googling the usb specs, the current out imo is too low ie 500mA for usb2.0 and 900mA for usb3.0, maybe I'll just use the ifi ipower for the zen can as I'm already happy with the sound.
 
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LaL

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Another thought, maybe the old Linksys power supply is just incredibly clean ?
It's a subtle difference but it's definitely audible, the clarity and fine detail are less when I use the iPower, and music is just less enjoyable. The ipower must be introducing some type of electrical noise which results in slight distortion in the amps audio output thus reducing clarity, the loss of micro detail is most noticeable in the high treble (High-Hat is less crisp)
 

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Katji

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Another thought, maybe the old Linksys power supply is just incredibly clean

Quite possible. It would be nice to have some sort of list of recommended/tested power supplies, low noise. Which is what the iFi products are supposed to be.
 

raif71

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I'm using the original Zen-Dac.
Yeah, so we're the same then. For the zen-dac do you just use the supplied usb3.0 cable for power and usb data or do you also use the barrel jack to power the zen dac? In my case, I'm using barrel to usb 2.0 type a for power and for usb data, I use normal usb2.0 type b cable to zen dac usb port and the other end usb type-c to DAP.

1606576892295.png
 

LaL

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One more question, for the zen dac, do you use fixed or variable line-out mode ?
I use fixed which seems to be the same as volume at 1 o'clock on high gain which apparently is peek performance before distortion starts to be introduced.
 

raif71

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I use fixed which seems to be the same as volume at 1 o'clock on high gain which apparently is peek performance before distortion starts to be introduced.
Ok, I use fixed too. So, I supposed that was what I heard (distortion) when I max volume of the zen dac when in variable mode. I reverted back to fixed mode lol
 

pedrob

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Thanks,
But wouldn't such a measurements depend on the DAC used? I mean if a DAC has a well designed internal power management/regulation then perhaps the power supply will have no effect, ...
Internal power management can only reduce DC ripple by a certain amount and is depend on the size, complexity of the circuitry and quality of the components. Consequently the cleaner the DC input the better so there is very little contamination. As far as I am aware there is no test that can show DC ripple does not contaminates the output in subtle ways.
 
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