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Is it worth to get only ifi Zen Can without DAC

domijack281

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
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I use mostly Spotify 320kpbs and Apple Music where most libraries are CD quality 24/48khz.
I thought about getting something more powerful to drive my Sundara headphones than hip-dac which already own.

I plan just to use only usb-c Apple DAC adapter connected to my Mac mini with my amp. I would use newfantasia 4.4 balanced cable which I already use with hip-dac.

To audition tidal hifi which I have free trial with mqa, I think about about just using 3.5mm or 4.4mm interconnect cable with my hip-dac set to 3oclock. Not sure if thats good idea or no no because doublechaining amp would lead to distortions? Ifi support told me it would be no problem as long as I set volume knock high for “clean signal”. I am bit skeptical about advice thought.

If in future I decided to add DAC to enable resolving high-res streaming should I go for dac with balanced output or am I ok going with RCA output only dacs like Modi, since the amp inside CAN is balanced between SE and balanced signals?
 

raif71

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
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I have both IFI Zen Can and Zen DAC coz they complement each other visual wise but IFI Zen Can on its own is just great for anyone at least for me. It is a balanced amp, has 4.4mm pentaconn connection and it's cheap. It has immense power for its size and price. In my use case with a gustard X16, and Topping E30, the amp has more headroom than when I pair them with Topping L30 or Singxer SA1. For example with Singxer SA1 and X16, with low gain, I maxed out the SA1 volume with soft classical music but with Zen Can and X16, I'm at 2nd gain (it has 4 gains!!) and the volume is at 2 or 3 pm, meaning it has more headroom in terms of volume.
 
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