The iFi iDSD Diablo, with its sleek new design and deep red finish, proudly sits at the top of the firm's amplifier/DAC range.
It is designed for purists, the true headphone enthusiasts who crave pure, unadulterated sonic performance.
The iDSD Diablo ditches sonic tailoring and Bluetooth connectivity to focus on pure sonic power. It is iFi's best portable amplifier to date.
We use two Burr-Brown DAC chips and the new 16-core XMOS chip to process the data received through the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs.
This means that the iDSD Diablo can handle up to 768 PCM, 512 DSD, 2xDXD. Both PCM and DSD remain 'bit perfect'.
It also features MQA decoding, which is available via S/PDIF so you can take advantage of your CD collection.
The balanced differential analog differential circuit design reduces noise and interference within the signal path by completely separating the left and right channels.
The iDSD Diablo benefits from further improvements in our balanced symmetrical dual mono topologies with direct and short signal paths.
Negative feedback is used in amplifier circuits to compare the output signal to the input signal and correct errors.
Capable of driving all types of headphones with ease, the iDSD Diablo delivers up to 5000 mW of prodigious power, propulsive energy and engaging dynamics, along with a remarkable ability to resolve fine textures and details.
With 3 settings, you can adjust power and gain to suit your daily driver or track day supersport.
The iDSD Diablo's focus on pure, unadulterated performance means that a lot of attention has been paid to the power supply circuitry.
Battery power provides ultra-clean, stable DC current that avoids the problems of mains power: sags, spikes, and RFI/EMI contamination that induces noise.
These problems are completely solved with the iDSD Diablo design. To make less efficient headphones, such as flat magnetic ones, sing, it is necessary to boost the voltage from 3.7V to +/- 15V.
A boost converter is used that operates at 1.2MHz, a frequency well beyond audibility that is easier to filter than a typical switching mode source, allowing for high linearity and ultra-low noise.
The high bandwidth power supply circuitry is dedicated to every critical part of the iDSD Diablo design, with independent linear regulation delivering excellent PSRR performance.
The headphone amplifier stage eschews IC regulators in favor of Panasonic's OS-CON capacitors, delivering 2320uF between them.
The DAC section benefits from an ultra-low noise regulator with additional passive filtering, which reduces high-order harmonic distortion and, in turn, jitter.
Even the USB input stage benefits from dedicated regulation and multi-stage filtering, and the microprocessor control circuit (often a local source of digital noise) also has separate regulation.
On the front of the unit, along with a standard single-ended 6.3 mm headphone jack, is a 4.4 mm Pentaconn headphone output that provides a balanced connection.
On the rear are two digital audio inputs: USB-A and an S/PDIF jack that accepts both electrical and optical signals, the former via a 3.5mm jack and the latter via a supplied adapter.
The USB-A input features a 'male' connector, rather than a typical 'female' port for greater mechanical integrity.
A separate USB-C charging port is also provided, along with a balanced 4.4 mm Pentaconn output for connection to an external amplifier.
As befits a reference level product, we have included a host of accessories in a luxurious travel case.
As the iDSD Diablo can be powered from the mains as well as its built-in battery, we have included the super-quiet, noise-cancelling iPower 5V AC/DC adapter to ensure optimum sound quality.
Also included is a balanced Pentaconn to dual 4.4mm XLR interconnect cable for connecting the iDSD Diablo to an amplifier and speakers (or a pair of powered speakers) with balanced XLR inputs.
Also added is a short (15 cm) USB-C to USB-A audio cable, as well as an extension cable plus a USB-C charging cable and an adapter for connecting headphones with a 3.5 mm jack to the single 6.3 mm jack. output terminated.