The story of the iFi booth at CANJAM SOCAL 2019 begins with Chris LaPlante, a thirty-year audio-veteran, veteran, and driving-force of the new Mountrose Music in Reno, NV. In partnership with iFi Audio the Mountrose booth at CANJAM’ was one of the more busy locations among the exhibit floor, where one could listen heartily to iFi’s vast product line (including the newly revised iFi Pro iDSD), and experience a slice of the Mountrose Music showroom experience.
iFi Audio was showing their newly updated iFi Pro iDSD DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Streamer. Many refinements were made to update the Pro iDSD by taking input specifically from the head-fi community, and headphone listening hobbyists world-wide. Gone is the previous 2.5mm balanced headphone output, in favor of a consumer requested 4.4mm balanced headphone output. Amplifier refinements include a 5% power increase, up from 4-wpc to 4.2-wpc. Further refinements include work done in the balanced circuitry to better isolate and balance incoming and outgoing signals.
Also on display was the iFi Pro iCAN headphone amplifier, which was to be used actively in the system or bypassed in favor of the iFi PRO iDSD’s newly updated on-board amplification. The option was entirely yours to choose. As a unique analog source option for a secondary iFi Pro iCAN display, was a MAGLEV turntable provided by Mountrose Music.
The sound of the newly updated iFi Pro iDSD (on-board power amplifier included) out of the gate just seems quieter in the background. Sound emerge from a much darker and more distant place. The power increase on paper may seem minimal, and the previous specs more than ample already. But the power on-hand during my listening was equally fully of slam and impactful details that speak more to refined power than just upped power. There’s more going on with the iFi Pro iDSD than just the .2-wpc power increase, and I’m happy to report that. Returning to the earlier point, the iFi Pro iDSD presents itself as such a balanced sounding, noise free, and power-ready multi-function standalone unit, that I must consider it a superb value from where I’m sitting. The implementation of a dynamic sounding balanced protocol has paid off in spades as far as noise-free operation is considered. Once again, iFi has blurred the strata-lines of where value-based and true-hi-fi sound begin and end.
Montrose Music is a new audio dealership in Revo, NV servicing the greater Lake Tahoe area, founded by Chris LaPlante who is the previous founder and owner of Excalibur Engineering, Excalibur’ was founded as a calibration laboratory specializing in acoustic and vibration calibration over 25 years ago by Christopher LaPlante. At the show, it was Mountrose Music offering a free ride in the orange McLaren 570S parked outside of the CANJAM hotel.