iFi audio ZEN DAC Signature V2 - The Official Thread

AMR / iFi audio

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Even purer DAC performance.​

Our specialist desktop DAC, ZEN DAC Signature V2, has been upgraded to bring you an even purer performance than the original.

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Enjoy an enhanced experience.​

The ZEN DAC Signature V2 has been improved to offer an even greater, purer listening experience.
Just like the original, its sole purpose is to feed an external amp, be it a headphone amp, or an amp and speakers.
Unlike the original, it has a 16 core XMOS chip instead of 8. This new and improved digital engine is more powerful than ever. We’ve also upgraded the clock circuitry to enhance the purist, audiophile design even further.
Enjoy music without any distortion or colouration.

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Balanced. Blissfully quiet.​

The ZEN DAC Signature V2 incorporates boutique parts and circuitry inspired by the £3,000 iFi Pro range.

It sports a fully-symmetrical, true differential balanced dual-mono signal stage with direct signal paths to ensure optimal signal purity.

The new low jitter crystal clock means >20dB better noise reduction. The ZEN DAC Signature V2 will remain quiet wherever it’s used.

Outstanding components including C0G capacitors from TDK, Panasonic OS-CON and ELNA Slimic II capacitors complete the design.

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16 core means more…​

MQA an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording.

Thanks to the processing power of the new 16 core XMOS chip, the ZEN DAC Signature V2 is now a full MQA decoder.

The ZEN DAC Signature V2 includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. The LED glows green or blue to indicate that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and denotes provenance to ensure that the sound is identical to that of the source material. It glows blue to indicate it is playing an MQA Studio file, which has either been approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.

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Confident connections​

You can trust in accurate, jitter free data transfer from your source device. The USB Type B input is asynchronous, meaning that the data rate is regulated solely by the ZEN DAC Signature V2’s specialised, and now upgraded, audio clock circuitry.
A pair of RCA sockets provide a single-ended connection to an amp and a Pentaconn 4.4mm output enables balanced signal transfer between compact products that cannot accommodate traditional, bulky XLR connections.
The full benefit of the ZEN DAC Signature V2’s balanced circuit design can be heard when connected to an amp or active speakers equipped with a balanced input. This can be either a 4.4mm Pentaconn input, or stereo XLR inputs via a 4.4mm-to-XLR cable.
 

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dsnyder0cnn

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This looks amazing. The Signature V2 DAC seems to take the best features and qualities of the NEO iDSD while dropping bits that many folks don't care about, like the underpowered headphone amp, Bluetooth, and S/PDIF inputs. It will pair beautifully with the Signature headphone amps and the new ZEN Stream.
 
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AMR / iFi audio

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Do you know anything more about them? I heard that it is going to be their new flagship, but the info on the internet is pretty enigmatic and fragmented.
 

AMR / iFi audio

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I find that alternating between the two types works best for me. In my opinion, the lower-end electrostats are generally not as clear in the high and low bands, but the high-end electrostatic headphones offer probably the most transparent sound you can reach.
 
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Addicted to hifi

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I find that alternating between the two types works best for me. In my opinion, the lower-end electrostats are generally not as clear in the high and low bands, but the high-end electrostatic headphones offer probably the most transparent sound you can reach.
I agree with you.electrostatic headphones can be abit to revealing for my tastes.I guess I will listen to both of audezes flagships and I could go either way.
 
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Vitorspg

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I have a Zen Stream connected to a Hegel H95, via Coax. I'm using it for Tidal Connect (Tidal Hifi tier) only. The sound is very good as it is, but I'm wondering if pairing the Zen Stream with the Zen Dac Signature V2 via USB would improve things further, apart from adding MQA capability to the system. I listen mostly to Jazz, chamber music, acoustic music and indie rock.

Also, given the Stream is powered with Ipower X 12v, should I power the Zen Dac Signature with USB only, or should it be plugged to the wall socket as well?

Any thoughts? Thank you
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Aug 21, 2019
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I have a Zen Stream connected to a Hegel H95, via Coax. I'm using it for Tidal Connect (Tidal Hifi tier) only. The sound is very good as it is, but I'm wondering if pairing the Zen Stream with the Zen Dac Signature V2 via USB would improve things further, apart from adding MQA capability to the system. I listen mostly to Jazz, chamber music, acoustic music and indie rock.

Also, given the Stream is powered with Ipower X 12v, should I power the Zen Dac Signature with USB only, or should it be plugged to the wall socket as well?

Any thoughts? Thank you
Hi @Vitorspg ,
Pairing the Zen Stream with the Zen Dac Signature V2 would make a tremendous difference. the Zen Stream does not have a dac chip inside, whereas the Zen Dac Signature V2 is a dac. Bear in mind, that the Zen Dac Signature V2 does not have a headphone output. It is best recommended to pair it with one of the Zen Can Signatures.

Zen Dac Signature V2 requires 5V power supply. If you are using a 12V power supply on the Zen Stream, then there would be no problem powering the Zen Dac Signature 5V directly via USB cable. If you wish to improve the sound quality even further we recommend using an independent power supply.
 

Vitorspg

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Feb 6, 2022
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Hi @Vitorspg ,
Pairing the Zen Stream with the Zen Dac Signature V2 would make a tremendous difference. the Zen Stream does not have a dac chip inside, whereas the Zen Dac Signature V2 is a dac. Bear in mind, that the Zen Dac Signature V2 does not have a headphone output. It is best recommended to pair it with one of the Zen Can Signatures.

Zen Dac Signature V2 requires 5V power supply. If you are using a 12V power supply on the Zen Stream, then there would be no problem powering the Zen Dac Signature 5V directly via USB cable. If you wish to improve the sound quality even further we recommend using an independent power supply.
Thanl you for the message. However, my question has nothing to do with headphones. I'm currently using the Zen Stream for Tidal Connect, via Coax, with the internal DAC of the Hegel H95, with very good results, I should say. So, I was wondering if pairing the Stream with the Zen Dac Signature V2, connect via RCA to the H95, would yield any noticeable improvement in SQ and what kind of sound signature I should expect from this Ifi rig. I understand if you don't want to answer this question. Thank you
 

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