New iFi Zen Stream device

I never had the USB signature only the regular Allo USB bridge. The Zen is much better than the Allo USB bridge subjectively speaking of course.

The Signature is a whole different animal and I have never used it.

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Michael, compared Coax to USB, USB is slightly softer, more musically, warmer aura so to speak. Sounds a little better.
Regards, Peter

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Peter good news that both work.
Did you try upscaling to 384 in Roon to see if that makes it slightly better again?

I’m using the Zen Stream with a HD-Plex linear PSU at 15V and it sounds remarkable. The HD Plex output is adjustable. 12v sounded really good, and 15v added some warmth and even better reproduction of space.

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Just got my Zen Stream today, is there a good tutorial somewhere for setting it up with Roon & HQPlayer?

Shawn just plug in Ethernet and the update the firmware (if required).
Roon will automatically find the Zen, you just need to go to Settings->Audio and enable Roon.

Once that is working you can add the IP address to Roon and try that as well.

Though for HQP it depends if you already have it running or not, but if you do that should be enough.

If you don’t then you need to look at some other thread’s like this one.

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I have it working, unfortunately in my setup the performance suffers enough that its better just plugging my iMac into my Gustard X16 and using my iMac as a source. Looks like this will be going back to Amazon.

Shawn Ethernet or WiFi ?
And are you using Roon or other services

Gigabit WiFi (Ethernet is not an option for me)

It works fine with Roon, but adding HQP to the mix it suffers significantly compared to using my iMac as a source

Fair enough you give it a go

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Roon can’t see my Zen Stream when I use the USB output (Roon bridge). Why? Thank you for your kindness and help.

@david_snyder

Awaiting your valuable response

Mario make sure you have the USB enabled in Roon Settings->Audio
Also make sure you’re Stream is either set to Roon mode or AIO mode on the wheel at the back of the device.

Hi @Varun_Khanna . Nice to see you here. As you know, I do have both the Allo USBridge Sig + Shanti, and I’ve senice purchased the iFi ZEN Stream. I’ve not done a direct comparison, but my impression is that the iFi is a substantial upgrade over the Allo. I tried a few different operating systems on the Allo, and the best sounding result was a clean install of DietPi. Sadly, the Raspberry Pi CM3+ module in the Allo does not have the horsepower required to run a real-time kernel, so DietPi a very lean DietPi seems to be optimal. I would expect that to perform better than trying to optimize RoPieee XL, but YMMV.

The amazing thing about the ZEN Stream is the physical switch on the back that allows you to select a dedicated Roon mode (position 2). This kills off processes not related to Roon, including the Volumio Web UI. I’ve logged in and verified that this actually works and meaningfully reduces CPU load as a result. Of course, the ZEN Stream has all of the iFi Active Noise Cancellation magic applied to outputs. Allo has their own ways of optimizing outputs, but iFi has pretty mature technology in this space.

If I get around to doing a more direct comparison, I’ll let you know. Results for stuff like this tend to be DAC-specific, but I expect to hear at least some minor differences. :slight_smile:

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No such thing unless you have all 6e APs and clients and even then both would need enough streams for true gigabit WiFi.

I did a reset and voilà! Last question, my Zen Stream is connected to a Denafrips Pontus II. Even if I am playing cd quality, 24Bits/192kHz or DSD, the right light on my Zen is always green. I thought the light changed colors. Am I wrong? Thank you so much for your help!

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Mario good news there.

To get different colours you have the music settings belowz so that means it thinks it is downsampled to 16/44.1 or similar.

Can you send over your signal path like below (my Stream is off at the moment)

Also can you send your settings for your Zen Stream so we can compare them.

Hi Michael,

Everytime I write to you the problems get solve. May I write to you everyday? :wink:

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Perfect Mario, glad I could help by sending good wishes your way :+1: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

BTW I forgot to send my Signal path for DSD Upscaling and this gives a lovely Blue light on the right hand side

I have several iFi products and have always found their support staff to be responsive and helpful.