SQ has improved compared to .... but why?

There is something I need to understand :slight_smile:

Today I did a test with my new Audioquest Forest USB-C connected to a cirrus7 nimbus:

  • Meze Rai Penta
  • IFI Go Bar DAC
  • Audioquest Forest USB-C
  • cirrus7 nimbus (Windows 11 - Roon)

And it just sounds great with my Meze Rai Penta.

The SQ has improved compared to:

  • Meze Rai Penta
  • IFI Go Bar DAC
  • Standard cable that came with the IFI Go Bar
  • iPhone 11 (Roon)

The first solution sounds much better then the last solution.

But why is there such a different?

PS: I don’t think it is the cable

Have a nice WE

Greetings from Hamburg

Can you share the two signal paths in Roon?




Just a guess: the iPhone delivers less power.

The Gobar seems to have some power related issues with iPhones - but I didn’t really look into it. Maybe your ifi dealer knows more.

To compare the two they must be volume matched. The slightly louder/higher gain one will nearly ‘always’ sound better.

Had the same volume!

How did you measure the volume? Just because they are set to the same ‘number’ doesn’t mean they are outputting the same volume as each path can have a different gain structure.

It’s still not clear what your complete audio path is from the Roon pictures. They don’t match your text description.

I’m not disputing you hear a difference. I’m just struggling to understand your setup and therefore help to explain why.

With the PC, Roon communicates directly with the DAC, but with the iPhone it does not. You’ll notice that when you receive an email, for example, the signal is briefly muted. In other words, the signal goes through the iPhone mixer.

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OK THX - Is their away to by-pass the iPhone mixer (Passthrough - I don’t know if this the right word for it)?

Sorry - I don’t know what you are missing.

Hi @Torben_Rick , why do you think is not a cable ?

Assuming that you have measured and ansured volume levelling at playback and other GO BAR parameters like, filters, gains, space and bass are not accidently pressed… i.e. we have apples to apples… The only rational explanation I can think of is combination of a cable and input circuits of GO BAR, probably XMOS chip.

In dongle specifications iFi mentions volume synchronisation feature:

By default, the synchronisation feature is off. To switch this on or off, press the settings button (5) for > 8s. On is indicated by the 6 white LEDs switching on in sequence from LED 1 and 6 to the centre. Off is indicated by the 6 white LEDs switching off in the opposite direction.

That means there’s a harware/software logic that would know which devices are volume synchroniseable. I.e. inevitably something of this sort is in signal path… As such on your question, if there is noticable difference - I would think of this feature which probably differentiates between lighning connection vs usb c and may as well do/introduce smth.

Another guess is still volume level related, for example my FiiO KA3 is almost 2 times louder on iphone/ipad than on PC. However I dont see the quality drop on iphone. So it may be a difference in lighning vs USB or the way sowtware/OS is using those

Another guess is USB C port on PC. On one of my Dell laptops, USB C drivers for windows are apparently total crap (all up to date), i can not use it for DAC connections, On Linux however same USB C port shines…

All these are just guesses, hope SQ difference is not so disturbing…

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Unfortunately, there is not, but at least it’s much better than Android, which resamples everything.

On a PC and Mac, Roon will use Exclusive mode, but this isn’t available on iOS.

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