iFi Retro 50

I just recieved one from Skip and just wanted to say how happy I am with this sweet little amp. Beautiful tube sound through my Nola Contenders, which are 90db efficient, so there is plenty of power. I'm surprised he hasn't sold of bunch of them. I replaced a Parasound HINT and I greatly prefer the Retro 50 for my application. Anyone looking for a lower powered Integrated, should give one of these serious consideration.

Comments

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 15,300
    edited April 5
    They are very cool -- nice looking, too.

    pp EL84, right? Ca. 14 wpc, give or take.
    (plenty of power for real loudspeakers -- not these sissy loudspeakers that are all the rage nowadays).

    :)
    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 13,648
    25 wpc. It's a nice sounding and balanced unit. I miss it honestly, but I don't have a place for it to shine currently.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: P3ESR, 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: CP-6311, Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S60, S55, S35, S30, S20, S15, RTA 15tl, Sonner Audio Allegro Unum
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Dayens Ampino, Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, AURALiC Altair, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 365
    25wpc out of two El84s is a bit of marketing,IMO. But it really doesn't matter since it has plenty for my speakers and room. Another surprise was the sound quality from the DAC and Apt-X. Much better than what I was getting out of the Parasound DAC using wi-fi. Didn't expect that. Thanks, Skip !
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 7,033
    Lossy Bluetooth sounds better than lossless wifi? Might just be you like the tube sound better?
    | Front - Dynaudio Emit M20 | Center - N/A | Rear - Polk Monitor 4 | Sub - N/A |
    | AVR - Yamaha Aventage RX-A1020 | Preamp - Dared MC-7P | Amp - B&K Reference 4420 |
    | Turntable - Yamaha PX-3 | Cartridge - Dynavector DV-20X2H | Digital Source - AURALiC Aries Mini |
    | TV - LG 60" 4K | Gaming - Xbox One - PS3 - New 3DS XL - Nvidia Shield TV |

    This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality
    Embrace this moment, remember, we are eternal
    All this pain is an illusion
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 15,300
    edited April 5
    I have the same feeling: For the record RCA receiving tube manual RC-20 says 17 watts for 6BQ5/EL84 pp at 4% THD using 300V on the plates biased into class AB1 (72 mA plate current at zero signal) with up to 14V peak signal feeding grid 1 (8000 ohm plate to plate load impedance).

    source: http://www.tubebooks.org/tubedata/RC20.pdf page 165.

    The 25 watts might be attainable @ 10% THD (which, in fairness, was the classic standard for rating output tube power in the classic vacuum tube hifi days).

    pp 7189 (or "EL84M") might get to 20-25 watts @ that kind of THD but the plate voltage would immolate plain-vanilla EL84s, I think.

    Still, the difference between 25 watts and 12 watts is only a hair over 3 dB (i.e., right on the edge of negligible).

    And -- fortunately -- IME it is simply not possible to build a bad sounding SE or PP amp around EL84 output tubes (even with very modest iron). :)

    I.e., none of this detracts from a very little cute amplifier design which I am sure gets the job done.
    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 365
    Maybe I prefer the Burr-Brown over the ESS sabre. Not sure, what it is. Never had any luck with BT in the past. Still prefer my PX-2 and the T2 tuner but I'm quite happy with the Apt-X sound.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 13,648
    Nightfall wrote: »
    Lossy Bluetooth sounds better than lossless wifi? Might just be you like the tube sound better?

    The iFi is integrated extremely well. I used it most the time purely with Bluetooth. While their separate pieces are good, the way they integrate the Stereo 50 makes it all shine.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: P3ESR, 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: CP-6311, Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S60, S55, S35, S30, S20, S15, RTA 15tl, Sonner Audio Allegro Unum
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Dayens Ampino, Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, AURALiC Altair, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • gudnoyezgudnoyez Posts: 5,753
    Congratulations I heard that unit and liked it a lot. I'm sure you are enjoying it, what Parasound DAC were you using prior to this? I would like to own one of these someday
    Home Theater
    Parasound Halo A 31 OnkyoTX-NR838 Sony XBR55X850B 55" 4K RtiA9 Fronts CsiA6 Center RtiA3 Rears FxiA6 Side Surrounds Dual Psw 111's Oppo 105D Signal Ultra Speaker Cables & IC's Signal Magic Power Cable Technics SL Q300 Panamax MR4300 Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables Audioquest Forest USB Cable

    2 Channel
    Adcom 555II Vincent SA-T1 Marantz SA 15S2 Denon DR-M11 Clearaudio Bluemotion SDA 2.3tl's (Z) edition MIT Terminator II Speaker Cables & IC's Adcom 545II Adcom Gtp-450 Marantz CD5004 Technics M245X SDA 2B's, SDA CRS+

    Stuff for the Head
    JD LABS C5 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD 598, Polk Audio Buckle, Polk Audio Hinge, Velodyne vPulse, Bose IE2, Sennheiser CX 200 Street II, Sennheiser MX 365

    Shower & Off the beaten path Rigs
    Polk Audio Boom Swimmer, Polk Audio Urchin B)
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 7,033
    TForan wrote: »
    Still prefer my PX-2

    Nice TT! I'm actually listening to a record I bought at a concert I went to last night on a PX-3 right now.
    | Front - Dynaudio Emit M20 | Center - N/A | Rear - Polk Monitor 4 | Sub - N/A |
    | AVR - Yamaha Aventage RX-A1020 | Preamp - Dared MC-7P | Amp - B&K Reference 4420 |
    | Turntable - Yamaha PX-3 | Cartridge - Dynavector DV-20X2H | Digital Source - AURALiC Aries Mini |
    | TV - LG 60" 4K | Gaming - Xbox One - PS3 - New 3DS XL - Nvidia Shield TV |

    This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality
    Embrace this moment, remember, we are eternal
    All this pain is an illusion
  • PSOVLSKPSOVLSK Posts: 3,546
    Congrats and glad you're enjoying it. Very cool piece.
    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.-John Wooden
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 365
    Nightfall wrote: »
    Lossy Bluetooth sounds better than lossless wifi? Might just be you like the tube sound better?

    Maybe it was the Sonos Connect, that is was using for Wi-fi.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 15,300
    Realizing this is an elderly thread... the "25 watts" specification came up Someplace Else... perusal of the IFI website shows that the 25 watts is a "music power" specification (presumably not unlike the old IHF "music power" spec of the pre-FTC 1974 regulations days). That's probably on the order of 15 watts (per channel) continuous power

    https://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/retro-stereo-50/
    (see the "tech specs" tab... reproduced below but sans formatting)

    Wireless Input
    Bluetooth (aptX) 1

    Digital Input
    USB (DSD512/768kHz/2xDXD) 1
    Coaxial (192kHz) 1
    Optical (192kHz) 1

    Analogue Input
    Phono(MM/MC Low/MC High/Line 3) 1
    Line 1 1
    Line 2 1
    3.5mm (share with Line 2) 1

    Outputs
    Loudspeaker Output 1
    3.5mm Headphone Output 1 (Output impedance 3.5mm < 3 Ohm)
    6.3mm Headphone Output 1 (Output impedance 6.3mm < 6 Ohm)

    Audio Section
    Power output (Music) > 25W(majority Class A)
    Total Harmonic Distortion(THD) < 0.2% (@ 2.83V/1W)
    Output bandwidth 10Hz ~ 60kHz
    Frequency Response 10Hz ~ 80kHz
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio > Amplifier 101dB (@ max output)
    > Phono MM: 90dB(A)
    > Phono MC: 80dB(A)
    DAC Dynamic Range > 113dB(A)
    Tone Control Bass(100Hz) +/-8dB
    Treble(10KHz) +/-8dB
    Analogue Signal Processing (ASP) XBass, 3D Holographic
    Phono Gain 38, 50, 62dB
    MM 220pF//47k
    MC 200pF//330R
    RIAA Accuracy <0.5dB
    Tubes 2 x ECF82; 4 x EL84X

    Digital Section
    PCM 768/705.6/384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz
    DSD 512/256/128/64 24.6/22.6/12.4/11.2/6.2/5.6/3.1/2.8MHz
    DXD 768/705.6/384/352.8kHz
    Filters Minimum Phase (PCM 192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz)
    Bit Perfect (DXD/PCM 768/705.6/384/352.8)
    Analogue (DSD)

    General
    Power Supply AC 100V-240V
    Power consumption 75W
    ~0.1W (Standard mode)
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 300 x 153 x 226mm
    Weight 5.8kg
    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 13,648
    Good info. Still the best $1500 tube integrated on the market.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: P3ESR, 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: CP-6311, Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S60, S55, S35, S30, S20, S15, RTA 15tl, Sonner Audio Allegro Unum
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Dayens Ampino, Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, AURALiC Altair, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
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