iFi Audio Retro Stereo 50 (Amp & DAC only)
What we think in the Inner Sanctum:
The Retro 50 takes the concept of the old stereo receiver and brings it firmly into the 21st century.
An all-in-one unit that includes a 25-watts-per-channel tube-powered integrated amp, a state-of-the-art DAC, aptX Bluetooth and a phono preamp. What?
Looks retro, but has the technology of today and beyond.
How does it sound? With efficient speakers, it is simply amazing. iFi offers the matching LS3.5 speakers in the same finish, but you can pair the Retro 50 with the speakers of your choice.
-NOTE- We do not currently keep iFi Retro units in stock, but order as-needed from iFi, with most orders fulfilled in about a week.
From the manufacturer:
Starting with the Stereo 50, the iFi Retro is a completely new range that has one objective: to include everyone who loves music regardless of age, gender or technology.
The Retro Stereo 50 is an all-in-one tube stereo system: from Bluetooth aptx (phone/pad) to High-res digital (computer) to vinyl (turntable). Everyone can bring their music and be able to connect to the Stereo 50 and produce music that simply astounds. There really is nothing like the Retro Stereo 50.
Music is in the air
Smart devices capable of Bluetooth, aptX (best mode of wireless transmission) and NFC (extreme ease) can be “wirelessly paired” to the Stereo 50. From there, it is a simple case of opening your music app, be it your music collection on your music player, Spotify or Tidal and hit play!
The aptX option offers CD-like-quality wireless audio beyond normal Bluetooth. This means the Stereo 50 is future-proofed for Smart devices for many years to come.
Space-age digital and classic valve technology
AMR and iFi are renowned for combining classic valve technology with state-of-the-art digital technology such as in the prestigious AMR DP-777 Digital Processor. The Stereo 50 is the latest from a long line of outstanding products. It features 4xEL84X and 2xECF82 tubes with a stunningly advanced ground-up circuit that has DNA from the best of classic amplifiers such as Telefunken, Marantz and Leak.
Running primarily in Class A, its 25W+25W is and sounds astonishingly realistic. This all means a sonic performance that reflects the superb design and implementation.
Burr-Brown brightest chipset + AMR unorthodox technology
At iFi, ‘the best format’ is not the focus. Rather, we care for replaying each format at the pinnacle.
The Burr-Brown DAC chip used was developed by BB Japan (as opposed to BB/TI) though the product introduction was after the merger. Being Burr-Brown’s swan song chipset, it featured their ultimate converter technology and even to this day, is held in the highest esteem.
Having a chipset able to play all formats would count for little if this was not all executed natively, which means no conversion from one format to another. Using trickle-down technology from AMR (who wrote the chipset’s unorthodox control software) to drive this Burr-Brown chipset means preservation of the original music format which is essential for reaching the zenith in high-end audio reproduction.
High-Resolution on PCM768/DSD512/2xDXD
Computer-audio playback is advancing at breakneck speed. The Stereo 50 on the outside exudes classic retro styling, but on the inside, is at the cutting-edge.
It is able to play all formats to the highest level:
– PCM, from 16/44kHz all the way up to 32/768kHz
– DSD up to Octa-DSD512 (22.6/24.6MHz)
– DXD, 2x to 768kHz
Not only the hyper-advanced formats/sampling rates, but the filters employed also ensure the most analogue and life-like reproduction. The Minimum Phase filter for PCM and Bit-Perfect filter for DXD/DSD ensure maximum enjoyment. These filters ensure the typical “metallic edginess” to standard digital playback is not present, leaving a smooth and organic tonality.
In-Ear & Headphone lovers in for a treat
Got headphones? The Stereo 50 with separate 3.5mm and 6.3mm inputs is just for you. Each headphone input has its own dedicated gain and sensitivity to perfectly match high-sensitivity In-Ear-Monitors and low-sensitivity Over-the-Ear headphones respectively. The 6.3mm output pumps out a “turbo-charged” 7,000mW. So even the most demanding of headphones such as the HiFi Man HE-6 has met its match.
The Stereo 50 features iFi’s widely-regarded 3D Holographic for Headphones® and XBass® technologies. They have garnered a following with their mesmerizing ability to perfectly match each and every type of recording and headphone. The 3D Holographic for Headphones® technology uses pure analogue signal processing which delivers a wide open and spatially correct sound stage for headphones that places the sound field “back outside of the head” to enhance the listening experience. The XBass® technology creates the finest bass and dynamically corrects the bass response to perfectly suit the way we hear.
Vinyl oozes verve
iFi’s iPhono has already become a modern classic and the Stereo 50’s phono stage is set to emulate this feat. It has adjustable ultra-wide gain MM/MC from 38-62dB and its tone control system harks back to classic equalisation technology. With 6 different EQ curves (via the precision tone control), every stereophonic record is catered for. From the default RIAA through to EMI and Decca, as the legion of iPhono users can attest, once dialed-in, each and every record has “a kind of vinyl magic”.
The astonishing EQ feature would count for little if the actual sonic ability of the phono stage was not executed with finesse. Well, just like the iPhono, the Stereo 50 is one of only a handful of phono stages whose noise floor is below (as opposed to above) that of the record. With its superb dynamics and resolution, the Stereo 50 comfortably plays in the big league of vinyl.
Analogue Tone, Volume and Remote Controls
Digital volume controls truncate the delicate audio signal so iFi avoids this at all costs. The Tone Controls, Volume Control (with remote control) are all of extreme high-quality. The critical analogue volume control is by Alps (Japan) motorised potentiometer (< 3dB tracking error).
Audio equipment up to four times the price do not possess a volume control as high-quality as the Stereo 50’s. It is this fastidious attention to detail and highest-quality composition that sets iFi apart: in our sonic mission, we leave no stone unturned.
Retro Stereo 50 + LS3.5, a magical match for audio heaven
The Stereo 50 “full system” including the Retro LS 3.5 is a match made in audio heaven.
The LS3.5 is iFi’s 21st century take on the legendary BBC LS3/5a. To create the LS3.5 speaker, iFi scoured the globe for the very latest technologies and ideal materials. The result is a deep, wide and open sonic signature with spine-tingling tonality.
Swimming completely against the tide, the LS 3.5 (see LS3.5 product page for full details) was designed by iFi for iFi, so you won’t find its drivers or features on any other speaker, regardless of price.
The silk-dome, horn-loaded tweeter (1.1”) and coated natural paper wideband driver (4.5”) were developed in-house. Both drivers were design by iFi and used by iFi which is unprecedented for a mass market speaker.
Its non-resonant bamboo cabinet is both environmentally-friendly and uncompromising in its sonic performance. The cabinet is 3x stronger than wood and yet only half its weight thus not over-damped.
It is perfectly time-aligned and has internal acoustic technology that leaves other speakers lagging behind. Even the internal structure has been finely tuned (sound bar/braces) using musical instrument manufacturing methods.
All this coupled with the Stereo 50’s XBass® and 3D Holographic for Speakers® technologies creates a sonic synergy that is simply out of this world.
Bluetooth (aptX) 1
USB (DSD512/768kHz/2xDXD) 1
Coaxial (192kHz) 1
Optical (192kHz) 1
Phono(MM/MC Low/MC High/Line 3) 1
Line 1 1
Line 2 1
3.5mm (share with Line 2) 1
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)
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
Analogue Signal Processing (ASP) XBass, 3D Holographic
Phono Gain 38, 50, 62dB
RIAA Accuracy <0.5dB
Tubes 2 x ECF82; 4 x EL84X
DSD 512/256/128/64 24.6/22.6/12.4/11.2/6.2/5.6/3.1/2.8MHz
Filters Minimum Phase (PCM 192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz)
Bit Perfect (DXD/PCM 768/705.6/384/352.8)
Power Supply AC 100V-240V
Power consumption 75W
~0.1W (Standard mode)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 300 x 153 x 226mm
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