iFi Audio Retro complete system

Equipment report
Integrated amplifiers,
Digital-to-analog converters
iFi Audio Retro Music System
iFi Audio Retro complete system

Some readers have already asked if iFi will sell the Retro Stereo 50 as a standalone amp/DAC/phonostage for those who do not require loudspeakers. In the US, at least, iFi will offer the Retro Stereo 50 for $1,495 and the LS3.5s monitors for $795/pair, for those who wish to purchase the components separately. Obviously, though, the complete system’s bundled price affords buyers considerable savings.

The more I used the Retro system, the better I liked it. In small-to-mid-size rooms it produced a pure, beautifully focussed, and intensely three-dimensional sound that would do many a costly and complex high-end system proud. But happily the Retro system isn’t absurdly costly nor is it complex; in fact, it offers what DaVinci might have called the ‘sophistication of simplicity’. Bring the Retro system home and, within minutes, you can be enjoying refined and engaging sound through the system’s speakers or through your choice of high-performance headphones.

Technical Specifications

iFi Retro LS3.5 mini-monitors

Type: 2‑way, two-driver stand-mount monitor with P.G.A.H. Voigt-tuned enclosure with rear firing slot port

Driver complement: One 115mm wide bandwidth paper‑coned quasi-full-range driver, one 28mm waveguide-loaded, silk dome ‘super tweeter’

Accessories: Rubber anti-slip mats, silicon rubber decoupling feet, two sets of removable grilles (beige and black), silver-plated OFHC copper speaker cables with Teflon insulators

Frequency response: 59Hz – 20kHz

Crossover frequency: The wide-bandwidth driver operates full-range (from approximately 59Hz to 8kHz) and thus requires no crossover; the super tweeter rolls in at approximately 10kHz via first-order crossover

Impedance: 4 Ohms

Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83V/1M

Dimensions (HxWxD): 268 × 146 × 226mm

Weight: 3.5kg/each

Finishes: Laminated natural bamboo

Price: $795/pair if purchased separately; special bundled pricing if purchased as part of the iFi Retro system

iFi Retro Stereo 50 headphone amp/integrated amp/phonostage/DAC

Type: A valve-powered headphone amp, integrated amp, phonostage, and high-res DAC

Valve Complement: 2 × ECF82, 4 × EL84x

Accessories: Rubber anti-slip mats, USB cable, two stereo analogue signal cables (one with RCA jack, one with 3.5mm mini-jacks), coaxial/optical mini-jack-type digital audio adapter), screw-on Bluetooth antenna, power cord and low-noise wall‑wart-type power module

Analogue inputs: One MM/MC phono input (via RCA jacks – also user-configurable as a general purpose single‑ended analogue input), up three single-ended line-level inputs (via RCA jacks or 3.5mm jack)

Digital inputs: One S/PDIF (configurable as either a coaxial or optical input), one USB port, aptX Bluetooth

Analogue outputs: One ‘Normal’ headphone output (via 3.5mm jack), one ‘Turbo’ headphone output (via 6.35mm jack), 4 – 16 Ohm-compatible stereo speaker taps

Supported sample rates:

•          Coaxial and optical S/PDIF: 16‑bit, 24‑bit — 192kHz

•          USB: 16‑bit, 24‑bit, 32‑bit — 768kHz, 2xDXD, DSD512

Analogue Signal Processing: Studio-grade tone controls, 3D Holographic sound, XBass low-frequency enhancement system

Headphone Amplifier Power Output: Up to 7,000mW

Integrated Amplifier Power Output: >25 Wpc “music power” into the LS3.5’s 4 Ohm load

Bandwidth: 10Hz – 60kHz (frequency response, 10Hz – 80kHz)

Distortion: < 0.2% (@2.83V/1W)

Signal to Noise Ratio:

•          Amplifier: >101dB

•          MM Phonostage: >90dB

•          MC Phonostage: >80dB

DAC Dynamic Range: >113dB

Phonostage Gain: 38, 50, or 62dB

RIAA Accuracy: <0.5dB

Phono EQ Curves: RIAA, CCIR 56/Teldec, Columbia, Decca (FFSS), RIAA (DMM), EMI.

Dimensions (H×W×D): 146 × 268 × 226mm

Weight: 5.8kg

Price: $1,495 if purchased separately; special bundled pricing if purchased as part of the iFi Retro system

iFi Retro System comprising the Retro Stereo 50 amp/DAC and Retro LS3.5 mini-monitors

Price: £1,650, or $1,999 US

Manufacturer Information: iFi Audio

URL: www.ifi‑audio.com

Distributed in the UK by: Select Audio

URL: www.selectaudio.co.uk

Tel: +44(0)1900 601954

Distributed in the US by: Avatar Acoustics

URL: www.avataracoustics.com

Tel: 1 (678) 817-0573