You are here

Log in or register to post comments
bwright
bwright's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 2 2006 - 8:54pm
IPod to Amplifier Options?

I am brand spanking new to IPod audio... all due apologies in advance.

Anyone have ideas on the best connectivity & setup options to plug my IPod into my integrated amp (suggestions, links, articles, etc.)?

I also have a huge song collection on my Mac desktop - I figured you all would know the best approach.

System basics:

Marantz DV9500 universal player
Dali Helicon 400 speakers
Cayin A-88T integrated tube amplifier

Many thanks!

Bill

ohfourohnine
ohfourohnine's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:41pm
Re: IPod to Amplifier Options?

Assuming the music on your iPod is in a compressed format, the most straightforward interconnect is probably the best approach. Numerous cable manufacturers (Kimber, Analysis Plus, and Cardas that I know of) provide an interconnect from the headphone jack of your iPod to an open line level input on your amp (RCA's). Set iPod volume to a high level, and listen.

Now if your iPod is loaded with music in lossless or Redbook format you might want to get more complicated. Either way, you might want to first try the set up above which is relatively cheap and easy to see if it suits your needs.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: IPod to Amplifier Options?

bwright

If you have a Marantz DV9500 the best sounding way to play music that you own on CD would be through that instead of the iPod. By getting off your ass every 43 to 74 minutes you will be greatly rewarded with better sound. Even if you used Apple lossless. If you left it one the 128 default setting the Marantz will KILL the iPod. Also the iPod's headphone output has a rather weak signal compared with what would come out of the RCA's of the DV 9500, even when the volume is turned all the way up. Another victory for the Marantz. The iPod is meant to be a portable device. Don't get me wrong I have an iPod and love it but it can't compete sonically with a Marantz DV9500. The 9500 is one sweet machine.

ohfourohnine
ohfourohnine's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:41pm
Re: IPod to Amplifier Options?

Everything you say is true, Mrlowry, especially your reference to Marantz. Unless I'm spinning vinyl, my source is a Marantz SA11-S1. No iPod available now or ever is going to touch it. On the other hand, the question was how to get the music which is in the iPod into the main system, not whether to do that. One might reasonably ask why one with the good taste to also buy the nice Cayin amp would want to do that. I can think of one reason. My main system is in the room best suited to entertaining guests. I resort to running an iPod loaded in lossless into my main system once a year at Christmas time when there are guests over and my wife wants constant Christmas carol background stuff. No fuss, no significant fidelity, but nobody cares. They're not really listening to the music anyway.

The side benefit is the efficient storage of all that Christmas music.

bwright
bwright's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 2 2006 - 8:54pm
Re: IPod to Amplifier Options?

Thanks for the insight & hearty laughs - one of the best Thai restaurants in San Francisco is located next door, so getting off my significantly large hindquarters will always be an issue.

I should have explained a bit more - I am trying to get my computer-bound recordings, gathered over the years from iTunes and various friend's CD collections, into my system without doing an all-too-massive CD purchase. $1500 was the tally on my Amazon cart after culling through the used bins & low price vendors for similar esoteric/out of print CDs, MFSL, DCC and SACDs, etc. I figured the Forum might offer a reasonable alternative.

Many of my recordings were done in the lossless format when it became available. As noted, not the best option, but not a complete wash.

So I'll take a look at the suggested cables - many thanks. If you can think of anything else, I'd be much obliged.

As an aside, the Cayin amp is incredible - I did a comparison with all the usual integrated suspects (Ayre, Simaudio, McIntosh/tube, etc.), and was blown away by the sound quality. I realize this is a subjective exercise, and indeed, the other brands are superb as well. But this one seemed to hit it all. Detail, balance, musicality, rock, vocals, jazz, electronica, you name it.

JMCIII
JMCIII's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 16 2006 - 3:10pm
Re: IPod to Amplifier Options?


Quote:
I am brand spanking new to IPod audio... all due apologies in advance.

Anyone have ideas on the best connectivity & setup options to plug my IPod into my integrated amp (suggestions, links, articles, etc.)?

I also have a huge song collection on my Mac desktop - I figured you all would know the best approach.

System basics:

Marantz DV9500 universal player
Dali Helicon 400 speakers
Cayin A-88T integrated tube amplifier

Many thanks!

Bill

Bill,

Do you have an iPod dock? if so, check one of the iPod mini to RCA cables on the market (Kimber Kable's looks nice and not too expensive), dock the iPod and connect the cable mini end to the line out mini jack on the back of the dock and the RCA ends to you integrated. By doing so, you bypass the cheap internal amp of the iPod and send a straight lineout signal to the amp. You can then treat it like any other audio source. I've done it, and it works fine for background listening (unless you're using uncompressed files - then it should be as good as most sources).

JMCIII
JMCIII's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 16 2006 - 3:10pm
Re: IPod to Amplifier Options?

Another alternative is to buy an external DAC that has a USB input conection - such as the Stello DA100 - and run a USB cable from computer to DAC. This works as well - provided your computer and stereo are close enough together (long runs of USB cable are not recommended).

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: IPod to Amplifier Options?

Of course Apple could make our lives a lot easier and allow a dock with a coxial digital output. What's stopping it? Record company lawyers. But that's another rant.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading