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JIMV
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iPOD DAC

Got a dumb question..I see Wadia has a iPOD dock that splits off a digital signal that can go to an outboard DAC and then to ones system...

Why?...By that I mean, why the extra step...does anyone make an iPOD DAC...one where one can plug the iPOD directly into the DAC and then on to the system?

It seems to me one can skip a step with all the expense of an unneeded iDOC and make the idea simpler...

Does anyone make something like that? (at a price that does not require skipping a mortgage payment)

jackfish
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Re: iPOD DAC

The iPod onboard DAC is not horrible and makes the use of a standard dock with line out capability a viable solution. http://www.audiophileproducts.com/iplo1 http://www.amazon.com/Cables-4-Feet-Stereo-Connector-Cable/dp/B000JG3WBY

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Re: iPOD DAC

IIRC, the analog outs on an iPod are not wonderful. The Wadia is the only turn key solution that takes the digital output of an iPod directly to feed to a DAC, making it the equivalent of playing back a file from a computer hard drive by way of a DAC.

Apple keeps the digital output locked down and other than Wadia has never authorized access to it.

s.

Editor
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Re: iPOD DAC


Quote:
Got a dumb question..

No dumb questions, only dumb answers.


Quote:
does anyone make an iPOD DAC...one where one can plug the iPOD directly into the DAC and then on to the system?

The Peachtree iDecco integrated amplifier does just this, I believe. I will be reviewing this in the October issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

papaned
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Re: iPOD DAC

I've got another dumb question.
Coming from the simple CD-based system,what I've heard on IPOD is terrible compressed sound. Can IPODs store uncompressed CD quality or better yet hi-rez files ? If not, what are they doing in Stereophile ?

jackfish
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Re: iPOD DAC

Yes, iPods can store and play lossless files; ALAC or Apple Lossless. Problem is they cannot store very many of them.

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Re: iPOD DAC


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Can IPODs store uncompressed CD quality or better yet hi-rez files ?

All iPods can store music as uncompressed AIF or WAV files or Apple Lossless. You set the chosen file format in iTunes Preferences menu. The tradeoff is that you can pack fewer songs on to any particular device but with the 160GB iPod not being very expensive, that hardly seems a problem these days.

John Atkinson
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papaned
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Re: iPOD DAC

How many uncompressed CD's can be stored on 160 GB? Same question for SACD's ?

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Re: iPOD DAC


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How many uncompressed CD's can be stored on 160 GB? Same question for SACD's ?

Gosh, let's see...

160,000,000,000/44100/4/3600 = circa 271 hours.

ETA: If you use lossless coding, which does not affect the sound quality in any fashion unless your equipment is broken, you can double that, give or take.

papaned
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Re: iPOD DAC

From what your saying, I can put my entire CD collection in lossless coding in one 160GB IPOD !!
I'm assuming that when transferring each CD, I play it on the computer and a program automatically labels each track for the IPOD which can simultaneously be backed up by an external hard drive.
Is this the way it's done ?

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Re: iPOD DAC

I have a 8GB iPod and it can contain over 50 CD's in 320kbit resolution. I guess the above math is not bad at all.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: iPOD DAC

I have never put anything but full format wav files in any of my Ipods. If you use a good pair of cans, say at least a pair of Grado 60's or some of the better earbuds, why would you use any lossy format for playback? Even if you have a 20 gig HD you could pack over 20 albums in full format. That should easily be enough for casual listening on the run.

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Re: iPOD DAC


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From what your saying, I can put my entire CD collection in lossless coding in one 160GB IPOD !!

Yes. But you also need the same amount of space on the host computer's hard drive.


Quote:
I'm assuming that when transferring each CD, I play it on the computer and a program automatically labels each track for the IPOD which can simultaneously be backed up by an external hard drive.
Is this the way it's done ?

Yes. If you rip your CDs with iTunes (make sure you have Error Correction checked in Preferences and Apple Lossless selected as your preferred format), when you insert a CD in your computer's drive, iTunes looks up the title and track information from the Gracenote online database. It then adds all the metadata tags to each file.

John Atkinson
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Re: iPOD DAC


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Can IPODs store ... hi-rez files ?

Missed this question yesterday. No, iPods cannot store and playback files with a sample rate greater than 48kHz. iTunes will play those files on your host computer but they won't be transferred to your iPod.

John Atkinson
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JIMV
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Re: iPOD DAC


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The iPod onboard DAC is not horrible and makes the use of a standard dock with line out capability a viable solution. http://www.audiophileproducts.com/iplo1 http://www.amazon.com/Cables-4-Feet-Stereo-Connector-Cable/dp/B000JG3WBY

Nice cable but not a digital out...

JIMV
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Re: iPOD DAC


Quote:

Quote:
does anyone make an iPOD DAC...one where one can plug the iPOD directly into the DAC and then on to the system?

The Peachtree iDecco integrated amplifier does just this, I believe. I will be reviewing this in the October issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

That has the same problem as the Wadia..it provides unnecessary extra stuff...I am thinking of something far more basic, a DAC (and only a DAC) that takes the digital signal from the iPOD and lets you use it on your existing system bypassing the iPOD DAC>

JIMV
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Re: iPOD DAC


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Yes, iPods can store and play lossless files; ALAC or Apple Lossless. Problem is they cannot store very many of them.

I have an iPOD classic with a 160GB drive...I store WAV files and have hundreds on the thing with 90% of the drive still free.

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Re: iPOD DAC


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
does anyone make an iPOD DAC...one where one can plug the iPOD directly into the DAC and then on to the system?

The Peachtree iDecco integrated amplifier does just this, I believe. I will be reviewing this in the October issue

That has the same problem as the Wadia..it provides unnecessary extra stuff...I am thinking of something far more basic, a DAC (and only a DAC) that takes the digital signal from the iPOD and lets you use it on your existing system bypassing the iPOD DAC>

The Wadia is about as basic as it gets - an iPod dock and an S/PDIF output to be sent to a separate DAC. I am not sure what your objection to the Wadia is.

But no, I am not aware of a product available that combines an iPod dock that extracts the data in digital form with an integral DAC.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

JIMV
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Re: iPOD DAC

I am sorry, I have no objection to the Wadia...My question had to do with its required 2 box solution...Imagine a nice DAC like a Dac Magic or even less pricey that was designed for one job,to dock an iPOD so as to take its digital signal and convert it for use in a system. Something not in the 4 digit range of price and performance, but something a LOT better than the internal DAC in the iPOD..

I figure there is a market for such a device amongst folk who like the ease and convenience and price of an iPOD over the complexity and cost of a PC based system yet want at least CD quality sound from the thing. The Wadia solution is two box and drives the price up a bit much for some of us. It also requires another digital cable, not a minor expense.

The closest I can get to such convenience now is through an AudioEngine W2 wireless transmitter, a really neat toy for attaching my iPOD to my system wireless for around $100...the down side is it still relies on the iPOD DAC so the sound is less than it should and could be..

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Re: iPOD DAC

John:
Have you considered doing an article in Stereophile as a primer for setting up a computer-based audio system for serious listening ? I'm thinking of a flow chart showing all the available types of devices, how they're interconnected and their level of resolution [most important].
It would be very helpful to computer neophites like myself who can barely understand the subtleties of the issues being discussed here.

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Re: iPOD DAC


Quote:
Have you considered doing an article in Stereophile as a primer for setting up a computer-based audio system for serious listening

We did so a couple of years back. See http://www.stereophile.com/computeraudio/1008servers/ .

You can also find a comparison of the various file types at http://www.stereophile.com/features/308mp3cd/ .

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: iPOD DAC


Quote:

Quote:
Have you considered doing an article in Stereophile as a primer for setting up a computer-based audio system for serious listening

We did so a couple of years back. See http://www.stereophile.com/computeraudio/1008servers/ .

You can also find a comparison of the various file types at http://www.stereophile.com/features/308mp3cd/ .

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Heh, have you ever considered an article on "Myth, Fallacy, and Reality in Digital Audio"?

Given enough time, I can probably even find you a good, highly credentialed author...

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Re: iPOD DAC

Yeah it would be handy, it is interesting to note how many feel Amarra improves the sound of their music even for traditional CD quality over that of iTunes.
No idea how that is possible when it and iTunes are both bit perfect for the standard CD audio rate, even Daniel Weiss has commented on both being equal for feeding his products at 16bit/44.1khz.

Cheers
Orb

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Re: iPOD DAC


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it is interesting to note how many feel Amarra improves the sound of their music even for traditional CD quality over that of iTunes.

The same thing applies to Pure Music. The audio data are not changed, of course. In both cases, the improvement, which is certainly noticeable - see my footnote comments in MF's review of Pure Vinyl in the August issue - stems from the fact that you are playing the file from RAM rather than streaming it from hard drive, thus are presumably reducing jitter. If I set Pure Music (which offers other benefits) not to do this, it doesn't sound any better than iTunes alone, I found.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Orb
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Re: iPOD DAC

Yeah I can relate to that JA, but in the case of comparing iTunes to Amarra on the same machine using 16bit 44.1khz a manufacturer of dacs Daniel Weiss was mentioned as stating for him there is no difference for what is fed into his dacs.

I appreciate we have had the discussion about RAM and resource utilisation on a laptop in the past, which highlighted how complex the subject is as different Macs have different limitations along with OS, and then on top of that is utilisation of other resources done by software and natively handling the correct sampling rates,etc.

But I do not see how in the context of the iTunes/Amarra there is such a difference when a dac manufacturer who I would hope analyses data streams into his DAC products states for him there is no difference in the bits.
Here we are talking same machine and 16bit 44.1khz.

Cheers
Orb

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Re: iPOD DAC


Quote:
Yeah I can relate to that JA, but in the case of comparing iTunes to Amarra on the same machine using 16bit 44.1khz a manufacturer of dacs Daniel Weiss was mentioned as stating for him there is no difference for what is fed into his dacs.

I don't think you should substitute the experience of others for your own. Certainly I have a great deal of respect for Daniel Weiss, but he isn't the one listening to my system.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Orb
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Re: iPOD DAC

Yeah that is a good point.
I did not realise you had compared iTunes and Amarra already yourself, which was where my point was focused.

So do you have a preference for one over the other yourself.

Thanks
Orb

Tomdabomb09
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Quality cables

I notice a substantial difference in the prices of these two cables. Is the audiophile one really that much better than the Cables to Go one, or am I just paying for the name? I know certain cables tend to be overpriced, depending on where you shop. If that's the case here, then I'll definitely go with the cheaper one, but I want to make sure I'm not making a mistake.

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