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bf2008
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Joined: May 23 2008 - 10:24am
iPod playing lossless vs CD player

Hello, I'm in the market for a cd player and I'm interested in their sound quality compared to an iPod.

In general terms, how expensive do you think the cd player has to be to outperform an iPod as a Hi Fi source. Or, put it the other way, is the iPod better as a source than cd players of which price range?

I'd appreciate if you could give examples of specific models and your opinions.

To be more clear, when I refer to "iPod as source" I refer to a recent iPod (especially the iPod Classic) in a good quality dock (for example the Denon ASD1R or Arcam rDock) playing Apple Lossless songs. The cable shouldn't make any difference since both the cd player and the dock use the same 2xRCA to 2xRCA cable (except for cd players which use XLR connectors).

Many thanks!

dbowker
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Re: iPod playing lossless vs CD player

SO- let's see- an iPod goes for about $250 give or take. What bests it in sound quality for a CD player? That's a good question, and I've never done a 1 to 1 comparison as far as price points. My Rega Apollo ($995) is better in just about every way to my iPod playback. More natural tonality, better dynamics, wider and deeper sound stage. Of course it's about 3 times the price.

I'm planning on getting one of those nice Wadia docks and hook it up to an external DAC I have, which will end up costing about the same as the CD player. We'll see how they stack up, although my Apollo already bests the DAC I think, but it'll be convenient for longer stretches of background listening.

There must someone around here with an Oppo DVD player and an iPod who has done a comparison...

bf2008
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Re: iPod playing lossless vs CD player

Thanks for your post! Very clear answer too!
Your answer makes an interesting point, because the Rega Apollo (selling in the uk for

dbowker
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Re: iPod playing lossless vs CD player

The Wadia is just a very good dock that outputs pure digital to whatever DAC you have. Therein lies the "quality" you're going to get, or not, from an iPod. Currently the Wadia dock only one to take a digital signal out from an iPod device.

I think an iPod or any music server can perform as well as a CD player, sometimes better depending on the files, but in the end, it's the D/A conversion that makes the music.

I so wish the Apollo had a digital Input like some of the other audiophile CD players! It would be incredibly convenient and money saving...

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