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Hi and best wishes to all.
Please bear with me, I'm a newbie!!!
I put my music collection on an iPod Touchand want to use it in a dock connecting tomy Bose Acoustimass speakers (about 10 years old).
The quality docks seem to need a DAC for best performance.
My question is this:
If I put my Ipod in a dock, connected to a good DACand connect that to the speakers, am I done?
I can't figure whether I also need an amp or not.
Any advice very welcome.
Many thanks and best wishes
Most docks cannot be used with a dac, as the Digital to Analogue Conversion happens in the ipod itself. So with a standard dock, you would attach the analogue outputs to an amp, and use this to drive the speakers.
Some docks take the digital signal from the ipod, and then can feed this to a separate dac. The onkyo and wadia ones are the only ones like this that I know of, but i am sure there are plenty of others. The potential is there for better sound quality with these, as the dac in the ipod is ok but not amazing.
Either way you will need an amp, and which way is better is probably dictated by your budget, and what you are trying to achieve.
Strictly speaking you dont even need a dock, you can just use one of these
And attach it to any amp of your choice.
Bedroom: Sonos ZP90, Cyrus DAC XP+, Cyrus X Power, KEF LS50's
Living Room: Linn Majik DS, Marantz UD7006, Arcam AV9/P7, PMC FB1i fronts, TB2i centre, DB1i rears
Very many thanks.
This is exactly the info I needed, and very clearly explained.
I'm away to the shops!
Very kind wishes
Let us know what you end up with!
I promised I'd report back on my selection.
In truth, I'd also welcome comments or criticisms too!
I haven't yet bought anything as the room I'll be using it in is not yet ready.
Added to this, money is fairly limited.
My listening will be entirely from iPod, so I thought I'dget a good quality dock going to a good DAC and then to a good integrated amp.
Financially, it's probably a bit too much for me, so I thoughtI'd put the money into a good amp,and a cheap dock.Later I could upgrade the dock and buy a DAC.
I also read somewhere that it would be wise to keep the signal digital all the way to the speakers, so I looked for an amp with optical input.
I looked at the Onkyo ND-S1 but worried that it did not specify the iPod Touch 3rd Generation 64gb .
Despite emailing them for clarification, they didn't bother to reply, so I've abandonded that option.
My first thought is:
Pure i20 dock going to a Cyrus6a and out to my Bose Acoustimass Speakers.
My second idea is:
Pro-Ject Stereo Box S and Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital
Then I came across the Myryad Mi, but I don't need CD, DAB or FM, so maybe it's wasting money going with this?
Still not entirely sure, but I'm leaning toward the Cyrus+Pure option......unless you guys have any thoughts otherwise, good or bad.
Thanks again for your inputs.
Very best wishes
Audio Engine A5+ @ Approx £300
Apple Airport Express @ Approx £80
Wireless streaming from your Touch. No dock required.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
If you're happy to settle for the DAC in the ipod (I doubt you'll hear much difference in a budget set up unless you have a very good ear) you could pick up a high quality analogue dock like the Arcam irdock from ebay for about £80. It's definitely capable of pulling a decent quality signal out of an ipod.
Spend your money on a decent amp. If you're experimenting with digital sources you'll probably want to move on from the ipod soonish anyway.
Main system: PC --> HRT Music Streamer II+ --> Naim Nait 5i --> B&W CM8
Second system: iPhone --> Denon DM39 --> Q Acoustics 2020i
If you use an analogue dock, you are simply amplifying the analogue signal from the iPod, nothing wrong with that, but a bit pointless, as that's what the amplifier is for. The Arcam dock does not pull anything from the iPod, merely serves to add an unneccessary link in the amplification chain.
As for a purely digital source, an iPod Touch is as good as anything, with a solid state drive and the ability to stream lossless files.
The AEX will allow the OP to get more use out of the Touch and will mean that it can work untethered from a dock. It's fairly pointless to have a streaming device like the Touch, if it's going to sit in a dock, may as well get an iPod classic.
I am not sure exactly what you mean by this. The only way (that I know of!) a signal can stay digital all the way to the speakers is with active speakers, which in turn are only really digital to the dac inside the speakers (if they have one, most active speakers still require an analogue signal), then becoming analgue and being amplified by the internal amps, and on to the speaker drivers. The cyrus system that you propose, for eg, is digital untill the dac inside the 6a amp, and then analogue from the amplification stage onwards. This is standard in hifi circles, and I would suggest there is little/no difference between a separate dac and amp, and one with both integrated into the same untit. *
In terms of the systems you propose, all I can say is that I have the Cyrus 8xpd QX and it is fantastic, but only paired with the right speakers. Make sure you demo before purchase!
* assuming similar quality of dacs/amps of course
Many many thanks for all your help!
I realise just how much I'm out of my depth, soall your advice is greatly appreciated.
This whole thing started because I had to give up my separates system, which took years to build!
I was then given a gift of an iPod touch onto which I placed my entire music collection.
As finances are now a bit easier, I decided to use it asthe basis of my new music listening.
The more I read, the more I became confused!
Somewhere on this site (can't remember where) someguy commenting about an amp, stated that he wouldonly consider an amp with an optical input, and thatled me in a new direction!
Having listened to you guys, I'm now convinced thata good quality amp (with an onboard DAC if I can afford it)is sufficient for now. I'm still drawn to the Cyrus!
Hope I'm not being cheeky, but may I ask one more thing?
The more I read, the more I discover!
I've about 4000 tracks in my iTunes library, all mp3's.
I read that ALAC(?) files are better as they're lossless.
Am I facing long lonely nights, converting track by track,or is there software out there that will magically batch convert them all!!??
Many many thanks again guys,
Your kindess is greatly appreciated.
You are facing a lot of lonely nights, they will all have to be re-ripped..... I learnt this the hard way too!
Ive just started ripping mine again on a new iMac in lossless with error connection on but it will be worth it
Synology DS212j > Rega DAC > Rega Brio R > Rega RS1
Rega RP6 / Exact
Chord Chameleon Plus / Odyssey 2
Panasonic TX-P50 GT50 > BDP110e > Yamaha RX-V 667 > Rega Vox
You can't upscale mp3 to lossless, you will have to re-rip! Itunes will do it fine, but if you are paranoid about it being bitperfect or have old CDs that are a bit damaged see EAC (exact audio copy) software.
An amplifier with integral DAC is not neccessarily the only way to go, the active Audio Engine A5+ would be fine with an Airport Express, however, you might like to consider either the Onkyo TX-8050, or Harman Kardon HK3490 receivers. These would be an excellent place to start if you want to go the more traditional separates route. I would still consider the AEX for streaming to the amp though, as it will work seamlessly with your Touch.
Regarding ripping, you might like to have a look at the iTunes match service, it will match all of your collection on your Touch to 256Kbps, which can then be streamed from your touch from wherever you have an internet wi-fi signal, this will give you more capacity for your collection and may also give a quality boost for all music at less than 256.
If you have the CDs that your mp3s came from, you would need to re-rip to lossless, as you cannot simply upconvert lower bitrates, if doing this though, they will take up a greater proportion of the Touch hard drive and may even exceed capacity, so you would have to consider an external hard drive or small laptop/netbook for extra storage. (I used to use a netbook for the purpose). In all honesty, 256Kbps (VBR) should be all that you need, as this is, in most cases, indistinguishable from the original lossless rip (my opinion of course, but there's nowt wrong with my hearing).
you're all diamonds!
Many many thanks, I'm beginning to see a way through this nowthanks to the great community spirit here.
I began looking for a dock, dac and amp.
Now I see there are many other options and even if I go with the original plan, I would be wise to look at all the models I rejected for all the wrong reasons.
I'm starting out with a blank page again, but with far more confidence.
I'm also bracing myself for a total re-rip to lossless files!
On the point of lossless, I was disappointed to discover that anything bought in iTunes is NOT lossless. It seems this format is not available from Apple.
However, I found a few sites which I'll pass on.Perhaps you guys know about them already, but here they are anyway.
Thanks once again guys,
now to begin surfing!
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