Have your say & ask the experts!

iPod as high quality hifi source?

6 replies [Last post]
andrewsw's picture
Offline
Joined: 9 Jan 2008
Posts: 4

I find myself downloading more and more music. Because of this, the iPod is fast becoming the main source for my system. I currently run a Marantz IS201 iPod dock, with Merlin Chopin interconnect, into a NAD C160 pre amp. The sound quality of the downloaded files (typically at 320kbps) seems good - they sound relatively uncompressed. When the 60Gb iPod is played through the dock as a hifi source, it sounds surprisingly detailed and musical. However, play the same piece of music on the Naim CD5 and you realise the docked iPod lacks the precision and space of the CD player. Compare it to the record deck and you realise it lacks the depth of soundstage and musical feel. I'm sure that I can do better. An obvious choice seems to be the Arcam r-Dock (with a high quality cable), but how much better sounding than the Marantz is it? The Advance Acoustic MIP Station 2 also looks very interesting, with an impressive specification and good value, but there seem to be no reviews rating sound quality. Are there any other docks out there that really allow the iPod to perform as a high end source? i'm after the best sound I can achieve from the iPod, on a sensible budget - any ideas?

Andrew Everard's picture
Offline
Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 29118
Re: iPod as high quality hifi source?

Well, provided you don't mind storing music uncompressed or as Apple Lossless, this looks like it might be the answer... 

__________________

Audio Editor, Gramophone

peteAllen's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 341
Re: iPod as high quality hifi source?

Yes, i was really interested by this, and would love to know more. Am i right in supposing that the name "iTransport " indicates that it doesn't have a d/a convertor built in? Presumably you use it via digital coaxial out?

peteAllen's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 341
Re: iPod as high quality hifi source?

Is anyone experienced / aware of any reviews of "High Quality iPod interconnect cables" as opposed to docks?

E.g. :
qcables

Andrew Everard's picture
Offline
Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 29118
Re: iPod as high quality hifi source?

user="peteAllen" wrote:
Yes, i was really interested by this, and would love to know more. Am i right in supposing that the name "iTransport " indicates that it doesn't have a d/a convertor built in? Presumably you use it via digital coaxial out?

Yes. 

__________________

Audio Editor, Gramophone

andrewsw's picture
Offline
Joined: 9 Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Re: iPod as high quality hifi source?

Thanks for the reply! This looks like a really exciting piece of kit - iPod truly as Hi-fi.
If you search on-line for information on the iTransport, the photos and rendering of the rear panel suggest that there are L/R RCA analogue outputs, so onboard digital to analogue conversion is clearly available. An offboard DAC (via the Digital output), would likely improve sound quality over the onboard DAC, but at some expense.

Andrew Everard's picture
Offline
Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 29118
Re: iPod as high quality hifi source?

AFAIK, the analogue outputs are fed from the digital to analogue conversion in the iPod itself, as is the case in every other dock on the market. Don't think there's any digital to analogue conversion in the iTransport.

__________________

Audio Editor, Gramophone