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Anyone got an AudioLineOut line-out? - Page 5

post #61 of 216
And then they collapsed en masse, stupefied by volleys of misconception.

Odd, that the usefulness of people's observations should be eroded by ill-remembered details. Yet it happens to all of us routinely (though not usually in successive posts on the very same thread).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevC
I've read that this LineOut makes the iPod sounds better than an external DAC? The iPod's internal DAC is better than a $100+ external dac?! Are you guys serious? Maybe I should sell my Fubar and just pick up one of these.....
An iPod can't be used with an external DAC.

However, a friend and I were just A/Bing these two rigs at the office:

FLAC/Faceless CPU/Foobar (set to 24/96)/Bithead 2006/HF-1.

Apple Lossless/iPod/Turbo Lineout/RSA Hornet 1G/HF-1.

Not the most stringent comparison, due to sweeping variables. Even so, we both preferred the iPod setup.

================================================== ====

Kwkarth:

If you find the time, please have a look at the iMod specs on the Red Wine Audio site and tell us what you think. Here is the list of what gets modified:

"-- The low quality stock SMT coupling caps after the Wolfson WM8975 DAC (used in all 4th gen. iPods)
-- Opamp output stage following the Wolfson DAC
-- The minuscule circuit board traces that travel from the top of the mother board down to the dock connector jack
-- SMD resistors and inductors directly in the signal path
-- The dock connector jack at the bottom of the iPod
-- The signal path inside the iPod dock, which contains: the dock connector plug, a very cheap ribbon cable, more minuscule pcb traces, SMD resistors, and finally the line out jack.

"The goal of the Red Wine iMod is to significantly minimize the analog signal path that follows the output of the internal Wolfson dac chip. We take the analog output (line out) off of the dac chip and send it directly to the internal 1/8" headphone jack (converting it into a dedicated line-out jack) via high-end Black Gate Non-Polarized NX-Hi-Q coupling capacitors."
post #62 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt
And then they collapsed en masse, stupefied by volleys of misconception.

Odd, that the usefulness of people's observations should be eroded by ill-remembered details. Yet it happens to all of us routinely (though not usually in successive posts on the very same thread).



An iPod can't be used with an external DAC.

However, a friend and I were just A/Bing these two rigs at the office:

FLAC/Faceless CPU/Foobar (set to 24/96)/Bithead 2006/HF-1.

Apple Lossless/iPod/Turbo Lineout/RSA Hornet 1G/HF-1.

Not the most stringent comparison, due to sweeping variables. Even so, we both preferred the iPod setup.

================================================== ====

Kwkarth:

If you find the time, please have a look at the iMod specs on the Red Wine Audio site and tell us what you think. Here is the list of what gets modified:

"-- The low quality stock SMT coupling caps after the Wolfson WM8975 DAC (used in all 4th gen. iPods)
-- Opamp output stage following the Wolfson DAC
-- The minuscule circuit board traces that travel from the top of the mother board down to the dock connector jack
-- SMD resistors and inductors directly in the signal path
-- The dock connector jack at the bottom of the iPod
-- The signal path inside the iPod dock, which contains: the dock connector plug, a very cheap ribbon cable, more minuscule pcb traces, SMD resistors, and finally the line out jack.

"The goal of the Red Wine iMod is to significantly minimize the analog signal path that follows the output of the internal Wolfson dac chip. We take the analog output (line out) off of the dac chip and send it directly to the internal 1/8" headphone jack (converting it into a dedicated line-out jack) via high-end Black Gate Non-Polarized NX-Hi-Q coupling capacitors."
WRT KevC's post:
I assumed he knew that one couldn't use an external DAC with an iPod. I assumed that he was attempting to compare the audio quality of an external DAC from a digital source to the quality obtainable from an iPod accessed through an ALO-LOD, so I didn't bother trying to correct anything.


WRT the Red Wine Mod:
Yes, I read them a few days ago, and I have mixed feelings.

In general principle, replacing the "lousy" resistors, inductors, et al from the signal path with high quality caps and simplified signal routing may be a good thing, but without knowing those specifics and A/B'ing the differences, I can't really comment on the efficacy.

If I read the ad copy right, the output is not capacitively coupled to start with, and doing so does represent a real potential for signal degradation, however high quality the coupling caps are.

It does appear that the 4th gen iPod also uses an output buffer following the WM8975, as does the 5G iPod following it's DAC output, and my feelings remain the same with regard to removing the output buffer, if, indeed, that's what they're doing.

The comment in their ad copy about the "miniscule circuit board traces" is a complete non sequitur. Those "miniscule" traces aren't carrying any current and at the working impedance and load in that environment, may actually be a superior signal conveyance to whatever Red Wine does instead. So that part is quite possibly a marketing breakthrough.


Disclaimer:
My above musings regarding the above Red Wine audio mods are made with a great deal of surmising from a position of considerable ignorance as opposed to actually ripping apart a 4G iPod and executing the mod myself. I've never done it myself, nor have I had the pleasure of hearing one, therefore my musings are worth every ounce of paper they're printed upon. My statements are based upon a little common sense, sprinkled with a pinch of skepticism. The bottom line of it all, is as I said before, let your ears be the judge.

WRT to your own comparisons of the quality of Bithead vs. Hornet...
The analog parts of your equation are so very different from one another that it is difficult for me to comment on your observations other than to suggest that the Hornet would have probably sounded even better if preceded by an ALO-LOD rather than the Turbo as has been my observation.

I can tell you that my ear is quite impressed with the very enjoyable quality of sound that is produced by my 5G iPod driving my RSA SR-71 via the ALO Cotton dock, and that's with a number of different bit rates and CODEC schemes, given their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Comparing the use of an ALO-LOD vs. using the Turbo dock as a signal conveyance, there is really no comparison. The two sound completely different from one another, and the ALO product, to no small degree, quite superior.

As always, the devil is in the details, so remember, keep your stick on the ice...
post #63 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevC
I've read that this LineOut makes the iPod sounds better than an external DAC? The iPod's internal DAC is better than a $100+ external dac?! Are you guys serious?

Maybe I should sell my Fubar and just pick up one of these.....
"better" is always subjective. I have never found the ipod to sound that great and actually I'd put the quality about the same as the Fubar. The Fubar has more bass and is a touch warmer but the main difference to me is I do not like the ipod treble. The ipod may have a little more detail though.
post #64 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan
"better" is always subjective. My advice to you:

- Use your own ears as everybody's hearing and preferences are different.
- Try to audition as many equipment as possible to find your sound.
- Buy used to save money.
Good advice Ian!
post #65 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt
a friend and I were just A/Bing these two rigs at the office:

FLAC/Faceless CPU/Foobar (set to 24/96)/Bithead 2006/HF-1.
Apple Lossless/iPod/Turbo Lineout/RSA Hornet 1G/HF-1.

Not the most stringent comparison, due to sweeping variables. Even so, we both preferred the iPod setup.
Why not use the Bithead in both systems using both the Bithead's line-input & USB inputs to localize the iPod vs Foobar comparison? I don't think you can compare the Bithead's amp section to the Hornet.
post #66 of 216
The number of crossed signals on this thread is rather amazing (do understand: that isn't meant as a put-down of anyone); I'll have to return later to allow time to bastard-slap a particularly lengthy retort. Perhaps it's true what they say about Mercury tap-dancing backwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg
Why not use the Bithead in both systems using both the Bithead's line-input & USB inputs to localize the iPod vs Foobar comparison? I don't think you can compare the Bithead's amp section to the Hornet.
While your criteria would have resulted in a fairer comparison than mine (of course), you and Kwkarth seem to have missed the qualifying not-so-fine print. Here is what I said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt
Not the most stringent comparison, due to sweeping variables.
The purpose of the exercise was not to decide which particular amp/source proved best but, rather, which overall system -- portable or computer-based -- would prove most suitable for my friend at work. After all, an external 80 GB hard drive can be had for $75, a hub for a pittance and a Bithead for $199 new (and far less used). My foont isn't about to shed fistwads of lettuce for an amp/DAC and a dedicated Hornet. There had to be a demonstrable difference in quality for him to want to clone my portable setup; craveless to say, there was. As spiffy as the Bithead/Foobar auricled, the iPod/Hornet improved on the bliss-din considerably. Since the iPod can't make use of the Bithead's DAC, and the Hornet would be redundant in a CPU/Bithead setup, and we didn't have a certain inexpensive DAC in the shape of a miniature baby grand to chain to the Hornet (for your enhanced pleasure, Van Cliburn), the quick compo we auricled was the only one that would speak poultry for someone at said foont's level of interest in our, how-you-say, "hobby."

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth
WRT the Red Wine Mod: Yes, I read them a few days ago, and I have mixed feelings.
Stinging skepticism on your part re the iMod's semi-specs, kwkarth. You've made me consider abandoning the RWA upgrade for a visit to ALO's Large Claims Cord Court.

Still: Weren't you skeptical about Ken's copper-crocheting voodoo before you heard the undeniable results? Was your decision to experiment with the cotton dock rather than the iMod based on a feeling/theory that Ken's enhancements seemed sounder or more fairly priced than Vince's?

I ask these questions not to be combative, but, rather, to introduce certain variables into the conversation. I tend to doubt you're even interested in being wrong or right in the short-term so much as refining your audio philosophy and conveying your enthusiasm whenever you discover the means to reach new heights of pulsating cochlear glee.

What intrigues me most about your posts on this thread is watching you develop a working synthesis of skepticism, openness, knowledge and empiricism when it comes to third-party claims of audio enhancement.
post #67 of 216
Got mine from ken a few days ago very pleased with product as always ken stand's behind what he makes. Highly recommended!!
post #68 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt
...While your criteria would have resulted in a fairer comparison than mine (of course), you and Kwkarth seem to have missed the qualifying not-so-fine print. Here is what I said:
I don't think I missed anything in your post. I saw the qualifiers. I simply was offering my thoughts on your comparison, as I am wont to do, as well as a suggestion to realize even better performance from your iPod via the ALO.

Quote:
The purpose of the exercise was not to decide which particular amp/source proved best but, rather, which overall system -- portable or computer-based -- would prove most suitable for my friend at work. After all, an external 80 GB hard drive can be had for $75, a hub for a pittance and a Bithead for $199 new (and far less used). My foont isn't about to shed fistwads of lettuce for an amp/DAC and a dedicated Hornet. There had to be a demonstrable difference in quality for him to want to clone my portable setup; craveless to say, there was. As spiffy as the Bithead/Foobar auricled, the iPod/Hornet improved on the bliss-din considerably. Since the iPod can't make use of the Bithead's DAC, and the Hornet would be redundant in a CPU/Bithead setup, and we didn't have a certain inexpensive DAC in the shape of a miniature baby grand to chain to the Hornet (for your enhanced pleasure, Van Cliburn), the quick compo we auricled was the only one that would speak poultry for someone at said foont's level of interest in our, how-you-say, "hobby."
Got it!

Quote:
Stinging skepticism on your part re the iMod's semi-specs, kwkarth. You've made me consider abandoning the RWA upgrade for a visit to ALO's Large Claims Cord Court.

Still: Weren't you skeptical about Ken's copper-crocheting voodoo before you heard the undeniable results? Was your decision to experiment with the cotton dock rather than the iMod based on a feeling/theory that Ken's enhancements seemed sounder or more fairly priced than Vince's?

I ask these questions not to be combative, but, rather, to introduce certain variables into the conversation. I tend to doubt you're even interested in being wrong or right in the short-term so much as refining your audio philosophy and conveying your enthusiasm whenever you discover the means to reach new heights of pulsating cochlear glee.

What intrigues me most about your posts on this thread is watching you develop a working synthesis of skepticism, openness, knowledge and empiricism when it comes to third-party claims of audio enhancement.
Yes, my friend, I was extremely skeptical about the ALO products at the outset. What drew me to them initially, at all, was a quest for enhanced "portability" over the Apple Universal Dock and it's variants.

Much to my chagrin AND delight, I was quite literally amazed to the point of initial disbelief at what I was hearing. Even with Ken's least expensive LOD, the sound was SO superior to anything I had ever heard from an iPod of any kind, regardless of hook up methodology... well, I was astounded.

The RW mod, at almost 10x the price of a Copper Dock, and being only applicable to a 4G iPod which I no longer had, was out of the question.

Moreover, the sound from the 5G iPod with the "cheap" copper ALO LOD feeding my SR-71, was mesmerizing. It was so very much better than anything I had ever heard through the SR-71, that I instantly realized that I had miss-characterized the SR-71 itself. I would proffer this; If the RW mod sounds any whit better than an ALO-LOD, particularly, the Cotton Dock, as wonderful as the SR-71 and AKG-K701 are, I seriously doubt one could resolve the differences using that set up. To my aging, but practiced ears, it's that good. As I sat there and listened in disbelief, Ken pulled out another dock and said "try this one." Before my jaw had risen from the table at Starbucks, he produced yet another variant, and said, "now try this one."

No joke, as we plugged in one example of his wares after another, each time escalating up his line, to my utter amazement, the sound improved quite noticeably.

Crack seller.....Grrrrr.... Got me hooked on the cheap stuff and then before the green even hit the table, he proceeded to reel me in with better and better, and better sound. Me and my cabbage parted ways far more quickly than I had ever envisioned, but I continue to this day to be so completely delighted, and yes, still amazed, that I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Am I gushing? I suppose so, but be warned, I am from Minnesota, ya, don'tchya know, and we Wobegonian scandinavians are not given to much display of enthusiasm, so take that for what it's worth.

Your astute observation of the evolution for my newfound respect and appreciation for differences between means of audio signal conveyance, be they hawser or filament, gold, silver, or copper, has in fact developed from both personal observation and further study of conductor theories rather than by ingesting marketing hyperbole.

As they say, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

If I'm not mistaken, even Ken himself was a bit surprised at how good the 701's and the SR-71 sounded with his LODs.

I remain a skeptic at heart, but I am convinced, without a doubt, that these LODs work some tangible magic for the iPods, bringing a palpable reality of sound to the party. I even have some plausible theory to explain what and why I'm hearing what I do.

As always, please take my obiter dictum with a crystal of sodium chloride or two.

Happy Listening!
post #69 of 216
Hmm, K701 and SR-71...

The Silk Dock makes the 5G iPod, Hornet and AD2000 combination sound good.

I usually listen to the AD2000 with the AT-HA5000 amplifier and Lavry DA10 source. The Silk Dock improves the iPod rig's sound enough that I'm willing to use the AD2000 with it. Key differences with other dock/cables I've used is increased air, better separation and a larger soundstage.

I'm very impressed with the iPod rig's sound quality. In my experience with this hobby, sometimes even incremental sound quality improvements are difficult to achieve. The Silk Dock makes the iPod rig much more attractive to me. I no longer think about buying an external DAC to use with a MacBook as a transportable rig.

See, it's possible to save money on Head-Fi.
post #70 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth
WRT KevC's post:
I assumed he knew that one couldn't use an external DAC with an iPod. I assumed that he was attempting to compare the audio quality of an external DAC from a digital source to the quality obtainable from an iPod accessed through an ALO-LOD, so I didn't bother trying to correct anything.

Yep, you're right. Very very interesting.
post #71 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth
I assumed he knew that one couldn't use an external DAC with an iPod. I assumed that he was attempting to compare the audio quality of an external DAC from a digital source to the quality obtainable from an iPod accessed through an ALO-LOD, so I didn't bother trying to correct anything.
I was referring to the coherence of his statement, not the practicality of his projected setup. Sometimes a nudge is required before a member realizes that the logic in his head isn't making it to his digits on the keyb.

I didn't clarify this in my last response because I hadn't wanted to call attention to it. I didn't want the OP to feel he was being flamed for questionable style in a conversational post, which would have been rude and unnecessary on any internet forum, let alone, on Head-fi.

Rather witty response on your part, Kwkarth. I quite enjoyed it. I might be leaving NYC for the rest of the weekend in the next few hours; if not, I'll respond a Brad later.

You've got me primed to try either the silk or cryo dock. More on that soon, if I cave.
post #72 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt
I was referring to the coherence of his statement, not the practicality of his projected setup. Sometimes a nudge is required before a member realizes that the logic in his head isn't making it to his digits on the keyb.
Sorry I didn't catch on, my bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt
Rather witty response on your part, Kwkarth. I quite enjoyed it. I might be leaving NYC for the rest of the weekend in the next few hours; if not, I'll respond a Brad later.
You inspired me, but thank you. Speaking of witticisms, only today did I notice the absolute poultry in motion of your earlier post #66. Nicely done! Slipped right buy me, and I indeed, bought it. I'm glad you didn't chicken out but rather took a chance at running afowl of the local pundits. I think my reply is punishment enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrypt
You've got me primed to try either the silk or cryo dock. More on that soon, if I cave.
Oh, you are into spelunking too? Sorry, couldn't resist. Looking forward to your rejoinder.
BTW, the cryo is the way to go if you want max durability, and the Cotton, if you're after max fidelity, IMHO.
Cheers.
post #73 of 216
i got a, is it called silver connecter too. it seems like, the sound are cleaner. even more alive. one question though, is it possible that this little cable can make sound louder? i have a pa2v2, i usually turn to around, five to(as a clock) and now about a quarter to.
post #74 of 216
yes, the silver material has been known to amplify the sound a lot more than a usual dock.
post #75 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonethugz
i got a, is it called silver connecter too. it seems like, the sound are cleaner. even more alive. one question though, is it possible that this little cable can make sound louder? i have a pa2v2, i usually turn to around, five to(as a clock) and now about a quarter to.
Nope, the LOD is a passive device. The only thing any passive cable can do is impede, corrupt, or conduct the signal more or less than other passive cables. NO passive cable can "amplify" a signal.
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