Originally Posted by Dan the man
Did I waste my money on the Red Wine iPod imod? If there is a way to get a digital signal from the ipod out to an external DAC, it would make an amazing contribution to the Hi End portable digital music community. There would then be a slew of micro/portable DAC/amp add-ons for the ipod bringing the SQ to a new level.
Certainly not. I'm sure that Vinnie delivers performance for the dollar spent.
I have a video iPod now that I'm planning to mod. I know how to open it and what's inside. I belive the safe thing, and legal thing to do is bring-out an I2S interface on the docking connector. This way, I should be able to leave the headphone output intact. If it's my own proprietary I2S interface, I will not step on any toes at the iTunes store because noone will be able to get a digital stream into a computer, easily at least. It will only be for driving my own I2S DAC and headphone preamp. The mods and the DAC/headphone amp will be one box, with a docking station attached. The idea is that you slide your ipod into the slot and seat it into the docking connector and then close and lock a top bar over it so that it cannot fall out. This way, it is still an ipod, but mounted to a fatter box underneath that has a volume control and headphone output. Because of the way that I'm doing the volume control, it probably will not have a line out.
I can implement it two ways:
1) all digital - the signal never gets converted to analog until at the headphones
this will be quieter, but may not be as musical as (2)
It MUST be balanced outputs though because this is the ONLY way that the output drivers work.
2) D/A with special volume control circuit - the problem here is finding the most musical output driver that is compact. I have one good candidate in mind, not the BUF632 used in the Benchmark. This will be SE output, probably not balanced.
Just some preliminary thinking.
Do you think it should be balanced outs?