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Wadia iTransport iPod Dock Gets Bit-Perfect Digital from iPods! - Page 16

post #226 of 428

I have spoken with a Wadia dealer and can (hopefully) clear up some confusion...

First, the whole point of this device is simply to extract a S/PDIF signal from the iPOD and output it via a standard coaxial connection to facilitate the use of external DACs. The theory is that the limiting factor in the iPOD's performance is its DAC and analog output section (which are actually pretty good IMO considering the portable nature of the iPOD) but that it has the capability to serve as a genuine "high-end" source if these limitations are removed/bypassed. I have it on good authority that iPODs are designed by Apple with the capability to output a S/PDIF with NO HARDWARE MODS needed; the catch is that Apple has encrypted/crippled this capability due to DRM concerns, and is very restrictive and selective regarding whom they will license to access this feature. Wadia has worked directly with Apple to "unlock" this capability (and pays licensing fees to Apple for this), and this product is the end result.

The MSB $2000 deal is NOT authorized by Apple. MSB simply "hacks" the iPOD to access the raw I2S stream, then uses circuitry in the dock unit for conversion to S/PDIF. The advantages of the Wadia include much lower cost, no need to crack open and mod your iPOD, and preservation of the iPOD's warranty (the MSB mod voids it).

The Wadia unit itself has no DAC circuitry (and therefore requires connection to an external DAC or HT processor/reciever)-the analog outputs simply pass the analog signal from the dock connector to the RCA jacks. This is no different than using any number of currently available docks/dock-to-RCA connectors; this feature was provided by Wadia simply for convenience and offers no sonic advantages other than good quality internal wiring and output jacks. Wadia did not include a built-in DAC because the intent is for the customer to use an external DAC of his/her choice. Also, $350 is PEANUTS compared with what every other Wadia component costs: incorporation of one of their no-compromise DAC circuits would no doubt increase the cost significantly (maybe even by a factor of 10-their next cheapest component to this dock is a $4500 CDP) but OTOH if they were to include a "budget" DAC section and keep total costs fairly low they risk damaging their reputation as an elite "high-end" manufacturer (what would you think if Porsche started building $12000 4-cylinder hatchbacks to compete with Kia-bad enough that they build a friggin' SUV!). As it stands now, this product is a BRILLIANT move in terms of gaining Wadia much wider exposure than they have had up to this point, which will no doubt lead to increased sales of their high-end gear (because fine audio is ADDICTIVE-let's call this dock the new audio "gateway drug").

A few people have mentioned the Krell KiD here. This is a very pretty piece of hardware but I'm 90% certain that it simply takes the analog signal from the dock connector and provides only analog outputs. Functionally it's no different from any of the numerous cheap, plastic docks readily available anywhere, but probably does provide better overall SQ given that the Krell uses much nicer parts than DLO/Kensington/etc.

Several have commented that for essentially the same money, a Mac Mini would be a better purchase based upon increased capability (it IS a "real" computer after all). To me that misses the point: this is an elegant, minimalist piece of equipment that only does one thing, but does it well and integrates better into an audio rig. Also, there are many head-fi/audio geek people (like myself) who DON'T WANT to deal with a computer as part of the audio system, and this product is a godsend for us. I use a computer all day long at work; when I get home, the last thing I want to do to RELAX is gaze into YET ANOTHER garish white screen (or worse, have my listening time cut short due to troubleshooting problems). Quite simply, music is my favored leisure activity, computer use reminds me of being at work (love my job but not relaxing), and I prefer to keep these "worlds" as separate as possible. I guess I view computers as appliances more than anything else: wonderful tools for getting things done, but not much intrinsic "fun".
post #227 of 428
Thanks for clearing up the scene.

One more thing to add - the MSB Link did more compared to the Wadia - it also reclocks the signal and improves on the jitter reduction making available better signal feeding to the external DAC.

Also, it also has a remote function (add-on) that make the MSB iPod a remote control as well.

Whether this is worth the dollar is the subject of another topic. The current issue of an audio magazine reviewed the MSB Link and give it very good rating.

F. Lo
post #228 of 428
did the dealer say when the iTransport would be available for purchase. i am starting to come around to this thing.

160GB iPod (w/400 Lossless CDs) > Wadia iTransport > CDP w/ digital input > Amp > Headphones

sweet.

one thing, is there a remote for the iPod. otherwise, this setup is not going to work so well. edit. found the apple ipod remote, but it looks pretty weak. Amazon.com: Apple iPod Remote: Electronics
post #229 of 428
one question is will the sound quality of an iPod (wav/lossless encoding) to Wadia iTransport and then via spdif to CDP be as good as playing a CD wav directly from the player itself. also would wav/lossless make any difference in terms of quality from the ipod and would different spdif cables from wadia to CDP have an impact.

questions.
post #230 of 428
I got the MSB the other day and love it.

I sold some Hi end transports and CD players so the purchase actually put money in my pocket while providing me with added sound quality. Not to mention the convience.

I wish I could use it portabaly with a battery pack or something.


Also I just heard there will be even higher quality downloads available soon( beter than CD)

JT
post #231 of 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by John2e View Post
Also I just heard there will be even higher quality downloads available soon( beter than CD)

JT
Actually this is happening. Linn Records is now offering Studio Master downloads - this is the "master grade" or "source grade" that use to produce CDs.

Linn Records

Also, 2L from Norway is also trying different hi-res audio format :

High Resolution Music DOWNLOAD services

So, CD is, well, "Compact Data"

F. LO
post #232 of 428
Wow thanks!

If the sound gets any better than I am expierencing now, I will never leave the house.

Hi End Audio is reborn.

I like the phrase "HiPod"
post #233 of 428
since DRM is gradually going away, Apple *should* have no problem including a S/PDIF output in future versions. That will make this device obsolete. But then, if they ever do, it will be a Toslink, and the forum will start and endless debate about whether the coax from Wadia sounds better.
post #234 of 428

The B E S T Ever

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermionic Dude View Post
First, the whole point of this device is simply to extract a S/PDIF signal from the iPOD and output it via a standard coaxial connection to facilitate the use of external DACs. The theory is that the limiting factor in the iPOD's performance is its DAC and analog output section... .
That is the best explanation yet of this Wadia dock, this dock I want for many of the same reasons...spend all day at the computer, and want just music in my living room.

Thank you much, Mr. Dude

Dave, who wonders when the iTransport will be available and if Wadia will sell direct from its site like he remembers them indicating
post #235 of 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by fkclo View Post
Actually this is happening. Linn Records is now offering Studio Master downloads - this is the "master grade" or "source grade" that use to produce CDs.

Linn Records

Also, 2L from Norway is also trying different hi-res audio format :

High Resolution Music DOWNLOAD services

So, CD is, well, "Compact Data"

F. LO
Nice, but for Mac users, how do we convert the WMA or FLAC into Apple Lossless ?
post #236 of 428
I use Max to convert Flac to Apple Lossless on my Mac.
post #237 of 428
Nice. I found that on the linn website FAQ, and downloaded it earlier. Thanks!

Turns out I already had VLC for listening to them natively, but the max app will let me take them on my iMod.
post #238 of 428

Balanced Question

Balanced question re iTransport.

Let's say i owned a Benchmark DAC1. i notice on the DAC1 that it has 3 options for digital inputs - coaxial, optical, and XLR. the iTransport only has a coaxial connection as a way to connect it to an external DAC. so if the following is my setup

iTransport (via coaxial) > DAC1 > Balanced amp

does this mean that b/c i am not using the XLR balanced digital input from my music to the DAC1 that my setup is not balanced.

anyone knowledgeable about this.
post #239 of 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
Balanced question re iTransport.

Let's say i owned a Benchmark DAC1. i notice on the DAC1 that it has 3 options for digital inputs - coaxial, optical, and XLR. the iTransport only has a coaxial connection as a way to connect it to an external DAC. so if the following is my setup

iTransport (via coaxial) > DAC1 > Balanced amp

does this mean that b/c i am not using the XLR balanced digital input from my music to the DAC1 that my setup is not balanced.

anyone knowledgeable about this.
the digital stream is not balanced or unbalanced it's just zeros and ones so yes that set up would be balanced
post #240 of 428
that's my thinking, but what is the point of the digital XLR "balanced" input or the difference b/t that and the coaxial?
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