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4th & 5th Gen ipod DAC's superior to 3rd Gen?  

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
I was checking out the imod from red wine audio and the fact that it won't mod 3rd gen ipods beacause the DAC is inferior to the Wolfsons on the later Generation ipods. I believe they said the 3rd gen wasn't "worthwhile". Are they just saying this because of the diffucuilty to mod a 3rd gen would be not worth it to them so they label the 3rd Gens DAC as "inferior". Is there really a noticeable difference in SQ between the 3rd gen and the later ipods? IMHO I can't see a difference between my 3rd gen and my 5.5. I don't have golden ears though.
post #2 of 42
The 3G iPod is virtually identical to the 4G and 5G when it comes to the DAC. I haven't been able to detect a difference between those models and the Classic either. I own seven iPods from 3G to Classic. I haven't gone to the trouble to compare my iPhone yet because I don't use it much for music.

See ya
Steve
post #3 of 42
It would be really hard to compare the dacs of the different models without making the analogue circuitry that follows them consistent. It's possible that any improvement the G4 & G5 dac has over the G3 one is lost in the sloppy circuitry that follows them.
post #4 of 42
With line out, they are all basically the same. The only real difference is the impedance of the headphone out.

See ya
Steve
post #5 of 42
No. I had face to face comparison between g3, g4 and Photo (DIYModded plus RWA Photo). G3 is the best for sonic performance (But also has very different signature from later iPods).

For ones who believe G3 uses the same DAC as G4 or Photo, it's not true (proven by CommsDesign - Find out what's really inside the iPod)
post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
With line out, they are all basically the same. The only real difference is the impedance of the headphone out.

See ya
Steve
The line out doesn't pass the DAC so they really aren't the same. The question is whether there is an audible difference and I'm guessing for 97% of the population there really isn't. That's why I question when statements are made that certain DAC's are vastly superior to others.
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
According to the website WindowsX provided...The 3rd gen ipod has a Wolfson DAC also.

"From the audio processor, the digital audio signal is sent to the Wolfson Microelectronics audio codec, where a digital-to-analog conversion takes place before this analog output is sent to the headphones or external speakers. The first- and second-generation iPods used Wolfson's WM8721 audio digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This part incorporates two 24-bit DACs with an integrated headphone driver for good compatibility to the PortalPlayer audio processor.

For the third-generation iPod and iPod Mini, Apple selected the WM8731. This codec incorporates two DACs and two ADCs, along with an integrated headphone driver, programmable sample rates, ADC high-pass filer, and audio data interfaces. The ADCs enable the iPods to support microphones or other analog inputs.

For the 4th generation, Photo, and Nano models, Apple employed Wolfson's WM8975, which is similar to the WM8971. This stereo audio codec adds digital signal processing for graphic equalization, while operating at lower supply voltages for reduced power consumption. The iPod Video uses the WM8758, which offers a die size of 3.0 by 2.8 mm."
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
The line out doesn't pass the DAC so they really aren't the same. The question is whether there is an audible difference and I'm guessing for 97% of the population there really isn't. That's why I question when statements are made that certain DAC's are vastly superior to others.
They all sound exactly the same. The differences in DACs from model to model are just minor updates to the features of the DAC, not the performance of the DAC itself. Of course those who judge sound quality by the numerical size of the model number may disagree.

The only model that supposedly has a different DAC is the Classic, and I've found it sounds exactly like the others. All of them are same-same.

See ya
Steve
post #9 of 42
I'm surprise that some people can't differentiate between each generation of iPod...(Especially from former iPods to classic which use total different company dac) The change isn't just a number. I've tried blind test to speaker system and everyone say 3g outperforms all others at significant level (and classic is the worst).

You may check “Secrets” of the 4G iPod | iLounge Article to understand changes in DAC (Even the same dac chip can make different sound with different firmware programming like g4 and Photo)

Well, it's not like convincing you guys to believe me will make better music for me so believe it as you like. (It annoys me seeing someone making no-proof statement and act as it was real...maybe first until now ibuds from are all the same too)
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsX View Post
I'm surprise that some people can't differentiate between each generation of iPod...(Especially from former iPods to classic which use total different company dac) The change isn't just a number. I've tried blind test to speaker system and everyone say 3g outperforms all others at significant level (and classic is the worst).

You may check “Secrets” of the 4G iPod | iLounge Article to understand changes in DAC (Even the same dac chip can make different sound with different firmware programming like g4 and Photo)

Well, it's not like convincing you guys to believe me will make better music for me so believe it as you like. (It annoys me seeing someone making no-proof statement and act as it was real...maybe first until now ibuds from are all the same too)
I'm pretty sure bigshot has done some carefully level matched tests to come to his conclusion here. What did you do to ensure your opinion that they sound different is sound? Judging from the cables in your signature, I'd guess little to nothing.
post #11 of 42
I said there was a big test to speaker system (and it's not mine). My friend use stock grade mini to rca cable to connect to his speaker with iPod as source to play. There were 5 audiences at that time and the conclusion is g3 > photo > ipod touch > classic and all from lineout as well. Well, it's self-explain enough but OK if you want to believe in BS to make your believed gears closer to nirvana, thats fine.

Also, maybe Vinnie from RWA is also lying that iPod Photo, Video and Classic sound not exactly the same and all of his customers are idiots to spend hundreds of buck for the same sounding iPod lol.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsX View Post
I said there was a big test to speaker system (and it's not mine). My friend use stock grade mini to rca cable to connect to his speaker with iPod as source to play. There were 5 audiences at that time and the conclusion is g3 > photo > ipod touch > classic and all from lineout as well. Well, it's self-explain enough but OK if you want to believe in BS to make your believed gears closer to nirvana, thats fine.

Also, maybe Vinnie from RWA is also lying that iPod Photo, Video and Classic sound not exactly the same and all of his customers are idiots to spend hundreds of buck for the same sounding iPod lol.
You should calm down, then answer my question. So far you've said nothing other than that you've listened to them all.

Also, I'm not making any comments as to how good they sound, only how they sound relative to each other. I don't even have a vested interest in this, as I've never personally heard the lineout of a 3G or 4G or even 6G iPod. I'm just trying to get you to make a statement that's a) coherant, and b) not worthless as far as furthering your argument.

If I were a harsher man, I'd point out that telling me to "believe in BS to make [my] believed gears closer to nirvana [sic]" is rather silly for someone with so much Nordost cabling.

But anyway, answer my question from earlier. I'm curious.
post #13 of 42
ummm.....I meant to say bs for bigshot since its easier to type...

Well about ipods, each dac has different power consumption, different firmware programming, different sound signature like (from one gen to another gen)

gen3: most detailed, strong bass, analogy and vinyl like, clear separation but weak mid
gen4: less bass, detail dropped down, more digital and fresh like, little less separation and significant dynamic dropped (like crisp, spark, note attack)
photo: same dac but different firmware and power optimized causing less details, less separation but strong mid and louder vocal
video: less mid, power down a bit but still acceptable for portable cans
classic: bad image, crisp detail, lacking power for hifi sound, some what like creative's crystalization sounding

that's my 2 cents for iPods. For nordost (top-tier ones like valkyrja and above, I couldn't help but I'll get poor sound without it. I've tried many other interconnects like cardas, audioquest, purist, alo, etc. but greatly made silver like valkyrja and valhalla is the best signature I love the most)
post #14 of 42
I'll remind you once more of my question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by monolith View Post
I'm pretty sure bigshot has done some carefully level matched tests to come to his conclusion here. What did you do to ensure your opinion that they sound different is sound? Judging from the cables in your signature, I'd guess little to nothing.
post #15 of 42
It's the same as What did you do to ensure your opinion that HD650 and HD600 sound different is sound? and What did you do to ensure your opinion that Lisa and PRII sound different is sound? I hope I don't need to make anymore useless explanation to this. Just use the same system and swap around things you want to test, normally headphone but this time DAP...and listen to it with everyone in there then discuss.....
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