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Question: amping from an iPod

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums here. Registered a few months ago but I've only started to frequent this place more often and I must say there's so much content to audiophilia and hi-fi that I'm getting lost, which is a good thing

I've a simple question about amps. My only sources right now are my laptop and iPod so I'm thinking about a dac/amp. I'm curious as to how the LOD works. I see most of you have iMod -> LOD -> portable amp, but does line out work for an unmodded iPod as well? If so, how does it compare to the iMod. Oh, and I've seen mention that the optimal setup for the iMod is through Vcaps. Anybody care to explain to me what their function is or link to a site with info? I'm surely getting ahead of myself here but curious nonetheless.
post #2 of 10
There're two kinds of LOD.

The normal one is for your normal iPod.

The "special" one looks the same as the normal but has the capacitors in the dock. It's for the iMod.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh yes, I think I saw that somewhere. Are the two interchangeable? Obviously the normal one can't be used on the iMod but how about the other way around?
post #4 of 10
You can use the iMod cable with normal iPod but not vice versa.

I've tried using the iMod one with my nano, and it did decrease the bass response.
post #5 of 10
The Imod is a specially-modded Ipod (available up to 5.5g, not Classic) that AFAIK bypasses all of the ipod's relatively crappy internal amplification and whatnot (everything beyond the DAC, which is comparatively good quality). As others have noted, you can't use the imod w/o an imod-specific LOD, such as those sold by ALO Audio. The Imod (c) (with a capital "I") is sold by Red Wine Audio:

Red Wine Audio iMod

Many have DIY'd their imods with just fine results. I betcha there's a thread in the DIY forums about how to do this. Still would need a LOD with capacitors in it such as ALO's. Others are available other than ALO's, which are $$$. There are many great cable builders online here (brainsalad, turbo to name a few) who may be able to build great imod-capable LOD's at a fraction of what you'd pay ALO.

Note that if you have an ipod classic, RWA isn't imod-ing them b/c it says that the guts have been improved to the point that the relative increase in sound quality wouldn't justify the mods. (I think that's their reason; Vince probably has a better explanation on RWA's website).

Keep in mind that whether you go with a standard LOD or an imod with an imod-capable LOD, either way you're still getting an ANALOG signal out, so a DAC would be unnecessary. If you want digital out of your ipod so as to be able to use one of them fancy DAC's you see folks using here, the only solution I'm aware of is to get a Wadia iTransport, which seems like a pretty awesome piece of gear, but definitely is NOT portable. See this thread for everything you could want to know about it:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/wad...-ipods-281975/


Good luck, and, as many will warn you during your sojourns here, kiss your wallet goodbye.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reponse knight! Just as a matter of interest, how does an unmodded iPod sound like when compared to an iMod, running out of just a portable amp? Highs, mids, lows, transparency, resolution, any info would be great.

Oh, posted before seeing your post chzplz, thanks for the clear explanation! Though I'm thinking DAC because I would like to listen from my laptop when I'm not on the go.
post #7 of 10
Depending on the AMP you're looking for, there isn't a big difference for the AMP only version and the DAC/AMP version, such as the Pico.

Corda 2Move is a DAC/AMP combo that sounds really nice and is one of the most cheap amps in its category.

Go for the DAC/AMP combo. listening to music in my laptop using 2Move's DAC is just wonderful.
post #8 of 10
So the iMod is just the addition of decoupling capacitors to the signal paths? Roffles & Prankapples!

What's the uF value of the capacitors? I would just add a couple films to the cable and heatshrink them or use a tiny stomp box with 1/8" jacks; that way you could remove it if you didn't want the boost.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logistics View Post
So the iMod is just the addition of decoupling capacitors to the signal paths? Roffles & Prankapples!

What's the uF value of the capacitors? I would just add a couple films to the cable and heatshrink them or use a tiny stomp box with 1/8" jacks; that way you could remove it if you didn't want the boost.
Wow, an entire post that I can't understand one word of, not that I have any reason to think it's not 100% dead on the money right for whatever it might say. Actually, I'm kind of patting myself on the back because I do in fact know what a 1/8" jack is, even if I don't know a Roffle from a Prankapple.
post #10 of 10
Welcome Logistics. If you're interested in DIY'ing an imod you should read the first post of this thread. Basically you remove a couple of capacitors from the ipod's circuit board, solder on a thin wire between 2 points (or fit some capacitors in the ipod if you have room/want to) and you're done. If you've not soldered a PCB before it's probably not the best place to start as it's small (or smaller, depending which ipod you have)

Most people use 47uf capacitors, but depending on your amp and sound preferences you can go lower - not low enough for films though. The smallest good option are the black gate nx-hiq electrolytics, which fit in the larger ipod connectors (or inside the ipod if you're lucky) but there are many who use big paper in oil and other expensive caps in a box with an in and out 1/8 jack as you suggested.

It's the removing of the caps thats the mod rather than adding more, which as mentioned above degrades the sound.
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