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Zune LOD

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
With the Zune Home AV pack, there is a line output for video, which could be used as a line-out for audio.

I don't have my amp here for another couple days so I can't try it out yet, but I'm sure it will work.

Unfortunately it isn't portable, other than the Zune itself that is, but I figured this is the place to post it.
post #2 of 44
There is no current proable LOD for the Zune,seems the LOD in the zune require power to activate it.

On the other hand the Zune headphone output is very good unlike the IPods head phone output so an LOD output is not really needed with the Zune.
post #3 of 44
It'd be great if someone could modify the dock for portable use. All it takes is to gut out a dock, put the PCB and the dock connector in a suitable package and feed it with 5V DC, and I'd put an amp inside the enclosure while I'm at it.

I might take one for the team someday that if someone can verify that it is a real line out instead of just a re routed headphone out.

That is if reverse engineering like the Fuze LOD fails, but the previous attempts hasn't bear any fruits yet.
post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 
How would you go about verifying something like that?
post #5 of 44
I am no expert, but I guess folks at DIY forum might be able to make an educated guess by looking at the inards. I think here is some pictures on the DIYmod thread/site.

Another thing worth finding out is if there is any signal amplification circuitry in the dock. If so then it would probably better to tap the signal from the headphone out.

Does anyone own the dock?
post #6 of 44
If the only purpose for an LOD is to improve the sound quality out of the device this is pretty pointless in the zune. The zune is not an ipod it does not have crappy headphone output jacks like the ipod or a crappy S/N ratio out of the headphone output like the Ipods.
post #7 of 44
pretty good sweeping statements you got going there if zune doesnt need an amp, like ipods, then why arent they very popular then hey. sure maybe some of the ipods didnt have such a great HP out, but that has changed on a few models, and IMO the line out amped will kill the amped HP out of zune. your just jealous gotta love those that hate just to hate. head-fi is a pretty discerning bunch and somehow I think there would be more zunes about if this was the case. I dont deny they probably have a god HP out; many members I respect have agreed, but that simply does not mean that the zune will beat an ipod Line out and dont play the apple sux card; thats dangerous ground for an MS user
post #8 of 44
Well, I've got both the Touch 2G with a very good line out cable (not a cheap dock/dongle) and the Zune80, and I can say unequivocally that with the T4, at least, the Zune HP and an amp (with a good mini to mini cable) sounds as good as the Touch LOD, head to head.

Without the amp, the Zune HP outperforms, to my ears, the Touch and my old iPod 5.5g HP out (no EQ on either). Just because the Zune isn't selling more units doesn't mean it isn't being used by discerning listeners.

So I'd say the Zune HP out offers better SQ than any iPod HP outs, though the Touch is pretty close. I would not necessarily agree that the Zune doesn't need an LOD since its HP out is so good, and I'd love to have a portable Zune LOD.

But, when I use the Zune in its AV cradle as the source with my Class D amp and vintage KLH speakers, the sounds are just as crisp, clean and ear-pleasing as my CD player. That does say something about the Zune, in my view. When in the cradle, the Zune audio controls are still functional, which may indicate it's not an LOD at all, but merely the HP out coming from a different place (the bottom and not the top).
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
Well, I've got both the Touch 2G with a very good line out cable (not a cheap dock/dongle) and the Zune80, and I can say unequivocally that with the T4, at least, the Zune HP and an amp (with a good mini to mini cable) sounds as good as the Touch LOD, head to head.

Without the amp, the Zune HP outperforms, to my ears, the Touch and my old iPod 5.5g HP out (no EQ on either). Just because the Zune isn't selling more units doesn't mean it isn't being used by discerning listeners.

So I'd say the Zune HP out offers better SQ than any iPod HP outs, though the Touch is pretty close. I would not necessarily agree that the Zune doesn't need an LOD since its HP out is so good, and I'd love to have a portable Zune LOD.

But, when I use the Zune in its AV cradle as the source with my Class D amp and vintage KLH speakers, the sounds are just as crisp, clean and ear-pleasing as my CD player. That does say something about the Zune, in my view. When in the cradle, the Zune audio controls are still functional, which may indicate it's not an LOD at all, but merely the HP out coming from a different place (the bottom and not the top).

Yep your observation is the same as a few others that have both to compare. Sorry this is not to bash the ipod or start a Zune VS Ipod war but the facts are that the IPOD head phone output is measurably bad, the Zune's is not.

I ask again what is the main purpose of the LOD? To improve sound quality by bypassing the head phone out circuitry in the player? Is there any other reason to use an LOD in a portable device like people are asking for?

2 issues the Zune's head phone output sounds as good as an ipod using LOD and the Zune's LOD may not actually be an LOD in the first place and just another audio output like the head headpone jack.

In both cases this completely negates the need for an LOD on the Zune Which is probably why no one has bothered to take the time and make one.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by swanlee View Post
the facts are that the IPOD head phone output is measurably bad, the Zune's is not.
can you post those measurements?

here's one example
AnandTech: iPod vs. Zune: January 2008 High End MP3 Player Roundup

people have been trying to get a zune LOD for a while. the problem is that Microsoft has made it very difficult.
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
pretty good sweeping statements you got going there if zune doesnt need an amp, like ipods, then why arent they very popular then hey. sure maybe some of the ipods didnt have such a great HP out, but that has changed on a few models, and IMO the line out amped will kill the amped HP out of zune. your just jealous gotta love those that hate just to hate. head-fi is a pretty discerning bunch and somehow I think there would be more zunes about if this was the case. I dont deny they probably have a god HP out; many members I respect have agreed, but that simply does not mean that the zune will beat an ipod Line out and dont play the apple sux card; thats dangerous ground for an MS user
you do know the ipod has been out for more than 8 years the zune only 2
post #12 of 44
technically, the ipod has been out 7 years 4 months and the zune 2 years 3 months.
post #13 of 44
There are numerous tests showing the Zune and ipod to be very close in terms of frequency response and quality of signal.

But anyway...A member tore apart the dock a while back to find a PCB and numerous resistors, capacitors and chips on it. I don't know what voltage it uses but it doesn't seem as simple as sending the right voltage to a pin on the dock connector.

I believe that particular member was banned, but you might be able to find his thread.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonhapimp View Post
you do know the ipod has been out for more than 8 years the zune only 2
and this matters how exactly?? within 2 years of being released the ipod was everywhere; and it wasnt the first MP3 player, just took things to another level like you seem to be claiming of zune. so if the zune was as good as you claim and measurably and undeniably better than even ipods line-out, i'm sure they would have more of a foothold by now; at least on here. i'm not talking about the general population because apple has a marketing machine and visibility in the market that is hard to win over,(although MS has proven to be no slouch with this type of thing with their OS) but at least places like here where people already use amps I would think that there would be more people amping the HP out of the ZUNE. besides, what this about bass roll-of with IEM's??

I dont argue that the HP out on ipods isnt the best going, but since its got a line-out and I use an amp; its a no brainer, plus I guess i'm cheating to a degree

but yeah, back on topic, most of these discussions have ended with i being the consensus that zune actually doesnt have a line-out present at the dock. and the AV dock cannot in fact be a line-out with volume control. that just isnt possible. line-outs dont tend to have much if any circuitry inline; thats the whole point
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
if the zune was as good as you claim and measurably and undeniably better than even ipods line-out, i'm sure they would have more of a foothold by now; at least on here. i'm not talking about the general population because apple has a marketing machine and visibility in the market that is hard to win over,(although MS has proven to be no slouch with this type of thing with their OS) but at least places like here where people already use amps I would think that there would be more people amping the HP out of the ZUNE.
Well even head-fi-ers can be prone to the marketing machine. Just because people hang out at head-fi doesn't mean that they aren't susceptible to the same siren song as everyone else. I would wager that many of the head-fi-ers who have an ipod bought it simply because it has an LOD and readily available accessories. The fact that ipod has a 6 year head start doesn't hurt either.

I was originally disappointed that the zune doesn't have an LOD. But it is now my opinion that the zune doesn't need an LOD. The quality of sound amped from the HP-out is simply outstanding.

If the lack of a line out is holding anyone back from getting the zune, you can put that fear to rest.
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