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iPod "Video" 5G vs iPod "Classic" 6G (amped or unamped?)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I did a side-by-side comparison of my iPod "Video" 5G and my iPod "Classic" 6G and here are my conclusions:

-- Amped using a LOD: The 6G is the winner as it is much cleaner and accurate. The 5G, amped via LOD, can sound a little muddy with some genres of music.
-- Unamped, using the factory 3.5mm jack (Apple OS): The 5G is the clear winner; Less muddy than amped via-LOD and the sound stage is better than the 6G, which in my opinion sounds flat and less lively. Using the ROCKbox OS on the 5G I've found that with a few EQ and pre-amp tweaks the 5G unamped sounds even better than the Apple OS unamped.

I almost sold one of these units, as I thought my DAP collection was becoming a bit redundant, however both of these units seem to have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Has anyone else done this comparison? If so, do you agree or disagree with my findings?

Any idea as to why there is a such a difference between the two DAPs amped and unamped?
post #2 of 20
Could you please do the Video vs the Touch?
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
The Touch is a very different animal. It sounds great amped or unamped. It's never muddy and is very accurate. However, something about the unamped 5G just sounds bit more dynamic to me.

Of the DAPs I currently own, here are my lists in order of favorite first...

Best Sounding Unamped:
1. Sansa Clip
2. Touch 2G
3. Video 5G
4. Shuffle 1G
5. Nano 1G
6. Classic 6G

Best Sounding Amped via-LOD:
1. Classic 6G
2. Touch 2G
3. Nano 1G
4. Video 5G
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Bump (to get back on track). Anyone have an answer to my OP?
post #5 of 20
Well, the iPod 5G uses the Wolfson DAC, while the Classic uses something else. IDK if that has any effect on that.
post #6 of 20
5g has a wolfson dac, 6g has the cheap cirrus logic dac
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post
5g has a wolfson dac, 6g has the cheap cirrus logic dac
This I know. But it isn't that black & white. If it was the 5G would outperform the 6G in both areas, but it doesn't IMHO.

Something must be in the way of the line out signal on the 5G that negatively effects the audio.
post #8 of 20
iv not heard the 6g but from what ive read. 5g hp out is poo 5g line out is warm and very good. 6g hp out is cooler but not bad, 6g line out is no better than the hp out on it
post #9 of 20
Here we go again. FWIW, this is what seemed to come out of the 5000 or so posts that have been made here in the last 6 weeks or so:

1. If you have the iMod, or can afford one, do it. VInnie wont consider anything after the 5.5G Classic : he explains everything on his website.

2. If you have the 6/6.5G Classic, the lineout is better than the headphone out.

3. If you like the Wolfson DAC models (5.5G and earlier), stick with them. You may dislike the HP out on the 6/6.5G Classic immensely.

I am one of those who maintain that it goes beyond the DAC : why else would so many be claiming that the 3GS iPhone is the best *iPod* for SQ ? In any case, it has been debated so many times recently that most will have made their choices : audition whatever you can, then order the iMod or the Wadia/Onkyo digital transport. Stock, from the HP out, I dont believe any iPod comes close to the Sony X : you are going to need to spend money somewhere.
post #10 of 20
As for the reasons for the differences in the sound quality, it all comes from the circuit design and the components used between 6G and 5G. The two do not have identical lineouts and they probably don't have identical headphone outs either. The 5G uses a better DAC in theory, but in stock form the lineout signal goes through various circuits (I don't know the specifics) that degrade the sound. I'm sure that wasn't the intent in the design but it's what happens. The iMod or RWA treatment to the 5G takes the output directly from the DAC so that the sound isn't colored, and runs it through high quality capacitors so that you really benefit from the better DAC.

I would disagree about the iPhone 3GS sounding good.. I don't know if it's the best sounding iPod as I haven't owned very many iPods, but it sounds like poo to me. I much prefer my Sony Walkman S738. Well, OK, I exaggerate when I say it sounds like poo, but it just doesn't sound that fantastic to me. I use 320kbps MP3s out to Grado SR-80 or KOSS KSC-75 usually and occasionally I'll break out my UE super.fi 5pro
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sputnik13 View Post
As for the reasons for the differences in the sound quality, it all comes from the circuit design and the components used between 6G and 5G. The two do not have identical lineouts and they probably don't have identical headphone outs either. The 5G uses a better DAC in theory, but in stock form the lineout signal goes through various circuits (I don't know the specifics) that degrade the sound. I'm sure that wasn't the intent in the design but it's what happens. The iMod or RWA treatment to the 5G takes the output directly from the DAC so that the sound isn't colored, and runs it through high quality capacitors so that you really benefit from the better DAC.

I would disagree about the iPhone 3GS sounding good.. I don't know if it's the best sounding iPod as I haven't owned very many iPods, but it sounds like poo to me. I much prefer my Sony Walkman S738. Well, OK, I exaggerate when I say it sounds like poo, but it just doesn't sound that fantastic to me. I use 320kbps MP3s out to Grado SR-80 or KOSS KSC-75 usually and occasionally I'll break out my UE super.fi 5pro
Very informative! Thank you.

This confirms what I have experienced in my testing.
post #12 of 20

sorry for the necro but while waiting for an ipod video to be delivered,  just reading up on some old threads...

 

I'm a bit puzzled with this comment here:

"Unamped, using the factory 3.5mm jack (Apple OS): The 5G is the clear winner; Less muddy than amped via-LOD and..."

 

how can the HO be less muddy than LO in same unit? if the DAC is muddy, wouldn't the HO be also muddy since it still passes through the same DAC as well as the AMP and circuitry? confused.gif

 

post #13 of 20

~

post #14 of 20

That's weird, my 5g through the headphone out is muddy as hell on anything that's far below 32ohms and has enough bass to require current. On anything with 32ohms and above, it lacks current. Grados do fine because they're coloured, but it puts me to sleep with the K66. I use the LOD to clean up the bass with ampl. After I switched to Rockbox with the EQ off, it's the same when trying to drive very low impedance IEMs through the headphone out; with Grados though there was a noticeable difference. Barring the popping on power-up, the sound was cleaner and overall it was darker. Upper bass and low midbass lost a lot of the impact but bas guitars were more audible and more articulate. Reminds me a lot of an Arcam CDPlayer: detailed yet forgiving of too-forward downstream components. 

 

Just tried it with my cousin's amp that he got from a local DIY-er,* the oldest version of his, since I sold mine a few months ago since I got an Icon Mobile (more compact). This amp's known for being lively at the top end and it shows; difference was night and day as far as tonal balance is concerned. Although the extra current does help with an SR225 since despite the overall brighter sound there's stronger impact from the low mids and upper bass. If I had to listen through speakers I'd hate this sound since the airspace and the room acoustics would definitely make the bass weaker, but since it's through headphones, I'm happy enough with the sound, so I won't fiddle with the EQ anymore. Anyways in my car I use the time alignment a lot more than the EQ; maybe I just don't have the patience for it.

 

post #15 of 20

My favourite at the moment is my 5G Rockboxed, line out, into Little Dot Mk1+, into Alessandro MS-1i. This combination, to me is better than the sFlo2 with the Arrow 1G amp. It is warm and musical yet detailed without being fatigueing(I don't think I spelt that right).


Edited by gimbertt - 12/25/10 at 4:09am
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