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What is the best Portable DAC for iPod Classic 160GB to buy? - Page 4

post #46 of 67
Thats the point i've been trying to hammer across. The ipod DAC is good enough that it should be last on your list of upgrades. If you want to spend 900 bucks on that kind of stuff you are better off getting a pair of 500-600 dollar headphones and a worthwhile portable amp than you are trying to squeeze quality out of replacing the dac.
post #47 of 67
Ok, you guys may have talked me out of an iPod specific DAC. I have also been reading that many DACs will work with the iPad, which I have, using the camera connection kit. So, anyone have a recommendation for a decent portable amp/DAC that will push enough juice for 250 ohm cans? I am not looking to upgrade my headphones yet.

I recently purchased Beyer DT880 250 Ohms, and Grado 325is. I really love both of these phones, especially since they are night and day, as far as sound signature. I can't say I like either better. I do need an upgrade in amp, currently the Fiio E11. I really like the Fiio. It sounds uncolored to me, and even the EQ bass boost sounds to be just in the sub bass, with no bleed. It does fine with the Grados, I think they sound good even from the hp jack on my iPhone. The 880s need some help though. I need a DAC because my laptop and desktop have poor quality integrated sound. I am not ready to build a desktop rig yet, and prefer to stay portable for now. Any ideas? I have been eyeballing the iQube V3, seems a bit pricey, but also a quality build. I'm not sure the smaller amps like the pico can push the 880s to decent volume, but I may be wrong. Willing to hear suggestions. Thanks.
post #48 of 67

I built an O2, and have enjoyed the sound so far. It'll work fine with 250 Ohms, is clean and transparent, and is relatively cheap.

If its your first amp, I'll suggest you go for something absolutely transparent, so you can appreciate your headphones more, since they make the biggest difference. Amps that color the sound are more of an experiment, because the amp-headphone combo might/might not work for you, and you've already bought the headphones.

As for the dac-amp combo, the Benchmark is something I've heard great reviews about, is absolutely transparent, but its expensive ($1k).

post #49 of 67
Benchmark Dac1 is an excellent reference level DAC but if i were you i'd wait for NwAvGuy's ODAC. Preliminary measurements (possibly april fools prank) show that it is measuring extraordinarily well, and is blowing the dac1 out of the water. Even if it doesnt, if the odac is anything like the O2 it will be something REALLY juicy and cheap. Way better to spend 75 bucks and get half the performance of the Dac1 than it is to spend 1500 bucks and get the dac1 performance IMO and still not have an amp to interface it with.

I thought he wanted portability though, and the O2 isnt really a form factor that i'd call portable unless you somehow mount it to the side of a backpack or messenger bag.

Ray Samuels has excellent amps for all uses, its worthwhile to read every single page of that website and commit it to memory. Also iBasso has nice high powered amps in a portable form factor with decent battery life. They also have nice dac/amp combos that offer excellent portable performance.
post #50 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

Benchmark Dac1 is an excellent reference level DAC but if i were you i'd wait for NwAvGuy's ODAC. Preliminary measurements (possibly april fools prank) show that it is measuring extraordinarily well


It is definitely a prank, but nevertheless the previous - real - bits of information regarding the ODAC suggested pretty good performance (like an ENOB of 19 - ~114 dB dynamic range) for the price anyway.

 

post #51 of 67
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll check out the ODAC and O2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

Ray Samuels has excellent amps for all uses, its worthwhile to read every single page of that website and commit it to memory. Also iBasso has nice high powered amps in a portable form factor with decent battery life. They also have nice dac/amp combos that offer excellent portable performance.

I was actually checking out the RSA Predator yesterday, and emailed Ray a few questions. People seem to really like Ray's amps.
post #52 of 67
Ray Samuels gets a niche idea in his head. He has experience with hundreds of headphones and amps and sometimes he'll zero in on what he feels is missing. From that point on, he'll take the hardest to drive stuff in the department and design the amp to be able to feed that stuff at 50% volume, then he'll test to make sure that even up to 75-80% that stuff has no distortion, noise, etc etc. Then he makes sure to design similarly into the amp for smaller easier to drive stuff. He has an excessively thorough proceedure and his amps are generally found to be worth every penny. They might not MEASURE perfectly, but honestly measurements barely tell any of the story, especially because sound is extraordinarily subjective and at the end of the day measurements mean different things to different people, which turns them from objective to subjective. Headfonia didnt like the O2 because it was TOO neutral. I didnt like HD600 for the same reason. I liked the HD650, which is one of the referenec headphones used to design the O2 though, meaning that either I like colored sound or NwAvGuy likes extraordinarily neutral flat colorless response from his go-to headphones. go figure.
post #53 of 67

ive been reading on this forum for id say over a month now , and learned alot . i decided to join today to add ( questions  to this thread .)

 

i decided on HD 800s and SR 71B based on my reading here ,and found moon audio from here as well

 

My setup is Ipod (160 GB ) classic , sennheiser HD 800s , SR 71B (with rays LOD ) ,and Moon audios Black dragon V2s .

 

i was considering Cypher Labs Algorhythm Solo as a DAC , not understanding that Classics DAC and the LOD ( From Ray ) is really

all i need . Ray , and others are of the belief , if i understood correctly , the ( military grade ) LOD passed thru the SR 71B is a

16 bit digital output ,which wont be atall improved by any DAC . As i was told they are also 16 bit ( and in this thread have read

cd quality is also 16 bit ? ,As an aside if so what are 24 bit masters etc...as i think i recently got a 24 bit remaster cd of Supertramp )

 

So is the signal out from LOD to amp digital ? Seems im getting confused . If not how is LOD out to SR 71B as good as a DAC ?

 

i also read the link provided here to the hifivoivce , my head hurt a bit to read , and it was nt clear whether s/he was using which

output of the ipod . S/he also does not seem to like the Ipods ( classic circuitry/sound ) . So knowing what output used would

indeed be helpful .

 

So to re phrase , is my setup ( audio superiority wise ) going to be vastly improved with Algorhythm Solo ? i say vastly , as

it will take many months to save for one . i say MY setup , as im sure others vary , and such may or may not improve

some setups

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #54 of 67

There may not be a noticeable improvement in sound, but you'll have the satisfaction of buying something shiny and cool looking. They use a wolfson dac. Which one they don't say. 

post #55 of 67

I love shiny new cool looking toys .

 

So no big improvement ...disappointing , but may save me dinero

post #56 of 67


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rozeqloud View Post

I love shiny new cool looking toys .

 

So no big improvement ...disappointing , but may save me dinero



I know, hard to resist. But better yet, spend it on speakers/headphones.

post #57 of 67

You telling me the DAC squeezed into the iPOD Classic 160GB is as good as a pair of DUAL SE9018 Siber 32bit DACs? I don't think so!!!  I think the questioner has a good point expressed poorly.  An iPOD Classic is a portable audio device already.  The question is the Paradyme (sic) Shift it represents.  I don't use CDs anymore so my ADCOM GCD 570 sits beneith my OPPO Universal Player.  I plug my Apple iPOD Classic (permanently mounted in my trunk of my Miata) or my iPhone 4S (32GB) else hook my Lenovo G560 directly to my Acurus RL11 Line Stage Pre-amp (via a Monster Cable mini-plug to Y RCA Inter-connects) and I have music.  The problem is, it doesn't have the liquidity and soundstage I got when I dropped a CD into my OPPO and ported it out through my Acurus RL11 Pre.  My iPhone 4S is missing my 3 dimentionality and I need something to address it.  Yes, I could get the new OPPO and improve the sound of my iPhone---but why drop $1,000.00 on a Blu Ray player when Blu Rays are about to be rendered obsolete

[GREAT!!!  I'll just stack my blu rays with my DVDs and my CDs and my Cassettes and my 8tracks with my banished LPs & 45s!!!].

post #58 of 67
yeah, i'm not saying its better or worse than your large E-Peen sound rig. I'm saying that you have a nice thin ipod that has a nice linear frequency response curve out of the DAC and the ipod itself only supports 24/44.1. Why would you want a 32 bit dac for 16/44.1 audio? Why would you spend DOUBLE the cost of the ipod trying to make it good when you can spend that same amount on an HM601, HM605, HM801, or even a crappy cowon player and get all kinds of nice sound output?

But hey, while you are at it, why not just carry around a netbook with a battery pack bigger than your desktop computer and also carry around a nice multi-thousand dollar UPS attached to all your favorite DAC/AMP devices, which then go into your nice 40 pound speakers with a headband over them?

Thers a point at which portability becomes inconvenient for the amount of functionality you get. With ipod the point is not to have a really nice audiophile quality travel rig. The point is to have a single small package to store thousands of songs on that you can call up on the go. If you have to make it weigh 5 times more and be 4 times thicker and cost 4 times as much, just pull out a decent laptop with a nice usb-powered DAC/Amp combo and use that. Dont come in here trying to name drop without even including a model number with any of your supposed gear and try to derail a thread. No one is saying that ipod classic 160gb is the end-all be-all in audio. We are saying that if you pay 1500 bucks for what should be a 300 dollar total purchase (not including headphones), you are either absolutely loaded and can afford a butler to carry around your "portable" rig or you are some kind of complete moron.
post #59 of 67

Everyone has their own opinion and it's good to share what we like and prioritise for ourselves. I'm not here to force or coerce others to my standards and my priorities. But I'm happy to share what's important to me, and you as the reader can see if you can relate to me.

 

To me personally, I can't listen out of the iPod straight, nor iPod-LOD-Amp. I've been listening to some sort of rig for so long that at least to my ears and to my earphones/headphones an external DAC does matter - up to the point that it's worthy of carrying the rig. Heck I just throw it into my satchel anyway. If I don't carry my satchel, then I'd still listen to my iPhone via the Go-DAP DAC/Amp.

 

A little more about the earphones/headphones synergy with the rest of the components:  At least in my past year of playing with HP-P1, CLAS, Pico Slim, SR-71B, and Go-DAPs, some headphones benefit greatly from these components, whist others don't.  e..g. my V-Moda M-80 benefits little whilst my Ultrasone Ed8s benefit greatly. My Unique Melody Merlin's benefit quite well  from these components, meanwhile other Unique Melody SE530x8 actually needs the components to sound decent.

 

So this is to my ears....all I can say is "try" - either at your local store, or better still organise an audio meet in your local city.

post #60 of 67

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyDicked View Post

You telling me the DAC squeezed into the iPOD Classic 160GB is as good as a pair of DUAL SE9018 Siber 32bit DACs? I don't think so!!! 

 

No one's saying that. And frankly, I don't know if its good or better because I haven't seen any measurements of the DAC you mention.

What I do know is that

a) Performance differences are going to be small, maybe inaudible.

b) Price differences are going to be enormous.

c) Might be overkill (like you say, 32 bit DAC for a 16/24 bit input).

d) Scope for experimentation needs you to spend a lot of money, which may or may not give you results, and may not be within everyone's budget, especially for a first time buyer.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

We are saying that if you pay 1500 bucks for what should be a 300 dollar total purchase (not including headphones), you are either absolutely loaded and can afford a butler to carry around your "portable" rig or you are some kind of complete moron.

 

At that price point, I Agree.

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