Very simple, looking for a good quality 3.5mm to RCA cable...and also, is connecting an iPod directly to an amp a good idea in the first place? Thanks for any replies.
Okay to use 3.5mm --> RCA cable for connecting iPod directly to E9k?
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Does your iPod have a 30-pin dock connector?
If so, the best sound can be cheaply had using
Fiio L11 dock -> 3.5mm to RCA cable -> E9K
I have the L11 dock and it is great. It allows you to charge the iPod using a mini USB cable while you are playing music out of the dock.
If you have another iPod (new Touch, shuffle, newer Nano), your only option is the headphone out. You'll be double-amping which lowers sound quality some.
For a good cable, check Monoprice -- they are low cost, and their cables always work for me.
As to whether using an iPod as a source is a good idea -- most models sound decent. Older ones, especially the older clickwheel iPods (5th generation iPod Video and before), the older Nanos (2nd generation and before), and the first gen gumstick Shuffle (!) are considered the best sounding. The iMod upgrade is based on these clickwheel iPods, and some consider the sound to rival a high-end home setup with dedicated DAC.