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Choosing an "audiophile" DAP to replace iPod classic

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone. I have been browsing the threads on the random DAPs available for quite some time now and am not sure which route I should go.

Over the course of the past few weeks, my iPod classic has started to randomly reboot on its own, more and more frequently. It's been paired with a Fiio e17 but I have been looking for a reason to upgrade now that I have significantly better gear than I did 3 years ago.

Roughly 95% of my audio library is in Apple lossless format. Everything else is the random song purchased from iTunes or a track in MP3 format. For the past several years I have been devoted to iTunes as a storage/synching solution. I honestly do not have an issue with iTunes nor the quality of playback I receive using Audirvana on my Mac - and really don't want to screw with multiple synching solutions if avoidable. Since my iPod is on its way out, I have had to switch my view from which amp/dac to upgrade to. Would an iPod touch with an upgraded amp/dac suffice or should I look elsewhere like the DX100, AK100, etc?

I would like something with an easy to navigate UI as I spent far too long constantly scrolling on my classic (I never rock boxed). The Fiio X3 looked interesting but Ive read about issues with cover art, track info, etc not displaying for ALAC, AAC, etc.

With either solution I would prefer to keep my budget under 1k. I guess the area I am really struggling with is wether or not there will be a noticeable enough difference in sound quality making the jump from something like Apple's line of devices to the DX100 (thinking about how big of a pain it would be to ditch iTunes - convenience is the key for me there)... vs going the route of something like a current gen iPod Touch + Fostex (or insert other brand/model here) amp/dac.

post #2 of 4
The iPod Classic actually has excellent sound quality and "upgrading" won't change anything. Its only downside is the 5.5Ω output impedance, which may or may not adversely affect low impedance, balanced armature IEMs such as your AKGs. The Fostex HP-P1 is actually worse in that regard, with a 10Ω output impedance, so that won't improve anything, it will likely make it worse.

The iPod Touch 5G has a very low output impedance of 0.75Ω and would be an excellent choice for your IEMs, but there won't be any difference in sound quality compared to your iPod Classic + E17 combo (though it will be much more convenient, as you won't need to attach a low impedance amplifier to it).
post #3 of 4

red wine modded AK100

post #4 of 4
I've come to the conclusion that if you want to store your entire library on a portable, it's hard to beat the iPod Classic.
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