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I Need a Portable DAC/Amp Combo for iPod That's Not an HP-P1 and Not $1K - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 

I haven't gotten any response. Did anyone else send an email?

post #17 of 34
I use an iPod Classic as my primary source for portable use. If you wish to take an analog signal out of the 30 pin dock, a simple 30 pin to 3.5 mm connecting cable will connect to any amp. If you wish to take a digital signal out of the 30 pin dock, you need a 30 pin to USB cable and there are DAC Amps like the Cypher Labs Theorem, Centrance M8, ADL X1 to consider, or separate standalone DACs like the various Venturecraft ones (eg DD Sockets) and the Cypher Labs Solo -R and -DB. These DAC amps and standalone DACs, as they are Apple MFI (made for iPod) certified will also take the same digital signals from the latest iDevices' Lightning port.
post #18 of 34
In addition, I also have the Astell & Kern AK10 for use as a portable DAC/amp with my iPhone 5 and I understand from that thread that iRiver intends to do a cable for 30 pin iDevices too.
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post

I use an iPod Classic as my primary source for portable use. If you wish to take an analog signal out of the 30 pin dock, a simple 30 pin to 3.5 mm connecting cable will connect to any amp. If you wish to take a digital signal out of the 30 pin dock, you need a 30 pin to USB cable and there are DAC Amps like the Cypher Labs Theorem, Centrance M8, ADL X1 to consider, or separate standalone DACs like the various Venturecraft ones (eg DD Sockets) and the Cypher Labs Solo -R and -DB. These DAC amps and standalone DACs, as they are Apple MFI (made for iPod) certified will also take the same digital signals from the latest iDevices' Lightning port.


And this applies to the seventh generation of the Classic? It wouldn't really make sense for them to take that feature away, but somebody said that it may have been tossed out with the Wolfson DAC for the latest edition.

post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post


And this applies to the seventh generation of the Classic? It wouldn't really make sense for them to take that feature away, but somebody said that it may have been tossed out with the Wolfson DAC for the latest edition.
I am using both a 6th and 7th generation iPod Classic. I don't know about iPod Touches or iPads as I don't use them for music.
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post
 


And this applies to the seventh generation of the Classic? It wouldn't really make sense for them to take that feature away, but somebody said that it may have been tossed out with the Wolfson DAC for the latest edition.


I was told that only Apple devices with iOS7 can provide digital through the LOD.  If this is accurate, then the iPod Classic 7G is not DAC compatible as it is only capable of analog output through the LOD.

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post


I was told that only Apple devices with iOS7 can provide digital through the LOD.  If this is accurate, then the iPod Classic 7G is not DAC compatible as it is only capable of analog output through the LOD.
We need to be precise here. The 30 pin connector is on iPod Classics, iPad 3 and earlier, iPhone 4S and earlier. All of these I have and there is absolutely no problem using a 30 pin to USB on apple-certified DAC/amps like those I mentioned in my first reply. Now for my iPad Mini and my iPhone 5 and 5S which have the lightning connector, a lightning to USB wire connecting them to those same DAC/amps also works.

When you say iOS 7 that only applies to iPhones and iPod touches and iPads. It does not apply to iPod Classics.

Having said that, some people, not me, don't wish to for whatever reason, use Apple certified MFI DAC/amps eg the JDS C5D and they resort to, in my view, an inelegant solution by using Apple Camera Connection Kit on their iOS 7 iPads etc.

To confuse matters for you further, I can connect an Apple Lightning-30 pin connector (which is actually a DAC inside) to my iPhone 5, then connect a 30 pin to 3.5 mm to any amp and that works.

In sum, if you stick to your initial enquiry, an IPod Classic WILL work with those Apple-certified MFI DAC amps with no issues whatsoever. One of my iPod Classics is but two months old and it works with ALL those DAC amps I listed.

I hope this helps.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post


I was told that only Apple devices with iOS7 can provide digital through the LOD.  If this is accurate, then the iPod Classic 7G is not DAC compatible as it is only capable of analog output through the LOD.
I just realized you are not the OP so let me expand further.

Yes, if you connect a 30 pin to the LOD but the other end is 3.5 mm then it's only an analog signal. But if you connect the 30 pin to USB to those DAC amps I mentioned it will output a digital signal. The LOD with 30 pins is very versatile. It is the MFI DAC amps that does the handshake so to speak and extract the digital signal.
post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone, especially George. I guess we have a definite answer now!

post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 

On a mildly related note, can anyone recommend a good-quality 30-pin to RCA cable?

post #26 of 34

Just to clarify:  The CEntrance HiFi-M8 does work with the iPod Classic, but only the most recent one(s) -- the 5th gen iPod Video is not supported, and the 7th gen is (not sure about the 6th gen).  Here is a report back in October, and there are other reports of testing with iPod Classics before this one in the thread. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/622939/the-centrance-hifi-m8-thread/3870#post_9922633

 

So you can use an iPod Classic as a digital transport like an iPhone/iPod Touch, but it has to be with MFi devices.  I don't have the latest iPod Classic to test, though. 

post #27 of 34
My 2 month old 160 GB Classic and my 2-3 year old 120 GB one (don't know if that is officially the 6th Gen) works.
post #28 of 34

The Vamp Verza extracts the digital output from an iPod and runs it through its own DAC and then the amp.

 

But I also think that, for most listenings, the iPod's built-in DAC does an admirable job. If you connect a line-out doc cable (30-pin to 3.5mm or RCA), the signal goes through the DAC but not the amp, just connect it to an amp and you should be OK to go.

 

By the way, people here write about "7th gen" ipod - as far as I know there is no such thing - the latest ipod is the iPod Classic from late 2009, they didn't release any new models (not including touch).


Edited by intlsubband - 4/13/14 at 8:24pm
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post
 

On a mildly related note, can anyone recommend a good-quality 30-pin to RCA cable?

 

Audioquest has some of the best ones, I use the Golden Gate one to connect ipod straight to amp, great stuff. http://www.audioquest.com/bridges-falls/golden-gate

 

They also have more pricey ones.

 

I still need to get a proper home DAC, but for now, my temporary home setup of ipod -> audioquest golden gate -> amp sounds really nice... once I get a proper DAC though I'll use my Verza just to extract the digital signal from the ipod to the DAC. But the ipod's DAC does admirable job, and I know it's supposed to be the "lesser" ipod DAC (given that it's the more recent model).


Edited by intlsubband - 4/13/14 at 8:18pm
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
 

If you are using an iPod Classic, you may want to consider the JDS Labs C5 amp + LOD (such as Fiio L9).  This will bypass the amp on the iPod.  I don't believe that there is any point to a having a DAC with a Classic as it is not capable of digital output through the LOD.  You may want to get someone else to confirm this, but I am pretty sure it is correct.  I am using iPod Classic 7G 160 Gb > Fiio L9 LOD > C5 > Shure SE535...very sweet indeed, and not a bank breaker.  Also a good size match with the iPod.

Wrong. I'm using the digital output on the Classic going into the Sony PHA 1. Sounds brilliant too.

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