iPod Line Out - Sik Imp vs Dock
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Ross

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After doing the comparison, the line out from the iPod using the Sik Imp is significantly better than the line out from the dock. The dock is brighter with harsher highs, while the Sik Imp has better control of the top end and a more natural balance.

This test was done using a 40Gb iPod into a Straightwire mini-to-mini cable and ER4Ps.
 
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fiddler

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That's interesting. I modded a Sik IMP cable for someone (removed the female in-line jack and replaced it with a male plug) and the cable was really nothing to write home about-- PVC insulation, ground current carried through a foil/braid combo shield. It uses tinned copper though, which might reduce the harmful sonic effect of PVC insulation a bit. PVC-insulated cables tend to sound warmer, so this could explain the differences you heard. I.e. the colouration of the cable acted as a tone-control, for the better.

As long as it sounds good.
 
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austonia

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it would be cool if someone made an iPod line-out adapter that was just a 3.5mm female output jack so we could use our own cabling from there to the amp. It shouldn't even cost much...
 
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fiddler

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Quote:

Originally posted by austonia
it would be cool if someone made an iPod line-out adapter that was just a 3.5mm female output jack so we could use our own cabling from there to the amp. It shouldn't even cost much...


The problem I see with that is that the dock connector together with a 3.5mm plug would end up putting a lot of leverage and strain on the iPod connector, especially if you used a really clunky plug like the Canare. The best solution would be for some high-end cable manufacturer to make a custom mini-ipod cable.

EDIT: well, it would work actually if the adapter wasn't narrow like the Sik. If it was say, a snap-in "extension" to the iPod's body, that'd be pretty damn cool.
 
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Dane

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Quote:

Originally posted by Ross
After doing the comparison, the line out from the iPod using the Sik Imp is significantly better than the line out from the dock. The dock is brighter with harsher highs, while the Sik Imp has better control of the top end and a more natural balance.

This test was done using a 40Gb iPod into a Straightwire mini-to-mini cable and ER4Ps.


I'm not sure I will ever be able train my ears to that level
Anyway, from a mechanical point of view the Imp is better, it snaps in place instead of the wobbling connection in the dock.

Fortunately I recently bougt the Imp
 
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fiddler

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Quote:

Originally posted by Dane
I'm not sure I will ever be able train my ears to that level
Anyway, from a mechanical point of view the Imp is better, it snaps in place instead of the wobbling connection in the dock.

Fortunately I recently bougt the Imp


Hm.. I never considered that fact. It could very well be that the dock makes a worse connection.
 
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Dane

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Yeah, dust and dirt goes stright into the plug of the dock. The Imp comes with a little clear cap for the connector. Given the tiny connectors on the plug it could well be this that Ross hears rather than the wireing itself.
 
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cmascatello

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I just did a test with my E5s and my miniPod with the dock and a Sik cable. I just got a SuperDual prototype in the mail from Xin (another thread entirely) and was letting it burn in a bit from the mini in the dock. I popped the canalphones in just to check the sound and was ALARMED to hear a buzzing in the right earpiece. I immediately thought the amps PCB must have been bad b/c the E5s were OK earlier in the day with an earlier version of the prototype. I used the XP-7 to confirm that the E5s were OK. Then I tested the Dual using the Imp and the mini -- no buzzing!

I am guessing there is some sort of ground issue with the mini dock. This hunk of ass will be going back to the Apple store tomorrow AM and I will probably bring my rig with me to test the docks they have in the store and any replacement they give me. I'm hoping that I just have a bad unit, but there does seem to be a quality issue with the signal out of the Apple docks.
 
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penbat

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Oh so a Sik Imp may be better than the dock but obviously the Sik Imp cable can't be as good as hi quality cable.

So ideally hi-quality cable direct from the Ipod Lineout (without the dock) would be best.

But would a Sik Amp with female plug to a standard male to male hi-quality cable be second best in prerence to the dock plus hi-quality cable only ? I wonder if Mr Lindrone has any opinions on this.
 
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The question here is the quality of the dock's internal wiring.. which is adequate, but I think the Imp's (I have a Din, there shouldn't be any difference between them) wiring is probably more preferrable anyway.
 
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James

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Quote:

Originally posted by cmascatello
I am guessing there is some sort of ground issue with the mini dock. This hunk of ass will be going back to the Apple store tomorrow AM and I will probably bring my rig with me to test the docks they have in the store and any replacement they give me. I'm hoping that I just have a bad unit, but there does seem to be a quality issue with the signal out of the Apple docks.


The hiss is normal, I'm afraid, if your dock is plugged into the AC adapter or Firewire. I get absolutely zero noise from the lineout if my dock isn't connected to power or a computer. I would be very surprised if the SiK IMP doesn't also have noise if the Firewire jack is attached to something, but if it works I'm getting out my credit card!

I should add that my Total Airheads rejected all hiss from my iPod's dock no matter how it was connected, in stark contrast to the reaction of my home gear (a Denon minisystem and my NAD C370). I imagine it has something to do with HeadRoom's efforts to eliminate hiss from their ultraportable amps. So it could be the SuperDual could use some RF noise rejection of its own.

Ross: my foremost impression of the iPod's lineout via the dock was a bit of treble harshness. It could be -- as fiddler pointed out -- that the mass-market cable used in the IMP, however short, is helping to tame those highs. This isn't unreasonable! For example, the Kimber mini-to-mini (a phenomenal cable) that HeadRoom sells is obviously brighter than the Plastics One cheapie that comes with their AH/BH amps. I bet that the dock is actually more transparent, but they're your ears after all!
 
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penbat

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Quote:

Originally posted by lindrone
but I don't think the Imp's (I have a Din, there shouldn't be any difference between them) wiring is probably more preferrable anyway.


Thanks for response but i don't properly understand this. What is more preferable ?

Do you out of choice use the Sik instead of the dock in your home rig ?
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by James
The hiss is normal, I'm afraid, if your dock is plugged into the AC adapter or Firewire. I get absolutely zero noise from the lineout if my dock isn't connected to power or a computer. I would be very surprised if the SiK IMP doesn't also have noise if the Firewire jack is attached to something, but if it works I'm getting out my credit card!


There is a hiss even without the AC or Firewire connection. Pause your iPod and raise your volume to max on your amp. Same with the Sik if you're wondering. I posted about this few days ago but no iPod owner confirmed it so it just maybe be isolated to my iPod (which I seriously doubt).
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by penbat
Thanks for response but i don't properly understand this. What is more preferable ?

Do you out of choice use the Sik instead of the dock in your home rig ?


Sik sounded better for me in my brief 30 minute comparison. But I mostly use the dock for convenience.
 
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oneeyedhobbit

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Umm...perhaps I'm the only one here wondering what a Sic Imp is?
 
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