Looking for Portable DAC that bypasses iPod DAC
Jul 11, 2013 at 2:33 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

kindkind

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Hello!  Ive read a few threads but nothing has answered the question i have.
 
Is there a portable unit that can take the digital signal from my iPod 7G and ouput it from an onboard (higher quality) DAC to a headphone out?  
 
I was under the impression that the digital feed was locked down by apple and only Wadia had been given permission to create devices that tap into the pure digital signal.  This information was accurate in 2010 but im not so sure about 2013.
 
Thanks!
 
Jul 11, 2013 at 2:43 AM Post #2 of 20

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
Hello!  Ive read a few threads but nothing has answered the question i have.
Is there a portable unit that can take the digital signal from my iPod 7G and output it from an on-board (higher quality) DAC to a headphone out?  
I was under the impression that the digital feed was locked down by apple and only Wadia had been given permission to create devices that tap into the pure digital signal.  This information was accurate in 2010 but im not so sure about 2013.

I'm not an Apple person.
But so far I'm not hearing people say they can not get their Apple Lighting port to work with external DACs.
 
I think you just need a Lighting to USB cable, I believe the cable needs to have a small chip sold by Apple embedded into the cable (when the cable is manufactured).
Lots of Lighting to USB cables sold on Amazon.
 
Jul 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM Post #4 of 20

DrSheep

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Quote:
Hello!  Ive read a few threads but nothing has answered the question i have.
 
Is there a portable unit that can take the digital signal from my iPod 7G and ouput it from an onboard (higher quality) DAC to a headphone out?  
 
I was under the impression that the digital feed was locked down by apple and only Wadia had been given permission to create devices that tap into the pure digital signal.  This information was accurate in 2010 but im not so sure about 2013.
 
Thanks!

Not true anymore.  I know that the Lightning to 30 pin adapter from Apple has a Wolfson DAC inside.  Also at least the V-MODA VERZA or the Fostex HP-P1 will do pure digital feed and they both are Apple approved.
 
Jul 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM Post #5 of 20

mtthefirst

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There are several options right now. Either dedicated DAC or DAC/Amp combo that would extract digital signal from your iDevices.
 
DAC/Amp: Fostex HP-P1, Centrance HIFI-M8, V-Moda Vamp Verza, VentureCraft Go-Dap X, VentureCraft Go-Dap TT, VentureCraft SounDroid Typhoon, ADL X1, Sony PHA-1
 
DAC: CLAS, VentureCraft Go-Dap DD Socket 1 (LE)
 

 
Here is the lightning to USB cable.

 
Jul 12, 2013 at 1:27 AM Post #7 of 20

jazzman7

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Quote:
 
There are several options right now. Either dedicated DAC or DAC/Amp combo that would extract digital signal from your iDevices.
 
DAC/Amp: Fostex HP-P1, Centrance HIFI-M8, V-Moda Vamp Verza, VentureCraft Go-Dap X, VentureCraft Go-Dap TT, VentureCraft SounDroid Typhoon, ADL X1, Sony PHA-1
 
DAC: CLAS, VentureCraft Go-Dap DD Socket 1 (LE)
 

 
Here is the lightning to USB cable.

 
 
Great post.  Complete list of solutions as far as I can see.  
 
The discussion changes a bit if one extends to other iDevices, particularly iPads which have the Camera Connection Kit as another part of a possible outboard DAC solution.  But this covers what the OP cares about.
 
Aug 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM Post #8 of 20

boombobby289

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I'm newbie to external DAC. My intention is to bypass the internal DAC of iPAD and iPod Classic.
From other threads, they mentioned only Apple's certified devices can bypass the internal DAC of iDevices.

And I found this thread and got to know below options:

"DAC/Amp: Fostex HP-P1, Centrance HIFI-M8, V-Moda Vamp Verza, VentureCraft Go-Dap X, VentureCraft Go-Dap TT, VentureCraft SounDroid Typhoon, ADL X1, Sony PHA-1

DAC: CLAS, VentureCraft Go-Dap DD Socket 1 (LE)"

Among them which is the best option to improve the original sound quality of iDevices?
 
Aug 3, 2013 at 10:38 PM Post #9 of 20

DrSheep

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Quote:
I'm newbie to external DAC. My intention is to bypass the internal DAC of iPAD and iPod Classic.
From other threads, they mentioned only Apple's certified devices can bypass the internal DAC of iDevices.

And I found this thread and got to know below options:

"DAC/Amp: Fostex HP-P1, Centrance HIFI-M8, V-Moda Vamp Verza, VentureCraft Go-Dap X, VentureCraft Go-Dap TT, VentureCraft SounDroid Typhoon, ADL X1, Sony PHA-1

DAC: CLAS, VentureCraft Go-Dap DD Socket 1 (LE)"

Among them which is the best option to improve the original sound quality of iDevices?

I am on the VentureCraft camp, so I would say the VERZA, the TT, or the SDT.  The SDT is the most technical of them all right now, but amp wise the TT is a tube amp so it has a warm sound, but power wise the VERZA is hard to beat.  It really goes down it whether you value the DAC function or the amp function more.
 
Aug 3, 2013 at 10:50 PM Post #10 of 20

boombobby289

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I am on the VentureCraft camp, so I would say the VERZA, the TT, or the SDT.  The SDT is the most technical of them all right now, but amp wise the TT is a tube amp so it has a warm sound, but power wise the VERZA is hard to beat.  It really goes down it whether you value the DAC function or the amp function more.


Among the VentureCraft, which one can reproduce the best sound quality of iPod/iPad?
I like sound to be rich, thick, detail, clarity, good separation and big soundstage.
Sorry for my layman terms. :)
 
Aug 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM Post #11 of 20

DrSheep

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Quote:
Among the VentureCraft, which one can reproduce the best sound quality of iPod/iPad?
I like sound to be rich, thick, detail, clarity, good separation and big soundstage.
Sorry for my layman terms.
smily_headphones1.gif

All 3, because the sound signatures are all different.  The SDT can up convert your iDevices to 32/192, and it is the only one out there that can play 64 bits DSD in DAC mode from a PC, which is pretty amazing; the TT has a warmer sound and it is the only portable tube amp on the market; the VERZA is good for iOS and Android with almost twice the power compare to the other two (80 ohms of SDT and TT vs. 150 ohms of VERZA.)  Since the SDT is the cheapest ($523) and the most technical, I suggest you try that first.  And if you think it doesn't have enough power for you, then return it for a VERZA ($600).
 
Aug 4, 2013 at 12:49 AM Post #12 of 20

boombobby289

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All 3, because the sound signatures are all different.  The SDT can up convert your iDevices to 32/192, and it is the only one out there that can play 64 bits DSD in DAC mode from a PC, which is pretty amazing; the TT has a warmer sound and it is the only portable tube amp on the market; the VERZA is good for iOS and Android with almost twice the power compare to the other two (80 ohms of SDT and TT vs. 150 ohms of VERZA.)  Since the SDT is the cheapest ($523) and the most technical, I suggest you try that first.  And if you think it doesn't have enough power for you, then return it for a VERZA ($600).

It seems SDT can only play selected version of iPod and it does not work for iPad.

Verza is more versatile. Verza is from V-Moda, different company from VentureCraft, am I right?

How Verza vs CLAS-dB or -R in term of sound signature?
 
Aug 4, 2013 at 12:59 AM Post #13 of 20

DrSheep

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It seems SDT can only play selected version of iPod and it does not work for iPad.

Verza is more versatile. Verza is from V-Moda, different company from VentureCraft, am I right?

How Verza vs CLAS-dB or -R in term of sound signature?

There is no reason why any VC DAC/AMP won't work with the iPad.  Also the VERZA is actually a re-engineered version of the Go-DAP X, but yes they are two different companies.  As far as VERZA vs. CLAS-db or- R I really don't know, but this is not exactly a fair comparsion as the CLAS' are DAC only.
 
p.s. if you really want to know, I can bring my SDT to the Apple Store tomorrow and test it out for sure.
 
Aug 4, 2013 at 1:53 AM Post #14 of 20

boombobby289

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There is no reason why any VC DAC/AMP won't work with the iPad.  Also the VERZA is actually a re-engineered version of the Go-DAP X, but yes they are two different companies.  As far as VERZA vs. CLAS-db or- R I really don't know, but this is not exactly a fair comparsion as the CLAS' are DAC only.

p.s. if you really want to know, I can bring my SDT to the Apple Store tomorrow and test it out for sure.

You can find the iDevice compatibility on VentureCraft webite.
But I could not find any iPad or older generation iPods in SDT.
In fact now I'm very interested in SDT after you had introduce it to me. I need to do more research.
 
Aug 4, 2013 at 2:04 AM Post #15 of 20

DrSheep

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You can find the iDevice compatibility on VentureCraft webite.
But I could not find any iPad or older generation iPods in SDT.
In fact now I'm very interested in SDT after you had introduce it to me. I need to do more research.

They don't list it doesn't mean it won't work, as I am using my Gen ONE iPod touch with it with iOS 3.x.x and still works fine.  I think they only did that for legal reasons.
 
Here are additional info that might interest you:
Manual: http://venturecraft.jp/image/sdt/130802_SounDroid-E.pdf
Japanese site: http://venturecraft.jp/gadget_jp/sdt/index.php
Buying site: http://venturecraft.jp/gadget_en/buy_paypal.php
 

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