The iGod
Nov 13, 2008 at 11:38 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 43

Philski

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Having been around here for a few weeks, it strikes me that there is a lot of comparisons between DAPs - which is best, A or B, etc, etc. Line out vs. headphone jack. True line out, or not. It goes on.

Now, I would like to propose a project that I hope someone here might take up as a challenge - there certainly seems to be a lot of extremely capable DIYers here. To make the ultimate DAP, with the very best components, with a true line-out, perhaps with the option of the BBE sound enhancements used by Cowon, Wolfson this and cryo that... As you can tell, I am not 100% up to speed on all this. How hard could this be? Red Wine Audio have taken the first step along this road with the iMod, but I have a strong feeling that this could be taken further by someone with sufficient knowledge, and who can replace any of the inferior parts used by Apple to produce something that would truly compete against the very best CD players out there. DAPs clearly haven't reached this level yet.

Anyone think this is possible or feasible? It must be... we could call it the iGod.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 1:16 PM Post #2 of 43

toughnut

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Are u talking bout creating a new DAP from ground up? Good luck with that. Once u gathered a team of designers, engineers, etc, i will join too as marketing executive :p

U might even start a company too haha
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 2:24 PM Post #3 of 43

manaox2

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It would only turn out like the Pacemaker (google it). They did this. The cost made it prohibitively expensive, especially in America, though it seems like one of if not the best portable DAPs. I have not heard of anyone buying one on head-fi though there was a lot of hype.
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Nov 13, 2008 at 2:51 PM Post #4 of 43

Philski

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I thought the Pacemaker was supposed to be aimed at DJs with all its mixing functionalities, etc? What I'm thinking of is a high-end, audiophile quality player.

Not to build it up from scratch. What I'm talking about is taking the stock iPod, and doing an extreme upgrade - like RWA have done, but way, way further.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 7:52 PM Post #5 of 43

manaox2

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Philski /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I thought the Pacemaker was supposed to be aimed at DJs with all its mixing functionalities, etc? What I'm thinking of is a high-end, audiophile quality player.

Not to build it up from scratch. What I'm talking about is taking the stock iPod, and doing an extreme upgrade - like RWA have done, but way, way further.



Yes, it has DJ features, but also good quality components, a powerful head-amp, a true line-out, and the large amount of hard drive space. The iPod doesn't actually use that inferior of parts and replacing them would not only be very complicated, but very costly.

Sounds like you want custom firmware and a portable alternative to the Wadia iTransport to get the Apple key for SPDIF so that you can create a portable attachment. Legally doing something like adding BBE enhancements and unlocking the SPDIF output for the iPod would cost tens of thousands in licensing fees.

The iPod is actually a very good deal for what you get, I don't think Cryo treating it is a very cost-worthy option either. Even red wine has stated its not worth modding the 6th gen iPods and up at cost.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 9:18 PM Post #6 of 43

GlorytheWiz825

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I don't think it's as simple as replacing inferior parts with superior parts in the iPod. After you change the hardware, you'll have to write completely new firmware that sits on top. You'll also need to have a solid understanding of how the other hardware components interact with the replaced one as well, since they may also need to have their driver software updated.

I don't even think a single person or group at working for Apple can do what you're suggesting. It'll take pretty much the entire iPod department to do something like this. :/

EDIT: Well, maybe not the entire iPod department since the applications programmers shouldn't be affected. But the hardware and the operating system team will both have to be involved for this project.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 11:26 PM Post #9 of 43

GlorytheWiz825

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Philski /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No, nor me
triportsad.gif
Ho hum.

Oh well, the dream lasted for... well, a couple of hours anyway.



Well, we can always dream.
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And as for the iMod, it doesn't really add in any new hardware components. All it does is change the signal path so it doesn't flow through the "inferior" hardware components. The capacitors are added to block the DC offset, which is undesirable because it doesn't allow for maximum output volume.

I would love to see a portable digital audio player that uses only the highest quality audio components. Unfortunately, there isn't a large enough market for such an expensive player.
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 3:28 PM Post #12 of 43

Podtweaker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by doomlordis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
This could be done, see here Welcome to Frank's Homemade USB 2 Harddrive MP3 Player this guy built his own player - its maybe not audiophile grade but it is a proof of concept.

He uses a 24bit Cirrus Logic CS4334-KS dac, nice enough part.



Kind of interesting, but terminally flawed for some of us. It does'nt have any lossless support. I always find it kind of funny when someone says this or that item was'nt worth the price or didn't make an improvement & then find out they were'nt using lossless when they made their comparisons.
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 7:09 PM Post #13 of 43

Roo44

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a 160gb classic is now down to $250, so building a top of the line Audiophile player to sell for under 500 bucks, that offered noticeably higher SQ, would have a market. Heck, just squeeze in a filo amp and better headphones and your 4/5 the way there. Half the people here has already spent twice as much on their portables.

It would be difficult as a DIY but the current manufactures are missing a market.
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 6:56 AM Post #14 of 43

Podtweaker

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An even easier solution would be to convince the makers to give us a choice of their regular players & a non-amped , line-out version. If it would help, convince them to do so, we should tell them we would be willing to pay a bit more for the "Limited, Line-out Version". Unfortunately, they probably aren't even willing to gear up to give us less,as it might cost them a little more to do this than to continue to just make the regular players. Our best hope is if we can find someone interested in doing design function mods to all players. I've said this before (& I'll probably say it a million times more) this really can't be rocket science for someone who knows circuits to bypass the ridiculous little amps they put in these players. I'm wondering if someone who makes portable amps would be willing to offer this kind of "service" for a fee. He could hire some techs to do this service while he worked on amps. Just an idea!
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 8:00 AM Post #15 of 43

beep

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It's interesting why a company like Cowon hasn't gone to greater lengths to give us (for instance) a D2 with line-out and user-replaceable battery. They must know their products appeal to a niche group including the audiophiles and tech-savvy, why not give us what we want?
 

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