What is a LOD exactly?
Aug 1, 2010 at 5:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

khaos974

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Please correct me if I'm wrong:
 
Functionally, a LOD is equivalent to a pair on interconnects?
In practice, the RAC connector is replaced by an iPod connector on one side and a minijack on the other.
Even if cables made a difference, here we have TWO inches.
 
So am I right or do the LODs have another component that justify their sometimes extravagant price?
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 3:59 AM Post #3 of 22

3602

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LOD = Line-Out Dock. A special type of cable, it bypasses the headphone op-amp and takes the signal directly from a DAP's DAC. This is most notable for the iPod, but LODs for several other DAPs, such as the Sansa Fuze and the Sony Walkman also exist.
LODs run anywhere from $5 to $300, depending on the level of snobbiness that we are talking about.
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 6:22 AM Post #4 of 22

Ham Sandwich

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To be fair to the cable builders, some of that sometimes extravagant price is due to labor and materials.  If you're buying a custom cable of any kind that has to be hand assembled in low volume and no automated assembly machines, it is going to cost a fair bit if the cable builder wants to make a living at it and sustain a business.  Flimsy cables made in a Chinese factory are going to be cheaper than more bulky audiophile oriented cables made in small batches by hand.  Whether any of that extra is worth a price premium is a whole other can of worms.  Getting a cable that is custom to your needs (custom length, specific connectors, right-angle or straight, color, etc) is worth a premium to some people.
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 10:27 AM Post #6 of 22

JustPhilbo

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I think you may have missed the part where a LOD bypasses the internal amplifier section of the MP3 player.  Internal amplifier sections are pretty underpowered for driving higher impedance headphones and using a LOD and external amplifier allows higher power.  This also might have the side effect of increasing battery life.
 
If you are using stock Apple ear buds to listen to an iDevice, then LOD and external amplification is probably not worthwhile.  I do know that driving Sennheiser HD280 Pros directly with my iPad, I can barely get sufficient volume before clipping like crazy.  Using an LOD and a self-built Mini^3, I get good solid clear sound with adequate volume and no clipping beyond what the engineer introduced into the original recording. <grin>
 
Anyway, a LOD by itself is not just cable magic, it does serve a real technical purpose.  As to effect of various wires, connectors, lengths, processes involved in making LODs, well, to each their own...
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 11:25 AM Post #7 of 22

revolink24

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Quote:
I think you may have missed the part where a LOD bypasses the internal amplifier section of the MP3 player.  Internal amplifier sections are pretty underpowered for driving higher impedance headphones and using a LOD and external amplifier allows higher power.  This also might have the side effect of increasing battery life.
 
If you are using stock Apple ear buds to listen to an iDevice, then LOD and external amplification is probably not worthwhile.  I do know that driving Sennheiser HD280 Pros directly with my iPad, I can barely get sufficient volume before clipping like crazy.  Using an LOD and a self-built Mini^3, I get good solid clear sound with adequate volume and no clipping beyond what the engineer introduced into the original recording. <grin>
 
Anyway, a LOD by itself is not just cable magic, it does serve a real technical purpose.  As to effect of various wires, connectors, lengths, processes involved in making LODs, well, to each their own...


This. It acts as a line-level source to be amplified more properly than the iPod can do.
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 12:11 PM Post #8 of 22

radioactive28

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Quote:
I think you may have missed the part where a LOD bypasses the internal amplifier section of the MP3 player.  Internal amplifier sections are pretty underpowered for driving higher impedance headphones and using a LOD and external amplifier allows higher power.  This also might have the side effect of increasing battery life.
 
[...]
 
Anyway, a LOD by itself is not just cable magic, it does serve a real technical purpose.  As to effect of various wires, connectors, lengths, processes involved in making LODs, well, to each their own...

 
All this is true, but when you get down to it, the LOD is just a short length of cable connecting the internal line-out interface (not the standard 1/8" jack) to an separate external interface, which is the focus of the OP's question.
 
khaos794: I've heard of LODs incorporating filter caps, but I'm not sure if these are in widespread use. They're another means by which the costs can be jacked up, depending on the 'highness' of the components used.
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 1:25 PM Post #9 of 22

khaos974

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Thanks, I was just surprised at the price of such an accessory, with normal cables, whether they are actually useful or not, 1000 or 2000$ doesn't surprise me if the whole rig costs 20000$, but a 300 $ LOD for a 300$ iPod is crazy, so I naively expected their was something else like an expensive Apple license, or a bad line out that required an impedance adaptation...
 
Nothing at all after all.
 
@ radioactive28, limk? I'm curious to see that.
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM Post #10 of 22

Max F

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I bought my LOD for my Fuze for $10.
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 10:01 PM Post #11 of 22

radioactive28

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I remember seeing mentions of it in some forums, but the LODs I've seen in person are the plain ones. Anyway, the LOD pin-outs for the iPod, and probably other players as well, are available if you Google. The physical dock connectors can be purchased as well, although I'm not aware of the sources. The final product doesn't have to be expensive.
 
Aug 3, 2010 at 11:32 AM Post #12 of 22

JustPhilbo

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For what it is worth, I build my own for around $5 each, with the most expensive part being the 30 pin connector.  I think it is nearly criminal to charge more than $20-$30 for a LOD cable, but to each their own in the pursuit of audio happiness, nod nod. 
 
I just wanted to reinforce the idea that a LOD does have some technical worth and is useful in appropriate cases.
 
Sep 6, 2010 at 12:03 AM Post #14 of 22

Happy Camper

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I use a lod cable for my portable when the amp goes (less than I thought) but I use the docks in my home systems and they are fine. As for silver, single strand ofc, spc, etc. that becomes a pissing contest around here. I like silver.
 
Now the real explanation is LOD is a second cousin to the GODs on his mother's side.
 
Sep 6, 2010 at 1:24 AM Post #15 of 22

BIG POPPA

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Got a good laugh out of that
tongue.gif

 
Quote:
 
Now the real explanation is LOD is a second cousin to the GODs on his mother's side.




 

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