What is the best Portable DAC for iPod Classic 160GB to buy?
Oct 31, 2011 at 6:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 67

jcw-mini

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Hello everyone,
 
I am a newbie to the portable headphone amps.  I just bought an Apple Ipod Classic 160GB and a pair of Shure SE353 and Sennheiser HD 650.  I am looking for a portable DAC with amplifier but not shure what to buy.  I was leaning toward the Fostex HP-P1 and not sure if this is a good fit with the gear I have.  I just bought a PAV2 Headphone Amplifier from Gary due to it ranked #1 in the forum and price was affordable.  Any advices would be greatly Appreciated. 
 
Thanks.
 
Travis.
 
Nov 1, 2011 at 3:56 AM Post #3 of 67

dgriffter

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iPod classic has its own internal dac, so you only really generally need a portable amp, such as the one you already have. There are products which bypass the internal dac, but they are generally expensive. HRT do one called the iStreamer and there are others such as the Fostex HP-P1.  
 
Nov 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM Post #4 of 67

jcw-mini

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I wanted a richer sound that what the amp inside the ipod classic can do.  I will be using the shure se535 more often for portability.  The Hd 650 will be mainly with my destop.  It it currently hook to the DACPort ty CEntrance.
 
Nov 1, 2011 at 12:31 PM Post #5 of 67

jcw-mini

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Quote:
Why do you want an amp? Are you wanting to use your Sennheisers with your iPod?



I wanted a richer sound that what the amp inside the ipod classic can do.  I will be using the shure se535 more often for portability.  The Hd 650 will be mainly with my destop.  It it currently hook to the DACPort ty CEntrance.
 
Nov 1, 2011 at 12:33 PM Post #6 of 67

jcw-mini

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Quote:
iPod classic has its own internal dac, so you only really generally need a portable amp, such as the one you already have. There are products which bypass the internal dac, but they are generally expensive. HRT do one called the iStreamer and there are others such as the Fostex HP-P1.  



Thanks.  I was looking at the Fostex HP-P1 but price is a little steep.  I am debating between the Fostex HP-P1 and the Porta Tube.  Not sure what is a good choice.  I want something that can drive both the Shure se535 and the Sennheisser HD 650.  Please advice.
 
Nov 2, 2011 at 5:39 PM Post #7 of 67

Pudu

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Advice?

Try out the Fostex or Solo to see just how 'richer' the sound is before you drop that kind of cash. The iStreamer isn't really portable.

Edit: Also check out the Portable Source forum for more info on these guys.
 
Nov 2, 2011 at 9:53 PM Post #9 of 67

shrimants

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Just to let you know, there are only 2 portable products in existence that will bypass the ipod's internal DAC chip. Those are the ALO Solo and the HP-p1. The NuForce iDo MIGHT do it but im like 90% sure it is just an amp, like the portatube.

I'd go with the alo solo over the hp-p1. Those two products though will make the biggest difference. If you get an LOD cable for the ipod, you can bypass the ipod's volume control circuitry and internal opamp, send that pre-amped post-dac'd signal to a portable amp, and that will accomplish an audible increase in sound quality/signature. However, the portable DACs will make the biggest difference.
 
Nov 3, 2011 at 6:10 AM Post #10 of 67

pimmedoris

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This may be a stupid question, but how can an external device like de alo solo bypass the internal DAC of the ipod when it uses the same connection/LOD? I mean, it receives the same signal as any other amp/DAC?
 
Nov 3, 2011 at 7:34 AM Post #11 of 67

Hemshemems

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Quote:
This may be a stupid question, but how can an external device like de alo solo bypass the internal DAC of the ipod when it uses the same connection/LOD? I mean, it receives the same signal as any other amp/DAC?


The "iDacs" use USB and its a digital signal they convert from a apple unit, where all other lods are analog..
 
 
Nov 3, 2011 at 10:32 AM Post #12 of 67

nanaholic

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Quote:
This may be a stupid question, but how can an external device like de alo solo bypass the internal DAC of the ipod when it uses the same connection/LOD? I mean, it receives the same signal as any other amp/DAC?


The iStuff connector has pin connections for analogue sound signals as well as digital data signals in both USB and Fireware form (one of the reason why it is so big and wide is because it has lots of pins for different purposes), it's just a matter of hooking to the right pins for the different application.  LOD is wired to the analogue sound signal pins and the Solo etc hooks to the USB data pins.  
 
 
Nov 3, 2011 at 7:51 PM Post #14 of 67

shrimants

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That dock connector has 30 different pins on it. Each pin has a different function. Theres a couple pins meant specifically for USB power, one meant for usb Tx, one meant for usb Rx, one meant for ground. Theres some meant for LINE OUT, which is what the LOD's do. They connect specifically to those LOD pins so that the ipod's internal volume control stuff gets "disabled". That is why if you plug your ipod into a dock, you never can use the clickwheel to control the volume.

The Cypherlabs Algorythm Solo, Fostex HP-P1, and NuForce Icon iDo all use that same dock CONNECTOR, but the inside of that connector is wired differently. Essentially, what those products are doing is reading the actual encrypted file on the ipod, unencrypting it (the same way itunes does), sending it through the product's OWN DAC chip, through the product's own op-amp and volume control, and THEN out of your headphones.

Think of the DAC's as plugging your ipod into your computer and using itunes to play files off of the ipod itself.
 
Nov 3, 2011 at 11:29 PM Post #15 of 67

jcw-mini

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Quote:
Advice?
Try out the Fostex or Solo to see just how 'richer' the sound is before you drop that kind of cash. The iStreamer isn't really portable.
Edit: Also check out the Portable Source forum for more info on these guys.



Thanks for your advice.  I'll see if I can find a local store in Las Vegas where I can try out both amps.
 

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