Need a suggestion about ipod playback... DAC related - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-06-2012, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
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EDIT: Ive been lurking and ive already ignored the majority of the people ive seen who can derail threads like this in a heartbeat...

OK, so i have an iTunes library filled with mostly WAVs, AIFFs ive ripped and some 320kbps MP3s. Now, currently i have a Yamaha 667 receiver with the iPod dock, a Parasound HCA-855A amp, and some Def. Tech. SM55 paired with an Emotiva Ultra 12. I wanna have a swiss army knife solution for my movies and music, approx. 50/50. Now for 2.1 playback, (using Direct Stereo, which is similar to Pure Direct except it keeps the sub) the iPod dock uses the internal DAC in the iPod (160GB classic) which ive been reading, isnt that good.

So a solution i was looking at was to get a iPod dock with toslink out so the receiver DAC can process the audio for an improvement in SQ. Now, i am in the market for a new receiver and the majority of newer receivers will have USB ports for digital sound, bypassing the iPods DAC. Ill be looking at Pioneer Elites and Yamaha Aventages. Also, another solution was to keep my current receiver, get a dock with toslink and get a dedicated DAC. (Peachtree DAC IT, DacMagic, etc.) The Teac DSH01 in particular seems interesting since it solves both of those issues with a BurrBrown PCM1796, which i understand is a higher end DAC. http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-TAS-DSH01-LIST

Now, i used to think DACs were placebo until i tried a Nuforce on a laptop. Music i was very familiar with played cleaner and better separated in my Shure SRH840s. Very startling to say the least. I kinda figure, if it can do that against my laptops soundcard DAC, what can a DAC do for my setup?

Any pros and cons of these options? Are external DACs vs the ones in newer receivers equal in terms of SQ? Please tell me what you think guys.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-06-2012, 04:43 AM
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Many iPod docks come with built in DACs now and may be your best route. Also, and I'm not 100% up to date on this, but I'm just making sure you know or are aware: At one point, and it still may be true, manufacturers had to pay Apple a license fee to be able to get digital output from an iPod. Just connecting an iPod to any DAC via USB will not, or may not, work. So, yes, many pre/pros, receivers, and DACs now have USB input, the input is meant for computer hook up, not an iXXX device for digital output.

larry

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-06-2012, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coN83 View Post

EDIT: Ive been lurking and ive already ignored the majority of the people ive seen who can derail threads like this in a heartbeat...
OK, so i have an iTunes library filled with mostly WAVs, AIFFs ive ripped and some 320kbps MP3s. Now, currently i have a Yamaha 667 receiver with the iPod dock, a Parasound HCA-855A amp, and some Def. Tech. SM55 paired with an Emotiva Ultra 12. I wanna have a swiss army knife solution for my movies and music, approx. 50/50. Now for 2.1 playback, (using Direct Stereo, which is similar to Pure Direct except it keeps the sub) the iPod dock uses the internal DAC in the iPod (160GB classic) which ive been reading, isnt that good.
So a solution i was looking at was to get a iPod dock with toslink out so the receiver DAC can process the audio for an improvement in SQ. Now, i am in the market for a new receiver and the majority of newer receivers will have USB ports for digital sound, bypassing the iPods DAC. Ill be looking at Pioneer Elites and Yamaha Aventages. Also, another solution was to keep my current receiver, get a dock with toslink and get a dedicated DAC. (Peachtree DAC IT, DacMagic, etc.) The Teac DSH01 in particular seems interesting since it solves both of those issues with a BurrBrown PCM1796, which i understand is a higher end DAC. http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-TAS-DSH01-LIST
Now, i used to think DACs were placebo until i tried a Nuforce on a laptop. Music i was very familiar with played cleaner and better separated in my Shure SRH840s. Very startling to say the least. I kinda figure, if it can do that against my laptops soundcard DAC, what can a DAC do for my setup?

Laptop converters are all over the place. I have a laptop that whose headphone jack I'd only use under duress as it has so many audible defects. I use a USB converter with it if I am at all serious about listening.

When you say "Nuforce" that could be one of a number of devices. Which one specifically are you talking about?
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Any pros and cons of these options?

Are external DACs vs the ones in newer receivers equal in terms of SQ? Please tell me what you think guys.

As a rule, the internal converters on AVRs and regular optical disc players including even most portable players including iPods, have had far more consistently high quality SQ-wise than those in laptops.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-06-2012, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I couldve sworn i put the model in the OP. Its the Nuforce Icon uDAC-2. Now the difference was startling because i was using a basic 24/96 USB soundcard since the internal sound card is junk.

I shouldve clarified: I want to use my iPod as the main music source due to its convenience and accessibility to my gf to use a OSD to select music.

So in short, a digital transport to bypass the iPod internal DAC to the AVRs or external DAC. I have options for the transport via toslink with the Wadia iTransport, the Cambridge id100, and the aforementioned Teac DSH01. The Teac device is interesting has a built in DAC using BurrBrowns PCM1796 via RCA or i can bypass the 1796 to the internal AVR via toslink. Now that thats fleshed out, here are my options...

1 - Keep my current receiver, get a digital ipod transport and a external DAC such as the Cambridge DacMagic, the Peachtree DAC IT, etc.
2 - Get a newer receiver since i am considering an upgrade that can use the USB port as a digital transport from the iPod to the receivers DAC. Receivers im considering are Denon CI, Yamaha Aventage, and Pioneer Elite series. All have a 24/192 DACs for high rez lossless support.
3 - Keep current receiver, get the Teac DSH01 iPod Dock with the BurrBrown 1796 DAC

Now, my question is, would any of these options offer a SQ upgrade vs my current setup, consisting of a Yamaha RX-V667, a Parasound HCA-855A, Def. Tech. SM55 bookshelves, an Emotiva Ultra 12 sub with the Yamaha iPod dock which transports the audio via analog using the iPods internal DAC.

Why, why not, which option youd go with, etc. Only reason im considering it is because of the effect the Nuforce uDAC-2 had and it piqued my curiosity concerning of higher performance using a DAC for stereo use. Some say there is a difference, others say its pretty much impossible to tell the differences.

Thanks for yalls time.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-09-2012, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coN83 View Post

I couldve sworn i put the model in the OP. Its the Nuforce Icon uDAC-2. Now the difference was startling because i was using a basic 24/96 USB soundcard since the internal sound card is junk.
I shouldve clarified: I want to use my iPod as the main music source due to its convenience and accessibility to my gf to use a OSD to select music.
So in short, a digital transport to bypass the iPod internal DAC to the AVRs or external DAC. I have options for the transport via toslink with the Wadia iTransport, the Cambridge id100, and the aforementioned Teac DSH01. The Teac device is interesting has a built in DAC using BurrBrowns PCM1796 via RCA or i can bypass the 1796 to the internal AVR via toslink. Now that thats fleshed out, here are my options...
1 - Keep my current receiver, get a digital ipod transport and a external DAC such as the Cambridge DacMagic, the Peachtree DAC IT, etc.
2 - Get a newer receiver since i am considering an upgrade that can use the USB port as a digital transport from the iPod to the receivers DAC. Receivers im considering are Denon CI, Yamaha Aventage, and Pioneer Elite series. All have a 24/192 DACs for high rez lossless support.
3 - Keep current receiver, get the Teac DSH01 iPod Dock with the BurrBrown 1796 DAC
Now, my question is, would any of these options offer a SQ upgrade vs my current setup, consisting of a Yamaha RX-V667, a Parasound HCA-855A, Def. Tech. SM55 bookshelves, an Emotiva Ultra 12 sub with the Yamaha iPod dock which transports the audio via analog using the iPods internal DAC.
Why, why not, which option youd go with, etc. Only reason im considering it is because of the effect the Nuforce uDAC-2 had and it piqued my curiosity concerning of higher performance using a DAC for stereo use. Some say there is a difference, others say its pretty much impossible to tell the differences.
Thanks for yalls time.

My point was that while finding a laptop whose DAC that is audibly lacking is far from difficult especially including older laptops (the one i mentioned was from 2004),. OTOH finding an iPod with an comparably poor DAC is mission impossible, other than the ones that are actually broken, in which case they are probably silent.

Despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the iPod always came with a really pretty good DAC. I think that the only significant upgrade SQ-wise has been with the headphone amplifier, whose shortcomings only related to actually driving low impedance headphones with variable impedance curves. That is not an issue if you route even an older iPod to the line inputs of an AVR because they are far higher impedance with a more constant impedance.

You've got a pretty good system. Your next upgrades that would make a strong audible difference would probably relate to room acoustics and tailoring the response of your system to better match the room (equalization)

What have you done with YPAO - Yamaha's equalization scheme?
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