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best cheap way to connect ipod?

Burnz0

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Apr 7, 2013
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after the very good response i received to my other post regarding a budget amp for my setup (I should add that im now left in no clearer position thatn before - old or new, stretch the budget etc.) i thought i'd ask about the other important part of the setup - the source. I plan on mainly using my ipod, laptop and i've also got a 7-8 year old Panasonic CD player (i forget the model but it was fairly budget £150ish from RS).

When in RS at the weekend buying some new speaker cable i asked about an improvement over the only cable i have at the moment for the job - it's a very cheap ipod headphone to rca cable from the internet which i'm confident in saying isn't very good quality. They sold me a Cambridge Audio lead at £15 and said it would be a vast improvement. Before i open it im now wondering if this is really the best way to go?

I'm now reading about DACs? or ive always assumed connecting to the ipod dock/power source would give a better signal?

I'm not sure if im ready to start spending big on this element of the connection yet as im not particularly fussy when it comes to downloading files at a high quality but equally, if i can get a setup that would be able to integrate both the ipod and laptop then that would be great. Also, ill be buying a new tv soon and like the idea of making use of the digital radio available if i can somehow connect this up at the same time.

Any advice appreciated and apologies if what im describing is three completely separate issues. Also, if these are important considerations when choosing a new amp then please let me know!
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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It sounds like you need a DAC for multiple sources. In this case, the Onkyo TX-8050 would seem ideal, being able to accomodate all of your sources. The cable bought for the iPod, I'd probably return unless the cheapy you bought is spider silk thin and looks like it might fall apart with some harsh language thrown at it.
 

Rick1979

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Jun 2, 2011
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I bought a pure i20 from said shop for £65, which I planned to use coax out to my Rdac but I have to say I'm so impressed with the i20 that I honestly can't tell a difference between it and the rdac. The Rdac only gets switched on to play my library from laptop now, iPad and i20 for spotify or radio. Can you not copy your library to your iPod? And get an i20.
 

Burnz0

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Apr 7, 2013
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the Onkyo TX-8050 is an all-in-one amp and receiver right? is this a good way to go as i've read you get comparatively less for your money as you are splitting the cost between the two different functions? again, im in no way an audiophile so probably wouldn't notice the difference but i can see its something ill get into so would rather build a system that can carry me into the future without the need for replacement.

Someone suggested the Yahama S-500 amp to me in another post as suitable to drive the speakers i have at the mo. It mentions something about ipod connectivity but i can't work out what that means - do i need a new dock, a special cable etc? How do the Onkyo and Yahama compare? Obviously im on a bit of a budget but if it means watiing for a while to get the decent ipod connection id rather pile my money into a decent amp at the moment.

As for the pure i20 - what exactly is that? a lead that will connect my ipod directly to the amp or do i still need a DAC? (apologies, but it's all very confusing) the majority of my music is already on my ipod and i mainly use my laptop for listening to newer stuff that im too lazy to download and transfer. I'm yet to find a decent source for the main genres i listen to other than youtube (garage, drum'n'bass) and here the quality is definitely not very good so it may be that until this element is sorted no amp, speaker, DAC, lead etc. will be give me the sound im after
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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Burnz0 said:
the Onkyo TX-8050 is an all-in-one amp and receiver right? is this a good way to go as i've read you get comparatively less for your money as you are splitting the cost between the two different functions? again, im in no way an audiophile so probably wouldn't notice the difference but i can see its something ill get into so would rather build a system that can carry me into the future without the need for replacement.
The Onkyo would tick all of your boxes and be perfectly good enough for your needs, RecordSpot might be able to give an input as he had one.

Don't be concerned about the term 'audiophile' it's not anything to aspire to and certainly doesn't grant you special hearing abilities if you consider yourself to be one, just enjoy the music. People spend a lot of time obsessing about relatively minor details and it is possible to spend huge amounts of money without really gaining satisfaction, hence the endless upgrade questions.

If you consider that you might want to spend more on the hobby, be realistic about what you can afford and save for that rather than compromise early on and have to spend even more when you inevitably decide to upgrade. Buy right and buy once.

It's unlikely I'll buy a different system, but entirely possible that I'll get an additional one.
 

Burnz0

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Apr 7, 2013
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you can get the Onkyo for about £350 which is certainly stretching my budget for the moment. How did this compare to the Yamaha that i've been recommended (AS-500?) as that goes for closer to £200. Would i be better going this route and then buying a separate DAC at a later stage and spending a further £150-200 then?

basically, what i'm getting at is that i don't really want to spend that much if it can be avoided at the moment and can live with a normal analogue cable for the ipod until i've got a bit more money - if this means i should just wait until i have a lot more money and buy the whole hog in one go then maybe this is the way to go?
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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Burnz0 said:
you can get the Onkyo for about £350 which is certainly stretching my budget for the moment. How did this compare to the Yamaha that i've been recommended (AS-500?) as that goes for closer to £200. Would i be better going this route and then buying a separate DAC at a later stage and spending a further £150-200 then?

basically, what i'm getting at is that i don't really want to spend that much if it can be avoided at the moment and can live with a normal analogue cable for the ipod until i've got a bit more money - if this means i should just wait until i have a lot more money and buy the whole hog in one go then maybe this is the way to go?
The way I see it is this, DACs seem to vary very little in their sound quality and amplifiers not much less so if they are notgiven a hard time when running, so you might as well save for an amp that has a DAC built in. I suggested the Onkyo as I know it would fit the bill, but their are probably similar items out there.

If you buy a separate amp now and then want to add a DAC later, you are already on the upgrade path. What equipment do you already have, apart from your Eltax speakers?
 

andrew_cawood

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Nov 13, 2011
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Hi Burnz0, unless you go the amp with digital inputs route like the Onkyo or the something like the Denon Piccolo (c. £230-240) it's quite expensive to get a device that will directly connect both an ipod and a laptop digitally - the new Sony PHA1 or the Centrance HiFi M8 do it but they're both upwards of £400.

If I were looking for a short term solution, an ipod LOD (line out dock) with RCA connection would probably be the best since it bypasses the 'noisy' headphone out (£25 is the cheapest I could see online), alternatively the i20 is a good solution as it has a good built in DAC, but also allows you to extract the digital signal and put it through another DAC if you wanted to upgrade later (as it happens, I'm currently listening to an i20 into an M-DAC). You wouldn't be able to use the i20s DAC with your computer though.

I think your budget options for you ipod and laptop are:

- something like the Onkyo 8050 or Denon CEOL piccolo as a neat, all in one solution - although I don't think they have USB connections which means you'd need a USB to SPDIF connector to connect your laptop, unless it's a mac which has optical out

- LOD to RCA + a separate cheap USB DAC for you laptop

- pure i20 (using its built in DAC) + USB DAC

- both pure i20 and laptop into multi-input DAC

Hope that helps

Andy
 

Burnz0

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Apr 7, 2013
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no other equipment apart from the speakers. In another room i've got a vintage Yahama amp and B&W speakers and i've also got a cheapish, 7-8yr old Panasonic CD player that will be connected up to one or the other. I've got decks and a mixer which although not used very often i would like the option to plug these in at some point. I may actually be getting rid of the Eltax anyway as they were part bought with my bro years ago and he may be taking them... So in short, I'll possibly be starting with nothing.

When i say im on a budget, this is definitely flexible depending on what i'm buying e.g. if i end up having to get a new amp AND speakers then i'll probably set the budget at £500-600 in total - hopefully that'll suffice? With that in mind, i'd like the amp i buy now to be suitable if i get new speakers - i thought a £200:400 amp:speaker split was pretty good?

The other consideration is where the equipment will be located. Either the new or old will go in the kitchen or living room - im yet to decide where to put the better setup. Due to the shape of the rooms, limited space etc. ill probably not be able to get the "optimum" listening setup anyway so i question how worthwhile it is me spending big bucks on tweaking things anyway?

am i right in thinking that spending more on the speakers than the amp is a better investment?
 

Rimse

New member
Dec 14, 2012
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the best way to buy let say neutrik or some other good gold plated plugs or copper plugs,red copper pro cables,which is quite cheap in electronic shops .And solder everything
 

Rimse

New member
Dec 14, 2012
18
0
0
the best way to buy let say neutrik or some other good gold plated plugs or copper plugs,red copper pro cables,which is quite cheap in electronic shops .And solder everything
 

Rimse

New member
Dec 14, 2012
18
0
0
the best way to buy let say neutrik or some other good gold plated plugs or copper plugs,red copper pro cables,which is quite cheap in electronic shops .And solder everything
 

Burnz0

New member
Apr 7, 2013
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I've found the Russ Andrews GQ-24 on here and it seems to get pretty good reviews. At £30 it's still pretty reasonable and not that much more than the Cambridge Audio headphone to RCA cable i bought on Saturday. Then again the i20 is only another £30 more and i assume will do an even better job.

I can live with not having the laptop connection for the moment as it's not that much effort to move things onto my ipod, which is where most of my library is saved anyway.

One last thing, if and when i bought a multi-input DAC - will i need a special cable to go from the ipod to this? i knwo you mentioned the i20 but is that not repeating the role of the DAC twice?
 

Rick1979

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Jun 2, 2011
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My i20 is an apple supported device, my rdac isn't. But if i wish i can send a digital signal from the i20 and let the rdac do the converting but I can't tell any difference so as I said I only use the rdac for Tv and laptop duties. So I use iPad to i20 to brio r and ipad gets charged while it's docked too and it costs a paltry £60, far easier than changing your amp. I20 has analogue outs, coax and optical. Can't rate this bit of kit enough!
 

andrew_cawood

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Nov 13, 2011
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As far as I'm aware there isn't a simple cable to connect an ipod to a DAC. You need a digital transport, I think the i20 is the cheapest (which as you say also has it's own DAC). There also the onkyo nds1 which is just a transport without a DAC, but that's £150, and also something like the TEAC dsh01 which you can get for around £130 - but that also has a built in DAC.

I've assumed throughout that you've got a 30pin Ipod - I think the new touch has a lightning connector which would need an adaptor.
 

Burnz0

New member
Apr 7, 2013
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yep, it's a 30pin ipod.

Looks like the i20 is the way to go then and ill address the DAC issue for the laptop in the future.

By the way, it's not a replacement amp im after but a new amp for a completely new setup (so far, ive only got the speakers, which may be going elsewhere anyway). The Yamaha A-S500 has been suggested as a good bet for my needs and at £200 its certainly around what i can and want to pay for the moment. They mention it has some kind of ipod connectivity but that it needs a Yahama dock so im guessing this will be no different than going through the i20 and will probably be the same price?

Hopefully if i can set aside £300 i'll be able to get a new amp and ipod connectivity...The next thing will probably be new speakers!
 

Burnz0

New member
Apr 7, 2013
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ive just taken the plunge and ordered the i20 off the ebay for £60 with free delivery. From everything ive read it seems like a real bargain and better than the Russ Andrews GQ-24 and more in line with the external DACs (although not as good as). I'm going to test it with my vintage amp and speaker setup and see how that pans out as i think im getting a bit carried away with all this new shiney equipment and would be better waiting a while to see it through properly!

rather than starting a new thread, and whilst i have your attention: the vintage amp i have is an old Yamaha CR-600, with B&W D5s - the amp gives out 30w and the speakers are 10-25w so ive generally not pushed it much past the half way mark. I've also got some Eltax Silverstone 200 which ive always felt were a bit lacking, or at least i didnt like the sound compared to the b&ws. The receiver has a switch to flick between the speakers so assuming i don't have it set to use them both at the same time, am i safe pushing the amp a bit further up the voluem when using the Eltax? at the same time i dont want to overdrive it. Or is the amp probably just not powerful enough fullstop to get the best out of the speakers? if the latter is wrong, a temporary fix to my two setup situation will be to use the same amp with speakers in two different rooms. Granted, it will be a little inconvenient but the alternative is two amps and probably two i20s since ill mainly be using my ipod.
 

Rick1979

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Jun 2, 2011
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Nice one, you won't be disappointed. I expected the rdac to thrash it but it does'nt. What I'm wondering is, will there be much in it between laptop / rdac and iPod / i20?, as I'm quite tempted by an iPod touch which would mean spotify, radio and my library on one device and I could boot the rdac.
 

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