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Thread: apple ipod music on your ML system - Wadia dock or Airport extreme???

  1. #1

    Default apple ipod music on your ML system - Wadia dock or Airport extreme???

    I am trying to incorporate the music on my ipod with my HT system. Currently I have it hooked up with RCA jacks and it sounds ok, but I know that the internal ipod D/A converters are total junk and need to be bypassed for best audio perfomance. I am currently using my Theta Casa Nova processor for music and surround until the new Emotiva processor gets released (if that will ever even happen!).
    I have done my research and I think I have 2 options:
    1.) Buy the Wadia ipod dock For $379
    2.) Buy apple airport or airport extreme

    The Wadia is the simple but a bit more expensive solution that I kind of like. They are the only company right now that has the dock to let you bypass Apple's el cheapo converters and send a pure digital stream to your (better) D/A converter. I like the simplicity of this..

    I read somewhere else on here that people are using their Apple airport and somehow being able to access the digital unconverted signal that way as well. Can anyone elaborate on how it is done.

    I do however in the end NOT want to have to play my music off one off my computers to hear them over my ML system. I had an HTPC system before and I had enough of all that hassle! No I do not have an iphone or ipod touch to control it remotely.

    what do you guys suggest?

    thanks gordon
    SL3's. Theater i, Scenarios, 2 x JL Fathom F113, Krell S-1200U processor / preamp, Krell KSA300S amp for mains, Krell KAV 250A/3 for center and rears, Sonos Connect, Apple TV, Sony VW-60 Black Pearl 1080p Projector, Da-Lite 120" Screen, Sony BDP-500 blu ray player
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...ead.php?t=7914

  2. #2
    Senior Member slowGEEZR's Avatar
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    My vote is go for the Wadia.
    - Steve You got fins to the left, fins to the right...Wilson WP8, Pass Labs XA-100.5, Pass Labs XP-20, BAT PK-V5, Soundsmith "The Voice" Ebony, TTW GEM V2, MacMini, Amarra, Ayre QB-9 DSD, X-CAN V-3, Sennheiser HD-535, Adona, PS Audio PPP, Mogami w/ Neutrik XLRs, Douglas speaker cable, GIK treatments.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by gordonmenninger View Post
    I am trying to incorporate the music on my ipod with my HT system. Currently I have it hooked up with RCA jacks and it sounds ok, but I know that the internal ipod D/A converters are total junk and need to be bypassed for best audio perfomance. I am currently using my Theta Casa Nova processor for music and surround until the new Emotiva processor gets released (if that will ever even happen!).
    I have done my research and I think I have 2 options:
    1.) Buy the Wadia ipod dock For $379
    2.) Buy apple airport or airport extreme

    The Wadia is the simple but a bit more expensive solution that I kind of like. They are the only company right now that has the dock to let you bypass Apple's el cheapo converters and send a pure digital stream to your (better) D/A converter. I like the simplicity of this..

    I read somewhere else on here that people are using their Apple airport and somehow being able to access the digital unconverted signal that way as well. Can anyone elaborate on how it is done.

    I do however in the end NOT want to have to play my music off one off my computers to hear them over my ML system. I had an HTPC system before and I had enough of all that hassle! No I do not have an iphone or ipod touch to control it remotely.

    what do you guys suggest?

    thanks gordon
    From the quick look I've just had, it looks like the Air Port [Extreme] is just a wireless switch, so unless your DAC has Ethernet connectivity, you're hooped.

    I think I'd be inclined to go the Wadia 170i route. In fact, I plan to buy one for my wife for her birthday next month, so that she can hook her iPhone into her stereo (upstairs, not my big rig downstairs).
    Rich Teer, Publisher
    Vinylphile Magazine
    www.vinylphilemag.com

    Vinyl + tubes + ML Spires =

  4. #4

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    At the price the Wadia is almost a no-brainer IMO.
    See my system here

  5. #5

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    great, thanks for all the quick advice! I also heard that the airport was a pita to set up properly... I know all the fun I had when trying to setup my microsoft router with the 5 computers/laptops I have hooked up throughout my house!

    I am sure I will be buying the Wadia - I just know once I place my order, my luck will be that apple will announce that they will start offering just a simple white ipod dock with a digital out for $29.99 !
    SL3's. Theater i, Scenarios, 2 x JL Fathom F113, Krell S-1200U processor / preamp, Krell KSA300S amp for mains, Krell KAV 250A/3 for center and rears, Sonos Connect, Apple TV, Sony VW-60 Black Pearl 1080p Projector, Da-Lite 120" Screen, Sony BDP-500 blu ray player
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...ead.php?t=7914

  6. #6

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    what about on normal mp3's recorded / downloaded at 128mbps... will I notice a difference there as well or just on the uncompressed tracks that I rip via itunes?
    SL3's. Theater i, Scenarios, 2 x JL Fathom F113, Krell S-1200U processor / preamp, Krell KSA300S amp for mains, Krell KAV 250A/3 for center and rears, Sonos Connect, Apple TV, Sony VW-60 Black Pearl 1080p Projector, Da-Lite 120" Screen, Sony BDP-500 blu ray player
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...ead.php?t=7914

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by gordonmenninger View Post
    great, thanks for all the quick advice! I also heard that the airport was a pita to set up properly... I know all the fun I had when trying to setup my microsoft router with the 5 computers/laptops I have hooked up throughout my house!

    I am sure I will be buying the Wadia - I just know once I place my order, my luck will be that apple will announce that they will start offering just a simple white ipod dock with a digital out for $29.99 !
    There's no "simple" way to get the digital out of the iPod, so you can rest assured that there won't be a cheap apple version of this.

    I think you will really enjoy how good the iPod can sound with the Wadia!

  8. #8

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    I tried the Apple Express at one time but I never could get the Apple Express to work properly AND still use everything else on the network which includes both PC and MAC devices. Maybe if it was an all MAC system I would have had less issues. After the frustration I made an express return of the Apple Express to the Apple store. Although, I will say the Apple Extreme has been a very good wireless router.

    I continue to use the Slimdevices SB3, Squeeze Center, iTunes and EAC software as a complete music server system. I've been using this system for the past 3 years now and it's while it takes a little effort to setup it is by far the best sounding and supported networked music server system you will ever find in the $300-$400 range. In addition to internet radio, Pandora, and other online audio media services it can also play iTunes (except for DRM music which I avoid as much as possible).

    I'll buy a Wadia dock as soon as they release the black model but it will only supplement and not replace my SB3 system.

    Since you don't want to use a computer to play your digital music then I wold definitely go with the Wadia Dock over the Apple Express. However, I don't recommend relying on a iPhone as the source and its still not clear to me if the Wadia dock will even work with an iPhone. What happens when a call comes in while your using it as your source? Best to use an iPod.
    Last edited by Craig; 03-09-2009 at 11:42 AM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gordonmenninger View Post
    what about on normal mp3's recorded / downloaded at 128mbps... will I notice a difference there as well or just on the uncompressed tracks that I rip via itunes?
    mp3's are not very likely to sound all that great no matter what you're playing them through. However, you may notice even more of a difference in higher resolution recordings/downloads with the Wadia, a good DAC and your MLs than you would with a lesser system.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    I tried the Apple Express at one time but I never could get the Apple Express to work properly AND still use everything else on the network which includes both PC and MAC devices. Maybe if it was an all MAC system I would have had less issues. After the frustration I made an express return of the Apple Express to the Apple store. Although, I will say the Apple Extreme has been a very good wireless router.

    I continue to use the Slimdevices SB3, Squeeze Center, iTunes and EAC software as a complete music server system. I've been using this system for the past 3 years now and it's while it takes a little effort to setup it is by far the best sounding and supported networked music server system you will ever find in the $300-$400 range. In addition to internet radio, Pandora, and other online audio media services it can also play iTunes (except for DRM music which I avoid as much as possible).

    I'll buy a Wadia dock as soon as they release the black model but it will only supplement and not replace my SB3 system.

    Since you don't want to use a computer to play your digital music then I wold definitely go with the Wadia Dock over the Apple Express. However, I don't recommend relying on a iPhone as the source and its still not clear to me if the Wadia dock will even work with an iPhone. What happens when a call comes in while your using it as your source? Best to use an iPod.
    Yes, I too have heard people having problems with the Apple Express... For your info, no I do NOT have the Iphone (i'm a Blackberry Bold user, thank you very much!) - I just have a regular Ipod (unfortunately only the 8mb version so that will have to be upgraged as well!)
    Thanks for your input!
    SL3's. Theater i, Scenarios, 2 x JL Fathom F113, Krell S-1200U processor / preamp, Krell KSA300S amp for mains, Krell KAV 250A/3 for center and rears, Sonos Connect, Apple TV, Sony VW-60 Black Pearl 1080p Projector, Da-Lite 120" Screen, Sony BDP-500 blu ray player
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...ead.php?t=7914

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonepub View Post
    There's no "simple" way to get the digital out of the iPod, so you can rest assured that there won't be a cheap apple version of this.

    I think you will really enjoy how good the iPod can sound with the Wadia!
    that is good to hear... I would not think so, but I guess you never know with those crazy apple guys! I think this will be the best option for my setup - the Wadia!
    SL3's. Theater i, Scenarios, 2 x JL Fathom F113, Krell S-1200U processor / preamp, Krell KSA300S amp for mains, Krell KAV 250A/3 for center and rears, Sonos Connect, Apple TV, Sony VW-60 Black Pearl 1080p Projector, Da-Lite 120" Screen, Sony BDP-500 blu ray player
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...ead.php?t=7914

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    The Wadia only works with the latest generations of the iPod, The classic and the iTouch, It does has limited functionality with all previous versions.

    Personally I do not understand why anyone would buy the Wadia for normal home use, unless network access was just not avaiable. I have the Sonos, and would use either it or the SB3, They have a better interface than the wadia (bigger screen), have both analog and digital outputs, and do not need the iPod present, they just grab the files from the computer / hard disk directly. The only advantage to the Wadia is that it lets me bring my iPod over to your house . You already have the data in both spots (hard disk and iPod). At $380 plus the cost of the a DAC, the SB3 seems like a no-brainer to me.
    Burke
    Summit, Stage, Script i, Descent i ----> System 168

  13. #13
    Senior Member amey01's Avatar
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    I'll agree with Bourke here. The iPod is a portable device and great as it is, there are compromises when using it in a home system. Nothing to do with sound quality, but the tiny screen for instance. Control is another issue.

    Go for a proper audio streamer like the SB3 or Sonos. Even the Apple TV would be a better bet if you want to stay with Apple - but you will need an iTouch or iPhone to control it if you don't want to have your TV monitor on all the time.
    Marantz 8300 SACD / Squeezebox Touch --> Audiolab M-DAC --> Copland CTA-305 --> Classé CA-101 --> MartinLogan Vista / Behringer DSP1124P --> Whise Profunder sub

    Click here to see my system

  14. #14

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    Hmm interesting observations! How far can the squeezebox stream wirelessly? My main computer is on the second floor and my HT is in the basement. would it reach that far? What about playlists, etc... will it read all of the itunes playlists?

    On the other hand, I have an ipod Nano 8b, not the newest one, but the boxy one that was a generation before the new one... will that work with the Wadia???

    On the other hand, I would still think that my D/A converters in my Theta Casa Nova would still be better than anything in a Logitech device???

    I am open to all opinions. Thanks!
    SL3's. Theater i, Scenarios, 2 x JL Fathom F113, Krell S-1200U processor / preamp, Krell KSA300S amp for mains, Krell KAV 250A/3 for center and rears, Sonos Connect, Apple TV, Sony VW-60 Black Pearl 1080p Projector, Da-Lite 120" Screen, Sony BDP-500 blu ray player
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...ead.php?t=7914

  15. #15
    Senior Member MickeyVee's Avatar
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    I still think the Airport Express is the cheapest way to introduce wireless music. I found mine simple to set up. It works as my main router with 2 Mac's, 2 PC's and a PS3 all connected. One of the Mac's has the primary library with pretty much all music in Apple Lossless format.

    The Airport Express has both optical and analog out from the same plug; ally you need is an adaptor for the digital cable and you do get true digital out from the PC.
    From there, optical in to a receiver or a DAC to convert to analog. I just did the DAC route and I'm getting better quality than off a dedicated CD player. Your mileage may vary.

    If you're looking to get a new iPod due to space, the space is much cheaper on a PC/Mac. If you get a Touch, even a used 1st Gen, you have full control of the iTunes Library and the PC/Mac can be anywhere in the house.
    I also have a second Airport Express near in the back room with a mini system using the analog out. Good enough for tunes on the patio.

    From the Touch, I can chose wherever the music is routed to all via WiFi.

    If you go the Wadia route, you still have to have to convert to analog, with a receiver or external DAC plus the interface/remote is a little weak IMHO.

    My 2 cents (Canadia) worth.. I just find the Apple route an elegant solution which is very simple, flexible and relatively inexpensive.

    Good luck! Let us know what you decide on.
    Martin Logan Vista, Grotto i, Vignette, Motion 4 ~ 2Chan: MacBook Air via USB & Oppo BDP-83 -To- Rega DAC -To- Rotel RSX-1560 AVR ~
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...ead.php?t=1795

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