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iPod touch vs mac source


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Hi all,

 

I currently have a Mac as my digital source and it is connected to a Centrance Dacmini via USB cable. In an effort to free up the Mac for regular use, I decided to use an iPod touch. I ordered a Pure I-20 dock which would bypass the internal Dac of the iPod and I connected it to the Centrance via a Toslink optical cable. To my surprise, the sound from the iPod was definitely inferior. I was hoping it was all in my head but my wife confirmed it (without any hesitation).

 

I assumed that since the Mac and the iPod touch were acting only as streaming devices and the information is being processed by the same Dac, the sound should be similar.... I guess I have a lot to learn!

 

I do have a vinyl set up (Rega RP6 + Linn Adikt cart + Leijonklou Kinki phono) but more often than not end up listening to Spotify.

 

I would really appreciate any thoughts on optimizing my digital system. Is there any way to improve on the Mac source for Spotify?

 

Thanks,

Arjun

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If you're using Spotify premium, then your at the bitrate limit of 320kbps......which ain't all that bad. Still not Redbook or HiRes.....but not bad compared to standard fare MP3 and free streaming services.

 

Hold on a little while longer. Industry insiders suggest Apple will be revamping for a subscription streaming service in a higher bitrate sometime within the next year.

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Thanks for the reply Mayhem. That's good news! In the meantime, I'm going to look into getting some Hi res tracks (for the songs I really like) and find a good player to run them through. Will the USB connection suffice for that?

 

Arjun

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I assumed that since the Mac and the iPod touch were acting only as streaming devices and the information is being processed by the same Dac, the sound should be similar.... I guess I have a lot to learn!

 

I do have a vinyl set up (Rega RP6 + Linn Adikt cart + Leijonklou Kinki phono) but more often than not end up listening to Spotify.

 

I would really appreciate any thoughts on optimizing my digital system. Is there any way to improve on the Mac source for Spotify?

Was the sound comparison using Spotify - if so I believe while Spotify offer 320kbps to the desktop for Premium users, a lower bitrate is used by default. You need to go to Spotify on you iOS device and in Settings / Music Quality ensure "Extreme" is selected.

 

Eloise

Eloise

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...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I had set the sample rate to highest level on both iPod touch and my laptop. I've also made sure the volume equalizing feature is turned off. It looks like the difference in sound quality between the two comes down to the processing power vs the iPod Dock not extracting the digital data appropriately vs a difference in the cable used (USB vs Toslink optical). I'm not sure if that makes sense.

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