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Car Stereos with DACs


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Apologies if this is too off-topic, but I'm interested in improving my car's (generic factory-equipped and basically worthless) sound-system. In particular, I want to bypass my iPod/iPad internal DAC for a decent one.

 

I found this article entitled Car stereos that let you bypass your ipod's build-in DAC, but it looks a bit dated (many of the models are discontinued) and the one I did try out in the shop (Alpine X305) does not recognize my iPad. In the case of the iPad, I can either do the conventional USB or a hookup via the camera adaptor.

 

Has anyone had any success, or have any recommendations? Many thanks in advance.

 

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I've though of something doing something similar.

 

1. I thought about rigging a Wadia i170 in my car somehow. That would give me pure digital output of the iPod. You can then figure out the digital input via car stereo brands and not worry about interfacing with an Apple device. Plus if you want you can get an iPad application that will remote control your iPod. Thus a 160 GB iPod full of music being controlled by an iPad.

 

2. You could always install a tiny server under the seat and run analog out with a nice sound card. This is not that tough to do. You could have full iPad or iPod Touch control. Jesus from Sonore has done this I believe.

 

There are many more options that can get really creative. I'm no expert in this area but was brainstorming about my own car when I thought of a few things like this.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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The clue is in the way the iPod connects.

 

If the iPod connection is purely a USB cable, then the iPod's DAC is bypassed.

 

If the iPod connection is a combination of USB and a line (2x RCA or a mini-jack) connection then the internal iPod DAC is used.

 

You can also look at the iPods it is compatible with. IIRC digital connections are only supported on 5G iPod with video and later.

 

Finally all this maybe accademic as the DAC in the head unit maybe no improvement over the iPod's DAC.

 

One side note: you may be interested in Jesus' project to put a full Linux / MPd box in his car - sorry don't have the link but try searching.

 

Eloise

 

PS. link to Jesus R's (vortecjr) car project is http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Mobile-Vortexbox-Player-MVP

 

Eloise

---

...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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PS. link to Jesus R's (vortecjr) car project is http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Mobile-Vortexbox-Player-MVP

 

Eloise

---

...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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From what I understand, the iPad camera connection kit may work with the newer Devilsound DAC. I believe the "IPAD digital out" thread on this site mentioned that this configuration worked for one of the contributors. If it does work, you could connect directly into your head unit via Devilsound RCA's.

I have ordered the Devilsound DAC and am looking to get my iPad in a few weeks. Provided the setup works (not sure if the iPad can source the current needed for the Devilsound) I will be comparing it against my McIntosh MX4000/MDA4000 combo using the MX4000 as the head unit/preamp and the Devilsound DAC instead of the MDA4000 DAC (MDA4000 has proprietary optical inputs). It's a pretty high bar as the MDA4000 is a highly regarded car DAC.

I'll update this thread with my observations in a few weeks (provided all works out). If it doesn't, I have many uses for the Devilsound and the iPad so I won't be too sad.

 

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Chris (our great and bountiful leader) said... "Plus if you want you can get an iPad application that will remote control your iPod. Thus a 160 GB iPod full of music being controlled by an iPad" and I wondered what application this was and how it worked. So I posted this post to ask!

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...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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if space is a problem then you can load the Vortexbox OS into a fit-pc. It's the size of a 1" thick cd case and can hold a 500GB HDD:)

 

Links:

http://www.fit-pc.com/web/

or

http://shop.smallgreencomputer.com/)

 

wgscott, if you need any help consider yourself connected.

 

Jesus R

www.sonore.us

 

BTW: smallgreencomputer.com is Andrew's site and I'm not associated with it

 

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Eloise - As soon as I read your question back to me I realized my mistake. Without a network connection on the 160 GB iPod remote controlling it would be tough. It's an iPod Touch that can be remote controlled with the Music Remote app. I knew my statement was too good to be true :~(

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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