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Thread: Ipad direct to stereo=not great

  1. #1
    Forum Veteran Billboard's Avatar
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    Ipad direct to stereo=not great

    For about a year I have been listening to digital music from my iPad to my Pioneer SX-950 using a headphone to RCA cable. Sound was OK, some albums sounded better than others. Most of the music was ripped from CDs at 256bit rate.

    In another thread I noted that I picked up a reel to reel, the seller gave me a tape with some music he recorded on it. The reel to reel sounded better than anything I have heard on my stereo. I emailed the seller and asked him what the source of the music was. He replied it was high bit-rate lossless music on a laptop connected to a Marantz DAC, fed through a GAS Thalia preamp.

    I looked up this equipment and it looks to be about $2,000 for a Marantz DAC and the GAS pre-amp. Not gonna happen at this time. So my search was on for a better sound that my system is capable of.

    I knew my SX-950 could sound great, because it sounded great with the reel to reel with the above mentioned recorded tape. That leaves the DAC, so I searched for a DAC, there are so many choices, from $30 to $3,000 and up. It turns out I already owned a pretty good DAC in the Google Chromecast Audio.

    I ripped some CDs using Exact Audio Copy encoding as a FLAC file, then I use Plex on my desktop as a music server, controlled from my Android phone. It does a great job casting to the Chromecast Audio device. The results are very good sound quality. The sound still depends on the quality of the CD, but well recorded CDs like Norah Jones and Neil Young sound very good, much better than the iPad direct. All for about $50.

    I have yet to use this configuration to record to the reel to reel, but I will and I am pretty sure I will be happy with the results.

    note: I do believe the CDs ripped as 256kbs MP3 will sound just as good as the CDs ripped to FLAC. I just used FLAC to get the best source as possible.

  2. #2
    Forum Veteran orange's Avatar
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    I've got 3-4 GB of MP3s and other audio files on an external drive, over 500 LPs, hundred of singles, it goes on, even Drake-Chenault automation reels for a country format. I'm sure I'll die before getting to all I haven't heard yet, but then again my kin can have one hell of a yard sale with my stuff.
    Nothing is misguided to it's creators, only the recipients who didn't want the expectation ruined for them.

  3. #3
    Forum Veteran Billboard's Avatar
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    How do you play the MP3s?

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    Forum Veteran Northwinds's Avatar
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    Fondler errrr... fan of all Nav's avatars
    I know the system I use for outdoor gathering does not like music fed from an Ipad. Blew to 120wpc+ integrated amps because of spikes at the kids bonfire gatherings in the back yard and the stash of midfi stuff has dwindled to one amp now for their use
    "I really can't begin to describe what happens at that frequency when you hit that SPL, but it's serious. We saw a mouse stagger out of a crack in the concrete floor and die"
    Quote Originally Posted by laatsch55 View Post
    Yweblwrs...
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    The only toilet I have seen that didnt swirl was in a trailor
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    now I need a Dim Bulb Tester to test my Dim Bulb Tester
    An audiophile is someone who's stereo is worth more than his car

  5. #5
    Forum Veteran R1200S's Avatar
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    Smoke and mirrors baby!
    I've posted this link before but think it's one of the best white papers about digital recording I've come across. Roger Sanders gets into some of the nuts & bolts of digital music. It's worth a read. (check out his other white papers if you have time!)

    http://sanderssoundsystems.com/techn...ng-white-paper

  6. #6
    Forum Veteran Geegz's Avatar
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    ---there is no replacement for displacement
    Billboard,

    i have found similar results albeit with the Apple products (I have iPad and iPhone) when I was building my current 2 channel system. I use a Apple Aiport Express as my external DAC from the Ethernet cable from my laptop. I too have converted most of files to "Apple lossless" files as I was finding 256k wasn't quite enough on some recordings. Here is a great link to the review of the Apple Airport Express:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/air...ality-2014.htm

    The best part of this approach is the "Apple Remote" app utility which controls iTunes on my laptop from either my iPad or iPhone, including volume and you can build and delete playlists remotely. The Airport Express offers either 3.5mm audio out or mini-toslink if you ever want to upgrade to another external DAC. Just my 2 cents I have been extremely happy with this approach. I also like the fact you can hardwire from the laptop to the Airport Express to eliminate any of that annoying "delay" or "buffering" from wireless "wi-if" connection option (which you could still do with this unit.
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    Last edited by Geegz; 03-30-2017 at 01:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran Billboard's Avatar
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    I have heard good things in regard to the airport express, that was going to be my second choice, but I already owned the Chromecast Audio device, so that is where I started.

    Don't think I could hear anything audio wise over 256kb sampling, I will have to experiment with a high quality CD and see. Storage is dirt cheap, and bandwidth is plentiful.

  8. #8
    Forum Veteran orange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard View Post
    How do you play the MP3s?
    PC. I have an AM radio to take it on the run, the 5000 watt oldies station is a few blocks away.

    (YOU HEAR THAT! It's all caused by RADIO WAVES!)
    Nothing is misguided to it's creators, only the recipients who didn't want the expectation ruined for them.

  9. #9
    Forum Veteran Billboard's Avatar
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    Too bad it's not a 50,000 watt clear channel station, then you could hear the music in your dental fillings.

  10. #10
    Forum Veteran BlazeES's Avatar
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    Spare me from your need of emotional rescue
    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard View Post
    Too bad it's not a 50,000 watt clear channel station, then you could hear the music in your dental fillings.
    Now that's funny !
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