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View Full Version : Getting the best sound out of an ipod to hook up to car stereo




scubasteve3715
Nov 6, 2007, 07:43 PM
I have an 80 gig ipod that i use to play music on my car stereo. The stereo has a built in 1/8" input so i can connect my ipod or whatever else that uses a 1/8th inch stereo jack. Although now i am upgrading my speakers and don't want to use the ipod's built in DAC anymore. The thing is, i cant replace the head unit because it would look horrendous in my 07 Camry. I would love to get an alpine iDA-X001 which hooks up directly from the bottom of the ipod and bypasses the ipod's DAC. It has its own. Are there any external DAC units that i can hook my ipod up to so i can get the best sound out of my new JL's? If that makes no sense at all, alternately, what can i do to get the best sound out of my ipod?
Any help would be much appreciated.



CarlsonCustoms
Nov 9, 2007, 08:18 AM
On my jvc headunit I can use the Ipod dock connector or use the headphone jack to rear input. Honestly I can't tell the difference in quality. And mind you this is on a pretty built up stereo, 12" sub on 2000Watts RMS, 200 watts on 6.5" components up front, etc etc

Only reason I use the dock connector is that it keeps the ipod charged also.

YMMV

Zack

RumMunkey
Nov 12, 2007, 07:10 AM
I have one of these (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-yU5EWFHj3qJ/App/Product/Item/Main.aspx?I=541PXDP) going into the Toyota factory stereo in my Matrix.

Damn fine product, except my wire froze in the winter and the sheath split a little in a few places. I think I can just order a new cable though. I should look into it.

AlphaTeam
Nov 12, 2007, 08:49 AM
My brother got an item, at Best Buy, that is made my Sirius. It goes between the antenna and the antenna connector on the radio. Then it gives him a standard headphone in. With that you can then use a dock connector cable with the stereo/headphone jack.

EDIT: I wouldn't use the headphone output. The output is variable and can get changed to louder...you can get cut outs...it us another volume to adjust...the dock output is just a nice line out.

lallenlowe
Nov 12, 2007, 08:55 AM
The iPod dock connectors for the car are great for sound, but you need to be careful. They can very easily fry your logic board, or nuke your battery. It is not good for the iPod battery to be charging all the time, it needs to be charged up and discharged, having it charged all the time is not good for it, trust me, I ruined an iPod! Also, then you can ONLY hook up an iPod, no other friends mp3 players, no laptops, nintendo DS's, DVD players, etc. I think you should stick with the 1/8 inch jack, it's what I use now, and it sounds great. The one thing that'll make the biggest difference is the power and quality of your amp, not HOW you connect the iPod. Just stay away from FM transmitters, and tape adaptors, they sound like crap. Also, with your iPod hooked up through 1/8th inch, make sure the volume is not all the way up, you want to have it almost all the way up, like 9 -10ths or something, that is a big factor in the sound becasue it brings it down to a true "line-level".

lallenlowe

Avatar74
Nov 15, 2007, 11:28 AM
On my jvc headunit I can use the Ipod dock connector or use the headphone jack to rear input. Honestly I can't tell the difference in quality. And mind you this is on a pretty built up stereo, 12" sub on 2000Watts RMS, 200 watts on 6.5" components up front, etc etc

Only reason I use the dock connector is that it keeps the ipod charged also.

YMMV

Zack

A direct connection would be best... The problem with an outboard DAC is that while trying to mitigate reconstruction errors you're introducing line interference and generation loss by having an intermediary device between the source and the receiver. So, there's some question as to what is the real net gain.

Using an equalization setting on the iPod might improve things, because an equalizer is effectively a series of bandpass filters that effectively can mitigate reconstruction errors.