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Old Oct 19, 2008, 08:22 PM   #1
DoobieBrother
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A/V cables - very quiet

I purchased the Apple A/V cable. It's the one that is 3 RCA's on one end and plugs in to the headphone jack on the iPod (Classic 80Gig in my case). It works fine, but it's very quiet on my home stereo. I have to crank up both the iPod and the home stereo. I'm wondering if the Apple cable that plugs into the docking port on the iPod performs any different or better. I didn't bother with that one because it cost more than twice as much. I figured they're both apple brand and I didn't care about the USB extra when plugged into my home stereo. But this thing really doesn't peform any better. Anyone have any experience with these two cables?
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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I presume you mean 'very quiet compared to the other stuff I have hanging off my stereo', and I also presume you're referring to the dock-based cable, since the headphone-connected A/V cable only works with 4th Gen Photo iPods. The iPod in common with other portable equipment gives out a low-level line signal, about the lowest level to genuinely qualify as a 'line out'. Most home 'full sized' equipment gives out a significantly more powerful line signal.

The only way to get around it - i.e. not needing to tweak the main volume when you're switching between different 'full size' devices and the iPod - is using a preamp, or buying a separate machine to take the role of the iPod in your home stereo, e.g. the Squeezebox.
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 09:02 PM   #3
DoobieBrother
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Ok. So using the more expensive cable that goes into the dock port rather than headphone jack wouldn't help? As it is right now, I have to turn up the iPod quite a bit as well as turn up the home stereo to the point where with any other source I'd be filling the whole house pretty darn loud.
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 09:17 PM   #4
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I couldn't say exactly how the Classic will behave with that cable - but I would imagine that audio would be unaffected in comparison to a regular headphone cable, as the video conductor would be at the ground portion of a regular 3-conductor 3.5mm jack.

If you're in the UK/Europe, then the headphone output is subject to a maximum output restriction by an EU edict that will make the headphone jack output - even at full volume - considerably quieter when connected to amplifiers than tapping the dock-based line out.

If you're in the US, then the headphone / dock output should be fairly similar in terms of volume, although you'll need to turn down the signal on the headphone jack just a little in order to prevent distortion - in either case, you shouldn't have opted for the obsolete cable for connection to your iPod.
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 09:46 PM   #5
NeoMayhem
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My iPhone works great with the dock connecter AV cable. Audio is a normal volume.
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 10:07 PM   #6
vandlism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sesshi View Post
the headphone-connected A/V cable only works with 4th Gen Photo iPods..
Not true. It works with the 5th and 5.5 gen iPods as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoobieBrother View Post
Ok. So using the more expensive cable that goes into the dock port rather than headphone jack wouldn't help? As it is right now, I have to turn up the iPod quite a bit as well as turn up the home stereo to the point where with any other source I'd be filling the whole house pretty darn loud.
The best solution I can recommend is the Apple Composite AV Cable. It is probably the more expensive cable you are referring to. It has the 3-RCA jacks to plug into your home receiver. If you have a high-definition television, I would suggest the Component Cable. These cable packs also come with a USB power adapter so you can charge/power your iPod while leaving it connected to your home theater.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 06:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoobieBrother View Post
Ok. So using the more expensive cable that goes into the dock port rather than headphone jack wouldn't help? As it is right now, I have to turn up the iPod quite a bit as well as turn up the home stereo to the point where with any other source I'd be filling the whole house pretty darn loud.
So in addition to what I wrote which still all applies, having tried it both ways (dock w/composite cable / hphone jack w/volume at full with a US-sourced iPod) you'll still need a preamp to bring the volume of the iPod in line with your other home gear - or you'll have to live with fiddling around with the volume, or as I said, buy something which outputs a high-level line output like the Squeezebox for home use.

Last edited by Sesshi; Oct 20, 2008 at 06:35 AM.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 10:23 AM   #8
Le Big Mac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoobieBrother View Post
Ok. So using the more expensive cable that goes into the dock port rather than headphone jack wouldn't help? As it is right now, I have to turn up the iPod quite a bit as well as turn up the home stereo to the point where with any other source I'd be filling the whole house pretty darn loud.
Maybe I'm used to my old iPod, but on mine the headphone output is attenuated whereas the dock connector output is line level. Line level is "normal" volume--i.e., when run through an amp is comparable in volume to everything else. To get the same output from the headphone I'd have to turn iPod all the way up.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandlism View Post
Not true. It works with the 5th and 5.5 gen iPods as well.



The best solution I can recommend is the Apple Composite AV Cable. It is probably the more expensive cable you are referring to. It has the 3-RCA jacks to plug into your home receiver. If you have a high-definition television, I would suggest the Component Cable. These cable packs also come with a USB power adapter so you can charge/power your iPod while leaving it connected to your home theater.
For audio only, I use a plain ole headphone jack to 2-RCAs (cheap) plugged in where a tape deck should be plugged in on my stereo. No level problems at all. I swap between my PowerBook and Nano.

Question about using the cables you mentioned for video. What's the quality like on a old fashioned TV? (I'll be using a Touch and Nano3g.)
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 11:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Le Big Mac View Post
Maybe I'm used to my old iPod, but on mine the headphone output is attenuated whereas the dock connector output is line level. Line level is "normal" volume--i.e., when run through an amp is comparable in volume to everything else. To get the same output from the headphone I'd have to turn iPod all the way up.
3G was slightly closer to 'home separates' level, but no portable can put out a 'home' line level signal.
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Old Oct 28, 2008, 10:57 AM   #11
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I went out an bought the apple Composit cable (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB...OQ&mco=MTM1MTU) last week.

So far, so good. I hooked it up to my VCR (because my TV only has RF ant. jack) and everything worked fine.

Used it with the fat Nano and iPod Touch.

Audio was a little loud compared to the Digital signal box plugged into the other AV jack on the VCR, but about the same a the DVD player.

I haven't tried it on the receiver amp yet. (To difficult to get to and was excited to try it out.)
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