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My New Portable Audio System (Headphone Based)

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I am now rocking the Grado RS-1i headphones with an outboard amp by ALO Audio, the Rx Mark II Tactical Edition connected by a Fiio L9 line out dock cable which takes the analog stream out of the iPods 30 pin dock connector from my brand new iPod Classic.

I store all of my music in AIFF files which I find sound better. This is a nice portable system for my consulting travels on the road.

And it sounds terrific!

Here are some pictures for those of you into headphones. Here is a view from the top:

469

Side view which shows on/off switch, low/high gain switch, volume toggle and how the Fiio L9 connects the two devices. The headphone jack is on the left and the iPod analog input is one the right via the L9.

469

You can also add an outboard DAC for really top-notch sound. I may do that later.
post #2 of 41
Cool beans, but looks like way to much work. If I am listening to portable music I don't really care what the quality is as long as it's decent. I can definitely understand why someone would want to push the envelope a little bit though.
post #3 of 41
pretty nice. just wait until some old grandma on a plane thinks its a bomb and you end up in Guantanamo bay though!
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianVarick View Post

Cool beans, but looks like way to much work. If I am listening to portable music I don't really care what the quality is as long as it's decent. I can definitely understand why someone would want to push the envelope a little bit though.

Talk like this is likely to lead to your membership here being revoked. biggrin.gif
post #5 of 41
Maybe I'm missing something here, but why an iPod? It's just that I've read on many internet sites and forums over the years, about poor sound from those things, lacking in bass etc. I'm no expert on hifi myself and currently use a Samsung Galaxy phone for MP3s, have never owned an iPod because of the iTunes requirements.
post #6 of 41
that's a lot for portable sound......
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xericx View Post

pretty nice. just wait until some old grandma on a plane thinks its a bomb and you end up in Guantanamo bay though!

Yeh, I was thinking that. Would look even better if the package had an Energizer battery and a couple of candles attached to it.

Airplane II .. "The second time bomb on your right"

...maybe the OP is not intending to go flying with his "sound system"? I can just imagine trying to explain to the security goons what an "Rx Mark II Tactical Edition" is and why it's strapped to the iPod in that manner.
Edited by MikeDT - 12/8/11 at 5:54pm
post #8 of 41
You think that's bad...they make custom cMoy amps that come in altoids tins. Imagine explaining that one to the TSA...
post #9 of 41
^^^^^^^

I think for something like that, one would be limited to ground transportation. I read something a while back about the TSA and someone's Apple Macbook Air, in that it didn't have a CD-drive so they didn't believe it was a laptop computer, it's probably a bomb.

When I fly now I tend to take the absolute minimum of electronics, usually just a phone and a laptop, to save any unnecessary delays at airport security. Apparently Colgate toothpaste can look rather suspicious in a baggage X-ray machine, came across that one at Beijing airport. Perhaps they thought it was plastic explosives?
post #10 of 41
Where are you using this system? I'd think it wouldn't be very useful on transit, in quiet offices/libraries or outdoors with open headphones. At least in my experience with my Grados.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

Maybe I'm missing something here, but why an iPod? It's just that I've read on many internet sites and forums over the years, about poor sound from those things, lacking in bass etc. I'm no expert on hifi myself and currently use a Samsung Galaxy phone for MP3s, have never owned an iPod because of the iTunes requirements.

From what I've read online and personal experience, iPods have pretty decent sound hardware DAC wise, but is weaker in the amp section. Taking the line-out signal via the dock connector bypasses most weak points of the iPod.

Also manually managing your library in iTunes makes it much more bearable, updating it is as simple as drag-and-drop from window to window. No iTunes library bullshit to manage.
post #11 of 41
^^^^Well said. Whiel ipods do have their shortcomings, they can be easily fixed like he said with an LOD to an amp. Many people like them because of the easy UI and storage capacity (160 GB icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif). If you're worried about itunes, they are many other programs that you can use. I personally use Foobar2000 with the ipod manager plugin
post #12 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonick View Post

Where are you using this system? I'd think it wouldn't be very useful on transit, in quiet offices/libraries or outdoors with open headphones. At least in my experience with my Grados.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

Maybe I'm missing something here, but why an iPod? It's just that I've read on many internet sites and forums over the years, about poor sound from those things, lacking in bass etc. I'm no expert on hifi myself and currently use a Samsung Galaxy phone for MP3s, have never owned an iPod because of the iTunes requirements.

From what I've read online and personal experience, iPods have pretty decent sound hardware DAC wise, but is weaker in the amp section. Taking the line-out signal via the dock connector bypasses most weak points of the iPod.

Also manually managing your library in iTunes makes it much more bearable, updating it is as simple as drag-and-drop from window to window. No iTunes library bullshit to manage.

That's not really accurate. Since the 5G iPod the DACs in iPods have been good but not great. That is why the Cypher Labs Algorhythm Solo sound so good. The amp is weak so adding that helps quite a bit in terms of both clarity and power. The iPhone is not great either but if you download the EQU app it gets a lot better.

I use the ALO amp, Classic and Grados on planes, in the office, in the hotel room, at home and at our local park where I walk the dogs. Works great everywhere. I do carry some IEMs for when there is a crying baby on the plane.
post #13 of 41
You use Grados on transportation? I love my HF-2s but it's so open both ways. You can hear everything outside and everyone else can hear your music.
post #14 of 41
I don't think that would fit in my running armband. frown.gif
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by skitlets View Post

You use Grados on transportation? I love my HF-2s but it's so open both ways. You can hear everything outside and everyone else can hear your music.

Especially on a plane, I'd get all super-vigilant and paranoid over people being bothered or hearing what I'm listening to.
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