My New Portable Audio System (Headphone Based)

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Artisan Fan, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    You can also add an outboard DAC for really top-notch sound. I may do that later.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. BrianVarick

    BrianVarick Senior member

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    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.
     
  3. Xericx

    Xericx Senior member

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

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    Talk like this is likely to lead to your membership here being revoked. :D
     
  5. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  6. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    that's a lot for portable sound......
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  7. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  8. dressedforsuccess

    dressedforsuccess Well-Known Member

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    You think that's bad...they make custom cMoy amps that come in altoids tins. Imagine explaining that one to the TSA...
     
  9. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    ^^^^^^^

    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?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  10. sonick

    sonick Senior member

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    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.


    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  11. dressedforsuccess

    dressedforsuccess Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^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 :slayer:). If you're worried about itunes, they are many other programs that you can use. I personally use Foobar2000 with the ipod manager plugin
     
  12. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    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.
     
  13. skitlets

    skitlets Senior member

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    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.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I don't think that would fit in my running armband. :(
     
  15. sonick

    sonick Senior member

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    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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