Got iPod, how to hook up?

Hello, I just got an Applie iPod, and am ripping like a mad scientist. Hooked it up to my stereo and it sounds dead, lifeless, no bass, even with the EQ set to pump up the bass and with uncompressed storage of the CDs. Is it just me? Any chance a nice adaptor would work to hook it up to the stereo? Any hook up recommendations?
Your description sounds like a mismatch between the player and your preamp.

You did not say how you had this hooked up, I'm assuming you have a cable that came with the Apple that will plug into the preamp of your stereo.
You're system is not listed so I can't tell what your standard of comparison is, but the D/A conversion stage of the iPod by audiophile standards is only adequate. The iPod is a great product, but it's really not intended to serve as a high quality source component to an audiophile oriented system. I know of no product that will allow you to bypass the built in D/A.

BTW, the best sound is obtained by turning off the EQ and setting the iPod volume as high as possible.
Onhwy61 - the iRiver units have optical digital outputs. (iHP-120 and iHP-140) These would allow a user to connect the devices to a DAC.

See link below:
iRiver iHP-120

South_park - sorry you're having trouble. In my system the iPod sounds quite nice FWIW. I suspect you are trying to use the FM Wireless mode of connecting the iPod to the system. For better results, you might try the Zu Cable Pivot interconnect. The Pivot is a "high(er)end" cable which would allow you to connect your portable devices to your system (preamp, or direct to the amp). The Pivot has a mini connector and two R/L RCA connectors

Link to the Pivot on the ZuCable website:
Zu Cable Pivot

List price for a 1.5 meter Pivot is $99 but Zu Cable has frequent auctions on Ebay and you should be able to pick one up for less than half that. Do a search on Ebay for
"Zu Cable"

I have tried connecting it via line out on the base of the stand and via the headphone outputs to my line in. Not using the FM transmitter. I did not expect the quality to rival that of my other digital equipment, but I did expect it to sound a little nicer. No complaints, I know its not a high end component but I do want to try to extract the best performance out of it. That cable may be a good start.
I have my iPod going into my Pre via the Monster iPod cable that runs from the base station. This way, it bypasses the internal "amplification" that the unit provides. In my set-up, the iPod blends quite is not my "critical" listening choice, but it is wonderful for background music while working, cleaning or parties.

And turn the EQ off. Hope some of this helps.
South park, Just an FYI... I don't claim enormous miracle improvements with the Zu Cable but I do find it to be much better sonically than any stock or Monster type cable I used prior to finding the Zu Cable Pivot.

Since you do not use the FM transmitter, I presume you may find improvements by using a ripping software like EAC.

The iPod actually belongs to my wife and she's in charge of content. She rips to 192 using iTunes (i think) and I believe she selects AAC encoding (or whatever Apple's format is). At that bitrate, the iPod actually sounds quite good - believe it or not. While it lacks much of the dimension of CD's, it is certainly not as bad as I expected - especially at that bitrate.

I have not tried WAV files on the iPod.

Going back a few years, if memory serves me, I believe WAV was originally a Microsoft-specific format & at the time when WAV first appeared, Apple/SGI/Sun + others used AIFF for uncompressed audio storage - Microsoft used WAV only. As time passed, WAV became more of a standard which could be executed on almost every computer but...part of the problem could potentially be that Apple just doesn't put as much effort into how it decodes WAV files vs. its own proprietary format.

**I have not researched this and it is therefore pure speculation.
1) rip something as an AIFF file..that is the same as a compact compression. Yes it takes up a lot of room, and yes it's harder on batteries, but at least you are starting with the best quality.
2) Use the base station and a mini to rca adapter from RatShack or similar. Do NOT keep the iPod plugged into your computer while it's plugged into your hi-fi...lot's of noise there.
3) Listen. It's not the greatest, but it's really not that bad at said above it's great for parties or background tunes while you make dinner.
Enjoy, it's a cool toy.
I think bwhite may have hit it--you may have a bunch of bad mp3s. I'm a windows user, so I rip with EAC and LAME using -alt preset extreme for making "portable size" mp3s. You might try just ripping to a WAV and seeing how that sounds. If the WAV still sounds bad, I don't think you will get any better results using better software, since that (I thought) WAV is the native CD format. If the WAVs sound OK, but your mp3s sound better, try varying the ripping program.
The data on CD's is in CDA format - whatever that is. :) CDA gets translated into other formats (WAV,AIFF,MP3,etc.)when "ripped" from CD and then re-encoded back to CDA when put back on a CD.