Apple Airport Express will give you by far the most convenient way to do it (wirelessly with AirTunes) -- this will allow you to still use th iPad for other stuff at the same time. Sound quality with an external DAC can be very good . . . way more than sufficient for any streaming audio service.
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" The Cambridge dock sounds interesting - can't believe it won't accomodate an IPad 2. Good luck -"
Yes, the Cambridge dock was actually only available this year, but they apparently did not realize (not that I knew either) that the iPad 2 has a different connector. Word is that they are looking into it and coming up with a solution, per my conversation with Audio Advisor yesterday, who is a Cambridge dealer.
"Apple Airport Express will give you by far the most convenient way to do it (wirelessly with AirTunes) -- this will allow you to still use th iPad for other stuff at the same time. Sound quality with an external DAC can be very good . . . way more than sufficient for any streaming audio service."
This sounds perfect for my needs. I have to confess that I had to research the Airport Express to see how it would work. Apparently I would use the USB port on the Airport Expresss to connect to the USB input on my DAC? My one concern is that the USB port on my Bryston BDA-1 DAC is limited to sample rates of 48kHz or lower.
"My understanding is the airport express only streams music through the optical port. I don't believe the USB port will allow streaming."
Thanks for the clarification. When I looked at the enlarged photo of thhe airport express it showed only an ethernet connection, the USB and an audio mini-jack. Apparently, the minijack is both analog and optical.
JC, the mini-plug is indeed a combination analog and optical. You will need a TOSLINK cable with a mini-optical plug (or mini-optical adapter for a standard optical plub) on one end. You can link the iPad 2's iPod application directly to the airport express, and from there the TOSLINK cable will take the signal to your DAC.
The sound quality is quite good, incidentally, especially if your music files are in AAC or Apple Lossless formats.
Just be careful on the AppleTV...I'm not sure on the original but the new ATV2 has a fixed output of 48KHz which for purists will be an issue on upsampling/desampling by the ATV itself and prior to the DAC receiving the signal. This may result in noticeable signal degradation due to the multiple processing and interpolation.
This is exactly my setup:
Toslink to Apple Airport Express, into your pre amp. and the Byrston BDA 1. Either the IPad, the IPhone or your MacBook. All Apple products can stream to the Airport Express.
I wouldn't sweat high end Toslink cables if such a thing exists. Optical is optical, how can you refine fiber optic in terms of bits ? Anyways, I enjoy this setup immensely. So much so, that I use my analog components (tuner/turntable) almost zilch. And a transport ? I haven't used one, or played a CD in years.
When you goto a DAC, it simplify your system, Good amplification, whether solid state or Tube, good reference speakers, an adequate DAC, and you are good to go.
Okay, on the advice of several of you, I purchased the Apple Airport Express and a well made toslink to mini jack cable, and they were just delivered today from Amazon.
The manual gives multiple ways to set up the Airport Express, and I'm not sure which way to use. I already have a wireless network in my house and do not want this to interfere with that.
I will be using the iPad2 to stream subscription based music wirelessly to the Airport Express, which connect via the toslink cable to my DAC.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I sort of wish I'd seen this thread earlier.
First, AirportExpress has lots of jitter in the output. Some DACs will simply not like this and may either mute or produce an awful noise.
I am told the ATV is better in this regard.
The AE setup is done as a 'client' if I remember right. I use one in my system and have NO wireless router. My internet is done the old fashioned way, all with cable. To use the AE, I turn on the Airport in my computer. This 'wakes up' the AE over at the stereo and I'm good to go.
So, while the AE is essentially a 'dumb end', it does talk back to the computer to the extent that the computer knows its working.
Thanks for the information. Based on several recommendations above, I went with the Airport Express solution as it was less expensive, and supposedly worked well. Based on your input regarding the jitter issue, I'm now greatly regretting I didnt buy the recently upgraded Cambridge iD100 dock which now supports the iPad2. I'm afraid I may have thrown away $125.00 on the Airport Express and the cable for it. I also wish you had seen this thread sooner.
by all means, call me Mag.
Check out the Stereophile test of the AirportExpress.......I'm not making the jitter thing up.
My CA840c simply does not like this high a jitter and I'm reluctant to flash the upgrade CA sent me....and now apparently no longer sends out. (last is good rumor).
So, I use the RCA 'Y' adaptor and lossless files. I get 3/4 the benefit of what I think I should get using a digital 'workflow'.
Maybe I'll end up with the ATV or another product.....Christmas is JUST around the corner and I'm already fishing.......Though, I'd personally wait on (if/when) a 1080p version of ATV, not the 720 as currently sold.
Well, I set it the Apple Express up as a new wireless network, but it doesn't seem to see my iPad 2. And the DAC sees no signal via the toslink to minijack cable. Which must be since it is getting no signal from the iPad 2. From what I've read, the Airport Express should automatically connect to the iPad 2 via Airplay. I've been trying to get this to work for two hours. Frustrating.
I KNEW I should have just gotten the Cambridge dock.:(
I also had to connect the Airport Express to my router before I could even set it up. Which is gine, but when I disconnect it from the router, the green light goes out. I do not understand why it needs to be connected to the router. All I want is for it to wirelessly connect to the iPad so the iPad can stream the subscription based music channel to it, and the Airport Express to them send that to the DAC. This shouldnt be this difficult.
I even tried connecting the iPad to the new wireless network, which shouldnt even be necessary, but it won't connect to wi-fi at all if i do that.
AirPlay is supposed to make all of this simple! That's why I bought the Airport Express!