Ipod Dock with direct out?????

I LOVE my integrated amps and need a dock for my I POD. FATMAN makes some decent docks, but they all are integrated amps without the direct out option. Any decent choices out there? I know Wadia is coming out with one. Where would I buy it if thats the choice? Thanks!
You can order it directly from Wadia, or Musicdirect.com
I saw the Wadia at the AKFest in May. It's the real deal. I believe it is the only iPod dock on the market that takes a digital signal directly off of the iPod without the need to mod/deface the iPod. If you rip your music to iTunes in a lossless format and then sync it to your iPod, it should be comparable to a good CD transport or hard drive based system.

If I were in the market for an iPod dock I would definately buy the Wadia.....


The Wadia is the only current device to pull a pure digital feed off an iPod without mods, but if you are running it into an integrated, you will not be using the digital outs unless you also have a DAC....
The MSB Ipod doc is much better than the Wadia. They actually re-clock the digital signal so that they reduce jitter to almost zero. The Wadia does not. This unit will actually be like adding a transport to your DAC(in some cases it sounds a little better than a transport).

The MSB Ipod doc is much better than the Wadia. They actually re-clock the digital signal so that they reduce jitter to almost zero.
These statements have no merit. Seeing that the iTransport hasn't been delivered to people yet you are making speculations on which performs better. Futhermore, if one uses a DAC that reclocks the signal, the best place to do so from what I understand, this is a non-issue. Not to mention you must modify your iPod with the MSB.
Nrostov: Let me pile-on to Brianmgrarcom's comments....

Please tell us all how you can make a blanket statement comparing two products from which one of them (the one you like least) hasn't been delivered to the market yet?

Do you happen to sell the MSB Ipod doc and did you get a review sample of the iTransport from Wadia?
Is that MSB price for real? [Serious question]
Geez guys...a little hostile, don't you think? Seriously, buy the Wadia. I don't care. I'm not a dealer. I have just looked at the specs and I have heard the MSB, which actually performs a little bit better than my Lector transport(which is an amazing transport-look at the reviews). If you guys don't think jitter matters, then...cool. I don't care. If you think sending an extreme amount of jitter to your dac is a good idea, then...cool. Go to this link and take a look at the digital output from your ipod. This isn't the kind of jitter that a DAC is use to getting. http://www.sound4sale.com/iDock.php Believe me guys I much rather buy the Wadia. It costs a lot less but until I see where they solve this problem I'm saving up for the MSB.

T-Bone, yes the price is for real, but I have heard it and they do an amazing job. The Ipod's digital signal has significant jitter in it. They reclock it down to almost zero. You pay a premium for this but you get a piece that will turn your Ipod into a real high end transport. When you consider that the Lector transport sells for $5,300 and is one of the best on the market the MSB is actually a good deal.
Nrostov, in what way was my response hostile?

Also, where did I say jitter doesn't matter? As I have already stated, if one uses a DAC that reclocks the signal, jitter is being dealt with just as the MSB.

Keep in mind that the Wadia bypasses the DAC of the iPod, without modifications.

So, there is not a problem as you allude.

A. "These statements have no merit" Not the nicest way to start a discussion. At least not in my world but hey whatever.

B. a. A lot of DAC's don't have the greatest clock re-generators in them. The Lector happens to be one(but not only) of the exceptions. b. The amount of re clocking that needs to be done for the Ipod signal is beyond what most clock re generators are designed for. If you examine the Ipod signal it's very messy compared to a regular CD.
c. The ISB actually uses a proprietary technology instead of a clock re generator. It is an actual digital signal processor that not only re-clocks the signal but also cleans it up producing a bit for bit copy of the original CD.

d. The Wadia has no re-clocker or DSP. It's a straight digital output. Also MSB modifies the Ipod so that the digital signal is sent from the internal DAC to the ISB. Wadia uses software to create their digital signal.

Like I said if you think that's sufficient that's cool. I don't care. It's not good enough for me so I am going the get the MSB.

Happy Listening Folks
Nrostov, Playing devil's advocate... could you not accomplish the same thing for less money (assuming that jitter elimination is done as adroitly) as the MSB by getting the Wadia and something like an Empirical Audio PaceCar (which would then also be available for use for other digital sources)?
Oops. Forgot to provide a disclaimer: no connection to any of the in the thread; I have neither owned nor heard any of the products mentioned (except the iPod).

Yes in theory the Pace Car could be used for jitter(though I don't know how good it is never having used it). However it would not solve the other matter of cleaning up the Ipod signal which if you look at it is pretty distorted when compared to a CD sine curve.
Perhaps I don't understand the goal here. What needs to be "cleaned up" other than the jitter? And if it is jitter, does it need to be "cleaned up" before it gets "cleaned up" in the jitter-reducing apparatus?
T_bone, to be honest I talked to the guys and it was getting a little technical for me, but sufice to say that there is distortion in the direct digital Ipod signal that goes beyond just jitter. So in effect the ISB dock reprocesses each bit getting rid of all the garbage so that it matches the original bit on the CD. I can't give a better explanation. Sorry.

It goes beyond a stretch to call that comment hostile, but let's get beyond that.

Like the claims of MSB, Wadia also makes claims of delivering bit perfect data.

The link you provided that shows the "bad" data coming from the iPod I highly suspect is after going through the DAC of the iPod.

If there is some other mysterious distortion that needs cleaned up, how are they to get it back to bit-perfect like the CD? If it is corrupt it is corrupt. It is my opinion, feel free to have your own, that what you are claiming is "clever" marketing.

Jitter can be handled when using the Wadia every bit as well as the MSB. We will simply have to agree to disagree.

It seems to me that some statements based on the MSB are done so not considering the Wadia, as it wasn't yet available, knowing that all (other) iPod docks used the the DAC within the iPod.

I was actually referring to someone else's comment as hostile however I did not find your's polite.

I called MSB to clarify things. The MSB Idoc uses a proprietary DSP to reduce jitter to 7 picometers. Industry standards consider 100 picometers to be good.

As far as other distortion I was wrong about that part and wanted to correct it.

Look if the Wadia contains that kind of DSP that can reduce jitter to that low of an amount I will be happy to buy it. It's much cheaper and comes in a pretty box.

As far as the picture used in their ad I will call tommorrow and find out. You should call them too. They are very open and honest. Their engineers have been trying to get a hold of a Wadia for testing themselves. They want to see what Wadia is doing and if their unit is indeed equal to theirs.

I would like to point out though that Wadia's bit for bit could be the bit for bit in picture a. If that's the case I'll be getting the MSB and you can get the Wadia :)

You guys we're correct about one thing I shouldn't judge the Wadia before it comes out.
I would like to point out though that Wadia's bit for bit could be the bit for bit in picture
Those bits don't know if they are audio or video. :)

You seem very set on dismissing the Wadia.

Look if the Wadia contains that kind of DSP that can reduce jitter to that low of an amount I will be happy to buy it. It's much cheaper and comes in a pretty box.

I am being redundant here. You can purchase a DAC that reclocks the signal reducing jitter and this is as not rare to find as you have eluded. MSB isn't the only company gifted at reducing jitter.

I believe I have read a blurb that states that the MSB unit converts the signal to SPDIF instead of the iPod doing so, whether this makes much difference I am sure is up for plenty of debate.

Let me be clear in that I am not dismissing the MSB unit, rather countering comments against the Wadia that I think are not accurate.
I should be receiving my Wadia iTransport tomorrow and will be running it into my Dodson 218 DAC which re-clocks the signal before the conversion stage. My iPod contains some songs that were ripped directly from CD's using Apple Lossless, and other uploads that range from 128 to 360 in resolution, all converted to Apple Lossless.

I will give my honest impressions after a few hours with the new toy.

Neal, great please let us know. I assume you are going to compare it to the sound of your transport. How did you get it? I thought they haven't been released yet.


Look I agree with you about something I shouldn't have knocked the Wadia without hearing it.

As soon as I can order a Wadia I am going to take it to my friends house who has a an MSB and do a side by side. If the Wadia is as good or better not only will i let everyone know I will buy one.

I will say one thing, not all internal reclockers in DACS are equal. If the MSB truly gets jitter down to 7 picometers, and the industry standard for good is 100 picometers, then that is pretty amazing.

The funny thing about this whole debate is I'm not even a digital guy. I love analog and do 95% of my listening on it. In fact I have not enjoyed digital until recently. The Lector Digicode/Digidrive has made listening to CD's a pleasurable experience.

The only thing I know is the MSB is on par with the Digidrive as far as sound quality. That is pretty amazing. If the Wadia is too then great.

Anyway I'm done. I'm going to go listen to some LP's.


I ordered it from Music Direct about 1 and 1/2 mos. ago. I received a UPS notification that MD has shipped a package to me, which I am assuming is the iTransport. Stay tuned.

And yes, I am going to compare it to sound of the same CD's through my transport, which is a RAM modded CEC TL-1X with Superclock 3 and which I would not part with. I use a Stealt Sextet XLR digicable, but may be using a Kharma Grand Ref and/or i2digital cable because I do not think the iTransport has an XLR output.


Great Neal.

I know this is a big request but can you open the box and look inside. A lot of us have been curious what Wadia's packing in there. I understand if you don't want to but I am really curious if it's just wires or if they have some sort of chip in there. I know it's a big request so again I understand if you don't want to.
I'll see what I can do, Justin, without voiding the warranty.

There will have to be some kind of chip inside the Wadia, as it supposedly has to address the iPod with some kind of coded "greeting" which allows the iPod to output digital. But chips is chips. Personally, I was surprised the Wadia was announced at the price it was. Apple put in that capability for a reason before Wadia ever discovered it. One need's Apple's permission, but Wadia got it, and I imagine others can too.

That said, I too will be interested to read about people's impressions of the Wadia.

Yeah I figure there has to be some kind of chip in there too. I learned yesterday that not all of the pins are used on the Ipod and that one of the unused ones can send the digital signal. You still need to tell the Ipod to do it though. Somebody said it was software but I don't see how that would work(unless you load the software on your computer and then hook up your Ipod and then I don't know what). So I agree it is probabaly a chip that tells the Ipod to send it.
I'm going to assume I'm misreading something at the sound4sale.com page linked above. The upper image is labelled as being an analog output. The lower image is a digital output. Nowhere is the upper image referred to as digital interface jitter that the MSB product solves.

Having done my own Dante's Inferno with jitter a few years ago and realizing my budget didn't allow me to care about it any more than the high speed collisions between my stylus and microscopic intruders in a record groove, I can't much join the several species of small furry creatures gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict over the jitter that is obviously inherent in any device orders of magnitude less expensive than %insert author's DAC brand here%.

I will say this, though. Nowhere can we assume that the flow of information from the iPod to the Wadia is a 44.1khz sampled stream jammed into IEC958 24-bit words subject to jitter. For all we know, the data could move from the iPod to the Wadia just like it moves from the iTunes store to your computer to your iPod in the first place: buffered, with checksums and plenty of time for error correction. The same sort of error correction that ensures I can type the words puck and punt in this post without offending anyone.

On another note, I would advise against opening the box as a method to learn anything about the authentication handshake occurring between the Wadia and an iPod. If the people who advised Apple on how to do it have a background in hardware crypto devices, you can safely assume the chip will break itself if you get too close to it. I have a $32 device on my desk that if I try to open it, the two halves of the chip separate, so tamper proof delaminating chips are well within the price range of a $379 box.
Are we talking lossless files on the iPod? Because if not, I really don't see the merit of spending all this time, effort and money on a compressed signal in the first place.
Given the underlying purpose of iPods (portable audio), why do so many want to use them as home audio, instead of a PC or CD player? Surely even a good universal player (eg Denon etc) would do a better job playing mp3 discs than an iPod?
PS. These are serious questions, I'm not trying to be smart; I really don't get the aftermarket high-end iPod accessory thing.
Carl, I have an iPod that is 160 gig that I have loaded all the CD's I own onto, at least the songs I care about; I loaded these via Apple Lossless and I have used somewhere around 35 gig of the iPod. Some of us find it very convenient to not have to go to the CD cabinet to get music, not to mention choosing shuffle and hearing all our music at random...and when you head out the door, you can take your music collection with you, if you so desire.
Carl, we're talking about putting lossless copies of your whole cd collection on to your IPOD and using it as the transport running into a DAC.
Well there you are... I had no idea the iPod could actually output digital and bypass it's own DAC.
I have much to learn!
I gather then the iPod's internal DAC is fairly ordinary?
I had no idea the iPod could actually output digital and bypass it's own DAC.
Well, the Wadia 170 iTransport is the only licensed product on the market to do this. But, as you can read in this thread, MSB offers the ability to modify the iPod to do this as well.
"They actually re-clock the digital signal so that they reduce jitter to almost zero."
I'm not too conversant with this topic, but I would have thought that jitter wasn't really an issue with music file playback (such as mp3, AAC, lossless etc) since the file is read and bufferred by the playback device (PC or iPod), as opposed to a disc which has to read and play the data on the fly.
Any jitter will have come from the original rip and is now part of the file, unable to be removed. Am I wrong?
Any jitter will have come from the original rip and is now part of the file, unable to be removed. Am I wrong?

From what I have read, yes, you would be wrong, in context. There is a great article on jitter in a recent Stereophile or TAS issue that discussed jitter. Jitter is only an issue outside the digital realm, bringing it from analog to digital (i.e. making the master) and bringing it from digital back to analog. (So you are right in the sense of the original (master) rip, not the subsequent though and it cannot be removed. This is partly why early CD's were bad, according to the article.)
I just received my Wadia iDock. Know before you buy: this is not a fully developed product. If you use the digital out, you have no practical access to your iPod library through either the iPod’s LCD screen or any other OSD. You have to select / create a playlist before you connect it to the dock, and can only navigate within the playlist you have pre-selected. You can only access the full library using the iPod click wheel if you switch the output mode to analog, thus negating the main selling point of the product. To switch back to digital, you literally have to disconnect the iPod from the dock, and then reseat it, being mindful that you may have to turn off your processor also lest it be confused by the absence of signal.

Navigation with the included remote (clearly an afterthought) is painful with only play/pause and song-by-song click through navigation. And remember, with no LCD display, you have to rely on your memory to locate a song on the playlist (“is Stairway to Heaven before or after Black Dog")? Even if you change the mode output to analog, there is no menu button on the remote. The remote that came with my $100 JBL iPod speaker dock is positively state-of-the-art compared to this piece of garbage. For those of you that miss the inconvenience of working with a turntable, this is the product for you.

I'm still judging the sound quality difference between this and analog playback through the headphone jack. Songs that I had not converted to Apple Lossless or WAV files did sound much more detailed using the processor of my Arcam AVP700 (not a surprise). Oddly, I could not hear the same improvement in songs that had been converted to Apple Lossless. As I play more music through the Wadia, I will come up with a more developed opinion of its sonic merits.

The unit is made in China, not the U.S. like other Wadia products. The build quality is fair to good (notwithstanding my comments about the remote). The silver finish seemed “uneven” under certain light. Do not expect to see the same rigorous QC standards normally associated with Wadia products.

This is the first time I have ever been a “first adopter” of a new electronics gadget. I ignored what I know about all 1st generation products, and purchased the iDock based solely on Wadia’s reputation for quality. I am now paying the price. It’s clear they rushed the iDock to market before it was ready. Most people who converted to iPod digital did so primarily to gain convenient access to their music libraries. Regardless of Wadia’s intent to improve the sound quality of the iPod, they undermined the principle behind the product they sought to enhance. This is inexcusable. I can’t believe Apple gave their stamp of approval to this dock. I’m certain, like me, they expected much more from Wadia.
Wow, quite a brutal assessment Uclaid. My experience differs from yours and maybe this is partly because I knew somewhat what to expect from the iTransport going in, as I had seen it at an audio show.

I am curious what iPod model you are using? Some of the things you slam the iTransport for are not a problem for me, I use the iPod Classic. Example, I have no problems using the iPod click wheel to navigate through my iPod while it is docked on the iTransport while using the digital out; I did read in the manual that this may not be the case for all iPod models, there are many models. Again, I can freely navigate my iPod while docked. In doing so I can also see what tracks are being played, so finding Stairway to Heaven or Black Dog is not a problem. :)

As for sound quality, I am very pleased with the performance of it, indistinguishable from a Meridian transport.

Also, I find the fit and finish to be without reproach.
I use a 60GB 5th generation video iPod, one of the models Wadia claims to support on pg 14 of the manual. But then on pgs. 16 & 17 it states for iPod nano G1 and iPod video, "while in the extended interface mode (digital mode) there is no control of the iPod from the clickwheel interface". This means i can only access my pre-selected playlist using their extremely limited remote. I understand that Wadia may not have been able to support very early iPod models, but my fifth generation iPod is only two years old. To regain basic click wheel navigation using the digital output, I have to purchase an Ipod "classic" or touch. Perhaps this is why Apple supported this product.

By the way, my apologies to all for calling the Wadia an iDock instead of iTransport. Given my disappointment, I should be applauded for my restraint and not calling this product something else.
I felt the exact same way Uclaid, mine sent back the same day I received it. Try an Apple TV, it is working great for me as a little music server.
Can you elabaorate how you have the Apple TV set up and how you use it in your two channel system?
I imagine you are using your video display to view what files to play and the Apple TV comes with a remote too.
Do ou use an Airpirt Extreme to wirelessly connect everything or an IPhone to control?
I've been running mine with a Keces DA-131 DAC since Monday, and am quite happy with the sound quality. To my ears it sounds just as good as my Cambridge Audio CDP. Now I do think the remote is horrible, but I knew about it before buying it. I am using a 80gig Classic. As far as the jitter #'s and possibility of jitter that quite a few people are complaining about, would someone please explain what I should be hearing if jitter is indeed occuring, because the music sounds fine to me. Besides for the absurd price of the MSB piece, I would hope it had better specs than the Wadia piece. Hell for the price they are charging, I would guess you could build a better music server.
I must be missing something. This all seems like an awful lot of money and trouble to end up with something that a good music server could do for a lot less money.
Just for example, what can a Wadia plus iPod do that, say, a Cambridge 740H server (250GB, MP3, FLAC, WAV, 3x Wolfsen DAC's, WiFi etc) can't?
Sure the iPod is portable, but not when you add the Wadia dock, amp & speakers and so on.
Sure the iPod is portable, but not when you add the Wadia dock, amp & speakers and so on.
Why does it no longer become portable? You just pull it off the iTransport, plug in your headphones and away you go!

I admit I am not knowledgeable off all the other ways, but this is a very easy way to have a music server based system, one you can take with you to boot.

As for money, I don't know what that setup you suggest costs, but the iTransport and an iPod seems reasonable to me.
I am using an optical cable to send the digital signal to my Anthem D2. I programmed my Universal Remote to control the Apple TV and it works flawlessly.

I do have a wireless N router and I have it connected that way at the moment, but when I synced the Apple TV with iTunes I used an Ethernet cable. I much preferred the sound of the music with the files stored on the Apple TV hard drive as opposed to streaming them from the computer.

I am using my display to navigate the Apple TV but I am thinking of buying a separate small monitor to sit under the display so that it will project less light into the room when I am listening at night.

One thing I believe would be quite interesting would be a mod to the Apple TV to allow it to connect to a word clock. This would clean up the digital jitter issues.

Good luck!
>>This all seems like an awful lot of money and trouble to end up with something that a good music server could do for a lot less money.

I guess it depends on your situation. I WAS using a SB3 but with the iTransport I can have a high end, 160 GB music server in my main system with a high end DAC. I can also unplug this from the iTransport and listen in my car. I can also listen anywhere with my headphones. Lastly, I have a system in my backyard by my pool with outdoor speakers. I plug the ipod in and it sounds amazing. The iTransport allows me to consolidate my portable music library while also providing high end sound in my main rig. WIN WIN.
"Why does it no longer become portable? You just pull it off the iTransport, plug in your headphones and away you go!"
I realise that - I have a Nano for portable listening at work etc, where sound quality isn't critical.
I suppose you only have to rip everything once if you use the iPod for portable and home listening, but some of the comments above make it sound like a lot of headaches to get it right.
That's why a music server that can rip and burn CD's, store heaps on it's HDD, play various file formats and link wirelessly to your computer sounds so convenient to my not-so-informed mind.
But at the end of the day it comes down to personal choice; I still like CD's at home with their little booklets!
some of the comments above make it sound like a lot of headaches to get it right.
I don't see where it would be any different than the way you load your Nano; obviously for higher quality you would chose Apple Lossless, WAV, etc., which I assume you don't use. No headaches, very straightforward, especially if you use the SYNC option on the iTunes/iPod.
Brian, I think we have our wires crossed. The CD-PC-Ipod chain is the easy bit.
My comments about the "headaches" are more referring to the subsequent use of the iPod as a high grade source by spending $$$ on devices like the Wadia, which it seems isn't even fully compatible with more recent iPods and has questionable build quality (ref Uclaid's comments).
All that said, this isn't an area I know a lot about, but am certainly interested in.
$379 doesn't seem expensive to me considering the overall prices within this hobby. Adding a device such as the iTransport to use use an iPod doesn't come across to me as a "headache", quite the opposite; it allows people to merge their portable with their home stereo, and adding a server type source as well, which appeals to me, the portable part is just a bonus for me. :)

As for build quality, I already addressed that I feel just the opposite as Uclaids, I think it is excellent.

As you probably know, iPod's come in many forms and it seems they all work differently. For me, my iPod and iTransport work together perfectly, others have complaints as documented above. But it appears by Uclaids own admission that he purchased the iTransport "blindly". Before I placed an order I contacted Wadia, several times, and they were more than gracious in addressing my questions. The fact that Uclaids iPod doesn't mate to the iTransport the way he would like may have been addressed before he placed an order, then again maybe he did, I can't say.

Not all products are for all people, but the iTransport is all I hoped from first reading about it and Wadia has been great to deal with.
a. for 379 don't complain about build quality. what do you expect.

b. in evaluating the wadia it seems to me if your looking for a convenient transport for your ipod that will produce near cd quality it's a nice solution.

c. the question for me is how will it sound with a highly resolving system like mine. I know that the msb sounds as good as my lector transport ie indiscernable from cd. the only jitter my lector digicode clock generator has to deal with is that produced by the digital cable. the big question is whether the wadia produces this kind of sound quality

I am not sure I understand your criticism about no access to iPod library without switching mode to analog. I have no trouble going from a Playlist to e.g., Shuffle songs in my main library without switching output mode to Analog. I just did on the clickwheel as i would normally. Am I misunderstang you?

With all due respect, I think your other criticisms may be based on unreasonable expectations of what the iTransport is intended to be, and what itr could be at the selling price. It is not a full-featured music server nor will it do what your computer does. yes, the remote is limited (but works well at what it does). But I have found the iTransport does what it is intended to do very very well -- extract the digital signal from the iPod so you can run it through a higher quality DAC. I don't care where it is made or what is inside, and it looks unobtrusive and maybe even a bit handsome.

I am using a first rate digicable -- Kharma Grand Ref -- running to myy Dodson 218 DAC. I also am using a Voodoo Cable adapter attached to the IEC on the iTransport, thus enabling me to connect a LessLoss PC into my Hydra (original). I can say that after several hours listening to CD's ripped using Apple Lossless, the sound is almost indistinguishable from the original, and I can make Playlists of various songs, use the Shuffle feature and take advantage of all the other iPod options. Even on doenloads, the sound is acceptable. Yes, one could do much of this (and perhaps more) using a computer, but many of us do not want to deal with the hassle, or crashes, viruses, etc.

So for $379, I think the iTransport is a terrific piece of equipment that does exactly what it says it will do, for a price that is a fraction of what we spend on IC's and PC's, and does it extremely well. I am very happy with it.

Just another view.


I tend to agree with the gathering mob that wishes that the iPod's content could be navigated on the big screen. Hopefully, it's a Wadia design decision not to implement a typical iPod navigation interface along with digital out rather than an iPod design limitation that it won't output digital and allow access to metadata. I doubt Apple's that dumb, so Wadia gets an attaboy but no cigar.

I like the idea of digital out very much, but I don't like my iPod reduced to a Shuffle. Sign me up for the model 180, some day.