Well put: 'perfume on a turd'. The industry standard. Kids and people who don't really listen love it.
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RW - I'm pretty sure I'm playing lossy, I've read going the lossless route results in superior audio but, plz correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't that result in less storage space? With it only being a 4GB truthfully, I've never considered using it in the main rig, I'm just playing around. And you're right, I didn't need the Headphone amp in the loop.
Ray - I've read about the Wadia, I think they're going to have a hard time keeping these things on the shelves once they get THE favorable review!
Maybe sometime in the future I'll pursue this a little more aggressively but for now I'm cueing up Tony Bennett and Bill Evans on the Linn and all is right in my world!;)
If you're connecting to the headphone output of the iPod the digital signal has already gone through the DAC and amplifier inside the iPod and the sound is never going to be any better than those two ultra-miniaturized, inexpensive chips produce. You can bypass the amp by taking the signal from the dock connector rather than the headphone jack but you're still going through the DAC in the iPod.
The point of having an iPod is to have relatively inexpensive access to music in situations where you wouldn't otherwise, not to try to duplicate the sound of a home audio system.