Ipod + Wadia 170i Dock OR AppleTV + Airport Expres

I find it hard to believe that I am having such a tough time putting together the right ripped digital audio source so I'm putting this question out there.

Option 1: Ipod(s) + Wadia 170i Transport


Option 2: AppleTV + Airport Express (connected to an iMac in a different room)

Relevant Rest of System:
-Headroom Desktop Ultra Amp & Ultra DAC
-PrimaLuna Prologue 3 Preamp
-Wyred4Sound 250 Monoblocks
-Gallo Reference 3.1s (with Gallo sub amp)

I like the expandability and stability of the iPod + Wadia option, and I do not have a TV or monitor in my listening room. Option 2 seems like it should be "better".

Any thoughts or experiences?

Well you will be stuck with only what can fit in your ipod with the Wadia setup and you can have access to your whole collection from the Apple TV. From a convenience standpoint the Apple TV is a lot better. I personally could not live with only having available what will fit in an ipod. I also have the Wadia doc and I'd say it sounds a little bit better than the Apple TV, but it's hard to compare since I have different cables and such. If you have an older ipod forget it, it's a major pain. You can't see what's on the screen of the ipod while it's playing and you have to dock and undock every time you start it up and shut it down, plus no remote control. If you do go the Wadia route the only way it's any fun at all to use is with the newer ipod classic. You can stop and start the ipod (quick) with it docked and see what's playing while it's playing. I've only used the Wadia with an older 80GB ipod and the newer classic as well as with the iphone so maybe it's pretty smooth with the touch and nanos, but those have small capacity so it seems like they probably wouldn't be what you are thinking of anyway as far as ipods would go.
I agree with Ejlif. I love iPods, I think I have six of them if I count my iPhone, but I've never understood why anyone would build a high-quality home system around one. Everything about them is designed for portability and they do that better than anything else but the imperatives of that design goal mean compromises in storage capacity and accessibility that there's no reason to deal with in your main system.

Having a simple dock with line-out capability plugged into your main system does make a lot of sense for those tunes you have only on your iPod but beyond that some kind of music server like an Apple TV, Mac Mini or PC connected to a good-quality DAC and on to your other gear makes a lot more sense to me.
Do folks who use the AppleTV route have one big enough to store most of the music on or do they stream to the AppleTV from another Mac?

Is there an advantage going via an AppleTV over going directly from the Airport Express into the DAC?
Here is the other thing that kind of makes the Wadia option attractive: I rip a lot of music onto my Mac at work. Having the option to bring different iPods from different places is also attractive.
I am going through the same situation.I like the convenience of a music server.At first I thought I buy the Wadia itransport 170 and use it with my ipod classic 120gb latest generation BUT I thoroughly checked the forums here and at audioasylum as well as various other websites and realized that the best solution for the money is the Mac mini hooked to a DAC with two external 1 Tb hard drives (one for storage,the second for backing up data).Some upgrades include 4 gb RAM plus a solid state drive for the OS.
Your miles may vary.
George: Are you going to put the external drives in the same room as your system or have them accessed via a wireless network? Do you have a monitor in your listening room?


I haven't work out the finer details yet but I believe that a music server can't compete with a good digital front.I am happy with my cd transport/dac in my listening room ,I just find it tiresome to keep changing cd's during listening sessions,that is why I want to invest in a music server.It will be for casual listening and therefore I will install it in my den so that all in my family get to use it and not in the dedicated listening room.It will be hooked to a flat panel display to interact and also watch movies.I got a good DAC and Genesis DL that I connect to the mini. The hard drives will be in the same room,most likely I will go for the Drobo unit.I am planning to have the mac mini by Christmas,there are rumors that Apple might upgrade it so I am waiting till then and making sure to get the latest,if they do decide to bring a newer one out.
Best Regards
I haven't work out the finer details yet but I believe that a music server can't compete with a good digital front.

If you can accept to use a Benchmark DAC1 then I am fairly confident you could not tell whether the digital input to the DAC1 came from a Transport or a server (playing lossless files that match the CD redbook data). Or put it this way, I have run tests and I cannot tell the difference.
Thank you Shadorne,I will keep that in mind.I got extra dac's that I could use with the mac mini,I am not interested in buying another dac at this moment.
I have an Apple TV from Weaknees? It has double the normal capacity. It feeds into a Genesis digital lens and then to a Levinson DAC- encoded all in lossless. I use my iphone or ipod touch to control it.

In a side by side to a Levinson 39, it is tough to tell which source is playing.

Just my two cents