Review: Cambridge Audio iD-100 Digital Dock Transport
This is a review of the Cambridge Audio iD-100 digital dock transport.
The way I will go about this is to provide a comparison of this dock versus the Wadia 170il as I still had this unit unsold when I received the new Cambridge box, and I did listen to both at length.
I find it useless to pinpoint details in sound other than what I have written below - for a good insight, just read-up on the many Wadia 170il writings as the differences are minimal at best.
To get to the chase: SOUND
I had seen this on a UK forum that apparently the Wadia deck did re-clock incoming 128kps signals for better sound. Well, maybe, maybe not - but in my system, i could not detect the slightest difference in sound quality. Both decks responded nicely to the DacMagic's filters. Good sound in all directions from both machines.
Why I prefer BY FAR the iD-100, everything considered:
1. Nicer design, physically smaller and the iPod is low and centered on it, and the inclination (when inserted) just feels more solid. The Wadia looks kind of clumsy by comparison.
2. Better connectivity - this deck will pass iPhone and iPad signals, and provide better options.
3. Video - not a big plus but still - you can actually connect a tv to this - not an audiophile feature of course.
4. WAY,WAY SUPERIOR REMOTE FOR THE iD-100. In all honesty, the Wadia remote is a joke and an insult to the Wadia name - and to the user. It is cheap, flimsy, can be easily lost, and belongs to a Radio Shack $19.99 FM-radio dock. The iD-100 remote, by comparison, qualifies as such - it is metal, has many features to it (such as switchable recharging mode), has surprising range, looks good and is enjoyable to operate.
5. Better ''locking in'' performance for the iD-100 - My initial reason for switching in the first place. I had issues with the ipod-wadia sync, and could not get to lock-in the signal consistently. After checking a few forums (including Wadia's own) I found out I wasn't the only person with this issue. After a few weeks, it became obvious I wasn't going to tolerate this for long.
After 1 month of using the id-100 (ok I'm an early adopter) not one single issue, works as a dream BUT - make sure that when you insert the iPod on the dock pins, the iPOD is OFF.
6. The Id-100 has status LEDs - no big deal, but with the Wadia, I could never tell if the thing was on or asleep, and of course no switchable charging cycle (available on the iD-100 with the cool remote)- no indication of anything really with the Wadia.
7. The id-100 is less expensive - ok no Wadia bragging rights, but this little CAMB-AUDIO gizmo is just a smart, VERY well designed iPod-iPad transport. It just plain works, which is something I can't say of quite a few high-end toys that have passed through my home in my many years in this crazy.
This thing is the proverbial no-brainer, and well worth the money.
Add a DacMagic,(or any other Dac or your choice), an iPod with the .99 cents InTune radio app, and stream in great-sounding 128kps music from SKY.FM stations OR the hundreds of other stations around the globe- all coming in crystal-bell clear against silent-backgrounds. Not quite SACD or reference analog vinyl - but - What's not to like?
Thanks for reading!
iPod Touch 32GB
Cambridge Audio DacMagic
Yamaha AS2000 integrated amplifier
Yamaha CDS1000 SACD player
Gemme Audio Katana speakers
(turntable coming soon)
Sony PS3 + 2T external drive
(turntable coming soon)