The Ipod dock passes a direct digital signal, which should translate to better sound through the iPod. The USB connection is geared to hook up to a computer. The iPod connection sounds incredible in my iDecco. The iPod dock turns the iPod into a high end music server, albeit with limited remote control capabilities. If you intend to use the iPod as a transport, the iDecco is your best choice...
Thanks, Iramirez. I thought that was how it was supposed to be, but on the other hand, the Nova supposedly also played music from the iPod very well, via the USB input, so the ads look confusing from here (Japan). The iDecco and Decco 2 won't arrive here for another couple of weeks, so I haven't seen those yet. I saw the Nova in USA last month.
I was sort of hoping the Decco 2 (cheaper) would play the iPod equally well, or that the USB connection would be equally good on the Nova or Decco 2, because I like to search for music remotely from my iPod and wouldn't like to have to move over to the iDeco every time I want to change songs, especially not with the Classic iPod software, which I find cumbersome.
I was also hoping to set my iMac on top of the Nove/iDecco/ or Decco 2 unit, as I've seen in some review photos of the Nova, but it looks as though the position of the iPod dock on top of the iDecco would kill that idea. Is that the case?
Have you (or anyone) compared the sound of the iPod played through the USB vs dedicated dock?
I can't say this for certain, but I understand that the Nova & the Decco's share the same DAC. I think that the internals are the same except for the dock and the amplifiers. I have not tried out the iPod through the USB input, but I suspect that it would sound the same as it does in the Nova. I have my iDecco connected to my mac mini through the USB. I think that your iMac would sit atop the iDecco with no problem, but it might place the dock at an inconvenient spot behind the screen...
Oh, it looks like you cannot use the decco's USB with the iPod. I got this from David Solomon's blog, he said: "The USB from iPhone, like the iPod is for input and updates. It does not have audio output from the USB. You can use the Wadia i170 which outputs digital from the iPhone and iPods though." So it looks like you need a propriatary dock to get digital audio out of the iPod & iPhone...
Thanks again, Iramirez.
On the Peachtree Audio site (Signal Path), they all show the same DAC:
ESS 9006 Sabre DAC w/patented jitter reduction circuit
I've been digging around a lot and didn't see what you found out about the USB. It makes sense, because when I connect my iPod to my iMac via USB, I cannot play music directly from the iPod, but only via iTunes from the iMac.
On the Peachtree Audio site (Signal Path) on the iDecco specs page it shows:
4 Digital inputs (all transformer coupled)
iPod, USB, Toslink (optical), Coax
While on the Decco 2 specs page it shows:
3 Digital inputs (all transformer coupled)
USB, Toslink (optical), Coax
This means the iDecco is definitely the only choice for me.
I hope there is some sort of extension cable available so that I can connect the iPod to iDecco's dock and search for music with the iPod in hand; iPod parked on the dock will be very inconvenient for me.
I'm just now trying to make a move to modernize my old-fasioned system. Last year I bought an Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player, which has a tubed pre-amp. I added a 24/96 upsampler and better tubes, and the sound is so amazing that it prompted me to move toward 24/96 digital for all of my music in the near future (until the next thing comes along...). The Nova/iDeccos are based on a similar design approach, with 24/96 upsampling and tubed pre-amp.
In a shop in USA last month I tried out the Nova. Source was a CD player. I could hear no difference at all when switching between "tubed" and "SS" pre-amp out via the remote. Can you hear any difference?
I just got word from a dealer in Japan that the iDecco will be here in two weeks, but they are asking a higher price for it than for the Nova, making it about 2X the US price. It looks as though I'll need to wait a few months for the price to lower or import one from the US myself.
This pricing could be damaging to Peachtree's attempt to get popular here in Japan, as anyone who looks online can see obviously that the iDecco is supposed to be cheaper than the Nova.
Yeah, I can definitely tell the difference without the tube in my system. My speaker/amp combo is very revealing of components down the line. I can easily hear the difference. The sound is brittle and etched on the highs without the tube, the midrange is a bit leaner. I use the tube section to preamp a pair of speakers in my bedroom, they are driven by the idecco's amplifier. They sound much better with the tube on. I use the DAC direct to tube preamp in the living room because it is superior to the idecco's pre. Tubes flesh out the sound in both instances...
That's good to know. In my Njoe Tjoeb CD player I can swap tubes, and I tried some different types and found one that is perfect for my ears.
Is the tube in the iDecco swapable?
Is the tube circuit self-biasing?
Yes, there are a few tubes that can be swapped. I've yet to try that. There are no biasing pots, so I imagine bias is not an issue...
If you can swap tubes, try it! Two types were included with my Njoe Tjoeb (it was used), and after trying both I searched the forums for people's opinions and found one that was really perfect for me. It doesn't cost a lot, takes seconds to swap, and the resulting sound differences are very interesting.
I'm now discussing iDecco prices with dealers here vs getting one shipped over from USA. Hope to have one here soon.
By the way, I'll be using the iDecco mainly in my computer room, which is like a small office where I'm stuck for too many hours/day. For bookshelves right now I've got Quad 12Ls, Rogers 3/5as, B&W 805Ns, and Yamaha MPS7 monitors around the house. I was thinking of using the Quads at my desk for a while and then later changing to either Adam a7s or Quad 12L actives (the latter not available in Japan).
Any idea how the iDecco preamp would sound with actives like these?
Anybody else care to join in here?
I have not heard the quads, but I hear that they are very revealing. In all honesty, I expect that the iDecco preamp (tube on) will really shine with either set of quads. You will not believe how well this preamp images & how beautifully smooth it sounds. My guess is that it will do something akin to what it does with my speakers...
Ok, ok! PuuuuLEASE tell me about your speakers and amp....
I just found out that the Japanese model is modified for the Japanese voltage, 100V instead of 115/230. That is among the reasons for the price difference, besides many other market factors.
A retailer here claimed that there is a difference in the sound quality, a higher noise floor, when using the 115V version with 100V, as well as lower power output.
Now I need to consider the importance of that factor.
Could someone with an iDecco please check the specs for me, and see what the actual input ranges are? i.e. 115 +- 7 volts, etc?
LOL, no I don't want to go into that quagmire. I love my system despite it's limitations, and I know better than to start spouting about it's virtues... I hope I was of some help with your questions. Cheers.
Yes, you helped a LOT, Iramirez, Thanks! L8r!
I got the very first Japanese iDecco sold in Japan!
Just as an update to end this thread, people at Peachtree as well as on this side convinced me that the Japanese version is better for the power system here. I got the first unit from the distributor, before it hit the market here. I ran into a couple of questions while setting-up, which I'll ask in the tech forums if I need to. Again, thanks for your help with my selection.
Just purchased an iDecco and it is FABULOUS....with the right speakers it's just terrific. Couldn't be happier.