Wadia 170i Ipod Dock Vs Onkyo ND S1 Ipod Dock

I had both the Wadia 170i Ipod dock and the Onky ND-S1 Ipod Docks which both take pure quality digital sound directly off the Ipod/Itouch and bypass poorer sounding analog output.

I found that I didn't like the lack of an on light with the Wadia and the way it seemed to stop working with even a slight transient variation in current such as caused by changing the output downstream on my preamp, etc.

I found that the Onkyo sounds every bit as good and has an on light and a superior remote, and all of this for about half the price.

The Onkyo is hard to find but can be imported from Japan as it is not yet marketed in the US yet. The power supply that comes with it works perfectly with out USA 110-120 60Hz current.
My experience has been the same with the two units. I'm currently listening to the iPad with the USB adaptor that came this morning, and it is excellent. If iPhone OS 4.0 allows this USB adaptor to be used, I don't think either of those devices will be needed, but for now, I'm extremely impressed with using the iPad with the USB adaptor.
I just bought an iPAD. Can you tell me the USB adaptor you bought, and where you bought it?

Does the USB adaptor bypass the internal DAC?
I purchased the Onkyo dock off ebay. I am dubious that the sound through the USB adapter will sound as good and the digital signal of this dock.
Since the onkyo you bought is a European model, how will you deal with the different voltage requirement? Asking as potentially interested buyer of the onkyo also. Could you post later how it turns out for you, sonically and user friendly? Thanks.

Joe in Mobile
Hello fellow Audiogoners,

Twelve exhibits at the 2010 California Audio Show will have the Wadia 170iTransport connected to high-end DACs. So bring your iPods and iPhones.


Thank you.

Constantine Soo
Yes, the USB camera adaptor bypasses the internal DAC for the iPad. It does not work for the iPod. Sorry for replying late.
The new Onkyo ND S1 idock is a good replacement for the Wadia 170 (takes direct digital info like the Wadia) and appears to a tad better at half the price. It can be purchased from a seller in Japan on ebay (where I got mine). It holds an apple ipod/itouch (has inserts for different models), has a better remote control, is smaller, has an on switch, doesn't stop working from light current transients like the Wadia.

It also offers usb input for optional computer input, as well as optical and coaxial audio outputs, and a optional video output.

And did I mention, it sounds beautiful. By the way, the Monarchy classic DIP which I put in line with it, improved the sound even more.
There is no problem adapting the Japanese 110V ipod dock as it uses a variable power adapter which plugs into our standard sockets. The DC current that comes out of it is identical to US current and does not affect the sound in any way.
Sounds good but the only remaining question I would have is what about the warranty? Is it U.S. or Japan? And, if there is a problem does Onkyo U.S. fix it or does it have to go back to Japan?
As a side note, my Onky Ipod Dock produced much better soundstage and seperation of instruments and less compressed sound than my Squeezebox Touch. I really wanted the touch to sound better as it would relieve space considerations coming off my computer through my wireless router. However, the sound from the touch is still very good and I probably wouldn't have noticed much if I didn't have the two to compare. However, having heard them both, I had to stay with the iPod feeding into a digital iDock like the Onkyo or Wadia.
Got my Onkyo ND-S1 iDock upgraded by Talking Dog Transducer company in Tucson. The sound was already better to me than the Wadia iDock, and now it sounded dramatically better than the stock unit. It even made the stock unit sound dull in comparison. Kudos to Steve Sank. Didn't cost much at all either.
The onkyo looks like a good unit. Anyone know why they won't sell it in the US? I emailed onkyo USA but they didn't really answer.

I want to ask for one of these for Christmas but I don't want my wife to have to deal with the hassle of importing one.

A guy from Japan on ebay sells them and they work fine with the switching power supply with USA 120V/60Z current. No import problem.

Mine right out of the box sounded better to me than the Wadia. And, with some reasonably priced mods by Steve Sank of Talking Dog Transducer Co, Tucson, my itouch/Onkyo ND-S1 combo into a Kora Hermes DAC managed to best a friend of mines reference CD player.

It is only a matter of time before someone comes out with a good flash memory player which will best all but the very best CD players.
Yep my wife got me one from a Japanese ebay seller. It is a neat little gadget! I only wish they had it in black - the silver doesn't go with the rest of my setup.

Operation has been pretty good but 3 times now it has made the ipod (in my case my decommisioned 1st generation iPhone)reset for no apparent reason. Anyone else had this issue?

just had an opportunity to demo a friends 3 week old NDS1. have had an 170i for some time now and really enjoy it. chose a digital cable after trying a few and even upgraded the oem pc ( to audioquest ngr's). think i have my 170i performing as good as it's going to get *for me*, in my system.

spent about 2 days trying to declare a winner here, but couldn't. they both sounded identical to me. without any tweeking and right out of the box, the NDS1 matched the performance of my slightly tweeked 170i. given it's price, the NDS1 seems to be a slam a dunk imho. if my 170i takes a crap anytime soon, the Onkyo looks to be a great replacement option.

am planning on setting up a server based system someday, so neither doc will be a keeper for me. just something inexpensive to get me over the technology hump i see coming in server music systems and interfaces. ps audio (and others) have some very interesting things in the pipeline. hoping the doc can keep me going until then.

BTW...i also compared the NDS1 to my transport and just like the wadia, it was beaten very handily. these doc's sound good (way better then traditional docs that don't bypass the ipods dac), but they're still a notch below a good transport/dac setup imho.

Lev -

What kind of files are you feeding the dock? Apple lossless or AAC?

have been using lossless Mark.

no doubt it's a Apple licensing agreement that's holding the NDS1 out of certain markets. more coin for Apple with two companies paying for exclusive rights. doubt they're long term deals so like everything else in digital audio, expect to see some changes soon.
Doesw anyone know if the ND-S1 works with the Itouch 4G?

I just purchased the Peachtree Nova and the Onkyo ND-S1 iPod dock, I can't wait to get them, I found a black ND-S1 on eBay!
I'll post my feedback ASAP!
Just got the pure I20 dock and right out of the box it sounds great. Johnny Cash singing "solitary man" clean clear very cool. It makes my ipod more then a commuter toy.$100 win win.
I just bought the pure 1-20 from their online store...Have yet to receive it,but everyone on these forums who bought one has loved it, which is not something the Wadia has going for it. $100 bucks - pure.com. Google it for reviews.
Pure I-20 is a winner at $100 (pure.com). It is simple, outputs raw digital to your DAC and has video outputs etc. Even the onboard chip DAC is an improvement over the Ipod. It charges the Ipod and has a small remote to control the ipod while it's in the dock.
Well I finally have everything and all I can say is WOW!
Peachtree Nova with Onkyo ND-S1, MIT cables going to Mirage OMD 5 Speakers!
I ordered another ND-S1 for my Elite SC-05.
Just to follow up if anyone is interested -I replaced my old iPhone with a 3rd generation iPod touch and the random reset problem seems to gave gone.
Another followup -

I recently found out that the ND-S1 encodes its output with SCMS copy protection. So no DAT or minidisc recording, and some CD burners are out too.

Anyone know if the Pure or the Wadia also add SCMS?
Although it sounds a little better than the squeezebox Duet, I just sold my Onkyo ND S1 because I wanted access to my computer which offers more music than what was on my iPod.I had Steve Sank, of Talking Dog Transducer Company in Tucson (30 years experience) mod both my Onkyo and my Duet. The Duet modified, sounds a little less dynamic and detailed although a touch warmer than the Onkyo (which is also warm but has better seperation of instruments). I improved the sound even more with a laboratory grade lambda regulated linear power supply purchased cheaply on ebay.

The person who bought my Onkyo idock confirmed what I already knew, and said the Onkyo ND S1 kicked the teeth out of the Wadia sound wise. He was pleasantly surprised. I also had the Cambridge idock and it sounded rather lackluster in comparison to the Onkyo also - unless you like a very soft non distinct sound.

Again, you can purchase an Onkyo idock at half the price and twice the sound of the Wadia idock on ebay from Japan with a universal power supply that works fine in the USA for around $200.
Forgot to mention, a Monarchy DIP will improve the sound of the Onkyo ND S1 iDock even more, which is already stock far superior sounding than the Wadia or Cambridge idock offerings. As mentioned, The Onkyo ND S1 can be purchased from a seller on ebay from Japan with universal power supply that works perfect in the US for around $200. Again, half the price, twice the sound of the Wadia iDock. Wadia appropriately scratched the names of the internal parts off and are using their high end name on an apparently mediocre product.