Wadia 170i Transport + DAC

Advice sought on Wadia 170i Transport + Music Hall DAC 25.2 vs. Wadia 170i Transport + BENCHMARK DAC1-Pre.
The iTransport has high jitter. The Benchmark does a very good job handling jitter. The Music Hall, not so much.

Everyone's ears are different. Preferences sometimes are more important that neutrality.
What is 'high jitter?'
From Benchmark's website:

"Jitter is a type of clock error that, if not properly addressed, can cause the D-to-A to misfire. The result of these misfires is a non-musical, digital distortion.
Many modern (and expensive) converters suffer from severe jitter-induced distortion."

Some DACs re-clock the signal, thereby eliminating jitter, or at least reducing it and its effects.

The Benchmark reportedly does a very good job of it. To the best of my knowledge, the Music Hall doesn't. I'd search for DACs that re-clock the signal if you're going to use the iTransport.

If you're contemplating the iTransport, have you considered the Apple TV? I use one. Its far better ergonomically IMO. I couldn't get past the way the iTransport functions. I don't want to use the click wheel (if it works) or the almost useless remote.

The Apple TV stores your music on its hard drive, can be controlled by either using a TV or an iPod Touch or iPhone if you have wifi in your home. It has an optical digital out to connect to an external DAC.

It'll also do internet radio and YouTube. YouTube may not sound like a big deal, but I've watched a ton of live music and obscure performances with it. Audio and video quality varies widely, but its a lot of fun. Where else can you readily get BB King playing live a few decades ago? Pearl Jam playing an acoustic set in a Tower records before anyone really knew who they were? The possibilities are endless.

If you buy from the online Apple Store, you can get a refurbished Apple TV and iPod Touch for cheaper than the iTransport.

If you have an Apple Store near you, stop in and check it out. I bought one about a year ago and haven't looked back. Its better than the iTransport in every way.
05-05-10: Paulg1
What is 'high jitter?'
Paulg1 (Threads | Answers)
this is a loaded question & has many subjective answers. It also gets many people into a fight as there are many different beliefs on the matter! Be warned! :-)
There is much written on this subject - you only have to search the archives here & you will be inundated.
My recommendation is to do that search & start reading some of the written material on jitter. I have also written a little on the Wadia i170 & it's apparently high(er) jitter output.
Briefly, the Wadia i170 is outputting digital at full 16/44.1 rate (meaning a 1.4112MHz rate) to the external DAC. I have assumed a .WAV format file. I personally would have assumed that jitter in the 1% (of the clock freq) or less range would have been sufficient. However, that does not seem to be the case - empirical data seems to indicate that jitter in the 0.1% (of the clock freq) or less is a "requirement".
Under these "standards", the Wadia i170 jitter is considered too high.