Have you tried AppleLossless instead of WAV?
I have done the exact upgrade you have, into my 840C. I am however using the stock PC, and a ZU ASH digital cable.
I found that the upgrade to the 171 did improve the top end detail in my system.
Yes, I've tried lossless to and found it to be very good, in fact most of my files are applelossless. I reintroduced my old Canare cable and there was a marked improvement, gone was the booming base and back was a smoother, more relaxed top end with improved detail. The Kimber $360 cable was bested by my old $40 Canare, so I think I'm on to something here. CG was on spot when he said the Canare was the best cable at any price but does that still hold true today? Does anybody know of a Digital IC that can toast the Canare and/or Kimber D60 with experience using either these for $400 0r less? I've learned here you can't drink by the label. I'm also confused as to how digital IC's can be so different if there true 75ohm termination and wire, I was thinking they should all sound the same as they are just supposed to pass on the "bits" accurately, but that does not seem to be the case here. Thanks!
"I'm also confused as to how digital IC's can be so different if there true 75ohm termination and wire..."
They're not all true 75 ohms. I think the termination is the biggest culprit in that, but don't hold me to that.
Even if they were, different cables (ICs, speaker, power)sound a bit different to my ears, even if they scientifically shouldn't. I used to get caught up in the why, now I just trust my ears as it proved to be a futile exercise to me.
Also, as you've found out, price has very little to do with sound quality in cables IMO. The more expensive ones are made better (for the most part), but that doesn't always equal sounding better.
It seems the weakness in my system between the iDock and D/A is the interface. I've tried three different well known interfaces with the Canare coming out on top, still there is something slight missing. Perhaps, this is the best I can get when I compare the sound to the CD, I'm adding a wire and two connections, the way I think I see it now is the interface must be invisible, does anyone know of a digital IC that can pull this off? Thanks!
There may be another factor, and that has to do with the use of the 840c.
I have another post where I describe the use of the 840c as a player into a Bryston BDA-1. I found a similar reduction in clarity when using the upsampled digital outputs of the 840c into the Bryston. Only the raw 16/44.1 data from the player sounded as good or better than the CD player (840c) alone.
My point is that if you are comparing a digital input to the 840c vs a CD being played by the 840c, I suspect there may be a quality loss entering the digital process stream of the 840c. This is irrespective of cables.
This may be due to the 840c design where the system is optimized very well to take it's player output and upsample it to the DAC. If you interrupt this stream going either direction, audio quality suffers, even though its in the digital process streams where (theoretically) it should not make a difference.
I thought the Wadia dock was totally overpriced and lacking in quality. I sold it after I bought the $99 i-20 PURE dock which is sonically superior and much better than the Wadia in terms of build quality. A no-brainer audiophile purchase.
I use the i170 with a 160gb iPod Classic, and find it very sensitive to PC and digicable. With a Kharma Grand ref digicable (which I had lying around) and a Nordost Brahma PC connected to an adaptor for the Wadia electrical input, I get very near CD quality sound, especially with a FLAC download converted to iTunes.
It may not make much sense to use a PC and digicabkle that cost multiples of the i170 itself, but I had the wires anyway and the convenience and reliability is worth it! And a lot simpler, cheaper and more reliable than (ugh!) computer audio.
My quest to get what i think to be the best possible sound quality out of the Wadia ended up indeed to be the cable connection between itself and my DAC, it is sensitive in this regard. I learned a great deal about digital cables along my way and why they sound different, not enough space here to get into that, but bottom line I found my invisible cable! This cable blew away all others I tried some insanely $$. The cable I suggest you try for $25 is the latest Have/Canare GEPCO VSD2001 high definition 75ohm serial digital coax terminated with Canare's latest crimped, no solder, 75ohm RCA terminations. The cable is all business and nothing else, just a wire and terminations, they don't even add a braid over the cable which would make it more attractive, but so be it. Give it a try if you can handle $25 and be prepared to be blown away! Not only is this cable a champion on the test bench as it is designed primarily for the transmission of digital data, it killed all of the other cables in sound quality I tried and I tried many. Lastly, I think even though I finally achieved the best out of my set-up, I don't think I would recommend the Wadia, overpriced and I have heard trumped by other companies offerings, perhaps Wadia was in too bit of a hurry bringing the 171i to market?
I have a similar set up using the Wadia 171 being driven by a CIaudio 9v power supply. My electronics are the Benchmark Pre DAC, Sony 999es cd player, Esoteric AI-10 intergrated Amp with an on board Esoteric DAC and Esoteric MG-10 speakers. I use iTunes all recorded in the Wave format. My preference is a sound that more transparent bordering on electrostatic feel and a precise sound stage.The Esoteric MG-10's have a limited bottom end of 45hz but once i introduced the power supply the bass was more than adequate. In fact I have been by passing up my Sub woofer for a tighter but defined lower end. I am running my music now thru the Esoteric DAC. I feel that i am achieving a better resolution than CD quality sound. As luck would have it I just ordered a Have/Canare digital cable before I try a Nordquist Cable. I am on the edge of buying the Bryston BDP-1 server. I don't have much to add to your threads. I am not as well versed as many of the above but enjoy the comments.
I'm having trouble with the 171i recognizing my iPod. The screen in the iPod says "This architecture does not support the connected equipment." Does anyone have a solution for this problem?
Just reclock it. Jitter is the problem, particularly with HF detail and depth/imaging.