what Ipod dock would you buy?

Hi guys

I'm looking for an Ipod dock just to use on the deck and couldn't find a lot of discussions regarding that here. Didn't surprise me since it's the higher end here but I 'm sure somebody has a dock here for that kind of use.

If any of you have any experience with these I'd appreciate your input.
What do you need your dock to do? If all you want is to pull off the line level audio and connect it to your pre-amp with RCA plugs, then get something from Ken Ball (Audio LineOut). A custom-made dock (he likes Jena Labs wire) from Ken has all the pins but the three you need (Left, Right, Ground) removed and you cannot control or recharge - but you will get the best sound.

Ken does great work - try soldering to those tiny pins inside a dock. I tried twice and gave up.

I have no experience of any other docks (except for a SendStation which was crappy).

This looks like a good one:


Seriously though, for casual use a 3.5mm adapter cable is all that's needed. Universally compatible, too. I've set up and programmed my share of iPorts and Crestron CEN-IDOCs, and IMO they're really silly. An iPod is a great portable, but a poor home music server.
Or buy an airport express and a Linksys router and stream from your computer wirelessly. As well, you can listen to internet radio stations. Of course you'll have to organize and use iTunes...

It'll probably set you back less than $200. There's a DAC in the AEx.. I'm sure it's not the best DAC, but I know for a fact it will sound a lot better than just plugging your ipod into a dock.
I am aware of two audiophile IPod docs - "audiophile" in the sense that they take the digital signal from the Ipod and not the low-fi analog signal.

MSB makes a dock that contains a DAC - it is expensive (north of $2k).

Wadia makes a $350 dock that must be run into a DAC -- think of it as you would a transport.
Eh, just use a LOD from Sendstation...costs $20-30.

Metralla asked "What do you need your dock to do?" You will need to answer that question first.

I'll venture a guess based on your request for something to use out on the deck. I'm guessing that this means you want a portable music system that you can stick your iPod into and it will be a complete playback system, including speakers. Is that correct? Does it need to run off of batteries or will you be able to plug it into AC out on the deck?

Here's what I use for a fully portable playback system: iPod connected to a Tivoli PAL portable radio. I use a cheap cable from Radio Shack which i believe is a 1/8" mini-stereo/headphone to 1/8" mini-stereo/headphone cable. It connects from the headphone output of the iPod into the mini-stereo aux. input of the PAL.

The PAL is a really nice portable radio. I think Tivoli may have replaced it with the iPAL, which looks just about identical, except it doesn't have the tough rubberized protective outside layer.

If you need/want a more elegant solution, the VERS from VERSAudio looks like a real winner. Here's a link to an excellent review:



Thanks for all the responses.

What I'm looking for is simply a portable solution that holds the Ipod and has some speakers.

I don't mind if I need a powercord but would prefer something with batteries that recharge once plugged in with the powercord.

I've seen some docks and the one from Bose seemed quite nice, but so did other docks. The one from B&W looks pretty cool as well but I haven't had a chance yet to listen to it and at about 500 bucks I might as well drag my old B&W 603's outside and hook them up to some old Denon receiver:)

I've read some reviews but trust the people here more and if any of you have any of the docks from Bose, Altec Lansing or whathaveyou I'd love to hear about them.

I'm aware that this won't be a audiophile solution but neither are the Cicadas out there that sing along all day.

Thanks again

I guess you shouldn't have used the word Bose in your post, it is a thread killer at Audiogon.

I just got back from a Motorcycle trip to North Carolina and one of the guys had a Cambridge Soundworks IPOD dock we used to drown out the Cicadas. It was not the last word in sound quality, but it was less than $100, ran on rechargeable batteries, and we all enjoyed some tunes while sitting around the campfire drinking beer and reliving the days ride.