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All I need is an iPad, Amazon Basic RCA Cables and an my old AMP

MarcosCh

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Amir just reviewed an active crossover. You can find them cheaper, starting at around $100 USD. Or, you could spend a couple-hundred more dollars and get an Audio Video Receiver which will have a (line-level) subwoofer output and "bass management".

And with an AVR you'll get a bunch more features and you could even use those extra speakers for surround sound. (I like to use a Dolby "soundfield" setting for some delayed rear channel reverb when I'm listening to regular stereo recordings.)
Yes, sure, but the premise of tablet headphone out and some basic rca cables starts to get more complicated, that's what I mean.

For instance: the xover amir reviewed is balanced, you need to start tinkering with the right cables (not anymore the Amazon basics rca of the title). Then there are single ended ones, sure, you have the minidsp 2x4 very cheap, but people report audible hiss, then you find yourself in the search for something still cheap and hopefully better.... and as you well said, you might end up with an additional box or a full fledged AVR.
I am not saying it is necessarily expensive or too complicated, but once you need more than two channels, it is not always as easy as a headphone out cable to a random Amp and call it a day. I wish it was though :D
 

txbdan

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Well, even if your source, DACs, and amp are squared away, it doesn't mean your speakers and rooms are. A pair of Klipsch RP600s and a room with a lot of windows could make for a bright/fatiguing experience. That's why its helpful to use REW to measure things.

Another note on fatigue is that it could just be listening too loud. If you have a lot of, or even a little, ambient noise, it can make you add a lot of volume.
 

RayDunzl

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fuzzy_logic

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Anyone care to share if I got this right or if I am missing something?
The only thing i would say is that older tablets/phones can become pretty unusable once they fall out of support. I have an iPad 4, which barely supports any new versions of apps. I had to jailbreak it to get a working version of Spotify, but i can't get Tidal installed, and i can't get any of the new Plexamp releases. Ok the device is nearly 10 years old, but it was officially unsupported by Apple 5 years after it was released. I'd imagine the remaining IOS devices that still have headphone jacks will be out of support pretty soon, if they aren't already.
 

DavidMcRoy

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The only thing i would say is that older tablets/phones can become pretty unusable once they fall out of support. I have an iPad 4, which barely supports any new versions of apps. I had to jailbreak it to get a working version of Spotify, but i can't get Tidal installed, and i can't get any of the new Plexamp releases. Ok the device is nearly 10 years old, but it was officially unsupported by Apple 5 years after it was released. I'd imagine the remaining IOS devices that still have headphone jacks will be out of support pretty soon, if they aren't already.
I'm using an iPad Air 2 for this and I have never run across anything that it won't support. I use Apple music but I tried Qobuz and TIDAL with no issues.
 

Glint

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I use a £120 asus ma210 I got from John Lewis in place of ipad type 'sealed' devices, so update worries/support are not really any concern - I use equaliser APO via my old Aune USB dac. No touch screen though, a bit clunky, but it's internally upgradable (!!) and fanless. but your setup seems to be in the right direction, imho, the hobby is about getting the best results for the least amount of money possible, and I've barely scratched the surface of harnessing tech to get the best, I could easily make things a lot worse I'm sure given the amount of things i can tweak. Perhaps next year I might even do that Room EQ stuff with a microphone. Perhaps build some active DSP crossover speakers with coaxial drivers.
 

fuzzy_logic

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I'm using an iPad Air 2 for this and I have never run across anything that it won't support. I use Apple music but I tried Qobuz and TIDAL with no issues.
Yes, because your iPad supports the latest version of iOS. However, support is ending for this model, and once it stops getting new versions of iOS, app support will also start to fall away. It might be fine for those that only use Apple Music - i don't use it, but still have a login, and it does work on ios 10.3.3 - but other apps have much stricter requirements. E.g Tidal, Qobuz and Netflix require iOS 14 or later - anything older than your iPad won't be able to use those apps.
 
OP
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Truth_In_Adv

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Yes, because your iPad supports the latest version of iOS. However, support is ending for this model, and once it stops getting new versions of iOS, app support will also start to fall away. It might be fine for those that only use Apple Music - i don't use it, but still have a login, and it does work on ios 10.3.3 - but other apps have much stricter requirements. E.g Tidal, Qobuz and Netflix require iOS 14 or later - anything older than your iPad won't be able to use those apps.
Everyone's needs are different. This is what makes this so challenging (and fun).

And while it is true, support for your existing digital streaming solution may end in the future and force you to upgrade some items, for some of us, today we may have a 'good enough' solution using what we already own.

In regards to Apple, if one has a newer Apple product without the 3.5mm jack, one can buy an $8 Apple dongle that will provide the same high quality solution because the dongle has the DAC and pre-amp built in (amazing)! And it was tested by Amir and shown to provide excellent results.

Another benefit that Fuzzy Logic points out is those with newer devices requiring the dongle will have additional years of Apple support for their streaming solution versus those of us using the built in 3.5mm jack.
 

srrxr71

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Because I am using the 3.5mm jack and a 15ft Amazon Basics Cable, the iPad is in my lap on the sofa.

I have total control Apple Music and volume at all times. It's awesome!

I don't have to use an IR remotes or a second device...the 15 foot cable makes it all work and since the DAC is the internal Apple DAC the volume control works. If I hooked up an external USB DAC, I'd need to control volume elsewhere.

Amazing, I am spending less money and getting a better user experience - at least for me.

However, I have not tried an external DAC....maybe I'd like it better...that is what my 30 year old experience tells me...but this site says it won't make any difference.
I mean you can get a topping d10 but all you really get is a sample rate display.
 

NiagaraPete

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After several hours of reading threads on DACs, Cables, iPads and music services I've come to a conclusion that surprises me.

The best electronic components I can buy, that I am able to objectively hear a difference in comprises of stuff already in my house...

  • SOURCE - Apple Music Lossless - Per several discussions, a lossless source whether Tidal, Spotify, or Apple is good enough
  • DAC / PreAmp - Apple iPad - Per the thread on Apple/Google USB dongles and Ken Rockwell - using the iPad Pro as a DAC and connecting through the 3.5mm audio jack will provide results beyond what is audibly noticeable. The added benefit is I can use the iPad also as the pre-amp / volume control which is being done digitally so that it also is audibly excellent.
  • Cables - Per Amir's cable review, an Amazon Basic 3.5mm to RCA cable should be more than capable of performing exceptionally well. Additionally, since the iPad can run off a battery there is no ground loop noise or need for balanced cables.
  • AMP - I can connect directly from the iPad and use any of my several amps for 30 years ago.
  • SPEAKERS / SUB - These items are not 'electronic components' and excluded from my 'best I can buy' comment. They appear to be one of the most important parts in the mix. For now, I can select from several old speakers and subs already in the house.

While the above goes against my 'audiophile' experiences from the 80s and 90s...it makes intellectual sense and appears to be the 'spirit' of this forum.

And right now this is what I am listening to and it sounds pretty good.

So no need for an external DAC, pre-amp, or new and/or balanced cables. None of these items will change sound quality, sound stage or listening fatigue.

Speakers and Sub woofer selection, setting and placement do make a huge difference. I've been experimenting with this and I have lots of old equipment to try.

Lastly, room acoustics could be explored, maybe with the help with some software. I'm not familiar with this though and would probably use a PC vs a MAC.

Anyone care to share if I got this right or if I am missing something?
The only real disadvantage is being tied to hardwired. Otherwise I think your assumptions are pretty bang on.
 

Midwest Blade

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By and large my current favorite system is in our condo. Amazon HD, mini iPad, Amazon Echo Link, Yamaha as301, System-Audio 1110 speakers. Using Blue Jeans cables throughout is my only nod to the audiophile side of things.
Pretty sure it may get only simpler in the future, but for now, love to breeze through my Amazon library.
 

NiagaraPete

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Graham849

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Cut out the wire from the iPad, and connect a WiiM to the amplifier, instead.
 

srrxr71

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Can you? How?
Yes it was linked in one of the posts above I believe.

Ok I saw it somewhere today. I hope i’m not hallucinating. It’s been quite the day.

Ok I found this: https://www.alphr.com/control-ipad-remotely/

No idea how well it works.

Newer version on iOS16:

 
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NiagaraPete

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