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Apple iPad to Schiit Modius DAC via Apple Camera Connection Kit

LastExile1

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Jul 20, 2020
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Hi, I currently have the following, an Apple iPad Air 3 with an Apple Camera Connection Kit plugged into the Lightning Port at the bottom of the iPad. That Apple Camera Connection Kit is both plugged into power and has the USB to my Schiit Modius DAC via the Micro USB port, next to the power port. This works fine, however, I recently sent the Modius back to Schiit for a warranty repair because the Micro USB cable that the Apple Camera Connection Kit is plugged into began to loosen and then snapped off internally in the Modius. I think what happened was that every time i plugged the Apple Camera Connection Kit into the iPad to listen to FLAC files stored on that device I would slightly torque the Micro USB connection on the Schiit Modius. Now that I got it back and everything is back to working I'm struggling to not repeat the same scenario. I've secured the USB cable as best that I could to other cables to keep it from moving around but I'm wondering if there is a better way to connect the 2 devices in my current setup.

The Modius has several other input connections besides the Micro USB, they include Toslink SPDIF, Coaxial SPDIF and AES. My question is can I utilize any of the other inputs as long as the opposite end is USB that connects to the Apple Camera Connection Kit? I've scoured the internet for answers but haven't found much. I have found some unique cables though.
 

linuxfan

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Mar 18, 2019
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Toslink SPDIF, Coaxial SPDIF and AES. My question is can I utilize any of the other inputs as long as the opposite end is USB
Yes, buy a USB-s/pdif converter, US$50 -
https://www.ebay.com/itm/283589458895
But that seems a convoluted technical path to solve a simple problem. Can't you just put some strain-relief on the USB cable at the Modius?

The root of your problem is the fragility of USB connections, and it demonstrates that there's a downside to connecting portable digital playback devices in this manner; namely, that being portable, you constantly need to plug and un-plug them, thus multiplying the likelihood of wearing out one of those tiny connections.

Here's an elegant solution - buy an AirPort Express (US$50 on eBay) and connect that to your Modius via optical s/pdif. Now your iPad can stream to the AirPort Express without messing with cables ... and the iPad is not tethered to the DAC.
 
OP
L

LastExile1

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Jul 20, 2020
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Yes, buy a USB-s/pdif converter, US$50 -
https://www.ebay.com/itm/283589458895
But that seems a convoluted technical path to solve a simple problem. Can't you just put some strain-relief on the USB cable at the Modius?

The root of your problem is the fragility of USB connections, and it demonstrates that there's a downside to connecting portable digital playback devices in this manner; namely, that being portable, you constantly need to plug and un-plug them, thus multiplying the likelihood of wearing out one of those tiny connections.

Here's an elegant solution - buy an AirPort Express (US$50 on eBay) and connect that to your Modius via optical s/pdif. Now your iPad can stream to the AirPort Express without messing with cables ... and the iPad is not tethered to the DAC.
Yes, I understand the root problem in that the Micro USB audio cable that plugs into the Schiit Modius is rather fragile, since that piece broke off. However, I'm not actually unplugging that the cable portion that goes into the Modius, and then plugging it back in. I'm performing that action on the iPad side. So every time I touch that cable, regardless of what action i'm performing, that touch tweaks the cable and puts pressure on the Micro USB portion of the Schiit Modius that I was unaware of. I know those ports are pretty fragile so that's why I thought I was so cool by getting a long cable and only touching the Apple Photo Connection Kit, boy I was wrong.

I'm glad I found this site a while ago because quite honestly I value everyone's input and yours, I do appreciate it. I saw the the USB-S/PDIF converter a while back also on eBay but wasn't sure if that would actually filter the FLAC file coming into the Schiit Modius or if it did, would i even notice. I don't have any experience with that, so my question is, will it mess with the audio or will it simply just allow me to plug it into the Schiit Modus with the S/PDIF cable, allowing me to enjoy my music without worrying about breaking the damn thing yet again?

The AirPort Express is also a wonderful idea that I had not considered. I heard that anything via Bluetooth or wirelessly isn't as good as a good old fashion cable. Thoughts on that? I did see that it's been discontinued, version 2 is the last edition Apple is releasing and i'm starting to think your first option is best. Any ways, appreciate the input from you. I think you have saved me a lot of google searching time. Let me know your thoughts though, thanks.
 

Cam99

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Sep 23, 2021
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I’ve recently done the Airport Express optical straight into DAC, so far very impressed with quality, I’m comparing this with a PC and USB into DAC which does MQA …Different sources too Apple Music vs Tidal … need to do more listening to confirm if I can pick a difference…. I do know when the DAC lights up with MQA my perception of higher quality sound is activated
 

linuxfan

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I'm not actually unplugging the cable portion that goes into the Modius, and then plugging it back in. I'm performing that action on the iPad side. So every time I touch that cable, regardless of what action i'm performing, that touch tweaks the cable and puts pressure on the Micro USB portion of the Schiit Modius
I hesitate to comment further, because I'm stunned by the idea that the twisting motion of a thin, flexible cable can contort a micro USB connector to the point of damage.
 

Trell

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May 13, 2021
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I hesitate to comment further, because I'm stunned by the idea that the twisting motion of a thin, flexible cable can contort a micro USB connector to the point of damage.

My guess is that the USB port was damaged once and now he has to be careful when using the device.

An easy way to damage the port is to move the device while forgetting that the device is connected with the cable. I did that once with my Fuji camera while it was charging. The port on the camera survived but the micro USB head on the cable was bent. Not all USB ports are that good.
 
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