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      02-04-2013, 08:34 AM   #23
stephano5
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Originally Posted by Cheesegeezer View Post
I have yet to test this, will do when i get home tho from this trip thru my AV receiver and can report.
id be really interested to know. I understand the DAC on the head unit is shit (from memory 10% THD) but if you run an amp then really youre using an amplifiers DAC and any half decent amp would have <1% THD and you would not have to worry about setting up this set up you got. problem with your set up is bluetooth drains battery quick

i have an ipad installed in my e93 atm, much like this;



I still have idrive, and use it for GPS but this is a much better system. also much easier than CCC to CIC retrofit
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      02-04-2013, 08:55 AM   #24
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does using an iPad with 3.5mm aux in really lose that much quality?
There was a test not long ago (I will have to see if I can find it) of the output of the headphone jack on the iphone. I am not sure how different the iPad is, but the overall consensus seemed to be the headphone jack was a pretty decent output.

Found one link, there are a few different measurements of each phone on there:
iphone 5 measurements on diyma.com

With that said, the headphone jack gets plugged into a headphone jack in the armrest that then goes into another port on the radio and then gets output from the radio to the back of the car. It would be much cleaner (less connections and a more direct digital signal) to use an AE or ATV in the back of the car next to the amp(s) where the signal travels digitally until it is converted within a short distance to the amp/processor. There is less chance the signal is interfered with in that case (at least theoretically). You could also argue the use of a better DAC than what is in the iPhone/iPad would also increase the quality of the music.
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      02-04-2013, 09:08 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Pereze View Post
There was a test not long ago (I will have to see if I can find it) of the output of the headphone jack on the iphone. I am not sure how different the iPad is, but the overall consensus seemed to be the headphone jack was a pretty decent output.

With that said, the headphone jack gets plugged into a headphone jack in the armrest that then goes into another port on the radio and then gets output from the radio to the back of the car. It would be much cleaner (less connections and a more direct digital signal) to use an AE or ATV in the back of the car next to the amp(s) where the signal travels digitally until it is converted within a short distance to the amp/processor. There is less chance the signal is interfered with in that case (at least theoretically). You could also argue the use of a better DAC than what is in the iPhone/iPad would also increase the quality of the music.
If you have a Pre LCI 3 series OR AUX IN ONLY car there is what I believe is a work around to using the iPad/iPhone dac (which apparently are quite crap)

now I could be wrong and please correct me if I am but; an iPhone/iPad/iPod dock to 3.5mm AND 12v car charger actually means you cannot change the volume via the device but only via your deck. Wouldn't that mean the head unit is performing the conversion then? So if your head unit is of course powered by a good amp, then in this case the AMP is performing the conversion

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3-5MM-AUX...ht_1638wt_1180

I mean this kinda cable
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      02-04-2013, 10:03 AM   #26
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How are you going to be able to use streaming media services (Pandora/Spotify/etc) when you are connected to a wifi access point with no internet service? The AirPort express won't have access to the internet, and when you are connected to the AirPort with your iDevice, that it going to be your default route. Have you considered this?
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      02-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by danmcq
How are you going to be able to use streaming media services (Pandora/Spotify/etc) when you are connected to a wifi access point with no internet service? The AirPort express won't have access to the internet, and when you are connected to the AirPort with your iDevice, that it going to be your default route. Have you considered this?
Yes, there is a trick! You can be connected to wifi AND still pull data from 3/4G. I forgot now exactly how I did it but it just takes some googling.
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      02-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #28
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Isn't the bill to stream this stuff huge.

If you are streaming at the high rates throuhg the wireless or even
home Internet Providers provide won't you blow past the limits on even the
biggest data plans they have pretty quick. And although there may be one or two providers that offer unlimited I here they limit the rate of data after you hit
a certain point.
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      02-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #29
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this thread is quite interesting, subscribed.

I really wish apple would give the option to sell lossless audio files through itunes, even if its at a price bump, id still buy it. hell if there was ANY source to buy popular music in a lossless format other than buying CD's that would be nice.
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      02-15-2013, 06:24 PM   #30
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Finally got around to installing everything. I'll take some pictures soon. As far a sound quality goes, this blows away the signal path through the head unit, even with CD as the source (and mind you I am using a Mobridge DA-2 to go straight from MOST to analog in the trunk). Zero hiss, crystal clear, and dynamics I have not thought possible coming from using Spotify as the signal source... Plain awesome!
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      02-15-2013, 11:46 PM   #31
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Congrats, glad it all worked out! Have you tried any other music streaming apps like pandora, songza, etc? Just wondering if they have the same quality?

Get those pics up ASAP
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      02-17-2013, 07:13 PM   #32
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So here are some pics:

Connected 3.3V power wires from step-down converter to AE:


Popped bottom panel back in and mad a hole for the wires:


Layout in trunk floor:


So signal gets transferred via optical cable from AE to DA converter, then via RCA to MS-8.
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      02-17-2013, 11:53 PM   #33
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so why is this signal better than just running an aux from your phone straight into the MS8? also why is straight from phone to OEM Aux degrade the sound compared to BT? Just trying to gain some knowledge, Thanks.
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      02-18-2013, 01:10 AM   #34
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Quote:
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so why is this signal better than just running an aux from your phone straight into the MS8?
It's not necessarily. But then to run an aux from the phone in the cabin to the MS8 in the trunk is a long (2-3m, depending) run, so lots of room for introduction of noise, etc etc.

Bottom line, it's probably not going to be a noticeable problem, ever, but then you COULD get ground loops if you're charging, and a few other things. Mostly, this is wireless and (wildly) better quality than bluetooth.

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also why is straight from phone to OEM Aux degrade the sound compared to BT? Just trying to gain some knowledge, Thanks.
The biggest problem with OEM Aux is that lots of people feel the headunit does bad things to the signal. Personally, I feel that the aux-in is only ever so slightly worse sounding than the built-in CD deck, but the point is, why bother with the headunit being a middle man if you don't need to?

But then compared to bluetooth? Compared to what bluetooth? OP doesn't have built in bluetooth streaming. Most don't, up until the newest model years.

But in general, bluetooth is pretty crappy for some very specific technical reasons. There can be specific cases of source and sink that work very well together, but usually both devices default to the lowest common denominator, which is super crappy sounding.
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      02-18-2013, 12:42 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslam02 View Post
so why is this signal better than just running an aux from your phone straight into the MS8?
It's not necessarily. But then to run an aux from the phone in the cabin to the MS8 in the trunk is a long (2-3m, depending) run, so lots of room for introduction of noise, etc etc.

Bottom line, it's probably not going to be a noticeable problem, ever, but then you COULD get ground loops if you're charging, and a few other things. Mostly, this is wireless and (wildly) better quality than bluetooth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mslam02 View Post
also why is straight from phone to OEM Aux degrade the sound compared to BT? Just trying to gain some knowledge, Thanks.
The biggest problem with OEM Aux is that lots of people feel the headunit does bad things to the signal. Personally, I feel that the aux-in is only ever so slightly worse sounding than the built-in CD deck, but the point is, why bother with the headunit being a middle man if you don't need to?

But then compared to bluetooth? Compared to what bluetooth? OP doesn't have built in bluetooth streaming. Most don't, up until the newest model years.

But in general, bluetooth is pretty crappy for some very specific technical reasons. There can be specific cases of source and sink that work very well together, but usually both devices default to the lowest common denominator, which is super crappy sounding.
Correct. There is no actual bandwith spec for A2DP. I think there is up to like 176kbps (for all bt functions but most use only 32-48 for the a2dp portion)
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      02-18-2013, 05:53 PM   #36
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Sorry let me correct that, i meant over the WIFI via AE, not BT.

Too many ways of playing/streaming music going on in this thread, lol.
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      02-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #37
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Correct. There is no actual bandwith spec for A2DP. I think there is up to like 176kbps (for all bt functions but most use only 32-48 for the a2dp portion)
CERTAINLY Wifi offers more wiggle room for whatever piece higher in the stack is doing the encoded transmission, but yeah, there's still a fair bit of bandwidth to play with in BT. 2.0+EDR actually offers around 2.1mb/s of practical useable bandwidth, so certainly enough for a very high quality compressed audio stream.

The bigger problem is the matchup between source and sink codec support lists. Apple devices obviously support AAC since it's already licensed in all their devices, and lots of Android devices do too, but most of the (especially cheaper) sinks you find don't, so you're stuck with the connection using SBC, which is basically unlistenable. Total crap. If you have an AAC connection, it sounds downright glorious, nearly cd quality over BT.

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Too many ways of playing/streaming music going on in this thread, lol.
Right?
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      02-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #38
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Wonder if you use this set up with an alpine pxa-h800 and go optical out from the AE right into the alpine's optical? Avoid another DA conversion.
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      02-18-2013, 06:44 PM   #39
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Wonder if you use this set up with an alpine pxa-h800 and go optical out from the AE right into the alpine's optical? Avoid another DA conversion.
That is the BEST case scenario of course!

Just a quick update, I am getting some drop-outs with the Airplay connection, so I am working on fixing that. In my living room it worked flawlessly, so I am trying to figure out what is different in the car. One thing of course is the power connection, so I'll look at that first.

So far the drawbacks I have noticed:

- Have to wait until AE boots up, which is about 90 seconds after I unlock the car (AE v3 is supposed to start up much quicker)
- Have to manually switch iPhone output to Airplay every time I get in the car
- Audio drops out occasionally (working on a fix)
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      02-19-2013, 09:53 PM   #40
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      02-20-2013, 10:48 PM   #41
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I'm going with this...

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/505-meridian-explorer-usb-dac-review/

To be used with the camera kit. Just run the USB to the trunk and into the dac and toslink into my Helix p-dsp.
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      02-21-2013, 02:11 PM   #42
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I'm going with this...

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/co...sb-dac-review/

To be used with the camera kit. Just run the USB to the trunk and into the dac and toslink into my Helix p-dsp.
Based on your reference to the camera kit, I assume you are using this with an iDevice. What is the benefit to using this over something like the Pure i20? I can see the pure i20 is bigger/bulky so that might be why. It sounds really nice, but also seems like a lot of money considering the DAC itself wouldn't be used, right?
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      02-24-2013, 10:18 AM   #43
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Well, right now, it is just an idea. I know that this meridian explorer USB Dac works with the iPads that have the 30 pin connector, and I want to find out if it will work with the iPad mini and the new lighting connector. I chose the meridian because of the amazing reviews and it has optical out which would go right from the iPad mini to Dac to helix p-dsp active crossover so as to not have any analog signal involved until dsp to amps. Keep in mind I completely removed the iDrive system and currently use a Kenwood Excelon double din head unit where the factory head unit was. I'm not familiar with the pure i20, so I can't comment on it. There are a few USB dacs available, but the meridian seems to have the best design as far as components used, plus it is small. Ultimately I'd like to remove the Kenwood and just use the iPad mini for everything including navi. iTunes Match allows me to have my 20,000+ songs available, Sirius XM, pandora, and a sweet navi app that is cheap and works amazingly well (Motion X GPS )

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Based on your reference to the camera kit, I assume you are using this with an iDevice. What is the benefit to using this over something like the Pure i20? I can see the pure i20 is bigger/bulky so that might be why. It sounds really nice, but also seems like a lot of money considering the DAC itself wouldn't be used, right?
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      02-25-2013, 09:53 PM   #44
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Well, right now, it is just an idea. I know that this meridian explorer USB Dac works with the iPads that have the 30 pin connector, and I want to find out if it will work with the iPad mini and the new lighting connector. I chose the meridian because of the amazing reviews and it has optical out which would go right from the iPad mini to Dac to helix p-dsp active crossover so as to not have any analog signal involved until dsp to amps. Keep in mind I completely removed the iDrive system and currently use a Kenwood Excelon double din head unit where the factory head unit was. I'm not familiar with the pure i20, so I can't comment on it. There are a few USB dacs available, but the meridian seems to have the best design as far as components used, plus it is small. Ultimately I'd like to remove the Kenwood and just use the iPad mini for everything including navi. iTunes Match allows me to have my 20,000+ songs available, Sirius XM, pandora, and a sweet navi app that is cheap and works amazingly well (Motion X GPS )
Very cool. I have been debating this and can't make up my mind, which is part of why I am interested in this scenario. I currently run everything through the factory head unit into my zapco amps. I bought the double din kit with thoughts of doing an ipad mini or kindle in there. I have also thought about something like a kenwood (bought the dnx7190hd for my wife) and running through that. Decisions decisions...

Kaigoss69, Any update? Was going to play with my apple TV so need a 12v to 3.3v step down like yours.
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