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      01-22-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
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CD quality music from iDevice to processor/amp, no wires, no signal loss!

OK so this is what it's going to look like. The iPhone uses Airplay to transmit the signal to the Airport Express in the trunk. Then an optical cable connects the AE and an external DAC (digital to analog converter). Then the signal passes through RCAs to enter the MS-8 through the Aux-in. The main advantages of this setup are a) no wires between iPhone and trunk and b) virtually no degradation of the signal. Works great in the living room, now on to the install...(coming soon!)

P.S. I was originally not going to use an external DAC, and just use the headphone out on the Airport Express, but at only $30 I could not resist!
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      01-22-2013, 11:36 PM   #2
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One might ask: "Why go through all this trouble? - I can put in a CD to have "CD" quality, or I can rip lossless ALAC or WAV files to a USB stick and run it through 6FL.

The answer is...

1. The Airport Express creates a WiFi network, and you (or your friends) can connect your devices to the audio system simply by joining the network.
2. You can use ANY Airplay capable device, such as iPhones, iPads, iPods, laptops, etc.
3. You can use music streaming apps like Pandora, MOG or Spotify at bitrates of up to 320 kbps (CD quality). This is the biggie for me since I am sick and tired of my CD collection!
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      01-22-2013, 11:37 PM   #3
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      01-24-2013, 12:07 AM   #4
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Just a heads up on the airport express... The Apple TV offers a far superior output over toslink. Much less jitter.
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      01-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biz77 View Post
Just a heads up on the airport express... The Apple TV offers a far superior output over toslink. Much less jitter.
Damn you, damn you, damn you! - Now I have to look into that...jitter can't be a good thing LOL.

In all seriousness though I read about the quality of the optical output and I think with 320bps compressed music as the source, it won't make a difference whether I have the AE or ATV. What say you???
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      01-24-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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I didn't know you could tranmit at 320 bps with a2dp

I didn't know you could tranmit at 320 bps with a2dp
I thought bluetooth a2dp was limited to a lesser bitrate.
The sources such as Pandora or Spotify don't transmit and anywhere
near that rate from what I have been told.
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      01-24-2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna
I didn't know you could tranmit at 320 bps with a2dp
I thought bluetooth a2dp was limited to a lesser bitrate.
The sources such as Pandora or Spotify don't transmit and anywhere
near that rate from what I have been told.
Not A2DP Bluetooth, AirPlay!
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      01-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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So its Wi Fi which has no bit limit.(well sorta as far as music)

So its Wi Fi which has no bit limit.(well sorta as far as music)
But still Pandora and Spotify don't transmit at high bit rates, do they?
I am also wondering what it costs to get moblile wi fi with a decent
amount of GB's and that doesn't drop out.
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      01-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
So its Wi Fi which has no bit limit.(well sorta as far as music)
But still Pandora and Spotify don't transmit at high bit rates, do they?
I am also wondering what it costs to get moblile wi fi with a decent
amount of GB's and that doesn't drop out.
Pandora transmits at 192 kbps I believe, MOG and Spotify Extreme now stream 320kbps. The iPhone picks up the stream over 3g/4g and then transmits it through the in-car WiFi network via Airplay to the Airport Express. Bandwidth in this case is limited (by the Airport Express) to 16 bit / 44.1 kHz which is CD quality. Airplay can actually transmit at higher bandwidths, at least 24/96 from what I have read, but I would need another receiver to replace the AE, and I am not aware of such a device, at least not in the sub $100 range.
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      01-24-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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I am curious to see how you power this. I tried this with a cheap power inverter from harbor freight and ran into all kinds of noise issues. I have seen some interesting setups over on diyma with custom power sources using the stock 12 volt system. The main issue seems to be heat, but that can be dealt with.

I have also thought about a doing something with the pure i20 going into a blt and then back to the amps. I know this doesn't solve the "no cables" issue, but I feel like it would be a cleaner signal. I don't have 6fl so I am straight up aux out.

Good Luck!
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      01-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pereze View Post
I am curious to see how you power this. I tried this with a cheap power inverter from harbor freight and ran into all kinds of noise issues. I have seen some interesting setups over on diyma with custom power sources using the stock 12 volt system. The main issue seems to be heat, but that can be dealt with.

I have also thought about a doing something with the pure i20 going into a blt and then back to the amps. I know this doesn't solve the "no cables" issue, but I feel like it would be a cleaner signal. I don't have 6fl so I am straight up aux out.

Good Luck!
Yeah I heard about the potential noise issues with the power inverter. If that happens I can go to plan B and mod the AE power supply.
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      01-24-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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Looks like the AE can be modified to run on DC - usb power.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2413387
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      01-24-2013, 08:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgatti View Post
Looks like the AE can be modified to run on DC - usb power.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2413387
Thanks, I saw that thread. I just scrapped the power inverter idea and just ordered one of these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=121041966281
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      02-03-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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OK I've got the power supply situation taken care of. I've got step down converters for both 5V (DA converter) and 3.3V (Airport Express) and a relay to switch the power supply on/off with the remote signal from the head unit.
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      02-03-2013, 02:01 PM   #15
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Biz77 beat me to it regarding ATV. I use ATV2 in my home cinema set up and can confirm that i have no issues streaming DD (640kps) and DTS (1536kps) using XBMC via toslink to AV receiver. You also get the option in the future to fit headrest monitors and pass video via HDMI to the monitors with far superior quality than most current in car dvd players and at a fraction of the price thru a HDMI splitter. You will still retain all the AE connectivity you want.

With regards to noise issues(not read the links provides) but would a good quality ground loop isolator in the output from the DAC not help?

Just my tupence worth
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      02-03-2013, 03:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesegeezer
Biz77 beat me to it regarding ATV. I use ATV2 in my home cinema set up and can confirm that i have no issues streaming DD (640kps) and DTS (1536kps) using XBMC via toslink to AV receiver. You also get the option in the future to fit headrest monitors and pass video via HDMI to the monitors with far superior quality than most current in car dvd players and at a fraction of the price thru a HDMI splitter. You will still retain all the AE connectivity you want.

With regards to noise issues(not read the links provides) but would a good quality ground loop isolator in the output from the DAC not help?

Just my tupence worth
From what I have read the optical out on the AE does 44.1 kHz max and the ATV2 does 48 kHz max (up sampled from 44.1 kHz stream).

So for pure audio using the optical out, the limit is 44.1 kHz unless I totally misunderstood something.
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      02-03-2013, 04:06 PM   #17
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Kaigoss, spot on. Although I believe that the ATV3 does do true 16/44.1 output but dont quote me on that.

This is the problem with apple, they flower up the good bits but don't release good hard facts about their products. Yet... I still buy them.

Am I right in assuming you already have the AE, judging from OP. i would just give it a go. I know that Soundman did an optical out mod using a camera kit or something on an ipad thru a bit one and the sound was twice as good thru the optical and DAC(i think).

I'll dig out the link so you can see it for yourself.

EDIT: Here is the link for video

Actually yep just to confirm ATV 2 and 3 resamples all sound to 48khz/16bit, so CD quality will sound pretty good but any HD audios you have probably not so.
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      02-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #18
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Been doing a bit more research into this and a better option for you might bea WD HD TV LIVE box and use the WD TV remote app on your phone. This gives out 24/96 thru optical. Plus you can connect a HDD to it with all the music in the world and access it thru your phone. Only thing that would need to be confirmed is if it needs to be connected to a monitor to power up (if it checks HDMI handshake during start checks).

An alternative aswell for your power inverter would be to use a 12v intellistart that would normally be used for a carpc. You'll have to research this but another idea for you to auto start when ACC is initiated.
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      02-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #19
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Mosconi 6to8 dsp has a Bluetooth module coming out in March that does Bluetooth streaming and theres also the Focal Ibox.
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      02-04-2013, 03:26 AM   #20
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Here is a link to the intelligent PSU's, they are from a UK site but I'm sure you can get them in the US. Various power outputs to suit what you need

140W Plus Intelligent PSU's



EDIT: 140w may be a bit over kill for the 35W max the AE will draw from the PSU, but they do less power rated ones. Price is roughly the same regardless of power rating. There is no nee to step down after the PSU as the power board is internal on both the AE & ATV2.

One other thing to add is that these intelligent PSU prevent the initial power on "Thump", almost a soft start if you will.
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      02-04-2013, 07:35 AM   #21
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does using an iPad with 3.5mm aux in really lose that much quality?
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      02-04-2013, 07:57 AM   #22
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I have yet to test this, will do when i get home tho from this trip thru my AV receiver and can report.
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