I'm an early adopter. When I put my iPod 120Gb classic in the dock, I expected (and got) something that sounded like the real thing. Most of the fatiguing "stuff" I couldn't quantify or describe was gone. And that's why this is really something special - so much MUSIC for so little money.
However the real revelation was pulling digital direct from my (heavily modded) Oppo DV-981HD, which has a very expensive DAC. The iDecco simply blew it away and I agree with your conclusion that the DAC is worth the price all by itself. It also made me realise the Rip->EAC->Convert to Apple Lossless v putting the CD in the tray is a bit overblown. I was very (very!) hard pressed to tell the difference between the carefully ripped and carelessly played CD.
The final selling point about this - which you reviewers in your fabulous audio rooms may not appreciate :) - is the WAF...
I like the IDecco. I use it with NHT powered speakers and powered subwoofer. The preamp stage and dac are terrific. The V-DAC and V-Can which cost approximately $500.00 together would be a great USB DAC and Amp for headphones only. The V-Can (headphone amp) has a pass through which would allow you to use the V-DAC as a Dac for headphones or speakers using a Wadia/Ipod or computer as the music
IDecco has a good headphone amp with DAC and Ipod transport. The V-can and V-dac has more balls to run your AKG 701/702 headphones. If you add high quality wiring from Wadia transport to dac to headphone amp, add another $100.00 for a total of $600.00. The WAdia transport is $379.00. In essence, the IDecco is probably the better deal. All you need is speaker cable. The headphone section is not as powerful as the V-Can/V-Dac combo.
My iDecco arrived in m Sydney office Monday 8 Feb and I having read the manufacturers advice I have really just had it warming up till today. This is my new CBD office system and improvement in music quality (compared to my prior system of ipod line out dock into a good amp) is immediately obvious. Users should buy with confidence about the sonic quality. Wife does not yet know but yes I agree it would get a goof WAF rating.
At the moment, Playback's review samples of the AKG K702s are in Tom Martin's possession. If I can carve out some spare time to do so, I will either borrow the K702s from Tom or loan the iDecco to him so we can supply some follow-up comments.
In my own tests, I used the iDecco with Shure SRH840 and Denon A-HD5000 headphones with excellent results. Not surprisingly, the sound qualities of the iDecco-as-headphone amp closely mirrored those that I observed when evaluating the iDecco-as-preamp, which is why I let one set of comments stand for both applications.
Best, Chris Martens
Editor, Avguide.com/Playback/The Perfect Vision
The iDecco as a headphone amp - US$79 for a pair of RE0s is another almost unbelievable bargain!
Thanks for your reply Chris,
Has there been any progress on the capabilities of the iDecco with the AKG K 702's ? Also can you confirm if the Decco 2 is the same as the iDecco but without the ipod docking facility ? Also am I right in thinking that the Decco 2 and the iDecco share the same DAC and headphone amp as the Nova ?
I (eventually) got a chance to try the iDecco with the AKG K702 and I would say that while the results were not horrible, neither were they great. For whatever reason, the iDecco did not seem to make a happy match with the K702 (or vice versa?) so that the resulting sound seemed somewhat "compressed" and "lifeless" to me (this in sharp contrast to the much, much better results I achieved when using the iDecco with other headphones such as the Shure SRH840).
My thought: I feel confident that there are other headphone amps that would work better with the K702s (or to turn things around, other headphones that would work better with the iDecco).
The iDecco uses a different tube than the Nova, so to that extent the headphone amps of the iDecco and Nova are similar but not exactly "the same."
My understanding is that the iDecco and Nova share the same fundamental DAC sections, though the mix of available inputs is of course quite different between the two.
I've read the favorable reviews for iDecco and decided to consider it as a component to build my small system upon. Thus I decided to ask you about your experience of what could be the best match for it? I see it has rather limited power so should be used in small areas which is fine with me as I have around 15-20 sq meters room where I would plan to make a computer based and/or Ipod based system. Do I get it right that I can connect iDecco via USB to an ordinary soundcard and it will substitute its DAC and thus all sound processing will go through iDecco and all I need is a pair of nicely matching speakers? If yes, what should be the best suitable speakers in your opnion (cost-effective off course as the budget is quite limited). If I still would need some external soundcard as a medium between my notebook and iDecco, what should it be as a soundcard? Thank you in advance for your opinions and any replies.
With kind regards,
found the suggested monitors, sorry. now only the question regarding the soundcard. And maybe the cables? thank you!
I have had the iDecco for some time and it sounded nice. A friend of mine suggested I try a pair of Blessed Cables with it. I ordered a pair online and they have improved the sound of the iDecco by 100%. The Blessed OMH1 cable made everything smoother and richer. They are spectacular.