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Redwine Audio iMods

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Just got an iPod photo with the iMods from Redwine Audio. I've also kept my original iPod photo, so I have an identical stock unit to compare to. I won't be able to do any real comparisons until the Black Gates burn-in, but initial impression is that attack is faster, low-end is deeper. It seems to be a more dynamic player as well. More details once the sound settles down. Even now, I've heard worse sources that cost a lot more.

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Great to hear so nice news from you .

I'm waiting mine , and I hope it bests out in some way the ihp-120+microdac combo .

Many say that it's in a league of his own and compare well with some 500/1000$ home players

frankly I'm quite dubious and I'm waiting to ear it myself to express positively ( I hope I will )

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I think his website says he does the photos but not the new video ones

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Thanks for the quick initial impressions, can't wait to read some more impressions that you've got of it. I would strongly consider getting one of these mods if they weren't so expensive!

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Redwine will modify the 4th generation iPods (iPod Photo), but not the 5th generation (iPod Video). Apparently, the DAC in the 4th generation is superior, and you can't get the same improvement on a 5th generation unit.

My office rig is iPod into modified EMP into L3000. I've been using this rig for a long time, so any changes tend to jump out. The obvious difference I hear is bass. Lots of it. The stock iPod was rolling it off, while the Redwind unit simply has more, but it's textured quality bass, rather than bloat. There is also an increase in fine detail. I seem to be hearing more of the capability of the L3000 at work.

There is some quirkiness to the modded unit. You hear some crackle as the unit starts up (dead quiet once started, except for music). This is actually a similar quirk to that which happens with my Exemplar Denon 2900. I suspect some filtering has been removed. Doesn't hurt anything in either player.

I will admit that the modded Denon is a better player than the modded iPod. :P

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Interesting. I've considered this mod for my 4G IPOD PHOTO as well. How does it compare to the stock lineout?

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Not a whole lot more than my initial impressions. As the player has burned in, it's got more detail than the stock iPod, and consistently better highs, with mucy stronger bass. Soundstage seems to go wider on good recordings. As long as you're running through an amp, this could be the portable source to get. The other option is to find an iHP-140, which will connect you to any DAC with optical in. Running RockBox/FLAC, that's a strong contender. However, the Redwine mods open up the iPod DAC, which is no slouch.

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Redwine will modify the 4th generation iPods (iPod Photo), but not the 5th generation (iPod Video). Apparently, the DAC in the 4th generation is superior, and you can't get the same improvement on a 5th generation unit.

My office rig is iPod into modified EMP into L3000. I've been using this rig for a long time, so any changes tend to jump out. The obvious difference I hear is bass. Lots of it. The stock iPod was rolling it off, while the Redwind unit simply has more, but it's textured quality bass, rather than bloat. There is also an increase in fine detail. I seem to be hearing more of the capability of the L3000 at work.

There is some quirkiness to the modded unit. You hear some crackle as the unit starts up (dead quiet once started, except for music). This is actually a similar quirk to that which happens with my Exemplar Denon 2900. I suspect some filtering has been removed. Doesn't hurt anything in either player.

I will admit that the modded Denon is a better player than the modded iPod. :P

It is more likely that the 5G is better than the 4G and will not show anywhere near the same improvement. Certainly the 4G Photo is sonically the worst of the iPods to date by far. A pair of Black Gates isn't always the cure.

PS. Spot the cunning name.

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Hum, somehow I feel I have seen the face on this avatar somewhere else, and the nickname, rimes familiar double-hum..... [ welcome! :) ]

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just received my i-mod yesterday and got it running now..

what to say ..

at the moment even the panasonic ct-470 player sounds better and cleaner .

there's a very nice ( high ) amount of digital glare and harshness on highs , that's probably time to let it burn

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I want to tell also that the sound I'm hearing is quite far from the astonishing good raves I've read around about

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Strange. I've never heard lack of clarity, or glare. The Black Gates will start off bright, and are going to change character many times before they settle down. The place I notice it most is the bass. Sometimes it's there, sometimes not in the early going. Once the caps are burned in, the bass stays. Black Gates tend to be all over the place until they settle in. If they didn't sound so good once they get where they're going, it wouldn't be worth the trouble.

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What i hear is bit of congestion / undefinition in mids & upper&mid bass , and a typical mids to highs harshness that's usually related to the fact electronic is un-burned.

I'm confident things will change in 200hr.

Thing is I don't see how this player can go compete with any of my home units , as it is clearly not in the same tier .

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It won't. At the most basic level, the codec as a whole is not in the same league and neither is the supply voltage. Sticking a pair of Black Gates on the Photo, the worst-sounding iPod to date (my only experience is since the 3G though) sounds a bit perverse to me, that's all I can say.

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It won't. At the most basic level, the codec as a whole is not in the same league and neither is the supply voltage. Sticking a pair of Black Gates on the Photo, the worst-sounding iPod to date (my only experience is since the 3G though) sounds a bit perverse to me, that's all I can say.

Sounds odd to me too; since you pretty much have to use the imod with an amp, why not just get a 5G, dc couple it (remove all output caps from the ipod), and then use the input caps of your choice, in the amp of your choice, where there is going to be much more available space, so if black gates arnt your trip, you can use metallized polypropylene film caps, or maybe even film/foil (large value caps arnt needed when its going to an amp instead of directly driving headphones to avoid bass rolloff).

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It won't. At the most basic level, the codec as a whole is not in the same league and neither is the supply voltage. Sticking a pair of Black Gates on the Photo, the worst-sounding iPod to date (my only experience is since the 3G though) sounds a bit perverse to me, that's all I can say.

Supply voltage? Are you saying the battery is better on other iPods? Or that the Wolfson WM8975 DAC is not good?

I've heard improvement in the stock 4G by substituting a Turbodoc II for the standard iPod dock. This tells me that the circuitry in the dock is at least part of the problem, but not all. The iMod disables all of the analog output circuitry after the DAC, so it goes deeper than a simple dock replacement. It's not simply sticking Black Gates into the circuit instead of existing caps, it's completely disabling the analog output circuitry and capacitor-coupling the DAC directly to the input of an amp.

Sounds odd to me too; since you pretty much have to use the imod with an amp, why not just get a 5G, dc couple it (remove all output caps from the ipod), and then use the input caps of your choice, in the amp of your choice, where there is going to be much more available space, so if black gates arnt your trip, you can use metallized polypropylene film caps, or maybe even film/foil (large value caps arnt needed when its going to an amp instead of directly driving headphones to avoid bass rolloff).

That's fine for someone who wants to go into their amps, and start messing around with input capacitors. However, once you do that, the amp will have input caps present with sources that don't need it, so you'll have to dedicate that amp to your iPod...not good. If you're going to produce a product that most consumers can use, the coupling cap has to be in the iPod. The question is whether the DAC in the 5G is any better than the one in the 4G. Vinnie appears to prefer the DAC in the 4G.

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Just my two cents....

The one I have tried (one of the few, if not the only one, 4gb Nano with iMod done on it) sounded really, really nice. I had a chance to listen to it extensively in a two-man meet a while back. Thought it wasn't quite an eqaul to an Apogee Mini-DAC that was at the meet (I used to own one), it more than held its own. I would definitely consider it having done on my iPod if/when I wanted to seriously upgrade my portable rig.

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