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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just got an iPOD Video 80GB at the weekend. Seems pretty cool but don't want to talk about the iPOD itself now :)

I wanted to immediately be able to use the iPOD in a couple of cars so I didn't bother getting the Denison ICE Link setup for now (that probably would be the optimal setup for my GTA).

I thought a side benefit would be that it might be handy being able transmit the iPODs output to various Radio recievers around the house.

So I foolishly bought an iTrip FM transmitter thinking that if the sound was good radio quality then that should be "good enough" for the avergae sound system in my wifes focus and "good enough for now" for my GTA since it also has a 10CD changer currently.

Boy was I wrong, the iTrips sound quality was ludicrously dreadful, peaking at poor cassette quality and more typically sounding like something you would hear from a mobile phone when it was on speakerphone :(

I had heard people complain about the quality but assumed that they might have been perfectionists.
Given that the environment of a throaty GTA at speed isn't conducive to accurately imaged accoustics I thought when up and moving the quality of the sound source would in practical terms be "good enough".

Anyway I returned the iTrip the next day (today) and got a Belkin TuneBase FM instead:

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=261370

The sound quality was infinitely better, like a perfectly clear radio station.
Much louder than the iTrip which required boosting the volme to 45, where the Tunebase could play at 35, exactly the same as the CD source.

The connection is very simple and clever - its an adaptor through the cigarrete holder and acts as an iPOD charger too.
Big advantage over the useless standard iTrip which doesn't allow you to charge the iPOD when you are using it!

4 handy big buttons for presets, and firmly holds pretty much any iPOD, comes with 8 or 9 little adaptors.
I had mine setup in 1 minute working with excellent quality.

I haven't done direct comparisons against the CD source yet to see what the Belkin perceptually looses for different car speeds (levels of background noises).
This obviously would be an upper limit on what the Denison ICE link could achieve with non-lossy input (i.e. max quality) from the iPOD.

The down side with the TuneBase FM is that it can't be used in the house.

Belkin also do a smaller unit that doesn't work as a power adaptor as well - i.e. a small unit like the iTrip. However it can be externally powered unlike the iTrip and doesn't hog the dock connector - it just uses the iPOD headphones output as input.

At a wild guess the iTrip must suck so much because it isn't externally powered (just parasitically draws small current from iPOD) and can't transmit a signal strong enough as a result..

Plan to update this thread based on some longer term tests than just the few hours so far!

Cheers,
TB
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup I wanted something simple so I can switch cars.

The Belkin units would be way cheaper than the Denison too.

Belkin TuneBase FM (including integrated power adaptor) approx 79 Euro

Alternatively Belkin FM transmitter around 45 Euro

The Dennison ICE Link is around 150 Euro.
 

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A lot of stuff from Apple is not exactly high end, I remember a group test in what hifi of all the Mp3 players, and on sound quality the Ipod was near the bottom of the pack with stuff like the Rio coming top, so it doesn't suprise me the iTrip is mediocre, people keep buying the Apple gear though because they're pretty :rolleyes:
 

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sandys said:
A lot of stuff from Apple is not exactly high end, I remember a group test in what hifi of all the Mp3 players, and on sound quality the Ipod was near the bottom of the pack with stuff like the Rio coming top, so it doesn't suprise me the iTrip is mediocre, people keep buying the Apple gear though because they're pretty :rolleyes:
What HiFi did an MP3 player test and the iPod rated highly for sound quality. The only thing that let it down was the earphones.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Don't think Apple make the iTrip though (Griffen technology or somebody do).

Point taken in general though, yes I thought my wife would like the packaging :lol: (oops joke is on me I think).

Was dissapointed that the standard headphones that come with the 80GB video iPOD are rubbish.
Maybe Apple just ship the same cheap headphones for all their range including the 50 quid iPODs? Very cheapskate if so.
I swopped with a 25 euro set of inserts and the volume, clarity and body were hugely increased.
Must get a decent set.

I Suspect its a corporate strategy by Apple so people can't tell the difference between the default 128bit AAC crap I think the iTunes store offers and higher quality on crap headphones :lol:

After a day messing around with different bitrate/format quality settings (wanted to choose the right one before an import of 1000 CDs to the iPOD) I had to remind myself everynow and again what the stuff was supposed to sound like on a pretty decent Copland/Elac HiFi system with the source material.

Was very amused that even with 192bit AAC VBR its seemed easy to me to tell the difference from Apple Lossless format.
So much for transparency - I'm not a golden eared audiophile but its not hard to spot when one instrument sounds louder on one speaker on one format and louder in the other speaker in the lossless format. So much for conservation of stero imaging :lol:

TB
 

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can i butt in and defend the itrip? i have an older, gen3 photo ipod (30gb) with the older itrip, before the one with the little LCD display on it, this one plugs into the headphone jack rather than the base and the sound quality is absolutely spot on.

that said, a friend has the ipod video (60gb) and the newer itrip which has the LCD screen and plugs into the base of the ipod, the sound quality on it is awful. when he contacted griffiths or whoever makes them he was told because he bought it off ebay it is likely an american made one which is set up to use american radios whilst the older ones were programmed via the ipod and so could be set to use UK frequencies.

so, in summary, if you have the video ipod or cant get the older itrip, get the belkin unit, if you have an older ipod and can get the older itrip go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TuneBase FM (including integrated power adaptor) approx 79 Euro (approx £50 stg)

Alternatively the smaller Belkin FM transmitter around 45 Euro (around £32 stg).
This is a direct competitor to the iTrip, except that it works from the headphones socket and can optionally be powered by the cigarrette lighter (doesn't recharge iPOD batteries unlike the above).

BTW: iTrip have another unit the "iTrip Auto" that may be better than the "iTrip dock" unit I tried:

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/itripauto/

Cheers,
TB





oldboy said:
TB, how much was the Belkin Tunebase, if you dont mind me asking?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yup, It was the newer iTrip with the little screen that I tried:

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/itripdock/


Don't understand the comment about US and UK frequencies though, you just choose what frequency you want - should work the same in US and UK shouldn't it? :confused: :)]

I bought both the Belkin and the iTrip in Currys (Dublin)

Cheers,
TB


marko said:
can i butt in and defend the itrip? i have an older, gen3 photo ipod (30gb) with the older itrip, before the one with the little LCD display on it, this one plugs into the headphone jack rather than the base and the sound quality is absolutely spot on.

that said, a friend has the ipod video (60gb) and the newer itrip which has the LCD screen and plugs into the base of the ipod, the sound quality on it is awful. when he contacted griffiths or whoever makes them he was told because he bought it off ebay it is likely an american made one which is set up to use american radios whilst the older ones were programmed via the ipod and so could be set to use UK frequencies.

so, in summary, if you have the video ipod or cant get the older itrip, get the belkin unit, if you have an older ipod and can get the older itrip go for it.
 

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The belkin fm transmiter comes with usb car charger so you can use it to charge phones etc also.

Its a great gadget just can get it to work well enough in the sportwagon as i get to much interferance. (dont have an ariel to put down) but in the scim it means i can use a vintage radio with an mp3, thats the real bonus!

If any one has any tips i'd like to know them, the volumes on full and I have tired every frequency, i just keep loosing the signal
 

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i used to work at halfords, my boss was totally clued up on all the ways and means of ipodding your car. halfords stocked the belkin and the denison units but he always steered the customer away from these things. the way to go is using the leads that halfords supplies which has a trick wee box inline, this fools the head unit into thinking that the ipod is a cd changer. the cable is then routed into your glove box for security, and the main ffunctions of the ipod can then be controlled from the head unit..unless you already have a cd changer, we found that most people didnt, or were willing to ditch it in favour of the ipod. the cables were around £120 fitted.
 

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Thanks TB for the pricing. I have also seen cables on ebay with the small box DGT mentions. They are selling for about £26 + postage. Might be tempted to buy one of these, ditch the cd changer. The only problem I currently have is **** poor radio reception on the connect+ system. The car has had the aerial amplifier changed that helped matters slightly, but still not good.
 

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My local car audio shop can supply an in line radio box, and the sony in line changer cable but cannot supply a box for the alfa (alpine) head unit.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PLAY-CHARGE-YOUR-IPOD-VIA-YOUR-CAR-RADIO_W0QQitemZ250061675245QQihZ015QQcategoryZ58350QQcmdZViewItem

The Fm transmitters work well but not if you can not cut out the interference from analogue channels by putting down the Ariel on the car.

I’m thinking about cutting in to the amp on the stereo side and switching it with the tape button.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just an update to this.

The Belkin works great in our Ford Focus, the sound quality is as good as the humble ford music unit can generate.

For the GTA it varies greatly and my intial sound quality impressions were based on static listening in my drive.
The general sound quality on the move is not as good as I had first thought, although still way better than the iTrip (which was unusable).
Its not as clear as a strong radio station, and would be well below direct inputs like Dennison and Harmon Kardon in terms of audio quality.

There might be a possibility of boosting the signal output, I have temporarily lost the instructions so don't know..

I had to switch stations more often in the GTA than the Focus, and thats a bit of a pain evn though the Belkin makes it a snap to do so with its 4 individual station buttons.

So somewhat less enthusiastic now, at least for 156's, thankfully its great for the Focus which is what it primarily was bought for.

Cheers,
TB
 

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I might be repeating what has already been said, but if you want a good connection from ipod to car stereo there is an alternative product also by Belkin (I think) Instead of relying on the radio transmitter you place a tape casette thingy which is attached to your ipod (it also charges the ipod) into the casette slot (if you have one) and hey presto perfect sound. I will try and find out what it's called. But I must go to bed now. night night
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No cassette slot for my, I lazilly have a front CD and a 10 CD changer.
The front CD is handy for spontaneous listening when leaving work or the house when you just grab something on the way out.
 

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I've got a Griffin iTrip and tbh it's OK. Not CD quality obviously but adequate. I've found a radio frequency where I get no interference around my local area which is good but going further afield it's a complete pain in the arse trying to find a new "empty" frequency - not easy when you live in a heavily populated area

My question is - would one of these things operate a bit better if I remove the car's external FM ariel? I'm assuming that way the signal from the iTrip will have less "competition" from external broadcasted signals?
 
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