PsiberAudio offers HiFi iTube amps for iPod | iLounge News

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PsiberAudio offers HiFi iTube amps for iPod

pic PsiberAudio has announced its new iTube amplifiers for iPods. The “Retro-Classic” iTube produces 15 watts of power, according to the company. The product is built with 100 percent three dimensional hand wiring, 100 percent Teflon coated silver wire in the signal path, silver solder, and full star grounding. In addition, all capacitors used in the signal path and bypass circuits are supplied by AuriCap. Pricing and availability was not announced.

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Comments

1

It’ll sound warmer!  WARMER, I tell you!  Gimme $1000!

Uh huh.  I am very, very glad i’m not an audiophile.  I couldn’t afford it.

Posted by Lee Gibson on March 15, 2005 at 10:49 PM (CST)

2

A good amp is worth spending on as much as good speakers are. Whether this is one of them or not, I don’t know.

Posted by mattwardfh in Texas on March 16, 2005 at 12:17 AM (CST)

3

hmmm… looks like a coffee maker.  yuck.  but, i’m totally in love with the psiber audio sigma series—it’s so beautiful.

Posted by petro on March 16, 2005 at 12:55 AM (CST)

4

WTF? that would be something that my grandmother would buy. Its ugly, and looks like an old wannabe, totally opposite to what the ipod tries to be.

Posted by MuSiCrOoM in The World on March 16, 2005 at 7:32 AM (CST)

5

Am I the only person who finds it ironic that a device on an audiophile could covet is being made for a device that audiophiles blame for the downfall of quality music?

Posted by david_b on March 16, 2005 at 7:37 AM (CST)

6

Well, the audiophiles are of two minds. They’re fine with the iPod hardware, generally (or at least Stereophile was in their review). The audiophiles that bitch do so because they see the iPod as perpetuating the spread of low-quality downloads, and fear that the market will move entirely to that mode of distribution rather than full-quality CD audio or hi-res audio.

Posted by mattwardfh in Texas on March 16, 2005 at 8:26 AM (CST)

7

“WTF? that would be something that my grandmother would buy. Its ugly, and looks like an old wannabe, totally opposite to what the ipod tries to be.”

If style is factoring in your purchasing decision regarding amps…  you shouldn’t be in the market for an amp. :)

Posted by NeoteriX in Houston, TX or Westchester County, NY on March 16, 2005 at 9:36 AM (CST)

8

Now, I’m not an audiophile (ie. I don’t see spending thousands on amps and speakers and such), but about what you said, regarding the low quality bit rate downloads vs. CD-quality audio, I, for one, think that one who purchases music from iTunes MS should have the choice of bit-rate or format they want. Heck, you’re PAYING for it, so why shouldn’t you have the choice?

A friend told me that your purchased 128-bit songs from iTunes will still generally sound good because iTunes uses masters to encode the song files. I don’t know how true that is, but I think I should be able to decide what format/resolution I get when I download a song.

Posted by jinzo-ningen on March 16, 2005 at 10:56 AM (CST)

9

I was about to type the same thing! It looks like a darn coffee maker! There’s no way I’d even pay $20 for that thing. I’d sooner use one of those Altoid amps than that thing and I’m sure it’ll retail for at least a few hundred dollors if not a thousand if they aren’t listing a price it’s gotta be REALLY steep. Good luck selling even one unit.

Posted by FallN in New York, NY on March 16, 2005 at 10:59 AM (CST)

10

Those who do all their shopping at Neiman-Marcus (or is that “Needless Markup”?) would probably up for buying this unit, though. Just the novelty of it’s looks would probably be enough to sell it to some. Funny, since it’s the very thing many of us find so repugnant.

Posted by jinzo-ningen on March 16, 2005 at 11:11 AM (CST)

11

SIDE NOTE: @ Jinzo, yes I completely agree with you. iTunes should at least offer a choice in bit rate when a person BUYS the song! You PAID for the song so you should at least get a choice in the bit rate. 128 AAC sounds marginally “better” than 128 MP3 but just MARGINALLY. It basically still sounds like 128k. And that’s not a good especially when you’re an audiophile or just anyone that cares about the sound of their music.

Personally, I see it as a HUGE stike agains Apple and iTunes. I refuse to downlaod any music that I truely care about their iTunes because I know it’ll come 129 AAC when I have the majority of my librabry ripped to LAME + EAC alt-preset (ripped from my CDs). Having a LAME + EAC track followed by an iTunes downloaded song and the difference is HORRIBLY apparent. To those that say there’s “not much of a difference” even with the stock earbuds there is! Just to a test, take just ONE song from any CD. Rip it using the alt prest of LAME + EAC and then the same exact song, import and rip it to iTunes 128 AAC and then come back here and tell me there’s not huge difference in sound. THERE IS! Even with the stock headphones, the SAME EXACT SONG sounds far superior through the LAME/EAC combo than iTunes 128 AAC any day.

Even if you’re a casual listener, iTunes should offer you a CHOICE in the music you are PAYING to download. I realised this massive shortcoming on iTunes’ part and have only downloaded their “free songs”. I even have 20 Free songs from the Pepsi promotion that have been sitting, unused for over a month because I really don’t want to download music that I care about through crappy iTune’s 128 AAC.

Go figure, but Steve Jobs needs to rectify this and allow people a CHOICE in the level of bit rate to download a PURCHASED song to.

Posted by FallN in New York, NY on March 16, 2005 at 11:35 AM (CST)

12

Right there with you, FallN! As I said, I’m no audiophile, but even *I* can hear the difference in the ones I rip and the 128 AAC files..and even, as you said, with not-so-good earbuds as the stock ones.

Maybe we should start an email campaign to Apple about the need for a choice. Heck, they have the premiere mp3 player on the market, should they also offer the premiere online music store with the choice of bit resolution as well?

Posted by jinzo-ningen on March 16, 2005 at 12:22 PM (CST)

13

FallN,

As a person who has worked in the high-end audio business my entire life, I wholeheartedly agree with all of your points about buying music and a choice of bitrate… I hate the idea of paying for a song of inferior quality.

So… I want to try “LAME + EAC alt-preset”... do you have a free/shareware source I can get this encoder from?

Thanks, KB

Posted by KamBlazer on March 16, 2005 at 12:24 PM (CST)

14

KamBlazer: LAME is the best MP3 encoder and EAC is the best CD Ripper (other than PlexTools). They are both free. There is a good tutorial here: http://users.pandora.be/satcp/ .

HTH

Posted by flloyd in Washington, DC on March 16, 2005 at 2:49 PM (CST)

15

Back to the original question: who cares?  I am sitting next to a tube headphone amp (the discontinued Wheatfield HA-2), and there are plenty of others, plus preamps with a good headphone output.

So what’s new about this?  Oh, it comes in white, and the marketing department decided to brand it an iPod accessory.  Ho-hum.

Posted by Greg Glockner on March 16, 2005 at 3:56 PM (CST)

16

i don’t buy music from itunes for just that reason—the sound quality sucks.  if they offered 192kbps, i’d totally use it.  as of right now, i have 5 free pepsi itunes songs, but i probably won’t use them because of the poor quality.

(ps… comments here have gotten completely off topic.  can we get back to ripping on the amp wannabe coffee pot?)

Posted by petro on March 16, 2005 at 3:58 PM (CST)

17

Thanks Flloyd! I was just about to post the links but you got to it quicker, LOL! I was busy literally ripping another new CD using LAME + EAC alt-preset. :D

There difference in quality is incredibly magnified with good earphones. If you think it’s noticable with the standard earbuds, dear God, pop in a pair of Shure’s, Ultimate Ears, Etymotic, etc and the difference is magnified to the uptenth power. Yikes!

It erks me to no end that I have to listen to pure bliss (LAME/EAC) then with the next song I hear major degradation in quailty in comparison… it’s gotten so bad that I’ve literally set up my main playlist to completely exclude any Apple 128 AAC songs! I won’t even listen to them side-by-side with my LAME/EAC songs because it’s just too apparent and the transition is so awkward. *shiver*

I tell you it irks me to NO end…

I don’t see myself spending my money at the iTunes store. Again, the ONLY music I have from there are the little “Free Tuesday” songs and I have a credit of 20 songs from the Pepsi giveaway that I haven’t even used because of the low quality of AAC as compared to LAME/EAC.

I’m seriously looking at other alternatives for my digital music. Maybe MP3.com? I was going to go through Buy.com for .88 cents per song but they only have WMA protected files to my knowledge and you can’t import them to iTunes in order to download them to your iPod…

Can anyone recommend a good online music store that offers higher bit rates in MP3 format around .99 cents? Thanks. :)

Posted by FallN in New York, NY on March 16, 2005 at 4:08 PM (CST)

18

LOL! Sorry, I’ll get back to “ripping on the wannabe coffee pot”, LOL!

Darn coffee pot wannabe! I beat if you listen closely you can hear your music percolating! LOL! :D

Posted by FallN in New York, NY on March 16, 2005 at 4:10 PM (CST)

19

FallN,

“percolating music”...that also pretty much sums up the quality of the music from…oh, sorry, I’m going OT again. ;-)

Posted by jinzo-ningen on March 16, 2005 at 6:44 PM (CST)

20

This is useless.  You’re still using the inferior DAC in the iPod.  What a waste of money.

I will have to agree 128kbps AAC is crappy.  Download Bohemian Rhapsody and listen to it on your computer with a good set of headphones.  Then the CD.  Yechhh!

The iPod itself is a nifty device, but hooking it up directly to an amp, tube or solid state, will work for funtionality only.  Not the ideal solution for SQ.

Posted by Scotty L in Northern VA on March 16, 2005 at 11:20 PM (CST)

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