New iPod Device Hits Dazzling Heights Of Nerdiness

Nov 13th, 2006 // 5 Comments

As loathe as we are to report on the 3,000 new iPod-enhancing iTems that are introduced everyday (it’s a damn music player, people–stop trying to dress it up like it’s a doll), we are intrigued by the Fatman iTube Valve Amp, which claims to convert the iPod’s evil-robot digital sound into a “luscious warm analogue sound.” By the looks of it, we’re also pretty sure that it steams milk, too.

Anyway, before we hunker down 300 pounds for this sucker, has anyone tried this sort of digital-analogue conversion before? And does anyone under the age of 30 even care what “analogue sound” even is (or was)?

Fatman iTube

  1. yellojkt

    The Garbage In – Garbage Out rule applies. All tone, warmth, and dynamic range has been rung out of your AAC or MP3 files long before it can hit any vacuum tubes. Files on an MP3 player aren’t even as good as the much despised CDA files on a CD. No true audiophile will fall for this. Plenty of poseurs will.

  2. Catbirdseat

    Here’s an idea: want warm analogue sound? Buy records.

  3. myrrh

    Awww… but it looks so cute, in its little bonnet and sun-dress! Can’t I at least wait until the picnic is over to stop accessorizing?

    Remember, playing back music from your iPod always connotes digital to analog conversion. Audible sound waves being, by nature, analog.

    I’ve used tube amplifiers in place of solid state in a home component system and enjoyed the warm, sweet results. 300£ isn’t that much for a stereo tube amplifier and a docking station, with, I presume, a decent quality D>A converter. Plus, shiny!

    Before investing in something like this, the would-be audiophile ought to build or arrange an acoustically treated listening space and position their speakers so as to get the sweetest sound out of their existing system.

    And, yeah, no “true audiophile” is listening to heavily MPEG-compressed files anyway, right? Seems like this device’s target market is folks with a few bucks to blow who want to balance their taste for a certain type of sound with the convenience of their digital music library. The contradiction in this trade-off is, I hope, self-evident.

  4. Hestika

    Exactly, yello and cat.

    While I appreciate the value of the MP3 when I can carry 3000+ songs with me at all times, it’s still shit compared to an LP.

    I’m going to spend $400+ to amplify shit with “warmer” tones?

    No thanks.

  5. bruzie

    I saw this in a shop window an hour ago. I noticed the tubes and I had a ‘squishy’ feeling inside. Then I realised it was an iPod dock and thought ‘what a waste’.

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