Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Best headphone setup for Macs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best headphone setup for Macs - Page 5

post #61 of 73
Front Page works great for me in terms of integrating my mac in my home theater. I use the included remote to control it, and it works great. I don't use flac and micromanage how my music is laid out, however. There are a number of playback packages for audio that arne't vlc or itunes. VLC is so awful under os x tho that I don't consider it for anything that another app can handle.
post #62 of 73
Hey all. I am new here and looking to get an amp/dac and headphones. I currently have the iMac G4 "lampshade" model. *the one with the round base and movable screen on an arm*

Do I have the capability to run Digital optical using the minijack converter like on the new Flat iMacs? or do I have to use USB.

CAN I use USB?? Im not sure with this thing. Its going on about four or five years old at this point. It still works flawlessly, but it just doesnt have some of the newer bells and gadgets the newer ones have.

thanks
schaaf
post #63 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by schaaf View Post
Hey all. I am new here and looking to get an amp/dac and headphones. I currently have the iMac G4 "lampshade" model. *the one with the round base and movable screen on an arm*

Do I have the capability to run Digital optical using the minijack converter like on the new Flat iMacs? or do I have to use USB.

CAN I use USB?? Im not sure with this thing. Its going on about four or five years old at this point. It still works flawlessly, but it just doesnt have some of the newer bells and gadgets the newer ones have.

thanks
schaaf
Your iMac does not have optical out. Unfortunately, only the new Intel Macs come with that. You can, however, add a USB DAC and still get excellent performance from your iMac. Not worth upgrading your computer for, either. Keep it running as long as you can.

As for my setup, I run optical out to a PreSonus Central Station. I feed it ALAC via iTunes and have been very happy with the performance.
post #64 of 73
If you have the new iMacs, I'm assuming you're talking about the anodized aluminum iMacs with Intel Duo cores. If that's the case, then we both have the same model .

The computer comes with the newer Intel High Definition Audio integrated sound cards. The specs are alright, but I'm noticing slight differences from the Audigy 2 zs PCMCIA card I used to run on my Dell Laptop through the same DAC setup I have. More base. At this point, I'm more concerned about the card outputting bit perfect 44.1 than anything else and I haven't seen anything conclusive on this yet. Apparently the Audigy 2 zs upconverted to 48Khz on the fly without properly filtering which cause artefact issues in the high end of the spectrum.

The set up I used to run on my DELL also works on the iMac 24".

I recently installed Cog and love it. iTunes isn't super for playing different types of music (it's good to organize, but that's about it) and if you don't want to be stuck in a proprietary format, then apple lossless isn't the way to go.

I roll all my music on FLAC through Cog and output to a Zhaolu D2.5A through the SP/DIF (optical out) jack.

The Zhaolu is a DAC/Amp combo and it's actually difficult to beat for the price. I tweaked mine a bit and did some standard mods to it (caps bypass on the analog stage and switched the op amps to LM4562NA) for a dryer, more detailed, analytical sound.

It's a nice little DAC and is a very interesting candidate for the price tag you're looking at. I would opt for the discrete amp upgrade to get a better sound experience with your headphones. That would probably bring you right around $300 (a bit under).

Also, the there is nice community of DIYers that like to tweak this DAC like mad to get all the juice they can out of it. In the future, if you want to use it as a DAC only, you can always up the analog stage to output discrete with something like the Zapfilter, removing the discrete amp to avoid interference with in the analog stage and out to an external headphone amp.

iFi Audio

Also, the MUSILAND seems interresting and from what I understand, it's a USB DAC, so you end up bypassing the Intel HD Audio altogether, which may be a good thing if you're not sure about it's quality or if you don't like the way it sounds. I never actually tried the MUSILAND, but it does look interesting for the price and I heard from other Zhaolu fans that it sounds very nice. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the MUSILAND is a DAC only and does not contain an integrated headphone amp.

iFi Audio

So my setup:

iMac -> Cog -> Zhaolu D2.5A -> Grado RS-1

Regards
El Condor
post #65 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bangraman View Post
The problem is the applications... not for recording (which isn't relevant on this forum), but for playback. What are the options? You've got iTunes, iTunes and iTunes. A few other (very) also-rans. That's it. Do you listen to FLAC/ALAC tracks in Logic? Probably not.
I stumbled upon your post and wanted to point out that while most of your statements are opinion (which you are certainly entitled to!), one part of your post is not opinion and is incorrect.

You mention that iTunes is the only solution for playback. Cog, Fission, Peak, PlayerPro, MegaSeg, DJ-1800, xAct, mPlayer, VLC, QT player and QuickLook are just a few playback apps I have sitting on my machine at the moment. xAct and mPlayer also remind me that in addition to the direct OS X development available, many great Linux and Unix apps are available in OS X compiled versions.

Please don't take this as some sort of challenge of your right to choose Windows over OS X. I have no vested interest in trying to make someone use one OS over the other.
post #66 of 73
I'll share my experience for what it's worth. I recently got into the headfi craze, and got a pair of AKG K601's. Excellent phones, superb sound. Initially listened directly out of the headphone out of my iMac 20. Then I got a Fubar 3 USB DAC/Amp. And... I'm about to return it. I find the sound out of the mac much more open, defined, and overall pleasant. I listen to CD's via iTunes, not ripped. I have written numerous messages here looking for an explanation, and learned a lot, but I think I was trying to convince myself I am doing something wrong. And the conclusion is just that the internal DAC of the Mac is better... So you should start by feeling lucky you have a mac. I will continue trying to find a better setup, but for now I am going back to headphone straight into the mac headphone out.
post #67 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocdoc View Post
I'll share my experience for what it's worth. I recently got into the headfi craze, and got a pair of AKG K601's. Excellent phones, superb sound. Initially listened directly out of the headphone out of my iMac 20. Then I got a Fubar 3 USB DAC/Amp. And... I'm about to return it. I find the sound out of the mac much more open, defined, and overall pleasant. I listen to CD's via iTunes, not ripped. I have written numerous messages here looking for an explanation, and learned a lot, but I think I was trying to convince myself I am doing something wrong. And the conclusion is just that the internal DAC of the Mac is better... So you should start by feeling lucky you have a mac. I will continue trying to find a better setup, but for now I am going back to headphone straight into the mac headphone out.
You might want to give the Apogee Duet a shot. I have found the audio to be a more pleasant experience since I got mine (connected to a 2.16GHz C2D MBP). Maybe just order it from a place like Sweetwater, which has a great return policy
post #68 of 73
My setup in my signature hasn't changed and I'm satisfied so far. I've tried playing my music through VLC before, and I liked the results, but it didn't convince me to switch.
post #69 of 73
im using macbook, itunes for rip tp alac and Cog OSX for play the song-- Philips Aurilium-- LD MKIII --- MS1. Cog is the best so far, if i use optical out not USB, what configuration i must change or just plug and play ?
post #70 of 73

Pro lossless

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowth View Post
YOu guys sure have alot of memory!! Most i'm doing now is AAC 320 kbps. Lossless just takes up too much!!!
One album in lossless is roughly 250MB. You get a portable HD with that capacity for 99$. That means it costs you 9.9 cents to store the album in lossless. Music that ain't worth 10 cents to store sure ain't worth listening to.
post #71 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by hendry View Post
Cog is the best so far, if i use optical out not USB, what configuration i must change or just plug and play ?
Just Plug & Play.
Mac OS X will detect that you have hooked up an optical connection and switch from "Internal Speakers" to "Optical Connection" (or something).
post #72 of 73

I'd hate to resurrect old threads, but given that 4 years has passed, would anyone recommend any different solutions? I have a Macbook Pro -> Fiio E17 -> Beyer T-70. I am looking at the possibility of maybe a different DAC plus a tube amplifier? Any advice? Thanks.

post #73 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SymphonicTXN7 View Post

I'd hate to resurrect old threads, but given that 4 years has passed, would anyone recommend any different solutions? I have a Macbook Pro -> Fiio E17 -> Beyer T-70. I am looking at the possibility of maybe a different DAC plus a tube amplifier? Any advice? Thanks.

 

I too use a Macbook Pro  > Fiio E17, sometimes through a Valhalla (my original rig) ... If I could unhook myself from the Woo amp for a little while (not easy), I could probably do a couple comparisons/opinions for ya ..... Such as E17 alone vs. E17 < Valhalla. 

 

.... will let ya know - good luck.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Best headphone setup for Macs