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iMac digital output - Page 3

post #31 of 36
Thread Starter 
Hi,
Quick update...I still haven't bought anything
I'm considering getting one of these for about a tenner (hopefully): Creative Technology SoundBlaster Connect on eBay, also External Cards, Sound Cards, Desktop PC Components, Computing (end time 26-Jan-09 15:36:13 GMT)
Just to tide me over until I can afford something better...
Very keen on the dacmagic mmmm
post #32 of 36

Hi guys... It's a good thing I have the mic on my computer turned off or otherwise you'd "hear" my wallet cringing... 

Anyway, just a short question, 'cause I'm a bit confused here.

Although I know that Macs have decent (not more, but that's not bad to begin with) sound cards, I wanted to go "better" (I guess no one here is surprised to hear that) :-) So I got myself a nice iBasso D7 DAC, connected it to the USB on my MBP and jabbed the Grado's golden jack in. While browsing some high-bit streaming radios to see what my new combo is churning out I stumbled on a station with a higher that average volume, so instinctively I reached for the volume adjusting keys on my keyboard and... the horror!!! The volume dropped in my headphones at the command of the keys... 

How is this possible? Isn't the signal coming out through the Mac's XMOS USB audio out supposed to be digital (to be converted in analog by the attached external DAC) and hence not going through the computer's sound card??? 

Help me out here, and excuse me if the question is dumb... 

Cheers,

post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virco View Post

Hi guys... It's a good thing I have the mic on my computer turned off or otherwise you'd "hear" my wallet cringing... 

Anyway, just a short question, 'cause I'm a bit confused here.

Although I know that Macs have decent (not more, but that's not bad to begin with) sound cards, I wanted to go "better" (I guess no one here is surprised to hear that) :-) So I got myself a nice iBasso D7 DAC, connected it to the USB on my MBP and jabbed the Grado's golden jack in. While browsing some high-bit streaming radios to see what my new combo is churning out I stumbled on a station with a higher that average volume, so instinctively I reached for the volume adjusting keys on my keyboard and... the horror!!! The volume dropped in my headphones at the command of the keys... 

How is this possible? Isn't the signal coming out through the Mac's XMOS USB audio out supposed to be digital (to be converted in analog by the attached external DAC) and hence not going through the computer's sound card??? 

Help me out here, and excuse me if the question is dumb... 

Cheers,

I'm just making a guess, but it looks like your MAC OS can adjust the volume of a digital audio signal.

post #34 of 36

This is common on all operating systems.
The (digital) audio is send to the audio components of the OS (Core audio in case of a Mac)
There the mixing, volume control and sample rate conversion takes place (OSX resamples all to the settings in the audio midi panel) and then the audio is send to an audio device.
All of this is digital of course as it is done in software
This device can be anything, onboard, USB, Toslink, etc.
 

post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roseval View Post

This is common on all operating systems.
The (digital) audio is send to the audio components of the OS (Core audio in case of a Mac)
There the mixing, volume control and sample rate conversion takes place (OSX resamples all to the settings in the audio midi panel) and then the audio is send to an audio device.
All of this is digital of course as it is done in software
This device can be anything, onboard, USB, Toslink, etc.
 

Clear, competent and to the point! Thank you so much... 

Oh, and a very nice and useful website there... (http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com)

Kudos!

post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by abugintheground View Post

Aha! I already have an airport express which I'm using at the moment. It's doing the job OK but it cuts out too often for my liking, and I want to be able to play things other than from itunes through my hifi. Also, part of the plan is to sell the airport to go towards my new DAC! If I went for the USB option, I could easily have the cable running under my rug and it would only have to go about 4m, so with a good quality cable maybe that might be the best option? I think I'll have to get something where I can compare the two and just see which sounds better.
Do people think it's worth saving up for the Cambridge DACmagic? Any thoughts on how this would compare with the afore-mentioned DIYEden Musiland?
Thank ye

What version of Mac OS X are you running? 10.8 Mountain Lion supports using an AirPlay device as the system audio output, so you can output audio from other, non-iTunes software to it. As for the problem with dropouts, that's likely an issue with other traffic on your WiFi network or with interference. It's possible you could tweak your wifi settings to fix it, or switch it to Ethernet. Thought I'd mention it just in case. 

 

I've got the original DACmagic and think it sill sounds great. The USB interface isn't very good but the optical/coax sound great. I'm a big fan. 

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