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Narrowboat World

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have been an avid music consumer for decades - vinyl on a super system - but I now live on a narrowboat with limited space and power so I'm trying to put together that perfect system again in my new environment. I have a Temple Bantam Gold 12 volt T-amp driving a pair of Klipsch speakers and I'm happy with that side of things. The input connector for the Bantam can be either headphone mini-jack or RCA. My music library is on a 2012 MacBook Air 13" using Pure Music/iTunes or streamed from the cloud via iPad or iPhone. What do I need to go between my MacBook and my Bantam to maximise the quality?

I also would like to use phones with the Apple goodies rather than the amp & speakers in these long dark nights to minimise power consumption.

Everything needs to be either USB or 12v powered.

Any suggestions you can give for dac, headphone amp, phones, and so forth, would be appreciated. The only types of music not in my collection are opera, Cowell-clones, and Abba.

Thanks,
Valerie
post #2 of 8
I live on a boat and long ago gave up the hunt for good hifi when I moved afloat. I'd be interested in going back to it again if I could find a 12V solution. The 'overhead' of having good quality 230V mains on an inverter is too much of a power drain. I'd be very interested to hear more of your results.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by OxfordWaterRat View Post

I have been an avid music consumer for decades - vinyl on a super system - but I now live on a narrowboat with limited space and power so I'm trying to put together that perfect system again in my new environment. I have a Temple Bantam Gold 12 volt T-amp driving a pair of Klipsch speakers and I'm happy with that side of things. The input connector for the Bantam can be either headphone mini-jack or RCA. My music library is on a 2012 MacBook Air 13" using Pure Music/iTunes or streamed from the cloud via iPad or iPhone. What do I need to go between my MacBook and my Bantam to maximise the quality?

I also would like to use phones with the Apple goodies rather than the amp & speakers in these long dark nights to minimise power consumption.

Everything needs to be either USB or 12v powered.

Any suggestions you can give for dac, headphone amp, phones, and so forth, would be appreciated. The only types of music not in my collection are opera, Cowell-clones, and Abba.

Thanks,
Valerie

You need a digital audio converter (DAC) from you Macbook. There's like a kazillion different kinds, here's a low power model that would likely suit your needs:

http://www.amazon.com/HRT-Music-Streamer-II-Resolution/dp/B0038O4UFQ/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_3

You would need an iDevice-specific one like the HRT iStreamer (12v) for your iPod/iPad, but the iPad can be connected to many self-powered DAC units via Apple's Camera Connection Kit USB adapter:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/507559/list-of-dacs-that-work-with-ipad
Edited by grokit - 10/22/12 at 1:02am
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice - I will look for a DAC - not necessarily that one although it does look good. I've been playing round with the system to see what sounds best and one major drawback to plugging straight from headphone jack to T-amp is interference from the 12v power supply to the computer. Would the DAC through the USB eliminate that?
post #5 of 8
Yes it should be much cleaner. If it's not something else is wrong.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
So I've made one improvement - added an Arcam rPAC today and there's a world of difference. My music is beginning to sound much better. Very nice soundstage. Since my sprung hardwood floor and the walls act like a sounding board for my Klipsch, I'm now sitting in a studio. I plan on upgrading the USB 1-2 cable for cleaner pass-through. This set up does nothing for the iPad/iPod-headphone setup but computer-amp-speakers optimised for £150 is a great start.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Check out Temple Audio http://www.templeaudio.net/. I cannot recommend the Bantam Gold highly enough. It is designed to run on 12v dc. I've had mine for about a year and even in the dead of winter, I can run it all week without severely running down my batteries. If you let them know when you order, they will supply the amp with a cigarette lighter plug. The only down side is having to have very efficient speakers. I was lucky because I already had my Klipsch and they fit on the boat.
post #8 of 8
That rPAC is USB powered, but it may still work with your iPad with a powered hub, or even better something like this:

http://www.myhifishop.de/product_info.php?products_id=49&products_id=49
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