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How to Get 24 bit 192khz Files From My MacBook Pro To Play Through The DAC Of The Fiio E17 - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrand1 View Post

 

Oh, I wasn't trying at all to attack your post- we're all trying to help. It was more I was having difficulty finding a "definitive" spec on that output jack.

 

It's cool, I didn't feel attacked. I was more saying it to the OP, since they ordered the cable right after I posted. Overlooked the limitations of the laptop.

post #17 of 39

I have an iMac (early 2009) updated to Mountain Lion (rel. 10.8.4) and I can confirm on this, I can't go higher than 96KHz/24bit on my machine. The digital output on my computer is 192/24-capable (as with all recent Macintosh machines) however Mac OS X is limited to 96/24 on S/PDIF. If you install Windows Vista/7/8 on Bootcamp you will be able to output the desired hi-res 192KHz/24bit signal through the optical output on your Mac.

 

I've temporarily set my MIDI Setup to 96/24 to play a 192/24 FLAC file on VLC and a 192/24 ALAC file on iTunes and they are reproduced perfectly fine through my USB-connected E17+E12. I've obtained the same results on my Bifrost+G109 through S/PDIF.

 

If you want 192/24 bitperfect playback, you need a compatible USB DAC/Converter like the M2Tech Hiface as previously suggested. If you have an AV-receiver, you can get bitperfect playback via HDMI as the HDMI standard supports the 192KHz/24bit resolution (a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter will suffice).


Edited by MrScratch - 7/10/13 at 4:29am
post #18 of 39

Thanks for the information.  So it was a software but not a hardware limitation as I have guessed, then this also mean there MAYBE a software fix later...

post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 

I got the Fiio L12 optical cable, plugged one end into the headphone jack on my MacBook Pro and the other end into the S/PDIF In on the Fiio E17. I opened up iTunes and played the Hi-Res file that came to mind, and..........the Fiio still says it's playing a 48K 16 bit signal. I can't seem to get the Fiio to show that it's at least playing a 24bit 96Khz signal (even though the AIFF file is 24 bit 192 Khz). I remember  one of you mentioning that I needed to change a setting somewhere in order to get to register the proper resolution. Where exactly is that setting? I tried looking for it under System Preferences>/Sound and under iTunes preferences, and I can't find any setting to change. MrScratch mentioned his MIDI setup--is that a setting on the MacBook Pro, or somewhere else? The same thing happens when I connect the two via USB. It plays the file but it only shows a 48K 16 bit resolution. My understanding is that the Fiio E17 USB resolves up to 24 bit 96 kHz without any additional tweaking.  I know this should work, and it's just a setting away, but I am at a loss as to how to do it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

P.S. Is it possible that

 

1. My Fiio E17 is defective and doesn't resolve above 16 bit 48 kHz?

2. My friend is right--the headphone jack on my MBP is only analog-out and is not digital out in any way (optical)?

3. The Fiio won't downsample my 24 bit 192 kHz files to 24 bit 96khz resolution, so the files are relatively useless for this setup?

 

Just wondering..........

post #20 of 39
Audio midi setup is standard on the Mac, should come up if you search in spotlight. It is also in 'utilities' IIRC. Should allow you to switch the sample rate. iTunes does have some issues with not automatically adjusting the sample rate between songs if they are at different rates. There are other options for audio playback on the Mac that automatically switch the rate from what I understand. Hope you get things working.
post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thank you SO MUCH! Both forms of connection--USB and S/DIF are registering 24 bit 96 Khz signals on the Fiio. I can definitely hear a difference between the 24 bit 96 kHz  and the 16 bit 48 kHz files. For the first time, everything works. Both formats are downsampling the 24 bit 192 kHz files to 24 bit 96 kHz. Now I have one last question. The files are definitely using the Fiio amplifier for adjusting the volume--the volume control on the MBP is greyed out and unusable. Are the files being processed by the Fiio DAC or the internal MBP DAC? I think it's going through the Fiio DAC, but I'm not sure. Thoughts, anyone? And, as always, thansk so much for your help in advance. 

post #22 of 39

The optical cable or USB cable is sending digital to the external Fiio DAC, there it is being converted. Have fun.

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

The files are definitely using the Fiio amplifier for adjusting the volume--the volume control on the MBP is greyed out and unusable. Are the files being processed by the Fiio DAC or the internal MBP DAC? I think it's going through the Fiio DAC, but I'm not sure. Thoughts, anyone? And, as always, thansk so much for your help in advance. 

You are definitely using the Wolfson DAC on your E17. :P

Oh, and tell you friend that all Macintosh computers have an integrated digital input (mic in) and a digital output at least since 2006. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by MrScratch - 7/20/13 at 6:47pm
post #24 of 39
Thread Starter 

Since there really is no way to get the Fiio E17 to process 24/192 files from my MBP without spending more money, I thought I would use it with my iPhone 5 out on the road (along with the proper cables--this will only allow me to use the Fiio amp and not the DAC as the "lightning" cable does not do digital audio out). This is better than using the iPhone alone. In it's place at home, I thought about getting the KingRex UD384 (http://www.moon-audio.com/audio-equipment/kingrex-ud384-usb-dac.html#) to use with my MBP, along with the Pure Music/iTunes software package as the interface. This way, I could get the UD384 to convert the files I have to perfect 24bit/192khz, and the KingRex DAC would take things from there--all via USB, or would I have to go through the S/PDIF out (MBP) and in (UD384)? Not sure about that one. How does that combo strike you guys as an alternative to actually play my 24/192 files at full resolution using my MBP? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. 

post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 

Oh, I almost forgot. Cables.......if I have to go the S/DIF route, then it looks like I would have to get a standard RCA S?DIF cable and the use the RCA male on the UD384 end, and use the Fiio adapter (female RCA to "mini") to connect it to my MBP. Does that sound right?

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

Since there really is no way to get the Fiio E17 to process 24/192 files from my MBP without spending more money, I thought I would use it with my iPhone 5 out on the road (along with the proper cables--this will only allow me to use the Fiio amp and not the DAC as the "lightning" cable does not do digital audio out). 

 

It does, however a specifically compatible peripheral is required, like the Vamp Verza.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

In it's place at home, I thought about getting the KingRex UD384 to use with my MBP, along with the Pure Music/iTunes software package as the interface. 

 

The UD384 is really pricey and I think that using it simply as a USB to Coax converter would be a waste of money. To justify its price tag you should be using it with a hi-end rig. Anyway, at the end of the day it's your money. wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

This way, I could get the UD384 to convert the files I have to perfect 24bit/192khz, and the KingRex DAC would take things from there--all via USB, or would I have to go through the S/PDIF out (MBP) and in (UD384)? 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

Oh, I almost forgot. Cables.......if I have to go the S/DIF route, then it looks like I would have to get a standard RCA S?DIF cable and the use the RCA male on the UD384 end, and use the Fiio adapter (female RCA to "mini") to connect it to my MBP. Does that sound right?

 

As I previously stated, Mac computers are limited to 96KHz/24bit on the S/PDIF digital output socket, the only way to get 192KHz/24bit is through a USB DAC and/or converter. Plus, the KingRex UD384 has no S/PDIF in.

 

Anyway, you seem a bit confused on the S/PDIF digital audio standard, so I'll give you some insight. S/PDIF uses two separate and definite interconnect types, one being digital coaxial with RCA connectors and the other being digital optical with TOSLINK connectors. These two standards aren't ambivalent and they are NOT compatible.

Mind you, the S/PIDF digital output on your Mac is optical only, this means that even if the UD384 had coax in you'd still need a converter to get the digital out on your Mac into the digital in of the UD384. The E17 is special as the S/PDIF socket doubles as a optical+coaxial digital port.

post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your clear explanation, MrScratch. I AM confused and a bit dense when it comes to this technical stuff. I didn't realize until you explained it to me that the KingRex has no S/DIF "in"--only "out" which would make it useless for my needs. Are there any other DAC (or combo units) other than the Vamp Verza that would work to get hi-res files (up to 24/192) from my MBP, convert them properly, and send the analog signal via RCA cables to my tube headphone amp? My thinking in buying the KingRex, incorrect as it was, was that I could use it both with my MBP and in my high-end rig (yes, I am a die-hard audiophile). I don't know how the Vamp Verza sounds. It has to sound good before I'm willing to buy it--functionality comes second to me. The Vamp Verza has the added benefit of being able to use it with both my iPhone 5 and my MBP--but it seems that I cannot use it in my high-end rig. Is there one that would allow me to use it in all three applications? I'd be willing to settle for using it with the MBP and my high-end rig and forget about the iPhone 5 as an option. The Fiio E17 is "good enough" there. Your help is greatly appreciated.

post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

[...] I thought I would use it with my iPhone 5 out on the road (along with the proper cables--this will only allow me to use the Fiio amp and not the DAC as the "lightning" cable does not do digital audio out).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrScratch View Post

It does, however a specifically compatible peripheral is required, like the Vamp Verza.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

Are there any other DAC (or combo units) other than the Vamp Verza that would work to get hi-res files (up to 24/192) from my MBP, convert them properly, and send the analog signal via RCA cables to my tube headphone amp?

 

Sorry if I was vague as I misled you. The Vamp Verza will downsample all your hi-res files: in fact, it's fixed to 48KHz/16bit on both USB and micro-USB connections. My post was referring to the Lightning capabilities: it is a digital port and you can get digital audio from it, however you need a compatible device like the Vamp Verza or the CEntrance HiFi-M8 to take advantage of this feature. ^^'

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

My thinking in buying the KingRex, incorrect as it was, was that I could use it both with my MBP and in my high-end rig (yes, I am a die-hard audiophile).

 

If you are going to use the UD384 with a proper amp (especially if it is a nice tube amp wink.gif) there's no need to worry, then. I thought you were going to use it as a USB to coax conveter for the E17 and nothing more. biggrin.gif

 

In fact, the UD384 might cover all your home use needs... it can be pushed to extreme sampling rates like 384KHZ/32bit when feeding an amp through the analog outputs (digital coax out is limited to 192KHz/24bit but it's sufficient for an external DAC like the E17), even on Mac computers:

 

0XU8tb6.png

... pretty useless high sampling rate right now but you never know...

 

Paired with a tube amp becomes a pretty nice desktop rig. ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

Is there one that would allow me to use it in all three applications? I'd be willing to settle for using it with the MBP and my high-end rig and forget about the iPhone 5 as an option. The Fiio E17 is "good enough" there. Your help is greatly appreciated.

 

DAC/AMP combo with Asynchronous USB PC/Mac 192KHz/24 support + USB iPhone 192KHz/24bit support + L/R analog outputs? Sorry but nothing is coming to my mind right now, maybe some more experienced users might join in and give you some more advices. bzG7UhN.gif


Edited by MrScratch - 7/20/13 at 6:44pm
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 

Now that I think about it, the KingRex won't work in my hi-end rig because there's nothing but USB "in"--no S/DIF or coax "in". I could only use it with USB (MBP) and not my modified Sony Blu-Ray player (toslink out). Not a wise purchase if I want it to work in both rigs. So, I have another "beginner's" question:

 

1. It sounds like from the discussion above that most Hi-Rez USB DAC's really don't work with the MBP straight out because of the MBP's limitations on both USB and S/DIF "out" to 24bit/96khz. You'd have to get a USB to S/DIF converter and then send the signal to a Hi-Rez DAC to get true 24/192 or higher resolution. Is that correct? If so, then why don't the DAC manufacturers make that clear? Its seems like false advertising (Fiio included, but only the USB portion) that tout their products to play 24/192 files when you need another expensive box to convert the file into usable form. Is it just on Mac computers that this problem exists and not on Windows or other computers? Again, it seems like false advertising to claim they are "Mac" compatible, but only up to 24/96 and not beyond. I hope none of the above is true and I've just got it wrong--most Hi-End USB DAC's "do" play 24/192 files straight out of USB.

 

2. I'm now thinking of getting the Asus Zonar Essence One Plus Edition DAC/Amp (https://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_Essence_One_Plus_Edition#overview). It has all the inputs and outputs I need and I've heard through the grapevine that it sounds pretty sweet, too (especially with the option to roll the op-amps). Would it also be true that I would need a USB to S/DIF converter unit to make the Asus usable with my Hi-Rez computer files?

 

I'm learning a tremendous amount from this discussion. Thanks to all who participated. 

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

1. It sounds like from the discussion above that most Hi-Rez USB DAC's really don't work with the MBP straight out because of the MBP's limitations on both USB and S/DIF "out" to 24bit/96khz. 

 

While it's true that Mac computers are limited to 96Khz/24bit on the digital S/PDIF output, the sample rate limit "issue" on USB is standard-related and it affects PCs and Linux distros, too. You see, the USB standard identifies audio devices in different classes depending on their characteristics. Depending on the defining class, an audio device may be able to process different sampling rates up to 96KHz/24bit (Audio Class 1 compliant) or even up to 384KHz/32bit (Audio Class 2 compliant). A manufacturer may decide to adhere to one of these classes and/or it may opt for a proprietary driver (which isn't really cost effective in many cases). The Audio Class 1 compliant is supported by Windows, OS X and Linux distros natively and it doesn't require any additional driver. Recent OS X and Linux operating systems support USB Audio Class 2 natively without extra drivers.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

You'd have to get a USB to S/DIF converter and then send the signal to a Hi-Rez DAC to get true 24/192 or higher resolution. Is that correct?

 

Not really, as I previously stated it depends on the choices made by the manufacturer. The M2Tech hiFace DAC is USB Audio Class 2 compliant, it's 384Khz/32bit capable and it has a 3.5mm analog output instead of the digital coaxial socket mounted on the hiFace Two (the hiFace Two is a converter). Same goes for the KingRex UD384.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

2. I'm now thinking of getting the Asus Zonar Essence One Plus Edition DAC/Amp (https://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_Essence_One_Plus_Edition#overview). It has all the inputs and outputs I need and I've heard through the grapevine that it sounds pretty sweet, too (especially with the option to roll the op-amps). Would it also be true that I would need a USB to S/DIF converter unit to make the Asus usable with my Hi-Rez computer files?

 

Giving credit to everything I've written above, I think that the Essence One is only capable of 96Khz/24bit on Macs and it uses a driver (ASIO drivers I think) on PCs to reach the 192KHz/24bit sampling rates through USB. frown.gif

It seems I was cleary wrong, a review on another site demonstrated that the Essence One is USB Audio Class 2 compliant as Mac computers recognise it instantly allowing hi-res sampling rates up to 192KHz/24bit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

then why don't the DAC manufacturers make that clear? Its seems like false advertising (Fiio included, but only the USB portion) that tout their products to play 24/192 files when you need another expensive box to convert the file into usable form. Is it just on Mac computers that this problem exists and not on Windows or other computers? Again, it seems like false advertising to claim they are "Mac" compatible, but only up to 24/96 and not beyond. I hope none of the above is true and I've just got it wrong--most Hi-End USB DAC's "do" play 24/192 files straight out of USB.

 

I think that nobody can aswer this. :(

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacofman View Post

I'm learning a tremendous amount from this discussion. Thanks to all who participated. 

 

And everyone is willing to help so it's a WIN-WIN situation, right? wink.gif


Edited by MrScratch - 7/22/13 at 9:49am
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