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Considering Moving To A Mac laptop As My Audio Source - Need Your Help And Expertise - I'm Totally New To This - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

"Hog mode" essentially allows the media player to take control of all of the audio processing in the operating system and only plays back audio through its interface (meaning if you're playing music in Audirvana Plus, you can't play audio from a YouTube video while using the same DAC).

Seems similar to WASAPI, but perhaps better?

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by VXAce View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

"Hog mode" essentially allows the media player to take control of all of the audio processing in the operating system and only plays back audio through its interface (meaning if you're playing music in Audirvana Plus, you can't play audio from a YouTube video while using the same DAC).
Seems similar to WASAPI, but perhaps better?
It's similar yeah.
http://lhlabs.com/force/geekpulse/648-integer-mode?start=6#8521
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post

My research indicates that it yields mediocre sound. Is there reason to believe otherwise?


JC

The optical out is bit perfect up to 96khz - why do you believe it will produce mediocre sound? Do you need a very long cable run or do you do you have 192khz source material?
post #19 of 28

It doesn't really matter which laptop you use once you have a DAC/Amp, the computer becomes merely the hard drive. The interface depends on the software and how you organize your library, the rest is just comfort. Some things are easier with mac, others not that much. From a audible standpoint probably there's no difference whatsoever. 

post #20 of 28

new version dragonfly dac v1.2 from audio quest is amazing after burn in, very convenient, size of thumb usb drive, and new version

sounds better and has more power than the first one and price is cheaper 150$.  powers IEMS directly with enough power and makes

high end phones like ZERO AUDIO DOPPIOS sing at reference quality.  

post #21 of 28

If the OP doesn't need portability and is considering a MacMini you might also take a look at an old style AppleTV with an upgraded hard drive in it.  I use a 40gig unit that has had a 250 gig hard drive put into it via an online service (you can also find instructions to do it yourself).  I use mine in my TV room for renting iTunes movies and as my lossless iTunes server.  It connects to my home theater via HDMI and it's also connected to my bedroom rig on the other side of the wall via optical tosslink.  I may eventually have to move to a mac mini for storage reasons but for now the AppleTV fits the bill.  I also like the interface better over the Front Row app on the Mac Mini.  There's a good recent conversation about this over at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1471799

 

Quote:
 If you're going to run a Mini and want a similiar experience to the Apple TV your going to need a front end such as Plex, or XBMC. Take a look at both and see if you like either, they both run on Windows as well. The other issue is if you use Airplay, you won't be able to simply stream content from your PC to your Mac Mini. You can set up network shares and share wirelessly if you want, but the process is a bit more of a pain in the backside.

What you get with an Apple TV is a simple device that just works, you can configure a Mac Mini but overall its a little more work. The bonus of a Mac Mini is format freedom and being able to output the full compliment of HD Audio formats over HDMI to a surround sound receiver. You won't have to bother about remuxing and you'll have access to more than just stereo, Dolby and Pro Logic sound output. A mini will actually handle DTS and etc

 

The one downside to this is that for some reason older AppleTV's are being bid up on ebay right now and the prices don't seem right.

post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drews View Post


The optical out is bit perfect up to 96khz - why do you believe it will produce mediocre sound? Do you need a very long cable run or do you do you have 192khz source material?

 

 

 

From reports I've read, that optical output on Macs isn't very good. The only really successful implementation I've seen of my DAC (the Bryston BDA-1) is here, via a USB to SPDIF converter.

 

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/dacs/dacs-reviews/bryston-bda-1-digital-to-analog-converter-and-halide-design-usb-to-spdif-bridge.html

 

Now, this involves a $400.00 investment. This has me wondering whether, as much as I like the Bryston DAC,  it might make more sense to buy a newer DAC with a fully effective USB input, instead, such as the Schiit Gungnir. Just not sure if I would be giving up much in sound quality.

 

 

JC


Edited by Nightfall - 2/3/14 at 9:26pm
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post

 

 

From reports I've read, that optical output on Macs isn't very good. The only really successful implementation I've seen of my DAC (the Bryston BDA-1) is here, via a USB to SPDIF converter.

 

JC

 

Which Mac?  Do you have any actual data to support that claim?  I've read about an earlier revision of the Mac mini that had high jitter on the optical/spdif output but other than that the optical output is bitperfect, electrically isolated, and doesn't interact/interfere with other USB devices.  Perhaps I'm missing something but spending $400 on an USB-to-spdif adapter is about the lowest bang for the buck investment I can imagine... 

post #24 of 28

Personally, I have never had issues with the optical on any of my MBP's.

post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drews View Post
 

 

Which Mac?  Do you have any actual data to support that claim?  I've read about an earlier revision of the Mac mini that had high jitter on the optical/spdif output but other than that the optical output is bitperfect, electrically isolated, and doesn't interact/interfere with other USB devices.  Perhaps I'm missing something but spending $400 on an USB-to-spdif adapter is about the lowest bang for the buck investment I can imagine... 

 

Honestly, the negative comments have appeared in the majority places where I have read reviews and/or reports, and were associated with both Mac Mini's and Mac laptops. I really have no desire to go back and dig them up again to prove anything. I was unable to find a single implementation where anyone used the headphone/optical output and derived good sound from it, and I really wanted to. I certainly agree that I would much rather not spend $400.00 on a USB/SPDIF converter, but no one is offering any commentary on alternatives that result in high quality sound, unless you have a newer DAC with a much better USB implementation. And I have no desire to drop my perfectly excellent Bryston BDA-1 DAC, which originally cost $2k.

 

 

I can also completely agree that "the optical output is bitperfect, electrically isolated, and doesn't interact/interfere with other USB devices" as you noted, but since when did "bit perfect" have any meaning when ultimately translated to audio quality?

post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 

I would also love to see any reputable audio review, report or article published by any legitimate audio site that indicated a successful implementation, sonically, using the headphone/optical out of a Mac Mini to the optical output of an audio manufacturer based DAC (as opposed to computer oriented manufacturer based DAC). I truly wish this was a viable option.

post #27 of 28
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post

 

I can also completely agree that "the optical output is bitperfect, electrically isolated, and doesn't interact/interfere with other USB devices" as you noted, but since when did "bit perfect" have any meaning when ultimately translated to audio quality?

 

If you don't agree that sending a bit perfect copy of the source material to the DAC is desirable that's fine (many would disagree).  In the context of this conversation, I bring it up because since the optical out is bit perfect on the Mac (assuming your sample rate is right and volume is at maxed) the only difference you would theoretically notice vs another bit perfect spdif connection would be due to jitter, and if the Mac you're considering does not have a problem with jitter (as Jason from Schiit seems to suggest in article I posted) then you may be happy using the built-in optical whereas spending big bucks on that pricey USB/SPDIF convertor may be pointless...

 

Good luck...


Edited by drews - 2/5/14 at 8:58am
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