MacBook and MINIDAC, how should I connect them?
Jul 12, 2009 at 8:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


500+ Head-Fier
Oct 9, 2008
My minidac doesnt have a firewire or USB,

1. Use MacBook Pro's optical output connect with Apogee Minidac
2. Buy a firewire interface sound card and then connect with them (expensive option)
3. Buy a Logitech Squeezebox Duet and then using wireless and coax for connection (cheap option)

Which option I should take for better SQ and lower cost?
Jul 12, 2009 at 10:32 PM Post #2 of 6
One of the advantages of MacBooks is the optical out. Use it!
I think there's no need to buy extra stuff. The sound quality will likely be the same. By the way, you don't need to buy an extra firewire card, right? The MacBook has the right firewire connections already, doesn't it?
The only advantage of a usb (or firewire) interface is the digital thru mode, which you probably won't use often. When I had the minidac, I only used this once. It was 'nice', but nothing to pay extra for.
Jul 12, 2009 at 10:48 PM Post #3 of 6
No I think the digital output quality of a laptop is not that great.
And I didnt mean that I wanna buy a firewire expansion card. What I mentioned is a sound card using a firewire interface. Sorry for my poor description.
Jul 13, 2009 at 9:29 AM Post #4 of 6
Well, the optical connection is the easiest and most logical way. Output from the Macbook will be fine, no worries. You can change settings in the "Audio-Midi" preferences (see utilities folder or just hack it into Spotlight). Use wireless if you want to keep your Mac mobile.
Jul 13, 2009 at 12:39 PM Post #5 of 6
Thanks mate. The only I concerned is the quality of MacBook's optical output.
Jul 13, 2009 at 1:44 PM Post #6 of 6
Try it before you dismiss it. Optical cables are cheap too. Try USB and Optical and see if you can tell a difference. You probably wont notice any difference but even if you did it would be so minuscule that I don't think it would affect your purchase as much as other factors. Optical will use your audio hardware too, USB will saturate the USB bus and use up a prescious USB port. Any other devices on the same USB header can leak noise into the audio signal as well.

Users who are viewing this thread