Macbook + uDAC + amp setup
Jun 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

rbf1138

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So I just got my uDAC, to be used with my MBP. I've got it outputting via RCA to my Cute Beyond amp. I'm a it confused as to how the volume should be set though. I hear a bit more "hiss" with the udac turned up high, but I've read that it and my Mac's audio should be on highest, with the amp as the main volume control. Will I be missing anything by turning down the uDAC a bit? 
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 12:12 PM Post #2 of 25

rbf1138

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I'll go and add this question, too: how do I know that my Red and White RCAs are all correct? What I mean is, last night while just using the headphone out of my MBP to my amp, a song I listened to had the vocals mainly in the right channel. Now today, with the uDAC hooked into the chain, the vocals were on the left...I have the RCAs going into their correctly labelled and colored slots, so how do I know for sure which is right?
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 12:44 PM Post #3 of 25

rbf1138

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So yeah, something is definitely confusing me. When I plug my Denon D2000s direct into my MBP, I'll get vocals right, bass drum on left. With my phones directly into my amp, receiving from MBP, it's opposite. And when the uDAC is in the chain, back to the original of vocals right, bass left. Maybe the amp has the RCAs switched?
 
Here's a link to the song I'm testing with:
http://www.multiupload.com/KAJ0XNW62H
 
If someone could tell me where they're hearing the vocals and bass drum/snare, that'd probably help a lot.
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 12:58 PM Post #4 of 25

Hybrys

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I have a feeling it's the 3.5mm to RCA cord you're using.  You're right, it shouldn't have that reversing effect.
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:01 PM Post #5 of 25

rbf1138

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My breakdown was:
Directly out of headphone output, bass drum/snare panned left, vocals center/left-ish
 
Headphone out to amp: bass/snare panned right, vocals center/right-ish
 
uDAC to amp: bass/snare panned left, vocals center/left-ish
 
Using another pair of phones direct from MBP, seems that bass/snare panned left is correct. Maybe my cables had miscolored RCAs?
 
Also, it seems like the sound is veiled or muffled a bit with the uDAC to amp vs. headphone out to amp. Is something wrong here?
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM Post #7 of 25

Hybrys

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Quote:
Are you sure that you are using the correct L/R out and not the coaxial by mistake?


How would the coaxial RCA transmit analog RCA information?  <_<
 
@OP, are you maxing out your computer's volume controls, and the setting the uDAC as high as you can before distortion, then controlling the volume at the amp?  (I forget how to make the uDAC RCA outs into a line-level out.)
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM Post #8 of 25

rbf1138

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Quote:
Are you sure that you are using the correct L/R out and not the coaxial by mistake?


Def wasn;t using the coaxial. I think it was my cord, as Hybrys suspected. If I reveresed the RCAs into the amp (contrary to the labels) it was of course how it sounded directly out of the headphone jack. Does that mean I should really just get a new cable entirely, or will it not matter if I'm just reversing it? 
 
Now onto the other issue, that I'm feeling like the sound is clearer out of the headphone jack to amp than with the udac in between...do I just need to adjust?
 
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:24 PM Post #9 of 25

Hybrys

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Quote:
Def wasn;t using the coaxial. I think it was my cord, as Hybrys suspected. If I reveresed the RCAs into the amp (contrary to the labels) it was of course how it sounded directly out of the headphone jack. Does that mean I should really just get a new cable entirely, or will it not matter if I'm just reversing it? 
 
Now onto the other issue, that I'm feeling like the sound is clearer out of the headphone jack to amp than with the udac in between...do I just need to adjust?
 
edit: and now I'm trying the uDACs headphone jack, and not getting any sound at all. Maybe something is wrong with it.


The RCA cord should be fine.  The contrary wiring does no harm.
 
Maybe there is...  Double check your options and etc, then read my last post about voluming.
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM Post #10 of 25

grokit

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Quote:
How would the coaxial RCA transmit analog RCA information?  <_<
 


That's my point, OP is only getting one channel so if he has one of the plugs on the coaxial by mistake that's why
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:38 PM Post #11 of 25

rbf1138

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Ok, an unplug of the udac fixed the headphone out. And yes, I'm putting the udac volume up, and the Macs audio is maxed out.I definitely get a bit of distortion with the udac turned up too high, so im back to keeping it at about 12 oclock. Is there a way to actually make the RCAs line-level outs? I'm wondering if maybe I'm just used to digital output and the warmth of the udac is being percieved as veiling to me.
 
 
(Btw, thanks for all the help hybrys. you've helped me in several threads this week, and it's really appreciated)
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:38 PM Post #12 of 25

rbf1138

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Quote:
That's my point, OP is only getting one channel so if he has one of the plugs on the coaxial by mistake that's why


I was getting both channels, I was referring to panning of instruments/voices in the music.
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 1:52 PM Post #13 of 25

Hybrys

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Quote:
Ok, an unplug of the udac fixed the headphone out. And yes, I'm putting the udac volume up, and the Macs audio is maxed out.I definitely get a bit of distortion with the udac turned up too high, so im back to keeping it at about 12 oclock. Is there a way to actually make the RCAs line-level outs? I'm wondering if maybe I'm just used to digital output and the warmth of the udac is being percieved as veiling to me.



I'm unsure how to make the RCAs line-level outs.  It MIGHT just be something perceived, but...  I don't know.  How does the uDAC headphone out sound, compared to the MBP onboard?
 
When you plug your amp in via 3.5 --> RCA, are you maxing the sound out aswell?
 
Jun 3, 2010 at 3:55 PM Post #15 of 25

rbf1138

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Quote:
The RCA outputs on the uDAC are line level outputs.


If that were the case, wouldn't the volume knob stop working when output to the amp? The volume knob adjusts the volume whether outputting via the headphone jack or RCA for me.
 

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